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How To Build a Telescope That Trumps Hubble

skoda Re:The future of telescopes. (185 comments)

That's not how optics work. You need to image what you want to see onto your detector.

To test this: remove the lens from your DSLR and take a photo. You'll get nothing but blur.

more than 3 years ago
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How To Build a Telescope That Trumps Hubble

skoda Re:I was thinking the same. (185 comments)

No. Not in the sense that it would sit in Hubble-type orbit for a year while it's tested, and astronauts go to turn wrenches and adjust things that aren't right. And yes, I suspect that would much more than "a bit of extra time and effort." It's probably completely at odds to being launched to L2, and would be an incredible cost and complexity adder.

But it has pre-flight testing and a lengthy in-space verification process as it reaches L2.

more than 3 years ago
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How To Build a Telescope That Trumps Hubble

skoda Re:There is no "do over" for James Webb (185 comments)

Actuated primary mirror segments, actuated secondary mirror, and a wavefront sensor system enable it to self-align. While it's much more complicated, and unreachable for servicing, it's also much more flexible for on-orbit self corrections.

more than 3 years ago
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How To Build a Telescope That Trumps Hubble

skoda Re:Look at the price tag (185 comments)

JWST has spectroscopy e.g. NIRSPec = Near Infra-Red Spectrophotometer.

The JWST is more about massive light gathering (seeing closer to the dawn of the universe than ever before) than pretty visible-light images.

more than 3 years ago
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3 Prototypes From HP, In Outline

skoda Why does no one mimic Apple where it counts? (104 comments)

Ooh! Look! They've invented paper and the $0.99 solar-powered calculator!

HP's already announced and seemingly canceled amazing new Win7 tablet. They've bought WebOS and then suggested that they're going to stuff it in printers, so forget about tablets for now. So what are they doing here? More stuff that doesn't exist or won't leave the lab? Or won't be sold until I've already bought my iPad 2?

Why don't these companies mimic Apple where it matters? Don't rumor, tease, prototype, spin, et cyk? Shut up until you've got something work talking about...and then release it!

about 4 years ago
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Most Useful OS For High-School Science Education?

skoda Touch OS (434 comments)

You're buying outdated, conventional desktop platform for kids that will be developing on Mobile / Touch OS systems in 8-12 years.

That is, you can't predict the future, so get an appropriate system to teach them fundamentals, problem-solving, and some immediate skills.

more than 4 years ago
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Most Useful OS For High-School Science Education?

skoda Re:Technically real world use.... OSX (434 comments)

While you're right that NASA use of Mac OS X is much higher, it's not true industry wide. The *only* people with Macs are the NASA employees. Everyone else, working at conventional companies like Boeing and Northrop Grumman use PCs.

This is not good or bad, it just is. NASA gives their technical people significant freedom in choosing their computer and software. But it's atypical. Everyone else buys Wintel systems.

(I'm a Ph.D. working on a NASA project through a major subcontractor. I just spent the week at a joint meeting with NASA, ESA, and industry reps for a NASA project.)

more than 4 years ago
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James Webb Telescope Passes Critical Tests

skoda Demos are fun (82 comments)

From the article, "This month, ITT Corp. in Rochester, N.Y., demonstrated robotic mirror installation equipment designed to position segments on the backplane."

I'm pleased to say that I was one of the individuals giving that demo to the JWST review team :) And kudos to the team for assembling quite the system for integrating the segments.

more than 4 years ago
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Gizmodo Blows Whistle On 4G iPhone Loser

skoda Re:'IT' is coming... (853 comments)

Yes, we've considered it. And dismissed it. This is obviously not a PR stunt by Apple. They don't do early reveals on their hardware. They've not revealed the past three iPhones. They didn't clumsily leak the iPad's design. It's obvious they don't care or need to leak in on the 4th iteration of iPhone, a device that's guaranteed to be a success.

And when they do leak info, it goes to the Wall Street Journal or The New York Times. It doesn't go to Gizmodo.

more than 4 years ago
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NASA To Cryogenically Freeze Satellite Mirrors

skoda Getting it right (47 comments)

Unfortunately the article gets the technical aspects wrong.

NASA is not "freezing" the mirror segments to make sure they "survive" space.

The JWST will operate at a cryogenic temperature in space. The mirrors are measured at cryovac to guide the manufacturing process so they will have the correct optical prescription at the telescope's operational temperature.

Similarly, we're testing support optics, for the pre-launch JWST testing, at cryo. We'll have the first of a one set down to temp in short order.

more than 4 years ago
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Lawyer Demands Jury Stops Googling

skoda Re:Why this is a good thing (517 comments)

In most courtrooms, Jurors are not allowed to take notes. They can merely listen. For hours at a time. Then come to a decision.

more than 4 years ago
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Chrome OS Designed To Start Microsoft Death Spiral

skoda Re:Good luck with that (817 comments)

By "downfall" you mean 60% increase in stock price YTD? Or by downfall you mean Apple's record profits last quarter? Or is their 90% ownership of the over-$1000 retail computer market?

By all measures, Apple's "downfall" of selling expensive hardware is anything buy.

about 5 years ago
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EMI Only Selling CDs To Mega-Chains From Now On

skoda Re:CDs? (334 comments)

It's a new technology promising lower cost and higher sound quality than the current digital downloads. It employs state of the art lossless audio encoding, capturing sonic signals beyond human hearing. The promoters also boast every purchase comes with a free archival system, so if your digital version is lost, you can trivially recover it. Even more amazing, it has absolutely no DRM!

This technology is bleeding edge, and so far ahead of the current lossy, non-archived, unshareable digital dreck, it's no wonder a kid wouldn't have heard of it.

more than 5 years ago
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Professor Gets 4 Years in Prison for Sharing Drone Plans With Students

skoda Who said it's "classified"? (354 comments)

Where is said the information is "classified"? This may be ITAR controlled data, which is not classified.

There is a broad range of information which is not classified, which is not trade-secret, which can be discussed openly...but never with any foreign persons.

It has a good deal of security theater. Data can and will be granted export exceptions if that exception is needed to get the work done for, say, NASA. So it's export prohibited until it must be exported to get the job done, and then it's not export prohibited.

more than 5 years ago
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Professor Gets 4 Years in Prison for Sharing Drone Plans With Students

skoda Re:The rules have changed. (354 comments)

It has been enforced with vigor not seen for about 30 years; the aerospace community hadn't really heard about nor cared about ITAR until about six years ago. And they didn't care about it until ITT was walloped with a $100M fine in 2007.

more than 5 years ago
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Is the Kindle DX Worth the Money?

skoda Re:Why not a laptop? (263 comments)

Seriously, a wifi-equipped laptop can be had for less than $400, and with a 15" screen and decent internet access, why would someone want a limited, single-purpose crippled cellphone such as a you buy for $50 at Verizon?

Seriously, a hammer can be had for less than $10 and can effectively pound a fastener through any amount of wood? Why would someone want a limited, overpriced drill?

You buy the tool best suited for the job.

more than 5 years ago
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Professor Gets 4 Years in Prison for Sharing Drone Plans With Students

skoda This is how ITAR hurts us. (354 comments)

And this is how ITAR is damaging to our national security. As the DOE and DOD are major funding agencies at universities and national labs, we are now creating a research system that prevents foreign nationals from participating. And since they are a large percentage of our grad students, that's a major problem. It subsequently makes the US a less enticing place for the skilled students we'd like to immigrate here.

more than 5 years ago

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