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Space

SpaceX Cargo Capsule Leaves Space Station For Home 56

Posted by samzenpus
from the home-sweet-home dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The commercial cargo ship Dragon left the International Space Station, and is heading home with nearly two tons of science experiments and old equipment. From the article: 'The unpiloted Dragon departed the International Space Station at 9:26 a.m. EDT to begin a trip expected to culminate just after 3 p.m. with a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, about 300 miles west of Baja California. NASA astronaut and station commander Steve Swanson controlled a 58-foot robotic arm that pulled the Dragon from its Harmony node port at 8 a.m., then released the capsule into space 266 miles over the ocean south of Australia.'"

Comment: Re:Heightened Risk != Cancer Victim (Score 1) 124

by CnlPepper (#44337659) Attached to: Around 2,000 Fukushima Workers At Risk of Thyroid Cancer

If the US got hit by a mega tsunami it would have a lot more to worry about that a few nuclear plants getting flooded and melting down. The death toll from a mega-tsunami would probably push into the millions. Displaced people... many many more.

Anyway, even if they do melt down, the more modern reactor designs have systems for capturing and spreading the corium to reduce the possibility of uncontrolled runaway (ie it would just ruin the reactor and would not necessarily pollute the area).

Comment: Raytracing (Score 1) 265

Make sure you launch them into something interesting. I would recommend a raytracer - the basics are incredibly simple, but they can be expanded to great levels of complexity. There is direct visual feedback, so rather than just printing out a load of numbers the users can field like they have achieved something more substantial. Numerical optimization and data structures can be introducted gradually and immediate results can be seen. Raytracers provide a great environment for introducing object oriented programming, they are also trivial to parallelise. On top of all this raytracing is extremely useful and the knowledge gained writing a raytracer, other than the computing aspect, is extremely valuable in engineering and physics (eg the maths + physics behind them).

Comment: An fun electronic solution (Score 1) 189

If you don't want to use a human standing next to the blind singer then it could be solved with some nice cheap modern technology.

If you could practically do it, attach a MEMS accelerometer (or gyro) to the baton and track the velocity of the tip (or equivalent reference point). Either wired or wirelessly transmit that velocity data to small processing box that drives a haptic device to alert the singer. Unfortunately I'm not entirely familiar with the visual clues of conducting, I've had a look at the patterns of motion on wikipedia and it seems the beat occurs at the point of zero vertical velocity following a downward stroke. If this is the case it should be relatively easy to process the velocity/acceleration information. An algorithm that has an understanding of the expected stroke would be better than a simply velocity test - it would potentially be more reliable as it will have a degree of inference, but minimizing latency may make that problematic.

In terms of haptic feedback, a sharp tap to the leg or hand would probably be better than a vibration as it has a more defined temporal position. Of course with a tap the processing algorithm has to be reliable...... alternatively a vibration could simply be engineered so that the magnitude of the vibration corresponds to the vertical position of the baton. This would mean more processing of the information by the singer, but is trivial to build electronically.

An Arduino would be perfect for the processing/driver.

Comment: Re:I am having a vision of the future... (Score 3, Interesting) 296

by CnlPepper (#42170253) Attached to: Researchers Create New Cheap, Shatterproof, Plastic Light Bulbs

He said mitigated, not prevented. I've (unintentionally) measured the oscillating light output of an incandescent while I was developing an optical trigger circuit for my last job, the intensity dropped by ~20% for this particular bulb (20W desk lamp) during the AC zero crossing. The flickering was 100Hz (funnily enough) - higher than most peoples' periphery will notice.

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