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Comment Re:Bellesiles!? Seriously!? (Score 1) 1111

Read some of the linked articles and you'll understand how it is relevant. The man was caught falsifying data for the book the interview was about -- including data on the cost and availability of firearms during the colonial period. My link to the same site is not ad hominem, that's providing additional data that contradicts the data provided in the interview.

Comment Planning and Fun (Score 1) 81

My grandmother had Alzheimer's. My mother is now at the stage where it may show up and has been under the stress of that knowledge for at least 6 years now. She may have liked to know 6 years ago what she should try to plan for the future.

Me? I'm not sure if I would want to know or not -- might be able to decide depending on whether mom starts showing symptoms or not -- right now the risk seems a little removed yet.

Submission + - Wright Brothers Grounded: German Gustav Weißkopf Lift Off 1901 (gustave-whitehead.com)

gentryx writes: "Newly found evidence supports earlier claims that Gustave Whitehead (a German immigrant, born Gustav Weißkopf, with Whitehead being the literal translation of Weißkopf) performed the first powered, controlled, heavier-than-air flight as early as 1901-08-14 — more than two years before the Wrights took off. A reconstructed image shows him mid-flight. A detailed analysis of said photo can be found here. Apparently the results are convincing enough that even Jane's chimes in.

His plane is also better looking than the Wright Flyer I."


Submission + - SpaceX's Musk Gives Minute-by-Minute of Saving Dragon Spacecraft (txchnologist.com)

MatthewVD writes: "SpaceX CEO Elon Musk replayed the minute-by-minute maneuvers controllers took to save the tumbling Dragon capsule for a crowd at the South by Southwest Interactive festival in Austin on Saturday.
“We had this spacecraft just going through free drift in space, like just tumbling,” Musk said.
So SpaceX borrowed a U.S. Air Force antenna array, hastily rewrote code and made the risky call to unfurl the solar panels before they froze. It wasn't quite Apollo 13, but it was terrifying nonetheless."


Submission + - SXSW: Elon Musk Talks Reusable Rockets, Tesla Controversy (slashdot.org)

Nerval's Lobster writes: "Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, took the keynote stage at this year’s SXSW to talk about everything from space exploration to electric cars. Joining him onstage to ask questions was Chris Anderson, the former Wired editor and co-founder of 3DRobotics. Musk used his keynote discussion to show off a video of a rocket test, which he said had taken place earlier that week. In the video, a ten-story rocket takes off from a launching pad and hovers several hundred feet in the air before landing in the same spot, upright. It’s an early test of SpaceX’s reusable-rocket project. “Reusability is extremely important,” Musk told the audience. “If you think it’s important that humanity extends beyond Earth and becomes a multitenant species” then reusable rockets will prove essential. Musk also talked about the recent controversy involving his Tesla Motors, which started when a New York Times reporter claimed in a much-circulated column that his electric-powered Model S sedan had ground to a halt during a test drive up the East Coast. “I have no problem with negative feedback,” he told Anderson, in response to the latter’s question. “There have been hundreds of negative articles, and yet I’ve only spoken out a few times. I don’t have a problem with critical reviews, I have a problem with false reviews.”"

Submission + - Sugar industry's secret docs echo Big Tobacco's anti-science tactics

Freshly Exhumed writes: Evidence of the Sugar Association's decades-old attempts to stifle its critics and shape public opinion has been uncovered by Dr. Cristin Couzens, who went on a sabbatical to hunt for proof after noting that sugar was never being discussed in dental forums as a causative source of health problems. She is a dentist by training, not an investigator, but what Couzens found was something food industry critics have been seeking for years: confidential industry documents going back to the 1970s showing that the sugar industry used Big Tobacco's tactics to deflect growing public and professional concern over the deleterious health effects of sugar, such as the alarming rise in childhood obesity and diabetes levels and the ongoing high cost of dental cavity treatment, from which the poor are often left out.

Feed Engadget: DIYRockets starts a challenge to build open source, 3D-printed rocket engines (engadget.com)

DIYRockets believes that our chances of advancing space exploration improve when everyone can lend a hand. The company is putting its money where its mouth is by launching a competition to develop 3D-printed rocket motors using Sunglass' cloud design platform. Teams who sign up have to build an engine that could boost a nanosatellite-level payload into low Earth orbit using 3D-printed steel and other safe materials. The only major stipulations are that creators present a good business case and open-source their creations to help out other builders. DIYRockets' prize strategy reflects its for-the-greater-good ambitions: there's a $5,000 award for the best motor, but there are separate $2,500 prizes for both a student creation and the design that contributes the most to the industry. Registration officially starts on March 9th, and runs until April 6th, with the finished models due on June 1st. We'll be closer to a crowdsourced vision of space when the winners are revealed by July 1st.

Filed under: Transportation, Science


Source: DIYRockets

Open Source

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Develop OSS at work without company owning it?

asicliptus writes: "I've been developing some OSS (GPLv3) and recently there has been interest at my company in using the software and having me build some features for them. The paperwork I signed when I started included a non-disclosure/previous inventions agreement that has legal limitations regarding software development--any code I write or inventions I create on company time and/or equipment automatically become property of the company. I brought this fact up with my boss and he's sympathetic and willing to work with me regarding this. I haven’t found any legal resources online with any guidance in this matter. How can I protect myself legally from the 'company owns everything' clause in the documents I signed while writing OSS at work?"

Submission + - Global temperatures are close to 11,000-year peak (nature.com)

ananyo writes: "Global average temperatures are now higher than they have been for about 75% of the past 11,300 years, a study published in Science suggests. Researchers have reconstructed global climate trends all the way back to when the Northern Hemisphere was emerging from the most recent ice age. They looked at 73 overlapping temperature records including sediment cores drilled from lake bottoms and sea floors around the world, and ice cores collected in Antarctica and Greenland. For some records, the researchers inferred past temperatures from the ratio of magnesium and calcium ions in the shells of microscopic creatures that had died and dropped to the ocean floor; for others, they measured the lengths of long-chain organic molecules called alkenones that were trapped in the sediments. From the first decade of the twentieth century to now, global average temperatures rose from near their coldest point since the ice age to nearly their warmest, they report (abstract)."

Submission + - Extinct Species That Could Be Brought Back (nationalgeographic.com)

Press2ToContinue writes: Diversity is a good thing, right? If so, then what if we could bring back extinct species at will? According to a current article in National Geographic, we just may be at that point now, and the list of species ranges from wooly mammoth, Tasmanian tiger and the woolly rhinoceros to the passenger pigeon and the dodo.

It seems inevitable: it's not a question of "should we," but "when will we?" So the question really seems to be, "who gets to decide?" And if done, can it be undone?

Oh, and one more question.... "where's the goat??" (Jurassic Park, 1993)


Submission + - Improved ion engines will open up the outer Solar System (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: The phrase "engage the ion drive" still has the ring of a line from Star Wars, but these engines have been used in space missions for more than four decades and remain the subject of ongoing research. Ion engines have incredible fuel efficiency, but their low thrust requires very long operating times ... and therein lies the rub. To date, erosion within such an engine seriously limits its operational lifetime. Now a group of researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has developed a new design that largely eliminates this erosion, opening the gates for higher thrust and more efficient drives for manned and unmanned missions to the reaches of the Solar System.

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