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Comment: Re:I was thinking the same. (Score 1) 185

by skoda (#35227862) Attached to: How To Build a Telescope That Trumps Hubble

No. Not in the sense that it would sit in Hubble-type orbit for a year while it's tested, and astronauts go to turn wrenches and adjust things that aren't right. And yes, I suspect that would much more than "a bit of extra time and effort." It's probably completely at odds to being launched to L2, and would be an incredible cost and complexity adder.

But it has pre-flight testing and a lengthy in-space verification process as it reaches L2.

Comment: Why does no one mimic Apple where it counts? (Score 5, Insightful) 104

by skoda (#33411044) Attached to: 3 Prototypes From HP, In Outline

Ooh! Look! They've invented paper and the $0.99 solar-powered calculator!

HP's already announced and seemingly canceled amazing new Win7 tablet. They've bought WebOS and then suggested that they're going to stuff it in printers, so forget about tablets for now. So what are they doing here? More stuff that doesn't exist or won't leave the lab? Or won't be sold until I've already bought my iPad 2?

Why don't these companies mimic Apple where it matters? Don't rumor, tease, prototype, spin, et cyk? Shut up until you've got something work talking about...and then release it!

Comment: Re:Technically real world use.... OSX (Score 2, Insightful) 434

by skoda (#32305090) Attached to: Most Useful OS For High-School Science Education?

While you're right that NASA use of Mac OS X is much higher, it's not true industry wide. The *only* people with Macs are the NASA employees. Everyone else, working at conventional companies like Boeing and Northrop Grumman use PCs.

This is not good or bad, it just is. NASA gives their technical people significant freedom in choosing their computer and software. But it's atypical. Everyone else buys Wintel systems.

(I'm a Ph.D. working on a NASA project through a major subcontractor. I just spent the week at a joint meeting with NASA, ESA, and industry reps for a NASA project.)

Comment: Demos are fun (Score 1) 82

by skoda (#32063934) Attached to: James Webb Telescope Passes Critical Tests

From the article, "This month, ITT Corp. in Rochester, N.Y., demonstrated robotic mirror installation equipment designed to position segments on the backplane."

I'm pleased to say that I was one of the individuals giving that demo to the JWST review team :) And kudos to the team for assembling quite the system for integrating the segments.

Comment: Re:'IT' is coming... (Score 1) 853

by skoda (#31912784) Attached to: Gizmodo Blows Whistle On 4G iPhone Loser

Yes, we've considered it. And dismissed it. This is obviously not a PR stunt by Apple. They don't do early reveals on their hardware. They've not revealed the past three iPhones. They didn't clumsily leak the iPad's design. It's obvious they don't care or need to leak in on the 4th iteration of iPhone, a device that's guaranteed to be a success.

And when they do leak info, it goes to the Wall Street Journal or The New York Times. It doesn't go to Gizmodo.

Comment: Getting it right (Score 2, Informative) 47

by skoda (#30708450) Attached to: NASA To Cryogenically Freeze Satellite Mirrors

Unfortunately the article gets the technical aspects wrong.

NASA is not "freezing" the mirror segments to make sure they "survive" space.

The JWST will operate at a cryogenic temperature in space. The mirrors are measured at cryovac to guide the manufacturing process so they will have the correct optical prescription at the telescope's operational temperature.

Similarly, we're testing support optics, for the pre-launch JWST testing, at cryo. We'll have the first of a one set down to temp in short order.

If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for. -- W.C. Fields