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Comment The biggest problem with the space shuttle (Score 1) 211

The biggest problem with the space shuttle wasn't tiles or tanks or SRBs or O-rings. Or even needing to practically rebuild it between flights.

The biggest problem was that the first four orbiters should just have been the Mk-I model. All those things that were found to be problems in the Mk-I model should have been improved or even fixed in the MK-II and subsequent orbiters.

Yes, they made improvements in the later orbiters based on early experiences with the Columbia, and fixed the O rings after the Challenger accident, but there never was a truly improved model.


Comment Greenbank telescope may be defunded (Score 1) 112

From the article:

Kaplan and his colleagues found this stellar gem using the National Radio Astronomy Observatoryâ(TM)s (NRAO) Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), as well as other observatories.

From wikipedia:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Astronomy Portfolio Review committee chaired by Daniel Eisenstein of Harvard University recommended in August 2012 that the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope should be defunded over a five year period.[9] Further information on this divestiture can be found on the AUI webpage and at

In the fiscal year 2014 budget, the US Congress did not recommend divesting the Green Bank Telescope. The Telescope is looking for partners to help fund its $10 million annual operating costs.

Comment What is tablet/phone friendly? (Score 1) 110

One thing that I don't get is how the current wave of web site redesigns are actually, in any way, tablet/smart phone friendly.

On a device with a small display concise and space eficient presentation of information, without excess white space or eye candy, is necessary if you don's want to end up feeling like you are peering at the site through a soda straw. Using large fonts, wide line spacing, and lots of white space just makes a small display effectively smaller.

On a device with a low bandwidth or expensive connection reducing the number of bits that needed to render the page is desirable to get the page to render in a reasonable time and cost. This is another reason to eliminate large, eye candy, images.

On a device that may have limited computing power it is desirable to use those resources efficiently, effectively, and only when necessary to deliver the information content of the site,

And, the one sin Slashdot beta hasn't committed, why should I need an app for something that should just display in a browser if the web presence was properly designed?

Submission + - Alternatives to Slashdot post beta? 8

An anonymous reader writes: Like many Slashdotters, I intend to stop visiting Slashdot after the beta changeover. After years of steady decline in the quality of discussions here, the beta will be the last straw. What sites alternative to Slashdot have others found? The best I have found has been, but it has been a while since I've looked for tech discussion sites.

Submission + - Slashdot BETA Discussion ( 60

mugnyte writes: With Slashdot's recent restyled "BETA" slowly rolled to most users, there's been a lot of griping about the changes. This is nothing new, as past style changes have had similar effects. However, this pass there are significant usability changes: A narrower read pane, limited moderation filtering, and several color/size/font adjustments. BETA implies not yet complete, so taking that cue — please list your specific, detailed opinoins, one per comment, and let's use the best part of slashdot (the moderation system) to raise the attention to these. Change can be jarring, but let's focus on the true usability differences with the new style.

Submission + - Owner: Vote, your choice: Get rid of Slashdot:Beta OR everyone goes elsewhere ( 1

Ying Hu writes: Slashdot Beta is not Slashdot:
What was loved about Slashdot does not appear in the new design — those creating the latter, please fire yourself and go work for a commercial consumer site (which we never read, and never will). OUR site should work without JavaScript, and JavaScript that IS used should to do something actually desired by a reader or commenter, not waste our bandwidth and CPU, and electricity, sending CRAP onto our computers. Improvements/ plugins,, won't be enough.

Submission + - Slashdot beta sucks 9

An anonymous reader writes: Maybe some of the slashdot team should start listening to its users, most of which hate the new user interface. Thanks for ruining something that wasn't broken.

Crazee Edeee, his prices are INSANE!!!