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Comment Re:Not really a US company? (Score 1) 86

NZ's bigger advantage would be, if they launch from the NE corner, that they could launch on a wide range of azimuths without overflying any land. It also illustrates a perception reinforced by many maps, which cut off far southern latitudes more than northern. NZ is roughly as far south as the US is north. In the same vein, over 1/3 of Australia is tropical.

Comment Re:Even the Vatican doesn't RTFA (Score 1) 323

You're knocking down some classic strawmen here. One of the reasons we have Protestants is that people don't like what they _think_ the Catholic Church teaches and don't take the time to learn what they do. So, the digest version of Catholic beliefs on the things above: Yes, it is God that forgives. Yesterday, today and always. But in John 20:22-23 Jesus gives his Church the power of binding and loosing sins. No, we cannot earn our way into Heaven. Claiming to be Christian but not showing any fruit is a dead faith, but salvation is a free gift. If you believe people's ways are in error and you're going to try to illuminate them, you should understand what the religion they practice teaches.

Machine Condenses Drinking Water Out of Thin Air 438

longacre writes "A new $1,200 machine that uses the same amount of power as three light bulbs promises to condense drinkable water out of the air. On display at Wired Magazine's annual tech showcase, the WaterMill 'looks like a giant golf ball that has been chopped in half: it is about 3ft in diameter, made of white plastic, and is attached to the wall. It works by drawing air through filters to remove dust and particles, then cooling it to just below the temperature at which dew forms. The condensed water is passed through a self-sterilising chamber that uses microbe-busting UV light to eradicate any possibility of Legionnaires' disease or other infections. Finally, it is filtered and passed through a pipe to the owner's fridge or kitchen tap.'"

Submission + - Gas Station in Space Could Change NASA's Moon Plan (

mattnyc99 writes: Rand Simberg has a report from the Space 2007 conference about a new proposal from Boeing that would upend NASA's expensive plan to return to the moon by building a propellant refueling depot in sub-orbital space—saving tons more time, weight and money for the new lunar base. From the article: "How the propellant would reach such a pitstop in the sky is really the beauty of Boeing's concept. NASA has been seeking ways to involve both international partners and the commercial sector — Michael Griffin, the agency's administrator, said recently that such a 'private/public synergy' was 'crucial for the future' — but NASA has been reluctant to put any partner on the critical path. The good news? Anyone can make propellant, and anyone can deliver it." Sounds like NASA and the space billionaires might finally be able to help each other...

Submission + - Facebook and Youth Policy

Sierra Victor writes: "I work for a major youth serving non-profit and we're debating how we can use Facebook/MySpace/etc. Our kids are all on it, but we have no real policy on how we exist in those mediums. Our defacto existence is controlled by a group of teens. How do we represent our program in the best light? We want to maintain the social aspects, but also promote our programs. Any advice from Slashdot on how we aproach this?"
Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - Apple's Woz Has Harsh Words for Open Source (

buzzardsbay writes: In a rollicking interview with eWEEK magazine, Apple guru Steve Wozniak dishes on Jobs, the iPhone and, ultimately, open source, saying: "There's always a group of people that wants to undo the forces of industry that have given us so much in terms of wealth, and there's always people who want things to be free. The open-source movement starts with those sort of people." Woz does concede that open source has "good points that have nothing to do with whether it's free or not." And he was wearing a nixie-tube watch, so how much can you really dislike him?

Submission + - DVD CCA approves burning CSS on DVDs (

LookSharp writes: After years of negotiations between studios and consumer electronics manufacturers, retailers and individuals can now burn studio movies and TV shows onto a DVD. Biggest beneficiaries are expected to be independent film and library distributors that otherwise have trouble getting their DVDs onto shelves. Could this be the start of widespread availability of "Long Tail" content in retail stores?

Submission + - Rocketeers by Michael Belfiore (

MarkWhittington writes: "Rocketeers by Michael Belfiore is not so much a history of commercial space as it is a kind of survey of the state of affairs of the same as of about spring of 2007. If suffers a little from the stream of consciousness writing style, jumping from one subject to the other. Nevertheless it is an inspiring story about a small group of entrepreneurs who propose to open the high frontier of space for commerce, and incidentally for everyone who is not a highly paid, highly trained employee of some government."
The Internet

Submission + - Facebook expands to public search listings (

kushboy writes: "Today when a user logs on to their Facebook account, they'll find the following notice: "Now people can search for this listing from Facebook's Welcome page. In a few weeks, it may also be found through search engines like Google." You can control your privacy settings, and disallow external search from making your profile publicly searchable. The public profile is shows is just your picture and name, and a person would still have to sign up with Facebook to contact you. The full statement: "Since your search privacy settings are set to "Everyone," you now have a public search listing. This means that friends who aren't yet on Facebook will be able to search for you by name from our Welcome page. Public Search Listings may only include names and profile pictures. In a few weeks, these public search listings can be found by search engines like Google. No privacy rules are changing; anyone who discovers your public search listing must register and log in to contact you via Facebook. Learn More.""

Submission + - Reviving the Mars rovers, from 2004 to 2007 (

Ian Lamont writes: "Computerworld has been tracking the health of the Mars rovers' hardware and software over the past several years, and how the rovers have been revived after a series of technical problems. In early 2004, shortly after the rovers landed, there were memory issues related to the mid-1990s technology being used. Then there were a series of OS upgrades that took as long as three days to complete, owing to the narrow pipe between Earth and Mars. As discussed earlier this week on Slashdot, The latest technical problems have been related to the rovers' electrical systems and dust storms on Mars, which prevented the solar panels from generating enough electricity for normal operations. Now that the dust storms are abating, controllers are restarting exploration and considering how long the rovers might last:

"We've long since recognized that these vehicles are very capable and resilient after three-and-a-half years on Mars," [Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineering team chief Jake] Matijevic said. "I think we probably can go on for another calendar year at least and maybe longer, too."
Computerworld has also collected a sample of some recent images from the rovers, and for the geeks out there who are really curious, there are the huge NASA repositories of all raw image files from both Spirit (100,965 images) and Opportunity (92,700 images)."


Submission + - X Prize Foundation to Announce New Space Prize

Reality Master 101 writes: "Wired has announced that a new space prize will be announced September 13th at Wired's NextFest. According to the invitation, it will be the largest space prize ever, and, "The challenge is extreme, the destination is extraordinary, the prize purse is exceptional." Teaser video here. So what will it be? Orbit? Payload on the moon?"

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller