camperdave writes: Author Daniel Keyes, 86, died June 15, 2014.
KKeyes is best known for his Hugo Award winning classic SF story “Flowers for Algernon” (F&SF, 1959), the Nebula Award winning and bestselling 1966 novel expansion, and the film version Charly (1968).
Keyes was born August 9, 1927 in New York. He worked variously as an editor, comics writer, fashion photographer, and teacher before joining the faculty of Ohio University in 1966, where he taught as a professor of English and creative writing, becoming professor emeritus in 2000. He married Aurea Georgina Vaquez in 1952, who predeceased him in 2013; they had two daughters.
camperdave writes: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is set to unveil the Dragon V2 at a media event from Hawthorne, California, tonight at 7 pm. Pacific. The ‘Dragon V2’ is an upgraded, man rated version of the unmanned spaceship that has made several successful cargo trips to the International Space Station. The new craft will carry a mix of cargo and up to a seven crewmembers to the ISS. According to Musk, this is "Actual flight design hardware of crew Dragon, not a mockup,"
Following the space shuttle’s forced retirement in 2011, US astronauts have been totally dependent on the Russian Soyuz capsules for ferry rides to orbit and back. The crisis in Ukraine, which has resulted in some US economic sanctions imposed against Russia, also has the potential to threaten US access to the ISS as the Russian government considers reciprocal sanctions of its own.
“Sounds like this might be a good time to unveil the new Dragon Mk 2 spaceship that @SpaceX has been working on with @NASA.” Musk tweeted.
SpaceX is one of three commercial space companies competing for funding from NASA's Commercial Crew Transportation Capability program.
Anyone wishing to watch the unveiling can join the webcast at www.spacex.com/webcast at 7:00pm Pacific, 10:00pm Eastern.
camperdave writes: I was recently going through a pile of receipts and other papers to put them into date order. Lacking one of those fancy sorting sticks they have at the office, I wound up with all sorts of piles and I was getting confused as to which pile was for what when it struck me: Why don't I use one of the many sorting algorithms I learned back in my computer science classes? So swept all the papers back into the box and did a radix sort on them. It worked like a charm. Since then, I've had occasion to try quicksorts and merge sorts.
So, when you have to physically sort things, what algorithm (if any) do you use?
camperdave writes: Douglas Engelbart, inventor of computer mouse and so much more, passed away in the late hours of July 2 at his home in Atherton, California. He was 88 years old.
The idea for the mouse occurred to Dr. Engelbart in 1964 while he was attending a computer graphics conference. He was musing about how to move a cursor on a computer display.
In December 1968, he set the computing world on fire with a remarkable demonstration before more than a thousand of the world’s leading computer scientists at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco.
In what would later be known as "The Mother of all Demos", he sat on stage in front of a mouse, a keyboard and other controls and projected the computer display onto a 22-foot-high video screen behind him. In little more than an hour, he showed how a networked, interactive computing system would allow information to be shared rapidly among collaborating scientists. He demonstrated how a mouse, which he invented just four years earlier, could be used to control a computer. He demonstrated video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, object addressing and dynamic file linking, and a collaborative real-time editor.
camperdave writes: Lonesome George, the last remaining tortoise of his kind and a conservation icon, died on Sunday of unknown causes, the Galapagos National Park said. He was thought to be about 100 years old.
camperdave writes: At 10:43 EST today, SpaceX launched a Falcon9 rocket topped with their Dragon capsule. The objectives of today's launch are: Launch and separate from Falcon 9, orbit Earth, transmit telemetry, receive commands, demonstrate orbital maneuvering and thermal control, re-enter atmosphere, and recover Dragon spacecraft. The launch was scheduled for earlier today, however telemetry problems forced a delay.
Dragon is a free-flying, reusable spacecraft being developed by SpaceX under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. SpaceX plans on ferrying astronauts and supplies to the international space station later next year.
camperdave writes: Leslie Nielsen, star of Forbidden Planet,The Poseidon Adventure and most famously for the Airplane! and Naked Gun comedies, has passed away at the age of 84. For the past twelve days he had been in hospital fighting a case of pneumonia. Nielsen has appeared in over 100 movies as well as numerous television shows, and is probably most remembered for his role as Lt. Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun films.
camperdave writes: Apparently, the astronauts won't have to fix the gouge in the heat shield tiles after all.
"After a week of intense scrutiny and a battery of tests, mission managers concluded that the small, but deep, divot in Endeavour's undercarriage will not require repair during a planned Saturday spacewalk, said John Shannon, chairman of NASA's STS-118 mission management team."
From what I understand, there is a structural support frame directly behind the gouge and the NASA folks seem to think this will conduct enough heat away from the shuttle's hull to prevent a melt through.
camperdave writes: Natasha Stillwell, one of the hosts of Daily Planet, will be doing her last show tonight, Fri., Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT. She has been a fixture on the Discovery Channel's science magazine show since 2002, serving as a co-host alongside Jay Ingram.
It has been a difficult decision to leave Discovery Channel and Canada, but I'm excited about applying my experience to new broadcast opportunities in the U.K.," continues Stillwell. "In the last four years I've been lucky enough to travel the globe, bringing the wonderful world of science back to Canada. It's been a rollercoaster ride of once-in-a-lifetime experiences since the day I arrived; from tracking jaguars in the Argentine jungle, to conversing with robots in Japan and washing the windows of skyscrapers in downtown Toronto! I owe a massive thank you to Paul Lewis and Discovery Channel for the opportunity to work on Daily Planet and I'd like to thank the Canadian public for their warmth and generous support during my time in this magnificent country."
Natasha will be returning to the United Kingdom to pursue professional opportunities closer to her family.
More details here. No announcement has been made yet as to who will be Jay's new co-host.
camperdave writes: I am in the process of building a system for a friend. She would like a video capture/TV tuner card of some sort. I have no experience with these devices, so I would like to get the opinion and advice of the Slashdot community. What are the advantages/disadvantages of using PCI based cards vs USB devices? Are there features to look for, such as mpeg encoding? Any caveats, thing to avoid?