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Comment: Re:The 60's (Score 1) 69

by k6mfw (#48452735) Attached to: Multi-National Crew Reaches Space Station

Pictures of astronauts will be as quaint as black and white pictures of Victorian men with handlebar mustaches and top hats.

I think what will happen is astronauts will become a mythical character of sorts like the pirate and the cowboy. Though pirates and cowboys did exist, they were nothing like what is portrayed by Johnny Depp and John Wayne. I believe in a hundred years many people will have mixture of fact and fiction of the spaceman. In fact I encounter people these days who get 1960s astronauts confused with fictional characters.

Comment: ISS is not forever (Score 1) 69

by k6mfw (#48449347) Attached to: Multi-National Crew Reaches Space Station
It may happen sooner than you think. There was a time when people thought Shuttle will fly forever (like the B52), in fact before 2003 Columbia crash there were upgrade plans to continue Shuttle fleet into 2030s. Then in 2004 VSE announced Shuttle will stop flying in 2010 though many were in denial. All of sudden no more Shuttle which some felt like they were caught with their pants down. "What? we gotta buy seats from the Russians? Elon doesn't have something ready now?" I feel this may happen with ISS. US will pull out and nothing will be there to go. However, lots of stuff can happen between then and now.

Comment: Barbie Remix (Score 3, Interesting) 554

by k6mfw (#48426861) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

And the problem isn’t even that Barbie isn’t a “real” computer scientist because she isn’t coding. (I am one of those mostly-non-coding computer scientists myself, though now I’m tempted to make a game about robot puppies shooting lasers anyway.) The problem is the assumption that she is a designer, not a coder, and the coders are boys. (There are also problems with nonsense explanations for computer viruses, taking credit for other people’s work, and inexplicable pillow fights.) I happen to study remix, so one of my first thoughts upon seeing this was: someone is obviously going to remix this. I figured, why wait? I also have at my disposal my roommate Miranda Parker, a student of Mark Guzdial, who studies computing education and broadening participation in STEM. So with her input, I rewrote the book with a slightly different spin. (I also kept her as a “computer engineer” even though she’s really more of a computer scientist, software developer, etc.) I hope you like this new narrative better, too!

Comment: plug for Tektronix test equipment (Score 1) 186

by k6mfw (#48400511) Attached to: Battlestar Galactica Creator Glen A. Larson Dead At 77

I remember watching the episodes though got bored watching the same approaches and barrel rolls of colonial fighters. I remember seeing the racks of Tektronix test equipment. Front panels of that gear was real "space age" (though trying to find power switch the o-scopes was always a challenge, other controls were easy). I wonder if the company got extra business with so much of the gear "advertised."

When they did the remake, I found it amusing the only Battlestar that survived massive Cylon attack was Galactica because it was an old vintage ship (captained by an old guy with old school military thinking) with PDP-11 computers, Tektronix gear, Mocom-70 communications systems, etc. stuff that lack network systems so they were not hacked.

Getting back to Larson, I wonder what other ideas he had that never made it to the TV? Maybe they will find some story ideas, probably much better than typical remakes of decades old genres.

Comment: Re:"Computer" (Score 1) 81

by k6mfw (#48396919) Attached to: Real Steampunk Computer Brought Back To Life

Funny. I always thought of Michelson as of one of the two guys involved in the "failed" mirror experiments that allowed A. Einstein to come up with the theory of Special Relativity.

What also impresses me is him and Morley were wondering how fast Earth was moving through space during the times of cowboys and indians. Because their mirror set kept producing same c, they continued to build more elaborate sets (which were more complex engineering feats).

Comment: Big question is... (Score 1) 138

by k6mfw (#48375539) Attached to: Google's Lease of NASA Airfield Criticized By Consumer Group
in 25 years will we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ames Research Center or celebrate 25th anniversary of Google International Airport? People criticize NASA for screwing things up by saying they used to do all kinds of really great stuff years ago. But then NASA doesn't have the budget or resources like they had years ago. People should know what NASA does, it is written in the Space Act, and they (should) serve the people. If not, then complain or complain to elected representatives. Google doesn't have to say what they do, they serve themselves and shareholders. Nothing wrong with a business serving themselves within reason as long as customers pay money, But govt agencies and private businesses are two different thigs (it gets confusing i.e. private companies performing government functions like police services).

Comment: Goodbye Lenin! (Score 1) 151

by k6mfw (#48349773) Attached to: 25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell
A movie made about fall of Berlin Wall where the mom awakened from a coma but doctor tells son his mom must not get too excited. However, while she was in a coma the wall came down so he has make it convincing things are still the same (their resident was on the east side). He gets help from friends including one who wires up a TV set to a VCR and they create various programs from East Germany. There's a few things he has to mitigate like explaining the big Coca Cola billboard that appears in her window view. An interesting film that also illustrates some German culture of the time.

Comment: kind of scary (Score 1) 334

by k6mfw (#48345331) Attached to: Americans Rejoice At Lower Gas Prices
though nice to see lower gas prices, but all things considered from global politics to increasing CO2 content in atmosphere plus fracking and crises in middle east in addition to this year's elections. I find it somewhat scary why prices are lower and wonder if they will jump way up. Govts are seeking revenue (they get less from the rich) there are plans to tax mileage so with lower prices more car traveling which working smucks that have long commutes will bear more of the burden. Oh well, my morning gripes.

Comment: their success is getting people to buy stuff (Score 1) 112

by k6mfw (#48345301) Attached to: Amazon's Echo Chamber

"they sell the product to customers, they get a false sense of success, the customer puts the product in a drawer and never uses it,"

So the product goes unused, doesn't seem false to me (ok, so I didn't RTFA like everyone else). It reminds me what my cousin said. Sales and marketing has been so successful is why we see good business in storage places and huge consumer debt. The S and M convinced millions to go into debt buying stuff they don't need.

However, some other kind of paradigm can come in and *poof* Amazon goes bust or becomes irrelevant.

Comment: kids can learn calculus? (Score 1) 273

by k6mfw (#48317969) Attached to: Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don't Think They're Smart
There was a thread of this title on a article about they should get into some aspects of calculus instead of endless arithmetic problems that become more like punishment like in the army (long repetition of menial work). I gotta go back and find that article (like everybody else I didn't fully read it). Although arithmetic is important, having lots of "drill and kill" tests are not. I think they should get into drawing curves on graphs, figure out the areas under the curves, slopes of lines, etc. and this will also be fun with art.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..." -- Hunter S. Thompson