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Comment Re:yeah i've heard of this... (Score 1, Informative) 70

That is not at all a strange thought. When the Dutch started building their first waterworks, they used enormous amounts of wood that was not situated in the water before. After a few decades, this brought a plague of the naval shipworm, who gladly made use of this new paradise. The Dutch off course were less amused by this creature that attacked their wooden structures.

Comment Re:yea right (Score 3, Informative) 37

In a way you would be turning your light sensor into a light pen. Yes, this is grandpa speaking, who can still remember how beautiful his Commodore 64 was with a light pen. In effect, the screen is built up of horizontal lines that are "painted" sequentially. So the light pen would detect a light peak, send a signal to the computer, who looked at the where the video chip was currently painting. That way, the computer "knew" where you pointed the light pen at.

So yes, I can totally imagine that you would be able to read a QR code from your own screen that way.

Comment Is this news? (Score 4, Interesting) 120

I have studied aeronautics and I was told that U.S. aeronautical engineers were called "gypsies". All the U.S. aircraft were designed by the same team of engineers, who were hired for a design job, fired afterwards and therefore went from factory to factory to be able to make a living. For us European students, it was totally absurd that you would have to spend a large part of your life studying and still end up as a dragged-around gypsy.

Comment Re:Planes vs. cars (Score 1) 73

I have seen a "3d print" version of this, where the regular plastic is used instead of wax. It is a nice way of making complex things, but there are a few drawbacks:

  • You have more work designing the cast- and ventilation channels.
  • You will have to destroy the mold if the part is not "wedge-shaped" enough to be taken out. This can be a problem if the object you just cast is very delicate. It certainly takes some work. Usually, you have to sand the object to get rid of the mold
  • You need more material than you need for the object itself. There should be enough material in the casting funnel to "press" the material into the mold. However, this material can be reused. It certainly takes a lot of effort to remove the ventilation channels and casting funnel from the object. Even more so if the object is delicate.
  • This removal also can make the objects slightly different. When the objects are gas turbine rotor blades, the tolerances are very small.

Off course, there are also advantages, such as the ability to control the material's properties during casting using chills

Comment Re:Sounds like a brilliant plan. (Score 1) 51

Looking at the picture, that was exactly my idea.

If the power fails, I don't think these fixed propellers used for the lift are going into autorotation. But luckily, that does not matter, as the stability will be gone as well. But hey, if you survived the blades while getting into the aircraft, you probably won't mind a bit of excitement...

In short, this does not look like anything that could ever get an approval from the aviation authorities

Comment One Promotion Too Many (Score 1) 300

In Management Science class, the tutor told us that engineers (he was speaking then of technical engineers, but it probably also works in other fields) would make one promotion too many in their life. In fact, they were trained at technical skills, but were expected to end up in management, of which they had only basic knowledge, or none at all.

And he told that often, the best engineer would be promoted to be department manager. This off course was not a good thing, as the best engineers were usually not the best managers.

I sincerely hope to make him proud by proving him wrong.

Comment Re:Sounds like the UK post Brexit (Score 1) 513

On the contrary. Once the British leave the neo-conservative corporatocracy called the EU, they at least have the opportunity to become human again. The British can choose to be governed by a democratic power instead of lobbyists. Whether they do so is off course the question. Much of the neo-conservative belief system came from people like Margaret Thatcher after all.

Comment abuse of resources (Score 1) 251

Retaining and recruiting talented technical personnel has become a top national security priority in recent years as Russia, China, Iran and other nation states and criminal groups have sharpened their cyber offensive abilities while the NSA wasted their resources on attacking their own civilians.

There, fixed that for you.

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