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Comment NASA=Innovate Private=Sell It (Score 1) 508

I was thinking, yesterday, how NASA's decision to ditch all the routine stuff they do in favor of developing the tech and strategies for greater space exploration was a step the right direction! Then along comes this Astronaut hero...

I don't think I'm the furthest thing from an Astronaut but I'm pretty far from it. With that said, Niel Armstrong is showing his age here. If you leave something stagnant it's gonna keep doing what it's doing. In NASA's case that means more unbalanced budgets, overpriced processes that occur on a regular basis incurring large recurring expenses, and all the rest of the garbage NASA is taking heat for of late. If NASA cannot do the regular stuff (regular, here, being a relative term) without blowing their budget than something needs to change. I say that NASA needs to take EVERYTHING we've payed them to do and give it, without exception, to any public\private entity that can use it (or for that matter - even cares about it - government transparency right?). Then you let the private sector develop and refine those technologies and processes like Virgin Galactic is doing so that the private sector will be able to fly anyone to space, the space station or the moon for a ticket price that is relatively comparable, in price, to first class Airline travel. Once NASA is no longer responsible for being the bus to the space station or, being the really overpriced satellite maintenance\installation technician, THEN they will be able to get back to some Space Tech research (I dunno, something like what Obama has announced for the future - take that Neil). Maybe after all that we could be a "Space Faring Race" like you see in movies.

I guess my point here is something like:
"In it's present state NASA is becoming more of a hindrance to the potential of human space activities. They need let private companies take over the repetitive work and refocus on what they are REALLY good at: Getting the smartest people in America together to come up with new and applicable technologies to lead the way in to space."

Furthermore, the way I see it, NASA is the space equivalent of DARPA for Earth-Based tech. DARPA does all this, seriously, rediculously advanced research for the military, give the results to the military for use and a decade or two later, us civies get to use it. NASA should do the same thing.

Comment IM+ (Score 1) 750

IM+ is the iDevice multi-chat client you're looking for. It costs $10 (up from $6 when I bought it). It's made by Shape who apparently makes it for several different cell phones. With it, you can stay logged in (via PUSH) to your Skype, AIM, MSN, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Google Talk (Jabber), ICQ, MySpace and any Jabber accounts for up to 3 days without opening the App. All chat messages are displayed as popup\system messages on your iPhone.

Comment Re:Already exists\being developed. (Score 1) 351

Ya, I completely missed the point of the argument. I thought this was suggesting using a satellite for detecting Tsunamis not direct citizen notification. That's just dumb. However, it is a more novel idea that just using satellites to FIND Tsunamis.

My bad. Still though, kdawson, maybe a good idea but, one that will never happen for a lot of different reasons.

Comment Re:So, how do we detect tsunamis from space, exact (Score 1) 351

The benefit to Satellite-based early detection\warning systems would be the speed and dependability of the system (hopefully, one that would be able penetrate weather to always be able to see the sea). I think you are correct in assuming that it may be more expensive than some other alternatives though. However, when you talk about training civilians you have consider the recurring costs. I suppose the parents could teach the children who could teach theirs and so on but, it won't be something that just happens automatically. If you had a satellite always watching for abnormal changes in the oceans' surface topography\height it would be able to trigger alerts in seconds instead of minutes. Those alerts could be a combination of warning sirens, emails, Texts, Tweets or any other communication. That would allow an automated alert to be sent to all effected entities possibly under a minute after the tsunami has formed. As well, as alerting citizens, it would also give emergency responders an extra couple of minutes. A couple of minutes being a significant benefit in an emergency scenario.

Comment Already exists\being developed. (Score 1) 351

Unfortunately, as with most, this idea is not new:

A google search for "satellite early warning tsunami":
Comes up with the following results:

I'm not picking apart your idea. Just you googleing (How the hell do you spell Googleing? Googling?) skills, I guess.

And, didn't I see a /. story about this a few months ago? Maybe around the time of the last big Tsunami?

- Zotdogg

Comment Existing Infrastructure, Money, and Confidence (Score 1) 511

My "two cents" is that the primary barriers to a fully paperless office are the existing business\office infrastructure, the cost of paperless technologies, and confidence in the paperless technologies.

Existing Infrustructure
Though the cost of upgrading the infrastructure might be a part of the barrier existing infrastructure poses, I think the primary effect it produces is a barrier to the transition to paperless. Even if all the costs were covered for a transition to paperless, the existing infrastructure present in (what I would guess to be >90% of) companies was assembled in, around, and to support the use of paper. Just as there is another /. article today that talks about how the OS model needs to be re-evaluated\designed, the way common business practices take place may need to be rethought with regards to the pros and cons that paperless technology offer and have new infrastructure designed\built around them.

Assuming the infrastructure was ready to facilitate the transition to paperless, the cost of the new paperless technologies would have be addressed\covered. These costs are likely to be significant when providing the necessary technologies to replace everyday use\representation of paper in a way that would encourage the users not to go buy a printer, pads and boxes of pens on their own. It may be tempting to just buy another monitor for those with one or large monitors for "more demanding" use. Unfortunately, while this addresses the visual aspect of data usage, it does nothing to replicate the "tactile data manipulation" present in the use of paper and writing utensils. Just to drive this point home, the most natural paperless arrangement I've seen has been in movies (no, not the super-cool-glove-with-dots-on-the-fingers-projection-on-glass-wall-computer(s) from Minority Report - that tech was pretty cool but seemed more cool than useful). The paperless setup that I've seen and like the best is in "The Island" in the bad-guy's office. He had an office that was concrete, metal and glass that could electronically transition from clear to frosted\opaque (tech that already exists). He had no computer on his desk. Hardly anything in his office. What he did have was a desk with a frosted\clear glass pane for the desktop surface. Of course you probably already know\guessed that the computing environment was projected on that frosted glass but what I thought was the unique part was that he had a couple objects sitting on his desk that interacted with it. The two objects (at least that were used and I remember) were a "hand sized" metal pyramid and a metal pen\stylus. The pen stylus was used for all the things you might imagine (pointing, clicking, drawing) and the pyramid was used more as a control object that would do more functional things like move windows, change modes of windows, and if I guess: Performed things like power on\off, volume control, brightness control....and so on.
That setup seemed to provide the most ergonomic "paper replacing" computing environment that I've seen but it WAS built in an evil lair and, from what I gather, those aren't known to be cheap.

Assuming that an office\company was able to prepare their business infrastructure for the transition and they could afford it, they would then be faced with what I see to be the last hurdle of convincing EVERYONE in the office to use it for ALL processes for which they might have previously used paper. This would probably take the form of more resiliant and internally publicized backup systems. Users would need ultimate confidence that their document isn't going to evaporate in to the ether under ANY circumstance at ANY time (kinda like a piece of paper). Sure, if the building burns down paper would be gone, so maybe you can slide on that one but, that is where a RESILIENT backup system that had one of the pillars of data backup in place (Off-Site Backups) would prove beneficial. One usb hard drive plugged in to your server with a scheduled batch file to copy data is not going to cut it.

Comment Terminator Tag (Score 1) 65

How has this story not been tagged with the "Terminator" tag.

Maybe it's because this isn't such a new thing (according to previous posters) but it seems to be that the average post length for this story seems to be very low and they're all about one SciFi-esque self-sustaining robotic race or another. I mean, come on, if you've been following /. here with Religious-like or even RSS-like regularity, you would have seen how we are raising our own AI in it's own little sandboxed area compelete with environmental risk\reward system meant to teach the AI, how DARPA is VERY close to having a working (and almost practical) exoskeleton, how image recognition is progressing, how drones can already choose "targets of interest" (at least I think I remember something about that one), how Robot walking algorithms\programs are old hat, how robotic hands and other apendages already exist, how robotic human-analog faces are progressing, and on a less related note - I still can't get over how Skynet-y this Lockheed Multip Kill Vehicle vid is.

Does anyone know of one site that is tracking this kind of development. I'm envisioning a site with something like the Vitruvian Man, maybe built in flash so that you could hover over and see the collection of data available on the web for that part of the "body". IE - Head: ImageRecog, cameras, facial; Torso: BioReactors, Computer\AI systems, mechanical muscle analogs; Arms: mechanical control of robotic digits, robotic weaponry; Legs: Asimo, DARPA exoskeleton. (sounds like a good project, that I'll never get around to).

- Zotdogg

Comment Fox News is untrustworthy (Score 1) 23

I was JUST having a conversation about how the anchors on Fox News will say anything to entertain regardless of whether it is based purely on speculation, wild interpretation or even no facts at all. While I am impressed that there is a "Scientific Discovery" listed on the article with a description bemoaning the lack of homosexual portrayals of any kind in movies, I fail to see any links to any actual documented research in all cases except the high heels case. That and it was probably just a perfect excuse to rip on Disney. (The right doesn't like Disney because of their "World Days" or whatever they're called at the Disneyland resorts where they includ(ed) gays as normal people.)

I find it kinda funny that they are referencing journals that their demographic will probably never see. Maybe that's Fox News' strategy for convincing the gullible: "Let's get our stories from sources our audience will never see. Once we find those stories, we'll come up with some sensational interpretation of them that'll get us some exposure." Too bad they can't expose the story only to the gullible, restricting it from the more discerning. When the discerning see it, they immediately (or at least as soon as they see the FN icon) realize that Fox News has done a good job of roping them in to looking at another on one of their yarns and close the page. (This part get's a little pretentious --->) Then open then open the page again to see if any of the sources could be verified. Then close the page again, only this time frustrated enough to sign in to their /. profile to rant about it. (/pretentious) Not that any of that matters because their audience has already been brainwashed by so much interpretive data, they'll never listen to anyone speaking the plain ol' boring truth.

No fault to /. here for using a Fox News article for a story (they'll use anything to get that headline anyways =-), for they wouldn't be Fair and Balanced if they didn't.

Comment Fantastic Idea - On The Other Side (Score 1) 305

At the risk of parroting: I think this is an excellent and rare chance for us to get in some ?real world?, ?field work? (not on the world or a field) of any of the ideas we've all imagined.

Original Thought (I hope): I just want them to start messing with the trajectory(s) AFTER it passes Earth on it's own.

Has anyone thought of attaching a probe to this or any other asteroids? Seems like it would be a good way to do some exploration using the momentum of the asteroid.

Comment SteadyState (Score 1) 131

I realize that you said you prefer a Linux box but in the event you decide\cave and use Windows, check out the SteadyState app from MS. My favorite feature is it's ability to keep what amounts to an image of itself on a separate partition that it restores from on reboot. That is in addition to all the features to lock down the interface, of course.

- Zotdogg

Comment Re:wow! (Score 1) 232

"Sharepoint does this"....

COME ON! I can't believe Sharepoint is even being referenced as an even half-way acceptable solution to provide a search method for remote volumes with LESS overhead. Not only would you have to install the broken piece of shit known as Sharepoint and all it's overhead componentry but you would also have to make all kinds of changes to your existing computing system(s) as a whole that would serve no necessary purpose other than sinking MS's (not biased enough to use a $) teeth further in to your system and enabling a system that BARELY works anyhow.

The best solution looks to be the one Blowdart posted below:
"Oh well, if we're recommending MS solutions on slashdot (ah karma suicide) then good old Windows Desktop Search works just as well. Since V4.0 came out you can have WDS on other machines, indexing away and it's the remote index that is queried - so no need for local machines to index remote shares. Plus, like sharepoint (spit) indexing, and Index Server before that it uses iFilters, so format aware indexing is available for most of the common formats a business uses."

See, not necessarily biased against Microsoft. I'm just biased against good-for-nothing, useless, waste of time, expensive, over-hyped, retarded, cock-gurgling, card-tabled, takes-you-12-times-as-long-to-set-up-and-do-half-the-work-as-not-using-it software.

Seriously, shame on anyone suggesting Sharepoint as a solution to this question! WTF!?!?!!!

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