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Comment So, we've already paid experts to plan this... (Score 1) 352 352

And it's pretty cool:
The integrated space plan is an update of the document originally drawn up in the 1980s, and has been variously rediscovered since.

It's a long-view look at where we need to go and what we need to get there. In the 1980s, commercial spaceflight was envisioned somewhat differently than it's happened, and robotics have gotten way more capable, so the refresh is definitely needed.

Comment Helped diagnose an allergic reaction, too! (Score 1) 47 47

After popping a bunch of benadryl and being satisfied that my condition wasn't worsening, I elected to make a regular appointment with my GP instead of going to Emergency.

I decided to take a few photos of the skin rash before it went away, which allowed the doctor (three days later, when I was totally fine again) to quickly identify that it was indeed an allergic reaction, and based on where it appeared, the subsequent interview helped diagnose the cause. Worked great!

Comment It's dead either way, why not try this? (Score 5, Insightful) 371 371

Whenever I try to convert part-15 geeks into part-97 geeks, they're interested in high power, they're interested in DIY equipment, they're interested in satellites, they're interested in propagation, and as soon as I mention that you can't swear or encrypt, they walk away.

"If I can't send useful traffic over it, why would I bother?"

Ham radio is losing a generation of geeks who've grown up on a more-free network and aren't interested in a restricted one. Should we just let them go?

Comment Ricochet did this post-9/11, routing worked fine. (Score 3, Interesting) 45 45

While much of Manhattan's traditional communications infrastructure was literally a smoking crater after 9/11, the Ricochet mesh network was alive and well, built to barely notice the loss of individual nodes.

The company had recently gone bankrupt, but all the hardware was still in place, so some ex-employees drove from Denver to NYC with a bunch of modems and laptops, to bring mobile connectivity to the recovery effort.

Mesh works in this case because MCDN uses geographic routing -- the packet header literally contains a packed lat/long for the destination, and nodes make their routing decisions by angle and distance. There's a layer of name-to-geo resolution which makes that all work, and in the Ricochet days it was centralized, but I believe it could be made to operate with DHT like torrent networks do now.

Comment Your local hackerspace. (Score 1) 49 49

Look at the list of hackerspaces, visit as many as you can find in the local area, and talk to as many people as you can. Most spaces don't have a spokesperson or overarching organization except what's necessary to keep the lights on, so making contact with individuals is important.

Comment General-purpose OS for a camera (Score 1) 179 179

A decade ago, there was a small series of digital cameras that ran a somewhat-open OS: Slashdot covered DigitaOS before. Yes, some people ran games on their cameras; I was one. But more importantly, new applications could be developed. Long before EXIF and geotagging, there was a guy with a GPS hooked to the serial port (yes, back when cameras used RS232) of a camera, and a Digita program to save the coordinates where each shot was taken. There are countless new ideas waiting to happen, when an open OS is paired with serious optics. I can't wait.

Comment Hackerspace connections (Score 5, Interesting) 239 239

I got my current job because another guy at the local hackerspace saw me working on stuff and figured I'd be a good fit at the place he worked. No big deal, makes sense, okay. But the sheer number of times this has happened, still astonishes me. With a membership of about 70 people, I can count 9 who've gotten jobs through connections made at the hackerspace. That's noteworthy.

The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to work.

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