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Comment Re:Dead end (Score 2) 223

Waiting for the day when an object database or something like it is at the heart of a modern popular OS.

That is basically what Smalltalk was (except not that popular). When Apple went to Xerox they copied the look and made it popular, but they didn't really understand the implementation at the time.


Android Fork Brings Froyo To 12 Smartphones 193

jj110888 writes "CyanogenMod has just been updated to version 6.0, bringing Android Open Source Project 2.2 (Froyo) to several devices. This fork includes enchantments to many of the built-in apps, Ad-hoc network connectivity, OpenVPN support, Bluetooth HID, Incognito browsing, extensive control over audio and UI elements, and more found in the extensive CHANGELOG. The CyanogenMod team uses an instance of Google's gerrit tool for code review and patch submission, helping make this former backport of Android 1.6 to T-Mobile's G1 into thriving development for the G1/MyTouch/MyTouch 1.2, Droid, Nexus One, HTC Aria, HTC Desire, HTC Evo 4G (minus 4G and HDMI output), Droid Incredible, and MyTouch Slide. HTC Hero (including Droid Eris) are coming soon for 6.0, with Samsung Galaxy S devices expected to be supported in 6.1."

9 Ideas For Coping With Space Junk 149

An anonymous reader writes "The space age has filled Earth's orbit with all manner of space junk, from spent rocket stages to frozen bags of astronaut urine, and the problem keeps getting worse. NASA's orbital debris experts estimate that there are currently about 19,000 pieces of space junk that are larger than 10 centimeters, and about 500,000 slightly smaller objects. Researchers and space companies are plotting ways to clean up the mess, and a new photo gallery from Discover Magazine highlights some of the proposals. They range from the cool & doable, like equipping every satellite with a high-tech kite tail for deployment once the satellite is defunct, to the cool & unlikely, like lasers in space."

Homebrew Cray-1 140

egil writes "Chris Fenton built his own fully functional 1/10 scale Cray-1 supercomputer. True to the original, it includes the couch-seat, but is also binary compatible with the original. Instead of the power-hungry ECL technology, however, the scale model is built around a Xilinx Spartan-3E 1600 development board. All software is available if you want to build one for your own living room. The largest obstacle in the project is to find original software."

Comment Re:From an Ares engineer: Let Ares die. (Score 5, Insightful) 342

I am also a NASA engineer that thinks it's best to let Ares go.

NASA did a lot of research and science before the Constellation program sucked all the funds from everything else NASA does, and Constellation is still at least 3 billion dollars per year short of what it needs to actually get built. I don't see any of these senators proposing the borrowing or tax increases needed to realistically implement a manned return to the moon, so the chances of it happening are approximately zero. Meanwhile, it's killing all of NASA's other missions.

Given that, it make sense to restore the balance back toward research and technology development and try to get cheaper commercial access to LEO going until we have the technology (fuel depots, electric propulsion) required to affordably go farther.

Classic Games (Games)

OpenTTD 1.0.0 Released 107

Gmer writes "Eming.com reports that OpenTTD, the open source clone of the Microprose game Transport Tycoon Deluxe, has reached a milestone. OpenTTD 1.0.0 has been released 6 years after work started on the first version, with the help of hundreds of contributors and thousands of testers/players. Over 30 language translations are considered complete, and OpenTTD is available for *BSD, Linux, Solaris and Windows. OpenTTD is a business simulation game in which the player is in control of a transport company and can compete against rival companies to make as much profit as possible by transporting passengers and various goods by road, rail, sea or air."

Comment Re:Oh boy. This IS the future. (Score 3, Interesting) 217

My Dad's first calculator cost $300 and it took a full pack of AA's and it had glow-y red numbers inside tiny light bulbs or vacuum tubes or something.

Those were Nixie Tubes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixie_tube

And it was the most exciting thing in the world! If there had been an internet back then, there would have been feverish discussion and hardware hacks and all kinds of 'boy' chatter regarding it and other devices competing for the same market.

We mostly talked in person back then, but it was just as exciting.

But nobody talks about pocket calculators much these days. We've solved them. They're done. They work perfectly...

Why can't I find one as good at being a calculator as my nearly 30 year old HP-15c?

Comment Re:Economy of Scale (Score 2, Interesting) 283

Sure, scientists and such are clever and will try to figure out how to continue to expand the sciences, even without financial support systems of the past, but the demand in aeronautics will continue to diminish, fewer experts will get involved, and any incentives to stay will simply go away.

This budget restores funding to the science and technology development programs that Constellation cannibalized when it was under-funded. Aeronautics gets a 15% increase, for instance.

The truth is, there's no great plan, instead these cuts are politically motivated...

NASA's budget was increased, not cut.

Constellation was a huge unfunded mandate. It sucked all the funds from everything else NASA did. The Augustine report that studied future options for NASA said it would take 3 billion additional dollars per year to implement the program, and it gave several better options for NASA in the unlikely case that the $3 billion was available (but it isn't).

I see these changes as being common sense, not politically motivated. No politician of any party would want to borrow the money required to see Constellation through.

Comment Greedy... (Score 1) 193

I bet that they have lost more money paying people to develop DRM technology than they have lost from people downloading music illegally -- especially when a lot of people then buy the whole cd after downloading a few tracks online. What idiots! Their greed will eventually ruin them. (It's doing it already -- just look at the rise of creative commons and other similar licenses for music and whatnot...) I understand that downloading music and other media illegally is illegal but to fight for every penny when you're losing money doing it...that's just stupid and greedy.

Minnesota Introduces World's First Carbon Tariff 303

hollywoodb writes "The first carbon tax to reduce the greenhouse gases from imports comes not between two nations, but between two states. Minnesota has passed a measure to stop carbon at its border with North Dakota. To encourage the switch to clean, renewable energy, Minnesota plans to add a carbon fee of between $4 and $34 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions to the cost of coal-fired electricity, to begin in 2012 ... Minnesota has been generally pushing for cleaner power within its borders, but the utility companies that operate in MN have, over the past decades, sited a lot of coal power plants on the relatively cheap and open land of North Dakota, which is preparing a legal battle against Minnesota over the tariff."

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.