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Comment Limited usefulness (Score 3, Insightful) 139

They had a photo with an obscured face and the same photo with unobscured face in their training set. It seems obvious a computer can match those two. The solution would be to use unique photos, not uploaded anywhere, as the source for obscuration and only publish the obscured version.

Submission + - Lost Doctor Who classic returns as an animation on November 5th. (doctorwhotv.co.uk)

BigBadBus writes: The lost 1966 Doctor Who story "The Power of the Daleks" is to be released as an animation from the BBC; the episodes will be "broadcast" one at a time from November 5th (the 50th anniversary of its one and only UK transmission) and for the next five days with a DVD release coming later on in the month. The BBC has previously animated episodes if it meant completing a story with only one or two installments missing; they had also done this with a lost show from the "Dad's Army" sitcom and had inquired of Dr Who fans if they would be willing to pay for animations of completely lost stories. This still leaves 97 live action episodes to find; the last were in 2013.

Comment Re:too bad (Score 4, Informative) 70

If there was a failure, it wasn't a failure of mission control. Nothing they could have done would have changed the outcome.

The landing had a combination of problems. Harpoons and thrusters not firing (design flaws), and the landing zone having different geology than had been assumed (nobody had landed on a comet before, so no definitive data to go by).

Despite the problems, the mission gathered most of the data they wanted. Not an overwhelming fail by any stretch of the imagination.

Comment Re:Not a reflown first stage (Score 1) 338

Those reports are incorrect. In this video you can see (a few minutes after the initial explosion) only the tower is left standing.
First explosion is the second stage. The first stage explodes right after that. A few seconds later you can see the payload fairing fall (it was held in place by the arms at the top of the tower), followed by the satellite exploding.

Submission + - Fukushima to get "ice walls" to stop ground and sea water contamination (nytimes.com)

KindMind writes: The New York Times reports that Japan is freezing the ground around the Fukushima nuclear plant to stop the flow of groundwater and seawater contamination. From the article: "Built by the central government at a cost of 35 billion yen, or some $320 million, the ice wall is intended to seal off the reactor buildings within a vast, rectangular-shaped barrier of man-made permafrost. If it becomes successfully operational as soon as this autumn, the frozen soil will act as a dam to block new groundwater from entering the buildings."

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 59

The cost of the propellant is irrelevant. The goal is reusability. This is difficult because of the propellant mass fraction a rocket needs (i.e. the fraction of its launch mass dedicated to propellants). For a pure rocket this is in the region of 95%, so the entire rocket structure and payload must be crammed into the remaining 5%. This makes it difficult to do reusability, because heat shielding etc. eat into your already-tiny payload fraction.
When you can use atmospheric oxygen, the propellant mass fraction goes down, i.e. more of your launch weight can reach orbit. This makes it feasible to build a heavier structure that includes reusability features.

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