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Comment Pluto's Glacier (Score 0) 33 33

The rate at which pictures are being released by the project are pathetic. I don't want to hear how low the data rate is from Pluto. Paranoid scientists are witholding dozens or hundreds of them to keep from being scoped. Spunik Planum is a glacier. Of what material, who knows? CO, N2, or some weird mixture. You can see that the region covers the darker terrain by the many embayment relationships at the meeting of terrains at its edge. The patterned ground is also a giveaway, but who can explain the large size of the patterns? What is the dark stuff? Organic gunk, not unlike light crude oil or LNG at fantastically low temperature. In processed approach images you can see the path that gas sublimating from the glacier takes as it sublimates and migrates to the pluto dark side from the sub solar latitude. It faintly stains the terrain. My guess is that glaciers like Sputnik Planum accumulate on the dark side during Pluto's pronounced winters, as the erode from the light side. They seem to be 100's of meters if not kilometers thick. The complex seasons produced by Pluto's elliptical orbit and high inclination surely disrupt the surface asymmetrically. Pluto is in southern summer and just passed perihelion. The south cap should be near its minimum extent. Pluto is a freaky place. Release more pictures greedy scientists!

Comment It was a BlackHat / DEFCON publicity stunt (Score 2) 26 26

Hackaday is pretty much spot on: http://hackaday.com/2015/07/14...

There's always posturing for PR before BlackHat and DEFCON. This was to get the researcher's name on people's radar.

Many a competent unix sysadmin could come up with something similar.

What's hilarious is that despite how easy it would be to make something like this, the "researcher" just bought a yagi antenna and posed for a picture. They didn't even bother to point the yagi antenna towards the ground, for that matter.

Comment Physics called... (Score 2) 549 549

It's preferable for the car that is struck to not release its brakes. Basic physics. The more the struck car moves, the more injuries from the passengers in it. Also, the struck car moves and hits another car, etc.

The struck car's momentum is what mitigates the impact for its occupants. Ideal would be deploying a system to keep the struck car from moving at all. Mercedes has a braking system they've been testing that would probably do the job. It's basically an airbag on the bottom of the car, with a very high friction surface.

Comment Europe has also had wire transfers (Score 4, Interesting) 294 294

Wire transfers are extremely common in Europe; virtually instantaneous, cheap, etc. Customers can do them themselves, person to person.

Here in the US? Anywhere from a day to WEEKS for absolutely no legitimate reason. You generally need a teller or branch manager to do it. At least $5; $40 if the transaction ends up going through the Fed.

It's 2015. Why does transferring money in the US take more than a minute and a few cents?

Comment Clear embayment features (Score -1) 98 98

The spots are clear embayment features. The dark/light transition seems to follow the countour of topography. This suggests that the stuff was liquid or saturated sediment, like the dark regions on Titan. We may be looking at lake deposits on Pluto.

Comment Should be called (Score -1) 41 41


The first thing everyone does when they learn OpenGL is texture map a map image in rectangular coordinates to a 3d sphere. Have fun.

/* Apply a texture image, a planetary map in a simple cylindrical
   projection in RGB format*/
static void
texture_map (const char *fname)
  GLubyte *image;
  GLint width, height;
  GLenum format;

  /* What are the valid sizes for the texture image? */
  /* glGetIntegerv (GL_MAX_TEXTURE_SIZE) */
  image = LoadRGBImage (fname, &width, &height, &format);

  /* check image size to see if suitable as texmap */
  info ("Texture image: width = %d, height = %d, format = %x\n",
     width, height, format);

  /* texture map is ok to apply */
  glPixelStorei (GL_UNPACK_ALIGNMENT, 1);
  glTexImage2D (GL_TEXTURE_2D, 0, GL_RGB, width, height, 0,
        format, GL_UNSIGNED_BYTE, image);
  glEnable (GL_TEXTURE_2D);

static void
solid_sphere (GLdouble radius, GLint slices, GLint stacks)
  glEnable (GL_CULL_FACE);
  glCullFace (GL_BACK);

  GLUquadricObj *obj = gluNewQuadric();
  gluQuadricDrawStyle (obj, GLU_FILL);
  gluQuadricNormals (obj, GLU_SMOOTH);
  gluQuadricTexture (obj, GL_TRUE);

  glNewList (Sphere, GL_COMPILE);
  gluSphere (obj, radius, slices, stacks);
  glEndList ();

define_globe (const char *teximage, float radius)
  texture_map (teximage);
  solid_sphere (radius, 36, 18);

draw_globe ()
  glEnable (GL_LIGHTING);    /* in case they aren't already */
  glEnable (GL_TEXTURE_2D);
  glCallList (Sphere);

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein