Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!
And there are the "more DIY than thou" arguments. One person chided me that using PCB fabricators wasn't DIY because I didn't swirl my own templates in an acid bath (at satellite diaries)... I had to point out I was making a DIY satellite, not a DIY PCB. Besides, I asked him if he'd actually smelted the copper ore for his boards, because if not, you know, it's not really DIY.
That said, I love the DIY movement. It's as if Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin had a (legal) lovechildmovementlaunch.
(And that last word is DIY, I made it myself!)
This may come as a shock, but the summary isn't *gasp* fully accurate. Scanners are allowed at the library sale they say forbids it. It's actually rather interesting-- the early "member's only" hour forbids scanners, then they let scanners in during the open sale hours. So it's a nice compromise between "let people browse" and "let the book sellers make a profit", they're just giving first crack to readers, then a fair shake to sellers afterwards. Neat compromise, that.
Link to Original Source
Turns out (citation needed) sound continuity is more important than video. People will put up with choppy or lossy video, as long as the soundtrack remains relatively coherent. But if the sound is dropping out or breaking up, they stop watching.
Which, if you think about it, is why we put up with crappy internet videos that speed along, but get frustrated when it's constantly buffering.
I ran into bizarre web parroting-- a site took an article about my DIY satellite from "Wired", and (best guess) ran it through an English->Chinese translator then back to Chinese->English. So we end up with sentence-by-sentence content stealing, but with its own working, e.g.:
"Once deployed, they can put out enough power to be picked up on the ground by a hand-held amateur radio receiver." [from Wired]
"Once deployed, they can put out enough energy to be picked up on the belligerent by the hand-held pledge airwave receiver." [from Tubesat Gerber]
Or this bit
"Once the bastion of NASA and commercial satellite services, space has now become the final frontier for the do-it-yourselfer next door." [Wired]
"Once a bastion of NASA as well as blurb heavenly body services, space has right away turn the final limit for a do-it-yourselfer subsequent doorway." [Tubesat Gerber]
That's me, the blurb heavenly body service belligerent receiver!
http://projectcalliope.com/ "Music from Space, Launching 2011"
I worry about "Chicken Little" syndrome with space weather alerts. "GPS will die, sending airplanes crashing and sinking boats. Cell phones will fail, stranding travelers and resulting in people in remote areas dying due to exposure. Worse of all, our TV may go out for a few hours."
Jay Reich from the Dept. of Commerce talked about 'overwarning' versus 'need for science', covered at http://www.scientificblogging.com/daytime_astronomer/why_sky_falling_space_weather_communications but here's the summary:
Science is rigorous, slow, based on data and challenge. This means politically it's horrible, and the media overstates it. So we have to balance warning with overhyping and risking people tune us out. Solution? Unknown.
If you want to go the mad scientist route, build a satellite in your basement. It's about the same cost as buying a motorcycle ($8K including launch) and, as far as mid-life crises go, a lot cooler. I'm doing it ( http://projectcalliope.com/ ), and blogging about how it goes at http://scientificblogging.com/satellite_diaries
You get to learn neat stuff about electronics, Arduino-level programming, and HAM radio.
It's worth it just for when people ask what I do for fun...