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NASA Remasters 20-Year-Old Galileo Photographs of Jupiter's Moon, Europa

confused one never send a robot to do a man's job... (13 comments)

Want to know what a human eye would see? Send the best instrument: a Mark I Eyeball. In fact, you might want to send a woman or two... they tend to have better color perception than men (says a red-green deficient example of the male gender).

1 hour ago
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What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

confused one boggles the mind... (493 comments)

So, let me see if I understand this... You have a device that needs 32 watts of electricity to operate. You're proposing we power it with an RTG, which are typically only 3% efficient at heat conversion. So that RTG has to produce at least 1.1kW of heat. You're telling me that you want to land a 1.1kW heat source on a body whose surface measures below -70C, and whose surface is made of frozen ammonia, water, methanol, carbon dioxide, and methane. Anyone see the problem here?

3 days ago
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Intel Announces Major Reorg To Combine Mobile and PC Divisions

confused one Re:only greyneckbeard dinosaurs use PCs anyway (75 comments)

This. My core i7 laptop with AMD graphics and maxed out on memory, is only marginal for use doing electronic design, eCAD and PCB layout. It's OK for software compiles; but, all my projects target smallish embedded processors. Time is money... If I have to wait for something then I'm pissing away money. I have the laptop because I needed a portable machine to carry with me to customer sites.

5 days ago
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Intel Announces Major Reorg To Combine Mobile and PC Divisions

confused one Re:Can Apple Move to ARM on the Desktop? (75 comments)

They're not talking about the Core i3/i5/i7 mobile processors for laptops. Those are just the low power versions of the desktop processors. They're talking about atoms, quark and other processors targeting tablets and phones and small embedded applications, those designed to compete with ARM. Apple made a choice, there were options they could have used in the Mac Mini that they didn't offer.

5 days ago
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A Worm's Mind In a Lego Body

confused one Re:How about (200 comments)

So, you want them to make replicators. That's a great idea. Who knew "grey goo" would look like Lego bricks up close.

about a week ago
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After Four Days, Philae Team Gets to Rest

confused one Re:Questions for any who have been following this (88 comments)

No, if it's properly designed energy goes where the controller sends it. However, temperatures are low enough to freeze the battery, bringing it below the point where it will function. There are many electronic components that just won't work at -100C; or, will be damaged by deep cold. Heaters are critical to operation of most of the components on a deep space probes.

about a week ago
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After Four Days, Philae Team Gets to Rest

confused one Re:the dire equations (88 comments)

The risk to Rosetta would not make such a maneuver worth trying. Use of propellant would also shorten Rosetta's life.

about a week ago
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After Four Days, Philae Team Gets to Rest

confused one Re:Questions for any who have been following this (88 comments)

It's not quite that simple. It takes a certain amount of power to keep the computer running, even in low power standby mode. It also requires some energy to run the onboard heaters, which keep the battery and electronics from failing due to the extreme cold. The amount of energy they were receiving in the 90 minutes, before the attempt to turn the probe, was insufficient to supply the heaters, run the computer in low power standby and charge the battery. I don't know if they left the heaters running, because there was concern that the heaters alone were enough to prevent the battery from charging. If not, the battery may freeze solid before charging to a level that's able to restart the computer. It's hoped that that won't be the case... we'll have to wait and see.

about a week ago
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The Military's Latest Enemy: Climate Change

confused one flooding of bases (163 comments)

Navy is having to consider what's going to happen as sea level inches upwards. At Norfolk (the largest naval base on the East Coast) and the surrounding communities, we're seeing a measurable increase in flooding, particularly in the past two decades. Most of the area is less than 20 feet above mean low tide. Storms like Isabel, which brought 12 feet of storm surge with it, show the area is at risk. It's possible that the base will be under water at some point, possibly within a century if IPCC estimates are correct (a long time, to be sure). That's a serious concern that they would be foolish not to begin planning for.

about two weeks ago
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Washington Dancers Sue To Prevent Identity Disclosure

confused one Re:Yes, but the real problem is being ignored. (461 comments)

Seriously: who or what interest does the state imagine it is "protecting" with this license?

(1) protecting under-age women from working in the clubs (2) tracking who's working in the clubs as a means of controlling or limiting prostitution, (3) stamping out human trafficking for sex trade. (4) They may be working as "independent contractors" in which case licensing allows tracking for taxation purposes

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Minimizing Oil and Gas Dependency In a Central European City?

confused one reducing footprint (250 comments)

cheap Chinese solar panels on the roof, with an inverter capable of islanding if you can get it past your building codes people. That way you'll have some power during the day when there's no power in the city. Do you own the land? If so, put in a geothermal heat pump. More efficient than traditional heat pumps; so, lower energy consumption and lower operating cost. You're in the city so wood heating might be out of the question... If it's not, put in a wood pellet stove for heat when the oil and gas supplies are cut. If the city infrastructure is down for any significant time, you're going to be out of luck (lack of basic supplies, facilities, water, sewer, etc....)

about two weeks ago
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Gigabit Internet Connections Make Property Values Rise

confused one Re:If you proposed a $5000 hookup-tax for internet (108 comments)

They did this for sewer hookup around parts of south-east Virginia when they decided one way to mitigate pollution in the Chesapeake Bay was to reduce runoff from septic systems. If electrical service and POTS service hadn't been regulated like they were, the same would have been true of them. I don't see the difference. -- you want the service, you're either paying for it up front or your taxes are paying off a municipal bond. Money has to come from somewhere...

about three weeks ago
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Gigabit Internet Connections Make Property Values Rise

confused one One of the first things I checked (108 comments)

Security and safety of my children came first, of course. Can the home(s) I'm looking at be connected to high-speed internet service was near the top of the list though. I have access to Cox and FiOS up to 150Mb, which meets my needs for the immediate future. Gigabit would be nice to have though...

about three weeks ago
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In this year's US mid-term elections ...

confused one Re:Not Eligible -- Yes, I am a US Citizen (551 comments)

I've been on the street as well. But to claim that, because you've scraped up enough to stay at a motel, you no longer qualify as homeless, I can't abide by that. You have a temporary roof over your head; but, in the eyes of the law, you are not a resident, and as far as any future employer is concerned, you are neither a resident nor do you have a valid home address.

about three weeks ago
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In this year's US mid-term elections ...

confused one fanatical (551 comments)

Since the Republicans have been letting the extremists and fanatics drive for the past couple of years, they won't be getting my vote this year.

about three weeks ago
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In this year's US mid-term elections ...

confused one Re:Not Eligible -- Yes, I am a US Citizen (551 comments)

I'm sorry, living in a cheap hotel is homeless. I was there 25 years ago and I can assure you that a hotel address does not qualify as a permanent address when registering to vote, when applying to a state university for enrollment, when applying for a checking account, or when filling out a job application. In fact, in the area I live in, municipalities are imposing rules limiting hotel guest to no more than 30 or 60 days within a 180 day window unless it is a permitted "extended stay" motel. Nothing says home like being kicked out of a motel after two months.

about three weeks ago
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US Midterm Elections Discussion

confused one Re:News For Nerds? (401 comments)

Because Nerds need funding to do the thing that they do. Funding depends on the economy providing dollars for corporations to spend. It also depends on the Government either directly providing dollars for science and R&D or indirectly creating policy that helps the economy generate dollars. If your a nerd, you should be concerned about what the Government is doing -- it has a direct impact on your ability to do nerdy things.

about three weeks ago
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Buying Goods To Make Nuclear Weapons On eBay, Alibaba, and Other Platforms

confused one Re:1940s technology (260 comments)

By the time the weapons are 100 years old (at least by the 2050's) most of the required componentry will be child's play. A little textbook physics (because most of what you need is in the textbooks) and even a private citizen would be able to build one. Only thing stopping anyone would be access to the explosives to make the shaped charges and access to the fuel(s).

about three weeks ago
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Buying Goods To Make Nuclear Weapons On eBay, Alibaba, and Other Platforms

confused one Re: Gallium is also a dopant in chipmaking (260 comments)

Gallium alloys are used in fire suppression systems and thermal safety valve. Anywhere you want a metal plug to melt at a predefined temperature.

about three weeks ago

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