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Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Get (or Share) News About Open Source Projects?

Teancum Re:Linux sites I visit (85 comments)

While this is good, not all open software is restricted to just Linux or Linux-based software.

4 days ago
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Interviews: Ask Dr. Andy Chun About Artificial Intelligence

Teancum Re:Okay... (71 comments)

I'm pretty certain that any attempt to do precisely what you are asking for here is going to be a pretty potent driver for significant AI research, if nothing else. There are some chat-bots which do a pretty good job of simulating a lewd conversation. All you are asking is for that to be coupled with robotics like Disney's anamatronics for a Las Vegas theme park.

Maybe Westworld isn't so far away after all. One of the scenes in that film which I found sort of funny at the time was when the protagonist took a couple of whores in the Saloon up to a room and tried to bed them... only to discover they weren't completely anatomically correct.

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Ask Dr. Andy Chun About Artificial Intelligence

Teancum Re:Why is the term "Intelligence" used ... (71 comments)

We know so little about what self-awareness, intelligence, or sentience actually is that every attempt to simulate the concept is usually met with dead ends in terms of research. There is some usefulness that comes from legitimate AI research, but at this point it is parlor tricks and a few novel programming concepts that have some usefulness in a practical sense.

The only thing that is fairly certain is that somehow a raw physical process is involved with establishing consciousness. Some real effort has been done with trying to understand the physical process from which neural cells interact with each other, and it is fairly certain that the brain is a key component (not the only one though) of what establishes thoughts and reason. Still, there is a long way to go from being able to mathematically describe a neuron to being able to completely simulate, much less actually implement consciousness in the sense that we see with human children emerging after they are born.

You can say that ocean tides act with what apparently is some intelligent behavior, yet if you really study the phenomena it turns out that it isn't. Sometimes complex behavior comes from some very simple rules, sometimes it doesn't. Don't confuse those simple rules with actual intelligence, which is precisely what you are doing here. Even assuming that somehow we could almost completely duplicate the nervous system of a human in electronics, I seriously doubt it would be something you could simply flip on a switch and have working within minutes of starting up the computer.

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

Teancum Re:Hey Mr Bandera (112 comments)

Nice try. If you want to continue the Soviet era propaganda that was trying to convince the west that they really were one big happy family and that the Soviet Union was just as friendly to each other as the European Union is right now, continue that daydream. It should be telling as soon as the opportunity to bolt out from under Russian control, that the former Soviet Republics all left. Heck, you even have admitted the "-stan" republics were quick to expel the Russians as soon as they could. This would have been unthinkable during the Soviet era.

Throughout the 1950's and 1960's, most western politicians and news media still referred to that part of the world in general as "Russia", at least in terms of the primary opponent of America during the Cold War. That started to change by the 1970's, but by then it really didn't matter.

Yes, there were some people of talent who were able to rise to power like Stalin who came to power in spite of their ethnic background. That doesn't stop it from being an exception rather than the typical situation. BTW, Nikita Khrushchev, while his ancestry certainly was Ukrainian, was born in Russia and considered himself to be Russian. It does get messy though so it isn't nearly so clear... but the Russian culture certainly pervaded everything that happened in the Soviet Union.

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

Teancum Re:Guaranteed (112 comments)

Telling an astronaut with several actual missions in space that they know jack about engineering, science, or math is pretty damn bold.

What a load of dung here.

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

Teancum Re:"An anonymous reader" (112 comments)

No, what's relevant here is that it launched from Kennedy. It's the first SpaceX launch from that location.

That and they're going to try to recover the booster. That's new too, but you covered that under 'launch technology'.

This is not the first time that SpaceX has launched from Cape Canaveral (technically no longer Kennedy.... that is only the VAB and the NASA facility itself although Florida at one time did call it Cape Kennedy... and changed that back in the 1990's).

The facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (who actually "owns" the property... although SpaceX does have a long term lease) is known as SLC-40... the pad just next to LC-39 A&B where the Space Shuttle and the Apollo rockets all were launched from. This launch was number nine from that same location BTW. The Florida government is also trying to encourage other private launch companies to launch from that general location, and United Launch Alliance also has flights from there as well, including a pure commercial launch fairly recently (even though most of their stuff is national security payloads for the NRO, NSA, and other alphabet soup agencies).

Even the booster recovery is not really that remarkable as it is the third time they've tried, and technically they've tried on nearly every launch since the first Falcon 1 went boom about a thousand feet above the launch pad due to insane levels of galvanometric corrosion that wasn't anticipated. The earlier attempts tried to use parachutes, which ended up not working very well and have since been abandoned by SpaceX.

On the whole, at least for SpaceX, this was a rather ordinary launch. The 1st stage recovery attempt (or at least testing the recovery systems... which is a more accurate description of what happened with this OrbComm flight) is certainly impressive and can eventually lead to cheaper prices for future customers.

The really remarkable thing though, and what makes this get hardcore geeks excited for this flight, is that customers can go to SpaceX and drop a bag of cash to get a launch slot to go into space. It really is that simple. SpaceX will deal with all of the government red tape and flight clearances, so all you need to do is drop off the payload. Some other minor things like telemetry and some bus configurations are available for the engineers building satellites for Falcon 9, but that is technical and not legal issues. EELV payloads still need government permission if you want to fly one of them. Of course Arianespace has been doing this for customers as well for a couple of decades, so even that isn't all that remarkable.

I suppose it helps that you can obtain SpaceX media under the terms of the Creative Commons licenses (I think it is CC-by-SA) and are quite open about what it is that they are doing.

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

Teancum Re:And the recovery system? (112 comments)

The previous telemetry that they recovered from the previous Falcon 9 rocket (not the one that flew today) was literally recovered from a pizza pan that somebody bent over their knee and stuck a radio receiver to the back and then pointed it out of a private aircraft towards the rocket during descent in one of the most jury rigged pieces of apparatus you could possibly imagine. That they got any kind of data at all is freaking amazing.

This has nothing to do with conspiracy theories, but rather that the telemetry is using some FM band (so the signal can actually get through the ionosphere when it is in or at least near space) and that ground stations capable of receiving the signal simply weren't really handy near the landing site.

It will be interesting to see what video comes from this current attempt, as I think something perhaps a little better might be recovered. I also doubt that SpaceX would mind if a video of the rocket landing in the water was shown for the evening news, even if it blew up after a wave crested over the middle of the rocket afterward. Perhaps the general public might learn a thing or two about rockets and aerospace engineering because of that too.

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

Teancum Re:Guaranteed (112 comments)

Right... Charles Bolden must be white.... as is his boss too.

That is just scratching the surface. BTW, Bolden didn't get his job because of his skin color either, and IMHO he is also one of the best qualified NASA administrators that America has ever had. The general stars that he earned (in the USMC no less) weren't honorary either.... and his degree is in engineering.

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

Teancum Re:"An anonymous reader" (112 comments)

He donated some money to a "museum" dedicated to advertising one of his products, no samples of which are so unique or old that they deserve to be in a museum. And that suggests an altruistic tendency? I'm not saying he doesn't have any but that is NOT an example of one.

You ought to read links before spouting off drivel that you don't understand. The museum is one dedicated to Nikola Tesla, the namesake of Tesla Motors to be sure, but somebody of very significant historical interest. The building that the museum is housed in happens to be formally recognized already as a National Historic Landmark. There will not be anything in this museum (except very tangentially) about Tesla Motors or any other Elon Musk company except perhaps a small note listing donors to the museum on a plaque.

I don't suppose you've heard of Nikola Tesla? Thank Thomas Edison for that (if you believe the stories).

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

Teancum Re:"An anonymous reader" (112 comments)

Russia as a country has assumed all treaty obligations and considers itself to be the legitimate heir to the Soviet Union. Very few people really disagree.

Besides, the Soviet Union really was a greater Russian empire anyway. The language, the culture, and in many cases the people at the top were all from Russia. That is also one of the causes of the issues in the Ukraine as the "Russification program" to deliberately wipe out whole cultures was occurring there to transplant culturally Russian peoples into the conquered areas (like Ukraine) and then do a similar transplantation of the "locals" to other areas still so they would lose their cultural identity. They expected this would take several generations, and was incomplete, but in areas where it was done there are now ethnically Russian people (like the Crimea) who want to "return home".

So yes, "Soviet Union" == "Russia" for all practical purposes. Especially in the realm of spaceflight.

about two weeks ago
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FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

Teancum Re:Dear Fed (199 comments)

In the case of the SpaceX flights of the Falcon 9R, it could be legitimately called engineering test data.

about three weeks ago
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The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

Teancum Re:Hi speed chase, hum? (443 comments)

> When the police called off the chase (for other
> reasons) and he kept going at 100+mph...

Just to play devil's advocate here, it's not like they informed the guy via their loudspeakers that they were calling off the chase.

I presume that the guy had a rear view mirror to look at. Then again, when you are traveling at 100+ mph through urban streets with cross traffic and parked cars, you likely aren't spending much time looking at what is going on behind you.

about three weeks ago
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The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

Teancum Re:Good (162 comments)

It would be impressive if legal code could somehow be "compiled" for syntax checks as well as encoded in such a way that it becomes expert system rules. That way, asking if a particular action was legal simply would be running it through the "AI" to find out.

That would sort of make some of the stuff that judges do to become obsolete, but is that a bad thing too?

about three weeks ago
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The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

Teancum Re:So... (162 comments)

It still is AI, or at least as much as "AI" becomes in video games. IMHO about on the same level too.

about three weeks ago
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The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

Teancum Re:So... (162 comments)

I'm betting that in this case "expert system" has become an abused term that the marketing guys of the software developer want to strongly avoid due to bad experiences (like the Denver Airport) over the years. Either that or because the people involved were originally from China, the translation of the term got mangled going from English to Chinese and back to English again. I am strongly suspecting more of the latter though.

You are correct, this simply is an expert system applied to a large practical application worth millions of dollars.

about three weeks ago
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Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

Teancum Re:On this 4th of July... (349 comments)

The ISP won't lose the safe harbor status. You never had them in the first place, so there isn't anything to lose as you aren't an ISP with that. The ISP does lose that safe harbor status if they refuse to put your content back up... thus they are throwing all of their support into the party that issued the original take-down notice and are willing to be subject to any possible penalties for removing the content. Most ISPs aren't that stupid. YouTube even removes black marks from your account until the judgement is made (I think this is even required by law... at least after some lawsuits against YouTube/Google showed them the light) and the judge has formally ruled against you.

A judge can get involved in the process at any time, where you can simultaneously issue the counter-notice AND file a lawsuit over the original take-down notice (your option). It isn't like this is too hard to get into a court-room, but you are here insisting that the judge get involved right from the beginning. I simply think you are wrong as it is silly to the point of absurdity that judges need to be literally reviewing even the most trivial matters possible like reviewing very clear cut Linux kernel source code as being a copyright violation merely by posting it in an on-line public repository.

I also think you fail to even comprehend what the DMCA take-down notice process even is in the first place to continue this kind of argument.

about three weeks ago
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Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

Teancum Re:On this 4th of July... (349 comments)

You don't need to demonstrate anything other than simply demand the content be restored. You do risk getting sued by the folks who issued the original take-down notice, but you already know that your are in the cross hairs of whatever company issued the take-down request in the first place.

The person you need to demonstrate that you actually have a legitimate claim on this content is simply yourself, so far as being bold to demand that it be restored with a counter notice. If you get such a notice, take a moment to pause and really consider if it is legitimate or not. If you think it is (perhaps even consulting a buddy who is a lawyer if you really want to be sure), don't hesitate and demand it be restored.

I am also suggesting very strongly that most often you won't even get anything else happen after it is restored, because most of the trolls don't want to spend money (it does cost money to file a lawsuit) unless they know they are going to get something from it. By filing a counter notice, you already are showing a little bit of backbone, so they are further hesitant to just automatically go onto the next step without doing a pretty good review of whatever you demanded get restored.

I'll also note that if it goes to the next step of an actual lawsuit, "actual damages" are a whole lot easier to assess so far as legal fees are concerned, which can be a part of the judgement. It doesn't take a separate action here BTW, unless you really intend to file a lawsuit over the initial takedown request where they refuse to take any further judicial action. Note here there is also a statue of limitations that limits how long the company can wait before filing the lawsuit after you demand the content is restored. Repeated take-down requests also show judicial abuse and can get some fines and statutory damages.

Don't get me wrong, the DMCA is a horribly written law, but in this situation with the take-down notice process, it really is one of the better parts of this particular law (not perfect, but better) and an improvement over the earlier process of fighting lawyers through snail-mail responses and cease & desist letters. The take-down process also doesn't stop a lawyer from sending a formal cease & desist letter after you demand that the content is restored too, so there are additional steps that the people like Qualcomm, BMI, or Disney could take before even filing a lawsuit.

The alternative, what you are refusing to acknowledge, is without this first step and goes straight to the lawsuit. At least with the DMCA take-down notice there is a small speed bump along the way that can give everybody (both the target of the request as well as the person making the request) a chance to review what is going on and potentially flag abuse. If you really think something better could be done, please express that alternative other than going straight to the lawsuit phase. I also disagree that this puts the burden hugely on the defending party.

about three weeks ago
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Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

Teancum Re:On this 4th of July... (349 comments)

We are talking circular arguments rehashing the same thing over and over again. The point of the DMCA take-down process is to avoid needing a court room, in effect turning the court room into an appeals venue. There are alternative approaches that could be done beyond simply the DMCA, and you seem to be insisting that a judge is involved in every situation. That isn't even the point of a courtroom in the first place, which is where I think you miss what a judge actually does.

This isn't a matter of sacrifice, but showing a misunderstanding of the legal process as a whole.

about three weeks ago
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Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

Teancum Re:On this 4th of July... (349 comments)

Oh, I don't think even the original poster was trying to argue that the law doesn't apply to you or I. The problem is that the while technically the law applies to the larger stakeholders, to get the law enforced requires a lot of resources.

My experience in clear-cut cases is that it doesn't take much in the way of resources. It might take some research and having somebody willing to do some pro bono work to help you prepare the case definitely helps. None the less, the judicial system isn't so completely out of touch that you should automatically roll over and let these big companies always get their way.

about three weeks ago
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Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

Teancum Re:On this 4th of July... (349 comments)

I'd like to note that I earn a professional wage off of copyrighted content. I depend upon copyright working in order for me to support and feed my family (not very lavishly either I might add). I don't have money to hire an intellectual property attorney nor drive the 100+ miles each time I need to visit a federal judge at the nearest federal court house. When I say that I think it is a stupid thing to have each possible copyright infringement go to a judge for review, I think it is not only a waste of time for that judge but also for me as well.

I have had people violate my copyright, and it hurts when that happens. I am simply asserting that in my case the DMCA is my friend in terms of even giving me a tool to enforce my copyright claims. You are asserting that such a tool shouldn't even exist. There is also a more normal cease & desist letter, but that is essentially what the DMCA take-down notice actually is in the first place, going to the ISP instead of the actual person first.

Again, under your system of strictly using judicial orders for removing content, how is copyright even going to function for somebody like me?

about a month ago

Submissions

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'World of Warcraft' candidate for Maine State Senate wins election

Teancum Teancum writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Teancum writes "Colleen Lachowicz, candidate for the State Senate District 25 of Maine, won the election yesterday against her opponent Thomas Martin. This race was notable in part because her World of Warcraft character that was mentioned earlier on Slashdot, where the Maine Republican Party turned her game playing into a significant issue. It is also notable that she was able to raise a total of $6,300 in campaign contributions from gamers who came to her defense in her successful campaign. The Maine GOP even tried to block these contributions where Lachowicz was cleared of any wrong doing and the investigation was dropped."
Link to Original Source
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Italian Wikipedia Shuts Down for the Day

Teancum Teancum writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Teancum writes "After a lengthy discussion within the Italian language edition of Wikipedia, the volunteers decided to shut down the Italian language edition of Wikipedia for a day with a protest message addressing a new law passed in Italy which the editors of Wikipedia perceive as being harmful to their participation in the collaborative on-line project. The Wikimedia Foundation (the organization who runs the server farms supporting Wikipedia) issued a statement in support of this action."
Link to Original Source
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RKK Energia confirms private trip to the Moon

Teancum Teancum writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Teancum writes "RKK Energia, the prime contractor for the Russian space program and the company who builds the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, recently confirmed negotiations are underway with space tourism company Space Adventures for a privately financed crewed flight around the Moon. While the offer and purchase of at least one seat has been discussed earlier, this is the first time Energia has confirmed the negotiations and has gone into at least some details in terms of what they are expecting to have happen with this flight and the approximate timeframe for when this flight would take place... sometime in 2016 or 2017."
Link to Original Source
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Congress dumps James Webb Space Telescope

Teancum Teancum writes  |  about 3 years ago

Teancum writes "On the list of items on the upcoming federal budget for 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives has announced they are going to cancel the continued development of the James Webb Space Telescope. While this debate is certainly still very much a preliminary draft, the road ahead for this project is now very much uncertain. In this time of budget cuts, it seems unlikely that this project is going to survive at this time. It certainly will be an uphill battle for fans of this telescope if they want to keep it alive."
Link to Original Source
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ARCA's Helen 2 rocket launch successful

Teancum Teancum writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Teancum writes "ARCA (Asociaia Român pentru Cosmonautic i Aeronautic or the Romanian Cosmonautics and Aeronautics Association) announced today the successful launch of their Helen 2 rocket on Sunday, October 3rd, 2010. In the official press release they detail how the rocket was launched on a balloon that went to 14 km and then after being fired from that altitude achieved an altitude of 40 km. The parachute system failed to deploy on the payload capsule and instead dropped into the Black Sea where search efforts to find the capsule were abandoned. Payload recovery was not a primary objective of this test. It is also notable that this is the first flight test for a vehicle being made by a Google Lunar X-Prize team and this vehicle series is eventually intended to deliver a payload to the surface of the Moon for that prize competition."
Link to Original Source
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Haliburton Patents Patent Trolling

Teancum Teancum writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Teancum writes "In an interesting twist on the patent process, Halliburton (yes, the company famous for the contracts in Iraq) has attempted to patent the process of patent trolling. With a flow chart that seems to read like some of the long standing gags here on slashdot about how to a profit from various technology schemes, this apparently is an attempt to try and get the patent system to turn on itself."
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NOAA Requires License for Photos of the Earth

Teancum Teancum writes  |  about 6 years ago

Teancum writes "In an interesting show of the level of regulations private spacecraft designers have to go through, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has demanded that American participants of the Google Lunar X Prize obtain a license if their spacecraft are "capable of actively or passively sensing the Earth's surface, including bodies of water, from space by making use of the properties of the electromagnetic waves emitted, reflected, or diffracted by the sensed objects". What prompted NOAA to ask for this license came from a visit by the XPrize staff to the NOAA offices in Maryland. What is going to happen when "space tourists" bring their private cameras along for the ride?"
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RFP for NASA-based MMORPG

Teancum Teancum writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Teancum writes "I'm sure that a large number of Slashdot regulars are familiar with the U.S. Army's MMORPG America's Army. It turns out that NASA has submitted a Request for Proposals for what would be a NASA-themed MMORPG of its own. So would you ever want to write your own video game and get paid for it? The deadline for the RfP is February 15th, so get your word processors busy with a proposal of your own. The specific objective of this request is as follows:

"A NASA-based MMO built on a game engine that includes powerful physics capabilities could support accurate in-game experimentation and research. It should simulate real NASA engineering and science missions in a medium that is comfortable and familiar to the majority of students in the United States today. A NASA-based MMO could provide opportunities for students to investigate STEM career paths while participating in engaging game-play. Through a NASA-based MMO, students will gain insight into a wide range of exciting career opportunities and be encouraged to make educational choices that lead them into STEM fields of study and eventually the STEM careers needed to fulfill NASA's Vision for Space Exploration. Learning Technologies is seeking input on how to accomplish those goals."
If there is anybody suited for developing a game like this, I can't imagine a better group than the slashdot crowd to try and come up with some outstanding proposals, and have the technical expertise to pull this off. This certainly doesn't deserve to get thrown onto the traditional dust heap of educational proposals for a half-baked game that nobody will actually play."

Link to Original Source
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Expanded Role of Iridium Satellite Constellation

Teancum Teancum writes  |  about 7 years ago

Teancum writes "The Wall Street Journal is reporting about an expanded role for the next generation of satellites in the telecommunication satellite constellation: Earth observation and weather data. The Group on Earth Observation is offering to partner in this endeavor, some of whose members will be paying for this new "service" of the Iridium network. There will be as many as "70 separate sensors on Iridium satellites, designed to measure everything from temperature changes in the atmosphere to changes in radiation and ozone levels to wave heights and ocean levels." This is a far cry from when there was some concerns about whether there would even be an Iridium constellation and the bankruptcy of the former company that operated this group of satellites. This appears to be a way to add an additional revenue stream to an already profitable company operating with most of its assets in space."
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Teancum Teancum writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Teancum writes "SpaceX Corporation and Elon Musk have succesfully launched the Falcon I rocket from Kwajalein Atoll today at about 6:00 PM PDT. While there were a few glitches including a launch abort at T+ 0:10 and a few other issues typical to all launches, the rocket was successful in launching and succesfully fired the second stage as well. This is in follow up to yesterday's abort that was due to a glitch moving from ground telemetry link switching over to radio links."

Journals

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Whatever Happened to the Linux DVD-Video Effort?

Teancum Teancum writes  |  more than 9 years ago This is a rejected article submisson, and I'll throw it here simply because I think this is a valid question. There were some very substantial efforts in the past to try and put DVD-Video onto Linux and other Open Source operating systems. While there were clearly some legal issues that the groups needed to deal with, it seems as though these groups have disappeared not with a bang, but with a whimper, and quitely disappeared. While this is true of several post dot-com websites, it seems as though this source of several major stories is not even mirrored, except on The Internet Wayback Machine. Another related website, The Open DVD Group also appears to be off-line. Even more bizzare is that the Open DVD discussion list has turned into all but a spam list. Some of the effort has been redirected with groups like Ogg Theora, that can't explain the total absense from any of the at times very heated discussions on numerous mailing lists and websites that sprang up, particularly during the whole deCSS fiasco. Is this a result of lawyers being successful at driving efforts like this underground or is this simply a case of a topic that ran its course and a general abandonment of this concept by the open source community in general?

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