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Samsung Rains Paper Airplanes From Space

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the space-maketing dept.

Advertising 122

itwbennett writes "Note to Samsung: If you want to prove how reliable your SD memory cards are, don't hire 'the U.K.'s leading paper plane professional' to build you 100 special paper aircraft. And then definitely don't use a giant helium balloon to send them 122,503 feet into space. Because while some of the planes will fly as far as Sydney and Bangalore, chances are that all the press you'll get will be about the crazy stunt and no one will remember a thing about the SD cards."

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122 comments

It got Samsungs name on Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35142468)

And no news is bad news.

Re:It got Samsungs name on Slashdot (1)

show me altoids (1183399) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142848)

And no news is bad news.

I think you meant to say "Any publicity is good publicity." There is certainly a lot of bad news running about.

SD cards survie trip in paper planes...Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35142504)

Now try to make them last through a couple years of normal use without errors.

Re:SD cards survie trip in paper planes...Great... (2, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142814)

Okay... But sticking them in your ass and running down the street naked yelling "I'm a camera! I'm a camera!" is hardly normal use.

Re:SD cards survie trip in paper planes...Great... (1)

Psmylie (169236) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143506)

Okay... But sticking them in your ass and running down the street naked yelling "I'm a camera! I'm a camera!" is hardly normal use.

Though it might explain why all your pictures look like shit.

Re:SD cards survie trip in paper planes...Great... (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143636)

Oh, no. That would not explain why the pictures look like shit. The "lens" is on the other side. Now, smile pretty for the "camera!"

Re:SD cards survie trip in paper planes...Great... (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 3 years ago | (#35145338)

So that's why I'm always getting in trouble near public schools.

Re:SD cards survie trip in paper planes...Great... (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142982)

No problems - all mine still work - even my 32mb one!

Re:SD cards survie trip in paper planes...Great... (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143326)

Now try to make them last through a couple years of normal use without errors.

Are you using them for swap space?

I think many people would define "normal use" as filling up the card (pictures, video) followed by downloading the contents to a computer. Erase, repeat. With that sort of usage pattern, I've never had any problems.

Re:SD cards survie trip in paper planes...Great... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143604)

We have several people in the office using them for swap on netbooks and they work fine. This whole SD card death thing seems to be a myth near as we can tell.

Who cares? It was cool (5, Interesting)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142506)

They dropped a bunch of SD-card-carrying paper airplanes over Germany from 122,000 feet. Some of those planes glided all the way to Australia and India!

Who cares if it was an effective media campaign or not? It's frigging cool.

I've seen worse... (1)

klubar (591384) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142586)

It's not a terrible idea, and in the grand scheme of things not that expensive either. Probably less than a couple minutes advertising or a :30 on the Superbowl..... Reasonable chance that the stunt got picked up by mainstream media, and it did make it into /. and The Register.

Kind of cool

Very cool (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142618)

Australia, india, Russia and even possibly Canada and the northern U.S. (the article said those were unconfirmed).

I think it's pretty awesome indeed. Too bad the planes did not have micro cameras on them recording the decent onto the SD cards, that would have been something.

Descent, sigh (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142648)

Yes, I do know how to spell Descent. It was even one of my all time favorite games...

Re:Very cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35143988)

...and even possibly Canada ...

Well, not in my back yard and I really want one.

Re:Who cares? It was cool (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142658)

For some reason it reminds me of that South Park episode [wikipedia.org] where Randy Marsh steals a superconducting magnet that enables their pine box derby car to travel faster than light. I can imagine some kids trying to one up each other about how they made paper airplanes that went X feet, and then some engineer walks up and says 'yeah, well I once made a paper airplane that from Germany to Australia, bitch.'

("Oh no, not Finrand!")

Re:Who cares? It was cool (5, Insightful)

Keys1337 (1002612) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142894)

The claim that planes were found so far away seems like total BS. Assuming the planes could cross the globe (unlikely) then finding any of the 200 planes over such a vast area much of which is remote or ocean is highly doubtful.

Re:Who cares? It was cool (5, Insightful)

Gavin Scott (15916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143418)

Agreed, the reports of sightings and recovery are almost certainly mostly (or all) hoaxes, and the people doing this seem to be in no hurry to confirm them.

All these people saying "who cares, it's cool!" should consider whether it's still cool if all the planes fell to the ground within 100 miles of the launch point and none have yet been found.

Yes, it WOULD be cool if planes made it to Sydney or Bangalore, but if people are just making this shit up then maybe not so much.

Dreaming of what might happen is fine, but you get no points for pretending it happened if it didn't, and you do people a disservice by doing so. There's plenty of stuff in the world that's cool these days, but hardly anyone notices because it's completely overshadowed by fantasy crap that people make up and pretend is real to the point that your average member of the public has no idea what's real any more., and few people have a basis for actually understanding how to appreciate the stuff that actually IS real and insanely cool.

You drop 100 paper planes from 23 miles up and more than 2% of them glide for thousands of miles (in different directions) and land in heavily populated areas where they are found by people (who actually report the find) only a couple days after they're launched?

Color me skeptical on this one, sorry.

G.

Re:Who cares? It was cool (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143586)

All these people saying "who cares, it's cool!" should consider whether it's still cool if all the planes fell to the ground within 100 miles of the launch point and none have yet been found.

Yeah, I think that would be pretty cool.

Re:Who cares? It was cool (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143602)

All these people saying "who cares, it's cool!" should consider whether it's still cool if all the planes fell to the ground within 100 miles of the launch point and none have yet been found.

Yes. Yes, that would still be cool. How far have YOU had a paper airplane travel lately?

Hell, the mere act of dropping a hundred paper airplanes from 122,503 feet, regardless of how far they all go, is still pretty damn awesome, all things considered.

Honestly, no sense of wonder anywhere anymore.

Re:Who cares? It was cool (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35144180)

...because it's completely overshadowed by fantasy crap that people make up and pretend is real...

I know I will be modded into geek hell for this one, but...

You mean like Star Trek [memory-alpha.org] ?

Re:Who cares? It was cool (1)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#35145548)

I agree. Here's some math.

Your average paper airplane thrown from head height hits the ground in a few seconds -- it descends at about 0.5 m/s. At high altitude, the plane will fall much faster in the thinner air, but since I'm not prepared to tackle stratospheric paper aerodynamics, let's just take 0.5 m/s as a best-case scenario.

How long does it take to fall 40 km at 0.5 m/s? A bit less than a day. Maximum wind speeds in the jet stream are around 40 m/s: in one day, this will carry the plane a maximum of 3000 km, roughly the distance from L.A. to Chicago. And that is a massive overestimate, since it assumes a constant fall rate and constant wind speed as the plane falls.

You'll note I've ignored the plane's airspeed: it's negligible, but I'll let the reader justify that on his/her own.

Reliably dumb? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35142536)

Is the link that marketing departments are reliably dumb, and our SD Cards are just reliable?

impact force? (2)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142542)

There's a chance they could drop their SD cards without the paper airplane and they'd still work. They don't have much mass and I'm sure their terminal velocity isn't that high. Plus, do they contain many parts that could actually break?

Of course with my luck owning Samsung products, whatever I bought would stop working a week after the warranty expires (happened to my 56" DLP and 20" widescreen monitor).

Re:impact force? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35142704)

This would have been more impressive if they dropped monitors instead of SD cards. Of course I'd hate to be the unlucky recipient of a free Samsung Monitor that "dropped in" from outer space.

Re:impact force? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35142824)

That would be interesting, but impractical. SD cards are hard enough to find if dropped on the carpet 3 feet in front of you. You'll need the plane just to find them again! Not to mention possible liability if someone's child gets hit.

Re:impact force? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35143082)

All integrated devices actually have a common vulnerability; they're composed of a chunk of silicon in a holder with very thin and fragile wires threaded through to the inner silicon. Those wires are susceptible to shock damage, and is in fact the primary reason that dropping your cellphone is bad... pretty much nothing else in the phone (besides the glass screen) is fragile enough to even worry about a fall of a few feet...

Re:impact force? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143324)

There's a chance they could drop their SD cards without the paper airplane and they'd still work. They don't have much mass and I'm sure their terminal velocity isn't that high. Plus, do they contain many parts that could actually break?

Reminds me of this old review of an early mp3 player (they didn't have hard disks small enough to fit inside them at the time):

"Both players [MPMan and the RIO] were able to withstand a vigorous shaking with no skips whatsoever" --Matt Rosoff, C|net

Seriously, if Samsung wanted to impress me, it'd do some harsh conditions tests that basically act like normal conditions only with time greatly accelerated. So they'd do constant rewriting tests at elevated temperature and humidity, constant insertion/removal, etc. Then, they might do these with competing cards as well. Finally, they'd look at typical and heavy use one might make of the card, and use their test figures to estimate the lifetime of the card. Of course, it might all be moot if the expected lifetime greatly exceeds the expected time when no current products will even accept the cards anymore. They should do this for microSD, since those probably have the "weakest" memory chips, due to having to be so small.

Re:impact force? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35143744)

Considering previous comparable media players were disc based, that was a big concern for anyone who wanted to use it on, say, a rough highway stretch or while jogging. It seems ridiculous now, but it was a legitimate concern when they were new.

Re:impact force? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35144084)

If they want to truly impress *me* they'll have do the same with their LCD monitors.

Re:impact force? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35143502)

Mass of the object does not determine terminal velocity(though it indirectly can). Distance from center of the earth and mass of what you are going through(density of air) does as it gives you resistance.

Ever dropped a bowling ball and tennis ball from the same height at the same time?

Since an SD card has such a low surface area, it will have less resistance and a faster terminal velocity.

Re:impact force? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35144212)

It has about the same surface area as a coin, and the coin masses much higher. Thus I postulate the terminal velocity of an SD card will be quite low, much like a coin.

Re:impact force? (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#35144322)

Surface area to mass ratio is a major factor. Unless you could get it to fall edge-first (actually pretty difficult unless the air is perfectly still) you're looking at quite a lot of resistance, which will hinder your terminal velocity.

Re:impact force? (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35145000)

Mass of the object does not determine terminal velocity(though it indirectly can).

Terminal velocity is when mass times gravitational acceleration equals air resistance as a function of velocity. Why on earth would you think that mass does not determine terminal velocity?

wow (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142544)

this is an awesome stunt. There is a lot of things t talk about, lots of science. But no, here no /. we just poo-poo and nit pic interesting things to death.

Clearly the stunt was a fail because no one is talking about it~

Reminds me of the WKRP turkey drop (4, Funny)

pjbgravely (751384) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142576)

"It's a helicopter, and it's coming this way. It's flying something behind it, I can't quite make it out, it's a large banner and it says, uh - Happy... Thaaaaanksss... giving! ... From ... W ... K ... R... P!! No parachutes yet. Can't be skydivers... I can't tell just yet what they are, but - Oh my God, Johnny, they're turkeys!! Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they're plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this!"

Re:Reminds me of the WKRP turkey drop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35142656)

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!!"

Re:Reminds me of the WKRP turkey drop (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143752)

Wild turkeys can fly. I didn't believe it until I saw one in a tree just a few weeks ago. Then, it got a bit scared of us and fluttered over to another branch.

OTOH, plump, farm-raised, hormone-injected turkeys? I guess they can't fly. Given that the wild version prefers to walk or skip-hop, the domesticated version probably loses flight due to the way it's treated.

Pigs are like this too. Wild boar vs. farm pig? No comparison. The boar has to coexist with mountain lions. 'nuff said.

Re:Reminds me of the WKRP turkey drop (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35144110)

I think you mean that can 'fly'.

In very short low distance. You throw a wild turkey out of a helicopter it will plummet to it's death.

Re:Reminds me of the WKRP turkey drop (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35144198)

I don't think a wild turkey thrown out of a chopper would die. Gliding is easier than flying. Then again, it may not have a gliding instinct since the flying that I've seen on YouTube vids I pulled up is all of the "escape into a tree" variety. Just because gliding is easier than gaining altitude, doesn't mean they know how to do it.

In this vid [youtube.com] there does appear to be some gliding, although it's not very clear (towards the end).

Without actually putting the helicopter scenario to the test, it's all just a matter of opinion.

Re:Reminds me of the WKRP turkey drop (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35144300)

Wild turkey can fly quite well. They also can see very well. They are however incredibly stupid, I have shot at one, missed it and called the same bird back in.

Interesting (2)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142592)

First of all, I think the snide tone of the ITWorld article is annoying. It's actually kind of cool, there is a point to it, and as far as "litter" goes, one or two happy meals from McDonalds would contain as much paper and electronics and plastics as all those planes combined. Funny how ITWorld didn't even report if the recovered cads actually worked or not (most obviously they did, or ITWorld would have made fun of Samsung otherwise).

What I find interesting is that the planes dispersed so drastically - the distance from Russia to Australia is extremely impressive. I would've expected jet streams and weather systems and the like to have tended to keep the planes together, but I guess up that high things are calm they are free to go their own way for a very long way.

Re:Interesting (4, Funny)

cinderellamanson (1850702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143076)

This is Samsung's method for targeting slashdot.

1. Put the engineers in charge of marketing for a day.

2. Have someone assess the marketing value of the mess and write an article.

3. Submit said article to slashdot.

4. ???

5. Profit!!

6. Laugh maniacally as you patent a business method for bypassing adblock via social engineering and interdisciplinary cross-training.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35144882)

Your happy meals contain electronics!?

Don't be so grumpy! (5, Insightful)

Syncerus (213609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142674)

Come on, admit it. The little kid inside you thought this was really cool. :D

If this doesn't bring a smile to your face, then you're not a real geek.

Unbelievable (2)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142854)

Neither TFA nor the project website [projectspaceplanes.com] contain decent images of the actual paper airplanes. What design did they choose, and how did they find a design that would work this well?

Re:Unbelievable (4, Informative)

linuxgurugamer (917289) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142968)

Actually, if you would read the entire blog, there is a good photograph of the final airplane design, except without the fancy printing.

For those who are link-challenged, here is a link to the blog entry:

http://projectspaceplanes.com/post/1222772296/weve-finally-decided-on-the-space-plane-design-to [projectspaceplanes.com]

and this is a link to a picture of the airplane itself:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_l9mhq6XVFB1qdcoh8o1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=0RYTHV9YYQ4W5Q3HQMG2&Expires=1297285744&Signature=Hvs3kCBFGFbuQYaDS2iMFyR%2BH7k%3D [amazonaws.com]

Re:Unbelievable (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143130)

Neither TFA nor the project website [projectspaceplanes.com] contain decent images of the actual paper airplanes. What design did they choose, and how did they find a design that would work this well?

I doubt the design had much to do with it, at least as far as the distance. Being light weight, they probably simply got caught up in upper atmosphere winds and were blown a long distance rather than flown a long distance. The design looks like a basic delta wing glider - with the SD card providing balance. I wonder if any hit anything? Could you imagine the surprise on a pilots face, if Samsung had written small notes on them, when at 30k a note that says "help me. I am prisoner on an alien spacecraft" hits the windshield? No that would be a prank!

Re:Unbelievable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35143152)

There's a fantastic video: http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/nstv/2011/02/paper-planes-dropped-from-space.html

Re:Unbelievable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35143216)

Looking at the picture of the paper airplane it's nothing special. I have been folding the exact same ones since I was a kid. They were always the best design for us out of all the ones we used to make as kids. Simple to fold and good flyers.

Not Samsung - Joel Veitch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35142870)

http://projectspaceplanes.com/
http://rathergood.com/spaceplanes

Samsung..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35142890)

And yet they can't come out with an 2.2 update to their Android 2.1 phones?!? I'm feeling cheated from this stunt (never mind how cool it might be)

A few disjointed thoughts (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35142992)

1) From a security standpoint... if I were an *sshat, I would quickly make some airplanes, stick some infected SD cards in them, and drop them outside of known geek's houses. I bet a guy who wouldn't dream of inserting some random USB key into his computer could be suckered if he thought he'd found one of those "space SD cards".

2) I'm ashamed to admit this, but after reading the article (btw I'm ashamed to admit that as well) in my mind I kept hearing the Amoeba Boys leader's voice saying "Littering!" (if you weren't a PowerPuff Girls fan, you'll have no idea).

3) The little boy inside me thinks this was REALLY cool. Paper planes from Europe landing all over the world!

Re:A few disjointed thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35145054)

This anonymous coward thanks you for sharing 3 thoughts.
Also, number 1 only worked on 1.5 out of 4 people for me. .5 called me as soon as he saw the airplane on his doorstep. I probably would have got better results if I didn't use the classic paper airplane design. Or maybe I should have given the paper a weathered look. Oh well, anyone else have better luck?

Would have been cooler if... (2)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143098)

...Nikon or Canon did the same thing but with small cameras, and then recorded the flight path of each airplane. Slightly more expensive, but the cool factor is way higher.

Re:Would have been cooler if... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143354)

It would be even cooler if they just put gold bars, or gift cards for a million dollars in them, and dropped them all on my front lawn.

I think it's cool. (2)

Gavin Scott (15916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143234)

While I am dubious of all the reported sightings/recovery of the planes (which seem rather fantastic), I think it's cool that Samsung did (or at least supported) this, and it will increase the chance I pay the extra buck next time I'm out choosing whether to pay $8 for a more generic, or $9 for a Samsung SD card :)

G.

Blatant Asshattery (2)

Revotron (1115029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143286)

Samsung's awesome paper-plane-drop idea was nowhere near as environmentally disastrous as the amount of CO2 the author of TFA released while hyperventilating over this harmless stunt. ITWorld is now the world's number-one emitter of smug. (Credit for the idea of "smug" pollution goes to South Park season 10 episode 2)

That is some glideslope (1)

slashnik (181800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143302)

1 in 528 glideslope, not sure I believe this

Re:That is some glideslope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35143564)

I'm not sure if I believe it either, but glide slope doesn't account for updrafts.

Re:That is some glideslope (1)

hamster_nz (656572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143688)

Agreed - As anybody who has thrown a paper plane knows that they have an innate tendency to locate and circle in updrafts, and they are not at affected by the drop in air pressure at altitude...

Re:That is some glideslope (1)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143856)

I was thinking the same thing. Also the fact that more than a few have been supposedly spotted out of 100... I highly doubt they'll find more than 1 or 2 outside of (relatively) densely populated europe (assuming they went as far as they are claiming). The amount of land where any person can see at any given time is a very small percentage of the earth's surface.

As far as actually making it that far, I also highly doubt it, but then again there are currents and updrafts (as the other guy stated), and surely they would have run into condensation along the way and fallen straight down.

Re:That is some glideslope (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35143872)

1:528 is almost straight down, as opposed to 528:1 which would be amazing.

Re:That is some glideslope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35144024)

1 in 528 == 1/528, right? Seems like a pretty shallow slope to me, unless the "glide" variety switches their coordinates for some reason.

Re:That is some glideslope (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35144276)

Meh...high-performance gliders have a glideslope of something like 40:1 (don't quote me on that, but IIRC it's in the ballpark), yet they can fly hundreds of miles if conditions are right (at a 10,000 foot launch altitude -- which is absurdly high -- a 40:1 glideslope would give a range of only 40,000 feet or roughly eight miles).

Re:That is some glideslope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35144330)

Except that high performance gliders are usually piloted by very skilled pilots who seek out rising air currents and are adept at keeping the aircraft at in the perfect attitude. Considering how difficult is it to even fly this distance in a conventional high altitude balloon, and that patterns of high altitude winds make it fairly difficult for air masses to cross the equator, I call shenanigans.

Re:That is some glideslope (1)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#35145618)

Glide slope is probably irrelevant. The upper atmosphere windspeeds (up to 40 m/s) are much greater than your average paper plane's airspeed (5 m/s or so), so the plane isn't so much flying as it is falling slowly while carried by the wind. The right calculation is to figure out how far the wind will carry it in the time it takes to hit the ground. Which still gives an answer much smaller than Germany to Jakarta, so I agree that the "sightings" are probably hoaxes.

http://idle.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1985734&cid=35145548 [slashdot.org]

Over Reacting (1)

j33pn (1049772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143362)

Who hit me with this airplane? Which one of you guys hit me with this GD airplane?! WHO HIT ME WITH THIS F-ING PAPER AIRPLANE!

No one will remember Samsung SD cards ... (3, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143366)

Sure ... AFTER everyone stops talking about the crazy stunt ... people will probably stop talking about Samsung SD cards. And in a couple weeks people will stop talking about Super Bowl ads ... and its the most expensive advertising time in the world. But in both cases, a lot of people will have already bought the product before they attention fads away.

Thats how marketing works. Thats WHY marketing exists ... to get people information about your product and get people interested in it. No press is bad press when it comes to marketing. If people are looking at you for just about any reason, they aren't looking at your competition.

While the submitter may be too much of a poser geek to be interested in things like the paper airplane design and the course something would take to find its way to Sydney from Germany or any of the thousands of other neat things that can be learned from this event, I will certainly be spending some time looking into it and that means I'll most certainly see a whole bunch of Samsung SD cards and advertisements along the way.

The fact that you posted this story to slashdot more or less entirely invalidates your summary statement. We're talking about their SD cards right now. It worked.

Note to submitter: You probably should ever consider taking up a job in public relations or marketing.

It can't go around the world... (1)

hamster_nz (656572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143600)

Dropping a paper plane from 30km, where the air pressure only a few % of that at sea level, where it is most probably plummeting like a stone for half the distance, and we are expected to believe that they make it around the world? I would be very impressed if this was true.

But I think GPS Boomerang [gpsboomerang.com] is far more geek. An EPP foam plane that flys home from up to 100,000ft to land where I want it to go.

  I would much rather have one of those.

Glide ratio of 200:1 (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143834)

This has to be the most efficient aircraft ever made: those paper airplanes got a glide ratio of 200:1! That's insane! Comparatively, most aircraft get glide ratios around 15:1. [wikipedia.org]

According to the article they launched from Wolfsburg, Germany and some landed in Bangalore, India. Wolfram alpha says that is >7000km [wolframalpha.com] . The 122,00 feet is about 37km.

Re:Glide ratio of 200:1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35144236)

Have you allowed for the jetstream in your calculations? It might be 15:1, with the surrounding air moving at 200km/h. Under those conditions, a screwed up paper ball may well achieve 200:1 ratios!

Re:Glide ratio of 200:1 (1)

hamster_nz (656572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35144320)

So are you saying that the terminal velocity of a screwed up piece of paper is 1km/h? (or 1fps for our American friends...)

Re:Glide ratio of 200:1 (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35144430)

You forgot two things:
1) Glide ratio applies to the distance forward traveled compared to the distance downward traveled in a column of still air. The jet stream can reach well over a hundred miles an hour, which really kicks your glide ratio up a couple of notches;
2) Glide ratio does not take weather-related sources of lift into effect. If the air around you is rising faster than you are descending through it, you will gain altitude, even though your flight path relative to the AIR around you (as opposed to the ground underneath you) is downwards.

If you think about it for a couple of minutes, this is intuitively obvious. How far can a suitably proficient pilot, in favorable conditions, fly a glider? How long can it remain aloft? What is it's glide ratio?

Re:Glide ratio of 200:1 (1)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#35145696)

Even if you assume it falls as slowly at high altitude as it does near the ground, and even if you assume it's traveling in jet-stream speed winds the whole way, there's still no way for it to go from Germany to Jakarta before it hits the ground. See math & assumptions here:

http://idle.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1985734&cid=35145548 [slashdot.org]

Weather-related sources of lift may be significant over short distances, but what goes up must come down, so updrafts are as common as downdrafts. A human glider pilot can deliberately steer the plane to stay within the updrafts, but a paper plane cannot. For a plane to travel 7000 miles and remain in an updraft the entire way is so unlikely as to be impossible.

Re:Glide ratio of 200:1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35144982)

The page you linked shows that sailplanes can get a gliding ratio of 70. With winds and thermals this doesn't sound to far fetched really. I've seen small (40cm) wooden gliders go out of sight, never to be seen again. These where not controlled and launched by throwing them from the ground.

Go ahead and do it (2)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 3 years ago | (#35143990)

"Don't hire ... definitely don't ... chances are that all the press you'll get will be about the crazy stunt and no one will remember a thing ..."

I detect jealousy.

Go ahead: do hire ... definitely do ... chances are that all the press you'll get will be about the crazy stunt ... which is fine. So go ahead and do it.

It's all in fun until someone loses an eye! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35144160)

Look, up in the sky! It's a paper... Ouch!

The Corporate Gods must be Crazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35144678)

It's a bird! It's a ...wait. What the hell??

What a horribly cynical article (1)

Cloud K (125581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35145282)

First they put "Scientists" in quotation marks. Ouch.

"one of the more aggressive attempts at littering in modern times"

"Samsung never explained why it believed it could prove the reliability of its products by scattering them and random bits of paper across the globe"

Oh come on. Get a sense of fun and science and stuff! This is one of the most grumpy-old-fart articles I've read in some time. It doesn't prove much about Samsung's cards... who cares... it proves that they're willing to helps a bunch of geeks pull a fun little stunt. Makes Samsung seem not entirely evil and grumpy, which seems like a good enough image to have.

Now if only their TVs worked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35145498)

It would be cool to attach planes to exploding capacitors in their LCD TVs and see how far they went: http://www.earthinfo.org/samsung-tv-makes-a-strange-clicking-sound/

Focus on product quality, not cheap marketing stunts!

http://bit.ly/hYrEwe

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