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  #1021  
Old 10.05.2010, 19:51
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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i read da vinci code and angels and demons. i thought they were both entertaining.

i think you should chill out. they're light fiction books, not articles submitted to a scientific journal.
Popular or light fiction can still be well written. Dan Brown's stuff was scribbled atrociously.
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  #1022  
Old 10.05.2010, 20:05
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Popular or light fiction can still be well written. Dan Brown's stuff was scribbled atrociously.
And after reading two of his books you can clearly know how the other ones will end.
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  #1023  
Old 11.05.2010, 09:34
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I think it has become way too popular to diss Dan Brown's books.

If you don't want to read a book that is fiction, written so it is easy to skim through and with a fairly predictable 'good guys win' ending, then don't, but no need for everyone to jump on the 'b*tching about it' bandwagon. I think they are great books to read when you're on holiday and the stories aren't too bad if you let the 'facts' wash over you.
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  #1024  
Old 11.05.2010, 09:39
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Re: Ask a Scientist

When you open windows at the back of a car when you're driving fast it creates a weird reverb sound effect / vibration. Does this have a technical term?
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  #1025  
Old 11.05.2010, 09:45
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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I think it has become way too popular to diss Dan Brown's books.

If you don't want to read a book that is fiction, written so it is easy to skim through and with a fairly predictable 'good guys win' ending, then don't, but no need for everyone to jump on the 'b*tching about it' bandwagon. I think they are great books to read when you're on holiday and the stories aren't too bad if you let the 'facts' wash over you.
Most of the complain bandwagon is because he uses "Facts" which are not.
That is the point of it. Not to mention that he stole several premises from Umberto Eco and others.
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  #1026  
Old 12.05.2010, 17:56
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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When you open windows at the back of a car when you're driving fast it creates a weird reverb sound effect / vibration. Does this have a technical term?
"Resonant oscillation caused by periodic vortex shedding."


Honest.
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  #1027  
Old 12.05.2010, 18:46
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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2/ Has any of you informed science/engineering/reality types here read any of Dan Brown's books from cover to cover and retained your sanity?

Or should I just do myself a favour by giving up now, and acknowledging "defeat"?
.
Ah-ha-ha!!! For sure those are no books for science/engineering types with their limited minds.

It is for those who can get lost in a fantasy world (which seems to be pretty real for some though) with great pleasure and when it is all over, I mean read to the end, come back to reality and continue in the real world.

Loved the last book though. A look into Freemasonry. Freaking good.

Nice modern fairy tales they are.
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  #1028  
Old 13.05.2010, 19:19
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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"Resonant oscillation caused by periodic vortex shedding."


Honest.
That's a cracking answer! I was just going to say "Resonance.

"Here's a nice image of vortex shedding.
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  #1029  
Old 13.05.2010, 20:01
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Ah-ha-ha!!! For sure those are no books for science/engineering types with their limited minds.
Nice. So, erm, this being your opinion, what exactly are you doing on the 'Ask a Scientist' thread?
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  #1030  
Old 20.05.2010, 16:39
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Read an article about the influence of cosmic rays on electronic hardware in cars, planes. I was surprised to read that the cosmic particles can modify a memory and therefore create an error. It's a known fact in the aeronautic industry, but for car manufacturers this is new stuff although they are adding more and more electronics in the cars.
So what is the likelihood of this type of events (cosmic particle causing an error on a computer)?
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  #1031  
Old 20.05.2010, 17:02
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Read an article about the influence of cosmic rays on electronic hardware in cars, planes. I was surprised to read that the cosmic particles can modify a memory and therefore create an error. It's a known fact in the aeronautic industry, but for car manufacturers this is new stuff although they are adding more and more electronics in the cars.
So what is the likelihood of this type of events (cosmic particle causing an error on a computer)?

The likelihood is very rare IMO. We are constantly being bombarded with Cosmic rays, and have been through the entire history of computer development. If there was a major issue here, it would have been dealt with or else we would have really fuct pcs (perhaps explains windows BSD?).
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  #1032  
Old 20.05.2010, 17:06
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Read an article about the influence of cosmic rays on electronic hardware in cars, planes. I was surprised to read that the cosmic particles can modify a memory and therefore create an error. It's a known fact in the aeronautic industry, but for car manufacturers this is new stuff although they are adding more and more electronics in the cars.
So what is the likelihood of this type of events (cosmic particle causing an error on a computer)?
Research by IBM in the late 90's came to a figure of about "one soft error per 256Mb of memory per month".
Source.

Despite what the article predicted, this has actually reduced due to smaller feature sizes of semiconductors over the intervening time, but is still frequent enough to be a concern.
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  #1033  
Old 20.05.2010, 17:10
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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The likelihood is very rare IMO. We are constantly being bombarded with Cosmic rays, and have been through the entire history of computer development. If there was a major issue here, it would have been dealt with or else we would have really fuct pcs (perhaps explains windows BSD?).
Not true. We were designing ASICS in the mid-80s, and alpha-particle soft
error were a major cause of concern; error-detection and correction had to
be built in for mission-critical designs.

(Alpha are approximately 10% of cosmic rays, IIRC).
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  #1034  
Old 20.05.2010, 17:22
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Not true. We were designing ASICS in the mid-80s, and alpha-particle soft
error were a major cause of concern; error-detection and correction had to
be built in for mission-critical designs.

(Alpha are approximately 10% of cosmic rays, IIRC).
Will errors will occur? yes. Will these errors crash computers and make my car a rolling death trap? Most likely not.
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  #1035  
Old 22.05.2010, 11:25
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Will errors will occur? yes. Will these errors crash computers
Also yes.

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Will these errors crash computers and make my car a rolling death trap? Most likely not.
Indeed, most likely not. But as more and more "intelligence" is added to
more and more cars, it will make someone's car a rolling death trap.
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  #1036  
Old 22.05.2010, 16:34
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Indeed, most likely not. But as more and more "intelligence" is added to more and more cars, it will make someone's car a rolling death trap.
There is, so I am told, a different technique used when programming for hostile environments such as cars (hostile because of extremes of heat from the engine, brakes, exhaust, vibration, exposure to the elements etc). You need to program defensively and continually check for bad data, and even reboot automatically when irrecoverable errors occur.

On the security side, The stuff of James Bond becomes a reality?.

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In starting this project we expected to spend significant effort reverse-engineering, with non-trivial effort to identify and exploit each subtle vulnerability. However, we found existing automotive systems — at least those we tested — to be tremendously fragile. Indeed, our simple fuzzing infrastructure was very effective and to our surprise, a large fraction of the random packets we sent resulted in changes to the state of our car.
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  #1037  
Old 23.05.2010, 14:21
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Okay, now spring is here I need to try and coax my old lawnmower to life. As petrol deteriates over time is it better to buy high octane (98) so that when it's a bit old it still has 95 or so octanes left?
Or when the fuel is old is it more than just the "octane level" that breaks down?
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  #1038  
Old 23.05.2010, 18:29
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Read an article about the influence of cosmic rays on electronic hardware in cars, planes. I was surprised to read that the cosmic particles can modify a memory and therefore create an error. It's a known fact in the aeronautic industry, but for car manufacturers this is new stuff although they are adding more and more electronics in the cars.
So what is the likelihood of this type of events (cosmic particle causing an error on a computer)?
After reading your post above, I started looking for a blog post I had read quite a while ago, in which the author described an error on his system, which was ascribed to a bit flip caused by a cosmic ray. I was disappointed to discover that the blogger later wrote an update to the post, giving a less cool reason for the fault...
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  #1039  
Old 23.05.2010, 22:47
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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After reading your post above, I started looking for a blog post I had read quite a while ago, in which the author described an error on his system, which was ascribed to a bit flip caused by a cosmic ray. I was disappointed to discover that the blogger later wrote an update to the post, giving a less cool reason for the fault...

A detector next to me shows cosmic rays a handfull of times per day, considering it's only scanning for about a minute <50 times a day.

I also have used quite a few pcs in my history with a near zero crash history, so in my experience, computers are fairly safe-if the bits get flipped as often as reported, the modern pc must have a fairly decent error detect and fix method.
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  #1040  
Old 24.05.2010, 20:30
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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"Resonant oscillation caused by periodic vortex shedding."


Honest.
The awesomeness of this answer must also have a scientific name, no?

(Thank you for the answer!)
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