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Space

Crowdfunded, Solar-powered Spacecraft Goes Silent 366

Posted by Soulskill
from the have-you-tried-turning-it-off-and-then-on-again dept.
Last week saw the successful launch of the Planetary Society's LightSail spacecraft, the solar-powered satellite that runs Linux and was crowdfunded on Kickstarter. The spacecraft worked flawlessly for two days, but then fell silent, and the engineering team has been working hard on a fix ever since. They've pinpointed the problem: a software glitch. "Every 15 seconds, LightSail transmits a telemetry beacon packet. The software controlling the main system board writes corresponding information to a file called beacon.csv. If you're not familiar with CSV files, you can think of them as simplified spreadsheets—in fact, most can be opened with Microsoft Excel. As more beacons are transmitted, the file grows in size. When it reaches 32 megabytes—roughly the size of ten compressed music files—it can crash the flight system." Unfortunately, the only way to clear that CSV file is to reboot LightSail. It can be done remotely, but as anyone who deals with crashing computers understands, remote commands don't always work. The command has been sent a few dozen times already, but LightSail remains silent. The best hope may now be that the system spontaneously reboots on its own.

Comment: Re:Climate "Science" (Score 1) 417

by Plumpaquatsch (#49790589) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?

"Is CO2 a greenhouse gas ? We've had proof of that since the mid 19th century"

Untrue. It was hypothesized by Arrhenius but then Robert Wood showed that greenhouses do not warm because of the "greenhouse effect"

Errm, do you actually believe what you just wrote there? Do you actually believe they called it "greenhouse effect" not as an analogy, but as an actual attempt at explanation? Are you a true moron who can't think for himself and repeats some silly explanation he heard from some moronic talk radio host? Or just a troll?

http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2011/07/19/the-greenhouse-effect-is-not-t/

Comment: Re: US rail system (Score 1) 293

by Plumpaquatsch (#49790451) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

I find it all a bit ridiculous, personally, but to argue that the US is the only place this happens is also inaccurate. They do it at baseball games in Korea and Japan, if my memory serves properly.

Not exactly a rarity for people to feel pride in their place of residence.

Funny you should mention baseball - "The Star-Spangled Banner" was already commonly played at baseball games years before it became the national anthem. And it seems they didn't play the (de facto) anthem "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" back then. Maybe it's less patriotism, and more stubbornness to change any rituals, or even superstition.

http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/6957582/the-history-national-anthem-sports-espn-magazine

Comment: Re:The guy is full of himself (Score 1) 147

by Plumpaquatsch (#49784165) Attached to: Apple Design Guru Jony Ive Named Chief Design Officer

Wedding and event videos fall squarely in this category. No bride will be okay with spending $1,500 for a Vimeo link.

And a bride can't use a USB drive (which hold much more than a DVD and can be copies far easier)? If the requirement is that they must have a DVD, a Pro can get a USB/Firewire/TB one.

I comprehensively covered this earlier in the thread, but it's not just the drive - it's that video format support isn't exactly a guarantee,

Bwahahaha - and you suggest DVD instead, where there's not even a standard way to do HD video. You crack me up.

Comment: Re:Maybe science went off the rails... (Score 2) 417

by Plumpaquatsch (#49775579) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?

Climate science is probably the most scrutinized field of science right now. And despite people saying the whole field is a crock, nothing of substance is found wrong.

Obviously the whole thing isn't a crock, there is just a lot of noise in the field now largely owing to it being such a hot topic and gold mine for grants and publicity.

And the only reason it being such a hot topic and gold mine for grants and publicity is because of the deniers who want more proof. Which they then are "skeptic" about.

Comment: Re: Label the opposition as "vaccine deniers" - Ne (Score 1) 417

by Plumpaquatsch (#49775533) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?

The problem is that the people who are the anti-vaxers are the vary same people who carry the Global Warming torch the highest and are most vocal in the popular media.

Yeah, people like Donald Trump and Michele Bachmann are poster children for "people who carry the Global Warming torch".

Comment: Re:Isn't the phrase "kicked upstairs"? (Score 1) 147

by Plumpaquatsch (#49775133) Attached to: Apple Design Guru Jony Ive Named Chief Design Officer

It's the Dilbert Principal at work. Companies tend to promote their least-competent employees to management in order to limit the amount of damage they are capable of doing.

Errm, apart from TFA mentioning he will do less management (and more designing) in order to do less damage.

Comment: Re:did they damage the car? (Score 1) 461

by Plumpaquatsch (#49774261) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

They broke the rear window and blew up the pressure cooker outside the car. Reimburse? No, they didn't reimburse him; instead they arrested him for operating a vehicle after license revocation, just to cover up for their incompetence. Obviously if a car belonging to someone has moved, it must be that person who moved it, right?

He's only free because his name is Israel, not Abdul. Ohh, BTW:

Israel Shimeles, of Alexandria, tells NBC Washington that he understands why the propane tank and pressure cooker, which he uses for work and were left in his vehicle, caused concern and why the U.S. Capitol Police had to destroy the pressure cooker. (Courtesy NBC Washington) ... Police discovered the pressure cooker on 3rd Street between Jefferson and Madison drives about 5 p.m. and destroyed it about 15 minutes before the National Memorial Day Concert on the Capitol lawn was to begin nearby.

And that days after the death sentence of the Boston pressure cooker bomber. Yeah, they should have thought that this is absolutely no concern of them.

Comment: Re:Sudden? (Score 1) 268

There are many cases where even republicans go on record stating man made climate change. It is basicly the Oil industry who is trying to keep the doubt about it. So the politicians Democrat or republican (mostly republican) who come from the Energy Producing states. Will play onto the spew to keep themselves elected.

Politics are not Pro- or Anti-Science. It is weather the science is political useful for them or not. Otherwise they will be happy putting their head in the sand.

Have you ever visited a coal mining town that doesn't mine coal anymore? The end result is almost always a severely depressed area, rampant poverty, high unemployment and underemployment, high drug use and abuse, prostitution, etc. A lot (millions) of people live in oil towns and oil cities in the US. For the good of the world, maybe we need to cut back on oil and gas. But the politicians would not be doing their job if they didn't represent the people who elected them.

Well, those towns that haven't gone that road already rather sooner than later will. The deniers are advocating building up Fracking and Tar Sand towns that will then face that destiny in a couple of decades.

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.

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