top Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For
They cruise and come back down 2000 miles away. That's not what SS2 is designed to do. Antares and Falcon are utilitarian. SS2 is designed to be a thrill ride.
about a month and a half ago
top NASA's Ares 1 To Be Reborn As the Liberty Commercial Launcher
To be fair, theres a world of difference between a rocket that launches crew and one that doesn't. Crew-rating costs are out now, which saves a ton of money. It's also not going to be as capable, with 44 klb of payload to LEO rather than 56. So while it will probably be a good launch vehicle, that doesn't mean it was good for Constellation.
top Huge Shocker — 3D TVs Not Selling
Color adds information. In its current state, 3D doesn't. Anyone who plays first-person videogames understands that you can feel pretty damned immersed into the virtual environment just by experiencing it through a 2D screen.
When we have holographic TV, and I can walk around to the other side of the projection table to watch a football game from another angle...THAT will be worth upgrading to.
top DocBook 5
I use Sphinx for all of my Python development and am really happy with it. Autogeneration forces me to write reasonable docstrings into my code, and I'm pretty pleased with the HTML output.
I still think I'd prefer LaTex for large scale, intended-for-print documents, though.
top Droid X Self-Destructs If You Try To Mod
I'm under the impression that the Droid X is intended for the business market, to try to take a bite out of RIM's market share. This sounds like an attempt to make the phone more "secure" by preventing people from getting at the data by rooting the phone. Not that it's necessarily the best way, but thats just my 2 cents.
top US Dept. of Energy Wants Bigger Wind Energy Ideas
Why not both? 110% power!
top Objective-C Enters Top Ten In Language Popularity
Perl is awesome when it comes to parsing ascii but I think Python has an inherent edge in its readability.
top Water Not a Good Enough Guide To Find Alien Life
So water is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for life (as far as we know). This really isn't new knowledge. We still want to look for water. We just have to pair that with other necessary conditions to increase our odds. Of course, we probably only have a small subset of necessary conditions for life here on Earth, so we don't entirely know what to be looking for.
top Geostationary GPS Satellite Galaxy 15 Out of Control
It should be mentioned that the stable libration points for geostationary satellites are earth-relative (105 deg west, 75 deg east) and are not the same as the Sun-Earth lagrange points (such as those occupied by SOHO and other observation satellites). If we could get spacecraft without maneuvering capability to perform that orbital transfer, we'd be much closer to living in a Star Trek-esque world.
top Apple's "iKey" Wants To Unlock All Doors
Now I need to remember another password to get into my house. If anything I'd prefer to validate my online passwords with the combination of a physical key turn and a short pin.
top Learning Python, 4th Edition
While I cant speak to php or Occam...
You aren't forced into object orient programming as with Java, although the language does have good implementations (IMHO) of classes if you choose to utilize them. It also doesn't force the 'one class per file' structure of Java upon you. (Granted its been years since I've touched Java, so these critiques may no longer apply).
I started by using Python for a lot of the things for which I initially used Perl. I find Python code immensely more readable than Perl.
Lately I've used Python alot because it has some superb 3rd party libraries for scientific computing (numpy, scipy, matplotlib are the three which I use the most.) These libraries give Python the utility of Matlab (vectorized functions, easy plotting, interfacing to C and Fortran for speed) in an open platform without the fees associated with Matlab.
For my job (aerospace engineering) Python is now my go-to language when I first start working a problem, and I transition to C or Fortran only if I need the speed or someone else requires me to do so, which is not often these days.
top Interstellar Hydrogen Prevents Light-Speed Travel?
Just engage the Edelstein compensators.
Come to think of it, this professor is probably hoping to have some scifi tech named for him.
top PhD Candidate Talks About the Physics of Space Battles
"Therefore, I contend that the most effective kinetic space weapons would be either flak shells or actively thrusting, guided missiles."
Right...because flak shells which emit hundreds or thousands of tiny projectiles are a great idea in orbit. Some will probably reach escape velocity, some will impact the orbited body, but a many will likely remain in orbit. I don't think it's in the aggressor's interest to generate a load of space junk.
"If launched from the ground, armor must be minimized to reduce the launch weight of the spacecraft. But if built and launched in space, it would make sense to plate over vital systems of the vehicle"
Until we have active mines on asteroids or the moon, space-based construction doesn't buy anything. If you still have to haul the raw materials out of Earth's gravity well, then you still have to pay the launch costs, sorry.
top VASIMR Ion Engine Could Cut Mars Trip To 39 Days
Technically speaking VASIMR, like ion propulsion, is electrically powered. For it to be constant thrust it would need to have that electricity generated by a nuclear reactor. Since solar power decreases as an inverse square law, a solar powered VASIMR would not be constant thrust.
top Space Shuttle To Be Replaced By SpaceX For ISS Resupply
Having each launch vehicle ferry tons of fuel would require the means to prevent it from boiling off on orbit, or using a more storable fuel and taking the hit in performance (lower Isp). There are technologies that look promising (Methane for one) but thats a ways off and we're not investing much in it at the moment. Plus you'd have to have the cost of launches come down a LOT to make dozens of rockets cheaper than one or two expensive ones. Much of the launch cost is not just the hardware but all of the logistics involved in setting the thing off. That overhead is not going to be trivial for an architecture requiring dozens of launches.
By all means, I'm cheering for SpaceX to have great success, but them doing so doesn't accelerate the timetable for manned Mars missions, IMHO.
top C# and Java Weekday Languages, Python and Ruby For Weekends?
I've been preaching the same exact path. Python + numpy + scipy + matplotlib is pretty damn powerful. It would be preferable if matplotlib included 3D visualization, but Mayavi is very good.
My group used to rely heavily on Excel and VBA. When Microsoft dropped VBA support on the OS X version of Office, we were left in a lurch. I'm hesitant to develop a similar dependency on MATLAB.
C and Fortran for anything requiring speed, Python for everything else.
top Bike Projector Makes Lane For Rider
Cyclist should never ride on the sidewalk. They are vehicles. Its more dangerous to ride on a sidwalk and proceed through a walk signal, getting clipped by a car turning right, than it is to ride as a vehicle on th road.
The law in Ohio was just recently revamped to make "share the road" the standard throughout the state. It wasn't decided when "cars drove at 15-20 mph".
Bicyclist that don't obey the law piss me off, but if they're obeying, you've got no complaint, sorry.
top BYU Prof. Says University Classrooms Will Be "Irrelevant" By 2020
Yes but will I still be charged $100,000 for my engineering degree certification?
I don't dispute that there will still be a certification role, I just don't know if it will be as lucrative as the current system.
top BYU Prof. Says University Classrooms Will Be "Irrelevant" By 2020
If everyone in the world has access to the information then why bother paying for the degree?
As long as I can prove my understanding of the knowledge then why should I pay a particular university to vouch for me?
top Prediction Markets and the 2008 Electoral Map
The problems I have with the "well we went in, we shouldn't just leave" are these:
- sticking around for the sake of pride is what enables groups like the Continental Army and the Vietcong to defeat a much better funded adversary. If we go bankrupt but win militarily, what good will come of it? - We achieved our stated goals. Saddam is no longer a threat. - We're being used by the Iraqi government as cheap security. Its a lot easier for them to have us around than to actually try to resolve their problems. - Sometimes wars are fought for bad reasons. Sticking around so that those who died aren't going to 'die in vain' isn't going to make the cause any more justifiable.
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