What-If 0030: "Interplanetary Cessna"

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CatOfGrey
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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby CatOfGrey » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:45 pm UTC

"But I've never seen the Icarus story as a lesson about the limitations of humans. I see it as a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive. "

Daedalus, the father of Icarus, actually showed that wax wasn't the problem, as he flew successfully from Crete to Sicily. This showed conclusively that the Icarus incident was not design or materials related, but pure user error.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby Max™ » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:39 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:Patent trolls are some of the most odious, hateful, almost infandous human beings on the planet. In my opinion their actions - in stifling innovation, curtailing development and creaming off money from forward-looking organisations and people - are responsible for as much heartache, and indirectly illness and death as perpetrators of violent crime.

Patent-holders who commercialise products or services have a right to protect their intellectual property; freeloaders do not.

Infandous is a word I haven't seen used--much less properly--in such a long time I actually had to look it up, bravo!

Also, if I had a gun with two bullets and I was locked in a room with Hitler and a patent troll, I would shoot the patent troll...

...twice.
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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby dudiobugtron » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:23 am UTC

If you're locked in a room with Hitler, it's probably 1944 and you're all going to die anyway.

Re: patent trolls (the patent holder trolls, not their lawyers):

How it works now:
Patent troll thinks of an idea, but doesn't make any money off of it. Big company makes lots of money from that idea, without checking if it was patented. Patent troll sues company for making money off of their idea without paying them.

How other people think it should work:
Patent troll thinks of an idea, but doesn't make any money off of it. Therefore they forfeit their right to the patent. Big company makes lots of money from that idea. Patent troll is S.O.L.

How I think it should work:
Patent troll thinks of an idea, but doesn't make any money off of it. Big company wants to make lots of money from that idea, so check if it is patented. It is, so the offer to buy the rights to use that idea off the patent troll. Patent troll accepts, everyone makes money.

___
Why is the last way better, you ask? Shouldn't we be trying to support people who actually do something with their ideas, instead of just have them? Perhaps. Or perhaps, instead of encouraging large businesses to get even richer, we should encourage people to have more awesome ideas, and share them instead of holding on to them, so that people who could make money from the idea can find out about them easier. That's why the patent system was designed in the first place.

Compare this with the reverse situation where a big company holds a patent for something, and someone else wants to use that idea to make money.
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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby ucim » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:27 am UTC

dudiobugtron wrote:How other people think it should work:
Patent troll thinks of an idea, but doesn't make any money off of it. Therefore they forfeit their right to the patent. Big company makes lots of money from that idea. Patent troll is S.O.L.
I don't think (most) other people think it should work that way (though I do know a few).

There are many steps to success. The idea is the first step. The sale is the last step. Why should the last step be any more deserving of riches than the first? Or v.v.?

Jose
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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby Klear » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:15 am UTC

dudiobugtron wrote:How it works now:
Patent troll thinks of an idea, but doesn't make any money off of it. Big company makes lots of money from that idea, without checking if it was patented. Patent troll sues company for making money off of their idea without paying them.


Close. Actually the patent troll buys cheaply tons of not-enforced patents with the purpose of suing anybody they can. Then they rely on the fact that defence at court would cost much more than what they are asking for the use of the patent.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:54 am UTC

Klear wrote:
dudiobugtron wrote:How it works now:
Patent troll thinks of an idea, but doesn't make any money off of it. Big company makes lots of money from that idea, without checking if it was patented. Patent troll sues company for making money off of their idea without paying them.


Close. Actually the patent troll buys cheaply tons of not-enforced patents with the purpose of suing anybody they can. Then they rely on the fact that defence at court would cost much more than what they are asking for the use of the patent.


Or, in some cases, patents something that's, at best, a minor variation of something that's already out there, lets it lie for a while, then launches an array of indefensible suits relying on no-one being willing to spend the extra on fighting them...

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby J L » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:34 am UTC

On a somewhat related note, I'm currently writing a little SF piece set on a planet with about half of Earth's gravity. In one scene, there's a wild chase across the roof-tops, and I was asking myself whether it was safe to assume, as an approximation, that you could jump about twice as far and survive falls about twice as deep as on Earth?

I must admit physics have always been kind of a Platonic love for me, but we never really got to First base ...

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby orthogon » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:10 pm UTC

J L wrote:On a somewhat related note, I'm currently writing a little SF piece set on a planet with about half of Earth's gravity. In one scene, there's a wild chase across the roof-tops, and I was asking myself whether it was safe to assume, as an approximation, that you could jump about twice as far and survive falls about twice as deep as on Earth?


Potential Energy = mgh, so yes you (a human) could fall from twice the height on your planet and hit the ground at a given speed / a given energy / given amount of damage.

Regarding the jump: for a given takeoff speed and angle you would spend twice as long in the air so yes you could probably go twice as far horizontally, though it depends on the air resistance on your planet too.

I'm assuming that you're a human - if you're an organism that evolved in the weaker gravity your bones and muscles might be weaker so this wouldn't apply exactly.

J L wrote:I must admit physics have always been kind of a Platonic love for me, but we never really got to First base ...


:) I always forget what the bases represent in this metaphor. In the UK, cricket is more popular, and there are only two "bases" which you run between as many times as you can. I'm not sure how this maps to British guys' seduction technique...
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby One128 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:21 pm UTC

J L wrote:On a somewhat related note, I'm currently writing a little SF piece set on a planet with about half of Earth's gravity. In one scene, there's a wild chase across the roof-tops, and I was asking myself whether it was safe to assume, as an approximation, that you could jump about twice as far and survive falls about twice as deep as on Earth?


Yes, as a rule of thumb, on a planet with n-times lower gravity, you could jump n-times higher, n-times farther, and survive falls (or, more generally, have the same impact velocity after falling) from n-times the height.

However, not everything will scale this neatly. For example, the time that it will take you to fall from the same height will not be n-times longer, but only sqrt(n)-times longer. Similarly, the impact velocity when falling from the same height will not be n-times less, but sqrt(n)-times less.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby Red Hal » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:36 pm UTC

How I think patents should work.
1) A patent holder must show a reasonable attempt to commercialise the patent (at least try to develop something using the patent) within five years of grant, otherwise the patent becomes subject to FRAND.
2) If a genuine piece of software, hardware or service utilising the patent is brought to market, then the patent continues as a full patent until the end of the patent duration, or until five years after the item, software or service stops being sold - at which point it reverts to FRAND.
3) Patents may not be bought or sold, and may only be held by the person or organisation which first filed them. If an organisation goes bankrupt, then the patents are placed in a worldwide pool and made available under FRAND terms until expiration, proceeds going toward the upkeep of the pool.
4) A Patent holder may place their patents in the worldwide pool at any time, and will benefit from 50% of any licence fee levied under that patent.
5) If an organisation holding patents is bought by another organisation, the patents revert to FRAND terms, and any liability for infringers is limited to the fees which would have been due under FRAND.
6) Notwithstanding the above, genuine patent-holders may feel free to negotiate any licensing terms they deem appropriate while the patent is in force.

The idea behind this is to maintain the spirit behind patents; the protection of the idea in the patent for the person or organisation filing it and a chance to capitalise on that idea, but remove the patent's worth as a commodity. Its value lies in the protection from intellectual theft it offers to the idea's originator, not in the value of the lawsuits it is able to raise.
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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:11 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
J L wrote:On a somewhat related note, I'm currently writing a little SF piece set on a planet with about half of Earth's gravity. In one scene, there's a wild chase across the roof-tops, and I was asking myself whether it was safe to assume, as an approximation, that you could jump about twice as far and survive falls about twice as deep as on Earth?


Potential Energy = mgh, so yes you (a human) could fall from twice the height on your planet and hit the ground at a given speed / a given energy / given amount of damage.

Regarding the jump: for a given takeoff speed and angle you would spend twice as long in the air so yes you could probably go twice as far horizontally, though it depends on the air resistance on your planet too.

I'm assuming that you're a human - if you're an organism that evolved in the weaker gravity your bones and muscles might be weaker so this wouldn't apply exactly.


As a human under lower gravity, take-off speed for the jump will be higher since your muscles only lose half as much force to gravity - the exact difference depends on what proportion of your muscles' force is usually consumed overcoming gravity, so I'm not going to offer any figures.

When it comes to falling, there are recorded instances of humans whose parachutes failed to open walking away from their (soft) landing, so terminal velocity is on the edges of survivability - a planet with similar atmosphere but only half the gravity will have a terminal velocity about 70% that of Earth (1/sqrt2), so the limitation may be the conditions at the top of the fall (freezing and/or suffocating) rather than the bottom (landing heavily)

orthogon wrote:
J L wrote:I must admit physics have always been kind of a Platonic love for me, but we never really got to First base ...


:) I always forget what the bases represent in this metaphor. In the UK, cricket is more popular, and there are only two "bases" which you run between as many times as you can. I'm not sure how this maps to British guys' seduction technique...


Wikipedia attempts a canonical version, though there are people on the Talk page mentioning that that's not how they use them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_metaphors_for_sex

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby ucim » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:02 pm UTC

@Red Hal: What is the incentive for someone who is inventive but not resourceful, to invent something under your system? He or she is not likely to be able to license his or her invention (certainly not under decent terms), would be easily bullied by larger organizations who would benefit from his or her inability to avoid FRAND, and my relative impotence in a lawsuit if they merely "invent" the same thing he or she did.

The invention process should be modular in the sense that different parts of the process are independently valued, and can thus be pursued by those with expertise in that part.

Your proposal minimizes the (independent) value of the original invention (which may well take more than five years to develop).

Jose
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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby Klear » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:04 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
orthogon wrote:
J L wrote:On a somewhat related note, I'm currently writing a little SF piece set on a planet with about half of Earth's gravity. In one scene, there's a wild chase across the roof-tops, and I was asking myself whether it was safe to assume, as an approximation, that you could jump about twice as far and survive falls about twice as deep as on Earth?


Potential Energy = mgh, so yes you (a human) could fall from twice the height on your planet and hit the ground at a given speed / a given energy / given amount of damage.

Regarding the jump: for a given takeoff speed and angle you would spend twice as long in the air so yes you could probably go twice as far horizontally, though it depends on the air resistance on your planet too.

I'm assuming that you're a human - if you're an organism that evolved in the weaker gravity your bones and muscles might be weaker so this wouldn't apply exactly.


As a human under lower gravity, take-off speed for the jump will be higher since your muscles only lose half as much force to gravity - the exact difference depends on what proportion of your muscles' force is usually consumed overcoming gravity, so I'm not going to offer any figures.

When it comes to falling, there are recorded instances of humans whose parachutes failed to open walking away from their (soft) landing, so terminal velocity is on the edges of survivability - a planet with similar atmosphere but only half the gravity will have a terminal velocity about 70% that of Earth (1/sqrt2), so the limitation may be the conditions at the top of the fall (freezing and/or suffocating) rather than the bottom (landing heavily)

orthogon wrote:
J L wrote:I must admit physics have always been kind of a Platonic love for me, but we never really got to First base ...


:) I always forget what the bases represent in this metaphor. In the UK, cricket is more popular, and there are only two "bases" which you run between as many times as you can. I'm not sure how this maps to British guys' seduction technique...


Wikipedia attempts a canonical version, though there are people on the Talk page mentioning that that's not how they use them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_metaphors_for_sex


Then there's of course xkcd 540.

Also, sometimes I think I should read the rules of cricket, just so I know what all the fuss is about. Then I remember how I once spent a half hour watching rugby and couldn't understand anything despite previously thinking I do.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby orthogon » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:53 pm UTC

Klear wrote:Then there's of course xkcd 540.

This just adds weight to my XKCD Memetic Completeness Conjecture. (Note the capitalisation).
Klear wrote:Also, sometimes I think I should read the rules of cricket, just so I know what all the fuss is about. Then I remember how I once spent a half hour watching rugby and couldn't understand anything despite previously thinking I do.

IMHO, Rugby Union is far more interesting than cricket, and has a lot of potential as a sex metaphor. "I got into her 22, but got penalised for hands in the ruck", etc.

The 6 Nations starts tomorrow, if you can get it where you are.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby J L » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:57 pm UTC

Thanks to all of you for your replies. It already helps a lot that I'm not completely off with with my guesswork. And yes, the characters are human, having some fun jumping around in low-g-conditions. I was mostly confused because when I googled my question, I came across some guy in some forum who claimed that you shouldn't forget about mass and inertia and stuff and that because of this, you could break your bones on Mars just as easily as on Earth.

As for the base metaphors, indeed I consulted that Wikipedia article. Being a German with little to no understanding of either baseball or cricket, I just like the metaphor for its own sake, and considering the grades I got in physics, "first" seemed like the correct base to use here.

(However, thanks to this story, I learned how to calculate the geostationary orbit of any given planet. Thank you, Wikipedia :))

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:30 pm UTC

Klear wrote:Also, sometimes I think I should read the rules of cricket, just so I know what all the fuss is about. Then I remember how I once spent a half hour watching rugby and couldn't understand anything despite previously thinking I do.

I'm told that Cricket is much simpler than Baseball - it's the specialised jargon that's grown up around it that may cause confusions.

The basic idea is simple - one team sends two batsmen out to run between the wickets to score points, while the other team tries to get either of the pair out. Hitting either wicket with the ball while there isn't a batsman standing in the safe region around that wicket gets that batsman out ("run out" or "stumped"), at which point the batting team replaces him. Once ten batsmen are out, the eleventh man no longer has a partner, so the entire team is out and the other team takes a turn at bat. Batsmen can also be "bowled out" - when the batsmen aren't running, a member of the fielding team throws the ball from the safe region near one wicket to try to hit the other wicket, while the batsman at the target tries to knock the ball away with his bat. If the ball hits the batsman without hitting the bat, would otherwise have hit the wicket, and didn't bounce to the right of the line connecting the right edges of the two wickets (for a right-handed batsman) then he's out "leg before wicket" or "LBW"; if he hits the ball and a fielder catches it before it hits the ground, he's "caught out". If the batsman hits the ball out of play without it touching anything on the way, he scores 6 runs; if it leaves play under any other circumstances, 4 runs; otherwise, each time the batsmen cross in the middle while traveling between the wickets, they score 1 run. The bowler bowls 6 balls in an "over", at whichever batsman is at that end when they stop running, then another bowler gets a turn bowling from the other end, to the other batsman. If the bowler crosses the line before releasing the ball, or throws the ball too far wide of the batsman (without the batsman swinging at it anyway) then the batting team get 1 or 2 bonus points, plus anything they earn for running or the ball leaving play, and it doesn't count as a ball for that over.

Whichever team gets most runs over their innings wins; if the team that's behind isn't all out when time runs out (usually when it gets too dark to play), then it's a draw. Play stops as soon as the result is known - when the batting side's total score passes their opponents' in the last innings, or when the last innings ends. Some variants impose a limit on the number of overs each side faces in their innings - in which case the team with the most runs after facing the appropriate number of overs wins.

There are rules to cover special cases - like what happens if there's a tree within the playing area - but you don't need to know them to follow a match. Live coverage is slow-paced enough that the commentators will usually explain a lot of the rules as they come up anyway simply to fill the time.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby wannes » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:35 pm UTC

If humans put on artificial wings to fly, we might become Titan versions of the Icarus story—our wings could freeze, fall apart, and send us tumbling to our deaths.

I was just wondering: with the reduced gravity and higher atmospheric density would your really plunge to your death? (not taking into account minor inconveniences like no oxygen and the rather chilly temperatures).
Lets calculate!
Normal terminal velocity for a person on earth would be like something like 55m/s(flat stretched out,and depending on weight).
With the reduced gravity and higher atmospheric density this would be only something like 18% of earth's terminal velocity.
Which gives you roughly 10m/s, something equivalent to a 5m drop, which would be survivable with some luck, arm flapping or an umbrella :D

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:43 pm UTC

wannes wrote:
If humans put on artificial wings to fly, we might become Titan versions of the Icarus story—our wings could freeze, fall apart, and send us tumbling to our deaths.

I was just wondering: with the reduced gravity and higher atmospheric density would your really plunge to your death? (not taking into account minor inconveniences like no oxygen and the rather chilly temperatures).
Lets calculate!
Normal terminal velocity for a person on earth would be like something like 55m/s(flat stretched out,and depending on weight).
With the reduced gravity and higher atmospheric density this would be only something like 18% of earth's terminal velocity.
Which gives you roughly 10m/s, something equivalent to a 5m drop, which would be survivable with some luck, arm flapping or an umbrella :D

5m is near the top of a window on the first floor (UK) - or about the drop if you lower yourself from a second floor (UK) window before dropping - less than falling off the roof of a two-storey building. That's the range for minor to significant injury (depending on how you land) rather than instant death.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby Red Hal » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:48 pm UTC

ucim wrote:@Red Hal: What is the incentive for someone who is inventive but not resourceful, to invent something under your system? He or she is not likely to be able to license his or her invention (certainly not under decent terms), would be easily bullied by larger organizations who would benefit from his or her inability to avoid FRAND, and my relative impotence in a lawsuit if they merely "invent" the same thing he or she did.

The invention process should be modular in the sense that different parts of the process are independently valued, and can thus be pursued by those with expertise in that part.

Your proposal minimizes the (independent) value of the original invention (which may well take more than five years to develop).

Jose
Whether or not the invention takes five or more years to develop is immaterial, as long as a reasonable effort is being made to develop it. What is a reasonable effort will be left for the courts to decide, thus ensuring that no patent lawyers go hungry. If the patent-holder is completely clueless from a commercial perspective, they can decide to place the patent in the worldwide pool and reap a small but certain reward that way. Alternatively I foresee a gap in the market for those who are willing to gain a share in the profits of any device in return for their help and expertise in bringing products (real or virtual) to market.

As much as I dislike captialism, it is what we have, so I have to work with it.
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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby Klear » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:45 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Klear wrote:Then there's of course xkcd 540.

This just adds weight to my XKCD Memetic Completeness Conjecture. (Note the capitalisation).


Awesome. I already had this thought a couple of times, but it never solidified enough for me to give it a name. I'll have to remember it.

rmsgrey wrote:I'm told that Cricket is much simpler than Baseball - it's the specialised jargon that's grown up around it that may cause confusions.

The basic idea is simple - one team sends two batsmen out to run between the wickets to score points, while the other team tries to get either of the pair out. Hitting either wicket with the ball while there isn't a batsman standing in the safe region around that wicket gets that batsman out ("run out" or "stumped"), at which point the batting team replaces him. Once ten batsmen are out, the eleventh man no longer has a partner, so the entire team is out and the other team takes a turn at bat. Batsmen can also be "bowled out" - when the batsmen aren't running, a member of the fielding team throws the ball from the safe region near one wicket to try to hit the other wicket, while the batsman at the target tries to knock the ball away with his bat. If the ball hits the batsman without hitting the bat, would otherwise have hit the wicket, and didn't bounce to the right of the line connecting the right edges of the two wickets (for a right-handed batsman) then he's out "leg before wicket" or "LBW"; if he hits the ball and a fielder catches it before it hits the ground, he's "caught out". If the batsman hits the ball out of play without it touching anything on the way, he scores 6 runs; if it leaves play under any other circumstances, 4 runs; otherwise, each time the batsmen cross in the middle while traveling between the wickets, they score 1 run. The bowler bowls 6 balls in an "over", at whichever batsman is at that end when they stop running, then another bowler gets a turn bowling from the other end, to the other batsman. If the bowler crosses the line before releasing the ball, or throws the ball too far wide of the batsman (without the batsman swinging at it anyway) then the batting team get 1 or 2 bonus points, plus anything they earn for running or the ball leaving play, and it doesn't count as a ball for that over.

Whichever team gets most runs over their innings wins; if the team that's behind isn't all out when time runs out (usually when it gets too dark to play), then it's a draw. Play stops as soon as the result is known - when the batting side's total score passes their opponents' in the last innings, or when the last innings ends. Some variants impose a limit on the number of overs each side faces in their innings - in which case the team with the most runs after facing the appropriate number of overs wins.

There are rules to cover special cases - like what happens if there's a tree within the playing area - but you don't need to know them to follow a match. Live coverage is slow-paced enough that the commentators will usually explain a lot of the rules as they come up anyway simply to fill the time.


Thanks for the rundown, but... I still don't understand it at all. It may be because I'm overworked, or because I got distracted by replacing "batsmen" with "men dressed like a bat".

I have a pretty good understanding of baseball simply because american culture is much more prevalent where I live (Earth) and so I kinda learnt it though cultural osmosis. The only exposure to cricket I had was the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Monty Python, which may have done more harm than good.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby jrogers » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:40 pm UTC

armandoalvarez wrote:I wonder why he chose a Cessna rather than a commercial airliner. That's what I think of when I think of "normal aircraft"

First, there are both commercial and private Cessnas. Some are even used for airline service. Second, many if not all of the atmospheres in which the plane would fly do not have enough oxygen to burn in either an internal combustion or turbine engine. That's why he replaced the engine with an electric power system. An airliner designed for jet power (which is what I assume you mean by "commercial") would have to be much more radically modified to be propeller-driven.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby dudiobugtron » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:40 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Klear wrote:
dudiobugtron wrote:How it works now:
Patent troll thinks of an idea, but doesn't make any money off of it. Big company makes lots of money from that idea, without checking if it was patented. Patent troll sues company for making money off of their idea without paying them.


Close. Actually the patent troll buys cheaply tons of not-enforced patents with the purpose of suing anybody they can. Then they rely on the fact that defence at court would cost much more than what they are asking for the use of the patent.


Or, in some cases, patents something that's, at best, a minor variation of something that's already out there, lets it lie for a while, then launches an array of indefensible suits relying on no-one being willing to spend the extra on fighting them...

It sounds like this sort of thing is a problem with the US legal system, as much as with the US patent system. And if the patent office really does approve patents which are just 'minor variations' of things that already exist, perhaps they just need some extra training?
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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:38 pm UTC

Klear wrote:Thanks for the rundown, but... I still don't understand it at all. It may be because I'm overworked, or because I got distracted by replacing "batsmen" with "men dressed like a bat".

I have a pretty good understanding of baseball simply because american culture is much more prevalent where I live (Earth) and so I kinda learnt it though cultural osmosis. The only exposure to cricket I had was the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Monty Python, which may have done more harm than good.
The reason I find cricket so hard to understand is that I just don't care. I mean, don't get me wrong, I also just don't care about most of the sports that are popular in the US, either, but like you I managed to pick up a lot of it through osmosis from people around me who cared. Plus actually having played some of them either in gym classes or for fun with friends or whatever.
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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby Klear » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:49 pm UTC

I only just found out that there is alt-text for each of the little pictures of crashing planes...

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby Max™ » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:05 am UTC

Klear wrote:I only just found out that there is alt-text for each of the little pictures of crashing planes...

Image
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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby ucim » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:54 am UTC

Red Hal wrote:Whether or not the invention takes five or more years to develop is immaterial, as long as a reasonable effort is being made to develop it. What is a reasonable effort will be left for the courts to decide...
Who do you think is in a better position to take advantage of the court system - a lone inventor or a large corporation? Do you think this will shift even further with the law on the side of "market it or lose it"? The (very reasonable under your system) argument can be made that LittleGuy couldn't possibly be making enough of an effort compared to what BigCorp could do, so BigCorp should be rewarded with LittleGuy's efforts (at a price to be decided by BigCorp).

I would not invest five years of time and money as a lone inventor if I thought that this was likely. Under your system, I think it's inevitable.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby Himself » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:47 am UTC

BeagleFury wrote:
Of interest -- oxygen as "fuel" (carried / consumed) and free hydrocarbon "air" is much less efficient (per unit mass) than hydrocarbon "fuel" and free oxygen "air".

What about some other fuel such as oxygen difluoride?
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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby ijuin » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:42 am UTC

Himself wrote:
BeagleFury wrote:Of interest -- oxygen as "fuel" (carried / consumed) and free hydrocarbon "air" is much less efficient (per unit mass) than hydrocarbon "fuel" and free oxygen "air".

What about some other fuel such as oxygen difluoride?

Fluorine has an even higher atomic weight than oxygen, and usually has a valence of one compared to oxygen's two. Thus, you will need far more fluorine per mole of hydrocarbon burned, though you may end up needing less fluorine per joule of usable energy released due to the higher reactivity.

For oxygen/methane combustion, the chemical equation is 2(02) + CH4 = 2(H2O) + CO2
Now, the single CH4 molecule has a mass of 16 atomic mass units, while the two oxygen molecules have a mass of 64. This means that for a given amount of energy produced, you would need to haul around four times as much oxygen to burn in a methane atmosphere as you would need to haul methane to burn in an oxygen atmosphere. Furthermore, since the methane content of Titan's atmosphere is only about 4.9% at mean surface level while the atmosphere is 150% as dense as Earth's at mean sea level, that means that an engine would only take in 60% as much methane on Titan per kilogram of air intake as it would take in oxygen on Earth. However, since only one mole of methane is required for every two moles of oxygen, you would be able to get the equivalent of 120% as much energy per kilogram of air intake.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby adurumer » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:25 am UTC

I'm no diver, but I thought wet suits are for insulation but don't stop liquid as they are made out of neoprene. In this case a wet suit would be a poor choice against atmospheric sulfuric acid as it condensed?

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby ijuin » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:06 am UTC

Wet suits, yes. You want a "dry suit", which is water-tight and keeps a small layer of air against your skin, and you want gloves and a head covering included so that no skin is exposed.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby Himself » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:33 am UTC

ijuin wrote:
Himself wrote:
BeagleFury wrote:Of interest -- oxygen as "fuel" (carried / consumed) and free hydrocarbon "air" is much less efficient (per unit mass) than hydrocarbon "fuel" and free oxygen "air".

What about some other fuel such as oxygen difluoride?

Fluorine has an even higher atomic weight than oxygen, and usually has a valence of one compared to oxygen's two. Thus, you will need far more fluorine per mole of hydrocarbon burned, though you may end up needing less fluorine per joule of usable energy released due to the higher reactivity.

For oxygen/methane combustion, the chemical equation is 2(02) + CH4 = 2(H2O) + CO2
Now, the single CH4 molecule has a mass of 16 atomic mass units, while the two oxygen molecules have a mass of 64. This means that for a given amount of energy produced, you would need to haul around four times as much oxygen to burn in a methane atmosphere as you would need to haul methane to burn in an oxygen atmosphere. Furthermore, since the methane content of Titan's atmosphere is only about 4.9% at mean surface level while the atmosphere is 150% as dense as Earth's at mean sea level, that means that an engine would only take in 60% as much methane on Titan per kilogram of air intake as it would take in oxygen on Earth. However, since only one mole of methane is required for every two moles of oxygen, you would be able to get the equivalent of 120% as much energy per kilogram of air intake.

Hmm. Some more in-depth calculations may be due to see if fluorine is more efficient in terms of the energy you get.
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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby Max™ » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:21 am UTC

Himself wrote:
ijuin wrote:
Himself wrote:
BeagleFury wrote:Of interest -- oxygen as "fuel" (carried / consumed) and free hydrocarbon "air" is much less efficient (per unit mass) than hydrocarbon "fuel" and free oxygen "air".

What about some other fuel such as oxygen difluoride?

Fluorine has an even higher atomic weight than oxygen, and usually has a valence of one compared to oxygen's two. Thus, you will need far more fluorine per mole of hydrocarbon burned, though you may end up needing less fluorine per joule of usable energy released due to the higher reactivity.

For oxygen/methane combustion, the chemical equation is 2(02) + CH4 = 2(H2O) + CO2
Now, the single CH4 molecule has a mass of 16 atomic mass units, while the two oxygen molecules have a mass of 64. This means that for a given amount of energy produced, you would need to haul around four times as much oxygen to burn in a methane atmosphere as you would need to haul methane to burn in an oxygen atmosphere. Furthermore, since the methane content of Titan's atmosphere is only about 4.9% at mean surface level while the atmosphere is 150% as dense as Earth's at mean sea level, that means that an engine would only take in 60% as much methane on Titan per kilogram of air intake as it would take in oxygen on Earth. However, since only one mole of methane is required for every two moles of oxygen, you would be able to get the equivalent of 120% as much energy per kilogram of air intake.

Hmm. Some more in-depth calculations may be due to see if fluorine is more efficient in terms of the energy you get.

http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/20 ... uoride.php
Experimental Prep method for producing FOOF wrote:The heater was warmed to approximately 700C. The heater block glowed a dull red color, observable with room lights turned off. The ballast tank was filled to 300 torr with oxygen, and fluorine was added until the total pressure was 901 torr. . .


If your response is "FUCK NO YOU DON'T!", congratulations, you're sane... now stop reading and run!

Further reading: http://www.lateralscience.co.uk/Fluorine/Fluorine.html

Nasty stuff, really, when you consider the reactions you get from FOOF at 90 K include "vigorous burning" and "exploding"...
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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby bulltza » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:12 pm UTC

bulltza wrote:Well, there is an error in this "What if". it states:

The Huygens probe, which descended with batteries nearly drained (taking fascinating pictures as it fell), succumbed to the cold after only 26 seconds on the surface. It had enough time to send back a single photo after landing—the only one we have from the surface of a body beyond Mars.


This is wrong I remember that the Huygens sent more than a hundred of pictures from the surface, the problem is that the camera was not steerable and it took allways the same picture. From the wikipedia we have the correct answer:

The main mission phase was a parachute descent through Titan's atmosphere. The batteries and all other resources were sized for a Huygens mission duration of 153 minutes, corresponding to a maximum descent time of 2.5 hours plus at least 3 additional minutes (and possibly a half hour or more) on Titan's surface. The probe's radio link was activated early in the descent phase, and the orbiter "listened" to the probe for the next 3 hours, including the descent phase, and the first thirty minutes after touchdown. Not long after the end of this three-hour communication window, Cassini's high-gain antenna (HGA) was turned away from Titan and towards Earth.
Very large radio telescopes on Earth were also listening to Huygens' 10-watt transmission using the technique of very long baseline interferometry and aperture synthesis mode. At 11:25 CET on January 14, the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia detected the carrier signal from Huygens. The GBT continued to detect the carrier signal well after Cassini stopped listening to the incoming data stream. In addition to the GBT, eight of the ten telescopes of the continent-wide VLBA in North America, located at Pie Town and Los Alamos, New Mexico; Fort Davis, Texas; North Liberty, Iowa; Kitt Peak, Arizona; Brewster, Washington; Owens Valley, California; and Mauna Kea, Hawaii, also listened for the Huygens signal.

Source: Wikipedia: Huygens_(spacecraft)#Detailed_Huygens_activity_timeline

So this means (in bold) that the Huygens continued transmitting data from the surface of Titan for more than 30 minutes, actually I remember that it was something like over 2 hours but I did not find information about it now.

There is however an interplaneray spacecraft that succumbed 14 seconds after landing, but it was in Mars, The Mars 3 from the Soviet Union...


I see that xkcd corrected the article (more or less), I guess that many people sent him emails about it :twisted:

Now it says:
The batteries would help to keep themselves warm for a little while, but eventually the craft would run out of heat and crash. The Huygens probe, which descended with batteries nearly drained (taking fascinating pictures as it fell), succumbed to the cold after only a few hours on the surface. It had enough time to send back a single photo after landing—the only one we have from the surface of a body beyond Mars.


In reallity it sent maaaany pictures from the surface, but there was nothing moving there so it looks like a single picture. Actually it was not a single picture, there was also a camera looking down and a lamp, but pictures there look burned (white) and they are not so famous, here the 2 pictures combined: saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/photos/imagedetails/index.cfm?imageId=1881

How the hell do you add links to this forum without the "Spam error" message?? Edit: Now I see it is because I have to reach 5 post... Uh Ah!

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby PolakoVoador » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:36 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:
Klear wrote:I only just found out that there is alt-text for each of the little pictures of crashing planes...

Image


Thank you! I hadn't notice them. They are hilarious!

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby ijuin » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:41 am UTC

Max™ wrote:http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/20 ... uoride.php
Experimental Prep method for producing FOOF wrote:The heater was warmed to approximately 700C. The heater block glowed a dull red color, observable with room lights turned off. The ballast tank was filled to 300 torr with oxygen, and fluorine was added until the total pressure was 901 torr. . .


If your response is "FUCK NO YOU DON'T!", congratulations, you're sane... now stop reading and run!

Further reading: http://www.lateralscience.co.uk/Fluorine/Fluorine.html

Nasty stuff, really, when you consider the reactions you get from FOOF at 90 K include "vigorous burning" and "exploding"...

Well, the question is not one of how easily/quickly it reacts, but rather one of how many joules you get per gram of reactant. To make a comparison, TNT, your standard high explosive, yields a mere 4.2 kJ/g, compared to 10.2 kJ/g for an optimized gasoline/oxygen mix.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby Max™ » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:34 am UTC

ijuin wrote:
Max™ wrote:http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/20 ... uoride.php
Experimental Prep method for producing FOOF wrote:The heater was warmed to approximately 700C. The heater block glowed a dull red color, observable with room lights turned off. The ballast tank was filled to 300 torr with oxygen, and fluorine was added until the total pressure was 901 torr. . .


If your response is "FUCK NO YOU DON'T!", congratulations, you're sane... now stop reading and run!

Further reading: http://www.lateralscience.co.uk/Fluorine/Fluorine.html

Nasty stuff, really, when you consider the reactions you get from FOOF at 90 K include "vigorous burning" and "exploding"...

Well, the question is not one of how easily/quickly it reacts, but rather one of how many joules you get per gram of reactant. To make a comparison, TNT, your standard high explosive, yields a mere 4.2 kJ/g, compared to 10.2 kJ/g for an optimized gasoline/oxygen mix.

Hmmm, hard to find the values, I'm not sure where anyone would find a gram of it. I found 433 kcal/mol though... and noticed the chlorine triflouride note... who the fuck would react FOOF with that?

The note explains how chlorine triflouride will take your bucket of wet sand used for dousing fires and burn it, also fun to note that it will burn something which has already been burned, since it is apparently a better oxidizing agent than oxygen.

http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/20 ... s_time.php
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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby Klear » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:34 am UTC

It is hypergolic with every known fuel, and so rapidly hypergolic that no ignition delay has ever been measured. It is also hypergolic with such things as cloth, wood, and test engineers, not to mention asbestos, sand, and water-with which it reacts explosively.


Good stuff =)

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby Kit. » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:28 am UTC

ijuin wrote:Well, the question is not one of how easily/quickly it reacts, but rather one of how many joules you get per gram of reactant. To make a comparison, TNT, your standard high explosive, yields a mere 4.2 kJ/g, compared to 10.2 kJ/g for an optimized gasoline/oxygen mix.

It's not like TNT is easier to react than an optimized gasoline/oxygen mix.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby PolakoVoador » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:00 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:
ijuin wrote:
Max™ wrote:http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/20 ... uoride.php
Experimental Prep method for producing FOOF wrote:The heater was warmed to approximately 700C. The heater block glowed a dull red color, observable with room lights turned off. The ballast tank was filled to 300 torr with oxygen, and fluorine was added until the total pressure was 901 torr. . .


If your response is "FUCK NO YOU DON'T!", congratulations, you're sane... now stop reading and run!

Further reading: http://www.lateralscience.co.uk/Fluorine/Fluorine.html

Nasty stuff, really, when you consider the reactions you get from FOOF at 90 K include "vigorous burning" and "exploding"...

Well, the question is not one of how easily/quickly it reacts, but rather one of how many joules you get per gram of reactant. To make a comparison, TNT, your standard high explosive, yields a mere 4.2 kJ/g, compared to 10.2 kJ/g for an optimized gasoline/oxygen mix.

Hmmm, hard to find the values, I'm not sure where anyone would find a gram of it. I found 433 kcal/mol though... and noticed the chlorine triflouride note... who the fuck would react FOOF with that?

The note explains how chlorine triflouride will take your bucket of wet sand used for dousing fires and burn it, also fun to note that it will burn something which has already been burned, since it is apparently a better oxidizing agent than oxygen.

http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/20 ... s_time.php


Chlorine trifluoride doesn't give a fuck. What crazy and scary stuff.

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Re: What-If 0030: Interplanetary Cessna

Postby bmonk » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:26 pm UTC

dudiobugtron wrote:What I learned from this 'What-if' is that Pluto is smaller than Earth's moon. No wonder they unplaneted it.

Actually just specified a definition for planet, as well as a new class, "dwarf planet"--to better classify the multitude of such objects they expect to discover in coming years.
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.


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