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Comment Re:NASA rejected the other riskier bets... (Score 4, Insightful) 61

Personally I'm less certain that people need to go to these places. Kind of a stunt, right? Because we have such great imaging and 'bots now.

My friend works at JPL, he told me Carl Sagan once gave a talk to the staff there and basically said as much... No we don't need to send people there, but enthusiasm over manned space flight is what pays for all these robotic science missions.

Either way, we need better propulsion systems. If we're sending people, we need better toilets.

Comment Re:There's no chance... (Score 1) 70

For comparison, the record baseball throw is about 136 meters, set in 1957 by some freak of nature. The record for a female is 90 meters, by Babe Didrikson, who won a gold medal in javelin at the 1932 Olympics, and could have broken that skinny kid in half. Must be operator error, maybe the guy was reading feet instead of meters.

Comment Re:Astroturfing on Amazon? (Score 4, Insightful) 129

The Van Cliburn Piano Competition? Really? How many people would even be on the fence about something like that. You either own all twelve or you wouldn't watch it if it was free. I mean maybe there was some turfing by all their friends or something. But anyone who would gush about The Van Cliburn Piano Competition very well could be sincere. It's not like it's an air freshener or a stick of RAM or something. The idea is that it's an artistic pinnacle reached by serious young musicians. I think Amazon gets a free pass on this one.

Comment Re:Just don't allow it at all (Score 1) 454

Class groups and study session events.

Do you mean "everyone doing their homework together" on facebook? Do you mean actually teaching a class on facebook? Seems kind of inappropriate to me. Maybe your idea is to make it more appropriate by filtering it, but I don't think they want you to. They make money showing you ads, building a dossier on what you click on, etc. So I would suggest that you not use it as a teaching tool. In fact it's kind of unfair if all the students are required to use facebook to participate in this "content". What if they don't want to start out their lives feeding all their personal info to an evil mega-corporation? (Unlikely I know.) There are probably educational sites out there you could have everyone sign up for that have some kind of chat.

(ps - If they're younger than 13 they're not supposed to be on fb.)

Comment Re:bet (Score 1) 361

They should stomp all over this crap. Here you have an unregulated free-market system in all it's glory. Without some kind of cop pointing a stick at them to do the right thing, of course they don't bother with backups, they don't bother with accountability and they don't honor their debts. They claim they can't figure out what happened. They probably hacked it themselves. Scammers scamming other scammers, take the money and run. Just want to close the site and move on. Ayn Rand would indeed be proud of them.

This fiasco is exactly why we need a stronger regulation in financial markets, not weaker. There's really not much difference between bitcoin exchange and exotic securities markets. You just get a bunch of private people together and start trading something, like tranches of unsecured rubber dog shit. My URDS exchange is a great way to make real US dollars, and buy drugs too!


Submission + - NASA Upgrades Mars Curiosity Software ... From 350M Miles Away (

CWmike writes: "Picture doing a remote software upgrade. Now picture doing it when the machine you're upgrading is a robotic rover sitting 350 million miles away, on the surface of Mars. That's what a team of programmers and engineers at NASA are dealing with as they get ready to download a new version of the flight software on the Mars rover Curiosity, which landed safely on the Red Planet earlier this week. 'We need to take a whole series of steps to make that software active. You have to imagine that if something goes wrong with this, it could be the last time you hear from the rover,' said Steve Scandore, a senior flight software engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 'It has to work,' he told Computerworld. 'You don't' want to be known as the guy doing the last activity on the rover before you lose contact.'"

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