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New Mars Rover Rolls For the First Time 100

wooferhound writes "Like proud parents savoring their baby's very first steps, mission team members gathered in a gallery above a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to watch the Mars Curiosity rover roll for the first time. Engineers and technicians wore bunny suits while guiding Curiosity through its first steps, or more precisely, its first roll on the clean room floor. The rover moved forward and backward about 1 meter (3.3 feet). Mars Science Laboratory (aka Curiosity) is scheduled to launch in fall 2011 and land on the Red Planet in August 2012. Curiosity is the largest rover ever sent to Mars. It will carry 10 instruments that will help search an intriguing region of the Red Planet for two things: environments where life might have existed, and the capacity of those environments to preserve evidence of past life."

Comment Re:Major fixes (Score 2, Insightful) 100

It sounds like they are trying to fix my most hated part of the game, the combat system. I loved the look and feel of the game but the combat system made me give up near the end. Surprisingly even though I hated it so much, pulling a Star Destroyer out of the sky was a novel and creative (if poorly implemented) idea.

I read an interview with the devs in Game Informer where they admit that the on-screen instructions for pulling the Start Destroyer are wrong, hence the "it takes 20 minutes to beat the level". Poor QA but I still loved the game.


Guaranteed Transmission Protocols For Windows? 536

Michael writes "Part of our business at my work involves transferring mission critical files across a 2 mbit microwave connection, into a government-run telecommunications center with a very dodgy internal network and then finally to our own server inside the center. The computers at both ends run Windows. What sort of protocols or tools are available to me that will guarantee to get the data transferred across better than a straight Windows file system copy? Since before I started working here, they've been using FTP to upload the files, but many times the copied files are a few kilobytes smaller than the originals."

Comment Re:ha ha (Score 1) 466

Sorry, but I must disagree with you. The distribution of the movie is the illegal act. Downloading it is not illegal since he did not redistribute it. Copyright is about distribution not consumption. Was it an unprofessional and asshat move to review an 0mG 1337tZ pr3-r3le4se movie? Yes. Did he violate the law? No.

The Internet

2/3 of Americans Without Broadband Don't Want It 538

Ant writes in with news that won't be welcomed by the incoming US administration as it tries to expand the availability of broadband Internet service. A recent report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project indicates, as noted by Ars Technica, that two-thirds of Americans without broadband don't want it. "...when we look at the overall reasons why Americans don't have broadband, availability isn't the biggest barrier. Neither is price. Those two, combined, only account for one-third of Americans without broadband. Two-thirds simply don't want it. The bigger issue is a lack of perceived value."

Comment Re:Trade-offs of a 9/80 work week (Score 1) 1055

Why does it matter which of the Fridays you get paid on? As long as ((money in) >= (money out)) over any reasonable length of time greater than two weeks, shouldn't it all come out the same at the end?

It's not a function of payables vs. receivables. It's a function of happiness. Seeing more money in your account than the day before should make one happy. ;)

Comment Trade-offs of a 9/80 work week (Score 4, Informative) 1055

The company I work for just switched to a 9/80 a few months ago. We're a little different since we have a schedule A and a schedule B, so only 1/2 the people are at work any given Friday. It's had some ups & downs.

Here's what I see as the positives:
1. Having a 4 day work week every other week rocks!
2. Getting paid on the Friday where I work 5 days makes it all the more bearable.
3. Easier to get chores, errands done since everyone else is at work.
4. I get more work done during the last hour of every 9 hour day than any other hour.

Here's the negatives:
1. It's a PITA to schedule meetings.
2. Sometimes I travel and it seems to always fall on a week where I'm supposed to be off that Friday.
3. Customers are annoyed because they're not on the same schedule and aren't understanding that it won't be until Monday before I get back to them.
4. I feel like I have less time to get work done since every other week I only work 4 days.
5. More free time means I spend more money.
6. Getting to work while it's dark & leaving when it's dark is depressing.

Comment Re:Wishing for feudalism (Score 1) 545

Which "scarce natural resources" in particular are we talking about?
Pro-government, pro-taxation arguments that put government needs first inevitably devolve onto government as a religion, and high taxes as its catechism. The end game of that approach is to simply take everything from anybody earning any income or making any kind of transaction; this, of course, is what we used to call feudalism, and chasing that off was one of the side effects of the Enlightenment. The idealists who claim, with a straight face, that this is not so will never tell you just where their plans should end or how much is "fair", just more than is currently being collected. So grows the State, and their mad plans for running things on somebody else's nickel, coin they didn't have to earn.

The scarce natural resources would be land, labor, and entrepreneurial ability. I'm not sure why you've chosen to try and devolve this conversation towards the condescending but it has no place here. I will ignore your rant of a history lesson, but I do not appreciate your ctone and it will stop for this conversation to continue. I have absolutely no problem laying out exactly was I believe is fair in this situation. What's more, it's easily testable. If a reasonable, neutral person were to look at the situation and ask why Company X, which does a similar amount of business in Washington pays Y amount, why does MS get to pay close to nothing? If it's because of some special consideration, is that consideration worth examining further? Are the taxpayers getting a raw deal? Is it so that MS stock holders can get a bigger return?

Mercury Contamination Vs. Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs 801

phyrebyrd writes "How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent lightbulb? About US$4.28 for the bulb and labor — unless you break the bulb. Then you, like Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine, could be looking at a cost of about US$2,004.28, which doesn't include the costs of frayed nerves and risks to health."

Microsoft Calls for Truce With GPL and Linux? 464

An anonymous reader writes to mention an eWeek article discussing Microsoft's efforts to reach out to the open source community. The company is hoping to find a common ground with softare released under the GPL, so that OSS and Microsoft products can interoperate. From the article: "The goal, from both sides, is to meet customer needs, he said, adding, 'This is just the more mature view of the way the world is evolving, and we want to make sure that if customers are choosing Linux or other open-source-based products that we have ways of interoperating and working effectively with that.'" A related article mentions Windows server Expert Jeremy Moskowitzs' call for a truce between the Linux and Windows communities.

High Definition Radio and New Content Alternatives 305

An anonymous reader writes "Many people are aware that satellite radio is a viable consumer option thanks to massive marketing campaigns. What many people do not know is that an alternative, High Definition Radio, exists in most major US markets. IBM DeveloperWorks explains how HD Radio works and why the masses may soon be scrambling to adopt this technology and expand it to alternative content as fast as possible."

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"