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Comment Re:chain of custody (Score 1) 63

Apple may have to come very clean about how this works or it may not hold up in court.

I doubt it is intended to hold up in court. More likely the idea is to provide the phone's owner (perhaps in conjunction with the police) with information about who took their phone, so that they then know where to look to find more solid evidence.

Comment Re:As did all the others. (Score 1) 157

A design like Airlander 10 is fundamentally a lot more resistant to the common problems that plague blimps during landing, such as susceptability to winds. It has less inherent lift, a smaller cross section, and more ability to anchor itself down with its fans. However, something clearly did not function correctly here. A blimp should never nose down like that. Either lift or thrust was for some reason configured wrong.

Comment Re:Bill Nye is not a science guy. (Score 1, Troll) 415

"Our favorite science guy?"

WTF is this, reddit? Goddamn slashdot's gone to shit. I mean, it's gone to shit several, several times since I started posting here, but every time I keep thinking we've hit bottom, no the editors find a way to dig deeper.

That's not the editor's writing, it's the submitter's writing, which you should know by now.

Comment Maybe VR would work better? (Score 1) 82

I hate to be the guy who suggests that the US military spend yet more taxpayer dollars on the "next new thing", but perhaps some of their problems could be addresses by replacing their current simulators with VR headsets and PCs?

Their current approach seems to be largely the "cave" approach, where the trainee sits inside a room by himself and images are projected on the walls around him. That's fine as far as it goes, but doing it that is by its nature expensive and takes a lot of space, which means not very many people can be using the simulator at once, which limits the military's ability to train groups of trainees how to co-ordinate their behavior with each other.

Replace that with a networked gaming PC and an Oculus Rift (or similar) for each trainee, and I think you could provide a similarly immersive experience to a lot more people simultaneously, for about the same price.

Comment Re:So much for Apple's "better design" (Score 1) 221

Well, I'll be the counter-anecdote, then. When I bought my iPhone6+, after about two weeks it started to compulsively touch itself. For example, I could be looking at a Google Map (not doing anything, just looking at the phone while it sat on the table), and suddenly the map would spontaneously scroll from my location in LA to somewhere in Utah, all on its own; as if it had received a touch event somewhere way off the edge of the screen. Similar strange spontaneous behaviors would occur in all other apps (and even on the "Desktop") at random times, every few minutes, and it was enough to drive anyone crazy.

I took the onanistic iPhone6+ back to the Apple store back for a replacement, and so far the replacement has had no problems (knock on wood).

Comment Re:Good luck (Score 1) 183

Politicians are always the same. All they do is appeal to whatever they see as the current mentality that will get them (re)elected.

There's a name for politicians that don't do that -- they are called "non-politicians". You don't get to govern if you can't get into (or stay in) office.

There's a clear Darwinian-style process at work there.

Comment Re:Protection (Score 1) 130

Right, so they're going to reengineer every last subcomponent of every last part to withstand cryogenic temperatures, specifically for production in the tiny volumes needed in the space industry? Just for the inconvenience of reusing an upper stage?

Again: contrary to would-be-rocketeer imaginations, launch costs are not the be-all end-all of expenses when it comes to space. Engineering and low-volume production is killer. Mission designers always heavily stress TRL (Technology Readiness Level) of all components, as it's such a key determiner of mission cost. If any plan you propose involves "just reengineer everything", you do not have a plan.

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1, Insightful) 130

What you need is: Oxygen, Radiation shielding, Water, Food, Power and some gear.

Yes, it's totally that simple! The ISS has hundreds of thousands of parts, but only because congress insisted on adding thousands of Machines That Go Ping for no good reason. And random objects totally love being submerged in liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. And empty tanks are totally easy to haul all the way to orbit when pre-loaded with fittings and jackets and extra tanks. And building things in space (including bloody *welding*) is such a nothing job that totally costs nothing!

Meanwhile, in the real world...

The tanks will serve as basic habitats etc., you could grow food (wasn't this successfull?) in one of them to replenish your oxygen supply.

((Snicker))

Everything which does not need to be inside, you leave it outside,

((Snicker))

Comment Re:easy peasy (Score 1) 130

What plastic are you thinking of and at what thickness, that is compatible with liquid oxygen, retains flexibility at LOX (or worse, LH) temperatures, and withstands the pressure, all without adding a massive mass penalty? How is the plastic supposed to deform around every little structure in the habitat (aka, not face multiple atmospheres of asymmetric pressure)? What sort of hardware are you thinking of where every last element is just fine with being frozen down to LOX (or worse, LH) temperatures? How many man hours are you thinking of to "rip out" the giant bag through the tiny docking port (after having to detach it where it's carefully bound around each element? Unless you were thinking of having it fully loose inside there, which is even more problematic. Where's it supposed to go on the ISS? If you're doing the (larger) hydrogen tank, how 100% sure are you that you're not making an explosive fuel-air mixture, given that hydrogen burns at just a couple percentage concentration? How positive are you that you've fully vented every last nook and cranny? And on and on and on.

Wet workshops were worked on during the Apollo era. They were ditched for dry workshops because it's easier, cheaper, and more functional.

Comment Re:Too bad they can't use the SS ext. tanks (Score 3, Interesting) 130

Shuttle ETs never got up to a stable orbit. It would have been possible to use the OMS to take them up there, but then the Shuttle would have had basically no payload capacity on that mission.

Of course, that's one of the lesser problems with the concept. Often proposed, often investigated, but never considered worth throwing serious money into.

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