Dr. Gamera writes: Science-fiction author Neal Stephenson gives us his perspective on the history of the development of rocketry. He uses that history to illustrate the phenomena of path dependence and lock-in.
radioweather writes: "The GOES East satellite (GOES 12) went through a station keeping maneuver yesterday, and then shortly afterwards communications ceased. GOES 12 is no longer delivering satellite imagery. This satellite is used for most eastern US weather forecasting, as well as tropical storm tracking and marine forecasting.
A GOES-12 North-South Station Keeping maneuver was performed on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 1756 UTC. An anomaly is currently ongoing. NOAA is not receiving GOES-12 (EAST) data until further notice. FULL DISK images are being captured on GOES-11 (WEST) until the problem is resolved. Data Affected by the Outage: GOES-12 (East) Imaging and Soundings data Date and Time of the Outage:12/4/2007, 1715 UTC, 12:15 PM, EST.
And here is the current status report. The words "until further notice" are not at all comforting. If they cannot re-establish communications, the spacecraft will of course be lost."
Ponca City, We Love You writes: "It's easy to forget that this is the first presidential campaign in which an appearance at Google's candidate forum has become an important part of many candidates' strategies but when Google CEO Eric Schmidt asked Barak Obama "How do you determine good ways of sorting one million 32-bit integers in two megabytes of RAM?" at a recent forum at Google Headquarters and Obama surprised everyone by answering "A bubble sort is the wrong way to go," it showed just how important a pilgrimage to Google has become in this election cycle. Hillary Rodham Clinton, John McCain, Bill Richardson, John Edwards, Ron Paul, Mike Gravel and Barak Obama have already gone to Google to sit exposed on the stage, without the protective lectern provided in a debate, answering questions for 45 to 60 minutes without the escape hatch of a timekeeper's buzzer. Though all of the candidate sessions at Google are available on YouTube, they are not YouTube-like: they require an investment of time that, by YouTube viewer standards, is inconceivable. And not all candidates have the same draw with YouTube's audience. As of December 5 Ron Paul's 65 minute appearance is leading all other candidates with 374,263 views."
"Innov8 is designed to address this specific skills shortage while also helping universities realise the benefits of using serious games as a powerful tool for teaching today's students," said Sandy Carter, vice president of SOA and WebSphere strategy, channels and marketing at IBM.
coondoggie writes: "NASA and its Applied Sciences Program will be using 14 satellites to watch the Earth's environment and help predict and prevent infectious disease outbreaks around the world. Through orbiting satellites, data is collected daily to monitor environmental changes. That information is then passed on to agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Defense who then apply the data to predict and track disease outbreaks and assist in making public health policy decisions. The use of remote sensing technology helps scientists predict the outbreak of some of the most common and deadly infectious diseases such as Ebola, West Nile virus and Rift Valley Fever.
Ponca City, We Love You writes: "Congress is expected to vote this week on a bill requiring investigators funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to publish research papers only in journals that are made freely available within one year of publication. Until now, repeated efforts to legislate such a mandate have failed under pressure from the well-heeled journal publishing industry and some nonprofit scientific societies whose educational activities are supported by the profits from journals that they publish. Scientists assert that open access will speed innovation by making it easier for them to share and build on each other's findings. The measure is contained in a spending bill that boosts the biomedical agency's effective budget by 3.1%, to $29.8 billion in 2008. The open-access requirement in the bill would apply only during fiscal year 2008; it would need to be renewed in yearly spending bills in the future."