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Comment: Re:Blasted Whom? (Score 1) 162

by Smitty825 (#30567890) Attached to: Fifth Anniversary of a Cosmic Onslaught

The earth always "points" the same direction, towards Polaris in the North. (Always is relative..., but in this instance, "always" defines a few human lifetimes)

So, since the center of the galaxy is located somewhere between Sagittarius and Scorpius, and those constellations are visible during the northern hemisphere's summer, I'm assuming that the Northern Hemisphere points away from the Galatic center, while the Southern Hemisphere points (slightly) towards the center.

Comment: Re:It's because meters and feet are the same (Score 1) 429

by Smitty825 (#29823357) Attached to: 125 Years of Longitude 0 0' 00" At Greenwich
Well, when Fahrenheit created his temperature scale, he made 0 degrees F the temperature that salt water (think the ocean) froze at. He used 100 degrees as the body temperature of a person. (Alas, he calibrated the temperature on himself, and I read that his metabolism was high...most people are 98.6 F)

I can think well using both units, so I don't care, but it wasn't like his numbers were completely random..

Comment: Re:Just reduce the bill (Score 5, Insightful) 285

by Smitty825 (#29443825) Attached to: T-Mobile Backs Off Plan To Charge $1.50 For Paper Bills

I'd love to go to a paper-less billing system...except for one thing...

Why can't the companies just email me a PDF of the bill I normally receive? It would contain the due-date of the bill and how much I owe. If I am splitting the bill with roommates, then it's easy to forward to each other. If I want to keep a record of what I've been charged for, then it's easy for me to store it, etc.

Currently the way "paperless" billing works is that I receive an email from saying my bill is ready to be seen. I then have to go to their website, enter my username/password (because they've written some sort of Javascript to prevent the browser from remembering it for me), click 3 or 4 times to find my bill and then discover that all of the information is located on 3 or 4 different pages.

To me, the hassle of receiving a paperless bill isn't worth it...

Comment: Re:I have given up on Sony (Score 4, Interesting) 562

by Smitty825 (#27981107) Attached to: Sony Pictures CEO Thinks the Net Wasn't Worth It
I agree. I've had some other sony devices that didn't live up to their billing. They've really become the GM of the electronics industry. They were once a great company that made lots of really high-quality products, but have lost their focus and now are approaching irrelevancy.

Comment: Re:Does it bother anyone else..... (Score 3, Interesting) 289

by Smitty825 (#27780091) Attached to: Hospital Equipment Infected With Conficker
In the medical industry, making even the smallest changes is often difficult. (I've heard stories of companies continuing to release medical software based on WinNT, and they will probably continue to do it.) When it comes to making changes to software (and hardware), there are lots of regulatory hurdles you need to meet. (The more "life-critical" a device is, the more stringent the regulations are) Obviously, it makes sense, because you don't want to go to the hospital today and find a Windows 7 Beta powered device responsible for your safety.

Also, many hospitals refuse to upgrade existing equipment to something newer. If it works, and it gets the clinicians the data they need to help the patient, then they don't want to take the risk of updating software/hardware.

Comment: Stop auto-updating? (Score 4, Insightful) 220

by Smitty825 (#27388537) Attached to: Slashdot Keybindings, Dynamic Stories
One (small) issue I seem to have is with the auto-updating feature. Often, I'm connected over a (relatively) slow cell phone link. When I'm using this slow link, I'd prefer to not have Slashdot query the server for updated stories. I know I can press the "pause" button, at the top to stop the auto-updating, but if I forget to do so, then I'm annoyed by some other app responding slowly. Is there plans to make this feature configurable? (Note: Each time I load /., I need to remember to hit the "pause" button...the previous state is never saved)

Comment: Obvious, but... (Score 1) 589

by Smitty825 (#26500815) Attached to: MS Silverlight To Stream Obama Inauguration Events
I know that just about everything posted by kdawson should be moderated as a "-1 Troll", but what good, cross-platform video codecs exist for streaming video? Obviously, Silverlight isn't that cross platform, Flash is proprietary, so I can't use it on a PPC linux box I have here, etc.

Open, Free Codecs that work everywhere are surprisingly non-existent. I'd like to see that change!
NASA

+ - Atlantis launch delayed again->

Submitted by Z80xxc!
Z80xxc! (1111479) writes "According to an article by the Washington Post, NASA has delayed the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis until January 2nd, 2008 at the earliest. The latest in a series of delays is due to a faulty fuel gauge. NASA did say that it should not vastly affect either the space station construction or the launch the European Space Agency's $2 billion Columbus lab."
Link to Original Source
Space

+ - NASA postpones Dawn Launch, Phoenix on Schedule

Submitted by
StaffInfection
StaffInfection writes "The NASA Dawn mission launch has been slipped to September 15th to begin its journey to the Asteroid belt. Dawn will orbit the two largest asteroids — Vesta and Ceres, and flyby several other smaller asteroids. The Phoenix mission to Mars, the resurrected twin lander to the ill-fated Mars Polar Lander (MPL), remains scheduled for a launch between August 3rd and August 20th, weather and systems permitting. Phoenix will execute the Mission profile of MPL — land at a high martian latitude to study surface morphology, the atmosphere and soil samples with a keen interest in water content. Link to the NASA Dawn announcement and related Phoenix links is located at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/dawn/news/HQ_071 50_Dawn_postpone_Sep.html."

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