Trump is many things but he is not "globalist!"
Trump is many things but he is not "globalist!"
It's always interesting to contrast European and American views on the limits of speech. The Germans have very strict regulations on what you can say for obvious reasons given the abuse of free speech in that country's mid-twentieth century history. They recognize that sometimes one man's rights conflict with another's. Which was more important, Hitler's right to speak or the right-to-life for a million Jews?
In America speech is a lot more free but this also brings with it the danger of propagating hate speech. Organizations like the NRA, KKK and Westboro Baptist Church are examples of people who abuse that freedom and help to sow hatred which puts the lives of others in danger.
Thankfully FB is a private entity and hence not bound by the First Amendment. It's good to see Zuck finally waking up to his responsibilities and snapping out of the libertarian dream-world where nothing bad happens when people get to say what they like. Hate speech and lies have real world consequences, and it's okay to take a stand for truth.
The US Govt (at least on the Federal level) is mandated by the US Constitution to provide for defense...that is one of its few enumerated responsibilities and powers.
That's for *defense*. We send almost half our budget on defense, but maybe about 5% of our budget actually goes to defense. The remaining 45% is for buying expensive toys from defense contractors to assuage our tribal concerns that the country is undefended. Although we pay our soldiers burger-flipping wages (partly to justify not raising the minimum wage for actual burger flippers), the Pentagon is actually complaining about being overloaded with so much expensive equipment that they can't even keep all of it out of the rain. We aren't safe if our military can only end life on the planet- it should be capable of destroying three or four planets, and at least ten by 2030. That's not defense, it's a parasitic industry that gobbles up nearly half the budget. But people are so entranced by it-
guys like Brian Williams who ejaculate when they see a couple dozen Tomahawks being fired- that's almost always a cheap political win. Every government that does nothing for its citizens (e.g. North Korea) resorts to military displays. It's an opiate for the masses.
The Constitution was written when health care costs were not even a conceivable issue at all. For most of American history the Constitution has been considered a working document, designed to be amended as times change in ways that could not have been forseen. That was the 18th-20th century view of the Constitution, but it went out the window several decades ago. At this point, Americans have fetishized the U.S. Constitution like it's an appendix to the Bible, and they quote the Founding Fathers like they were apostles. When amending it is now considered sacrilege, it has completely lost its usefulness. You have the rights you have (and might have needed) up until this originalist attitude set in during the 80s. Now you will never be given any more Constitutional rights, no matter what changes in the near or distant future. Since health care only emerged as a serious problem in more recent decades, you'll never have a Constitutional right to free health care. But you can always kick a British soldier out of your house. That's fucked.
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
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...."
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Just my take on it, mostly based on a mix of my interactions with Taco and my own experiences with a couple of startups in the '80s, but I think they programmed the system out of love and the advertising model was tacked on at the end. I'm not saying that Slashdot was part of the dotcom bubble, but rather that the bubble created unrealistic expectations for the value of advertising on websites. The ongoing value of the "brand" is kind of illusory, largely because it's based on that critically flawed business model of eyes for advertisers.
I think the solutions require rethinking economics, but I'm too old and discouraged to worry much about those things anymore. The apparent resolution of the Fermi Paradox would indicate that there are no solutions after all.
Too early? One "funny" modded comment that wasn't much. Several "insightful" mods, apparently on some sort of confusion of wit with insight. Brevity is only the soul of wit, sorry.
Actually, I sort of think that the (increasingly evil) google has a good idea there, even if it's intuitively obvious to the most casual observer. Reputation is ultimately a human thing, and it is ultimately based on a network of trust. Three obvious problems:
(1) Abuse of anonymity breaks the foundation of the trust network.
(2) The google is biased by the love of money and wants "extra" trust to sell more ads.
Improved moderation could make Slashdot a model of possible solutions, but there's no funding model to drive change here. Would you actually pay REAL money for more reliable information? Especially when there's an effectively infinite supply of "information" just a few short clicks away?
Since it will never happen on Slashdot, does anyone know of a discussion website where the network reputation of each source is displayed next to the avatar? Various ways to do it, but it would be easiest for me to interpret a multi-dimensional radar diagram based on reactions to the work published by that source. (Details available upon polite request, as the sad joke goes.)
Here's a team of amateurs doing it in 4 minutes with only relatively minor modifications to the engine. Design it from the ground up for engine swap and have a robot do it, and I have little doubt at all you could do 2 minutes.
In order to dial out, it is necessary to broaden one's dimension.