The Lounge is rated PG. If you're about to post something you wouldn't want your
kid sister to read then don't post it. No flame wars, no abusive conduct, no programming
questions and please don't post ads.
Been there, done that - made a business trip for GE around 1969. Interesting place, interesting people. It was fall, and the local connecting airline (I had landed in Boston) cancelled its flight due to weather conditions (just too much haze, not rain), so I had to rent a car and drive there through all of the beautiful Maples decked out in their beautiful fall leaves. What a wonderful trip.
We never did that "print a bell and a formfeed forever", but we DID something about as nasty.
Those GE Terminet printers had a rubber band with metal "tounges" for each character, looping in front of the paper. Whenever a character "tounge" passed the position where that character was to be printed, a solenid stroke the tounge from behind, making it hit the paper (through an ink ribbon). There was one solenoid for each of the 132 printing positions. If the "A" tounge passed the position where an "A" was to be printed at the same time as the "Z" tounge passed the position where a "Z" was to be printed, the two solenoids would strike at the same time.
We did some experimenting to see how many solenoids we could make strike at the same moment, using carefully prepared text lines. It turned out that you couldn't make all 132 fire together, but you could fire every second, making 66 hammers hit the roller at the same time. The impact made the printer jump about half an inch. We made a program to repeat this for the specified number of lines; the program was given the descriptive name "bang". "bang 6" would make the printer fire six times, making six small jumps, and "bang 10" left a burnt-out power supply...
The IT operations guys at our university never discovered the "bang" program, and was very puzzled by the repeated breakdowns of the printer power supplies, making several inquires to the manufacturer about the problem. After a while, the novelty of "bang" wore off.
"MIT Geniuses Made A Drone That Can Charge Itself Without Coming Back Down To Earth" [^].
Joseph Moore and Russ Tedrake. "Magnetic localization for perching UAVs on powerlines." IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), September 2011 [^].
“Use the word 'cybernetics,' Norbert, because nobody knows what it means. This will always put you at an advantage in arguments.” Claude Shannon (Information Theory scientist): letter to Norbert Weiner of M.I.T., circa 1940
"Mom, why do I always have to wear a helmet outside?"
"Shut up and bring more of those dead drones to the recycler than last month!"
The drones are built with the same components used for model helicopters.
The batteries last only minutes and every additional weight (including stronger batteries) costs more energy. Taking energy inductively from power lines can work, but at the cost of turning the power lines into drone highways. This may cause traffic jams and collisions. Also, the batteries had to be reduced to a minimum to allow a greater payload and the additional induction coil and battery charger. The drone could only reach places that are less than a few minute's flight time away from a power line.
The motors are not built for constant use. They produce too much heat which lowers their life time. Allowing the motor to cool down between flights prolongs their life, but even then they would only last some days of constant use. Failure would be hard to predict. Just last week a friend#s new motor failed after less than an hour of total flight time. Motor failure in the air leads to a nice destructive crash. A traditional helicopter at least allows a skilled pilot to land with auto rotation. The extra weight for heat sinks or more robust motors again would limit the usefulness of the drone too much.
Lithium polymere batteries tend to degrade quickly when they are discharged too low. In that case not only their capacity is quickly reduced. They can also heat up too much and catch fire or even explode. The batteries can be monitored, but what should a drone do when the battery fails and begins to heat up? Land? Ask for help?
Ah yes, another great cause of failure is vibration. Vibration can weaken carbon fiber structures or cut wires. No matter what breaks of fails that way, the result usually is a crash. And again, the extra weight for reinforcing everything as a precaution gets expensive.
What use would be drones that need that much maintainance or most probably crash within a few days of autonomous operation?
Have you guys noticed the ::Workspaces counter on the main page?
A few days ago it was below 100,000 (I want to say it was at 90,000 last week, but I could be wrong). It looks like this feature is really taking off. I want to get started on a ::Workspace project too, but I just don't have the time right now.
"When you don't know what you're doing it's best to do it quickly" - Jase #DuckDynasty
Perhaps I read it wrong, but the vulnerability allows someone to get the encryption keys that are used so at that point it won't matter how often you change your password, they can decrypt the traffic directly.
There are only 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't.
Griffs post[^] below suggesting that we should put a stake in the steering wheel is actually not a new suggestion.
John Adams, risk expert and emeritus professor of geography at University College London suggested that[^] a few years ago.
What's that to do with kids? Lots it seems like. Kids behave the same way, despite that our playgrounds are seemingly "safer" nowadays it's not reflected in statistics.
So, what's the solution then? Reasonably safe playgrounds where the kids are allowed to explore their limits themselves seems to be the answer. Here's[^] an article about a playground that's quite a bit like how our parents grew up, but now it's experimental.
Oh, the article is quite long for the twitter damaged people but worth it IMHO.
Similar article in the NYTimes last year[^]. My kids are growing up falling down. They're getting bumps and bruises and scrapes and I bashed one of them in the head with my camera the other day. An accident but now she knows not to try and head-butt daddy's "combat" trousers, they have a camera in them.
And we found an old-school playground awhile back. Has one of those deadly jungle-gyms in it. Kids love it.