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Comment Dallas TX Workshop on CubeSat (Score 3, Informative) 59

If you are in (or willing to be in) south central USA next month, Citizens in Space is holding a 2 day "Space Hacker Workshop" July 20-21 http://www.citizensinspace.org/2013/06/citizen-science-and-space-exploration-in-the-lone-star-state/ The Space Hacker Workshop will provide hands-on exposure to a variety of microcontrollers, sensors, imaging systems, and other components. With these components, participants will learn how to design and build microgravity, fluid-physics, life-science, and engineering experiments. Each paid participant will receive a hardware package to take home after the workshop. The focus here is on SubOrbital flights - they are less expensive and CiS has booked 10 flights on the XCOR Lynx suborbital craft to carry 10 small sats and a citizen scientist payload specialist.

Comment NASA thinks it *may* be possible (Score 1) 299

Check out this PDF report: Interstellar Propulsion Research: Realistic Possibilities and Idealistic Dreams by Les Johnson, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

The actual name of the program (originally funded by DARPA) was 100 Year Starship Study (100YSS). It is a study of what would be necessary to actually have such a ship. There are LOTS of issues, time and distance being big ones, along with propulsion and power, and a whole lotta cultural ones.

I do wonder about the speakers and some of the format of this symposium. They are charging significant extra fees to see Nichelle Nichols and others talk at the various dinner events. That comes off more as fundraising than science symposium.

I will be attending the symposium, as a representative of a group that made a proposal to DARPA (SpaceGAMBIT) , but will not be at the extra cost events.

Comment Useful when Govt tries to take away network (Score 1) 124

Forget Zombies. One of the original reasons for this project is to deal with situations like Arab Spring where the local Government tries to cut off (limit, censor or track) network communications to crack down on those who dont like them. How do you get networking back to lots of people, especially those that are not supergeek linux kernel hackers? The project lets people setup primary mesh nodes that become gateways to network, and it also let non-mesh machines become leaf nodes to connect and gain some benefits. This is a terrific setup for improvised use at events - like an Occupy or Burning Man or your next hackathon. Very cool project - unfortunately the live boot cd I got at HOPE9 did not boot on my Macbook Pro. Alas I did not try it until a couple dayz later when I couldnt ask for help quickly. Shoulda tried it out at the con.
Open Source

Submission + - OSI claims OSHWA logo infringes, demands license (oshwa.org)

MauiJerry writes: "The Open Source Initiative (OSI) has informed the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) that the OSHW logo infringes on the OSI logo. There is a nice (relatively friendly) discussion of the issues on the OSHWA site ... http://www.oshwa.org/2012/08/02/an-important-question-on-the-open-source-hardware-mark/

While OSI seems to be trying to protect its trademark (as reportedly required by us law), its boiler plate license suggestion seems to go too far. (non-transferable, no sublicense, require quality control on products using it, etc.)

The OSI logo is quite obviously derivative of the logo Phillip Torrone designed last century.

A previous president of OSI noted in email last year to Phil that the logos did not seem to infringe, and that the markets served (Software vs Hardware) are sufficiently different as to avoid confusion.

Go Gentle dear /. They are trying to be friendly (i think.)"

Comment Nobody follow Bad link to source? (Score 1) 236

So with all these comments, how many people actually clicked thru to read the link? The article cited says absolutely nothing about 85% of surplus import electronics being recycled/reused. The link is about how most of the materials are from domestically generated e-waste. Perhaps the original submission was to a different article? It is interesting how /.ters can flame on without checking any sources.

Comment ID Tech Camp and Explo.org (Score 1) 177

My two boys went to ID Tech Camp when they were younger. They enjoyed the video and game programming/multimedia camps but did not get to the full up programming. The Robotics camps were not well rated by other kids word of mouth - they had one bot for like 6 kids so only a couple got to actually do hands on. My nephew has been going to Explo camp for several years and enjoying it tremendously. http://www.explo.org/

Comment Robotics & Machine shop Mags (Score 1) 125

E-pubs are cool too but I understand the joy of dead tree reading. A few that I get (aside from the ACM/IEEE/Make mentioned above) are:
Nuts & Volts : electronics hacking of all sorts
Servo : - sister pub to N&V focus on robotics
Home Shop Machinist
Machinist's Workshop
http://www.digitalmachinist.net/"> Digital Machinist :
three print mags directed at makers in metal. Latter focuses on CNC. Lots of projects of various levels

Comment Another vote for intern/coop school (Score 1) 283

Several people have posted that co-op or internship (or diy) work is the way to go. I strongly agree. Pick a school that has intern/coop program and uses it heavily (ask what space companies use their interns too!) I interned (as comp.engr) many years ago and it made my career. I hired summer interns several times since. When I worked at Aerovironment in Moorpark CA, we hired a number of interns ... many from Cal Poly SLO. A couple of them got hired full time after graduation. (dual major aerospace/mechanical is good recommendation) Another option (although probably not before doing school work) is DIY. A good friend of mine had an idea for rocket engines, wanted to do space work, but was full time employed doing computer animation (sweat shop job! dont go there!) He got a small cnc mill, lathe, etc and set up in his local makerspace (crashspace in LA) and started building. He did some tests, got known in the biz, took a leave of absence from his day job, took some contract jobs making parts at crashspace.... and now he's living and working out in Mojave for some rocket company. If you want it, work for it, it may happen for you. Also if you are really serious about rocketry, get the heck out of upstate NY. There are no rocket companies there per se. Then again with that 5hr radius, you may not be really serious. If you want it -be realistic and do what it takes. See the world dude. Upstate is gorgeous but lacks a lot of industry. And forget the PhD. By the time you finish, no one will want to hire you, and all the fun work will be done.

Comment Did that yesterday, twice... (Score 1) 315

I gave two 40 min talks about computer engineering, etc yesterday to 9-10 grade kids at Kihei Charter School (Kihei Maui Hawaii USA). I also work weekly with the robotics club a the King KeKaulike HS (Makawao Maui HI). I am an IEEE Certified Software Development Professional (CSPD) with over 30 year experience in areas like animation, virtual reality, multimedia search, desktop UAV control apps, etc. I dont do much computer science - more applied practice aka software engineering. What I talk to the kids about, and show examples of, is physical computing -- arduino based projects. These move, light up, make noise, sense and report, etc. And are very easy to program/wire. I include examples like the Makerbot, eggbot, and other CNC devices found in a FabLab or makerspace. These grab the kids attention and imagination ... well some of them. Expect that some kids will be snoozing or otherwise occupied - they are teens in school, not something we all loved. I related some of my experience with the robotics club too. Generally these clubs use VEX, Lego and First equipment, which is pretty much the same as arduino based projects... microcontroller, sensors, actuators. I started teaching arduino to the club last month and the kids ate it up... the girls were especially taken with some of the creativity it offers (blinkin lights). So, I don't know whether comp sci by itself is going to grab the kids attention and get them interested in computer development. The problem solving aspects of deep programming wont really grab them until after they've gotten experience and learned their way around the basics.

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