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CERN Releases LHC Data

mbone Re:Huge Change (41 comments)

I was told, at a NSF meeting not many months ago, that CERN never makes its data openly available and never would and that US scientists should just plan on getting European collaborators if they want to work on it.

Now, if we just get ESA to start releasing the Rosetta data...

Most of the instruments (e.g. electronics) have a large US contribution. CERN operates the ring, but the instruments are "clients", which are international research teams. That was the vision of CERN after the second world war -- bring leading science to Europe, and make research in Europe attractive. Particle physics was chosen back then.

Yes, that is what I meant (and, even, what I said). To get the data you had to join one of the teams and collaborate with the other scientists in the team. Now, apparently, you don't.

yesterday
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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

mbone Re:How about we beta test on Venus? (310 comments)

I ran some numbers on this, and concluded it would take a good while to cool Venus - you would have to get rid of the clouds somehow to make the cool-down reasonable, and that means an intervention beyond just the shade. There will be plenty of opportunity for note taking and even PhD theses during the process.

yesterday
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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

mbone Re:How about we beta test on Venus? (310 comments)

You're forgetting one important thing: any shade large enough to provide sufficient cover for either planet will also effectively be a giant solar sail. Reaching a given location in space would be relatively cheap and easy compared to keeping it there in a useful orientation.

There are two proposed solutions to that

- have a swarm instead of a shade - i.e., lots of little shades, which makes the orbital dynamics (and probably the manufacture) of the system much easier to manage.
or
- put the shade not at the Lagrange point, but a little bit sunwards, where the solar gravity, planet gravity and the shade radiation pressure give an orbit period matching that of the planet. There, the shade can be pushed by the Sun's radiation pressure and still be in static equilibrium.

yesterday
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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

mbone Re:How about we beta test on Venus? (310 comments)

Rosetta getting to P67 was much harder energetically than sending a spacecraft to Venus.

You are certainly correct that any of these would be huge engineering tasks, but they are just engineering tasks. They can be done if there is sufficient will.

yesterday
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CERN Releases LHC Data

mbone Re:Nuclear weapons? (41 comments)

The LHC would make an excellent particle beam weapon source, if you should have a starship (generation ship?) big enough to house it.

2 days ago
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CERN Releases LHC Data

mbone Huge Change (41 comments)

I was told, at a NSF meeting not many months ago, that CERN never makes its data openly available and never would and that US scientists should just plan on getting European collaborators if they want to work on it.

Now, if we just get ESA to start releasing the Rosetta data...

2 days ago
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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

mbone Re:How about we beta test on Venus? (310 comments)

Well, an Earth sun-shade would need to block at most a few % of the sunshine falling on the Earh, while for Venus (if we want to cool the planet off this millennium) we will need to block all of the Sun's rays for a while, so the engineering is a bit more difficult. Add to this the detail that the Venus Lagrange point 1 is quite a bit further away than the Earth's, and energetically harder to reach, and I think a more reasonable conclusion is that the Earth would be training wheels for Venus, and not vice versa.

2 days ago
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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

mbone Sun shade (310 comments)

I am convinced we will eventually build a sunshade, out at the first (inner) Earth-Sun Lagrange point. It won't help with ocean acidification, but it would make a global thermostat possible.

And, it will be good practice on fixing Venus.

2 days ago
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Google Maps Crunches Data, Tells You When To Drive On Thanksgiving

mbone Who Knew? (61 comments)

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a busy travel day?!? How did that ever escape our attention? I mean, aside from every DJ on every radio station, and every traffic reporter on every TV station, telling us that every year, how could we possibly find such things out if Google didn't do the heavy lifting?

2 days ago
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Elusive Dark Matter May Be Detected With GPS Satellites

mbone Re:I see why the boson is a "God Particle" (67 comments)

tt can be baryonic matter, if it is encapsulated in some fashion. I believe your two conditions refer to BBN (not a particularly extreme energy density, BTW) and the Lyman Alpha constraints on Warm Dark Matter (which means it had to drop out of the radiation fluid v ~ c / sqrt(3) pretty early).

Both of these are fulfilled by, e.g., quark nugget dark matter (these would form well before BBN and drop out of the radiation fluid well before needed to fulfill the WDM constraints), as maybe also the recently proposed "macros".

4 days ago
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Big Talk About Small Samples

mbone Not even wrong. (243 comments)

Poisson statistics. I have to wonder if Mr. Haselton has ever heard of the term.

If by some weird alignment of forces I were to become a Judge, and Mr. Haselton presented this to me in a brief, I would try and have him disbarred for abuse of statistical process. I know that the actual legal profession is soft about such abuses, but by God they wouldn't be in my courtroom.

5 days ago
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After Four Days, Philae Team Gets to Rest

mbone Re:the dire equations (88 comments)

Not to mention that they don't know where the lander is.

I think it is a safe bet it will be found. They have the photos from the surface, they have the CONSERT triangulation, and of course they have a great desire to find it (and the comet isn't that big). It will be found.

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

mbone Re:the dire equations (88 comments)

Sadly, while the "weight" is very small on the comet, it's mass (and therefore inertia) is substantial. You're not going to blow it over.

I am going to ignore for now any issues of damage from nearby thruster firings.

Rosetta has 24 bipropellant 10 N thrusters and is 2.8 x 2 m, not counting solar panels. Philae is 1 x 1 x 0.8 m. Suppose Rosetta fires a thruster from 3 meters away - Philae is then 1/3 of a radian across, or about 0.1 steradians. Suppose the thruster has a exit angle of 2 pi steradian (i.e., the whole hemisphere away from the spacecraft, which is surely conservative). So, I would expect Philae to experience a force of 10 N x 0.1 / 2 pi ~ 0.2 N. It has a mass of ~ 100 kg, so that would impart a thrust of 2 x 10^-3 m/sec^2. (I am assuming Rosetta has a thruster firing on the opposite side too, so it's not moving.) That is actually greater than the 67/P gravity, so Philae could move. If this were done for say 10 seconds, Philae would have a velocity of ~ 1 cm/sec afterwards and maybe a total flight time of 30 seconds. Now, it wouldn't move far, but it might get to a little flatter terrain and maybe more sunshine.

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

mbone Re:the dire equations (88 comments)

It wouldn't surprise me if they land Rosetta on the comet toward the end of the mission.

That is indeed under discussion.

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

mbone the dire equations (88 comments)

From Valerie Lommatsch, an engineer at the Lander Control Center at DLR in Germany :

"It is very unlikely right now. We have 1.5 hours [of sunlight] at less than 1 watt, and 20 minutes of 3 or 4 watts. The lander needs 5 watts to boot....In order to charge the secondary battery, we have to heat it to 0 degrees Celsius. We need about 50-60 watt-hours a day in order to reach 0 degrees and still have daylight left to charge the battery. So it doesn't look that great. What we could hope for is if we are closer to perihelion, near 1 AU, maybe we could have enough energy on our one solar panel, maybe every once in a while"

So, they need 50 watt hours, and they are maybe getting 2. Now, this was before the 30 degree rotation, but I don't think that's going to get them a factor of 20 improvement. Maybe that, plus doing through perihelion, can do it.

I wonder if they couldn't get Rosetta near Philae, and use the reaction jets on Rosetta to move it (i.e., by blowing on it). Philae only weighs about as much as ping-pong ball; it wouldn't take much to move it away from where it is.

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

mbone Five pounds on eBay. (88 comments)

While the Philae team is sleeping, nefarious malefactors are busy selling Philae on eBay. It's up to five pounds sterling as I write. Maybe we should wake them up.

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

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

1. As the comet approaches the sun, is it likely that the angle of or proximity to the sun will provide enough light to make a difference?

2. I assume we've measured whether Rosetta is rotating, even slightly. Is there a chance that this will help (or hurt) Philae's chances at coming back on line?

3. As the comet gets closer to the sun, I imagine that it will start melting/vaporizing (this being what makes a comet look like a comet in the first place). Since Philae is not firmly anchored (and that might not make a difference in any case), what do we expect to happen, and when?

1.) Maybe.

2.) If you mean Comet P/67, maybe.

3.) Maybe, pretty much anything up to and including ejecting Philae away from the comet for good. As for when, maybe around perihelion (13 August 2015) when activity is highest. Or, maybe before then. Or after then.

Glad I could help clear things up!

about a week ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

mbone Re:Cocoa futures (322 comments)

They are a big player, because they need a lot of chocolate, and futures help to manage their acquisition prices. Of course, they could try to play with the market, but they'll risk alienating their chocolate eating customers, so it's not clear that this would be in their advantage.

Well, of course. They are the sort of player the futures markets were invented for (they KNOW they will need cocoa in the future, they KNOW more or less how much, why not hedge the price if the opportunity presents itself?). It's just my cynical side wakes up whenever I hear a big futures player start jawboning the market.

about a week ago

Submissions

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The first private Lunar mission.

mbone mbone writes  |  about a month ago

mbone (558574) writes "The Daily Beast reports that China is moving ahead with its lunar sample return mission (which will place it in a very exclusive club; only the USA, Russia and Japan have returned samples from celestial bodies) with the Chang’e 5-T1 lunar orbiter, but they also have another first, the first lunar get-away special, which has given a Luxembourg company LuxSpace its own first (sorry Google X Prize): the first private Lunar Mission, the " Manfred Memorial Moon Mission (4M)."

Now, the 4M is not much of a spacecraft, just a transmitter at 145.980 MHz with the handle JT65B for hams to communicate with (it's not clear from the article if this is a transponder, or just send only), together with a radiation dosimeter, but you can bet that this is not just the first private Moon mission — there will be more."

Link to Original Source
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Mars (One) Needs Payloads

mbone mbone writes  |  about 4 months ago

mbone (558574) writes "Mars One has announced that their first, unmanned, lander, targeted for 2018, needs payloads. Along with their 4 experiments, and a University experiment, they have two payloads for hire :

Mars One offers two payload opportunities for paying mission contributors. Proposals can take the form of scientific experiments, technology demonstrations, marketing and publicity campaigns, or any other suggested payload. “Previously, the only payloads that have landed on Mars are those which NASA has selected,” said Bas Lansdorp, “We want to open up the opportunity to the entire world to participate in our mission to Mars by sending a certain payload to the surface of Mars.”

The formal Request for Proposals for all of this is out now as well."
Link to Original Source

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A Lunar Space Elevator in our (near) Future?

mbone mbone writes  |  about 9 months ago

mbone (558574) writes "After the IAA sponsored a study on the terrestrial space elevator which concluded that it should be possible to build one, in 30 years or so, if that pesky unobtanium for the tether material can be actually invented in that time, now is the time for some press on the Lunar Space Elevator, which has the advantage that existing tether materials (such as Zylon) are strong enough to support it.

A Lunar Space Elevator would be the biggest structure ever made in much the same way as the Great Wall of China is bigger than a kiddie sandbox. The current prototype design (scaled for a deployment in a single SLS launch) would involve 270,000+ km of tether material, stretching from Sinus Medii, past the Lagrange point, deep into cis-lunar space. With all of that string, the prototype payload mass is only 128 kg, but you have to start somewhere, and it could be (and, if it works, would be) built up over time.

The goal is to open the Moon up to mining. Let the games begin!"

Link to Original Source
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Server Sky - internet and computation in orbit

mbone mbone writes  |  about a year and a half ago

mbone (558574) writes "Even if SpaceX and other companies can drastically lower the cost of going to orbit, what are we going to do once we get there? Since the 1970's, NASA has been searching for commercial applications for space, such as making crystals or medicines in zero-gravity, but, except for communications and navigation, space as yet barely figures into commerce, largely because it is expensive to send materials there, and expensive to send finished products back. Now there is Server Sky, which is trying to build on the realization that information is the cheapest product to send to and from space, and that "traditional data centers consume almost 3% of US electrical power, and this fraction is growing rapidly. Server arrays in orbit can grow to virtually unlimited computation power, communicate with the whole world, pay for themselves with electricity savings, and greatly reduce pollution and resource usage in the biosphere." What do slashdotters (who tend to be interested in computation) think? Is there money to be made in putting the cloud above the clouds?"
Link to Original Source
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Violation of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "A very interesting paper has just hit the streets (or, at least, Physics Review Letters) about the Heisenberg uncertainty relationship as it was originally formulated about measurements. They find that they can exceed the uncertainty limit in measurements (although the uncertainty limit in quantum states is still followed, so the foundations of quantum mechanics still appear to be sound.) This is really an attack on quantum entanglement (the correlations imposed between two related particles), and so may have immediate applications in cracking quantum cryptography systems. It may also be easier to read quantum communications without being detected than people originally thought."
Link to Original Source
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US Government loses confidence in ICANN

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "The "no cost" contract between the US Department of Commerce and ICANN over hosting the Internet Assigned Names and Number Authority (IANA) was supposed to be re-let this March. Now, it has been withdrawn, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) says that "we are cancelling this RFP because we received no proposals that met the requirements requested by the global community." This is a pretty stunning vote of no confidence in ICANN by the US Government, on the eve of the 43rd ICANN meeting in Costa Rica. Speculation is that this is related to the attempts of the ITU-T to take over Internet governance, but it also could be over the new Global top level domains. I am sure we will be hearing a lot more about this in the weeks to come."
Link to Original Source
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Why did the Government cancel the IANA RFP?

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Friday afternoon (a classic time to bury bad news), the Department of Commerce put out a laconic cancelation of the zero dollar RFP for IANA, the Internet Assigned Names and Numbers Authority : AMENDMENT 0003 — Request for Proposal (RFP) SA1301-12-RP-IANA is hereby cancelled. The Department of Commerce intends to reissue the RFP at a future date, date to be determined (TBD). This contract may be for zero dollars, but it is a crucial one for the Internet, as it ties IANA, and thus ICANN, the global root for DNS, and such matters as the new global top level domains, to the US Government. Anyone have any idea what is up?"
Link to Original Source
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That's it for IPv4 - it had a good run

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "The last regular Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) address assignment, a /8, has been handed out, by IANA to APNIC, which will trigger the final distribution of IPv4 space to all of the Registries. So, February 1, 2011, marks the end of business as usual for IPv4. The future holds (hopefully) the wholesale adoption of IPv6 and (probably) a market in IPv4 address space."
Link to Original Source
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Wikileaks looses its DNS

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "The DNS provider for wikileaks.org, EveryDNS, has booted it off and the site is no longer reachable by name. EveryDNS say on their main web site EveryDNS.net provided domain name system (DNS) services to the wikileaks.org domain name until 10PM EST, December 2, 2010, when such services were terminated. As with other users of the EveryDNS.net network, this service was provided for free. The termination of services was effected pursuant to, and in accordance with, the EveryDNS.net Acceptable Use Policy. I guess that being DOSed is not part of the AUP. http://www.wikileaks.info/ has a list of mirror sites, some of which no longer work, due to wikileak's loss of Amazon.com EC2 hosting."
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Domain Seizures no Hoax

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Despite some suspicion, including on slashdot, the seizure of the file linking site rapgodfathers.com and various torrent sites are apparently real, as Eric Holder is having a press conference and has issued a press release touting the seizure of sites "engaged in the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and copyrighted works."

Among other things, this shows that the DOJ is using both Google Analytics and Piwik Open Source Web Analytics, as there is analytic javascript for both in the index.html on the banned sites. And, based on look at the jpeg used, at least some of the ICE use Macs, as the take-down jpeg was prepared with Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Macintosh on 2010:11:18 09:37:21"

Link to Original Source
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Customs and TSA Raid RapGodFathers Hosting Site

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "The Torrentfreak site is reporting that DHS and ICE (i.e., Customs) agents arrived at a Dallas datacenter Tuesday with orders to take down the 146,500 member RapGodFathers site (RGF). Equipment was seized, and they report that their domain name is being blocked and is likely to be taken as well. The RGF admins say that the site has no content itself, just links to other sites, and that they always respect DMCA takedown notices. RGF reports on their twitter account (@rapgodfather) that they are looking for "for more offshore hosting to support RapGodFathers."

If the facts are as reported, there are a number of troubling issues about this, not the least of which is why US Customs troubles itself with link-sharing sites in Dallas, far from any US borders."

Link to Original Source
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Robots in space

mbone mbone writes  |  about 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "The crew for this Wednesday's Space Shuttle launch includes a robot bound for the ISS — Robonaut 2, or R2, "the first dexterous humanoid robot in space." For now, it will be deployed on a fixed pedestal inside the station, but the plans include giving it mobility (not that hard in micro-gravity) and taking it outside to help with space walks. Now, the New York Times has an article about "Project M," sending a humanoid robot to the Moon — which at least has its own NASA promotional video.

Is our form really the best there is for space exploration ? Should our robotic explorers look like us, or like the Mars Rovers ?"

Link to Original Source
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Hands on Airport Searches

mbone mbone writes  |  about 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "As it happens I was talking to a TSA person socially today and they brought up their new "aggressive" policy for pat down searches. Now I see it has made the Boston Herald. It will be done for any secondary screening, or if you opt out of the X-ray machines.

They are supposed to feel under a woman's breast and under a man's genitals, and also to feel the separation in a woman's genitals, and likewise into one's bottom. They are apparently not very happy about having to do this, but have been trained on the new technique and will be given performance review demerits if they don't perform properly. (Maybe the TSA will send ringers through security to evaluate performance, I didn't think to ask.)

I have to wonder if it is to convince people to go through the backscatter X-rays now that it is becoming widely known that you can opt out of that. I have a feeling that this will cause a major push-back from the traveling public."

Link to Original Source
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20 meter tsunami in New York after asteroid hit

mbone mbone writes  |  about 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "According to an article in LiveScience, an 200 meter diameter asteroid impact in the Atlantic 2300 years ago may have caused a 20 m (60ft) high tsunami to hit what's now NYC. They have found 30 cm of disturbed sediments in the NYC area with shocked minerals, which is generally regarded as conclusive evidence for a meteor impact. They go on to speculate that 'One possible reason why Indian tribes only moved into the area relatively recently is that the people who were once there were all wiped out'. Of course, it would not be a pretty picture if this were repeated in the same area today."
Link to Original Source
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In Court ? Be careful what you post on Facebook.

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Going to Court ? Seeking damages for injuries ? Be careful what you post on Facebook (and, presumably, elsewhere). ! In the first case of its kind (analyzed in the Courtroom strategy blog, a Suffolk County NY Judge allowed a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit to obtain access to the Facebook profile of the plaintiff suing them, saying "Plaintiff has no legitimate reasonable expectation of privacy." You have been warned. I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice, but I would expect this to become common."
Link to Original Source
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Facebook has issues, goes down for some users

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Apparently Facebook is having issues, and is intermittently and maybe regionally down. The Wall Street Journal DIgits blogs says that they are having “an issue with a third-party network provider." but it may be more than that. From Northern Virginia, it is possible to pingFacebook servers, but the server throws a "500 Internal Server Error" if you try and conect via http."
Link to Original Source
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Google is testing Airborne Camera Drones

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "According to the German language site WirtschaftsWoche (an English version is available from the IBTimes) Google has purchased a German "Microdrone" for evaluation. These devices can take off, fly a mission and land automatically using GPS, and can carry night vision cameras or even "see through walls" Far IR cameras. Of course, the maker of these drone assures us that they cannot be a "Big Brother der Lufte" because that is "verboten."

Is it just me, or is Google entering into dangerous airspace here ? It seems like the ruckus from a backyard-after-dark addition to Street View could make the legal tussles Google has already encountered with the driving vans seem minor by comparison."

Link to Original Source
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NIAC is Back !

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Do you have an idea on how to do space travel right ? Think it could pass peer review ? Well, the NIAC (NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program) is back ! In a two day "Industry Forum," the new NASA Chief Technologist, Bobby Braun, described an ambitious new program of NASA initiatives to encourage new thinking and new ideas, including funding for "Game Changing Technologies, and the new NIAC. These new initiatives are explicitly modeled on DARPA, and are an attempt to "push the reset button" on an increasingly hide-bound bureaucracy. I attended the forum, and the reaction from non-NASA participants I talked to was overwhelmingly positive. They also announced 3 new Centennial Challenges. The Centennial Challenges are an X-Prize like program with a total of $ 5 million in new awards, for a successful nanosatellite launch system, an solar-powered electric vehicle capable of night-time operations, and a sample-return robot capable of autonomously retrieving geological samples.

In many ways, NIAC is the most interesting of the new initiatives, as it is specifically intended to deal with blue-sky, just this side of science fiction ideas with a 10+ year development horizon. Selected ideas will get $ 100K for the first year, and can ramp up after that (up to and including flights into space). Space elevators, nuclear propulsion, truly autonomous robots, even things like the search for alien life in the deep biosphere, could be funded if they seem interesting and pass review. (The previous NIAC provided the first serious funding for the space elevator, for example.) Jay Falker, the Program Manager, made it clear that they were not looking for just proposals from established names and big companies, but would welcome participation from all (although only US citizens or companies can get funding). So, there you go slashdotters ! If you have an idea, the technical savvy to back it up, and can wait for the announcement of opportunity (thought to be around October 1), then you have a chance at getting NASA funding to back it up."

Link to Original Source
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Hayabusa returns particles from asteroid

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Slashdot readers may remember the long odyssey of the Japanese Hayabusa spacecraft — and the recent Slashdot article entitled "No Samples On Japan's Hayabusa Asteroid Probe."

Well, the BBC now has a story, "Hayabusa capsule particles may be from asteroid." Apparently JAXA (the Japanese Space Agency) has opened the sample container returned to Earth by Hayabusa, and has released "images of tiny dust particles inside the container."

You will note that I titled this story carefully — Hayabusa has now returned particles from the asteroid. Whether they are asteroid particles or pieces of dust brought all the way from Earth remains to be seen, but they were certainly returned from the asteroid — a remarkable technical feat. This announcement, I think, gives considerable hope that these particles are from the near-Earth asteroid, Itokawa, as the Japanese have been very careful in trying to avoid contamination. Even a tiny speck of dust would be very revealing about the asteroid's constitution and possibly its history as well. Kudos to JAXA for a job well done."

Link to Original Source
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Federal Authorities Shut Down 7 Movie Sharing Webs

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "There is an article in NJ Today on a announcement by the United States Attorney and Homeland Security about the seizure of the domain names of seven sites: TVSHACK.NET, MOVIES-LINKS.TV, FILESPUMP.COM, NOW-MOVIES.COM, PLANETMOVIEZ.COM, THEPIRATECITY.ORG, and ZML.COM, for violations of federal criminal copyright infringement laws. The announcement said that these high volume web sites offered copies of movies such as “The Karate Kid,” “Toy Story 3 and “Sex and The City 2.” ZML.COM, is a “cyberlocker,” the latest target for the MPAA's ire.

Search warrants were also executed on the servers involved with these sites.

So, was this an out and out criminal enterprise, or a bunch of hobbyists ? Or something in between ? I bet the slashdot audience knows."

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