Space Elevator, 2018 Is Not Far Away

Space Elevators have been the staple subject for Sci Fi writers for years now, but SciFi may be taking a step towards reality, if Tech futures ventures company LiftPort have anything to do with it.

These guys seem to have actually done some homework. Their plans are certainly bold, that’s for sure: their website even includes a countdown timer to the estimated 2018 launch.

The compelling argument for the idea is pretty simple: the only stumbling block to widespread space habitation and exploitation is the huge cost and risk associated with rocket ascents, not to mention the low payload limits.

The main facilitators are the advances (present and future predicted) in plastics and fibre technologies. The quoted technology of choice is the single molecule carbon nanotube. Even in present day terms it has 50% of the required strength when woven.

Liftport paint a picture of a flat ribbon, perhaps 10-12 inches wide climbing (or should that be suspended?) 30K miles to and beyond geosynchronous orbit.

as the balancing weight is beyond Geosync, the weight will actually be trying to fly outwards, and thus will tension the ribbon.

the climb is expected to take around 4 weeks.

Check out the website, these guys could be the people to open the space frontier for all of us!

Author: TurboTas

W32/Nachi.worm. Ridiculous.

It had to happen. W32/Nachi.worm is the clever people finally telling the twits to wise up or find a more secure OS. Perhaps it’s the evil people highlighting how stoopid the DSL/Windows users are.
Either way, this is a bit of an odd tale!
At first examination, Nachi.worm has all the classic hallmarks of a windoze worm: it modifies registry keys. It copies itself somewhere into the Windows directory tree (C:WINNTSYSTEM32WINSDLLHOST.EXE). It runs at boot time and terminates certain programs with extreme prejudice. Generally a nasty piece of work, no?
Well, actually, possibly not. When it runs Nachi looks for and blows away the lovesan worm (MSBLAST problem). It then proceeds to try and download then install the relevant patches from Microsoft direct. The worm self removes on Jan 1 2004.
TurboTas can only assume that the forces of good have decided that if you can’t beat it into the thick skulls of all the windoze broadband users that can’t update their machines, then best do the flipping job for them.
Perversely, but quite properly, the AV vendors have released sigs for Nachi, so it really will only affect the plebs who have no security at all.
TurboTas can’t help thinking that fixing it for them is awful: A option would be to hardwire all browsers to the microsoft update site or perhaps to just change the background bitmap to a bomb. Lock the machine until a paypal payment is made? The list goes on. The bugs go on.
source: Network Associates

TAM finally does the Atlantic challenge

The TAM site has finally done it. After years of planning those
plucky guys have finally flown an 11 pound autonomous model accross
1950 miles of the Atlantic ocean between the US and Ireland.

Maynard Hill and his team have been working at this for some years,
culminating in 4 previous failed attempts. The ethos of using cost
effective off-the-shelf hardware with home-built planes and in house
written software has meant that the team have been happy(?) to kiss
each plane goodbye.

This year they came armed with 4 full planes and were sucessful
on the second attempt, TAM4 having made only around 750 miles a few
days previously.

An operator manually launched and trimmed the plane before
engaging the autopilot software. Guided by GPS, the plane flew towards
Ireland and updated the ground crews via Satellite uplink.

On arrival in ireland an operator took control and landed the plane.

In all the crossing by the 5 foot span plane took around 42
hours, so it’s not fast by any means. Read more about it here at the TAM site.

Article by TurboTas