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Comment Re:Fail policy; fact checking is usually biased (Score 1) 106

This is simply another fail policy; fact checking of late has be shown to to be biased.

Of course it has. And Hilary Clinton is a Reptoid from the Hollow Earth and Donald Trump has been negotiating with gray aliens for the cure to cancer. Do not believe the people who tell you these are not facts. They're biased.

Comment Re: Correcting myself (Score 1) 641

You should be aware that you don't need to be an engineer to perform most work. The exceptions where you do need to be an engineer are things like designing industrial machinery and bridges.

Or medium- to high-voltage electrical equipment, which is what anyone claiming to be an "electrical engineer" is asserting that they're competent to do.

Really, it should be required for anything where poor design can negatively impact the public. At a minimum, that should include safety-critical things like the software running on medical equipment, but I would argue that the scope should be much broader, e.g. by holding IoT device makers accountable for their product's lack of security.

Comment Re:Cry me a river (Score 1) 235

Suicide doesn't seem like an appropriate answer to a stressful job. He probably had problems well beyond Uber's bad HR policy. Loosing a job, your house, your car... isn't the end of the world. Anyone rational enough would realize this. But suicide is usually from problem well beyond external problems which needs to be treated.

Comment Re: Correcting myself (Score 1) 641

So because of falling bridges, you can't solder your own radio?

That's a strawman argument. You can solder your own radio all you want, obviously.

What you can't do is offer your radio-building services to the public, claiming that your expertise as an engineer means they can trust that the radios you create will be (a) electrically safe (which is an issue once you're talking about stuff with more transmission power than a cellphone or walkie-talkie) and (b) comply with FCC regulations.

such for specific projects rather than for extremely vague words such as "engineer" in a broad sweep?

Except for low-voltage electronics (that have only become prevalent relatively recently -- i.e., in the least few decades), the vast majority of things engineers do are safety-critical! Claiming to be an "electrical engineer" is claiming to be competent to design things like high-voltage electrical substations, or (if you want consumer product examples) at least cathode ray tubes, microwave ovens or switching power supplies -- i.e., stuff that actually can kill people if someone screws up the design. It's not just about insignificant shit like integrated circuits and PCBs.

Comment Re: Correcting myself (Score 1) 641

and saying "I'm am engineer" to lend his letter more weoght.

AND THAT'S THE PROBLEM!

If you haven't proven yourself to be competent (e.g. by earning the license), you don't deserve to have more weight lent to your opinion. Claiming to be something you're not in order to gain advantage is fraud.

Comment Re:Wonder how it compares to Airlander (Score 1) 105

That accident sure was a black eye for them... but the design is now better because of it. Also, gotta love having an aircraft whose crashes are in slow motion ;) "Coming soon on World's Least Dramatic Air Crashes!"

I imagine for the pilot it was sort of like when you're driving down a slope on ice and you lose traction, and you end up skidding down the whole slope at a several kilometers per hour: First, alarm and futile attempts to regain control, followed by acceptance, then "Okay, you can stop any time now...."

Comment Re:Going Howard Hughes... (Score 2) 105

Airships are not party balloons; they don't "pop" when you make a hole in them. They have low overpressure and a huge volume to surface area, so a "bullethole" is just a slow leak; it's not even a reason to land. A helicopter is far more vulnerable to small arms fire than a helium airship.

As for what it buys over a helicopter, show me a helicopter that can move 50-500 tonnes payload at a per-kilogram rate cheaper than a freight truck while flying halfway around the world without refueling. Because that's what people are looking to build with this new generation of airships. Even Airlander 10, which is just a commercial prototype for the Airlander 50, carries more payload than the largest helicopter used by the US military, the Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion.

Comment Re:Going Howard Hughes... (Score 3, Interesting) 105

A common usecase for large airships is remote mining operations. They need big, heavy pieces of equipment brought into places without roads. Currently, the first step is to build a road - which is expensive and environmentally destructive. An airship needs only a clearing - and the "skycrane" variants don't even need that.

Another advantage is that it's much easier to design them to carry "bulky" cargoes than airplanes. Again, especially "skycrane" designs where the cargo hangs beneath.

Comment Re:Wonder how it compares to Airlander (Score 2) 105

Given the fact that it's rigid, and given the size of Hangar Two and the fact that the frame is said to take up much of the hangar, it's probably much larger than Airlander 10.

Probably also doesn't look like a giant rear end ;) Even if it's a lifting body, the fact that it's a rigid airship (from the description) means that they can shape it however they want. So probably something like a flattened teardrop, if they go for the hybrid (lifting body) approach. Which generally seems pretty popular these days, for good reason (lots of extra lift at little cost, higher top speeds because you don't have to have as large of a cross section for a given cargo, etc). But of course there's nothing here to suggest whether it's actually a hybrid.

Comment Re:Money to burn I guess (Score 2) 105

It's easier to hate on?

I'm wondering what the "innovation" is. Because I'm sure that he's not doing this without some angle, something unusual that he's doing with this one vs. other airships. Some sort of wow factor.

Sergei, blow me away with something totally crazy. Like make its skin transparent, fill it with heliox and have people live inside the envelope farming, like an Earth prototype of a Venus colony ;)

But honestly, my expectations are that it's a generic freight carrier, and that the twist would be that it's a rigid lifting body. Maybe if we're really lucky, solar-powered too.

Comment Re:Going Howard Hughes... (Score 4, Interesting) 105

I personally find it very exciting. I knew that Alphabet had rented the Moffett Field hangars from NASA and were rennovating them. But their official stated purpose for doing so was to store a number of company planes. This is the exciting part:

Engineers have constructed a metal skeleton of the craft, and it fills up much of the enormous hangar.

So first off:

1) It's a rigid airship. Which used to be common but is now rare. Zeppelin NT is a semirigid, with a trilobate truss inside, but there's not many other examples. Rigids are favored when you're building something very large, as they reduce the stress on the skin.

2) It's huge. Hangar 2 is 52,1 meters high, 90,5 and 327,7m long.

I hope it's a lifting body! If I'm not mistaken it'd be the world's first rigid lifting body airship (correct me if I'm wrong!). Either way it's yet another sign that we're - at least temporarily - entering a new lighter-than-air renaissance. Who knows whether it will last, but it's great to see so many companies giving it another shot, making use of modern technology and design. Because there have been some huge improvements since the old Akron / Macon days. Also wonder about the fuel. Something like Blau gas, so it's buoyancy-neutral as it burns?

Of course, not everything in the article is exciting or new...

He went on to describe a prototype he was considering of a helium-based craft that appeared to breathe. "And so the way that works is that the helium in the main envelope is taken and stored in bags inside the airship at a slightly higher pressure," he said. "As you do that, air is taken in from the outside into essentially like lungs that are attached in the side of the vehicle. So the analogy of breathing is a good one. And the overall lift of the vehicle is equal to the weight of the air that is being displaced by the helium. And as you change that, you can control the amount of buoyancy that the vehicle has."

Um... yes, that's how lift cells work.... you either use them or you use ballonets, your choice... there's a couple other possibilities, like high overpressure superpressure balloons, or compressors + gas tanks, but the former doesn't scale, and the latter generally comes with too much mass and cost penalties with too poor responsiveness.

BTW, for those not familiar with the Macon and the Akron, I definitely recommend reading about them. They were literal flying aircraft carriers. You know how a landing jet on an aircraft carrier catches a cable with a hook? They did that too, but in the other direction - they caught a "trapeze" on their topside. They were then raised into the hangar, which was designed for five airplanes.

They unfortunately weren't long in service. Both of their losses could have been prevented with any combination of better weather prediction, computer controls, and better lift control. The Macon's loss was also stupid in that they were flying with unrepaired structural damage, out doing fleet maneuvers.

Comment Re:It would be... (Score 1) 231

Intentionally blocking the way is obstructing traffic. Going slowly on a local road in the rightmost lane is not.

If you have the ability to stop any place and get out of the way, as cyclists do, then yes, yes it is. It absolutely is obstructing the natural flow of traffic needlessly.

Farming equipment is allowed on any such road and that stuff usually travels at roughly similar speeds as bicycles.

Farming equipment is not allowed to disrupt the normal flow of traffic either. And they design the roads accordingly. They put massive shoulders on roads with any significant traffic which must also carry farm traffic, to enable it to get out of the way. Roads with less traffic simply get dashed lines (assuming they're not one-lane roads, like the one I live on) so that you can pass tractors, so that they don't disrupt traffic flow either.

This really is not complicated. We have laws against disrupting the flow of traffic because disrupting the flow of traffic causes every kind of problem. It reduces throughput while increasing the risk of collision. And that's why cyclists who can't find the side of the road do. They want to cry about debris at the roadside, but guess what? I don't get to drive into someone else's lane to dodge debris in my lane. Buy appropriate tires and tubes, and run slime, like an adult.

There are not so many roads with actual minimum speed limit posted and only highways specifically restrict bicycles and farming equipment from them.

A posted minimum speed limit is not necessary to disrupt the normal flow of traffic, and be cited on that basis, so that's irrelevant, like most of your reasoning. And it doesn't matter where you are, you're not allowed to hold up traffic. And there are numerous places where you can ride a bicycle on a highway, it's freeways you're not allowed to ride on.

You are literally wrong about everything you said in your comment.

Comment Re:And this is one reason why ... (Score 1) 262

Well, we can fly expensive pieces of sensitive equipment to Mars and deposit them in an orbit (usually) on the surface (sometimes) in working order.

I knew you were a moron when I saw you talking about flying to Mars. Flying is done in an atmosphere.

Yet we can's stick a probe into something that's just a few thousand kilometers away.

Fuck, you don't even have the level of education you can get from watching Futurama , do you?

Comment Re:And this is one reason why ... (Score 1) 262

We can fly to Mars, but we can't install planet-sized plumbing?

You're trolling, right? Nobody is even proposing to fly to Mars any time soon. You aim yourself at mars and you coast for a long-ass time. Maybe by the time we have the tech to accelerate at 1G halfway to Mars and decelerate at 1G the other half the way to Mars, we'll have the tech to run a fiberoptic link through the mantle. But... probably not.

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