Space Station Saved By a Toothbrush?
I'd be disappointed in Slashdot if I were the only one. Glad to see others thinking the same.
Space Station Saved By a Toothbrush?
"It's an inanimate carbon rod!!"
2010 Election Results Are In
There were a few bones thrown our way
The concession of the Public Option was a fairly large bone. It was one of the few things I looked forward to in health care reform.
Man Emails AT&T's CEO, Gets Threatened With C&D Order
Speculation is that AT&T sanctioned tethering is coming in iPhone/iPhone OS 4. I see this as AT&T preparing for the inevitable onslaught of people who would use an "unlimited" data plan as their primary internet connection. The grandfathered unlimited plan will likely have tethering disabled, while the limited plans would allow it. I use my phone extensively, and I usually end up around 300-400mb/month, and the ability to tether would likely increase that substantially.
With the official announcement likely coming early next week at WWDC, it makes sense for AT&T to get this out there now before people rush out to purchase a new phone/plan.
Reported Obama Plan Would Privatize Manned Launches
Of course, perhaps companies like Virgin Galactic have figured something out that NASA was unable to figure out during the 30+ years of the Shuttle program.
They more than likely have figured something out- listen to the fscking engineers that designed and built the vehicle. The only two shuttle failures to date were caused by management's unwillingness to listen to engineer feedback. With Challenger, the manufacturer of the O-ring in the solid rocket booster warned NASA the O-ring was NOT rated to launch under the cold conditions of that day. Managers effectively said "don't worry about it" and launched anyway. With Columbia, engineers saw the foam strike on launch video, and asked management for military/hubble satellite photography to check for damage to the leading edge of the wing. Managers effectively said "it was foam, what damage could it possibly have done, don't worry about it" without understanding that a block of foam traveling 400 miles per hour has some serious kinetic energy, especially when it hits the relatively delicate carbon-carbon tiles.
Bottom line is, both of those tragedies could have been avoided, if the managers actually considered the dangers engineers presented to them. If Richard Branson and Virgin figure out how to listen to the people working with the designs and hardware when there are potential problems, with a solid enough vehicle they likely could have a perfect launch record.
Sir Patrick Stewart
Only fitting after he knighted Robin Hood.
"Kneel, Robin of Loxley. And arise, Sir Robin of Loxley."
Landmark Health Insurance Bill Passes House
People like to spout off the "Health care in this country is about the best in the world" without really thinking it through. What it really means is "Doctors, hospitals, and treatments in this country are about the best in the world." The original statement makes no mention of how many people can afford the "best health care in the world." Sure, the care is available, but what good does it do when it is prohibitively expensive to so many people.
What people don't understand is while the US may have world class doctors/hospitals, they are largely inaccessible without the means to pay for it. With insurance in this country as screwed up as it is, it's no wonder the US ranks so low on life expectancy/infant mortality/maternal mortality.
BlizzCon Keynote — New WoW Expansion, Diablo 3 Details
If you're going to complain about the challenges in WoW, please tell me you've done all the hard modes in 25 man Ulduar, including Mimiron (Firefighter), Freya +3 Elders (Knock, Knock, Knock on Wood), Algalon, and Yogg-Saron with 0 keepers up.
Unless you are/were in a top 100 guild, you don't have Algalon or Yogg+0 down in 25 player mode, because they are exceptionally challenging, and dare I say, fun encounters that actually require a raid with some semblance of skill/attention/situational awareness.
And for Colosseum, they're only releasing one boss per week on the normal (easy) difficulty 25 man. Once all the bosses are out, and it's been cleared, the Heroic 25 man (hard mode) difficulty unlocks, and until you clear that, there is no room to complain about challenges.
I'm sure Icecrown will be the same- an easy 25 man mode so the casual players get to see content, and a heroic 25 man mode for those looking for a challenge and better loot.
I do find it funny when people complain about content being too hard (OMG NERF!), and when Blizzard releases easy modes for new encounters, those same people complain about things being too easy. Can't have your epic cake and eat it too.
Judge Rules Against RealDVD
So then the obvious solution is to take this to the people who do make the law- Congress. Write letters showing how blatantly contradictory the law is in this case. Ask them how it's possible to exercise fair use with a law preventing distribution of the tools allowing fair use, citing the RealDVD case. Ask for suggestions on how to legally time shift a DVD for watching on a netbook, or how to make a backup of a $30 DVD so you can still enjoy what you paid for when it gets dropped/scratched/eaten/rolled over by an office chair.
Apple Tries To Gag Owner of Exploding iPod
From the article-
"Ken Stanborough, 47, from Liverpool, dropped his 11-year-old daughter Ellie's iPod Touch last month. "It made a hissing noise," he said. "I could feel it getting hotter in my hand, and I thought I could see vapour". Mr Stanborough said he threw the device out of his back door, where "within 30 seconds there was a pop, a big puff of smoke and it went 10ft in the air"."
Emphasis mine. The article doesn't go on to elaborate how far of a drop it was, but I'd imagine it must have been significant for the impact to rupture the Li-poly cells. If it was a reasonable drop, say 3-4 feet, off a desk, or slipped out of his hands to the floor, they may have an argument against Apple for the design of the device, or a manufacturing defect. If it was dropped down some stairs, or if he was upset with his daughter, grabbed the ipod and threw it across the room, or something beyond a "normal" drop distance, Apple shouldn't have any liability at all.
Undercover Cameras Catch PC Repair Scams, Privacy Violations
True, but there are cases where the diagnostic isn't correct, or the tech's lie to either get more money out of you, or because they are that dumb. Like if you went to a mechanic saying your car was running rough, and the mechanic said you needed a whole new engine, when all you really needed was an oil change.
It's one thing when people say they're overcharged for paying a $50 diagnostic fee to figure something out that they couldn't.
It's another when a technician says you need a new motherboard, when really all that's wrong is the hard drive cable was unplugged.
I deal with that all the time at my shop, where people bring their machines to Best Buy or wherever, and come to us for a second opinion.
US ISPs Using Push Polling To Stop Cheap Internet
From the techjournalsouth article-
"If the cable/phone companies really want a level playing field, they'd open their books just like we do in the spirit of open meetings and open records law. They don't want a level playing field. They want to be the only team on the field."
It seems the community internet operating books will be transparent, so people can see what costs are, and where the money is going. It's a public service, not a for-profit business like Time Warner is.
While it's true a monopoly is generally anti-consumer, a publicly open/owned monopoly is far less likely to be in a position to price gouge for crap service, where the larger, established private monopolies already are.
Does Obama Have a Problem At NASA?
This is true. In my school district, programs like FIRST (http://www.usfirst.org) are denounced, underfunded, and/or ignored. The district has no problem financing $20,000 trips for cheerleaders to attend national competitions, but can't spring $5,000 for team registration to inspire students into science, math, and technology fields. Many of the students in FIRST actually do go on to colleges and universities to become engineers or scientists, and most of them do so as a direct result of their involvement. How many cheerleaders graduate high school to become professional cheerleaders?
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