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Comment Re: Oh, I totally agree... (Score 1) 791

Lots of those speaker systems now include Bluetooth, which works with any phone made in the last few years. In fact, where I work (Large warehouse chain), we carry some 10 or 12 models of speakers like that. Every single one has Bluetooth. I can't think of one that has a Lightning connector that is used for anything but power and can't be swapped out for a different connector.


NASA Launches Second Robot Challenge 9

CowboyRobot writes "This week NASA kicks off its second Sample Return Robot Challenge, in which teams compete for a chance to win $1.5 million. Participants must demonstrate a self-operated robot capable of locating and collecting geologic samples from diverse terrain. Eleven teams from the U.S. and overseas gather for the challenge from June 5 through 7 at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Mass. The Sample Return Robot competition is part of NASA's Centennial Challenges program launched by the Space Technology Mission Directorate, which develops and tests hardware for use in NASA's future missions. NASA said the goal of the challenge is to encourage innovation in autonomous navigation and robotics technologies, which the agency could potentially use to explore a "variety of destinations in space" and in "industries and applications on Earth.""

Comment Just an android phone? (Score 1) 131

Unless the Galaxy S4 comes with an ADS-B transciever, I think these flights should be OK.

When the pilots start seeing multiple odd contacts on their ADS-B display, they'll call down to Center and ask what's going on. When they do, Center will tell them that there are no contacts in their area, and the flight will continue using more traditional navigation/avoidance procedures. This isn't a "shoot down an airliner free" card.

Comment Re:Noise canceling headphones (Score 2) 561

I replaced the stock foam earpieces on mine with a nice gel set- sits way more comfortably, doesn't heat up, and blocks sound even better. Plus they don't keep their squish like the foam set did. I've worn them for hours and never had an issue. I think the set cost me $120 or so and the earpieces another $30.

Comment Re:Noise canceling headphones (Score 3, Informative) 561

Might not even need noise cancellation- a good pair of aviation headphones work great. They're designed to cut down 100db+ of aircraft engine noise into a low, dull roar. They work wonders, and you can get a decent pair for ~$100. Plus, the headset part operates on a standard 1/4in connector that's easily converted to 3.5mm, so you can listen to music, white noise, or an audiobook through them if you need to.

Comment Re:In other words .... ANOTHER failure .... (Score 1) 170

Three Falcon 9 launches, three Dragons delivered to station, two (so far) recovered intact. I'd say they're doing pretty good. Despite the engine failure on the CRS-1, and despite the four thruster pods failing, Dragon still made it to orbit, and is on track for a docking. Saturn lost engines during the ascent a couple times, and as I recall, Apollo wasn't exactly seamless either- one explosion, misconfiguration of landing computers, toxic gases pumped into the cabin... The fact that Falcon 9 and Dragon can experience these failures and recover from them says a lot about the system.

Comment Re:Nightmareliner (tm) (Score 1) 301

The FAA quite clearly wanted this plane in the air

What does this mean? They clearly wanted it in the air? The FAA wants every aircraft in the air, as long as they can be sure that they're safe. They're not so sure about the Dreamliner anymore, so they're going back and making sure it's safe. That's what the FAA does.

I suspect the carbon composite build of the plane did not give them the fuel savings that would make the plane anywhere near compelling.

And now we've dove headfirst into rampant speculation. These airliners bought the 787, whose main remarkable feature was the composite interior that reduced weight and increased efficiency. If it didn't do that, why would they have bought it?

Comment Re:share movement causality questionable (Score 1) 301

This times a million. This is a brand-new aircraft, with fresh new avionics never flown before (hell, the Orion spacecraft is supposed to fly with a panel setup derived from the 787) and a whole new paradigm as far as materials are concerned. Teething pains are to be expected. Hopefully not "ground the fleet" teething pains, but this likely won't affect the future success of the 787.

Comment Re:Nightmareliner (tm) (Score 1) 301

Yet? The aircraft are grounded, and they will be until they're certain the problem won't reappear.

And why, exactly, is the plane "fundamentally flawed"? The experimental nature of the aircraft mainly involves the composite nature of the materials and the new avionics- nothing related to why these planes were grounded. I've heard some talk of delamination of the composites, but if that were a serious issue, then the aircraft would have been grounded for that reason instead of battery fires.

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982