×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Watch the 1st American Newsreel of Sputnik Launch

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the pronounced-spoot-nick dept.

IBM 133

MMBK writes with this snippet from motherboard.tv: "Fifty three years ago this week, the Russians won the space race – or one of its laps – by successfully launching the Sputnik satellite into orbit. This newsreel, the first to report on the launch, recycles older animation about geosynchronic orbits, since all film footage was kept secret (note the very un-Soviet IBM logo on one of the massive computers)."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

133 comments

The space race is not one you can win... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33842972)

It really isn't. But even if it were, it's like saying because you're the first car on the track in practice, you should be awarded the trophy. It's not even as important as the fastest qualifying lap.

At most you can be in the lead, but win? Not even close!

Re:The space race is not one you can win... (0)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843066)

Winning the space race is reaching a technological milestone that the other guy couldn't.

Think of it as making the first car, period. That's definitely a win.

Re:The space race is not one you can win... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33843166)

Think of it as making the first car, period. That's definitely a win.

Ok...name them.

Then hide from all the people saying you're wrong.

Re:The space race is not one you can win... (2, Informative)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843282)

Yes it is. When space races happen, humanity wins.

Re:The space race is not one you can win... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33843516)

Uh, no? First of all, can we agree there was only one Space Race? And that it's over since decades? What did humanity win? Back it up with references, not just content-free assertions like "we wouldn't have computers today!", as if no other branch of human endeavor saw a use for computers.

Your point of view is such a common one among Space Nutters, but it falls apart under scrutiny. Makes me wonder why people cling to it so desperately.

Re:The space race is not one you can win... (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843590)

Umm the ability to have gps is one thing oh pretty much anything that uses satellites and of course Tang.

Re:The space race is not one you can win... (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843836)

Hi MR AC! You want references I'll be happy to give them to you even though I'm not the original poster. Here you go [nasa.gov]. For those that don't want to TFL I'll summarize a few: The world's most accurate topographical maps thanks to sats, two little girls that wouldn't be alive thanks to severe UV allergies that were saved thanks to NASA designed suits, the LVAD artificial pump, based on the shuttle fuel pumps, the metal in your golf clubs, the suits worn by NASCAR to protect drivers from fire, there is quite a few there and the list is no means exclusive.

You can say what you will about NASA and the space race, but the research NASA has done and funded has seriously benefited us all. Oh and those flashdrives we all love? IIRC they were originally designed so sats could have non volatile memory that could take the G-forces and not be damaged. Considering I never go anywhere without my thumbdrive and flash MP3 player I have to say Yay NASA!

Re:The space race is not one you can win... (2, Insightful)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844438)

There's no question that the research done originally for the purposes of space exploration has benefited humanity in other areas. The question is whether the money spent on it would have resulted in greater good if spent elsewhere. The answer to that question is relevant to the decision where to spend the money in the present and future. Not that I'm saying the two situtations are the same, but: A country could decide to dig the world deepest hole, and that effort would probably result in a number of benefits and accomplishments (besides the hole): lower unemployment, interesting archeology, high durability shovels, redstone [minecraftwiki.net]. It's still probably not the best investment.

Re:The space race is not one you can win... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844536)

I'd say it has to be a big "YES" because as we have sadly seen in the USA money that doesn't go to NASA ends up being used to make bigger bombs, military vehicles that are 4000% over budget and run like shit, oh yeah, and bridges to nowhere as well as Virginia having the best roads in the USA thanks to their senator "bringing home the bacon".

Respect (3, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#33842988)

I gotta admit begrudging admoration of the Russians for this one.

Re:Respect (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33843050)

How about for the first living creature in space? Or the first man in space? Or the first woman in space? Or the first space walk? Or the series of Moon, Venus and Mars landers? Or the automated Moon sample return mission?

If you have a real grasp of the history of the Space Race, you need a lot more than a "begrudging admoration" for the Soviets.

Have you read "Space Race" By Deborah Cadbury? You should. Then you should add "War in 2080" to your list.

Have to ask this... (1, Insightful)

painehope (580569) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843310)

What's so different between putting a man and a woman in space? I could see the "first child conceived in space" or the "first birth in space", but why does the (astro|cosmo)naut's gender matter in this context?

Oh, yeah, I forgot. If a "man" (which can refer to either a male or female when used to refer to the species collectively) goes to space, or the moon, or Uranus, it's not fair until we get a woman up there too. /. should run an "Ask Slashdot" article (or at least have a poll) about the extent to which political correctness (known as "PC bullshit" amongst us in the know) has infiltrated the scientific community.

I'm not saying you're a PC zealot, but saying something like that out of a context where it would make a scientific difference (menstrual cycles, neurobiology, etc.), which gender the lucky bastard who gets to get slung into space ahead of so-and-so many tons and tons of rocket propellant (which hopefully doesn't blow up and kill them, RIP Challenger) just says to me that irrelevant crap is penetrating deeper and deeper into our collective mindsets. Next we're going to have the NAACP suing NASA over their "Equal Opportunity" hiring practices or selection criteria to be an astronaut. I'd be tempted (just to be an asshole) to tell them that we've already sent chimps, but that's probably why I'm not the spokesperson for any large agencies or companies (because I'm a flippant guy with a crude sense of humor who thinks people take themselves too seriously given half a chance).

Now I'm being too serious and long-winded about a simple point. Time to take my happy pills and go back to drinking bourbon straight...

Re:Have to ask this... (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843390)

It is just another "first", just like "first American in space", but in each case it is a major exercise with more aims than just being first.

Re:Have to ask this... (3, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843454)

What's so different between putting a man and a woman in space? I could see the "first child conceived in space" or the "first birth in space", but why does the (astro|cosmo)naut's gender matter in this context?

I dare you to ask your mother, aunt, or grandmother that question.

Re:Have to ask this... (4, Funny)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843850)

Are you attempting to imply that those individuals are more likely to give an emotional response, instead of a rational one?

You sexist pig.

Re:Have to ask this... (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843712)

If a "man" (which can refer to either a male or female when used to refer to the species collectively) goes to space, or the moon, or Uranus, it's not fair until we get a woman up there too.

Must... resist... Uranus... joke...

Re:Have to ask this... (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843848)

I could see the "first child conceived in space" or the "first birth in space", but why does...

AFAIK, space is everywhere. All children were conceived and born in space. Oh, but you probably meant "outer space." But there is a concept we all have considered at one time or another... known as sex in zero-gravity. I would think gender matters in that context.

Re:Have to ask this... (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843912)

I could see the "first child conceived in space" or the "first birth in space"...

Well, I'll agree that the "first child conceived in space" might be interesting, I for one do not want to be on the spacecraft when her 'water breaks' for the "first birth in space".
I can't even imagine all the problems caused by that event in zero-gee! Yuck!

I hope none of that splashes into your bourbon. ;-)

Re:Have to ask this... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844224)

Birthing pod.
Which, considering some traditional ways of ending the presence of humans, could bring few interesting thoughts / something about "life & full circle" on one hand, and big shift for humanity on the other (because ways of body disposal might very well be different after all, not traditional anymore)

Or it will just happen in semi-normal conditions thanks to centrifugal "gravity" (it might indeed be required for human growth; surely there were some experiments with mice? A small colony of them on one of upcoming lunar landers might be interesting, too)

Re:Have to ask this... (1)

whrde (1120405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844226)

You have no idea about either the politics of space programs or sexism.

Sending things into space has an enormous impact on society. To the Soviet society (where everyone including women were "workers" as opposed to only paying and recognising half of society based on their "scientific difference") cosmonauts were an extremely important inspiration (especially for children, including girls).

It may be "irrelevant crap" to you, but in our gendered society and in the Soviet's slightly less gendered society, women leaders serve an irreplaceable role. Without "PC bullshit" you will never get the objective, non-gendered society you yearn for, but I'm not sure you've ever actually cared to try to understand gender issues.

(PS why do you assume that when a women gets hired it must be because of "Equal Opportunity" but after years of millions of men getting hired you assume every single one was qualified and not privileged?)

Re:Have to ask this... (1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844308)

I suspect the barriers to a woman becoming an astronaut are higher; if nothing else, societal pressures would almost preclude the option for most American girls. Perhaps being able to meet the physical requirements are more rare in women, as well; I don't know. At any rate, if it's harder for a woman to become an astronaut then it's a bigger deal when she makes it, isn't it? And when she does make it, it's bound to be reported; people love an underdog story.

In addition, in our society woman have historically been left behind in the workplace due solely to their sex - it is not a coincidence that there were zero American women astronauts until the 1980s; because of this, it might well be in NASA's best interest to point out that they are no longer using such practices. In that case, differentiating women may be simply a PR move.

I think you are seeing political correctness where it doesn't need to be involved at all. Recognizing women isn't the same as preferring them.

Re:Respect (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843582)

This one's nice too:

How about having a few decades of experience with operating a manned spacecraft essentially capable of beyond-LEO operation? Soyuz was actually the first spacecraft to carry macroscopic living creatures (most notably - turtles :p ) beyond LEO (around the Moon, to be exact) and bring them back safely (via the more complex profile of skip reentry), on a Zond 5 mission.

If you have $100 million, you can get yourself a ride [spaceadventures.com] (those are the folks so far responsible for all private orbital flights, except the first one to Mir around 1990)

And their lander reached a flight tested & operational status...

Re:Respect (-1, Flamebait)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844054)

I don't mean to belittle the Russian achievements in the beginning of the space age, but all of their program was just PR, which cost them a hell of a lot of money, without giving them a lot in return. This is not a problem with their experts, or their cosmonauts -- they were no less capable, but unlucky to have a regime that valued PR more than anything else.

The biggest difference in the two competing programs would be obvious to anyone who claims familiarity with it as you do.

The Russians went in only to claim records. The first satellite was such a huge PR success, that it shifted the Russian program into being just a justification for the front Pravda article for many decades.

Sputnik itself did nothing, except to orbit and broadcast a signal. The first US satellite, launched a few months later (i.e. no big difference, really), made a major discovery - the Van Allen belts.

The Russian space program went on to send a man, a woman, set some records for time spent in space, etc.

But, these were done on basically the same equipment. Vostok and Voshod, the first two types of space vehicles, were almost the same (tried and tested) thing, because the Russian space program didn't have the political backing to do new stuff and possibly fail setting new PR records.

At the same time, the Americans were experimenting. While the Russians were basically repeating Gagarin's flight, the US did a ton of innovation.

Unlike the Russian variants, even the first US manned spacecraft could (and did) maneuver in space. US spacecraft did the first orbital maneuvering, US was first to put two spacecraft simultaneously in orbit for the first time, first to try approach and docking in space.

When the Russians lost the race for the moon (their Soyuz program, which culminated in the the Salute and Mir stations) was designed for a Moon flight. When they, predictably, lost, the political elite totally gave up on the space program. Finally, Yeltzin buried what was left. Sad, indeed, with better political leadership USSR might have given the States a much bigger scare.

It is even worse for the USSR in the field of the unmanned programs. There, US has dominated from the start, and the lead is still unassailable.

There are many ways to compare space programs. If you go for the space, comparing actual technological achievements strikes me as a much more meaningful comparison than going for the records in the beginning.

Re:Respect (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844080)

Jeez, that's a really awful text

/ hides in shame

Re:Respect (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844436)

Hey, on the plus side it was only few minutes for you to realize what kind of nonsense you've written; "some people go their entire lifes," and so on...

Re:Respect (-1, Troll)

aekafan (1690920) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843052)

I have no respect for this or even what the Americans achieved. The whole frickin space race was nothing but a short sighted political pissing contest that left those whom want to get into space with jack squat, after our leadership realized the Soviet space program was a farce. Because of that political contest we ended up with the pile of manure known as the shuttle program, and wont make it to the moon again for nearly a century after the last time we put foot on it. What a complete waste of resources.

Re:Respect (2, Informative)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843096)

Because of that political contest we ended up with the pile of manure known as the shuttle program, and wont make it to the moon again for nearly a century after the last time we put foot on it. What a complete waste of resources.

Many would argue that going to the moon is a waste of resources, at least when it comes to sending humans. We have already been there and can send probes for a tiny fraction of the cost. Manned exploration is fine and dandy, but only in small doses if you want to get the best use of your resources. Same with Mars. Yes, we want to put a human up there and get them back, if for no other reason than "because it is there", but most of the really good science will happen with probes and rovers, not humans that have to sleep and eat half the day, using a majority of the resources to launch and maintain the craft simply to keep them alive.

Wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33843144)

"Wow, look at that rover go! I want to be a scientist when I grow up!"

"HOLY SHIT, IS THAT SOME MAN ON MARS? OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG I DON'T CARE THAT I NEED TO STUDY MATH!"

Guess which one comes out of the mouths of children. Probes might do good science, but man alone inspires our kids to become scientists.

Re:Wrong. (2, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843176)

Probes might do good science, but man alone inspires our kids to become scientists.

You lack imagination and underestimate children. To think that the only reason a child would want to enter science is because they saw a spaceman on the surface of mars is absurd. Most don't need to be manipulated, only pointed in the right direction. And not everyone in science gets to fly to the moon. Actually, most of the people who get to fly to the moon aren't scientists at all. Some people enter science out of the desire to be part of something bigger than themselves. Humans landing on the moon helps, but if you think that landing rovers that crawl all over the place for months sending back photos, and crashing probes into asteroids, and videoing comets explode over Jupiter isn't freaking cool, then yes, you lack imagination.

Re:Wrong. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843470)

Remind us again how that enthusiasm went after Moon landings, with lots of footage available?

Re:Respect (0, Troll)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843216)

Many would argue that going to the moon is a waste of resources

Humans are a waste of resources

Thinking is a waste of resources

Moving is a waste of resources

Reproducing is definitely is a waste of resources

I suggest you do us a favour and consider that last point carefully.

Re:Respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33843998)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3477455.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Think about that for a second, 21m in one day is considered good for a rover. A single human could cover the same distance a rover takes in a year in a day (with ample time for science, sleeping, and eating of course). Not to mention the many different tasks a human could do that a rover can't accomplish (like scooping a hole deeper than 1 meter to collect samples). Also rovers are *very* limited by weight and amount of stuff they can fit on board, while a human can just have a duffel bag with more specialized tool than 10 rovers could possibly carry. Probes are cheaper, but humans having to sleep/eat half the day is not a limiting factor compared to the slowness of a rover.

Re:Respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33844174)

You're completely misunderstanding the situation. The entire reason why rovers are so limited is because we only have the capability to send tiny rovers which are powered entirely by solar power (which is much weaker than on earth).

The problem with sending humans isn't the time they spend eating and sleeping, but their resource consumption. You can't power a human from a solar cell. You can't put a human into a "powered-down" state for the journey. Also, you can't crash-land humans using airbags, and you can't just leave them on mars when the mission is over.

If you want to send humans to mars, you have to include enough food for the journey there, the time on mars, and the journey back. You have to include enough water and oxygen at least for the journey there (and relying upon the technology to obtain water and oxygen once on mars is a pretty big risk). You also have to provide some means to get them back again, which means a lander capable of returning to mars orbit.

All of that is assuming that the humans are capable of functioning (even with mars' lower gravity) after months in space.

If we could send a single human to mars, we could also send a dozen robots, each far more capable than any human.

Re:Respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33843192)

I have no respect for this or even what the Americans achieved. The whole frickin space race was nothing but a short sighted political pissing contest that left those whom want to get into space with jack squat, after our leadership realized the Soviet space program was a farce. Because of that political contest we ended up with the pile of manure known as the shuttle program, and wont make it to the moon again for nearly a century after the last time we put foot on it. What a complete waste of resources.

Bullshit. Almost everything humanity has achieved was done for selfish reasons. The only reason we haven't achieved more in space is because, for now, nobody has any selfish reason to do so. (eg. there's no money to be made in space.)

The "space race" was some of the best work humankind has ever done, for all the worst reasons.

If it wasn't for that political/national pissing contest, we'd never have gone to the moon, or into orbit, at all. Maybe we'd have done a few more SpaceShipOne-style sub-orbital flights.

Re:Respect (2, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843536)

The "space race" was some of the best work humankind has ever done, for all the worst reasons.

That's true on a much more fundamental level than you put.

In the case of Russians, for example:
Which rocket put Sputnik into orbit? One from R-7 lineage.
Which rocket put Yuri Gagarin into orbit? One from R-7 lineage.
Which rockets put Soyuz and Progress spacecraft, and many other payloads into orbit? ...yeah, from R-7 lineage.

What was the first operational ICBM? R-7 Semyorka. ...not even very good as an ICBM, not very practical. But turned out to be a fabulous launcher; it is "the most reliable ... the most frequently used launch vehicle in the world" [esa.int] (and that's coming from, basically, its competitor)

Re:Respect (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844108)

Progress spacecraft are not put into the orbit by R-7 but by Proton rockets. R-7 is very reliable but it's not powerful enough for large payloads.

Re:Respect (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844144)

No, just no; which is a most straightforward fact, easily confirmed in the most straightforward of places. Progress is not a large payload; Soyuz and Progress are, as far as the launcher is concerned, virtually the same.

Proton is, among other, for Salyut/Almaz/TKS-type payloads; an entirely different league.

Re:Respect (-1, Troll)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843074)

It's pretty amazing to be able to do that kind of work knowing that Stalin will have your whole family killed if you don't succeed. What a hellacious amount of pressure.

-jcr

Re:Respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33843228)

Somebody should tell John C. Randolph that Joseph McCarthy seems to be using John's /. account. Joe's even using John's -jcr signature line, for crying out loud!

Re:Respect (2, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843448)

Yeah, it's amazing what zombie Stalin could do to people for several years after his death.

Re:Respect (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843698)

1) Stalin died years before Sputnik.
2) You catch more files with honey than vinegar. (sounds good, may not apply, but you can't argue with Grandma or she'll kick your ass - well would have but now she'd dead, so until the zombie apocalypse you are safe, for now)
3) If threats were sufficient to generate superhuman results, why did the Soviet Union's economy fail so badly, based mainly in their inability to produce food at the targeted levels?

Or, in other words, you are full of shit. But thanks for giving your 100% incorrect opinion dressed up as a fact (and even the facts were wrong, but based on incorrect opinions, we wouldn't expect anything else). I'd suggest that you consider some hedging wording when you are sharing your incorrect opinions as fact, but we've learned you are way past being able to take corrective criticism, so I'll just stick with the "you are full of shit" evaluation of this and most anything you say.

Re:Respect (2, Interesting)

Kilobug (213978) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843972)

USSR economy "failing so badly" is propaganda. USSR was far from perfect and had many problems, mostly political ones, but also some economical ones, but you can't said it "failed". Just look at https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/File:Soviet_Union_GDP.gif [wikimedia.org] . GDP of USSR in 1990, just before the fall, was more than 3x the GDP of USSR in 1970, +200% in 20 years is a feat few countries can achieve. And it took very long for the capitalist Russian Federation to reach the level of the USSR.

USSR collapse was much more due to political reason and the "usual" collapse of a repressive regime than to economical reasons.

Re:Respect (2, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843816)

It's pretty amazing to be able to do that kind of work knowing that Stalin will have your whole family killed if you don't succeed.

Stalin was long dead by the time the Sputnik was launched. What more, he was already dead by the time the Soviet space program was even kicked off (as the extension of ballistic missile program)!

Furthermore, it wasn't even something initiated "from above". It was Korolyov who convinced his superiors that non-military space program would be extremely beneficial for USSR prestige if it can be pulled off before US does it - and also that they could pull it off in time.

Re:Respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33843438)

Agreed. Though, "Fifty three years ago this week, the Russians won the space race - or one of its laps" sounds like a little bit of a jab. ;)

Mock sensitivity aside, our stated goal was being the first to put a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth. We did exactly that, and that makes me proud. And it's worth repeating for the 10,000th time... it really is too bad that we exhibit only a mere shadow of the drive and ambition we had then. I know NASA does amazing and useful things every single day, but I wish we had a showboat goal like that to achieve with a real sense of urgency. :(

Its a good thing (5, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843000)

Actually, I have always thought that the Soviets getting a satellite into space first was a good thing, as an American of 45 years. It put the fear of ungod into the American military complex to get into space, which ended up netting more good science than simply building bigger and bigger bombs. It also created a huge demand for science, and boosted the desire of teenagers to enter the science field. Nothing like fear to motivate a country into investing into science.

Being raised during the cold war in a lifer military family might color my perspective, but a lot of good things came out of the cold war. One of them is the internet, which might have taken much longer to develop if not for the fear of Soviet ICBMs, reinforced by that humble little beeping satellite named Sputnik.

Re:Its a good thing (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843060)

but a lot of good things came out of the cold war. One of them is the internet

I sometimes think how the world would work if there weren't the internet we know of today.
It's amazing how hard it would be to do some tasks that we consider trivial today.
Voice line telephone networks would be much more heavily used compared to what those are today.

Re:Its a good thing (5, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843080)

Or more scary is the internet could have started as a purely commercial venture. Imagine if it had not existed, and AOL had created their own version of the internet. It is kind of what they were trying to do before the open internet kicked their butts. You would have several private nets (like in the 80s) and eventually, the big ones would buy out the small ones. You would have MUCH less content, as the price to enter the market with a website would be dictated by singular corporate interests. Most important is the fact that Free Software wouldn't be as far as it is now, with a more limited distribution method.

The only reason that the internet is as open as it is now is the US govt. was naive enough to not know what it could really be. Otherwise, they would have tried to control it more.

Re:Its a good thing (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843156)

Microsoft tried the "internet as a commercial venture" but luckily the real internet caught on instead the MSN that was shipped with windows 95.
You're spot on about the content. That's what made internet what it is today.
Content seems to be driving other industries aswell. It seems like it's irrelevant if you can actually make calls with current smartphones, but oh boy! if they can't run the fart app of the week.

Re:Its a good thing (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843362)

The original MSN was for the most part, an AOL style service with its own interface. They did try "exclusive" websites later on though, like the original startrek.com

Nitpick: Its obvious whoever captured this video didn't use a time-base corrector on the VCR output.

What's old is new again (0, Troll)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843384)

Or more scary is the internet could have started as a purely commercial venture. Imagine if it had not existed, and AOL had created their own version of the internet. It is kind of what they were trying to do before the open internet kicked their butts. You would have several private nets (like in the 80s) and eventually, the big ones would buy out the small ones. You would have MUCH less content, as the price to enter the market with a website would be dictated by singular corporate interests.

What do you think you is happening now?

The "walled garden" of the iOS is bigger than Linux. iOS tops Linux [netmarketshare.com]

Facebook has 500 million active users, Steam 25 million. PlaystationHome has 14 million. AOL in its prime had 30 million.

Re:What's old is new again (1)

seifried (12921) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843486)

Facebook runs on Linux and can be used from any reasonably standards compliant web browser (all of which are free and many of which are open source) so what's your point exactly?

Re:What's old is new again (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844404)

...... The "walled garden" of the iOS is bigger than Linux. iOS tops Linux ...... Facebook has 500 million active users, Steam 25 million ......

I've been able to use Facebook and Steam on Linux for years. I don't get your point.

Uhm... Read your history! (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844112)

There _were_ several commercial internets (small 'i') - CompuServe, AOL and so on.

There were also free noncommercial global networks, FidoNET was the largest one.

So no, Internet could have happened even if it was purely commercial.

Re:Its a good thing (0, Flamebait)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843086)

>I sometimes think how the world would work if there weren't the internet we know of today.

We'd have an internet based on some protocol other than TCP/IP.

-jcr

Re:Its a good thing (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843162)

Netbios?
IPX?
*runs away scared of the thought*

Re:Its a good thing (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844182)

OTOH that which we do not speak about perhaps would seem more...living; less like a zombie at the least.

Re:Its a good thing (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843636)

You wouldn't be thinking of those tasks, wouldn't be doing them, wouldn't miss them. Generally, it would be just life as usual.

In many places people remember such times a bit more vividly. Like in ex-Soviet block, where the net access became reasonably available only during the last decade, and large portions of societies aren't plugged in almost at all; or so called developing nations in general.
Even if it's there, it's often somewhat different from what we are used to - for example access via mobile phones being the rule, and so called "feature phones" at that (as long as it has gprs and j2me, it can run some IM and, most importantly, Opera Mini [opera.com] - check what kinds of phones are most widespread, check growth numbers)

Re:Its a good thing (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33843292)

I have no way of knowing that the story I'm about to tell is true, so please take it with a grain of salt.

Supposedly, Eisenhower's goal was to have the Soviets make the first space flight to establish an international norm that overflying countries while in orbit was not a violation of territorial airspace. Once the Soviets had orbited a satellite over the US, they could hardly object to the US orbiting a satellite over them.

Re:Its a good thing (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843708)

Actually, I have always thought that the Soviets getting a satellite into space first was a good thing, as an American of 45 years. It put the fear of ungod into the American military complex to get into space

Well, the problem with 'your thought' is that is has nothing to with 'the facts' - because in reality, America was already trying to get into space.
 

It also created a huge demand for science, and boosted the desire of teenagers to enter the science field. Nothing like fear to motivate a country into investing into science.

I have never seen any statistics that indicate any noticeable increase in people entering the sciences post Sputnik.

Re:Its a good thing (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844200)

The scary thing is that fear is the motivator. Then it was the ruskies who wanted to take over the free world, now it is the terrorist.

Also do not forget that although that fear brought spaceflight, it also brought mccarthyism.

In more recent news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33843054)

The Soviet Union collapsed, and the USA doesn't give a sith about space anymore.

Re:In more recent news (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843158)

The Soviet Union collapsed, and the USA doesn't give a sith about space anymore.

Sure we do. It's where you put the weapons.

IBM 650 (1)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843082)

That sure looks like a cartoon of an IBM 650, a "low-cost" business computer of the late fifties. Why it's in this movie, I have no clue.

Re:IBM 650 (1)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843130)

Probably because they asked the artist to draw a computer with blinky lights (to signify something high tech) and that was the only computer he had ever seen. After all, it's not like your average person encountered 50 different computers a day back then like we do now.

Re:IBM 650 (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843182)

Probably because they asked the artist to draw a computer with blinky lights (to signify something high tech) and that was the only computer he had ever seen. After all, it's not like your average person encountered 50 different computers a day back then like we do now.

A computer salesman from the 70's once told me about how his company release a new model of minicomputer that was about the size of a picnic cooler, but was about 1/4 the size of the prior model. However sales were poor until one of his colleagues decided to encase it in a bigger box with lots of flashing lights. If you wanted to get laid, would you rather have a plain black box or a WOPR?

Re:IBM 650 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33844218)

In the early 1990s Motorola released one of the first cell-phones that looks like most cell-phones does today (back then called coffin-lid design). The new phones were much ighter and more high tech ,and Motorola had released them in a number of more modern colors, but for some reason it sold very poorly. After a research of the market and numerous interviews with customers and potential customers, they released a new version. They reduced the color options to just black, and added small pieces of lead to the phone to make it heavier, because the weight of the phone in those days was still seen as a sign of quality. This new gimped phone became one of the most sold phones of all time, and became iconic, with all future cell-phones copying the coffin-lid design.
It some times takes some time for customers to realise the usefulness of micronization, and the meantime, we just have to be silly.

Re:IBM 650 (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843196)

They were talking about recieving the signal so I suppose the computer represented the tracking systems in the west. It means don't worry, Uncle Sam and Big Blue are keeping an eye on the situation.

Complete with... (-1, Offtopic)

painehope (580569) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843092)

Newcaster shouting "We've been pwned! All our basez belong to them!"

Ronald Reagan (after finishing a menage trois w/ Ollie North and his wife, the last 15 minutes of which consist of ole Nancy rolling her 15 feet of distended labia back into it's carrying harness) responds on nationwide television "Testing...testing...we will begin nuclear attack on Russia in 5...4...3-oh shit! Just kidding. To the American people, no need to be worried about the Russkies launching a, uh, well...a something. And we think it has a dog in it - and he does not, I repeat, does not have lasers mounted anywhere on him. Gotta go! Turn that fucking thing off! Nancy - you missed a roll, hide it quick you dumb bitch, the interns are puking!"

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week. And next week...and next week. Unless I get cancer like Bill Hicks, where I ripped some of this material from. All errors in time of events and who was alive or in what office are the guy w/ ID 580570, not me. I'm 580569. People get us confused a lot.

Hey, I just noticed that I have 69 in every single issued ID # that I can think of. My SSN, DL, TDC #, /. ID, everything. Fucking weird.

Re:Complete with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33843148)

Newcaster shouting "We've been pwned! All our basez belong to them!"

Ronald Reagan (after finishing a menage trois w/ Ollie North and his wife, the last 15 minutes of which consist of ole Nancy rolling her 15 feet of distended labia back into it's carrying harness) responds on nationwide television "Testing...testing...we will begin nuclear attack on Russia in 5...4...3-oh shit! Just kidding. To the American people, no need to be worried about the Russkies launching a, uh, well...a something. And we think it has a dog in it - and he does not, I repeat, does not have lasers mounted anywhere on him. Gotta go! Turn that fucking thing off! Nancy - you missed a roll, hide it quick you dumb bitch, the interns are puking!"

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week. And next week...and next week. Unless I get cancer like Bill Hicks, where I ripped some of this material from. All errors in time of events and who was alive or in what office are the guy w/ ID 580570, not me. I'm 580569. People get us confused a lot.

Hey, I just noticed that I have 69 in every single issued ID # that I can think of. My SSN, DL, TDC #, /. ID, everything. Fucking weird.

Mod parent down. This post is disgusting

Re:Complete with... (1)

painehope (580569) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843378)

At least it was original (except for the part about mounted lasers and the reference to Nancy's labia - the latter is from a Bill Hicks' skit that would probably cause you to break down and cry for mommy, or tearfully admit to your roommate [while he was trying to coax you out of hiding under the mattress] that she touched you "down there and it felt good but I felt bad about it later" - because something really fucked-up must have happened to you so that you can't appreciate a joke, even a "disgusting" one) , somewhat relevant, and disgusting. Put that shit up on YouTube and I'd actually navigate over to that fucking site, watch it until I went temporarily blind (either from the screen glare or the moonshine), and then go to sleep thinking humorous thoughts.

Seriously?

Mod parent down. This post is disgusting

And clouds are generally white and fluffy, children aren't cute unless they're yours, and no matter what you try, people will make gross jokes. Most people actually delight in making gross jokes. Check IMDB ratings (as well as theater and DVD revenue) for PG-13 or R-rated comedies with a predominantly disgusting sense of humor. I guarantee you they dominate "clean humor" movies across the board. Especially if they make fun of politicians.

It's called human nature. Get over it. I, for one, would watch the Sputnik launch once or twice (I've seen it before a few times), but actually save a video depicting something like what I described.

Re:Complete with... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843656)

You know, that AC almost looks like an effort to keep that post / quote visible ;)

Re:Complete with... (-1, Offtopic)

painehope (580569) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843170)

Forgot to mention : there can be no mistakes about time w/ Ronald Reagan, only names. For other ones, see Legion, Belial, Mammon, Shub-Niggurath, Lucifer, Dagon, et al. Any dark god in any culture stretching back to the dawn of life w/ speech capabilities is only another one of his faces. Notice how he looks thinner in pictures w/ any male of the Bush family? It's pseudopods of his unholy essence animating their lifeless sells.

On a note not dealing with the evil that slumbers behind Reagans' supposedly dead eyes, I think this is possibly one of the only good things that came out of the Cold War (I'm just hesitant to say anything good came out of the Cold War). A shame that we - as a species - can't do stuff like this without anyone being ready to go to war or destroy every living human being (Africa, Utah, and India excepted - no contributions to the human race coming from any of those locations) a damn near random lottery of destruction.

Where is simple human curiosity, drive, intellect, and ballsiness (sp?)? Oh yeah, I forgot - our schools replaced that curriculum w/ Political Correctness and How Pretend An Apple Is An Orange (Ministry Of Truth v0.3).

ALL LIES!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33843098)

AMERICA NUMBER IS ONE EVERYWHERE!!!!

Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin? lol... only communist terrorists can spell such crazy names..

IBM computer in an American facility? (4, Interesting)

Jeeeb (1141117) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843128)

After watching the video I don't think the IBM computer shown is meant to be in a Soviet facility. They talk about how the sound being played at the time is an actual signal from the Sputnik, which makes me think that it's meant to be an American signals interception facility. Maybe even with the IBM logo added to make that clear

Either that or they weren't immune to product placement in the 50's ;) Either way an awesome video.

Re:IBM computer in an American facility? (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843256)

After watching the video I don't think the IBM computer shown is meant to be in a Soviet facility.

Perhaps not (I couldn't get the vid to play, at least not without letting a bunch of unknown shit past NoScript) but it's well known that IBM's Continental division sold computing devices to the Nazis during WWII. I also have it on good authority that Mitsubishi Zeros wore American rubber on their landing gear during the war and this was no secret at Goodyear.

Considering these aren't the only things I've learned that have implications which fly in the face of what we've been taught in the history books, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if the Soviets were using IBM's in their space program.

Re:IBM computer in an American facility? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33843326)

You don't use Youtube?

Tin foil hats off to you, sir.

Hey IBM... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33843160)

...what happened with the Export Regulation list at that time???

Now you don't let me sell servers to Cuba ;)

Good Video.

Very interesting documentary video (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843430)

Personally I find the introduction to a Roger Ramjet cartoon more informative (and with better music), though

Appropriate for that evening, 20 years in advance. (1)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843436)

That's no moon!

Re:Appropriate for that evening, 20 years in advan (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843478)

Sorry no mod points future Mr. +5 funny. They referenced it as a moon 3 times. And appropriately enough, it is no moon. Lucky for us, it is also not a Death Star. The Soviets were pretty cool on not ending all life on Earth though so I doubt they'd have fired the Death Star at us either. If it wasn't for terrorists threatening to blow civilization apart, we could live happily right now. I guess world hunger, disease and lack of quality education kinda would hold the world back from a full scale peace party, but getting out of the cold war is still a plus.

some understanding required (0)

Max_W (812974) | more than 3 years ago | (#33843974)

One has to understand the the USSR scientific potential was the one of the former Soviet Union countries plus current Israel.

The stupid "socialist" enthusiasm was a result of an ugly massive civil war, which had roots in 19th century's deep social conflicts.

Re:some understanding required (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844460)

One has to understand the the USSR scientific potential was the one of the former Soviet Union countries plus current Israel.

The stupid "socialist" enthusiasm was a result of an ugly massive civil war, which had roots in 19th century's deep social conflicts.

... and is still going on, even today.

2007 called, they want their news back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33844188)

50 years ago this week? Sputnik was launched in 1957!

Kinda interesting... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844328)

that the narrator use the word "intercontinental" to describe the first stage. A hint at it also being capable of dropping a nuke on US soil?

Well, I'm not so sure 'won' as 'competed well' (1)

nanoakron (234907) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844402)

I know that Americans feel it dents their national pride to admit it, but the Russians categorically won the space race.

America achieved only a single victory - the first man on the moon - and then decided that was enough so just sat back from there.

However, the Russians had already done all the rest - first animal, first orbit, first man, first woman, first moonwalk.

So if you're happy as a nation to believe you 'won' because of a single victory, go ahead.

However, the rest of us know the truth.

Re:Well, I'm not so sure 'won' as 'competed well' (1)

kaltsbert (724232) | more than 3 years ago | (#33844526)

... first moonwalk.

Perhaps first spacewalk? Leave something for the Americans too :-) It's a shame that the Soviet film material from the era is so much worse than what NASA was able to provide. It would be interesting to see quality footage from the Soviet accomplishments too.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...