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Submission + - China Start Development of Hybrid Spaceplane (popsci.com)

hackingbear writes: While SpaceX is making news with its recoverable rockets, China announced that it is working on the next big thing in spaceflight: a hypersonic spaceplane. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation is beginning advanced research on a high tech, more efficient successor to the retired Space Shuttle, with hybrid combined cycle engines combining turbofan, ramjet, scramjet and rocket engines, that can takeoff from an airport's landing strip and fly straight into orbit. CASTC's rapid research timeline also suggests that the reports in 2015 of a Mach 4 test flight for a recoverable drone testbed for a combined cycle ramjet/turbofan engine were accurate. And China also has the world's largest hypersonic wind tunnel, the Mach 9 JF-12, which could be used to easily test hypersonic scramjets without costly and potentially dangerous flight testing at altitude. Its nearest competitor, the British Skylon in contrast uses pre-cooled jet engines built by Reaction Engines Limited to achieve hypersonic atmospheric flight, as opposed to scramjets. Both spacecraft will probably first fly around the mid 2020s.

Submission + - Astronomers to Announce "Earth-Like" Planet at Proxima Centauri (seeker.com)

astroengine writes: Scientists are preparing to unveil a new planet in our galactic neighborhood which is "believed to be Earth-like" and orbits its star at a distance that could favor life, German weekly Der Spiegel reported Friday. The exoplanet orbits a well-investigated star called Proxima Centauri, part of the Alpha Centauri star system, the magazine said, quoting anonymous sources. "The still nameless planet is believed to be Earth-like and orbits at a distance to Proxima Centauri that could allow it to have liquid water on its surface — an important requirement for the emergence of life," said the magazine. Though we need to be cautious of any report before an official announcement, this could be very exciting news as Proxima is, theoretically, within reach of an interstellar probe.

Submission + - Apple, Twitter, Google, and Instagram collude to defeat Trump (observer.com)

mi2 writes: From pro-Trump podcasts "requiring" — in Apple's opinion — an "explicit" warning, to anti-Hillary satire rejected as "offensive", to careful picking of stories for the news-feed, Apple is working hard to help Clinton.

Google is in the tank too, subtly altering search suggestions and repeatedly linking Trump to Hitler in the search results.

The supposedly "free speech" Twitter bans conservative users, and so does Instagram.

Although the private corporations are entitled to any censorship and manipulation they wish to maintain, other organizations' attempts to similarly support Republican candidates have been met with demands, they register as PACs and be subject to regulations as such.

Comment I'm switching to Lynx. (Score 0, Offtopic) 116

I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Slashdot Beta fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of Beta (1920x1080) for about 20 minutes now while I attempt to reply to another poster. 20 minutes. At home, on Reddit via IE11, which by all standards should be a lot slower than Beta, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this post, Chrome will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even Javascript is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while browsing various threads but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen Beta run faster than its community-driven counterparts, despite the Betas' faster bootstrap design. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this site layout at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Slashdot Beta is a superior forum.

Beta addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use Beta over other faster, cheaper, more readable fora.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Slashdot Classic and Slashdot Beta Continue to Co-Exist? 9

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Slashdot has been a big part of my life since I had my my first stories accepted over ten years ago. Some people my age do crossword puzzles to keep their mental agility, some do sudoko, or play bridge. I enjoy searching for and putting together a story a day for slashdot because it helps keep me on my toes to have readers find errors and logical fallacies in my submissions and I enjoy learning from the different points of view expressed on a story I have submitted. That's why I have been so discouraged in the past several years to see readership in slashdot drop off. As a close observer of this web site, I know that ten years ago it was unheard of for any accepted story to get less than 100 comments and there was at least a story a day that got over 1,000 comments. Those days are long gone. Not it's not uncommon to see some stories garner only a few dozen comments. That's how web sites die. If you slip below a critical level of readership, readers will abandon the site completely. I know from my own experience running a web site devoted to the Peace Corps that I used to have hundreds of comments to some of my stories but once comments slipped below a certain threshold, then they disappeared altogether. I think that slashdot is nearing that threshold and I fear that imposing Slashdot Beta on the site's readership will push it over the edge and I don't want to see that happen. I'd like to propose that slashdot continue running slashdot classic and slashdot beta in parallel. I'll stick with classic most of the time. One of the best features of slashdot classic is that comments can be displayed in four formats (threaded, nested, no comment, and flat) and in two directions (oldest first and newest first) providing a lot of flexibility in watching conversations develop. I switch between the formats several times a day depending on what I want to see. But slashdot beta also has its advantages in certain situations. Slashdot needs a blockbuster story or two every day where people can pile on and slashdot beta facilitates this by putting the most commented story at the top of the page and I think that is a good thing. Still I'll use slashdot beta occasionally when I'm on a mobile device but slashdot classic will be the format I use on my desktop. So don't deprecate slashdot classic. That would be like Microsoft disabling Windows 7 and forcing everyone to use Windows 8. And not even Microsoft is that stupid.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Can some of us get together and rebuild this community? 21

wbr1 writes: It seems abundantly clear now that Dice and the SlashBeta designers do not care one whit about the community here. They do not care about rolling in crapware into sourceforge installers. In short, the only thing that talks to them is money and stupid ideas.

Granted, it takes cash to run sites like these, but they were fine before. The question is, do some of you here want to band together, get whatever is available of slashcode and rebuild this community somewhere else? We can try to make it as it once was, a haven of geeky knowledge and frosty piss, delivered free of charge in a clean community moderated format.

Submission + - Alternatives to Slashdot post beta? 8

An anonymous reader writes: Like many Slashdotters, I intend to stop visiting Slashdot after the beta changeover. After years of steady decline in the quality of discussions here, the beta will be the last straw. What sites alternative to Slashdot have others found? The best I have found has been arstechnica.com, but it has been a while since I've looked for tech discussion sites.

Submission + - Slashdot BETA Discussion (slashdot.org) 60

mugnyte writes: With Slashdot's recent restyled "BETA" slowly rolled to most users, there's been a lot of griping about the changes. This is nothing new, as past style changes have had similar effects. However, this pass there are significant usability changes: A narrower read pane, limited moderation filtering, and several color/size/font adjustments. BETA implies not yet complete, so taking that cue — please list your specific, detailed opinoins, one per comment, and let's use the best part of slashdot (the moderation system) to raise the attention to these. Change can be jarring, but let's focus on the true usability differences with the new style.

Submission + - Slashdot forces a beta site by default

kelk1 writes: As a poor submitter found out (https://developers.slashdot.org/story/14/02/05/2328224/html5-app-for-panasonic-tvs-rejected---jquery-is-a-hack), Slashdot (https://slashdot.org) suddenly forced a preview of its beta site without any warning on all its viewers.

Judging by the comments, the feedback was immediate and clearly negative.

I cannot speak for the forum moderation side, but my reaction to the front page was an knee jerk: "Oh no!, not another portal full of noise I cannot speed-read through." Text and hyperlinks are what we need, please, and as little graphics as possible. Think lynx, thank you.

Submission + - Apple officially inks iPhone deal with China Mobile (tuaw.com)

An anonymous reader writes: After years of speculation, rumors, and not-so-secret meetings with China Mobile executives, Apple this week finally inked a deal to bring the iPhone to China Mobile.

The deal provides Apple with a tremendous and arguably unprecedented opportunity for growth. With upwards of 740 million subscribers, China Mobile is by and far the largest wireless carrier on the planet. By way of comparison, Verizon, the largest carrier in the U.S., boasts approximately 120 million subscribers.

It's believed the phone will launch sometime around December 18

Submission + - A Developer's View Inside Google Glass

rjmarvin writes: As Google Glass inches closer to consumer release and more Glassware development opportunities emerge, Google Glass Senior Developer Advocate Timothy Jordan delves http://sdt.bz/66447 into the differences between the GDK and Mirror API and how developers can best utilize them to build Glassware apps. Jordan also lays out tips and lessons for developers from years of working with Glass, and talks about what makes the platform unique and his vision for what it could mean for the future of effortless technology.
Mars

4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover 101

SternisheFan points out that there is a great new panorama made from shots from the Curiosity Rover. "Sweep your gaze around Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring, with this 4-billion-pixel panorama stitched together from 295 images. ...The entire image stretches 90,000 by 45,000 pixels and uses pictures taken by the rover's two MastCams. The best way to enjoy it is to go into fullscreen mode and slowly soak up the scenery — from the distant high edges of the crater to the enormous and looming Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual destination."

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