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Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

Wormholio Slooh (234 comments)

You might be interested on Slooh (http://www.slooh.com) which is pronounced like "slew", as in the motion of a telescope turning on its mount.

Slooh lets you control telescopes in the Canary Islands or Chile, for a modest subscription fee. You might start out getting your own images of nearby planets, or collect the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and then move on to more distant objects. You can do this on your own, but you can also collaborate with other Slooh members. Some of them are working to track comets, others are tracking asteroids, and in some cases submitting their findings to the IAU Minor Planet Center.

As others have already mentioned, paid jobs in astronomy are tight even for those with a degree. But if you are an interested adult learner there are lots of ways to learn more and satisfy your curiosity. As Mark Twain supposedly said, "never let school get in the way of your education" (or in your case lack of school).

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where's the Most Unusual Place You've Written a Program From?

Wormholio While driving a car (310 comments)

On a long drive from LA to Portland I was the driver and I was bored, so I wrote a simple moon lander game (modeled from one I'd seen written in BASIC) for my new HP-25 programmable calculator by dictating instructions to the guy riding in the shotgun seat. The display showed your altitude on one side of the decimal place, velocity on the other side (and with the +/- sign) and remaining fuel in the exponent. After each iteration you entered how much fuel to burn on the next step and pushed R/S (Run/Stop) to continue. If you got down to zero altitude (or below) with a velocity less than some maximum value then you had made a successful landing. Otherwise you crashed.

about 6 months ago
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How Do You Get Better Bug Reports From Users?

Wormholio Make it easy for them (205 comments)

Writing a good bug report is not easy, and users should not be expected to know what information the developer will need to find and fix the bug. They only want to report that there is a problem, and that they'd like it fixed.

That said, you can guide them to give more useful information. I found that making a form to fill out with all the details broken out into separate pieces gave us more useful information. Want to know how to reproduce the bug? Make that an individual question on the report. Which component where you using, or what web page were you on? Make that a specific question. A real person can follow up if necessary to get other information, and then they can file the "official" bug report in the form that the developer can understand and use.

about a year and a half ago
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New Best Way To Nuke a Short-Notice Asteroid

Wormholio Won't work if the asteroid is rotating (311 comments)

If the asteroid has any rotational motion then the crater created by the first impactor will have moved out of the way of the second.

about a year and a half ago
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Typing These 8 Characters Will Crash Almost Any App On Your Mountain Lion Mac

Wormholio Even crashes the crash reporter! (425 comments)

I tried this in Safari on Lion. Capital F required, but indeed just "File:/// " crashes it.
Then you get a pop-up asking if you want to report the problem to Apple? Sure.
But then that crashes with a pop-up reporting that crash reporter has crashed. Bonus!

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How to Exploit Post-Cataract Ultraviolet Vision?

Wormholio Bird's eye view (350 comments)

Birds supposedly have UV vision, and some of their markings are for each other, and are more clearly distinguished by other birds that can see UV.

So you might consider observing birds and making sketches of their markings, much like the naturalists of 100 years ago, so that the rest of us can see what the birds can see of each other.

more than 3 years ago
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PayPal Predicts the End of the Wallet By 2015

Wormholio End of PayPal (391 comments)

This is good. I take it to really mean that we'll see the end of PayPal by 2015.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is There a War Against Small Mail Servers?

Wormholio Verizon blocks at the "free" router (459 comments)

I've run my own mail and web servers from my home for years, so I was worried about this when I was making the switch from Time-Warner cable (who didn't care, BTW) to Verizon Fios. One person I know reported that Verizon did indeed block port 25 (and port 80) inbound, while another told me his setup worked fine, once he replaced the free router they gave him with his own router.

And indeed, after making the switch, I still am able to get mail inbound on port 25. The modem/router they gave me does have controls to adjust security settings, which look a lot like Windows trusted -vs- untrusted controls. But I can't really tell if they do much. The key thing I found was to set up port forwarding to send port 25 to the machine in my internal network with the mail server. Same for port 80 to the web server.

Outbound I route through the ISP. Postfix makes that easy. I found a few years ago that certain domains I sent to, though not all of them, started bouncing mail even though I had an SPF record, just because my IP address was in a range listed as "dynamic" (i.e. "residential"). Clearly that's for spam control. Not everybody does this, and I could send direct to those who do not, but it was simpler to just send everything out via port 587 to the ISP.

more than 3 years ago
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Fedora 15 Changes Network Device Naming Scheme

Wormholio Keep ethX, make it unambiguous (132 comments)

How about a compromise? Keep the ethX names, but use the proposed scheme to have an unambiguous order in which the names are assigned.

more than 3 years ago
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Many Top iPhone Apps Collect Unique Device ID

Wormholio Re:Recommended alternatives? (194 comments)

If you take a hash (eg SHA1 is better than MD5) of the UDID you get a unique string that is not the UDID. Of course if other apps do the same then these could be compared to identify users -- not necessarily by name, but connecting a user on one server with a user on another.

So concatenate the App Id, which is unique to the app, with the UDID, which is unique to the device, and then take the hash, which is then unique to both and not invertible. Do this once, on the device (not on your server, or the UDID has to be transmitted), and use that as a unique identifier of the user/device.

more than 4 years ago
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Dubai's Police Chief Calls BlackBerry a Spy Tool

Wormholio Iridium (215 comments)

RIM needs to make a blackberry device that can use the Iridium satellite network.

more than 4 years ago
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YouTube Is Down

Wormholio Re:Anyone else notice the slow responses from Goog (152 comments)

I've noticed lots of slow responses or no responses from Google servers lately. (Gmail, Google Docs, Google Search, Youtube, Google Maps, etc) It doesn't happen all the time, but many many times throughout the day. Has anyone else noticed this? If so, is anything known about it? DOS, etc?

Yes, I use Google for DNS and I've notice in the past day or two that it fails for long intervals (many minutes). I also wondered about DOS.

more than 4 years ago
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Are Sat-Nav Systems Becoming Information Overload?

Wormholio Turn off the audio (186 comments)

I found the audio to be distracting, whereas the video display gives me positional awareness, and I can look at it when I choose to, not when the box decides to say something. I found I was much more relaxed when I found how to turn off the audio.

So I guess having both at the same time is the real problem.

about 5 years ago
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Ethics of Releasing Non-Malicious Linux Malware?

Wormholio Don't involve BOINC, please (600 comments)

Please don't associate BOINC with you little project. It will confuse the casual reader into thinking it is something bad rather than something good.

about 5 years ago
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Fear Detector To Sniff Out Terrorists

Wormholio Terrorists have no fear (342 comments)

This will fail. A dedicated terrorist has no fear, while a law-abiding citizen can now be in fear of being accused of what is essentially thought-crime.

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft Files For 3 Parallel Processing Patents

Wormholio Re:pffff (137 comments)

You'd think that somebody that's light-years ahead when it comes to parallel processing would rule the roost in the Top 500 supercomputer list. I'm sure there's a good explanation, though....just waiting to hear it. :)

To get on the Top 500 list your machine is measured against the LINPACK benchmark. It's not the best benchmark for parallel performance, so in many cases nobody has bothered.

more than 5 years ago
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How To Get High-Schoolers Involved In Real Science?

Wormholio Interactions in Understanding the Universe (I2U2) (314 comments)

I'm working on a science education project called I2U2, which is looking for teachers like you.

The main idea of the project is to give students (and their teachers) direct access to data from major physics experiments, along with access to grid computing resources so that they can do interesting investigations with those data. We have access to data from the CMS test-beam, as well as Monte Carlo data simulating CMS itself. We will have real data from CMS once the LHC turns on. We have access to environmental data from LIGO, the gravitational wave detection experiment (not the gravitational wave data itself, I'm afraid; but there's still cool things you can do with the seismometers and other sensors). And we have an array of several hundred cosmic ray detectors in place in schools across the US (and a few abroad) from Fermilab's QuarkNet project (http://quarknet.fnal.gov)

All this data can be used for inquiry-driven projects which the students design themselves, with guidance from their teachers and materials we are preparing for the teachers. These 'e-Labs' are not scripted labs (though we do provide a general structure for developing those investigations), they are an opportunity to do real inquiry with real data. And yes, this will include tools to let you track your students' contributions and progress.

We will be doing some teacher workshops this summer, and we need some teachers to be beta testers. If you are interested in that, or in the project in general, check us out at http://www15.i2u2.org/ We are not set up for production yet, so please excuse that it's not very polished, but it should be possible to learn a bit more about the project from that site.

more than 5 years ago
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Race For the "God Particle" Heats Up

Wormholio Re:How do you give odds for that? (397 comments)

Also, what are the odds the particle doesn't exist AND they find it?

Actually, that's what I expect to happen.

In the Standard Model the Higgs is a fundamental particle. And it is a scalar particle (spin 0). There are no other fundamental particles in Nature that have spin-0, and there are good reasons to expect that they cannot exist. So what I think will happen is they will find something which behaves much like the Higgs in the Standard Model. But it turns out it's not fundamental. Only that part of the discovery comes later.

So I'd say the best odds are that the Higgs of the Standard Model does not exist, yet they find something that behaves almost exactly like it

more than 5 years ago
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EHR Privacy Debate Heats Up

Wormholio Re:Dangers of EHR (182 comments)

The danger of an Electronic Health Record is that it may perpetuate mistakes which of course do happen and any mistakes can carry on and lead to more problems.

It cuts both ways. With electronic records some cross-checks are possible, such as checking prescribed drugs for interactions, or perhaps even checking that the symtoms and/or treatment really match the diagnosis.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Wormholio Wormholio writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Wormholio (729552) writes "The NY Times has just reported that "Hewlett-Packard Co. Chairwoman Patricia Dunn resigned Friday, effective immediately, in the wake of the company's ill-fated investigation of media leaks.""

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