Disclaimer: I worked with Jeff when we were at Xerox (where he did the awesome hack Gnu Chess on your Scanner), but this is more awesome because it saves books."
Link to Original Source
Submission Summary: 0 pending, 43 declined, 10 accepted (53 total, 18.87% accepted)
On March 25th, 2009...the ground station at the Bochum observatory transmitted [2.4 GHz] radio signals to Venus. After traveling almost 100 million kilometers, and a round trip delay of about 5 minutes, they were clearly received as echoes from the surface of Venus.
Apparently this is a preliminary test to make sure the team can successfully communicate with a homenbrew spacecraft bound for Mars:
This represented a crucial test for a final key component of the planned P5-A Mars mission. By receiving echoes from Venus, the ground and command station for the Mars probe has been cleared for operational use and the AMSAT team is now gearing up for building the P5-A space probe.
The buzz this weekend was due to an interesting soil chemistry finding, still preliminary, but now avail here:
Here being namely: NASA Spacecraft Analyzing Martian Soil Data. Here's the exciting bit:
Within the last month, two samples have been analyzed by the Wet Chemistry Lab of the spacecraft's Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer, or MECA, suggesting one of the soil constituents may be perchlorate, a highly oxidizing substance.
and further promising
NASA will hold a media teleconference on Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 2 p.m. EDT, to discuss these recent science activities.
"The ground control station at the Tokyo Institute of Technology has downloaded the first color image taken by the CUTE-1.7 +APD II Amateur Radio satellite. The satellite was 620 km above the Earth at 28.905 degrees North and 146.040 degrees East when the image was captured. CUTE-1.7 +APD II was one of several CubeSats carried to orbit this year in April by an Indian PSLV-C9 rocket launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center.
"I do a fresh install of Windows Vista Ultimate x64 Edition. The install finishes and my system reboots with in-box drivers for almost all of my hardware. The first thing I do is go to the Dell Support site and download drivers, or do I? It seems that Dell has decided to stop supporting all 64-bit editions of Windows, thus nothing to download.
I make a post on their forums asking if anyone knows if it's temporary and I receive this response from a Dell employee:
"It cost us in time and money to validate drivers. We built PCs with specific operating systems in mind. That is all we will support."
I mention to the Dell employee that he must be mistaken as that would violate their Vista Logo contract with Microsoft. At this point the Dell employee replied tersely with the following:
"Be assured, our legal team is on top of this decision."
At this point I'm stumped and a bit angry. After all the OEM Logo requirements state, "OEMs using x64 implementations must have signed drivers available to end users if shipping a 32-bit version of Windows Vista on the system."
By removing their x64 driver support they have now violated their contract with Microsoft. Any x64-based systems they sell now with the logo are illegal. One can only help but wonder, why would Dell put themselves in this position?
I'll kindly step down from my Soapbox now, but I ask one question to all of you.
Where do we go from here?
They also have more images, but note that you need to make or buy 3D glasses to get the full effect."NASA has just released the first batch of 3-dimensional sun photos taken by the STEREO spacecraft. [the first image] reveals three dark holes in the sun's atmosphere: The "holes" are coronal holes, places where the sun's magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape. Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from one of these coronal holes today. 3D imagery allows scientists to peer inside coronal holes and divine their structure, possibly leading to better space weather forecasts.
Sadly, his site has a bad Flash infestation."Charles Simonyi, Ph.D., the fifth private space traveler, will speak with high school students in three events across the United States through the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program.
... Dr. Simonyi's site, www.charlesinspace.com, was created to further develop his three space mission objectives: to advance civilian spaceflight, assist in space station research and involve the world's youth in the science of space travel. Visitors to this interactive publishing site have an opportunity to read Dr. Simonyi's in-depth blogs, ask questions directly to Dr. Simonyi, see his personal pictures, watch training video and access other space-related links.
The US joins Canada and other countries in eliminating the morse code testing requirement, after being authorized to do so on July 5, 2003, when the World Radio Telecommunications Conference 2003 in Geneva adopted changes to the ITU Radio Regulations."End of an Era: FCC to Drop Morse Testing for All Amateur License Classes
... In an historic move, the FCC has acted to drop the Morse code requirement for all Amateur Radio license classes. The Commission today adopted, but hasn't yet released, the long-awaited Report and Order (R&O) in WT Docket 05-235, the "Morse code" proceeding...the FCC only issued a public notice at or about the close of business today and not the actual Report & Order, so some details — including the effective dates of the two orders — remain uncertain. Currently, Amateur Radio applicants for General and higher class licenses have to pass a 5 WPM Morse code test to operate on HF. Today's R&O will eliminate that requirement all around.
"Solar B, built by teams from Britain, America and Japan... Its three instruments will try to find out what happens on the sun's surface just before solar flares erupt. One of them, a telescope built by a team from University College London (UCL), will watch the sun's atmosphere for signs suggesting the surface is building up to an explosion....Next month two more probes, the so-called Stereo mission, should follow Solar B into space...It also means the spacecraft will be able to generate high-quality three-dimensional "movies" of solar flares. If these are good enough they could be turned into Imax-style films and put on general release.
Ansari's family founded the X-Prize and Enomoto was formerly an executive with livedoor, the Japanese internet concern."Anousheh Ansari is a "Go" as First Female Civilian Space Traveler (Aug 25, 2006) — It's official! Iranian-American businesswoman Anousheh Ansari, 39, will travel to the International Space Station next month as part of the Russian Soyuz TMA-9 "taxi mission," Space Adventures Ltd announced today. Ansari, an eleventh-hour stand-in for Daisuke "Dice-K" Enomoto as the fourth civilian to fly to the ISS, would be the first female civilian "spaceflight participant." Enomoto was removed from the Soyuz flight roster for medical reasons.
"American businesswoman Anoushe Ansari may be the eleventh-hour stand-in for Daisuke "Dice-K" Enomoto, 34, as the next civilian to fly to the International Space Station. Ansari, who would be the first female civilian space adventurer, has indicated she's ready and eager to make the trip..."During a recent evaluation it was determined that Mr. Enomoto has a medical condition that will exclude him from participating as a crew member of Soyuz TMA-9," Space Adventures said in a news release...Ansari was the winner of the 2000 National Entrepreneurial Excellent Award sponsored by Working Woman magazine. Her family made a major contribution to the X Prize — now known as the Ansari X Prize — which offered a $10 million prize for the first successful private reusable space vehicle.
The bogosity meter just pegged.