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Mars

Lost Beagle2 Probe Found 'Intact' On Mars 130

Posted by Soulskill
from the so-close-and-yet-so-far dept.
New submitter Stolga sends this report from the BBC: The missing Mars robot Beagle2 has been found on the surface of the Red Planet, apparently intact. High-resolution images taken from orbit have identified its landing location, and it looks to be in one piece. The UK-led probe tried to make a soft touchdown on the dusty world on Christmas Day, 2003, using parachutes and airbags — but no radio contact was ever made with the probe. Many scientists assumed it had been destroyed in a high-velocity impact.

The new pictures, acquired by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, give the lie to that notion, and hint at what really happened to the European mission. Beagle's design incorporated a series of deployable "petals," on which were mounted its solar panels. From the images, it seems that this system did not unfurl fully. "Without full deployment, there is no way we could have communicated with it as the radio frequency antenna was under the solar panels," explained Prof Mark Sims, Beagle's mission manager from Leicester University.

Comment: Re:Great to see (Score 2) 152

by orasio (#48802529) Attached to: Chinese Spacecraft Enters Orbit Around the Moon

I don't know whether what he says is true, but beggars are not a typical sight in communism.
In a communist state, they would either not get much gain by begging on their streets (think Cuba, at least when foreigners are not involved), and or be thrown in jail by doing it (like what they say happens in North Korea)
Also, political leaders enjoying luxury goods and meals is the norm in most countries, communist ("real" or not) or otherwise.

Comment: Re: Satellite not needed (Score 1) 115

by orasio (#48651171) Attached to: Cuba Says the Internet Now a Priority

I find it quite believable, seeing how the Venezuelan govt simply issues orders to all ISPs to block the IP ranges of sites that make them uncomfortable; a famous victim is DolarToday.com, a site that tracks the black market currency exchange rate and now publishes unflattering news and opinion. I'd include a few traceroutes but I'm posting from my phone. Even pastebin.com was blocked for more than a year (haven't checked recently) because a list of URLs with leaked emails wad posted there.

Currency black markets are not "unconfortable", they are _illegal_. I'm sure there are examples of censorship in Venezuela, but that's not one.

Comment: Re:Modern Cellular is the way to go (Score 1) 115

by orasio (#48651137) Attached to: Cuba Says the Internet Now a Priority

My city, Montevideo, an oldish city, with some similarities to Havana, was also wired by a state owned telco with fiber. Also most of the urban country is already fibered.
It's taking a bit over a couple of years, most of the city is covered, and the smallest plan is 30 dollars (or free if you a single Giga per month is enough for you).
Of course, 35 dollars in Cuba might be expensive, but also most of the cost they had here was labor, construction salaries are high. They wouldn't have that problem over there. They could even have you dig the ditches yourself if you want internet, dammit.

Anyhow, I would go with LTE. It's probably a lot cheaper, and flexible enough.

Businesses

Displaced IT Workers Being Silenced 398

Posted by samzenpus
from the nobody-spoke-for-me dept.
dcblogs writes A major problem with the H-1B debate is the absence of displaced IT workers in news media accounts. Much of the reporting is one-sided — and there's a reason for this. An IT worker who is fired because he or she has been replaced by a foreign, visa-holding employee of an offshore outsourcing firm will sign a severance agreement. This severance agreement will likely include a non-disparagement clause that will make the fired worker extremely cautious about what they say on Facebook, let alone to the media. On-the-record interviews with displaced workers are difficult to get. While a restrictive severance package may be one handcuff, some are simply fearful of jeopardizing future job prospects by talking to reporters. Now silenced, displaced IT workers become invisible and easy to ignore. This situation has a major impact on how the news media covers the H-1B issue and offshore outsourcing issues generally.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 196

by orasio (#48516211) Attached to: IoT Is the Third Big Technology 'Wave' In the Last 50 Years, Says Harvard

Networked is not the same. Internet connected or something like that might be better.
Also, networked _might_ imply wired for some, while IoT is more in the line of wireless, standalone.
Internet enabled is good, but already means other old, unrelated things.

It is a new trend, that is actually gaining some momentum right now, cheap systems on chip, BLE, and stuff, and it needs a name, so others what you are talking about. IoT is as good a name as any other. It doesn't really bother me, even if it's silly.

No reason to keep whining about it. There are possibly tens of thousands of tech people reading this today, if you have a better name, descriptive, not stupid, or whatever, please share it, below the line ----v , we might like it, start using it instead of IoT, and it just might catch on.
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Comment: Re:Oh no (Score 2) 297

by orasio (#48350515) Attached to: Study: Body Weight Heavily Influenced By Heritable Gut Microbes

They are identical on paper, but not for a person.

It's a lot easier to get energy from doughnuts than from broccoli.

It's 5 medium doughnuts versus 5 broccoli bunches. I'm pretty sure I can have 5 doughnuts in a sitting, but not 5 broccoli bunches.

There's a lot of fiber in broccoli, so even if you manage to have all that broccoli, you will have a hard time extracting many calories from it. In any case, it will be slow, so at least it keeps you full for a longer time than doughnuts.

Comment: Re:Oh no (Score 4, Interesting) 297

by orasio (#48349249) Attached to: Study: Body Weight Heavily Influenced By Heritable Gut Microbes

That's what is being done nowadays, counting calories.

The problem is that calorie consumption is not constant. It's more like household economy.

If you earn (eat) a lot every day, you will probably end up with a lot of savings (belly fat).

One way of getting rid of those savings (belly fat) is taking a lower paying job (dieting). The problem is that your savings don't magically dissappear, and you can make changes that allow you to keep your savings (fat), even with a lower income (daily calorie intake).

Another way you can get rid of your savings is just spending more daily (like exercise). The problem is that, if you have a good enough income (daily intake), and sizable savings, you will only lose capital (weight) in the long run, no sizable short term effect.

So, a fat person body works, in what respects to calories, like a financially savvy household. Going skinny would be like going broke. Some of us could benefit from a way to teach our bodies to do a bit worse in the calorie finance department. Could be a lot easier than just dieting, exercising or both.

Transportation

Tesla Teardown Reveals Driver-facing Electronics Built By iPhone 6 Suppliers 158

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-got-your-smartphone-in-my-ev dept.
Lucas123 writes: The Tesla Model S gets attention because it's an EV that can go from from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.2 seconds and can travel 265 miles on a single charge. But, a teardown of the vehicle by IHS Technology has also revealed that Elon Musk avoided third-party design and build routes used traditionally by auto makers and spared no expense on the instrument cluster and infotainment (head unit) system, which is powered by two 1.4Ghz, quad-core NVIDIA Tegra processors. IHS called the Tesla's head unit the most sophisticated it's ever seen, with 1,000 more components than any it has previously analyzed. A bill of materials for the virtual instrument cluster and the premium media control unit is also roughly twice the cost of the highest-end infotainment unit examined by IHS.
Transportation

An Air Traffic Control System For Drones 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-your-house-isn't-underneath-an-approved-drone-route dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Personal drones are become more popular, and many companies are trying to figure out ways to incorporate them into their business. So what do we do in 10 years, when the skies are full of small, autonomous vehicles? NASA and a startup called Airware are working on a solution: air traffic control for drones. "The first prototype to be developed under NASA's project will be an Internet-based system. Drone operators will file flight plans for approval. The system will use what it knows about other drone flights, weather forecasts, and physical obstacles such as radio masts to give the go-ahead. Later phases of the project will build more sophisticated systems that can actively manage drone traffic by sending out commands to drones in flight. That could mean directing them to spread out when craft from multiple operators are flying in the same area, or taking action when something goes wrong, such as a drone losing contact with its operator, says Jonathan Downey, CEO of Airware. If a drone strayed out of its approved area, for example, the system might automatically send a command that made it return to its assigned area, or land immediately."
Space

Hawking Radiation Mimicked In the Lab 66

Posted by samzenpus
from the old-bob dept.
Annanag writes *Nothing* escapes a black hole, right? Except 40 years ago Stephen Hawking threw a spanner in the works by suggesting that, courtesy of quantum mechanics, some light particles can actually break free of a black hole's massive pull. Then you have the tantalizing question of whether information can also escape, encoded in that so-called 'Hawking radiation'. The only problem being that no one has ever been able to detect Hawking radiation being emitted from a black hole. BUT a physicist has now come closer than ever before to creating an imitation of a black hole event horizon in the lab, opening up a potential avenue for investigating Hawking radiation and exploring how quantum mechanics and general relativity might be brought together.

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