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Comment Re:I think its time we hack space travel. (Score 1) 273

What about Soyuz, gemini, skylab, or Apollo? Most of that technology should have gone out of patent if there was any. I know Lockheed has a lock on Orion for the moment, but that shouldn't mean we can't try. I just want the basics--enough for people willing to take the risk to go out and try to mine asteroids. I think if we can get that then things will snowball like they did with the USA.

Comment I think its time we hack space travel. (Score 1) 273

I've been working on putting structure to MIT's OCW courses and filling in the blanks where there's missing courses. If we all tried to just go through what is available out there now and focussed on propulsion, life support systems, systems engineering, etc, I think we could get ourselves off the planet and mining asteroids to build craft that could get to this system without having our work belong to any organizations that could keep it to themselves. I know that's quite collectivist for a capitalist, but I believe that math/basic science shouldn't be patentable, and the only way to do this is to race against those who intend to patent everything. I put my thoughts up on Hive13's wiki and moved them to http://hackereducation.wordpre... I am not a professor and I only had 2 years as a college software system architect, so my understanding of curriculum development may need help, but it doesn't matter if the idea grows into something better. We have a way to use sunlight to fuse glass https://www.youtube.com/watch?... and probably could use these: http://www.growbiointensive.or... guys' ideas to grow food. No idea since I'm a physics/cs guy and not a biologist or doctor. I just wish we'd stop waiting for the government to do everything for us and use the damned hand rectangles that contain all of human knowledge to learn ourselves and then go do it!

Submission + - The other Russian cyberattack that never happened (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: Earlier this week, the Washington Post made headlines of its own for reporting that “intelligence sources” were saying Russia had hacked into the U.S. power grid, which is a thing that did not happen. In fact, this wasn't even the first time it hadn't happened — just five years ago, a Senate report tore into Homeland Security for making the same claims with even less evidence. Will legislators ever learn?

Submission + - It's not you, Slashdot, it's me. 5

BuckB writes: When I was a young man, I read Slashdot in order to amaze my friends with useful facts. It was even my homepage for awhile. Sure, there was time when I cheated and went to cnet or wired. With Slashdot, I could count on high quality debate on controversial topics, even though I knew in my heart that most of the readers were Apple fans, while I am a closeted Microsofterian. Now the stories are mainly non-tech — no, that's the real reason — the stories are now mainly fake or click-bait or alarmist, and the discussions are completely uninformed, insulting, to the point of being indistinguishable from an MSNBC forum.

I'll still remember you fondly. And I'll check back now and then. You'll do fine without me, find more people who enjoy insulting contributions and upvoting rumors and gossip. But maybe, just maybe, you'll think back to when you were a leader and attracted the kinds of people like me.

Submission + - SPAM: Steve Wozniak, Elementary School Computer Teacher 1

theodp writes: "In 5th grade," Syambra Moitozo fondly recalls in Steve Wozniak Was My Computer Teacher in 1995, "we’d stay after school so my friend Sara’s dad could teach us about computers. Sara's dad happens to be Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple." By Moitozo's account, Woz was one cool teacher. Not only did he purchase Macintosh PowerBook laptops for the kids (those who mastered the concepts got to keep theirs), get them online with AOL accounts, and equip them with gadgets like laser pens, Woz would even occasionally treat the kids to McDonald’s Happy Meals, which Moitozo notes felt rebelliously exciting for kids who were regularly force-fed granola by their health conscious parents. "It was less important to me what you teach, and more important to motivate people by making things as fun as you can," Wozniak told Moitozo when she reconnected with him nearly 22 years later. “I had that liberty because I was sponsoring the class myself and wasn’t under the guidance of a principal. My intent was not to train people to become computer specialists or work for computer companies. We don’t need everyone in life to be computer experts." Of the 30 kids in her class, Moitozo notes that at least eight went into careers in technology, including a vision-impaired student (who now works at Apple) for whom Woz installed a huge screen at her home so she could see the lessons better.

Submission + - The Intel 4004 Microprocessor Chip Turns 45 1

mcpublic writes: Today marks the 45th anniversary of the 4004, Intel’s first microprocessor chip, announced to the world in the November 15, 1971 issue of Electronic News . It seems that everyone (except Intel) loves to argue whether it was truly the “first microprocessor.” Ken Sherriff's recent article in IEEE Spectrum tells the more complicated story. But what’s indisputable is that the 4004 was the computer chip that started Intel’s pivot from a tiny semiconductor memory company to the personal computing giant we know today. Federico Faggin, an Italian immigrant who invented the self-aligned, silicon gate MOS transistor and buried contacts technology, joined Intel in 1970. He needed both his inventions to squeeze the 4004's roughly 2,300 transistors into a single 3x4mm silicon die. He later went on to design the Intel 8080 and the Zilog Z80 with Masatoshi Shima, a Japanese engineer with a “steel trap mind,” the once-unsung hero of the 4004 team.

Submission + - Defense Distributed Requests Hearing on 3D Firearm Plans Over Freedom Of Speech (reason.com)

SonicSpike writes: In September, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion to enjoin the State Department from censoring the American organization Defense Distributed. The Department back in 2013 threatened them with prosecution for hosting computer files that instruct 3D printers to make a plastic pistol, one the company calls "The Liberator." Defense Distributed have since then complied with the department's demand.

Provocateur and author Cody Wilson, who runs the organization and built and fired the first 3D-printed plastic pistol, believes that State Department threats to treat hosting such files as the equivalent of exporting illegal munitions amount to a prior restraint violation of their First and Second Amendment rights. (The Second Amendment Foundation is also a plaintiff in the suit.)

Defense Distributed's legal team, including Alan Gura (who has won two substantial victories for the Second Amendment at the Supreme Court), filed on Friday a petition to the Fifth Circuit for an en banc rehearing (before the entire Court, not just a three-judge panel) of the injunction request.

The new filing's arguments, quoted and summarized:

"Never before has a federal appellate court declined to enjoin a content-based prior restraint on speech while refusing to consider the merits of a First Amendment challenge...The panel majority's novel decision contradicts a long line of established Supreme Court and circuit precedents governing constitutional claims and injunctive relief—including decisions of this and all other regional federal circuit courts of appeal."

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