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Comment Look at an infrastructure upgrade? (Score 2) 128

When you get to the level of working at Mission Control, it should be no surprise that the flight controllers are that beyond dedicated - they also understand the importance of the job as well as the danger to the astronauts so the idea of working overtime where they might make a mistake is anathema to them.

Having been there and knowing that flooding happens every few years in the area, I'm surprised that they don't have backup sites where the controllers can work in the case of a disaster like this. Long term, the Mission Control Center has a lot of required resources, like the training rooms, so keeping everything in one place is the right way to do things.

I'm not sure what the communications (security) requirements are, but I would think there should be the ability to temporarily relocate. Maybe something will be planned after Harvey - although it might be as simple as equipping/converting some rooms as dormitories for the controllers.

Comment What "Anonymous Coward" has devolved into (Score -1, Offtopic) 179

I saw this article go up, but there wasn't a link to the actual article in the summary - so I did a quick search and put in the link as a comment. Next thing I know, I'm modded down to zero and the summary has been updated with the (same) link. Then the abuse from ACs comes.

The last time this happened, when I pointed out the link was missing in the summary I was abused by ACs because I was too lazy to look for it on my own.

Could we have a serious discussion about either eliminating ACs all together or making them log in and apply the Karma points they earn/lose as ACs to the account so, if they feel they must post anonymously and they have provided positive posts in the past, people will see their posts with the 1/2 basic points otherwise they have zero and we can ignore them for the assholes they are? Would it be possible to ban AC posting of certain IPs if the AC posts are modded down as "trolls"?

Comment Lots of need for electric (semi) tractors (Score 4, Interesting) 322

I can see a big need for intra-city hauling of trailers. 100 mile range (with less than 20 minute charge times) would probably be adequate and it would help build the infrastructure for electric vehicles in cities.

It also proves the technology and helps it evolve into longer range tractors. 1,000 miles is 16+ hours of driving, which I don't think is legal in most states/provinces, but 400 to 500 probably is reasonable to allow the driver time to stretch, have a meal, rest, shower while the tractor is recharging. I suspect the 1,000 mile range is to minimize fuel costs which is less of an issue with an electric tractor which should be able to plug in at multiple truck stops.

The technology won't be perfect from the starting gate, but Tesla will learn and be able to build better tractors down the road.

Comment Use robots (Score 1) 353

I see in previous comments that Logo and various other robots are recommended and I heartily agree that it's a practical approach that vividly shows how to program responses to different inputs and how to manage and display data.

Our Jade Robot (shameless plug: https://www.mimetics.ca/ starts with an introduction to robotics using the on board UI and then allows the students to move on to our version of Scratch (which is a subset that tries to maintain basic structured, procedural programming statements). Since you're setting a limit on Grade 6, we follow the Ontario Ministry of Education guidelines for the "Earth and Space Science" strand, with the culminating project being using the Jade Robot to mimic Curiosity on Mars with it's built-in spectrometer to find "Water" on a simulated Martian landscape. Along the way, we do multiple activities and challenges designed to teach basic programming skills and understand different concepts.

Whatever you do, the buzzwords that educators are looking for are "cross-curricular", which means involving other class materials in the program (Math, Art, English is what we strive to hit), and "Inquiry based learning" which we interpret to mean that the students need to think through their own solutions and research how they get there.

Comment Speed, Minimal RAM, Reliable & HTML5 Compatibl (Score 2) 293

Mozilla: something that loads pages quickly, uses minimal system resources, is HTML5 compatible with no incomprehensible options and go with that.

Who cares about screen shots? There are OS functions for providing this.

After just looking at the screen shot in TFA I would say that you should get rid of 10+ icons (I count 17 of them on there) and you might have something.

Comment Supercomputer Definition? (Score 1) 98

I was told years ago, when I was in University, that a "Supercomputer" had a clock speed of 200MHz - with the understanding it was really 200 MIPs/FLOPs.

This sounds like a good step forward and a significant improvement on the AP100s that were on the first shuttles and had a clock rate of 480kHz (and, IIRC, 1.5MByte of ROM ("ROS" in IBM-speak) and 500kByte of SRAM).

Comment Interesting battery is the technical problem (Score 2) 63

I'm not really sure where the comment saying that the cargo would be the battery comes from.

I'm not sure if they're talking volume or weight - I assumed that the same volume used by a traditional cab would be batteries (as I presume for manually moving the cab in small spaces, a controller, like the ones used for UAVs would be used). Another way to look at the question would be is how far could a Model S go with the front and back trunks as well as the passenger compartment full of batteries?

I wonder if he's thinking of the autonomous trailers in "Logan", where the cargo container was put on an autonomous bed - even then, there's a lot of volume/weight allowed for batteries.

Rather than just some vague comments, a better explanation and some numbers explaining the thought process would have been nice.

Comment Dumb Question - Apps are meant to be additictive (Score 2) 98

I thought the whole idea of games, social media and other apps like these that they were designed to be addictive - otherwise how are users going to tell other people about them ("Man, I just can't stop playing this" or "This is the same game Alec Baldwin refused to stop playing when the plane was supposed to take off").

There's really two issues here. The first is that various apps are addictive and the answer to that is yes because they are designed to be.

The second, which I think is much more important, are the various apps not developing and harming long term thinking and reasoning skills? Are they turning us into purely reactive entities that don't think through their responses?

Is Donald Trump president?

Comment What Kind of Certification Program does Army Have? (Score 4, Insightful) 45

I guess the DJI drones are cheap, easy to use and reliable, but I would have thought somebody who gives out the certifications to buy the units would have enough tech savvy to ask questions whether or not data from the drone was stored and where was it stored.

Anything with a camera that has internet access and could store data on the "Cloud" used by military personnel should be an immediate concern and should be investigated before allowing it to be purchased. I doubt it could affect operations in real time, but it could provide images of the faces of allied forces as well as a record of tactics used.

Somebody in the Army needs to understand where the certification process doesn't work and fix it.

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