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About cantab

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    Flight Director
  1. A width of 20 inches corresponds to about a 21.5 inch diagonal for a 1080p screen, or 23 inch if there's virtually no bezel. There are still options there, though I don't think much in the way of adaptive sync or 120/144 Hz stuff.
  2. By claiming that the mod violated the EULA all along, perhaps. Which arguably it did. In any case, as the GTA situation showed, a big corporation can simply make legal threats backed up with their wallet. No real merit is required to simply intimidate their opponents into giving up.
  3. Boycotting the vote due to the absence of non-US entries. Booooo. That said, the objective best performer is probably the F-22 anyway. In exercises the Typhoon and Rafale have given it a run for its money in visual range particularly, but the F-22 is more stealthy which should make it a stronger package overall. And the F-35 is inferior to the F-22. Comparison with non-NATO fighters is harder but I'm sceptical the Russians or Chinese have anything better. My personal favourite, though, has to be the Harrier. Thanks to the elegance of its VTOL system, its proven ability to hold its own against supersonic opponents, and a spot of national pride.
  4. Hullo, my name is Scott Manley and I am a Kerbaholic. (If I was Scott Manley, and quitting Kerbal.)
  5. What you are describing is something operating systems and applications already do. It's known as collecting entropy, external sources of randomness from the computer's environment. It's not truly 'software only', it relies on a hardware source of randomness, just not a dedicated source. Mouse movements, keystroke timings, microphone noise, and so on are used. (Recording the letters typed would generally not be very helpful, and security concerns mean it's better to discard that and just use the keystroke timings). Even if the first number of such a value is quite predictable, the last decimal place is very random. The entropy is then fed into the random number generator. The algorithms need to remove any biases that might be present in the entropy source. The amount of entropy can also be evaluated, and this gives two options. The software can be sure to not produce more numbers than it has bits of entropy to make truly random, which means the numbers are truly random but they might be delayed coming if the entropy source is inadequate. Or the software can 'stretch' the entropy by being a pseudorandom number generator, which means numbers can come as fast as the CPU can calculate but they are not truly random. For example on Linux /dev/random takes the former approach and /dev/urandom takes the latter. For most applications urandom is better. EDIT PS: Although, an increasingly common approach is to use a dedicated hardware random number generator. Modern CPUs or chipsets typically have one built in, and these usually work by amplifying the thermal or electrical 'noise' present in chips. However not all programs and operating systems make use of them. EDIT PPS: On Linux I can monitor how many bits of entropy the RNG has. In normal use it's around 3800 (max is 4096). If I start writing pseudorandom data from /dev/urandom to disk it doesn't bat an eyelid, copying a gigabyte in a few seconds. If I start writing truly random data from /dev/random to disk the amount of entropy promptly drops to near zero and the speed of the disk writes slows to a crawl, under a kilobyte per minute, as it waits for more entropy to come in.
  6. That part is a limitation of Transfer Window Planner. It can only handle transfers between two parents of the same body, for example two planets of the Sun or two moons of Sonnah. (Similarly, in the stock system TWP could not give you a transfer from Laythe to Kerbin.)
  7. The stands look flimsy but they do seem to hold it alright laid horizontal. I'm certainly less worried about it on the stands than I am having it upright. Bumping it around on the table it slides rather than toppling off the stands. Pity it's not possible to display it 'exploded'. You'd need to get some more stands for that.
  8. Haha. I did take a selfie, but I'm afraid I shan't be uploading it. Maybe I'll do a full mission sequence later. Also, I 'know' about the tyranny of the rocket equation, but I don't think I've ever felt it like I did holding the first stage and third stage of this model side-by-side with their vast difference in size. And to think that the first stage got it from 0 to 2800 m/s, the second from 2800 to 7000, and that diddy little third stage powered from 7000 to 11,000 m/s.
  9. And mine is complete. I'm still giggling at the sheer scale of the thing, it's quite impressive, especially next to the teeny-tiny astronaut nanofigs. (Although, they're a bit out of scale, corresponding to a person just 4'4". Limitations of the medium I guess.) My shuttle set is nice but the Saturn V just blows it out of the water. It does not have any internal detail. Each stage has a central structural core which uses some big quarter-round segments and other parts, and then curved tiles on plates attach to the side to make the outside. There are some clever ways the various bits are attached. It's possible Lego felt they couldn't include the internal detail and a means to view it without compromising the model strength. Some of the Star Wars UCS ships use a Technic framework to support them, but not the Saturn V. If I have a criticism, it's that the Service Module is very plain. It has a nod to the RCS quads and that's about it for detail. Compared to the F-1 engines, the Lunar Module, and the rocket body itself, it felt like a bit of a letdown. I know it's small but I feel they could have done a bit more there, even just an antenna would have been something. They've done a nice job of making everything 'work' though, you can configure it for every stage of the mission.
  10. I gather everyone around a table and get out some parchment for character sheets.
  11. It's here. It's here! Some shops are selling it a bit early, including John Lewis in the UK! People have it! I have one! \o/ £110 in Britain, $120 in the USA I think. Which might seem expensive if you're not an AFOL but is actually cheaper than many of their adult-oriented sets, and a low price considering the piece count. With those 1969 pieces it's very fortunate that Lego have done numbered bags. (Bag 1 has the pieces for the first part of the build, then Bag 2 for the next, and so on). 12 of them, and I've built the first 3. Which is just the first stage, not even finished yet, without the engines, and I already get a sense of just how huge this is going to be. Be a bit careful with the build, some steps are fiddly and the incomplete model may have weak points that are only reinforced later.
  12. Airbrakes? Inflatable heatshield? If it's a return mission, land near-empty and fuel up with ISRU? You'll probably need to use rockets for the final braking though. And don't forget to target low(ish) ground.
  13. I look forward to it. Although it was never really New Horizons I was waiting on to resume my NH save, but FAR.