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Comment Re:No (Score 1) 98 98

In the case of [topic] every practitioner has radically different views of what there [topic] is and they almost all have warped views of the history of there [topic]. Almost all book on a [topic] will give you far more facts about it then any of its practitioners.

Now that I've quelled your anti-religious rant...

As it turns out, if you RTFA, the purpose of the program is to discuss individual experiences and get perspectives. Nothing in the article says anything about obtaining facts. If you want facts, you should stick to books.

iPad Bait and Switch — No More Unlimited Data Plan 670 670

_KiTA_ writes "AT&T announced today that the iPhone will gain tethering, finally, at an extra $20 a month, but only for people on a new 2GB a month plan. They also quietly announced at the same time the real news — that the $30 Unlimited Data plan on the iPad 3G will be axed in lieu of the same data plan. Yes, this would be the same 'revolutionary data plan' that Steve Jobs was so proud of during the iPad unveiling — it lasted just a month after the 3G model was delayed to May 7. People feeling vibes of previous Apple iDevice releases are not alone. Existing accounts will be allowed to grandfather in, although Apple has removed the ability to purchase the iPad from the online store at this time, and AT&T has a history of changing its plans without warning. Finally, there is no word on what happens if you ever let your Unlimited plan lapse for a month at this time."

Comment Re:They're right (Score 1) 508 508

But is has already been done. An actual viable plan to get to Mars would be a new exploration, but no one has ever been willing to put up the cash for that.

Hold on, now. While I made mention of the Apollo 11 landing in my post there, my opinions on manned spaceflight in general should not be compartmentalized in the Apollo program. There are plenty of unexplored possibilities in manned spaceflight that go beyond simple (and I use the term "simple" loosely) moon landings.

But it was a colossal scientific failure.

Well, I would argue that not all things require a scientific or monetary purpose to avoid being "pointless." By your reply it sounds like you were impressed by the technological feat and awed by the accomplishment, at the very least. That hardly sounds "pointless" to me, if the program captured the hearts and minds of the American public (to say nothing of the rest of the world).

The one contribution it has made - fixing the Hubble - could have been finessed more cheaply and effectively simply by building and launching more Hubbles.

NASA was under extreme pressure to fix the current Hubble to avoid the political fallout of its initial failure, so time was a factor in their decision to repair instead of relaunch. It took a long time to build Hubble in the first place; if they'd taken the time to assemble another one, they'd miss their window to fix the mistake in the public's eye and regain their trust; failing to do that would almost certainly have cost them funding in the future. I'd say that from NASA's political standpoint, they made the right call. Unfortunately, the correct political decisions aren't always the most financially sound.

Comment Re:So? Manned spaceflight is a now waste of lives. (Score 1) 508 508

Been done in a completely automated experimental payload for a fraction of the cost and risk

I don't know what reality you're living in, but automated systems are expensive; especially since we're not talking about experiments done purely on machinery or electronics. A lot of STS-107 mission's experiments were in the fields of life science and earth science.

So the space program not only killed seven people, but needlessly killed seven people.

No one put a gun to their heads and forced them into orbit. They knew the risks of their jobs and accepted them eagerly. You insult their memory by even talking about their accomplishments being "needless".

Or lets take the Hubble repair missions. A repair mission on the Hubble costs a billion dollars plus. It would be cheaper just to strap a new telescope on a rocket and just launch a replacement instead!

Would it? The risk (in both time and money) involved in launching a brand new, unproven telescope doesn't even come close to the cost associated with maintenance on a time-tested, working telescope. Not to mention how long it took to build Hubble in the first place.

Comment They're right (Score 4, Interesting) 508 508

Manned space flight isn't about being "cost effective", "high priority", or "a good return on investment" (yes, I've heard all of these terms used in regards to spaceflight). It's about exploration, curiosity, and wonder. I challenge you to tell someone who was around on July 20, 1969 that manned spaceflight is pointless.

It's about doing something simply to show that it can be done, like the explorers of centuries past. I suppose some people find that concept unimportant or even boring.

I would say that those people are unimportant and boring.

Comment Location is important (Score 4, Informative) 377 377

You didn't mention the location of your school (probably wisely); however, it would be useful to know at least the vague region in which you live, as it impacts what's visible at different times of the year.

The moon, Venus, and Mars are good places to start. NASA has a "Near-Earth Object" program ( that may be of interest to you.

Also, while man-made objects aren't necessarily directly related to astronomy, the International Space Station is also quite visible with the naked eye; I'm sure a telescope would make the observation much better. Again, this depends on your location and when the ISS will be visible there.

Comment What do we really need? (Score 0) 920 920

We don't need to do a lot of things. Magellan didn't need to circumnavigate the globe (yes, I'm aware he didn't quite make it, not the point). Columbus didn't need to sail across the Atlantic. You and I don't need to have hobbies. We don't need to have a sense of adventure or exploration. We don't need to have any amount of fun. We don't need to be curious about the universe in which we live.

This is what happens when you put a politician in charge of anything. The only thing they think we need to do is lead our drab little lives. Go to work, be a good consumer, pay our taxes; all so they can live fat and happy on top of the world while we spend our lives toiling away, chained to the desk of some office job. Sound fun to everyone?

To hell with politics and to hell with Obama. I knew there was a reason I didn't vote for him.

Comment Re:I'm sick of this! (Score 1) 164 164

What's next? they are going to retire the IIS?

They've actually talked about deorbiting the IIS in 2016 (there's a previous article on /. about it; not bothering to link it, Google it yourself). I doubt they will, but it's been mentioned.

that's all vaporware

They said the same thing in 1976 about the Space Shuttle.

Comment Not a huge deal (Score 4, Informative) 406 406

The summary is a bit sensationalist. Being a resident of Indianapolis, I know for a fact that there are a ton of hospitals around this area. Chances are St. Vincent's got a lot of those patients. I'm certain that Methodist would not have turned away any patients that they were not absolutely certain would receive adequate aid at another hospital, or if they thought that the patient in question was in no condition to be re-routed.

As for paper vs. electronic records, hospitals keep both. The point is that paper records take a lot longer to manage, and if they can safely do so, it's in everyone's best interest for them to send patients to other hospitals in order to get caught up on paperwork. If their paperwork keeps piling up, the chances of losing important data increase by a large margin, and that's bad for all parties involved.

No, I say that Methodist made the right call here.

New Study Finds Flu Virus "Paralyzes" Immune System 84 84

mmmscience writes with this excerpt from "A study coming out of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has found that the influenza virus manages to dysregulate the immune system, allowing other infections to thrive in the body. This discovery, coming at an opportune time as the world battles the new H1N1 flu outbreak, may be the first step in understanding why the flu can cause such high mortality rates in normally healthy individuals."

Social Search Reveals 700 Comcast Customer Logins 158 158

nandemoari writes "When educational technology specialist Kevin Andreyo recently read a report on people search engines, he decided to conduct a little 'people search' on himself. Andreyo did not expect to find much — so, imagine the surprise when he uncovered the user name and password to his Comcast Internet account, put out there for the entire online world to see. In addition to his personal information, Andreyo also discovered a list that exposed the user names and passwords of (what he believed) to be 8,000 other Comcast customers. Andreyo immediately contacted both Comcast and the FBI, hoping to find the ones responsible for divulging such personal information to the public. While the list is no longer available online, analysts fear that the document still lives on in various cache and online history services."
The Internet

Broadband Access Without the Pork? 412 412

An anonymous reader writes "Like many consumers nowadays, I find more of my time spent on the internet and various wireless devices (e.g. mobile phone). This has gotten to the point where I basically do not use a landline or cable television anymore, and they are essentially pork on my broadband bill, which further subjects the consumer to all sorts of clandestine fees that aren't disclosed until the first bill arrives and add a non-trivial sum (in my case, nearly 100%) to the monthly rate. However, it seems that all broadband access providers have this stipulation, that an internet customer must first have a basic phone or cable TV service in order to sign on for the internet service. Are there any ISPs that can get around this and still deliver broadband internet service at a competitive rate?"

You can't go home again, unless you set $HOME.