Saturday, October 23, 2021
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Sunday, October 17, 2021
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Feel like my mojo died Sunday, and rose again three days later. As Marcel Proust said, however, the cure for depression is a decision and from henceforth I spurn the use of software and shall steer my nemesis by weight-shift. I went through RAF recruitment in Biggin Hill with Mark Hanna, the co-owner of the Old Flying Machine Company who died at a young age in an encounter with his own wake turbulence. But all I can recall of his subsequent career ~ he got in and I didn't, despite the better aptitude tests ~ is his refusing to contemplate fly-by-wire and sticking to the F-4 Phantom instead.
I failed I suspect for not preparing an answer to the question, "Are you prepared to kill someone?" and in retrospect I should maybe have practised on him. It was and still is a stupid question to ask an eighteen-year-old, and something you only know after the fact if those who've done to are to be believed.
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Well I've taken the advice of individuals in the UK who earn a living programming large drones, and what I take from it is this: unless you've a deal of investment to throw at the problem as you scale up further, then the technology could be viewed as flaky. It's worth qualifying 'flaky', for that's flaky in the same way that the first home computers were. I'm old enough to have remembered their dawn, and there are distinct parallels.
Firstly, we are held to ransom by an elite of programmers in the same way that prior to the personal computer, we were at the behest of the geeks who were the only ones able to program and operate commercial mainframe and minicomputers.
Secondly, the current technology is both home-brewed and decidedly dodgy from the point of view of anyone who happens to have flown anything else. In summary, turning it off and on again is not an option at 10,000 feet.
Thirdly, it will get better to the point that chimpanzees like me can handle it. As I was told at the weekend, the Pixhawk flight controllers that I've had mixed (but mostly negative) experience with contain technology that a year or two ago may have cost £10,000 and a few years prior to that, nearer £50,000.
In other words, remember how PCs and printers were once shit, and how now (brown cow), phones and wifi devices actually work? Well the technology that makes survey and video drones reliable now, will make personal air vehicles so in the near future.
But I can't wait that long.
Meanwhile, watch the Netflix series on how Google stole the its 'Earth' concept from a company in recently liberated East Berlin. And learn how a company whose motto is "Do no evil"... does evil. It's inevitable as you scale, the added headcount falling short of the founders' vision. It's true whenever humans coalesce into something larger, the way that the Catholic Church (founder Jesus, who suffered little children) became a go-to career choice for paedophiles.
Then again, I'm writing this with on a Google platform and so as the Russians say, we are born in a clearing and die in a forest...