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+ - Japan to land unmanned lunar probe in 2018->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is planning to attempt Japan’s first lunar landing in fiscal 2018, sources close to the project said Sunday. JAXA has said it will use unmanned probes to study the possible use of materials on the moon as well as its environment, which could pave the way for future manned missions. JAXA is expected to brief a government panel on the project with the aim of securing funding for mission preparations from the budget for fiscal 2016, which begins next April, the sources said

The lunar probe is likely to be launched on an Epsilon advanced rocket, the sources said

The SLIM mission is aimed at establishing a method for pinpoint landings that would make it possible to approach a target area with a level of accuracy ranging in the hundreds of meters"

Link to Original Source

+ - Hubble turns 25->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "The Hubble Telescope was launched on April 24, 1990, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery from Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Currently it is flying about 340 miles over the Earth and circling us every 97 minutes

While the telescope itself is not really much to look at, that silver bucket is pure gold for astronomers

Scientists have used that vantage point to make ground-breaking observations about planets, stars, galaxies and to reveal parts of our universe we didn't know existed. The telescope has made more than 1 million observations and astronomers have used Hubble data in more than 12,700 scientific papers, "making it one of the most productive scientific instruments ever built," according to NASA

The truly spectacular images of the cosmo have also led to a scientific bounty that has far exceeded Hubble’s original goals: measuring how fast the universe is expanding; figuring out how galaxies evolve; and studying the gas that lies between galaxies

NASA aims to keep Hubble operating through at least 2020 so that it can overlap with its successor. The James Webb Space Telescope is due to launch in October 2018 and begin observations in mid-2019

The institute is reviewing scientists’ proposals for telescope time and mulling if some projects merit special attention as Hubble nears its end. Typically, the program receives about five requests for every hour of available telescope time

“There’s clearly there’s no lack of things to do with this observatory in its remaining years. The question is what do we do?” Sembach said at a recent American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle

More links @

Link to Original Source

+ - Rosetta spacecraft witnessed and recorded a 'Comet Fart'->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "On March 12, the Rosetta spacecraft was imaging Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from a distance of 75 kilometers (46 miles) and by pure chance it spotted an eruption of dusty material from the shaded nucleus

Long-duration spacecraft are essential if we are to fully understand the evolution of a comet as it gradually heats up during its approach to the sun. And it just so happens that Rosetta is always in orbit around 67P’s nucleus, ready to spot any transient event that could erupt at any time on the surface

This latest event focuses on the comet’s shaded underside. It is assumed that some sunlight slowly heated an outcrop, providing enough energy to sublimate subsurface ices, ejecting vapor and dust as a jet. The transient jet was imaged and measured by Rosetta’s scientific imaging system OSIRIS

There is also the possibility that a wave of heating passed through the icy material, eventually producing a more explosive jet event"

Link to Original Source

+ - Assange Talk Causes Judges Across The UK To Boycott/Walk Out Of Legal Conference->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Commonwealth Law Conference in Glasgow was subjected to walk outs and boycott once it became known that Julian Assange was to appear by video link from the Ecuadorian embassy to give a talk at the conference. The Guardian reports that, "Judges from Scotland, England and Wales and the UK supreme court had agreed to speak at or chair other sessions but withdrew – in some cases after arriving at the conference centre– when they found out about Assange’s appearance. Among those to boycott the conference were the most senior judge in Scotland, Lord Gill, and two judges on the supreme court, Lord Neuberger and Lord Hodge. A spokesperson for the Judicial Office for Scotland said: “The conference programme was changed to include Mr Assange’s participation at short notice and without consultation. Mr Assange is, as a matter of law, currently a fugitive from justice, and it would therefore not be appropriate for judges to be addressed by him. “Under these circumstances, the lord president, Lord Gill, and the other Scottish judicial officeholders in attendance have withdrawn from the conference.” A spokesman for the UK supreme court added: “Lord Neuberger and Lord Hodge share the concerns expressed by Lord Gill and his fellow senior Scottish judges ... “As a result of this unfortunate development, they trust that delegates will understand their decision to withdraw from the conference. ...” A spokesman for judiciary of England and Wales said: “The lord chief justice shares the concerns expressed by Lord Gill and Lord Neuberger ... He agreed with the position taken by both, and the judges of England and Wales also withdrew from the conference. ...”""
Link to Original Source

+ - William Shatner wants to build a water pipe->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "The 84-year old Startrek star wants to build a water pipe to bring water to California

All it'll cost, according to Mr. Shatner, is $30 billion, and he wants to kickstart the funding campaign, by crowdsourcing

According to Mr. Shatner, if the kickstart campaign doesn't raise enough money then he will donate whatever that has been collected to a politician who promise to build that water pipe

As for where he wants to get the water from?

Seattle, "A place where there’s a lot of water. There’s too much water" says Mr. Shatner"

Link to Original Source

+ - DIA Polygraph Countermeasure Case Files Leaked

Submitted by George Maschke
George Maschke (699175) writes "AntiPolygraph.org (of which I am a co-founder) has published a set of leaked Defense Intelligence Agency polygraph countermeasure case files along with a case-by-case analysis. The case files, which include polygraph charts and the exact questions used, suggest that the only people being "caught" trying to beat the polygraph are those using crude, unsophisticated methods that anyone who actually understood polygraph procedure and effective countermeasures (like, say, a real spy, saboteur, or terrorist) would ever use. AntiPolygraph.org has previously published polygraph community training materials on countermeasures that indicate they lack the ability to detect countermeasures like those described in our free book, The Lie Behind the Lie Detector (PDF) or in former police polygraph examiner Doug Williams' manual, How to Sting the Polygraph . Williams, who was indicted last year after teaching undercover federal agents how to pass a polygraph, is scheduled to stand trial on May 12 in Oklahoma City."

+ - Helpin' minorities in earning Ph.Ds->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "The article outlines the attempts of universities in helping minorities — specifically the African Americans, the Latin Americans, the Native Americans and the Alaska Natives — obtaining their Ph.Ds, and the recent progress

A conundrum remains — nobody can put their fingers to a specific (proven) recipe which led to the success

The three-year study, which was paid for by the National Science Foundation, is the most comprehensive to date on times to degree, attrition, and completion rates for members of underrepresented minority groups

The report's suggestion on improvements on completion rates include

1) Conducting interventions throughout the entire doctoral process;
2) Providing students with enhanced academic support;
3) Monitoring and evaluating programs and interventions; and
4) Cultivating a culture of diversity and inclusion,

A highlight of the report

“One of the striking lessons from this study is that the dissertation phase is a particularly critical time for students. Our country’s STEM workforce will lose a great deal of potential talent if we don’t help underrepresented doctoral students cross the finish line”

...carries the hint of 'shortening the time to degree based on interviews with minority graduate students' might prove to be controversial as that could bring forth the ' entitlement mindset ' that has been plagued the society at large for much too long


Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Define intelligence (Score 0) 382

by Taco Cowboy (#49502225) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

I have a high IQ and I have found it easier to digest information, correlate that information and draw conclusions that my peers
This was identified in early grade school and resulted in both selection into gifted programs and the occasional beating on the playground by my peers
As a result, I have usually sought to disavow any claim to intelligence and work with people at the level that they are comfortable at, only bringing on additional capacity as needed to keep things moving along
Being identified as 'exceptional' is both gratifying and painful, and I would normally attempt to avoid it.
This because people both set higher expectations for me and seek an opportunity to prove themselves by besting me

I feel your pain, I do

I always suspect that I am 'different' from the rest ever since I was a little kid --- and even without 'trying' I always manage to 'get the answer'

That brought a whole lot of jealousy and angst amongst my peers - and when that happened in the midst of the cultural revolution of China, of course I got in trouble very fast

All kinds of labels were heaped on me, 'counter-revolutionary', 'foreign-spy', whatever that you could imagine I was burdened with it

But unlike you, I refused to back down --- why should I?

Why should I fall into their level of mediocrity, to dumb down myself, to stoop low, just so that I could be one of them?

Fuck that!

I am what I am. If I am born 'different' so be it

By the time I took the IQ test I was in my mid-twenties, and at that time I was already in the USA, and the result wasn't actually surprising, at least not to me (supposed to be one in 300+ million, or something like that)

Am I 'special' because my high IQ? Not really. As I said, I am what I am. Even if my IQ level turns out to be a goose-egg, I am still what I am

I do not despise those who can't comprehend the things that I can, no matter how they try. I mean, why should I?

They are they. I am me

They have their own lives to live. I have mine

But I continue to be me, that 'me' that I am born with

I continue to do the things that I want to do, even if the society around me doesn't appreciate what I do

Hey, I have but one life to live, and I am going to live it to the fullest

Comment: Ask the former residents of East Germany (Score 5, Insightful) 249

by Taco Cowboy (#49502139) Attached to: The Upsides of a Surveillance Society

They were under constant watch of the Stasi

Why don't you guys go ask the former residents of the East Germany and see if they prefer to be "kinder to each others" when under surveillance or to have their liberty back ... even if they have to endure the consequence of having more people being rude to each others

TFA should be a warning sign - that TPTB is actively trying to inject a meme / an idea into people's mindset that the society would be somehow *nicer* if everybody are under surveillance

I thought you guys are supposed to have above average IQ, but looking at the way you guys are commenting ... sigh !

Comment: We have NSA to thank for ... (Score 1) 192

by Taco Cowboy (#49491945) Attached to: Microsoft's Role As Accuser In the Antitrust Suit Against Google

These details all used to show on www.groklaw.net, whose thoughtful legal analyses and detailed reporting are missed by many

I too missed the insightful analysis of Groklaw a lot

Unfortunately, we have only ourselves to blame because it is us who keep on funding nefarious cabals such as that motherfucking NSA with our tax monies


Comment: I do not play the 'victim game' (Score 5, Insightful) 192

by Taco Cowboy (#49491027) Attached to: Microsoft's Role As Accuser In the Antitrust Suit Against Google

So who do you blame for obesity, McDonald or the people who promote McDonald and target their ads at people who they also target with dieting ads

Who do I blame?


I blame myself for being a fucking idiot wasting my hard earned $ on Mickey-D's hamburgers for I, as a consumer, have the choice to *NOT* going to Mickey-D no matter what the ads tell me

Comment: Remember M$'s role on SCO? (Score 5, Informative) 192

by Taco Cowboy (#49490891) Attached to: Microsoft's Role As Accuser In the Antitrust Suit Against Google

Remember who was behind SCO on its patent claim against Linux?


Do you know that M$ still has patent claims on Linux and Android?

Do you know that Samsung had to pay M$ to use Android on their smartphone?

Do you know that because of the so-called settlement in between M$ and Samsung on the Android patent thing, Samsung is obliged to use Microsoft's apps on its new smartphones?

Comment: WTF are you complaining about?? (Score 2) 240

by Taco Cowboy (#49483785) Attached to: Google Responds To EU Antitrust Claims In Android Blog Post

You have completely lost me

... but I got a smartphone recently - a Samsung Ace 3 with Android. My impression is that the concept has huge promise, but that it is set up to disappoint massively, because although it is so-called open-source, you are not likely to be set free from the tie-in. This particular phone comes without Google Play (and as Google say: 'if it isn't installed from the start, you are not supposed to have it'), and all I can find on Samsung's equivalent is ad- and spyware. I have a suspicion the same holds for Google Play, but I don't know. Even if you download Google Play from elsehwere, it will not be allowed to run - it gets killed instantly

Let's see ...

The phone you got is from Samsung

It runs Android

It does NOT have Google Play

And if you want to install Google Play in it, that Samsung phone somehow deletes it, instantly

Am I stating the facts correctly?

The phone's only tie with Google is the OS ( Android )

Fact 1. The Phone is not from Google

Fact 2. Google Play is not allowed to be installed in that phone

But of course, that's not all ...
You just goota bitch about the evilness of Google, even if you have to make it up

... To my mind, this is very close to being abuse of monopoly - 'collusion to abuse a monopoly' if there is such a concept. Oh, I'm sure it is all legal, in the lawyer sense of the word, meaning that if you get away with it, it must have been legal; I don't think it should be legal, and it certainly isn't moral. They are misappropriating the open source concept and unless we speak out against it, we let them demean the good standing of the open source movement ...

Regarding that fucking phone of yours, Google's role is limited to the Android OS, and nothing else

So what the fuck are you trying to prove?

That Google is evil? Just because Google supplies that Android OS that Samsung uses?

That Google is a monopoly? How can Google be a monopoly if Google Play isn't even allowed to be installed???

You got tard for in between your ears, or what?

+ - Prosecutors suspect man hacked lottery computers to score winning ticket->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Prosecutors say they have evidence indicating the former head of computer security for a state lottery association tampered with lottery computers prior to him buying a ticket that won a $14.3 million jackpot, according to a media report.

Eddie Raymond Tipton, 51, may have inserted a thumbdrive into a highly locked-down computer that's supposed to generate the random numbers used to determine lottery winners, The Des Moines Register reported, citing court documents filed by prosecutors. At the time, Tipton was the information security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, and he was later videotaped purchasing a Hot Lotto ticket that went on to fetch the winning $14.3 million payout.

In court documents filed last week, prosecutors said there is evidence to support the theory Tipton used his privileged position inside the lottery association to enter a locked room that housed the random number generating computers and infect them with software that allowed him to control the winning numbers. The room was enclosed in glass, could only be entered by two people at a time, and was monitored by a video camera. To prevent outside attacks, the computers aren't connected to the Internet. Prosecutors said Tipton entered the so-called draw room on November 20, 2010, ostensibly to change the time on the computers. The cameras on that date recorded only one second per minute rather than running continuously like normal.

"Four of the five individuals who have access to control the camera's settings will testify they did not change the cameras' recording instructions," prosecutors wrote. "The fifth person is defendant. It is a reasonable deduction to infer that defendant tampered with the camera equipment to have an opportunity to insert a thumbdrive into the RNG tower without detection.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Outsiders will forever be outsider if ... (Score 5, Insightful) 147

... that's what they want

I am a Chinese, born in China

In the US of A I am an *outsider* --- and if I want to forever remain an *outsider*, I can

In other words, if I remain an *outsider* that is because I choose to be an *outsider*

Look, man ! In this thread there is an Indian American (who was born in America) and a Chinese American, who was born in China already chimed in, and we share the same view, that the idea in which students can learn better from teachers who share the same racial background as them (the students) as a totally ridiculous notion

Political Correctness has no place in Education!!

Real programmers don't write in BASIC. Actually, no programmers write in BASIC after reaching puberty.