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Comments

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Silicon Valley's Love-Hate Relationship With President Obama

FullBandwidth Not a true tech fundraiser (131 comments)

The per-head fee should have been $32,767 ... whoever heard of a number like $32,400?

about 4 months ago
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Another Possible Voynich Breakthrough

FullBandwidth RTFM (160 comments)

Anyone who's ever read documentation written by an engineer should immediately realize that the Voynich Manuscript is the user's guide for the Antikythera Mechansim.

about 7 months ago
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Cygnus Spacecraft Makes Historic Rendezvous With Space Station

FullBandwidth Re:Docking with the International Space Station? (44 comments)

Yes, but for a geosynchronous vehicle to be in its station-kept orbit might be precision of something like 0.05 degrees (http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/S/station-keeping.html). Cygnus had to hold at 30m and again at 10m distance (see http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/sets/72157635370456732/show/, slide #11) for go/no-go decisions prior to moving to the docking position. Totally different orders of magnitude.

about a year ago
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Cygnus Spacecraft Makes Historic Rendezvous With Space Station

FullBandwidth Re:Historic? (44 comments)

Think you might want to check (and cite) those numbers again. I think you've confused launch mass with cargo mass. http://www.spacex.com/news/2013/03/03/happy-berth-day - Dragon delivers 2300 lbs (1045 kg) cargo to ISS. http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Cygnus_fact.pdf - Cygnus delivers 2000 kg (standard) or 2700 kg (enhanced) to ISS. The vehicles serve two very different purposes upon reentry. Dragon brings back garbage and recoverable cargo, Cygnus just takes out the trash. That's one of the reasons that Cyngus carries a much greater payload to the ISS. So if you are going to do any kind of back-of-the-envelope calculation about which one is a better value for NASA, then you have to include the value of bringing the wanted & unwanted cargo back versus disposal. Your argument reminds me of the old "which is better, Mac or PC" arguments we used to have in the 20th Century. The answer is "two players are always better than one." Now, how can we extend that analogy to SLS ... "which is better, Mac, PC, or IBM/370 running MVS?" Hmm, IBM/370 may still be considered a lightweight compared to SLS... And what exactly do you mean by "stuck in orbit?" A functioning space vehicle that maneuvers and allows another visiting vehicle (Soyuz) to rendezvous, before making its own approach, hardly sounds "stuck."

about a year ago
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Privately Built Antares Test Flight Successfully Launched From Virginia

FullBandwidth Re:Antares: an outsourced rocket (85 comments)

Not to denigrate the fine contribution of lobbying and paperwork to any successful endeavor, but you might find that turning a collection of components into an integrated system - even for something as trivial as a space launch - is a little more complicated than clicking Legos together. Besides, only the first and second stages were delivered as components. That still leaves the fairing, separation systems, launch vehicle interface to the ground systems, the ground systems themselves (1st stage is liquid), etc. etc. etc.

about a year and a half ago
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Privately Built Antares Test Flight Successfully Launched From Virginia

FullBandwidth Re:Why mock cargo? (85 comments)

Slight correction to your "anything like the confidence" comment - that is actually irrelevant, all that sort of thing is specified in the contracts that Orbital and Space-X have with NASA. The next Antares launch will in fact carry a completed Cygnus vehicle, including cargo, with the intent to dock with the station. That's what they keep referring to as the "COTS demonstration mission." Space-X did the same thing under their COTS contract - the only difference is that after the Falcon's successful maiden voyage, Space-X talked NASA into dropping one of the two demo missions their contract originally called for (Orbital always had just one). So after Space-X's COTS demonstration flight - when Dragon docked with the station successfully - they immediately went into the CRS phase of the program and have flown one mission so far under that agreement. Orbital will enter the CRS phase once the COTS demonstration mission is successful, presumably this summer.

about a year and a half ago
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Chatbot Eugene Wins Biggest Turing Test Ever

FullBandwidth Anyone here know how you win Loebner? (235 comments)

Your bot doesn't have to pass the Turing test, you just have to be more convincing than the other bots (and the human confederates, who sometimes pretend to be bots).

more than 2 years ago
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SpaceX Launch To International Space Station Delayed For Code Tweaks

FullBandwidth Re:Yikes! (97 comments)

True - but where in the article does it say anything about making any code tweaks? All I saw was they want to do more hardware-in-the-loop testing and review the data. If all that passes muster, no code will change and presumably they will be go for launch. If it doesn't pass, THEN they may consider standing down to make code changes. Or, change operational procedures or ground software or ask for a waiver or any of a number of corrective actions. Maybe MSNBC updated the article after you read it ... or maybe my browser hid page 2 or something? The only mention of "code tweaks" is in the incorrect /. headline. Cheers

more than 2 years ago
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If You're Fat, Broke, and Smoking, Blame Language

FullBandwidth Re:Whorfianism (297 comments)

Yep, same old BS. Publish or perish.

more than 2 years ago
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Amazon To Launch Kindle Tablet?

FullBandwidth Re:Not what I want from Amazon (140 comments)

I dug my venerable Kindle out and dusted it off, after working with a variety of tablets over the last few months. I'd forgotten how much smaller & lighter it is, with battery life in months, not days. It's hard to see how to preserve those good traits of a e-reader while also loading it down with features to make it a desktop/laptop/netbook replacement, which seems to be where the tablet market has to go (or has already gone?).

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Backtracks On Accessibility In Windows Phone 7

FullBandwidth Give credit where it isn't due? (54 comments)

I had to laugh when I saw Microsoft described as "doing well" in terms of accessibility for the blind. It's simply not true; their attempts at accessibility are token at best and largely ignored by the blind community. I know lots of blind people and I don't know a single one who uses a Windows desktop or mobile product without a third-party application such as JAWS for Windows, ZoomText or Nuance. Oh and while we're on the subject: Adobe's accessibility "features" are non-functional - not only are they totally inadequate standing alone, they also prevent those 3rd party applications from doing their jobs. PDFs and Flash are pretty much inaccessible to blind users. I am holding out hope for Pico on Android ... though I have yet to get it working on anything but the emulator that comes with the SDK.

more than 3 years ago
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Rear-View Cameras On Cars Could Become Mandatory In the US

FullBandwidth Re:Super (754 comments)

No, I am simply suggesting that your visibility is better when going forward than backwards. When you pull up to a parking space (forwards) you can see whether it's clear to back in, and whether that situation is likely to change in the amount of time it takes to back in (i.e. pedestrians that you can see walking towards your space). Not saying it's foolproof, nothing is. Just saying that when you back out of a parking space you have very limited visibility side-to-side, compared to pulling out forwards. I guess it's less about the straight-backwards view - that is provided by the backlight ("rear window") if your vehicle has one (mine doesn't) or mirrors, or camera - it doesn't seem to me this is the limiting factor, once you have a straight, clear shot at backing into the spot. Or maybe I'm overthinking/overexplaining this?

more than 3 years ago
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Rear-View Cameras On Cars Could Become Mandatory In the US

FullBandwidth Re:Super (754 comments)

Yeah I'm going to have to side with "encroachment" this time. You can dramatically increase your safety in a parking lot simply by either backing into a space or pulling through two adjacent spaces when available. That way when you exit, you're going forward and have maximum visibility. When you approach the space to enter it (either backwards or pulling through) you again have much better visibility and can assess the presence of obstacles such as children and the elderly. Seems like better driving practices could cut that 292/18K number down with no bogus technology injection.

more than 3 years ago
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Shadow Scholar Details Student Cheating

FullBandwidth Re:It's the modern way (542 comments)

Exactly, I could use a little freelance work myself, and I have a Liberal Arts degree - where do I sign up?

more than 3 years ago
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Proposed ADA Requirements May Affect Public Internet Use

FullBandwidth It's about time (420 comments)

Letting people voluntarily make their web sites accessible certainly hasn't worked - for example, Flash content is the bane of visually impaired users but I don't see much of a movement to provide alternatives. I wonder if this means that popular OSs will have to provide real, working accessibility features and not bad jokes like Microsoft Narrator?

more than 3 years ago
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The Rise and Fall of America's Jet-Powered Car

FullBandwidth Re:A let-down (338 comments)

Hey what's not exciting about an automatically-piloted people pod? Then I could get another hour of slashdot in every commute!

more than 3 years ago
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iPads On American Campuses? Maybe Next Year

FullBandwidth Re:Not unless they're 100% accessible to the blind (177 comments)

Accessibility accommodations for all those materials are well known and currently in use. Try running a touch-screen device with a blindfold on sometime.

more than 3 years ago
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iPads On American Campuses? Maybe Next Year

FullBandwidth Accessibility (177 comments)

... insert standard comment about mainstream vendors' lack of commitment to accessibility features for the differently abled ... Can't "force" it on students who can't use it.

more than 3 years ago
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How Can I Make Testing Software More Stimulating?

FullBandwidth Curse of the programmer (396 comments)

Ever hear the expression "I'd rather write programs that help me write programs, than write programs?" Maybe you can get some enjoyment out of writing the code that helps you test the code you're writing. Write a perl script to test your C code, etc.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Safer cycling via traffic camera data

FullBandwidth FullBandwidth writes  |  about 4 months ago

FullBandwidth (1445095) writes "Urban planners in Virginia are trying to make bicycling safer, but they're hampered by a lack of statistics about who's riding where. Alec Gosse rides his bike to work at a Charlottesville company that analyzes data, and he recently completed a PhD in civil engineering. He and other graduate students created software that could review video from those ubiquitous traffic cameras, identify and count bikes. Gosse suspects this software could be refined to make cycling safer by recording close calls and fixing problems with road design and signage to reduce the risk of accidents."
Link to Original Source
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ATK to Merge with Orbital Sciences Corp

FullBandwidth FullBandwidth writes  |  about 5 months ago

FullBandwidth (1445095) writes "Two Virginia aerospace players, Arlington-based Alliant Techsystems and Dulles-based Orbital Sciences, are merging to create a $5 Billion (US) venture. The companies announced the merger in a joint announcement Tuesday. ATK is also spinning off its lucrative hunting gear segment into a separate company."
Link to Original Source
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Ask Slashdot: Info on upcoming handhelds?

FullBandwidth FullBandwidth writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FullBandwidth (1445095) writes "Seems like some intrepid slashdotters are always getting scoops on the soon-to-be-released handhelds (phones, tablets). What's the best way to get technical information and release dates? Apparently in the US, the vendors have to submit a certain amount of documentation that then gets published on the fcc.gov website, but I'm not sure if many of us have time to pore over that site. Are there reliable sites or RSS feeds dedicated to what's the bleeding edge of mobile computing?"
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Space Telescope to track objects in GEO orbit

FullBandwidth FullBandwidth writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FullBandwidth (1445095) writes "A while back we reported on the DARPA Space Surveillance Telescope, though loyal slashdotters were divided on exactly what astronomers would be looking for. DARPA now makes it clear that the telescope will "enable wide-field views of objects in geostationary orbit" in support of the Air Force mission of "tracking satellites and other objects in Earth orbit and reporting that information to U.S. Strategic Command.""
Link to Original Source
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Glory lost to Taurus XL Failure

FullBandwidth FullBandwidth writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FullBandwidth writes "The protective nose cone of an Orbital Sciences Corp. Taurus XL rocket carrying NASA's Glory environmental research satellite apparently failed to separate after launch Friday, preventing the spacecraft from achieving orbit in a $424 million failure. It was the second nose cone failure in a row for a Taurus XL rocket following the 2009 loss of another environmental satellite."
Link to Original Source
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Altavista search engine loses its identity

FullBandwidth FullBandwidth writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FullBandwidth (1445095) writes "The venerable search engine Altavista, for some years part of Yahoo but appearing as a separate site, seems to have been suddenly melded into Yahoo. Typing a query in the search box on www.Altavista.com returns results that look identical to the Yahoo search results, excepting the Altavista logo in place of the Yahoo logo. Trying any query from the "advanced" Altavista search (www.Altavista.com/web/adv) simply forwards you to the main Yahoo search screen, without even copying over your query terms. For those of us who steadfastly refuse to go mainstream (i.e. Google), this is indeed a sad day."
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Printable batteries set to arrive by 2010

FullBandwidth FullBandwidth writes  |  more than 5 years ago

FullBandwidth (1445095) writes "Paper-thin batteries that can be printed onto greeting cards or other flexible substrates have been demonstrated at Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic Nano Systems in Germany. The batteries have a relatively short life span, as the anode and cathode materials dissipate over time. However, they contain no hazardous materials."

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