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Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 101

I don't need to stand by the rotation theory. However, the 2.5 degrees that the Earth rotates are about equivalent to the downrange distance.

The first stage is going about 1/5 of the target LEO orbital velocity at separation. While you might well model the trajectory as a parabola over flat ground, given the lack of fuel I would expect that SpaceX puts a lot more care into their trajectory. So far I've failed to attract the attention of the person responsible for Flight Club, the most trusted modeling of SpaceX flights, but I'll message him directly.

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 101

Well, Alastair, you should probably not get snotty and ad-hominem, unless you want me to comment on how a one-time sci-fi author and the Unix guy at Dish doesn't really have more authority than the random person one might find in the SpaceX group on Reddit.

It happens there are a few people over there who are rocketry professionals, have the math, and have followed SpaceX long enough. So, sure, their opinion can indeed be trusted.

So far, we have a suggestion from one of the lesser folks there that raising the apogee takes advantage of the Earth's rotation. We'll see if we get the attention of the right people.

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 101

It seems to be a common misconception that orbital mechanics somehow knows when you are in orbit and does not work otherwise. But that is as silly as saying that relativity only works near light speed. These things always work regardless of speed, it's just that their effects are macroscopic at greater speeds.

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 101

Here's an illustration of the boost-back to RTLS trajectory. You can see that it very definitely goes up. And to prove from observation, you can actually see where the two trajectories separate in photos from yesterday's launch. It's a rather dim curl up, and another continuing East, in Jason Ruck's photo and John Kraus's photo.

At the speed of stage separation, they rocket isn't going fast enough to stay in orbit, but it is definitely in the regime where orbital mechanics has a macroscopic effect. If you think about it, this is going to be the case at some reasonable fraction of orbital velocity.

Comment The perspective of a 3D animation professional (Score 5, Interesting) 301

This is just like the way people whined that color film had ruined the medium, and the ones before them who whined about talkies and yearned for the days of silent films.

I started at the NYIT Computer Graphics Laboratory in 1981 and left Pixar in 2000. These days I produce or am on screen once in a while.

While I was at NYIT they weren't story oriented, and thus all you see of them is demos. Pixar, on the other hand, always put story first. We knew that we could not make a film stand up on effects alone.

Today, a good 3D animation house can make absolutely any scene they like. And thus there isn't anything special about doing so. It's there if it needs to be there to tell the story, and not otherwise.

Comment Re:I want to like Donald. (Score 1) 268

I hate Hillary with a passion, but any sentence out of Trump's mouth makes her look like Gandhi in comparison.

Such as, "At this point, what difference does it make?" Oh, wait...

How about, "Who's going to find out? They're trash...nobody's going to believe them!" (That was Hillary, talking about the women her lecherous husband has assaulted over the years.)

"Yeah, I got him off. So what? Who cares? We got the evidence thrown out, so he walked. I mean, sure, we knew he did it, but it didn't matter." (That was Hillary, talking about a child rapist she helped avoid charges.)

"I believe the primary role of the state is to teach, train, and raise children. Parents have a secondary role." (That was Hillary in It Takes a Village.)

Do I need to continue?

Comment Moo (Score 1) 325

At home: Core i5 4690K, 16 GB RAM, two 256GB SSDs (one boots Gentoo, the other currently boots Windows 10), 750GB spinning rust, a Blu-ray burner, and 28" 4K monitor for the main desktop. Server's an A4-3300 with 10 GB RAM, a 256GB SSD that boots Gentoo, and 7.5 TB spinning rust. A couple of Raspberry Pis with LibreELEC drive the TVs from files on the server.

At work: Core 2 Quad Q6600 (it's old, but it's still reasonably quick for most things), 8 GB RAM, 256GB SSD that boots Windows 7, 750GB spinning rust, and a Radeon 6870 driving two 20ish" monitors (one at 1680x1050, the other at 1440x900). We're a charitable organization, so most of what's in my work computer is stuff that I didn't need at home any longer and donated (get to claim a tax writeoff on it). More recently, I brought in an Acer Aspire Revo 1600 that I no longer needed running a TV at home...it's now a Gentoo box with a built-in SD-card reader that mostly gets used to back up and restore the Raspberry Pis we have scattered around the building as digital signage, web kiosks, etc.

Model Ms are on all the machines I work with directly. joe is my preferred editor for Gentoo and Cygwin, though Windows installs also get Notepad++. Linux IDEs all appear to be varying degrees of hot mess, but they've not really been necessary for the things I've knocked together under it. At work, Visual Studio is what pays the bills. Whether on computers, phones, or tablets, Chrome is preferred over SJWfox.

Comment Re:That's nice (Score 1) 237

Those TV shows from the '90s and earlier were most likely shot on film, not videotape. Telecine it at 1080p (or 4K, if you want...do that now and downsample it to 1080p so you don't have to do it again when 4K video catches on) and you'll get more details out of the original content than ever aired on TV. That (and a bunch of other enhancements) was what happened for the Blu-ray release of Star Trek, for instance.

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