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In Canada, No Expectation of Privacy On the Net

carambola5 Re:correct (206 comments)

i dont ever post my real name anywhere,

A lesson on humor: You should have signed your post with a name. Even if it's not your real name.

more than 5 years ago

Crowdsourcing Big Brother In Lancaster, PA

carambola5 Oblig. Ben Franklin quote (440 comments)

"Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither"
-Benjamin Franklin

more than 5 years ago

Apple To Face Challenge At WWDC

carambola5 30" OLED displays (264 comments)

Despite being a "developers" conference, I'm calling it. 30" OLED displays. You heard it here first.

more than 5 years ago

Sun Announces New MySQL, Michael Widenius Forks

carambola5 Re:Get it here (306 comments)

Sometimes, a fixed width is more effective than full width.
Sometimes, a fixed width is cleaner than full width.
Sometimes, a fixed width is more graceful than full width.

There are very few hard-and-fast rules in web design. Always designing to full width is not one of them.

Shame you couldn't spell out "In my opinion." Abbreviations = lazy typing = unimpressive.

more than 5 years ago

Mac Tax, Dell Tax, HP Tax

carambola5 Re:Apples and Oranges err... Vistas? (858 comments)

Although I almost completely agree with you, I have one piece of anecdotal evidence. I own a first generation MacBook Air (thank you, craigslist!), and it chokes pretty hard on YouTube videos.

Granted, I don't use it to browse YouTube... I use it to be a mobile programming terminal that is as pleasing to the eye as it is enjoyable to use. But there you go: years after YouTube was out, the MBA came out and sucked at playing its videos, especially the new "HD" ones. I'm told the second generation of MacBook Airs have fixed this.

more than 5 years ago

The Copyrightability of Twitter Posts

carambola5 Re:140 Characters? (183 comments)

How about a similar venture already on Twitter inspired by that very Wired article? Stories in exactly 126 characters.

more than 5 years ago

US Adults Fail Basic Science Literacy

carambola5 Re:Wha? (1038 comments)

Poor wording in the article... 47% of those surveyed were correct if you accept a rough approximation of the exact number... which happens to be 70-71%

more than 5 years ago

NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory Mission Fails

carambola5 Re:Rebuild? (325 comments)

Yeah. I didn't explain quite correctly. GSE would refer to all equipment that remains on the ground but is still at-hand before and during the mission. This would encompass not only support electronics and interface mockups but also the brassboard units (as you call them).

more than 5 years ago

NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory Mission Fails

carambola5 Re:Rebuild? (325 comments)

It depends on the project, but space projects - even small payloads aboard larger craft - are invariably built in sets. Unfortunately, you usually can't just launch one of the "spares" because they're not actually spares. They are identical units that are tested near (or beyond) the point of failure to predict lifetime of the one flight unit. These are called qualification units, or "Qual Units." Occasionally, you'll also have one or two ground-based units (ground-support equipment, or GSEs) that mimic the project's function but aren't necessarily built with space in mind... for example, expensive weight-saving milling operations have been omitted or cheaper wiring (PVC) may have replaced expensive space-worthy wiring (Teflon).

more than 5 years ago

NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory Mission Fails

carambola5 Re:What's the contingency for these missions? (325 comments)

For space missions, once something is launched, all design is done. That's a very expensive component: the engineers' time to conceive and design. All that remains now for OCO is to determine the cause of failure, design a way to avoid it, and send the already-made drawings off to the shop again.

The marginal cost is materials + machine shop time + assembly time + testing (not insignificant) + launch costs.

Of course, it would have been cheaper to make the two flight units together initially... machining expenses plummet when increasing the quantity of parts in a batch. Truth be told, there are probably a few OCO's hanging out at NASA now, though they've been tested (think big vibration tests) near the point of failure.

more than 5 years ago

Why Does the US Have a Civil Space Program?

carambola5 Re:argument for a civil program (308 comments)

Nobody has ever found anything worth manufacturing in space.

Ever heard of this little thing called the Halting Problem? It applies to real life as well as mathematical endeavors.

more than 5 years ago

Why Does the US Have a Civil Space Program?

carambola5 Re:Because this is America (308 comments)

As lead mechanical engineer who designed, built, and tested a lunar mining machine within the last year, I can assure you: we're working on it.

Let me just indicate that if NASA (or some other government entity) had not funded the project, the private space sector would have taken decades to begin considering funding it.

The civil space industry provides funding and support for state-of-the-art space technologies, while the private space industry - with their ROI requirements - follows behind. There is nothing wrong with this protocol. If you'd like to see more private space industry, fund NASA so that companies can justify spending money on more mature technologies.

more than 5 years ago

Milky Way Heavier Than Thought, and Spinning Faster

carambola5 with apologies to Randall Munroe (285 comments)

Milky Way heavier than thought? Maybe it's your mom.


more than 5 years ago

Lunar Oxygen and Water Production Tech Tested

carambola5 Re:Holy shit, people. (56 comments)

I didn't take offense or anything... just wanted to bring some logic into the minds of someone who might not understand. This topic hits pretty close to home, since we have a prototype PILOT sitting in our lab downstairs.

Just wait until next year's field tests. Everything's gonna get scaled up. Lots. =)

more than 5 years ago

Lunar Oxygen and Water Production Tech Tested

carambola5 Re:in-situ resource utilization field test in Hawa (56 comments)

What are the givens to this problem?

-NASA wants extensive use capabilities.
-ITAR restrictions make it so that US entities would rather stay in the US rather than go through the paperwork of going elsewhere.
-Volcanic ash tends to be similar in abrasiveness, chemistry, and agglutinate size to lunar regolith.
-The presence of flora and fauna should be minimized.

Taking these into consideration, you get Hawaii and the Southwest. Since the volcanoes in the Southwest are dormant, their ash has had more time to erode into a less abrasive form. Result: test in Hawaii.

more than 5 years ago



Holy S***! Water Exists on F***ing Moon!

carambola5 carambola5 writes  |  about 6 years ago

carambola5 writes "While Clementine and Lunar Prospector data suggest the existence of water via remote sensing, geochemist Alberto Saal of Brown University has some native lunar water sitting in his lab. Using secondary ion mass spectrometry, the group found up to 46 ppm of water within lunar glass beads, which were formed from volcanic eruptions and retrieved during the Apollo missions. Evidence suggests that the ancient liquid magma actually contained about 260 ppm of water before bursting into the vacuum of space."
Link to Original Source

The New House Dilemma

carambola5 carambola5 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

carambola5 writes "This morning, I closed on my first house (hooray for low interest rates! w00t for low home prices!). Being a geek, my mind is swimming with ideas on how to make it better. Fortunately, I don't have that pesky voice of moderation preventing me from going wild with upgrades (aka: a wife). My question to Slashdot: what upgrades should I do? Instead of describing my house in detail, just give me ideas that would almost definitely not be pre-installed, such as solar panels, a multi-room and occupant-aware sound system, an honest-to-goodness theater room, etc. For the purposes of imagination, assume resale value doesn't matter. If I get some good ideas, perhaps another Slashdot story will document my accomplishments."


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