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Mars

New Mars Rover Rolls For the First Time 100

wooferhound writes "Like proud parents savoring their baby's very first steps, mission team members gathered in a gallery above a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to watch the Mars Curiosity rover roll for the first time. Engineers and technicians wore bunny suits while guiding Curiosity through its first steps, or more precisely, its first roll on the clean room floor. The rover moved forward and backward about 1 meter (3.3 feet). Mars Science Laboratory (aka Curiosity) is scheduled to launch in fall 2011 and land on the Red Planet in August 2012. Curiosity is the largest rover ever sent to Mars. It will carry 10 instruments that will help search an intriguing region of the Red Planet for two things: environments where life might have existed, and the capacity of those environments to preserve evidence of past life."

Comment Re:This site describes the machine (Score 1) 168

Actually in those days Philips still had a wonderful engineering culture, combined with true in depth research. The current Philips just markets Chinese built products, with all the serious engineering contracted out. Philips actually had a science museum of their own at their headquarters in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, called the Evoluon, and I clearly remember playing with a vowel machine there (although it probably said "koffie" instead). Sadly the Evoluon was closed with the whole redirection of Philips when they decided there was more money to be made in marketing than there was in actually designing cool new stuff. Probably makes sense from a shareholder point of view, since they did become a bigger business success. As a geek it still pains me to see a place that managed to invent the Compact Disc become a shade of it former self in the tech world.

Comment Re:CCTV cameras fail to prevent crime in the UK (Score 1) 219

You have to bear in mind that the UK police only invested in CCTV cameras, not in people or software to actually do something with the footage. This was mentioned in many media reports so you can assume criminals know about it too. So the only thing that this proves is that crime does not go down if you only put up cameras, if you actually start using the footage to catch bad guys the statistics might be very different. -j
Image

Girl Claims Price Scanner Gave Her Tourette's Syndrome 558

Attorneys for Dominica Juliano claim that she was burned and developed psychological problems after a store clerk aimed a hand-held price scanner at her face. Store attorneys say their scanners uses a harmless LED light and that the girl had serious health problems before she was scanned. From the article: "Dominica Juliano was 12 when she and her grandmother entered the Country Fair store in Erie in June 2004. A clerk allegedly called the girl 'grumpy' before flashing his hand-held bar code scanner over her face and telling her to smile. Attorneys for Ms. Juliano and her guardian say the girl was sensitive to light and burned, and later developed post-traumatic stress and Tourette's syndrome."

Comment A ground based laser to write on the moon? (Score 1) 351

Now that the lasers from space idea has been suitably demolished, perhaps we can consider the other way around: Ground based lasers to write a warning on the moon! It will only work during new moon of course so lets forget about tsunami warning, lets put up commercial messages. I'm betting there a few companies willing to part with a few million dollars to have their logo written on the moon for a day. Great business plan. Publicity is instantaneous global and free. Endless debates in the press, Greenpeace is going to freak out. Technically feasible?

Comment Re:In 5 years (Score 1) 646

You could even follow the Unix model and do pretty well keeping the date and time (down to the second) in a single byte...

You are confusing bytes (8 bits) with words (32 bit or 64 bit depending on the system). A byte will only hold 256 discrete values so you could perhaps store the year in there but certainly not an entire date, let alone the time as well.

There was a time once when converting an integer value to and from ascii was prohibitively expensive (hard to imagine now), so it was not unheard of to store a year as 4 bytes.

Submission + - German retailer leaks iPad will cost EUR 899->

Fjan11 writes: A tweet, ostensibly from German retailer MediaMarkt, reveals Apple's new product will be named iPad and will cost EUR 899 (or 499 with T-Mobile subscription). A spokes woman claims the twitter account, now deleted, was not owned by them. However the same account has tweeted multiple other MediaMarkt related offering per day up until now. Article is in German.
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If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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