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+ - Comet Summer Siding's about to graze Mars' orbit. Could we use this?->

Submitted by tqk
tqk (413719) writes "The linked article explains that this thing started on its way here a million years ago. It's going to be going back out there. That would be one seriously celestial bird's eye view. That got me thinking.

We already have another mission about to harpoon an asteroid. Well, how about we try to harpoon Summer Siding and hitch a ride. It's handling the propulsion problem. We just have to meet it on its way through our neighbourhood. I'm imagining some sort of automated observatory.

Has this idea been considered (and shot down for a million reasons) before? If we can't use Summer Siding this way (it was only discovered in 2013), how about we gin something up for the next traveller that comes through? And the next one, and the next one, ... Pretty soon, we'd have a constellation of these things way the hell out there reporting back everything they can see.

That would be really cool, I think, not to mention pretty useful."

Link to Original Source
Your Rights Online

+ - US Military FAIL! Service Members' History Lost, AGAIN!

Submitted by
tqk writes "As the son of a WWII serviceman (a Flight Lieutenant/Tail Gunner in a B17 bomber) and an IT geek, I think this is appalling. On PBS Newshour last night, I saw a story about this along with an interview with the ProPublica reporter (?) who's on it. Since then, I've learned this has been going on as far back as the war in VietNam. "Backups? What're those?" Entire service histories are being lost! Historians have been screaming about it and veterans are being forced to drag lawyers in to prove they did what they did. $DEITY!!!111

See ProPublica."

+ - Democracy's death and rebirth?->

Submitted by
tqk writes "I think this's a fascinating read. Tying together "The Arab Spring" revolutions, mass protests from India, Israel, Britain, Wall St. (among others), it posits that twenty/thirty-somethings have given up "en mass" expecting their political systems to even bother to listen to their objections, much less do anything about them. ACTA is about to be signed despite objections from elected congresses, corruption and regulatory capture seem to be all that governments are capable of these days. This story reminds me of the '60s rebellions against the status quo and "business as usual.""
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+ - Geeks & News. Columbia Journo Review hint.->

Submitted by
tqk writes "There's this story in CJR lauding the L. A. Times for (in CJR's opinion) a story worth highlighting. CJR: "Nathaniel Popper gets this story by combing the websites of the Federal Reserve, FDIC, SEC, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which have for the first time begun publishing records of their meetings."

As a geek who's built databases connecting related data in efficient ways, this is intriguing. There ought to be a lot of room for pro-bono, NGO oversight ops in there, not to mention potential funding, yes?


I'm available for the sysadmin or backend db portion (yeah, I'm poor, but I'm not living in my Mom's basement!). Really, I think this could be pretty cool, adding much needed oversight on how gov't. works and what are its interconnections.

CAPTCHA: "despotic". Ha, haaaa! # =[8]-)"

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A conference is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing but together can decide that nothing can be done. -- Fred Allen