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Charlie StrossPerson was signed in when posted
11:45 AM ET (US)
The nanotube news is not terminal; it's just tire-kicking by a materials scientist.
Gary Farber
03:13 PM ET (US)
I did a post about this here, at the end of May, incidentally.

I was too depressed by the news about the carbon nanotubules and the space elevator to get around to that one, though I really should have. (But who needs an excuse not to blog, really?)
Martyn Taylor
06:12 AM ET (US)
Small turbojets aren't a problem - you can buy them commercially and hold them in your hand, producing about 15 lbs of thrust (a whole lot more for slightly bigger versions) Check aeromodelling press. I hope the guinea pig has ceramic on the heels of his shoes, because these babyjets run as hot as their full sized counterparts.
I don't notice the fuel tanks either, because they are seriously thirsty (anything that does 120000 rpm consumes fuel at litres per minute, even at these sizes)
Oh, and I hope he has a head for heights, because he'll be jumping from somewhere a long way from the ground. Even with lifting body aerodynamics, all that outfit will give you is a controlled fall maybe a little in advance of a base jumper's flying fox suit. You can miniaturise just about everything except American military personnel and unless you can ignore every law of aerodynamics (a la F104 Widowmaker) this gizmo will be all about power to weight ratio.
Wim L
02:03 AM ET (US)
If it's acting as a wing, I think you really do want the body below the wing, in the high(er)-pressure, low(er)-velocity part of the airstream. Putting it above the wing is going to cause turbulence where you don't want it and make it easier to stall.

There's also static stability to consider (if the center of mass is above the center of lift, it might want to flip over).
S. F. Murphy
01:07 PM ET (US)
That looks like a really good way to break one's own neck.

A very cool way to do it as well.

S. F. Murphy
From Flyover Country, USA
07:55 AM ET (US)
I'd say that's the samllest powered plane ever not including the hangglider since you have to measure updrafts. Looks pretty light, must have the nano-materials sprinkled in.

Also E-PAPER is here! No power consumption when not changing the page I think. So it should consume as much as a wristwatch; so it's comfortable for my free books from the Net; maybe should be a boon for trees too.

Of course, the profit people will want to charge like 300 dollars for a 19 inch monitor version (costing a grain of rice to produce) stating manufacturing renovation costs.
The eteranl manufacturing renovation costs.
And implimenting a terminator-esque autonomous plant would be too dangerous I guess, since robots don't really care about money unless there's something I missed.

Other cool stuff about HHO gas:
SerraphinPerson was signed in when posted
03:35 AM ET (US)
You can already get these things (Sans jet propulsion) on the open market. You don't hang below it though, you're strapped in quite tight.

At the parachute centre run by a relative, someone decided to try one out. It was only when they started to calculate the forward/down ratios that they realised that the guy was going to have to register an actual flight route with ATC - he was going to fly outside of the dropzone boundaries within about four minutes!
Tarl Neustaedter
04:33 PM ET (US)
Cute design concept, but I don't see any intake for the purported jets. I'm also somewhat dubious about the aerodynamics of leaving the body dangling in the airstream below the wing - it would make a lot more sense to position the body above the wing, so that the inclined surface facing the windstream (and it would have to be highly inclined to give 200-300lbs lift with that limited surface area) would be smooth. Also, lengthen the resulting lifting body enough to keep the boots out of the airstream. There also doesn't appear to be a huge amount of room for fuel in that package.

Are we sure this is real and not an april-fools joke?
Wim L
04:30 PM ET (US)
What coincidence. Just earlier today I ran across this: (path: makezine!uberreview!wired).

And a few weeks ago I saw an article on a catapult intended to fire police or fiefighters onto the roofs of buildings.

Maybe it's steam-engine time for a very odd kind of steam engine.
Dave Bell
01:36 PM ET (US)
There was something a trifle fishy about the nun walking down the street, as I staggered out of the Drones. I stood for a moment. Jackboots? The stiff-legged gait? After Spiffy Baldwin's horror stories about his time at the seminary, not even the machine-gun seemed out of place. Then it struck me, with all the force of a mis-directed cricket-ball passing the leg-boundary for six.

Nuns do not have wings.
Jonathan Vos Post
12:12 PM ET (US)
Delta-wing version of Heinlein's Mobile Infantry?
04:26 PM ET (US)
They have sold about 3 million of the LitterMaids so far and I think that it is a very good product. Quite often buyers will throw out a unit and buy another one when the problem could be fixed in less than a minute. The LitterMaid help desk is no help! And, of course, they want you to purchase new one. To find out how to fix your LitterMaid, purchase the LitterMaid Repair Manual that can be found at
Graham Freeman
10:16 AM ET (US)
Abort! Abort!
Charlie StrossPerson was signed in when posted
08:59 AM ET (US)
And here's a stop-press announcement: NWN 1.64 bombs like a B-52 on a 17" Powerbook G4. It's insane. At one point I was crashing out every five minutes, and just to make things exciting it threw in a kernel panic or two as well.

Luckily I have a fallback box, an iBook. So after a one-hour copy (five gigs of data?!?) I fired it up. And lo; I now have a choice -- stable gameplay at 1024x768, or a very pretty 1440x900 display that's about as stable as [insert your favourite manic-depressive here].

David Bilek
09:54 PM ET (US)
Oops, sorry, I didn't stop and consider whether Torment was available on other platforms. I really have no idea.
Tony Quirke
07:13 PM ET (US)
You will now play Planescape: Torment. *jedi handwaving*

Best character driven RPG ever. By a longshot.

Yup. I found the running around in the sewers bit at the start a bit slow, but it really sucks you in after that. This was the only game I ever felt any real emotion about the characters (during the split screen confrontations with the big bad guy at the end).

Meanwhile, I have an assignment due, mucho stuff to read - and I'm being continually tempted to continue playing a civilized and rapidly industrializing China in "Victoria".
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