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Comment: Re:The bravest astronaut (Score 1) 49 49

SpaceX is a new company and had 19 launches before failure on this. Even now, we still do not know what caused this.

SpaceX has had more then one failure, this is just their first failure on the Falcon 9 series that resulted in loss of all payloads. The Falcon 1 rocket had 3 failures out of five launches, but was considered a "test" project. Falcon 9 launch #4 was a partial failure where the secondary payload failed to reach orbit. Launch #7 was an almost failure due to a fire during flight down in the Octaweb engine area.

I believe there has been at least one launch where a first stage engine acted up, but I can't find the reference.

Comment: Re:You do'n't have to suffer with the touchpad (Score 1) 78 78

I've used a lot of keyboard nubbies over the years. The first one (c1995), the button was like a joystick and down by the spacebar. That one sucked. The next units were Toshiba Tecra series laptops with the nubby between the g/h/b keys. For the last 8 years, I've only used Thinkpad T series laptops. Both the Tecra and Thinkpad nubbies were quite good for the purpose.

One trick with pointer nubbies is that you really need to turn up the mouse pointer movement sensitivity to maximum. You'll overshoot on movement for the first week, but then your index finger will thank you because you need less effort to hit a target. Again, the purpose of the nubby is not to replace the mouse, but to let you do 90% of point-and-click operations (clicking buttons, positioning the cursor, basic drag-n-drop) without taking your hands off the home row.

If you're not a touch-typist, you won't see the benefit of a pointer nubby. If you do a *lot* of copy/paste or complex mouse operations, then a regular external mouse is better.

My current work unit is a Thinkpad T540p -- on that one, I dislike it, not because of the nubby, but because there are no physical left/middle/right mouse buttons. They got subsumed into the touchpad click surface. Fortunately, for the T450 and T550 series, they have brought back the physical button below the spacebar.
The Almighty Buck

Ask Slashdot: How Much Did Your Biggest Tech Mistake Cost? 299 299

NotQuiteReal writes: What is the most expensive piece of hardware you broke (I fried a $2500 disk drive once, back when 400MB was $2500) or what software bug did you let slip that caused damage? (No comment on the details — but about $20K cost to a client.) Did you lose your job over it? If you worked on the Mars probe that crashed, please try not to be the First Post, that would scare off too many people!

+ - How much did your biggest "tech" mistake cost?

NotQuiteReal writes: What is the most expensive piece of hardware you broke (I fried a $2500 disk drive once, back when 400MB was $2500) or what software bug did you let slip that caused damage? (No comment on the details — but about $20K cost to a client.)

Did you lose your job over it?

If you worked on the Mars probe that crashed, please try not to be the First Post, that would scare off too many people!
United States

Wired Cautions Would-Be Drone Photogs on the 4th 66 66

Last year's spectacular but unauthorized you-are-there video from the inside of a fireworks display has probably inspired quite a few people to try getting their own bird's-eye view this year. Wired cautions photographers, though, that many municipalities have specifically banned (and some will be looking for) unauthorized airborne visitors, and that the FAA's guidelines for legal flight are tricky to comply with during a fireworks show. This is both because it's hard to maintain visual contact with a drone amid the dark and smoke of a show, and because of the altitude at which many commercial firework shells burst. In addition, even if a drone photo mission goes under the radar vis-a-vis local authorities, if resulting footage appears on an ad-supported site, like YouTube, the FAA may be a bit more interested than the pilot would like.
Games

Someone Will Die Playing a Game In Virtual Reality 124 124

SlappingOysters writes: Grab It has detailed a hands-on session with horror VR title Kitchen — from Resident Evil creator Capcom — and argues how the physical reaction to the experience could lead to death. The site also believes that classifying VR games will be a challenge and many titles could be banned. Virtual Reality has a big year ahead, with the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus all set to release, while Microsoft is working on the HoloLens, which the site argues adds a further challenge to traditional gaming.

+ - Someone Will Die Playing a Game in Virtual Reality

SlappingOysters writes: Grab It has detailed a hands-on session with horror VR title Kitchen — from Resident Evil creator Capcom — and argues how the physical reaction to the experience could lead to death. The site also believes that classifying VR games will be a challenge and many titles could be banned. Virtual Reality has a big year ahead, with the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus all set to release, while Microsoft is working on the HoloLens, which the site argues adds a further challenge to traditional gaming.
AI

Machine Learning System Detects Emotions and Suicidal Behavior 33 33

An anonymous reader writes with word as reported by The Stack of a new machine learning technology under development at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology "which can identify emotion in text messages and email, such as sarcasm, irony and even antisocial or suicidal thoughts." Computer science student Eden Saig, the system's creator, explains that in text and email messages, many of the non-verbal cues (like facial expression) that we use to interpret language are missing. His software applies semantic analysis to those online communications and tries to figure out their emotional import and context by looking for word patterns (not just more superficial markers like emoticons or explicit labels like "[sarcasm]"), and can theoretically identify clues of threatening or self-destructive behavior.

+ - Machine learning system detects emotions and suicidal behavior ->

An anonymous reader writes: A new machine learning technology is being developed by Israeli scientists which can identify emotion in text messages and email, such as sarcasm, irony and even antisocial or suicidal thoughts. The new computerised system, created by Eden Saig a computer science student at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, is described in a paper titled ‘Sentiment Classification of Texts in Social Networks.’ The system works by recognising repeated word patterns and was developed by Saig after he studied a course in artificial intelligence (AI) supervised by Professor Shaul Markovich. Saig explains that voice tone and vocal inflections are so crucial for conveying feelings in verbal communication, while with text and email messages these characteristics are lost – recently encouraging users to illustrate sentiment through superficial smileys or emoticons. Applying machine learning algorithms to popular opinion Facebook pages, Saig was able to use the results to pick out stereotypical habits in social network conversations. “Now, the system can recognise patterns that are either condescending or caring sentiments and can even send a text message to the user if the system thinks the post may be arrogant,” said Saig.
Link to Original Source
Movies

How To Design Robot Overlords For "Robot Overlords" 16 16

Hallie Siegel writes: Ever wonder how they make robots look so awesomely real in movies? Visual effects expert Graham Edwards goes behind the scenes with the makers of Robot Overlords to take you through the development of the robots in this movie, from script development and sketches, to filming and post FX. Really cool to see how these robots come to life.

+ - The making of sci-fi Robot Overlords - nice robot VFX->

Hallie Siegel writes: Ever wonder how they make robots look so awesomely real in movies? Visual effects expert Graham Edwards goes behind the scenes with the makers of Robot Overlords to take you through the development of the robots in this movie, from script development and sketches, to filming and post FX. Really cool to see how these robots come to life.
Link to Original Source

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