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Emacs Hits Version 23

juanergie Does not compile "out of the box" in Mac OS X 10.5 (367 comments)

The image libraries for jpeg and tiff are not by default in OS X 10.5.7. You have to pass the configure flags --with-gif=no --with-jpeg=no to get it to compile.

more than 5 years ago

Bacterial Computer Solves Hamiltonian Path Problem

juanergie It has always been the case (135 comments)

Let us remember that the entire world was created from microscopic life forms, not by computers. The life forms learned from the environment and evolved in ways which even the most sophisticated computer would have an impossible time understanding. Let us remember that computers are, by a long shot, not the most efficient problem solvers. For instance, no computer can recognize patterns as well as a human being. The control system governing a hummingbird flight is way more advanced than that of the greatest and mightiest fighter airplane.

Computers are not problem solvers - they merely automate repetitive procedures or, at best, algorithmically apply a set of rules to a given problem -- Nature has always been more potent than computers.

I am impressed they can solve a simple problem with bacteria though. Maybe I should stop brushing my teeth and let the bacteria in my mouth say something intelligent.


more than 5 years ago

NASA Has the Lost Tapes

juanergie Glad to hear that (256 comments)

but why do they find the lunar tapes a few days before the 40th celebration of the Lunar mission (Apollo 11).

Is this a coincidence or PR?

more than 5 years ago

IBM Releases Open Source Machine Learning Compiler

juanergie Automation... (146 comments)

... can create stupid humans. Let's embrace technology but beware of falling into ignorance.

more than 5 years ago

HTML Tags For Academic Printing?

juanergie Hands down... (338 comments)

... you want \LaTeX

more than 5 years ago

Has NASA Found the Lost Moon Tapes?

juanergie NASA's credibility (222 comments)

As an Space Program advocate, I certainly hope they find them-- the public needs to trust NASA again; knowing that NASA can keep track of its mission assets would be the very basic start.

Whoever found the tapes (if they really were found) should not feel disappointed about not breaking the news him or herself. It is a shame they were lost in the first place, and finding them is nothing to feel proud about. I cannot imagine loosing my baby in the supermarket and then feeling like a real smart, witty person for finding her two years later.

more than 5 years ago

Hackable In-Car GPS Unit?

juanergie Proprietary Issues (208 comments)

Companies comercializing GPS devices are in the business of making money. I am inclined to believe you would run into proprietary and legal stuff should you plan to hack or reverse-engineer the device. Maybe some provide an API?

more than 5 years ago

DARPA Wants a 19" Super-Efficient Supercomputer

juanergie Should it... (200 comments)

... run Linux?

more than 5 years ago

Intel Demos Wireless "Resonant" Recharging

juanergie Efficiency? (184 comments)

Anybody familiar with the efficiency of this process? What fraction of the wattage is lost during transfer?

more than 5 years ago

Details on the hacking of APL's servers?

juanergie Re:A highly-secure institution? (2 comments)

I mean to say "an institution which manages highly confidential information".

Good point, though.

more than 5 years ago

400 Battle Bots Fight, Toss Enemies At RoboGames Competition

juanergie Hasta la vista (58 comments)


more than 5 years ago

Carnegie Researchers Say Geotech Can't Cure Ocean Acidification

juanergie Re:Simple solutions are possible (248 comments)

We should avoid the "butterfly effects" of the proposed solutions. We don't know what will happen if we just dump shit in the ocean, it might be that the remedy is worse than the disease.

For the plant argument, I agree we cannot just plant whatever ficus we happen to like. However, planting trees of the same species we've cut in the same places where we've cut them would be a start-- they were already there, and nothing bad happened to us.

more than 5 years ago

Montana City Requires Workers' Internet Accounts

juanergie In the Internet... (836 comments)

... nobody knows you are a Montana worker.

Why are they concerned about who you've been poking? And what if they are members of, say, a porn site? Do they really expect them to write "I'm a member of"? Nobody will know that Joe Smith is "longandwild87".

I say workers should just create a Gmail account called and start emailing their representatives.

more than 5 years ago

Carnegie Researchers Say Geotech Can't Cure Ocean Acidification

juanergie Simple solutions are possible (248 comments)

at least conceptually.

The solution? Plant trees and cut carbon emissions by a fraction such that old trees + new trees absorb and stabilize carbon levels. The problem? Major polluters are not taking bold steps; they are like the United Nations-- speak a lot, and hope speeches will accomplish something.

Why are we looking for esoteric ways to "heal the planet"? We have the answer, it is just a matter of someone with a lot of balls standing up and saying "listen, fuckers, we are going to cap the carbon emissions and every human family will plant a tree. If we don't do it we will be fucked, and I will not fucking allow that to fucking happen" (notice than my stereotype of "person with a lot of balls" uses the word "fuck" a lot).

more than 5 years ago

Introducing the Warpship

juanergie Re:I'm not against thinking outside the box (361 comments)

I fail to see how the comment punishes smart people, my simple point was that it is important to distinguish scientific fact from plausible speculation.
Overall public may be confused about all things you mention, and even more. However, this does not mean that we should confuse them even more or, worse, not give a shit about it because, if I recall correctly, the Space Program is funded by taxpayers in most countries.
Also, educating the public and helping them distinguish reality from well-wishes is a good thing. We could all do better if society as a whole was more critical and not as innocent.
Nothing wrong with dreaming, as long as we can distinguish when we are awake.

more than 5 years ago

Drupal 6: Ultimate Community Site Guide

juanergie Re:What I love about Drupal... (63 comments)

Drupal is a Content Management System and Django is a Web Framework. I recommend their corresponding Wikipedia articles to study the differences.

I will try to briefly explain the differences as I see them.

When you fire-up Drupal, you can start immediately adding stories and pages using the Administrative Page; it assumes that your website will likely need those content types. If you want to add different content types (like a blog entry, an rss feed, a Google Map, etc) then you can plug-in contributed modules. Your Website is thus created and expanded.

With Django you design three different things: Models, Views, and Controllers. The Model contains the data structures which you design from the ground-up, like a blog entry which will have a date, a title, and it's content. The View contains the template to render the Model, and the Controller links the first two. Django autmatically creates the Administrative page where you can add/edit/delete the data structures you designed; it also comes with batteries included: data types for users and groups; login engine; protection against SQL injections and cross-server attacks, etc.

I seriously recommend that you give it a shot to the Django tutorial (you will create a poll; it will take you about an hour, installation included). It is very exciting to design the data structures and the templates (Django has a very simple but extremely powerful template language). Django is written and manipulated using Python.

Like I said, no need to write your own blog using Django (not even Drupal, for that matter) but, if you want to fully grasp the logic of your site, I seriously advice against the overhead necessarily introduced by Drupal.

If you happen to like Django, I recommend the book "Django 1.0 Website Development" ( You can get the online PDF version for about 27 US Dollars. The book covers the design and implementation of a bookmark sharing website - very helpful indeed.

Good luck in your projects.

more than 5 years ago

Herschel Space Telescope Opens For the First Time

juanergie it is not the "largest evel launched into space" (84 comments)

The entry should clarify that it is the largest infrared telescope ever launched. Actually, the adjective large should not be used. Space is not porn. To most people.

It would also be very helpful for the public to know how will Herschel and Hubble complement each-other. Otherwise, the general public may believe that humanity has launched two different things to accomplish the same task.

more than 5 years ago

Drupal 6: Ultimate Community Site Guide

juanergie What I love about Drupal... (63 comments)

... is that you can use it until you realize that you should be using Django.

More seriously, I do like Drupal and I can see the point of its modular design. However, I must confess that for more complicated projects I found it easier to use Django.

I would advice any person planning to build a website with more-than-just-a-blog capabilities to seriously consider Django first. If Django doesn't cut it for any reason, then Drupal is the way to go.

If your site is meant to be complex in a non-standard way, you should fully understand the complexity.

more than 5 years ago



The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program announces its 2012 awards.

juanergie juanergie writes  |  more than 2 years ago

juanergie writes "NASA has selected the 2012 fellows for its "Innovative Advanced Concepts" program, from the article: "These selections represent the best and most creative new ideas for future technologies that have the potential to radically improve how NASA missions explore new frontiers," said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA's Space Technology Program at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "Through the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program, NASA is taking the long-term view of technological investment and the advancement that is essential for accomplishing our missions. We are inventing the ways in which next-generation aircraft and spacecraft will change the world and inspiring Americans to take bold steps."

The fellows are listed in:"

Link to Original Source

NASA's LRO photographs Apollo landing sites

juanergie juanergie writes  |  more than 5 years ago

juanergie writes "Apollo landing sites have been photographed by NASA's Lunar Reconnisance Orbiter, from the article:

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, has returned its first imagery of the Apollo moon landing sites. The pictures show the Apollo missions' lunar module descent stages sitting on the moon's surface, as long shadows from a low sun angle make the modules' locations evident. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, or LROC, was able to image five of the six Apollo sites, with the remaining Apollo 12 site expected to be photographed in the coming weeks.


Details on the hacking of APL's servers?

juanergie juanergie writes  |  more than 5 years ago

juanergie writes "It has been reported that the website of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (omitted here to avoid slashdotting; cf. was recently hacked. Does anybody know what type of attack they suffered and whether or not confidential or other sensitive information was accessed? The site has been off-line for several days. It is a cause of concern that hackers gained electronic access to the website of a highly secure institution."



Computing Earth-Moon trajectories.

juanergie juanergie writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I am visiting NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center ( this coming week. I will present some of the methodologies that I have developed for the computation of Earth-Moon trajectories. The methodology works very well on paper, and the few implementations that I've done so far, work very well in the computer too. I mean to write a general purpose code that can assist in mission design, but I have not started yet. I will keep you all posted.

If you are interesting in contributing (with code) to the software effort, please do not hessitate in contacting me.

More details about the research effort will be posted here and in my website:

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