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Submission Summary: 1 pending, 41 declined, 4 accepted (46 total, 8.70% accepted)

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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Email Workflow and Hillary's Woes 3

Tablizer writes: Political blame issues aside, how could a work environment like the State Department monitor and ensure "wrong stuff" does not end up in regular office emails? It seems they should have a monitoring team in place to monitor all emails and outgoing documents. There may be urgent situations that could result in them not having enough time to vet something before it's released, but at least they'd know about it as soon as possible afterwards in order to mitigate the damage, investigate the cause, and "educate" the perpetrator(s), perhaps issuing formal reprimands. Bad habits wouldn't be allowed to fester. Has any slashdotter seen a similar setup at their shop?

Submission + - Fixing Browser-Centric Development 1

Tablizer writes: I'd like to survey Slashdot members. Many of us are frustrated with the "web browser stack" (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) for development of practical business and CRUD applications. There's more layers and frameworks compared to desktop app development, creating more code and more fiddling. Yes, we have more eye-candy choices, but at a big price. I keep having the feeling that web standards are "doing it wrong". I want to focus on domain issues, not UI micromanagement.

In my opinion, the solution is a new coordinate- and vector-based browser that lets the server-side control any display object "auto-flow" and screen re-sizing. This simplifies the client-side rendering engine and reduces browser version/brand-specific positioning surprises. And, have common GUI idioms built in instead of relying on various JavaScript libraries that emulate desktop behavior (badly). Perhaps have a "GUI Markup Language".

Other suggestions welcome. What do you think the solution is?:

1. The current browser stack is good enough. RTFM harder and live with it.

2. Yes, a new kind of browser or browser model is needed.

3. An easier way to deploy, upgrade, and secure desktop applications.

4. Fix Java applet model.

5. Other? ______

Submission + - Amazing Sunset Shot of Pluto (washingtonpost.com)

Tablizer writes: "Just 15 minutes after its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft looked back toward the sun and captured this near-sunset view of the rugged, icy mountains and flat ice plains extending to Pluto’s horizon...This is, hands down, one of the most beautiful planetary images ever." -Washinton Post

Submission + - Pluto Probe Phones Home, Data Size As Expected, Craft Feels Good (youtube.com)

Tablizer writes: YouTube User comments: "These are key moments. The probe only gets one chance to fly by the Pluto system, and it had to pass through a potential debris field around Pluto (think thin rings) and couldn't report back to Earth during the closest approach phase due to the probe's design. This is essentially the good-or-fail "phone home" news-point of the mission. The data collection size (comparable to file size) and craft conditions are reported back to be as expected, and the error log (count) is empty. After spending a decade or more on the project, this is the 4th quarter game 7 mission championship moment."

Submission + - Pluto probe back to normal, cause of snafu found (planetary.org)

Tablizer writes: "Update:...NASA’s New Horizons mission is returning to normal science operations after a July 4 anomaly and remains on track for its July 14 flyby of Pluto. The investigation into the anomaly that caused New Horizons to enter "safe mode" on July 4 has concluded that no hardware or software fault occurred on the spacecraft. The underlying cause of the incident was a hard-to-detect timing flaw in the spacecraft command sequence that occurred during an operation to prepare for the close flyby. No similar operations are planned for the remainder of the Pluto encounter.

Submission + - How the Historical Apollo 8 Earthrise Pic Was Captured by Luck

Tablizer writes: On Dec. 24, 1968--45 years ago this week--by what is essentially coincidence and fast thinking, one of the most iconic photographs in human history was taken: Earthrise over the Moon. It occurred during Apollo 8 as astronauts Jim Lovell, Bill Anders, and Frank Borman were orbiting the Moon--the first humans in history to do so. Their orbital motion brought the Earth into view over the Moon’s horizon, moving slowly upward into the black sky...The good folks at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center’s Scientific Visualization Studio...recreate the events that led to the history-changing moment.

Submission + - FireFox 23 Forcing Tabs To Protect You From WTF

Tablizer writes: [RESUBMITTED due to bad headline] "In replies to frustrated users (including me), FireFox states: "Hello, In Firefox 23, as part of an effort to simplify the Firefox options set and protect users from unintentionally damaging their Firefox, the option to hide the tab bar was removed..." There's an extension to remove tabs, but as the replies show, no-tab fans feel slighted and baffled over the "damaging" claim.

Submission + - De-Tabbed Firefox 23: Tabs Will Put Your Eye Out

Tablizer writes: In replies to frustrated users (including me), FireFox states: "Hello, In Firefox 23, as part of an effort to simplify the Firefox options set and protect users from unintentionally damaging their Firefox, the option to hide the tab bar was removed..." There's an extension to remove tabs, but as the replies show, no-tab fans feel slighted and baffled over the "damaging" claim.
Moon

Submission + - NASA Planned to Nuke the Moon in '58 (cnn.com)

Tablizer writes: 'The military considerations were frightening. The report said a nuclear detonation on the moon could yield information "...concerning the capability of nuclear weapons for space warfare." Reiffel said that in military circles at the time, there was "discussion of the moon as military high ground."

That included talk of having nuclear launch sites on the moon, he said. The thinking, according to Reiffel, was that if the Soviets hit the United States with nuclear weapons first and wiped out the U.S. ability to strike back, the U.S. could launch warheads from the moon.

Idle

Submission + - Death Star is not economical: too much metal (washingtonpost.com)

Tablizer writes: Washington Post: "Should we build a Death Star? This debate picked up this year after some Lehigh University students estimated that just the steel for a Death Star would cost $852 quadrillion, or 13,000 times the current GDP of the Earth...Death Star is a bit misunderstood. It is primarily a tool of domestic politics rather than warfare, and should be compared to alternative means of suppressing the population of a galaxy. Second, as a weapon of war, it should be compared to alternative uses of scarce defense resources. Understood properly, the Death Star is not worth it.
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Vintage Life-sized Sci-Fi Rocket Art Project (makezine.com)

Tablizer writes: According to Makezine, "The Raygun Gothic Rocketship is built upon a future-rustic vision of yesterday's tomorrow. Aesthetically based on 1930s to early 1950s science fiction, the rocketship is a 41-foot-tall immersive environment, designed to carry explorers into the realm of rayguns, strange planets, and aliens, friendly or otherwise. With 3 habitable decks, visitors can view and interact with a variety of ships systems and alien specimens. Visitors can enter the ship via the Engine Room & Life-Sciences Bio Lab. Once inside the engine room, look down into the engine compartment to see The Uira Plasma-drive engine. Cases and cages on the walls contain various creatures we've collected in our travels." The project looks cool, but doesn't yet appear to have a permanent home.
Patents

Submission + - Michael Jackson's Leaning Dance-Shoe Patent

Tablizer writes: Singer, dancer, and inventor; Michael Jackson co-filed a patent for "a system for allowing a shoe wearer to lean forwardly beyond his center of gravity by virtue of wearing a specially designed pair of shoes which will engage with a hitch member movably projectable through a stage surface. The shoes have a specially designed heel slot which can be detachably engaged with the hitch member by simply sliding the shoe wearer's foot forward, thereby engaging with the hitch member."
The Internet

Submission + - Is CSS Over-Compensation?

Tablizer writes: I've been annoyed by CSS-heavy sites for some time, including ol' slashie. Digging around the web for various opinions on this, I've noticed that CSS are indeed controversial, creating a lively practical-versus-idealism debate. But one blogger went beyond mere ranting and did some research:

I used the Firefox developer toolbar to take a look at the frontpages of the top 20 Alexa sites...So, the five companies that use CSS are the web powerhouses--MSN, MySpace, Blogger, AOL and Imageshack. MSN, MySpace and AOL have been maligned for years throughout the web savvy community. My hypothesis is that these companies are overcompensating for the crap that they've taken thoughtout the years by designing their site in pure CSS. Other companies that have more web street-cred like Google and Facebook don't really have to worry about how the web design community sees them.

GUI

Submission + - Rethinking "Deep" Menu Trees

Tablizer writes: 'Deep tree' GUI menus are getting annoying as vendors rack up the feature quantities to compete with each other. Searching in menus for some long-lost feature is becoming ever more time-consuming as the trees grow. Perhaps it's time to rethink hierarchical menus and borrow some ideas from search engines, such as Google. Consider listing (and perhaps linking) all the options or features in a database-like contraption, and key-word searching on these behind the scenes to produce a Google-like list of feature/option matches. A simple SQL "LIKE" statement(s) can be used for a simple implementation, with dedicated text indexers for fancier ones. The database could also contain synonyms to assist finds. Some options will have prerequisites, which need to be dealt with. These can be tracked via a dependency tree or graph. Has anybody tried something similar to this in a desktop app with success? If so, what technologies and techniques did you use, and what lessons did you learn?
Space

Submission + - Mars Soil Frustrates Phoenix Again 1

Tablizer writes: The Phoenix Mars lander has been frustrated yet again by Mars' odd soil. The wet nature of the soil they are targeting appears to have made it get stuck in the scoop rather than drop into the oven. Past problems with similarly clumpy soil may have damaged the lander because the vibrator had to be used longer than designed, resulting in a short circuit.

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