mrcaseyj writes: Slashdot should set up a discussion area for ideas to fix the gulf oil leak. Good ideas could be moderated up and thus sifted from the naive noise for the experts to review or take to the engineers at the top. Posts could be made about current conditions and problems. Quick explanations can be given of why the obvious ideas haven't been tried. So I ask Slashdot: What are the problems? Why don't the obvious solutions look feasible to the experts? How can we fix the leak?
mrcaseyj writes: What makes this one of the most important rocket launches in history is that, unlike at other rocket companies, the founder, Elon Musk, is determined to make a reusable rocket. The first stage of this rocket has been fitted with parachutes and covered with cork to protect it from the heat of reentry so that it can be recovered and studied in hopes of making them reusable in the future. The success of this launch solidifies the success of Spacex, and thereby dramaitcally increases the chances of huge benefits to humanity from much more affordable space launch.
mrcaseyj writes: California penal code section 537e makes it a felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison to be in possession of an integrated computer panel where the serial number or any other distinguishing number or identification mark has been covered. It's also a crime punishable by 6 months or a year to cover or obliterate the serial number or identification mark of just about any other personal property, from tools to CDs and much more. While a district attorney might have a hard time prosecuting you for such a crime, it appears a police officer could still take you to jail without having to worry about getting in trouble, because covering is apparently illegal by the letter of the law.
mrcaseyj writes: SpaceX has posted a video of flight three of their Falcon 1 rocket, and unlike the initial video this one includes the disastrous collision when the first stage surged ahead and collided with the second stage. The bump was mild so perhaps the big problem was when the engine ignited and blasted the first stage just as it re-contacted the second stage. I'm surprised the news media doesn't cover SpaceX more, considering that if they can make their reusable rockets work then the much lower costs may put all the other rocket companies out of business, and enable a new age in space flight. Also, lets all send SpaceX an email begging them to seed a torrent of the broadcast quality launch video.
mrcaseyj writes: Microsoft has criticized some banks for no longer using secure connections for entire login pages and only encrypting the password as it goes back to the bank. This prevents simple password sniffing but doesn't prevent a man in the middle attack from replacing the unsecured login page with one that has disabled encryption. This is especially a problem if you are using an unencrypted wireless connection such as at a coffee shop, because hackers can easily use the airpwn package to intercept the login page and steal your password. An easy remedy for when a secure page isn't available is to enter a bad username and password which usually brings up a secure page telling you to try again. But can you really trust your money to a bank that doesn't even offer the option of a secure login page?