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NASA

NASA Solar Satellite's First Sun Images 103

coondoggie writes "NASA today showed off the amazing first pictures of the Sun taken from its 6,800lb Solar Dynamics Observatory flying at an orbit 22,300 miles above Earth. The first images show a variety of activity NASA says provide never-before-seen detail of material streaming outward and away from sunspots. Others show extreme close-ups of activity on the sun's surface. The spacecraft also has made the first high-resolution measurements of solar flares in a broad range of extreme ultraviolet wavelengths."
Image

Most Expensive Laptop Ever 7

snkiz writes "As if MacBooks weren't expensive enough — now we have this. 'This is the most expensive laptop in the world, fitted with 25.5 carats of flawless diamonds. A total of 53 diamants individually set in a solid 24ct gold apple logo.' Although eBay iPads aren't much cheaper."
Image

New Speed Cameras Catch You From Space 351

A new kind of speed camera that uses satellites to measure average speed over long distances is being tested in Britain. The "Speedspike" system combines plate reading technology with a global positioning satellite receiver to calculate average speed between any two points in the area being monitored. From the article: "Details of the trials are contained in a House of Commons report. The company said in its evidence that the cameras enabled 'number plate capture in all weather conditions, 24 hours a day.' It also referred to the system's 'low cost' and ease of installation." I can't wait to see the episode of MythBusters where they try to avoid getting a speeding ticket from a satellite.
Linux

Good, Portable "Virtual" Linux Distro? 261

Prof. Nix writes "I have been given the opportunity to redesign the Linux course for the community college I work for. This course will be taking students from the 'What's Lee-nux?' stage to (hopefully) Linux+ Certifiable in about three to four months. However, one issue I haven't solved is finding a semi-stable, highly portable, and readily accessible platform the students may pound on, and have root access, independently of their peers. The powers-that-be have already vetoed any sort of server environment accessible from off campus. We've already tried live USB drives, but we ran into many issues with non-supported hardware on students' home computers. So I'm left with the idea of virtual machines run from flash drives. My ultimate goal is to have some sort of portable system that students can use with equal ease on lab systems and personal laptops — regardless of hardware. Preferably this system would be installable on a 4GB flash drive and run an Ubuntu- or Fedora-derived OS. So I ask the people who have been in the trenches a lot longer than I — what distros should I look at?"

Comment Re:And rightly so. (Score 1) 330

I'm sorry, but I'd be royally pissed of MS was trying to remove third party software from a machine without asking me.

Malware or not.

It's not the right place. A very appropriate solution would be to prompt the user

"A root kit has been detected, please visit the following website for more information and a link to a tool to attempt to fix the issue. This update will not be installed until the issue has been resolved."

If I saw that message, I would be shocked and amazed at the appropriate response demonstrated. If that happened, I would say MS went above and beyond to accommodate the customer and the security best practice.

Comment Re:Contract law needs to be redone (Score 1) 262

I disagree entirely. If you don't understand a contract, don't sign up to its terms. If enough people did it, and explained their reasons for not buying a product, then the company in question would make it easier to read. If you don't understand it without a lawyer, get a lawyer, or just don't sign. That simple.

Don't legislate for people's stupidity and apathy, because that encourages it.

Comment Re:They are wrong (Score 1) 508

So - you are assuming that space science is solely NASA then?

No. They're just the lion's share. My view is that for space science, they probably outweigh the rest of the planet, including the DoD's expenditures on space science.

What about developing the engineering and technological means to allow for long stays on the moon? Spend 5-10 years researching astronaut safety, building materials, biospheres, ecological and environmental surveys for using natural resources - then go to the moon for extended stays of weeks and months? Using this technology to then go to Mars? It is the choice of where to put the limited funds for the next 5 years, 10 years... where will it be of the most use?

Personally, I'd rather the US's budget were reduced by a factor of two or three. Elimination of NASA funding as a side effect would be acceptable. But since it isn't going to happen, yes, with the proviso that extended stays mean stays of years, not weeks or months. Unmanned space science missions should take advantage of well known economies of scale (such as reuse of technology and standardized components, building more probes at a time to spread out development costs, and missions that favor smaller, more frequent launches over larger, less frequent launches. And such research should support US economic needs, such as figuring out how to make money from activities and resources in space.

Comment Re:Doubt it will ever get made (Score 1) 349

The main problem with Firefly was that Fox showed them out of order, with The Train Robbery as the first episode on tv. I watched about 1/2 hour of it and turned it off. Wasn't until Serenity movie hit cheap DVD's at Costco that I watched it and then picked up the entire series. Watching it in the order Whedon filmed them, it was a lot better.

'Course, I've heard that Fox has a revolving door with upper management and it's usually a new manager coming in who kills off shows of his predecessor, sorta' like a dog pissing on another dog's spot.

Bummer.

Comment Re:My OS/2 story (Score 1) 432

Um, OS/2 never had a WindowsNT 3.51 emulator.

It had Win32s for it's Windows 3.1 support layer, which was well-acknowledged at the time to be a nearly complete miscarriage of an implementation. If something was written for Win32s, you had a 50/50 shot of it working properly with standard Win32.

And odds are they were using the Watcom Compiler, who's Windows support I considered shit. OS/2 and protected mode DOS however, it was pretty solid.

Comment Re:Seriously, this is a casting nightmare (Score 1) 349

"Did the writer's ever actually read the original Jack Kirby, Stan Lee comic that this was based on?"

Of course they did. They also read the Ultimate (FF,Galactus) series of comics, and introduced some of those ideas because their superiors at Marvel forced them to. The result was the mess you watched in the theater.

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