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4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover 101

SternisheFan points out that there is a great new panorama made from shots from the Curiosity Rover. "Sweep your gaze around Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring, with this 4-billion-pixel panorama stitched together from 295 images. ...The entire image stretches 90,000 by 45,000 pixels and uses pictures taken by the rover's two MastCams. The best way to enjoy it is to go into fullscreen mode and slowly soak up the scenery — from the distant high edges of the crater to the enormous and looming Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual destination."

Comment Re:Meanwhile in California (Score 1) 734

A reason for opposing testing as the sole metric is that no one yet has found a completely fair and practical way to do it. Additionally, statewide testing usually means that all but the brightest students have to spend the majority of their schooling being taught how to take the test, rather than actually learning anything.

Comment Re:Quote from article (Score 2) 650

I don't quite understand the level of hate against the MPAA.

I understand the hate against the RIAA, because the only real cost in producing a record is equipment, which is normally handled by the small recording studios anyway (which typically get paid at the point of recording). In the age of digital distribution, the RIAA seems pointless, since it does little to protect artists but seems to only benefit outdated middle men.

But at the moment, bankrolling a Hollywood-quality movie is no small undertaking; if the movie studios have no way of knowing that they'll recoup expenses, how can they shell out the money? (As an aside: we're already seeing some of this manifested as an aversion to financing risk-taking movies. Hence the endless sequels, remakes, and formulaic movies.). While I'll concede that the MPAA members have taken a very long time to make it easy to legally download movies (feeding piracy in the meantime), we're not at the point where high-quality movies can be made without the middle men surviving and taking in profits.

In the future, I'm sure the MPAA will become just as useless and antiquated as the RIAA. But for now, they serve a useful purpose.

Comment Re:Hegemony, schmegemony (Score 1) 395

But oil is consumed, and is absolutely certain to run out. Lithium can be recovered by recharging the cell, and even once the cell reaches the end of its lifetime, the lithium hasn't gone anywhere and could be recovered.

Besides, no one familiar with energy economics is pushing lithium-ion/next-gen for large-scale installations (read: grid storage), which is where the plan to use lithium-ion would certainly unravel. Once you move larger than a car, fuel cells are much more feasible.

Comment Re:I was a TA at a top engineering school (Score 1) 333

It happens further up the chain, too: I had a professor in undergrad who found out, from his TA, that a good percentage of students were cheating on his exams. He went berserk, called out every single one of them, and told them they were receiving an "F" for the term.

Turns out a couple of them had a nice little chat with the department chair, and suddenly the professor was instructed to allow them back into class, and give them no less than a "D" on the exam (which would allow them to pass the class; only a 2.0 average was required to graduate). I guess keeping the matriculation rate high among upperclassmen meant more to the department than academic honesty...

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