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Submission + - ESA: European Mars Lander Crash Caused By 1-Second Glitch (

An anonymous reader writes: The European Space Agency (ESA) on Nov. 23 said its Schiaparelli lander’s crash landing on Mars on Oct. 19 followed an unexplained saturation of its inertial measurement unit (IMU), which delivered bad data to the lander’s computer and forced a premature release of its parachute. Polluted by the IMU data, the lander’s computer apparently thought it had either already landed or was just about to land. The parachute system was released, the braking thrusters were fired only briefly and the on-ground systems were activated. Instead of being on the ground, Schiaparelli was still 2.3 miles (3.7 kilometers) above the Mars surface. It crashed, but not before delivering what ESA officials say is a wealth of data on entry into the Mars atmosphere, the functioning and release of the heat shield and the deployment of the parachute — all of which went according to plan. In its Nov. 23 statement, ESA said the saturation reading from Schiaparelli’s inertial measurement unit lasted only a second but was enough to play havoc with the navigation system. ESA said the sequence of events "has been clearly reproduced in computer simulations of the control system’s response to the erroneous information." ESA’s director of human spaceflight and robotic exploration, David Parker, said in a statement that ExoMars teams are still sifting through the voluminous data harvest from the Schiaparelli mission, and that an external, independent board of inquiry, now being created, would release a final report in early 2017.

Comment Re:Seagate claimed 60TB by 2016 (Score 2) 107

It goes back even farther than that!

Here's an article from 2010 reporting Seagate promising 100TB HAMR hard drives:

Here's an article from 2006 reporting Seagate promising HAMR hard drives in "a few years":

Also I'm puzzled by the claims about hundred layer 3D NAND chips. I can see how a hundred-layer chip would increase density and therefore could reduce access latency, but I don't see how it could significantly reduce cost-per-bit. Sure, there will be a hundred times as many bits per square cm, but a hundred times as many manufacturing processing steps should be required to make it, thereby increasing manufacturing cost a hundred-fold. Also, with all those manufacturing steps, the chance of defects also goes up, thereby reducing yields and increasing costs even more. Reduced latency would be cool, but I don't see it reducing cost-per-bit by much, if at all.

Also, Intel seems to be peculiarly self-contradicting when discussing their 3D XPoint technology. In 2015 they claimed that 3D XPoint was NOT phase-change technology and that it was already in volume production to prepare for sale in early 2016. In 2016 they're claiming that 3D XPoint IS phase-change technology and will not enter volume production until 2017.

I've become very cynical about all this. Frankly, I'll believe these things when I can see them with my own eyes.

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Jerk human beats up Boston Dynamics robot - Mashable (


Jerk human beats up Boston Dynamics robot
A new clip released by Alphabet-owned Boston Dynamics in an attempt to show off its robot Atlas left us feeling a little bad for the faceless humanoid. Mainly because a person in the video is a total jerk. SEE ALSO: Humanoid robot walks through a ...
Boston Dynamics presents the 'next generation' Atlas robotEngadget
Watch Boston Dynamics' next-gen Atlas robot do warehouse work (and bounce back from bullying)GeekWire
Watch Google's Latest Robot Deftly Deal With Snowy Trail, Abusive Co-WorkerRe/code
IEEE Spectrum-Inverse-Gizmodo
all 16 news articles

Submission + - Next Gen ATLAS Robot from Boston Dynamics is Incredible ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Boston Dynamics just posted a video of its next generation ATLAS robot, and it’s absolutely incredible. The video shows ATLAS walk, open a door, maintain its balance while it walks through snow and semi-rough terrain, squat and pick up 10-pound boxes and much more. And it does everything without a tether.

The new version is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain and help with navigation. This version of Atlas is about 5’ 9” tall (about a head shorter than the DRC Atlas) and weighs 180 lbs.

Comment Re:I have tons of questions on this... (Score 1) 118

Doesn't make any sense.

1) The first paper you linked to was entitled "5D Data Storage by Ultrafast Laser Nanostructuring in Glass" published in 2013 - not the same title as the one referred to by the article: "5D Data Storage by Ultrafast Laser Writing in Glass" due to be published tomorrow (2016).

2) The second paper you linked to mentions a pitch of "up to" 150 nm but was published in 2006.

3) Using the 150 nm pitch figure from the 2006 paper:
25400000 nm per inch / 150 nm pitch = 170000 dots per inch per layer
170000 dots per inch per layer * 3 layers = 510000 dots per inch
510000 dots per inch * 3 bits per dot = 1530000 bits per inch
(1530000 bits per inch)^2 = 2.3 Tb per square inch
2.3 Tb per square inch / 8 bits per byte = 293 GB per square inch
So only twice the density of the latest 10TB HDDs (140 GB per square inch)

3) According to the article linked in the summary: "The file is written in three layers of nanostructured dots separated by five micrometres (one millionth of a metre)."
25400 um per inch / 5 um pitch = 5000 dots per inch per layer
5000 dots per inch per layer * 3 layers = 15000 dots per inch
15000 dots per inch * 3 bits per dot = 45000 bits per inch
(45000 bits per inch)^2 = 2 Gb per square inch
2 Gb per square inch / 8 bits per byte = 250 MB per square inch
So only 0.0018 times the density of the latest 10TB HDDs (140 GB per square inch)

4) 200kHz laser pulses would give:
200 kb per second / 8 bits per byte = 25 kB per second
360TB claimed data storage / 25 kB per second = 14400000000 seconds
14400000000 seconds / 32 Million seconds per year = 450 years
So 450 years to read or write the disk.

Comment Re:Parallel Construction (Score 2) 181

Interesting, but it still doesn't clarify any tax implications. Under U.S. law (not applicable in Australia, of course) bitcoin is taxable under capital gains law only when it's exchanged for something else of value. That doesn't appear to have happened in this case. Newly-mined bitcoin is also treatable as business revenue based on *bitcoin's price at the time the bitcoin was mined* which until Mt. Gox opened in July 2010, was measurable only at fixed-rate bitcoin exchanges such as New Liberty Standard that set their prices equal to estimated mining cost. So revenue - mining cost = taxable profit = zero. Bitcoin mined after Mt. Gox opened may have been deemed profitable, depending on difficulty and mining expense. I haven't seen any analysis of any immediate profitability of Nakamoto's likely mining rewards. I suppose it's doubtful that anyone involved with bitcoin mining filed relevant information in their tax returns in bitcoin's early days. Perhaps the home invasion is just a fishing expedition.

Submission + - Wired Thinks It Knows Who Satoshi Nakamoto Is (

An anonymous reader writes: In a lengthy expose, Wired lays out its case that Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto is actually Australian CEO Craig Wright. As evidence, Wired cites both leaked documents and posts on Wright's blog from 2008 and 2009 establishing a connection between him and the launch of Bitcoin. Wright is also known to have amassed a significant Bitcoin fortune early on. Wired tried to contact Wright and got some perplexing responses, and they admit that it could all be a (long and extremely elaborate) hoax. But hours after publishing, Gizmodo followed up with the results of their own investigation, which came to the conclusion that Satoshi is a pseudonym for two men: Craig Wright and Dave Kleiman, a computer forensics expert who died in 2013. After questioning (read: harassment) from both publications, Wright seems to have withdrawn from public comment. Regardless, both articles are quite detailed, and it will be interested to see if the leaked documents turn out to be accurate.

Comment Re:Lots of other possibilities (Score 1) 339

They noticed odd things about the light curve throughout the four-year observation period, while the earth was making four orbits around the sun, so the occulting object would have to be big enough to occult the the star from anywhere in earth's orbit. That means an occulting object would have to have significant size compared to the area of either the earth' s orbital area or the star's cross-sectional area, whichever is smaller.

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