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+ - X-37B to fly again

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The May 6 Atlas 5 launch will carry one of the Air Force’s two X-37B mini-shuttles on a new mission in space.

The Air Force won’t yet confirm which of the Boeing-built spaceplanes will be making the voyage. The first craft returned in October from a 675-day mission in space following a 224 day trek in 2010. OTV No. 2 spent 469 days in space in 2011-2012 on its only mission so far. “The program selects the Orbital Test Vehicle for each activity based upon the experiment objectives,” said Capt. Chris Hoyler, an Air Force spokesperson. “Each OTV mission builds upon previous on-orbit demonstrations and expands the test envelope of the vehicle. The test mission furthers the development of the concept of operations for reusable space vehicles.”

There are indications that the Air Force wants to attempt landing the shuttle at Kennedy this time."

Businesses

Why You Should Choose Boring Technology 103

Posted by Soulskill
from the predictable-headaches dept.
An anonymous reader writes Dan McKinley, a long-time Etsy engineer who now works at online payment processor Stripe, argues that the boring technology option is usually your best choice for a new project. He says, "Let's say every company gets about three innovation tokens. You can spend these however you want, but the supply is fixed for a long while. You might get a few more after you achieve a certain level of stability and maturity, but the general tendency is to overestimate the contents of your wallet. Clearly this model is approximate, but I think it helps. If you choose to write your website in NodeJS, you just spent one of your innovation tokens. If you choose to use MongoDB, you just spent one of your innovation tokens. If you choose to use service discovery tech that's existed for a year or less, you just spent one of your innovation tokens. If you choose to write your own database, oh god, you're in trouble. ... The nice thing about boringness (so constrained) is that the capabilities of these things are well understood. But more importantly, their failure modes are well understood."

+ - Amazon testing drone delivery in Canada->

Submitted by Keith J Duhaime
Keith J Duhaime (1643277) writes "According to the CBC, it appears that US red tape is a boon to developing and testing drones in Canada. Amazon is apparently testing drones for delivery somewhere in British Columbia, Canada at a secret location near the US border. They are using other countries too, but seem to be frustrated with the regulatory environment in the US itself."
Link to Original Source

+ - Bitcoin in China still chugging along, a year after clampdown->

Submitted by angry tapir
angry tapir (1463043) writes "A year after China began tightening regulations around Bitcoin, the virtual currency is still thriving in the country, albeit on the fringes, according to its largest exchange. Bitcoin prices may have declined, but Chinese buyers are still trading the currency in high volumes with the help of BTC China, an exchange that witnessed the boom days back in 2013, only to see the bust following the Chinese government's announcement, in December of that year, that banks would be banned from trading in bitcoin."
Link to Original Source

+ - Cancer researcher vanishes with tens of millions of dollars->

Submitted by jd
jd (1658) writes "Steven Curley, MD, who ran the Akesogenx corporation (and may indeed have been the sole employee after the dismissal of Robert Zavala) had been working on a radio-frequency cure for cancer with an engineer by the name of John Kanzius.

Kanzius died, Steven Curley set up the aforementioned parallel company that bought all the rights and patents to the technology before shuttering the John Kanzius Foundation. So far, so very uncool.

Last year, just as the company started aproaching the FDA about clinical trials, Dr Curley got blasted with lawsuits accusing him of loading his shortly-to-be ex-wife's computer with spyware.

Two weeks ago, there was to be a major announcement "within two weeks". Shortly after, the company dropped off the Internet and Dr Curley dropped off the face of the planet.

Robert Zavala is the only name mentioned that could be a fit for the company's DNS record owner. The company does not appear to have any employees other than Dr Curley, making it very unlikely he could have ever run a complex engineering project well enough to get to trial stage. His wife doubtless has a few scores to settle. Donors, some providing several millions, were getting frustrated — and as we know from McAfee, not all in IT are terribly sane. There are many people who might want the money and have no confidence any results were forthcoming.

So, what precisely was the device? Simple enough. Every molecule has an absorption line. It can absorb energy on any other frequency. A technique widely exploited in physics, chemistry and astronomy. People have looked into various ways of using it in medicine for a long time.

The idea was to inject patients with nanoparticles on an absorption line well clear of anything the human body cares about. These particles would be preferentially picked up by cancer cells because they're greedy. Once that's done, you blast the body at the specified frequency. The cancer cells are charbroiled and healthy cells remain intact.

It's an idea that's so obvious I was posting about it here and elsewhere in 1998. The difference is, they had a prototype that seemed to work.

But now there is nothing but the sound of Silence, a suspect list of thousands and a list of things they could be suspected of stretching off to infinity. Most likely, there's a doctor sipping champaign on some island with no extradition treaty. Or a future next-door neighbour to Hans Reiser. Regardless, this will set back cancer research. Money is limited and so is trust. It was, in effect, crowdsource funded and that, too, will feel a blow if theft was involved.

Or it could just be the usual absent-minded scientist discovering he hasn't the skills or awesomeness needed, but has got too much pride to admit it, as has happened in so many science fraud cases."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Cause, or effect? (Score 3, Insightful) 231

by reboot246 (#49375383) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains
There you go, making sense again.

I was raised in a very poor family, one of the poorest in our city, but I have an IQ that's very high, and I always made good grades in school. I don't see the relationship between poverty and smaller brains, nor do I see the relationship between poverty and crime. Of course I was raised in a good family that wasn't trash.

Parental involvement makes more of a difference, and unmarried teens are simply not the best parents. Ask any teacher and they can tell you which students have parents who care.
Hardware Hacking

Hand-Drawn and Inkjet Printed Circuits for the Masses (Video) 30

Posted by Roblimo
from the give-your-kids-paper-plates-with-lights-that-tell-them-to-eat-their-veggies dept.
We started looking at ways to make instant hand-drawn or inkjet-printed circuit boards because Timothy met an engaging young man named Yuki Nishida at SXSW. Yuki is a co-founder of AgIC, a company that makes conductive ink pens and supplies special paper you can use to write or draw circuits or, if you have the right model of Brother printer, to print them with special inkjet inks. The AgIC people are agressvively putting the 'A' in STEAM by marketing their products to artists and craftspeople. Indeed the second line on their website's home page says, 'AgIC offers handy tools to light up your own art works.' This is an excellent niche, and now that AgIC has developed a circuit eraser (due to ship this April), it may lead to all kinds of creative designs. And as is typical with this kind of company these days, AgIC has been (at least partly) crowdfunded.

A little cursory Google searching will soon lead you to other companies selling into the home/prototype circuit board market, including Cartesian Co and their Argentum 3-D printer that does prototype and short-run PCBs and only costs $899 (on special at the time this was written) and Electroninks, which markets the Circuit Scribe pen and associated materials with an emphasis on education. There are others in this growing field, and a year from now there will probably be more of them, all working to replace the venerable breadboard the same way electronic calculators replaced slide rules.

Comment: Re:Does this law protect puppies? (Score 1) 916

by phorm (#49374291) Attached to: Apple's Tim Cook Calls Out "Religious Freedom" Laws As Discriminatory

Yes, the law be equitable only in this situation:
    You are a prostitute, and are heterosexual. Somebody wishes to engage your services. You say no, because you don't swing that way...

Otherwise, frankly, what happens in my or anyone else's bedroom is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, because it doesn't involve you. Also, if your religion regards their relationship as a sin, I suggest you stop eating shellfish, working on a Sunday, and any gazillion things that are all old testament and have nothing to do with being "Christian" (the religion that supposedly follows a guy who basically preached love and acceptance, ya know).

Comment: Re:And what good would it do? (Score 1) 439

by Reziac (#49373311) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

If I find that particular paper again I'll let you know. And depression as a consequence of subclinical hypothyroidism is very well established, but no longer generally acted upon. It used to be routinely treated as such, but when the TSH test came to prominence, most doctors started treating to make nice test results rather than treating the patients' symptoms.... despite that all the evidence is against using TSH as anything but a crude marker that something is wrong. False negatives are extremely common.

Here's a starter kit:
http://hormonerestoration.com/...

I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and I've had to take up reading the Journal of Endocrinology in sheer self-defense. It's quite shocking how much well-established endocrine research has never filtered down to GPs, never mind other specialty fields, despite that a malfunctioning endocrine system can fuck up just about anything else. I've concluded it should be the first line of inquiry (since fixing the thyroid will commonly cure a whole raft of apparently-unrelated physical and mental symptoms), but most doctors act like it's the last resort.

+ - Control anything with gestures: Myo Bluetooth Protocol released->

Submitted by Legendary Teeth
Legendary Teeth (1087209) writes "The makers of the Myo Gesture Control Armband (Thalmic Labs) have just released the specs for the Bluetooth protocol it uses. While there are already official SDKs for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, this means that now anyone can roll their own support for other platforms like Linux or Arduino without needing to use one of the official platforms as a bridge. Anything you can write code for that that can act as a Bluetooth GATT client would now be possible, really.

If you aren't familiar with the Myo armband, it's a Bluetooth Low Energy device with 8 EMG pods and an IMU that you wear on your arm. It can read your muscle activity to detect gestures you make with you hands, which you can then use to do things like fly drones, play games, or control music."

Link to Original Source

+ - Mechanizing Humans vs. Humanizing Machines-> 1

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Web usability is all about bridging the gap between the human and the machine, with the assumption that when you do so that neither will be operating in its 'natural' state. But in a recent blog post, usability engineer Sasha Akhavi takes the view that being mechanistic, or algorithmic, is actually a very human tendency, and one we employ when reliability is critical: 'When humans need to be reliable (and have enough resources to determine how), we ourselves become algorithmic. Armies march in lockstep according to standard drills. Legislators fit their content contributions into a programmatic framework and acquiesce to its limits. Scientists follow standard protocols. And software companies practice software development methodologies.'"
Link to Original Source

+ - Seed from ancient extinct plant planted and brought back to life

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Israeli scientists have successfully gotten a 2000-year-old seed of an extinct date plant to grow and now reproduce.

Methuselah sprouted back in 2005, when agriculture expert Solowey germinated his antique seed. It had been pulled from the remains of Masada, an ancient fortification perched on a rock plateau in southern Israel, and at the time, no one could be sure that the plant would thrive. But he has, and his recent reproductive feat helps prove just how well he’s doing.

For a while, the Judean date palm was the sole representative of his kind: Methuselah’s variety was reportedly wiped out around 500 A.D. But Solowey has continued to grow date palms from ancient seeds discovered in the region, and she tells National Geographic that she is “trying to figure out how to plant an ancient date grove.” Doing so would allow researchers to better understand exactly what earlier peoples of the region were eating and how it tasted.

"

Comment: Re:And what good would it do? (Score 1) 439

by Reziac (#49371709) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

Probably the most common cause of depression is subclinical hypothyroidism, specifically with low T3. One psychiatrist found that he could cure 90% of his patients by prescribing T3 to bring their active thyroid hormone level up to normal. (Prescribing T4 alone didn't work, probably because poor T4-to-T3 conversion is part of the problem here.)

"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even one which cannot be justified on any other grounds." -- J. Finnegan, USC.

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