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Comment: Re:One Must Fall 2097 (Score 1) 107 107

True enough, but its a short jump to think "Space Aircraft Carrier w/huge gun we don't see much" might mean "Space Battleship w/huge gun we see a lot more".

Especially if its an old memory.

"Star Blazers" (which your friends who know Macross would probably call Space Battleship Yamato), predates Robotech by at least 5 years and for many was the first introduction to Anime in any form.

United States

Proposed Regulation Could Keep 3D-printed Gun Blueprints Offline For Good 394 394

SonicSpike sends a report on a proposed update to the International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) regulations which could shut down the sharing of files for 3D printed gun parts over the internet. "Hidden within the proposal, which restricts what gear, technology, and info can and cannot be exported out of the U.S., is a ban on posting schematics for 3D printed gun parts online." This follows a lawsuit from Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed back in May fighting the federal government's command to remove blueprints for the "Liberator" 3D-printed gun from their website. A senior official at the U.S. State Department said, "By putting up a digital file, that constitutes an export of the data. If it's an executable digital file, any foreign interests can get a hold of it."
Robotics

Volkswagen Factory Worker Killed By a Robot 338 338

m.alessandrini writes: A worker at a Volkswagen factory in Germany has died, after a robot grabbed him and crushed him against a metal plate. This is perhaps the first severe accident of this kind in a western factory, and is sparking debate about who is responsible for the accident, the man who was servicing the robot beyond its protection cage, or the robot's hardware/software developers who didn't put enough safety checks. Will this distinction be more and more important in the future, when robots will be more widespread?

Comment: Re:Not surprised (Score 1) 330 330

At which point Uber might (I stress the word "might"), just get the appropriate liability insurance as an umbrella covering their "contractors", pay the required operator fees, chip the spent money out of the drivers pockets, claim they were always going to do this if needed to but hadn't realized they were required to, and use the garnished name recognition to take a major stake in the updated business model.

Not sure if they just plan to grow and become a conglomerate middle man, or if they are pursuing a growth phase pre-speculative acquisition, but either way the people in charge there now have show they have no willingness to follow existing laws unless forced to, in their pursuit of the large market share.

+ - Venus and Jupiter: Together at Last->

The Grim Reefer writes: Anyone who pays even cursory attention to the evening sky has surely noticed that the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, have been drawing closer together in the west in the evening twilight. At the beginning of June, the two planets were 20 degrees apart in the sky, about twice the width of your fist held at arm's length. Week by week, Jupiter and the stars behind it have gradually slipped lower in the evening twilight. But Venus, due to its rapid orbital motion around the Sun, has stayed high up.

But now the spectacle is taking an even more dramatic turn — one you just can't miss. For eight nights beginning June 27th, these two bright planets will be within 2 degrees of each other — close enough to cover both with the thumb of an outstretched hand. In the midst of that weeklong run, on June 30th, Venus and Jupiter will appear so close together — just 1/3 of a degree apart — that they'll look like a tight, brilliant double star in the evening sky. You'll be able to cover both with the tip of an outstretched pinky finger.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:ST only needed transparent aluminum for... (Score 1) 247 247

Also so the crew taking care of them could see them and make sure that they arrive still living. But don't let common sense reign in a scenario involving a crew piloting a stolen alien starship in poor condition.

and Time Travel ... can't forget that part of the scenario.

Comment: Re:Schedule D?! (Score 1) 450 450

Another thing I do is send my taxes in a month early, in case I make a mistake, they will let me know instead of fining me. If you're getting a refund that doesn't matter though (because you won't be fined for being late if you're getting a refund, April 15th is not actually the deadline for a refund).

Actually it can make a difference, but you are correct, it doesn't affect how much money you're due (if you have a legitimate refund due you).

IANACPA, but my wife is (and prepares personal tax "during the season").

In some states (and the Fed), the pool of money available for refunds often gets depleted mid-way through the tax season. Submitting early gets your refund processed before the state/fed need to replenish these funds, which can sometimes get you your money faster.

The Military

War Tech the US, Russia, China and India All Want: Hypersonic Weapons 290 290

An anonymous reader writes: They can hit any target in 30 minutes or less. They travel anywhere from Mach 5 to Mach 25. All the major powers want them, and many look at them as a military game changer — if only they can make them work. Are hypersonic weapons the future of military doctrine?

Hypersonic weapons — or ballistic weapons that can hit a target flying many times faster than the speed of sound — have been hyped since the 1970s. Currently almost all of the major powers are trying to build them. The U.S. and China seem to be the furthest along, and are working on various types of systems. China hopes such weapons could be a game changer and deter any U.S. actions in Asia. There is, however, one big problem (besides the insane amount of technology to make them work, considering their speed): a possible arms race that could lead to a nuclear war:

"According to some analysts, the development of hypersonic weapons creates the conditions for a new arms race, and could risk nuclear escalation. Given that the course of hypersonic research has acknowledged both of these concerns, why have several countries started testing the weapons?"
Space

NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration 200 200

An anonymous reader writes: IEEE Spectrum reports on a study out of NASA exploring the idea that manned missions to Venus are possible if astronauts deploy and live in airships once they arrive. Since the atmospheric pressure at the surface is 92 times that of Earth, and the surface temperate is over 450 degrees C, the probes we've sent to Venus haven't lasted long. The Venera 8 probe sent back data for only 50 minutes after landing. Soviet missions in 1985 were able to get much more data — 46 hours worth — by suspending their probes from balloons. The new study refines that concept: "At 50 kilometers above its surface, Venus offers one atmosphere of pressure and only slightly lower gravity than Earth. Mars, in comparison, has a "sea level" atmospheric pressure of less than a hundredth of Earth's, and gravity just over a third Earth normal. The temperature at 50 km on Venus is around 75 C, which is a mere 17 degrees hotter than the highest temperature recorded on Earth.

The defining feature of these missions is the vehicle that will be doing the atmospheric exploring: a helium-filled, solar-powered airship. The robotic version would be 31 meters long (about half the size of the Goodyear blimp), while the crewed version would be nearly 130 meters long, or twice the size of a Boeing 747. The top of the airship would be covered with more than 1,000 square meters of solar panels, with a gondola slung underneath for instruments and, in the crewed version, a small habitat and the ascent vehicle that the astronauts would use to return to Venus's orbit, and home."

Comment: Re:Really.. (Score 3, Insightful) 114 114

No, but they might have spent $3.9B so they can say its CPU is not "Made in China" and have a Chinese company "procure" the designs and start making the next gen chips based on the tech, while also having to worry about grey market versions of Samsung and Apple devices that utilize the processor.

If they can control a key component of the device (and "made in america" certainly provides that), then they can minimize grey market goods impact on their branded devices by potentially relegating them to an inferior parts chain.

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