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Comment: MRSA is everywhere (Score 1) 113

by tomhath (#47925705) Attached to: Farmers Carry Multidrug-Resistant Staph For Weeks Into Local Communities
75% of the subjects had S. aureus in their sinuses, 51% had non-livestock associated penicillin resistant SA (MRSA), 46% had livestock associated MRSA. But the sample size is so small (22 people) the study doesn't prove much beyond the fact that once colonized by S. aureus you tend to stay colonized.

+ - A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect at Fighting Wildfires->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Friday night in Southern California's Silverado Valley, relief flew in on an old airliner. In this summer of drought and fire the DC-10, an airplane phased out of passenger service in February, has been spotted from Idaho to Arizona delivering up to 12,000 gallons of fire retardant in a single acrobatic swoop.

The three-engine DC-10 entered service in 1970 as a passenger jet, and the last airplane working in that capacity, operated by Biman Bangladesh Airlines, made its final flight on February 24. But some designs defy obsolescence. The DC-10 had already been converted to function as a mid-air refueling airplane for the Air Force, and in 2006, the first fire-fighting DC-10 was unleashed on the Sawtooth fire in San Bernardino County, California."

Link to Original Source

+ - NASA has chosen Boeing and SpaceX to build manned spacecraft

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The competition heats up: NASA has made a decision and has chosen two companies to ferry astronauts to and from ISS, and those companies are Boeing and SpaceX. Some quick details from NASA here.

This is a reasonable political and economic decision. It confirms that SpaceX is ready to go and gives the company the opportunity to finish the job, while also giving Boeing the chance to show that it can compete while also giving that pork to congressional districts.

Some details: After NASA has certified that each company has successfully built its spacecraft they will have then fly anywhere from four to six missions. The certification process will be step-by-step, similar to the methods used in the cargo contracts, and will involve five milestones. They will be paid incrementally as they meet these milestones.

One milestone will be a manned flight to ISS, with one NASA astronaut on board.

One more detail. Boeing will receive $4.2 billion while SpaceX will get $2.6 billion. These awards were based on what the companies proposed and requested."

Comment: Yes, but not in Tech (Score 1) 389

by tomhath (#47919097) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

There are any number of non-technical jobs for non-technical people. Market research, sales, maybe project management, etc. But in general you hire accountants to do accounting, lawyers for legal services, and techs for technical work.

Bottom line though, is that people who write columns for places like Fast Company and Dice have to write something, so they make stuff up.

Comment: Re:Government Acquisition Experience (Score 1) 195

by tomhath (#47918935) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

The RFP has to state what the contract award will be based on. It can't say "We require this, but if you toss in other stuff we didn't think of we'll give you extra points".

They can reject a bid when they think the bidder didn't understand what they were proposing ("A rocket to the Moon? Sure we can have that to you next week").

They'll also assume the incumbent is lower risk, especially if the other bidder is a newcomer with no track record ("Better with the Devil you know than the Devil you don't know").

Comment: Re:Why the government? (Score 1) 62

by tomhath (#47916393) Attached to: Funding Tech For Government, Instead of Tech For Industry

investors had been scared away by the idea that working with government might be a tortuous slog, but Bouganim says that he saw that behind that red tape lay a market that could be worth in the neighborhood of $500 billion a year...he's motivated in part by the desire to help make sure that that governments in his adopted country are using the best, most appropriate technologies they can as they go about serving their citizens. "And what better way to have an impact," he says, "than capitalism?"

In other words, he wants to invest in companies that sell technology to the government. Seems reasonable, but certainly not revolutionary.

+ - European Space Agency picks site for first comet landing in November

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Europe's Rosetta mission, which aims to land on a comet later this year, has identified what it thinks is the safest place to touch down. From the article: "Scientists and engineers have spent weeks studying the 4km-wide "ice mountain" known as 67P, looking for a location they can place a small robot. They have chosen what they hope is a relatively smooth region on the smaller of the comet's two lobes. But the team is under no illusions as to how difficult the task will be. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, currently sweeping through space some 440 million km from Earth, is highly irregular in shape. Its surface terrain is marked by deep depressions and towering cliffs. Even the apparently flat surfaces contain potentially hazardous boulders and fractures. Avoiding all of these dangers will require a good slice of luck as well as careful planning."

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre