Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DLXII Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DLXII
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    Default Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DLXII

    Rather than being taken for a drive around the block because you're bored, you could just stay in where it's safe and read this lot instead

    • The Pretender - ”People in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, thought Lois Riess was a nice wife and grandmother. If she had a vice, it was playing the slots. Then she committed murder.” A tragic tale of small town life and gambling addiction.

    • Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s historic ‘personal plane’ found at aviation graveyard in Arctic - The Ilyushin Il-14P is one of a number of planes gradually falling to bits at Chersky in the Russian republic of Yakutia: ”There was very unusual and very cool American navigation equipment on board for the time. In particular, the plane had (radio equipment) that could tune to five world radio stations, among them definitely Japan, Australia, NY, and after adjustment it provided current coordinates of the aircraft in flight, apparently, using the triangulation method.”


    • Some Physicists See Signs of Cosmic Strings From the Big Bang - ”Subtle aberrations in the clockwork blinking of stars could become ‘the result of the century.’ That’s if the distortions are produced by a network of giant filaments left over from the birth of the universe.” Surely it’s more likely to be the Flying Spaghetti Monster than string?

    • Ashley Walk Bombing Range - The remains of a WWII bombing range in a remote area of the New Forest: ”Ashley Walk Bombing Range was under the direct control of RAF Boscombe Down near Amesbury, Wiltshire which was home to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE)… The range at Ashley Walk with its link to the A&AEE is thought to have been unique in that it was used predominantly to test weapons rather than for training purposes of bomber crews.” This big arrow pointed the way to one of the targets:


    • Everything Scientists Know So Far about the First Interstellar Objects Ever Detected - Good summary of what we think we know so far about galactic interlopers 1I/‘Oumuamua and 2I/Borisov: ”Although astronomers have long believed that interstellar bodies pass through the solar system, actually finding one was a big surprise. Only the year before, an exhaustive analysis by Toni Engelhardt, then at the University of Hawaii, and his colleagues concluded that prospects for identifying such an interstellar interloper ‘appear to be bleak’… But as we discovered more about ‘Oumuamua, our surprise turned into utter bewilderment. Everything from its shape and size to its lack of cometlike properties ran counter to our expectations. If this was a typical visitor from the greater universe, we had a lot to learn.”

    • Train Wild Birds to Exchange Litter for Food! - Instructables user hfor62 gets those avians that so clutter the place to do something useful for a change: ”I have trained wild magpies in my garden to trade litter for food! The whole project relies on mechanical design, electronics, software and the great opportunity to create a machine with parts from my 3D-printer. I have worked with this project to and from for several years, but now in recent months the project has had an exciting development, and as I write in the title... Now the magpies work as garbage collectors, payed with food!”


    • How to Catch a Spy who Uses Numbers Stations? The KGB Experience - A KGB manual from the Latvian National Archive reveals the techniques used to capture GRU operative Anatoly N. Filatov as he passed information to the CIA: ”Filatov had stated that his involvement with the adversary CIA happened as a result of being lured into a honey trap with a woman called Nadia, as similar happened to A. Ogorodnik. Either so or A. Filatov himself decided to become a double agent and started meeting CIA agent Edward Kane. In 1976 A. Filatov was called back to Moscow and the CIA had instructed him to receive shortwave coded broadcasts in German numbers from Frankfurt near Main… He was first sentenced to death in 1978 but instead was sent to labor camp 389/35 near Perm… After release he demanded compensation from the US embassy, but was denied as a non citizen.”

    • How North Korea Built a Fleet of Ghost Ships - ”Another boat washed up in December. This one, discovered by police on Sado Island, Japan, was broken in two. Inside, police soon discovered its terrible cargo: five people—corpses—and a pair of human heads. There was little to identify the partially skeletonized victims… Excluded from their own fishing grounds and starved by foreign sanctions, North Korean fishermen have started venturing ever farther into the Korean East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan. They do this even in bad weather, and even in vessels sometimes shorter than city buses. The result is hundreds of ghost ships, dozens of corpses, and many more missing bodies.” One sometimes wonders if life in North Korea is as good as it’s cracked up to be…


    • Definitely not Windows 95: What operating systems keep things running in space? - A look at the realtime operating systems that keep things on track millions of miles from Earth: ”ESA developed a real-time operating system (RTOS) for Solar Orbiter that can act under very strict requirements. The maximum allowed off-pointing from the Sun is only 6.5 degrees. Any off-pointing exceeding 2.3 degrees is acceptable only for a very brief period of time. When something goes wrong and dangerous off-pointing is detected, Solar Orbiter is going to have only 50 seconds to react.”

    • Artist Knits “Temperature Scarf” To Track Climate Change Every Day for a Whole Year - The headline is rather misleading, as writer Josie George is well aware that she’s recording weather, not climate, with her project to knit in colours corresponding to conditions every day this year: ”Although my year’s worth of data isn’t indicative of anything in itself, it coincides with a wider consensus that climate change is having a profound affect on the world’s temperatures and weather patterns and is linked to extreme and unusual weather events and wildlife decline… As with many other aspects of my work and creativity, the scarf was a way of saying to my environment, ‘I see you! I’m here with you.’ To listen and look and see what I can learn.” Josie is @porridgebrain on Twitter and her tweets are a breath of fresh air in what can often seem a wretched hellscape This is the scarf as of last Saturday, October 3rd, with January at the bottom; and the key to the different colours:




    Happy invoicing!

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    Definitely not Windows 95: What operating systems keep things running in space? - A look at the realtime operating systems that keep things on track millions of miles from Earth: ”ESA developed a real-time operating system (RTOS) for Solar Orbiter that can act under very strict requirements. The maximum allowed off-pointing from the Sun is only 6.5 degrees. Any off-pointing exceeding 2.3 degrees is acceptable only for a very brief period of time. When something goes wrong and dangerous off-pointing is detected, Solar Orbiter is going to have only 50 seconds to react.”
    Very interesting article...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladymuck View Post
    Very interesting article...
    At least they aren't sending Excel up there

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    At least they aren't sending Excel up there
    They could try Excel 97 with its inbuilt Flight Sim.
    I'm perfect, in a very specific and limited way.
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    Face... the music
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    • Definitely not Windows 95: What operating systems keep things running in space? - A look at the realtime operating systems that keep things on track millions of miles from Earth: ”ESA developed a real-time operating system (RTOS) for Solar Orbiter that can act under very strict requirements. The maximum allowed off-pointing from the Sun is only 6.5 degrees. Any off-pointing exceeding 2.3 degrees is acceptable only for a very brief period of time. When something goes wrong and dangerous off-pointing is detected, Solar Orbiter is going to have only 50 seconds to react.”


    If I recall (correctly) I used to work on the predecessor to this, called RTEMS which was primarily written in Fortran and ran on Siemens 330 (or H30) computers. There were a number of them which handled various tasks such as telemetry data, launch and early orbit and spacecraft control. Data from them was fed into an IBM mainframe which unlike most mainframes basically ran a real time system rather than batch or OLTP. Eventually the software was ported to run on Sun Sparc and other systems as the Siemens were pretty much obsolete by then. Interesting times
    Brexit is having a wee in the middle of the room at a house party because nobody is talking to you, and then complaining about the smell.

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