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Comment: Re:Tell them to read the constitution (Score 1) 395

by brock bitumen (#29141633) Attached to: New York MTA Asserts Copyright Over Schedule
that's a good point, however, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_Transportation_Authority_(New_York) the MTA is a "public benefit corporation" and not, therefore, a direct agency of the US gov't, per se.

whether or not it's still affected by your citation, I do not know, however, I would imagine the agency would not have extended legal action without consultation first, and this section of the law would have been a very clear obstacle, if it happens to be relevant, and it's the lawyer who then should be sacked

Comment: Re:Phobos & Deimos (Score 5, Interesting) 157

by brock bitumen (#28513963) Attached to: Spirit Rover Begins Making Night Sky Observations
that *would* be cool. don't think the Martian sky has a sight like that tho

Put this in perspective, our moon, which is a fairly large night-sky (or daytime) feature, is about 1800km mean radius, (which is about a quarter the size of Earth, mind you, and we posses the largest natural satellite, relative to the planet, in the solar system), and, by the way it's about 385,000 km from earth on average, which is not very close, but it still appears quite large.

However, Phobos, and Deimos, the two small moons possessed by Mars, are a paltry 11km and 6km in mean radius, respectively. The smaller moon, Deimos, is also farther away, and would appear no more than a small dot in the sky (day or night as it would happen to be). Phobos, by virtue of it's very close orbital distance, would have a shot at actually being recognized by a lay-Martian to be something special in the sky, but it would still appear quite small when compared to the grandeur of Luna.

The photos from these pages depicting a solar transit ("eclipse") from the the surface of Mars, help provide a good metric for comprehending these relative sizes. Notice that neither moon is large enough to actually create an eclipse. Of course, on the surface of Mars, the Sun is slightly smaller than on the surface of Earth, but not by very much. Phobos' transit, Deimos' transit

Finally, both of these on first glance appear to be nothing more than lumps of rock drifting through space, hardly anything to cherish on a romantic skyline like we do the way our perfectly curved Luna hangs. But maybe I'm just being ethnocentric....

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 376

by brock bitumen (#28350601) Attached to: NASA To Trigger Massive Explosion On the Moon In Search of Ice
calm down.

These things don't run on short term timescales. This project completed it's design review phase (suggesting many months of design prior to that) in February '06, see the citations on the project's wikipedia page

The economy was doing just fine, in fact very well, until about halloween of 2008. We're not just going to dump this mission b/c the banks are having a rough spot. The money is spent, the project has inertia too.

Comment: Re:Ocean mass vs outer core mass (Score 1) 333

by brock bitumen (#28334763) Attached to: Ocean Currents Proposed As Cause of Magnetic Field
i'd tend to agree that 1800 miles is more than a thin skin

but where the hell do you pull 1800 from? Some quick wikipedia'ing shows the earth has a mean radius of 6371km, or nearly 4000 miles, that's radius, so the Earth is about 8000 miles in diameter on average. That's the "body", our "skin", what OP calls the ocean is described as having an average depth of 3790 meters (not km), which is roughly 2.3 miles.

A 2.3 mile thick "skin" is 0.029% of the "body's" total 8000-mile thickness. That, imo, is a thin skin.

Government

+ - Inflammatory document posted - Police Corruption->

Submitted by IndianaKim
IndianaKim (1555547) writes "I posted last week asking if I should host a highly inflammatory document that is incriminating toward a police department. I did not end up hosting the document and although I advised, as you all suggested, using wikileaks, they found a host on their own.

I will let their posts and their description provide you the rest of the information.

http://cultureghost.org/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2271

thank you for all your suggestions."

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Social Networks

+ - Government to sign agreement with iTunes, LinkedIn->

Submitted by
#gov20guy
#gov20guy writes "Agencies have launched social networking applications at such a fast pace that government officials said on Friday that they plan to add more applications, such as Apple's popular media store iTunes and the career-networking site LinkedIn. The government also is negotiating agreements with social publishing site Scribd and commenting platform Intense Debate, said Martha Dorris, acting associate administrator for the General Services Administration's Office of Citizen Services and Communications. The federal government has already signed modified terms of service agreements to allow agencies to use social media sites Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Slideshare and AddThis, among others. The response to the agreements has been excellent, Dorris said. Agencies have set up Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts and YouTube channels to share information with the public. "We're looking at taking information wherever citizens go to get information," she said, adding GSA will consider adding more social networking sites, depending on requests from agencies."
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