Some years ago, an advertisement for a Dutch insurance company made fun of some Stalinist dictator, without mentioning North Korea by name. As far as I know, this did not cause any large-scale hacking warfare against the involved company, but Korean diplomats were not amused. Watch it here while you still can. This regime cannot be ridiculed enough, Sony should just release the whole movie for free.
With 50 euro for a power supply, 100 for a sensor conditioning module (without the sensors!), 300 for a base station and 800 for a complete starter pack, I don't care if it is open source or not, it is way out of budget for the casual hobbyist. There are already enough different alternatives, most of which appear to be vapourware. Home automation seems easy enough that many people who follow the IoT hype start their own project. But we don't need more standards, we need less. The best would be if one of the existing protocols (not necessary that one) would win, so that people could mix and match their own components, which don't have to be more fancy than some arduinos and RPis thrown together.
No, the 'x wings' are not passive, but they are just as steerable as normal fins. See this video of SpaceX where they used them for roll control on a test flight in Texas. And the software to control these is pretty standard.
Can some aerospace engineer enlighten me about the advantage of these tennis-racket shaped x-wings over some standard steerable fins which you see e.g. on a guided missile? I could imagine that the grid-shaped 'louvers' could be seen as many small fins in parallel, but intuitively I would think that one big fin would have more effect. Is it something related to hyper-sonic aerodynamics? Or is it mechanically stronger?
For a decent debunking go to the Bellingcat blog. Also saw some graphic somewhere that clearly showed that the perspective was wrong by an order of magnitude, either the plane was 1 km wide or the satellie was orbiting at 20 km or so. This fake is so bad, that I think the only target audience is the Russian public, most of whom believe everything that Putin's propaganda machine feeds them. I have a Russian colleague, whom I normally regard reasonably high, that believes some really strange facts about this incident. She probably gets all her info from Russian websites.
NASA obviously thought about this possibility, so yes, the event will be observed by at least 3 satellites orbiting currently around Mars, 2 rovers on Mars, the Hubble telescope and probably plenty of earth-based telescopes.
I am afraid I am feeding a troll, but that is complete BS. It is a shitty job, since you have to get up at 5:30 in the morning and get paid very little for beginning crew, but it is not useless. Flight crew is needed to evacuate 200 people within 90 seconds in case of fire. They are needed to extinquish fires on board, if you don't everyone is dead (lithium laptop batteries are extremely nasty). They are neede to calm down drunk and annoying people, the legal limit is 1 crew per 50 passengers, so this requires a lot of social skills. They know how to handle a potential hijack situation. They are needed to serve you drinks, clean up people and toilets when someone throws up. They are fully trained to perform first aid to keep you alive until the plane can land. Source: a good friend flew for 8 years herself and now trains 18-20 year olds in 6 weeks to become a fully qualified cabin crew member.
Apparently, fiction does count as prior art in some cases. I guess the requirement that a patent must be 'non-obvious according to the state of the art" is greatly undermined if some artists already had the same idea before. This might depend on if the patent just describes the crazy idea (in which case the artist could have filed the same patent), or if the patent describes a new technical solution to an otherwise old idea. The famous example is that a crazy idea to raise a sunken boat with pingpong balls was rejected because the exact same idea was featured in a Donald Duck story 15 years earlier.
I am not so worried about the patents. Vertically landing a rocket has been described in the TinTin comic ''Objectif Lune in 1953, has been demonstrated on the moon in 1969, with the Delta Clipper in 1993 and more recently with the X-prize in 2009. The patent by Blue Origin (sponsored by your purchases on Amazon) is from 2009, and is being challenged. I didn't read the patent and I am not a patent attorny, but the 'on a boat' part seems very much like the 'on a mobile device' part that gets slapped onto old ideas.
This time, they launched without the landing legs, but since they are still testing above water that does not matter a lot. Deploying the legs and soft landing on water have been tried successfully already, so I imagine they could test other things like partially flying back to the launching site, fuel permitting. The twitters are silent, so far, however.
PapayaSF (721268) writes "Nude celebrities, bitcoins, and Apple: it's a story seemingly designed to stir up the entire internet. Scores of private photos of celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Kirsten Dunst, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead have been leaked (allegedly from Apple's iCloud), and posted on 4chan in exchange for bitcoins. A list of 100+ names has appeared, but pictures have not yet appeared for many names on the list (including Kate Bosworth, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and Kaley Cuoco). Victoria Justice claims the photos of her are fake. Twitter accounts are being shut down. The story is still developing, so grab your popcorn."
There is currently an enormous discussion going on at python-ideas (see various large threads towards the bottom). Guido himself seems to be in favor of including something like MyPy into Python's standard library, which is allows for optional specification of arguments and return types using function annotation. The main use would be for static/offline code analysis/linting.
Since it might take a few hours before the complete outcome is clear, USGS does make automated prediction of casualties and damages, based on earthquake magnitude, location and population in the area. The result in this case is most likely no casualties, with a small chance for up to 10 people killed, and a most likely damage of somewhere between 100M$ and 1B$.
I hope my math is correct: Taking numbers from wikipedia, considering only units 2 and 3: both were in operation for a bit more than 29 years and were producing about 1 GW at full power. Ignoring any production time lost for maintenance (my guess is they would run with a duty cycle of 80-90%), the total amount of produced kWh would be: 29 years * 365 days/year * 24 hours/day * 2 GW = 5e14 Wh = 5e11 kWh. The price for the decommissioning would thus come down to around 4.4e9 $ / 5e11 kWh = 0.0086 $/kWh, so let's round it up to 1 cent per kWh. Average price for electricity in the US seems to be around 0.10 $/kW, so the cost for the decommissioning seems acceptable, though not negligible.
As you said, the low density of air at Mars might be a problem. The theoretical maximum power that can be harvested with a wind turbine is P = 1/2 * rho * A * V^3. Some numbers from Nasa show that the density rho is about 1% of the value on Earth, and an average speed of 10 m/s (around 5 Beaufort) is also not exceptional. Finally, you will need a relatively big mechanical device, which is hard to build light and reliable, since it has to survive a rocket launch.