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Hurricane Simulator to Destroy Full Size Building

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the ka-whump dept.

162

Anonymous Coward writes "This is a shameless plug, but I thought Slashdot readers might be interested in the hurricane simulator system the company I work for (Cambridge Consultants) helped develop for the University of Western Ontario. The BBC article is light on the kind of technical details Slashdot readers enjoy, so here are some titbits. The servomotors for the 100+ valves are controlled over an IPv4, gigabit Ethernet network connected to an Athlon dual-core AMD64 PC. The entire real-time control system runs on this machine, utilizing well above 90% of each processor core, and roughly 30% of the network capacity. The sampling frequency of the control system places a huge demand on the machine, with about 70,000 context switches taking place every second. Yes, it runs Linux. "

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Yes, But... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604532)

Does it run on Lin...

Dammit, you stole my line!

Yes, but... (5, Funny)

LoonyMike (917095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604536)

does it run Vista?

Re:Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604571)

Yes, But slowly, and with all the eye candy turned way down..

Re:Yes, but... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604660)

Does it play the guitar while people are dying ?

Re:Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604829)

Along with video of cops beating up hippies!

Re:Yes, but... (4, Funny)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604733)

No, but John C. Dvorak has heard rumors that it will run Mac OS X.

Re:Yes, but... (1)

akunkel (74144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604844)

Thats what makes it blow.

Re:Yes, but... (1)

ronz0o (889697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604851)

Yes, it can. The only problem is that they couldn't tell when it would crash...

Can you imagine a beowulf cluster of these? (1)

p00ya (579445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604884)

But seriously, how large can it scale before it gets tagged a WMD?

Re:Yes, but... (1)

[ella] (122929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604979)

If specs for Vista don't change, this machine might just be up for it!

Re:Yes, but... (1)

blake3737 (839993) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605731)

sure it will, but the hurricane will crash about 10 minutes into the presentation, i mearn.. erm... storm.

Yeah... (4, Funny)

insanarchist (921436) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604537)

Yeah, but can it run... er... nevermind.

Re:Yeah... (2, Interesting)

rwven (663186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605001)

To me...it just sounds like an article full of buzz-words. None of that makes a bit of difference as to the outcome. Who, frankly, gives a crap that the simulator uses utilizes "well above 90% of each processor core, and roughly 30% of the network capacity." I do this with my home computer on a daily basis. I'm interested in the core story but trying to win over /. users by using a bunch of words that are "supposed" to mean something just seems lame to me.

MOD PAINFULLY UNFUNNY FAGGOT DOWN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605479)

MODS, PLEASE TAKE NOTICE

PARENT POSTER = HOMO

MOD DOWN

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
Edit Comment You are not logged in. You can log in now using the convenient form below, or Create an Account, or post as Anonymous Coward.

Nick

Re:MOD PAINFULLY UNFUNNY FAGGOT DOWN (-1, Offtopic)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605609)

Mods, please take notice:

Parent poster = Homophobe

Mod down!

Re:MOD PAINFULLY UNFUNNY FAGGOT DOWN (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605892)

STFU mr. gay faggot troll.
PS, ever heard of GNAA? You're not cool enough to join.

Listen (5, Funny)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604549)

If you guys in Western Ontario want a hurricane so bad why don't you just come live here in Key West, Florida?
 

Re:Listen (5, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604815)

Because they still want to be able to vote.

Re:Listen (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605769)

Voting in florida is easy, regardless of whether or not you're a US citizen, or even alive for that matter....

Those CPU stats in full... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604550)

10% idle
89.95% kernel (switching threads)
0.05% user (generating 70,000 "blow" commands per second)

Hurricanes may blow, but abusing thread-level concurrancy definitely sucks.

Yeah right... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604584)

I'm sick of bloody UNIX fanbois dissing threads. Hey! Lets just run the whole fucking internet as one bloody state machine shall we, whilst we're at it - run every fucking concurrent action in the entire world sequentially, preferably by hacking the instruction dispatcher on one bloody great VAX?

Re:Yeah right... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604635)

Actually I dissed the abuse of threads. But please don't let that stop you showcasing your spelling challenges.

Re:Yeah right... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605125)

What exactly is spelt wrong in that post? 'Fanboi' is a common slang spelling (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fa nboi [urbandictionary.com] ) and internet does not require a capital letter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_capitalizat ion_conventions [wikipedia.org] . Ispell reports no other errors.

PS, you're a dick-wad... (and no, it's no longer common practice to write acronyms with periods in them, in case you decide to wade in with any more ill-considered criticisms)

Re:Those CPU stats in full... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604694)

Hi, I'm the guy who submitted the story, and the engineer who designed the control system and wrote the software. Your CPU stats are hopelessly wrong. The control system is much more than the issue of "blow" commands. It's actually a sophisticated adaptive and predictive controller that requires millions of floating point operations per second, in addition to the overhead of network I/O and context switching. I don't remember the exact breakdown of idle/user/kernel, but I don't think kernel was above 10%. Far from being an abuse of threads, it's actually a conceptually simple and effective way of designing the software.

Re:Those CPU stats in full... (5, Funny)

MrFlibbs (945469) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604723)

Yes, but this doesn't change the fact that your system *blows* ...

Re:Those CPU stats in full... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604806)

It's actually a sophisticated adaptive and predictive controller that requires millions of floating point operations per second

Millions? Better fire up that 8087!

in addition to the overhead of network I/O and context switching

Ahhh. Overhead.

Re:Those CPU stats in full... (1)

santaliqueur (893476) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605636)

i think you need your joke-o-meter recalibrated.

Re:Those CPU stats in full... (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605716)

Hate to rain on your parade Mr Engineer Sir, but that whoosh whoosh sound isn't coming from your hurricane machine, but the joke flying over...never mind.
 

Re:Those CPU stats in full... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605840)

I work for Cambridge Consultants.

So I am really getting a kick out of most of these replies.

Some of you guys are very good at making it sound like you know what you are talking about.

But trust me... you don't.

I think you just want to make yourself sound smart, when in reality you don't know what you are talking about.

This is how bad info gets passed around.

If you dont know about the topic....dont make yourself sound like you do.

Because some Slashdotters believe anything they hear.

Linux doomsday device (4, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604563)

The disturbing thing is that this isn't the first Linux installation on a machine which is designed to destroy buildings..

Re:Linux doomsday device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605726)

Still, I would've figured that if they're going to build something to destroy buildings and terrorize society in general, it would have run on Windows.

Nearly 100% (0, Redundant)

JonathanR (852748) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604566)

At well above 90% CPU load, there wouldn't be too much more room to move eh?

Doubts... (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604568)

I have doubts that you can accurately simulate a hurricane without the space around the house. Some damage is done directly by the wind, yes, but there's a LOT of damage that is done by the wind blowing things into other things and weakening them.

Do you randomly throw in pieces of tin roof and stop signs to simulate that? And trees? I doubt it, since there isn't enough space in your simulator for that.

As for being "perfectly repeatable", I have doubts for that as well. That assumes that you could build the exact same house over and over. The article even states that the placement of the nails in the house matters, and I can't see anyone being that perfect.

Overall, I think it's a neat project, but unlikely to really provide more insight than 'yeah, wind fscks shit up.'

Re:Doubts... (5, Insightful)

MrSquirrel (976630) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604594)

Yes, flying debris can punch holes in houses and such, but WIND is what will completely tear the house down (remember seing roofs blown off on your t.v. and whole houses collapsing?). The point is, they're NOT going to be able to do a goddamn thing about flying debris (well, they could build all houses out of 10" of tempered steel), what they are trying to do is make houses designed to be as hurricane resistant as possible.
FTA:"This is relevant because most of the damage to houses occurs in places where there are sudden changes in pressure, such as at the corners and edges of the building.
"You get swirling and rapid changes from positive to negative pressure," said Mr Wilkinson.
"If you were going to pull a panel off a roof you wouldn't just heave on it, you'd try to waggle it, and that's the most destructive thing for the wind to do.""

Re:Doubts... (4, Interesting)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604784)

I found the article to be pretty fascinating, but I'm really curious as to how they've modeled hurricane winds. The hardware details are pretty mundane, but the algorithms they've used to model a hurricane would be a very interesting subject.

Re:Doubts... (2, Interesting)

saider (177166) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604860)


The point is, they're NOT going to be able to do a goddamn thing about flying debris (well, they could build all houses out of 10" of tempered steel), what they are trying to do is make houses designed to be as hurricane resistant as possible.


A cement brick house (standard in Florida) is able to stop any debris hurled at it by a hurricane. The standard test is usually a 2x4 at 120mph or somesuch. One weak spot is the connection between the roof and the wall. If these are not properly secured, the roof will be lifted up into the windstream, and you've seen the video of this happening. Protecing the openings of the house (windows, doors, etc) is important because of this same effect. As long as you protect your openings and your house was properly constructed, hurricanes are not a problem. And we have known how to build hurricane proof houses for a long time. People just like being cheap and want to know how much they can get away with.

Re:Doubts... (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605048)

Especially for owners of quarter million dollar beachfront property. The government provides insurance at lower than market rates even for inland properties and will rebuild the same (up to) $250,000 property an unlimited number of times. Owners would probably rather just build a brand new one rather than repair one left standing (nothing is like new like BRAND NEW!) so they build them as if hurricanes were a myth and just evacuate when one comes anywhere near. Afterall, these particular bastards have an inland house somewhere and will simply spend government tax dollars to rush construction so their new beach house is ready by the time they want to vacation there...

Re:Doubts... (2, Insightful)

Smeagel (682550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605105)

$250,000 in the miami area? They can probably rebiuld their front porch with that money...nice theory though. It's quite a bit more likely that they want a beautiful house that they can show off, rather than a cheap house that they can rebuild. Nothing quite says "waste of beach front" like a cement/brick house without many windows.

Re:Doubts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605594)

The government provides insurance at lower than market rates even for inland properties and will rebuild the same (up to) $250,000 property an unlimited number of times.

Thats a laugh. FEMA flood insurance is a waste of money, even at the lower-than-market rates. It's easy to claim you'll rebuild a property an unlimited number of times when it takes over a decade to get around to doing, as some of the Hurricane Andrew residents (who sank thousands into government insurance and got the trailer they're still living in a decade later to show for it) can tell you. Now my question is, does Trent Lott have his house yet?

Cows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605241)

Don't forget flying cows. They gotta do the most damage.

You make a good point (2, Informative)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604598)

I have doubts that you can accurately simulate a hurricane without the space around the house. Some damage is done directly by the wind, yes, but there's a LOT of damage that is done by the wind blowing things into other things and weakening them.

Yes but scientists have all ready been firing 2X4s directly into different structures in order to test this. Its a lot easier than trying to directly test the effects of wind.
As for being "perfectly repeatable", I have doubts for that as well. That assumes that you could build the exact same house over and over. The article even states that the placement of the nails in the house matters, and I can't see anyone being that perfect.

Yeah. Its odd how some scientist can say a measurement can be perfectly repeatable when one of the major tenants of science is that there will always be variance. Perhaps what he meant is that the experiments will be repeatable within housing code because out in the real world the houses will be met with some variance in building quality.

Re: You make a good point (4, Funny)

hahiss (696716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604846)


Well, what I want to know is when science can evict variance; what are tenant's rights in scienceland?

Re: You make a good point (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605038)

>Yeah. Its odd how some scientist can say a measurement can be perfectly repeatable when one of the major tenants of science is that there will always be variance.

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." -Yogi Berra

Re:Doubts... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604639)

Yeah, I'm pretty sure the guys doing the experiments didn't think of that, good thing you happened to be here to set them straight.

Re:Doubts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605310)

Isn't it just great how there are so many experts here ready to give their useless advice?

Re:Doubts... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604645)

I think it might help get rules of thumb, but they do need to simulate objects being thrown at them, of random types and at random locations from random angles.

I saw a Science Channel show that showed that the biggest weakness of any structure is the windows. The biggest improvement can be had by just using a plastic film over both sides so they can hold the wind out once it's been hit by a large object. Once it lets wind in, the wind tends to gut a building.

Re:Doubts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604811)

It's ironic: the test hangar is known as the "three little pigs" facility, yet they've all missed the point of the story. Don't build your house out of sticks.

Re:Doubts... (1)

gameguy1957 (937850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604854)

We had three storms last year that knocked out power and two that damaged the house. The wind itself does cause damage but not enought to mention. However, if you add in the raid that comes from the storm then there's lots of damage. I think that after you get 20" - 30" of rain over a few hours it tends to soften things up for the wind. Trees that would withstand the wind force are pushed over once the ground is water logged. Same goes for the house. If you start getting plywood wet it will seperate and blow apart.

-JM

Re:Doubts... (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604927)

Perhaps the purpose is not to faithfully recreate the damage caused by a hurricane but to experiment with the hurricane itself.

Re:Doubts... (and how they were addressed) (5, Informative)

Froster (985053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605188)

I figured I'd chime in here as a Western Engineering Student, who had Prof. Kopp last year, let you know what he was up to in the Fall. Kopp only taught the second half of my course because the first half of the year (during Hurricane season) he went to New Orleans to study the devistation.

This project isn't meant to make a perfectly hurricane resistant house (though, you could try based on the results). As far as I know, the aim is to find what little things can be done to the average house to improve the chances of survival for the house, or at least the people in it. In the example of nailing trusses to the walls of the house, anyone who's actually been there to see or nailed a truss can attest to how weak that connection can be, and one possible change is to mandate exactly how the trusses need to be nailed, and perhaps develop a new nailing plate to ensure that the placement of the nail is exact each time (if there is a steel plate on each truss with only one hole, you know where the nail is going).

Also, for anyone wondering "why Western Ontario?", UWO is home to a very well respected wintunnel lab, which has tested many very well known buildings (Athens Olympic Stadium, CN Tower, numerous tall buildings in China to name a few). You can take a look here: http://www.blwtl.uwo.ca/Public/Home.aspx [blwtl.uwo.ca]

The real questions..... (0, Offtopic)

dedeman (726830) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604569)

"Yes, it runs Linux."

Yes, but the real ques.......Damn!!

"The BBC article is light on the kind of technical details Slashdot readers enjoy...."

You must be new he......oh, you said technical details, never mind.

What about the hurricane? (3, Interesting)

Attila the Bun (952109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604580)

BBC article is light on the kind of technical details Slashdot readers enjoy

...but not so light as the Slashdot article. Are you telling me that you've built a hurricane machine capable of destroying a building, and the most interesting part is the office PC which controls it?

Re:What about the hurricane? (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604609)

"In 2008, we expect to break it in a way that will make it unusable any further," said Professor Kopp.

This doesn't seem like the right case to mention burning their house down if they don't video tape it for us.

Re:What about the hurricane? (2, Insightful)

tomknight (190939) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604613)

To the standard /. reader the only interesting parts are:
  • 90% load
  • Athlon
  • Runs Linux

Obligatory (-1, Redundant)

jfcantu (983471) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604588)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those...

I feel a great disturbance in the force... (5, Funny)

insanarchist (921436) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604593)

...as if millions of nerds suddenly cried out, "yeah, but does it run...", and were suddenly silenced.

Re:I feel a great disturbance in the force... (0, Redundant)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604837)

No worries, we can still imagine a beowulf cluster of these things.

Take it to Texas (3, Funny)

doobie22 (970556) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604596)

New form of Execution for when it's all televised.

I for one .... (3, Funny)

fernandoh26 (963204) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604597)

I, for one, welcome our hurricane-simulating, house-destroying, Linux-running overlords.

Your overlords? (1)

beaverfever (584714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605106)

"I, for one, welcome our hurricane-simulating, house-destroying, Linux-running overlords."

You mean Canadians?

Re:I for one .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605461)

In Soviet Russia, hurricanes simulate YOU!

Now if only we had a beowulf cluster of hurricane-simulators...

Hurricane simulaiton in Canada (5, Funny)

kaufmanmoore (930593) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604652)

Hurricane simulation in Canada, The Carolina Hurricanes in North Carolina winning the Stanley Cup, the world is coming to an end.

Re:Hurricane simulaiton in Canada (1)

bohemian72 (898284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604774)

No. It's just the beginning of that pole reversal you've heard tell about.

What titbits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604655)

He said there were titbits, but I haven't seen any..

all i want to know is... (4, Funny)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604688)

...is the source GPLed? It would be fun to add some random hacks, like simulating a pickup truck smashing through the roof, on this puppy.

Re:all i want to know is... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605031)

i'd much rather see a puppy smashed through the roof of a pickup truck

Re:all i want to know is... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605698)

Ooooh, the next Rekkaturvat!

Real-time? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604693)

Runs on Linux? RTLinux, then? Or some other RTOS? I'm just curious what people are using out there.

This seems not good (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604709)

If you want to know what a hurricane does, study the effects of hurricanes. One of the best studies was done after Hurricane Andrew and the results were published in Fine Homebuilding Magazine.

What they found that the building code was pretty good. There were a couple of issues.

The rain of an actual hurricane was responsible for a lot of the destroyed homes. Rain would get up under the shingles and soak the fiberboard sheathing. The sheathing would swell and the roofing staples would then cut into the sheathing and the sheathing would blow off. Once that happened, the house was toast.

Another issue was that builders didn't always build to code. They found a lot of nails that missed the lumber they were aimed at.

This experiment misses a couple of things that caused most of the destruction during Hurricane Andrew.

If you state what winds you want a house to withstand, you can reliably build the house to withstand those winds. I am skeptical that this experiment will turn up anything we didn't already know.

Re:This seems not good (2, Insightful)

m0nstr42 (914269) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605145)

This experiment misses a couple of things that caused most of the destruction during Hurricane Andrew.

From the BYLINE of TFA: "A family home in Canada will be deliberately destroyed by scientists to understand how buildings react to hurricane force winds." Not the rain, not the building code, THE WINDS. That's how a controlled experiment works.

I am skeptical that this experiment will turn up anything we didn't already know.

I'm sure the researchers didn't do any literature review. At least not a thorough one if they didn't contact you, since you appear to be a leading expert.

Re:This seems not good (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605371)

Exactly. The students doing the experiment are Civil Engineering students. I go to UWO, and all they're trying to do is to see how they can make the building stand up to the wind better. Such things like cross braces in the walls may help and better anchoring of the floors above to the ones below. They expect that the top floor will tear off at least once. The house is being built by students at Fanshawe College.

Re:This seems not good (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605864)

Yes, but that's not the point. As the grandparent poster pointed out, excess water was what made the houses significantly more vulnerable to the winds.

If this thing is simulating anything, it's a tornado.

I'm also concerned about the fact that the house looks like it takes up just about the whole entire building. Air currents can do some funky things when given enough room and enough objects to bounce off of. Likewise, as another poster pointed out, the simulator doesn't consider the fact that there will be debris, trees, and cars all flying around in a severe hurricane. From my knowledge of physics, it would seem to me that the structural integrity of the house becomes significantly more vulnerable once the exterior is compromised.

I know that winds obviously play a significant role in hurricane damage, but it seems to me that these guys are missing the forest for the trees, and wasting a lot of time and money in the process.

IAAE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605508)

I stand by what I said. We have enough knowledge to build a structure that will withstand any wind you want to name. So what are we trying to do here? Are we trying to get more knowledge so we can reduce the cost of building such a structure by 10%? That is bad engineering. If you engineer something to close tolerances then you have to build it to close tolerances. From experience we know that builders cut corners and you can't rely on all the nails being exactly in the right place etc. The experiment itself seems like an attempt to get around the problem of not having a huge wind tunnel. I'm really skeptical there. They do have something to prove. Any data they get will be suspect because we can't have confidence in their method until it is proven.

The National Research Council of Canada has been studying structures vs. high winds since forever. If you want to build something in the arctic where the winds are high and there's not much rain, Canada is the place to get the information.

It occurs to me that the kind of second order effects that may trip this experiment up include turbulence. Turbulence occurs on the lee side of a structure and can produce quite a bit of vibration. You also get a vacuum on the lee side. So, you have wind pushing on the front and a vacuum pulling on the back. As far as I can tell, the experiment won't produce this effect which substantially increases the load on the structure.

I am an old goat with, as far as I can tell, a lot more experience than you. I have designed structures to withstand the wind forces experienced in the arctic. You, on the other hand, seem like a bit of a wet behind the ears troll.

Re:IAAE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605539)

> by Anonymous Coward
>
> I stand by what I said.

Do you see the irony?

What's a Hurricance? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604734)

What's the difference between a Hurricane and a Hurricance?

I love when legitimate questions get modded down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605571)

-1 Offtopic?

The term Hurricance was used twice in the OP and doing a Google search, I found quite a few references to the term.

At first, I thought it might be a typo, but "c" isn't located near "n" or "e" on the keyboard, so it's a rather random typo to be seen multiple times in a post, or even several times on the web.

Alas, no searching came with the answer, so I asked Slashdot.

Instead of an answer, my question gets modded down to -1.

Thanks.

Storm Surge (5, Insightful)

NorthWestFLNative (973147) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604742)

They're forgetting the most destructive part of a hurricane. Granted strong winds can and will do a significant amount of damage (I still remember what my parents house looked like after Ivan), but the most damage is done along the coastline where they get hit by storm surge. That's not something that can be replicated by a wind tunnel on a full scale. I drove along the southern Mississippi coast about 3 weeks ago. There is wind damage for miles inland, which I would expect, but it's nothing major. However the coastline is devastated. The first floors of buildings are completely washed out, destroying most of the buildings completely. The ones that were multi-story are collapsing in on themselves because their support is gone. Testing building construction in a simulator is a good place to start, but I hope it doesn't give people a false sense of security.

Re:Storm Surge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15604777)

Send a patch!

Re:Storm Surge (0)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605172)

How about the very real sense of security that comes from living in Canada far away from Hurricanes.

Of course we get blizzards but that's something else entirely.

Don't look at it as Canadians getting to big for their britches look at it as someone steping into the hole that should contain GW.

We'll step in feet first though.

Re:Storm Surge (1)

m0nstr42 (914269) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605197)

They're forgetting the most destructive part of a hurricane. Granted strong winds can and will do a significant amount of damage (I still remember what my parents house looked like after Ivan), but the most damage is done along the coastline where they get hit by storm surge.

That's how a controlled experiment works. If they wanted to study flood damage they would have done something completely different. Don't use criticism of someone's hard work as a launching point to tell anecdotes. If this gives anyone false hope it's because the media is portraying it as something it's not.

it's no big deal (0, Troll)

Kalinago (978201) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604773)

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

Learn how to link (0, Troll)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604776)

"light on the kind of technical details"... That must be the most random, arbitrary hyperlink I have ever seen.

Winds vs. Water (3, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604804)

"As a result, there is great interest in making buildings safer and more resilient to the damaging effects of extreme weather."

Well the winds could potentially destroy the home, but the mold and rot that comes from the standing water could render it worthless.

In a related News: CompTIA (4, Funny)

Coeurderoy (717228) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604841)

In a related News CompTIA warns governments against Linux: Runing Linux is proved to destroy Full sized buildings under various usage situations.

This proves that Linux can be used by Terorists, drug dealers that want to push competitors out and various other nefarious evildoer.

A member of CompTIA Steve B. indicated that Linux can even get chairs to fly around.

Obligatory... (1)

VorpalRodent (964940) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604869)

I'd love to see a beowulf cluster of those...but not just the PCs, the whole setup. It's just that, if we can learn something from knocking down a building, how much more could we learn by knocking down an entire city. My greatest fear would be to be the guy that wrote the code and to find a bug, or an incorrect parameter, after the building was destroyed.

To paraphrase Dave Barry, "Everything should go well, provided the researchers remember to change the settings from 'Biblical Flood' to 'Hurricane'."

Re:Obligatory... (1)

einnar2000 (985070) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605574)

Yeah, but how are you going to sneak up on a city with a cluster of these machines and install them?

NEWS FLASH from the MS FUD Dept. ! (4, Funny)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604885)

Linux destroys buildings (and drowns kittens and puppies, too) !

This would be much more interesting.... (2, Interesting)

15Bit (940730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604968)

...if it was the Big Brother house.

Not needed... (1)

Frightening (976489) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605089)

My neighbors run a daily simulation. Just give me a 'ring and I'll have them over in no time.

House has stood up so far, but I'm living life on the edge, ya know?

Woah (0, Offtopic)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605102)

Imagine a Beowulf clus....

Thank you! (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605187)

Awesome project, I think I might have heard about it on "Discovery" channel a while ago. (Or maybe a similar one.)
It's not every day that a house can be constructed just for the purpose of testing it with such strong winds.

I live in Nebraska, and I'm sure that some of the findings from projects like yours will find their way into our homes to protect them from tornadoes.

Re:Thank you! (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605384)

Yeah it was on Daily Planet last week but may have been on before that. The Professor Mike Bartlett who was interviewed on the show is bald under his hard hat :D and he's about one of the most "to the book" guys I've ever seen.

It uses gigabit ethernet and it runs Linux... So? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605260)

Typical Slashdot article: instead of mainly wondering about the force the device can generate and/or the effects of the generated force, the first thing the poster mentions is the type of network it utilizes and the fact that "OMG IT RUNS TEH LINUX!!1". Thanks for the info.

Sorry in advance! (0, Redundant)

ArthurDent (11309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605290)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those things!

Re:Sorry in advance! (1)

john_sheu (755802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605494)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those things!

Already done. It was called "Katrina".

Next Simulation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605328)

Rumor has it that the company is also working on a simulated volcano that will destroy a full size building. It looks to be powered by a Dell laptop [theinquirer.net] .

So, what you are saying ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605359)

is that you designed a gigantic hair dryer that instead of an on/off switch uses a powerful and expensive computer? That is the kind of thinking we like at Microsoft! We need people like you! If you have no problem in waking up in the morning knowing that 50 milion people hate you and you share the same passion as we do, that is listening to the tormented screams and howls of our products' users, drop us a line or two. A glorious career awaits! We might even overlook that unhealthy linux thing you had ... allthrough we'd prefer if you turned out to be a sick, children molesting bastard instead.

robot (1)

Z80a (971949) | more than 8 years ago | (#15605437)

now Airman can be done
anyone here know how to make a time stopping machine that does some sparkles in the process or at least some bubbles that rolls in the ground?
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