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Comment Re:I think this means (Score 1) 255

Firing simple rockets into the pressure vessels... with a hardened sensor package that was shielded enough to withstand the impact but yet exposed enough to measure the environment... with a radio that will work in the presence of massive amounts of ionizing radiation. Certainly we have enough unobtainium by this day and age.

Comment This Just In (Score 5, Funny) 129

Is this author saying that when scientists have to prioritize limited personel, time, and money based on incomplete information they sometimes arrive at a suboptimal solution? Shameful.

They should probably wait until they know everything about what they'd like to study before they start studying it - that would really speed things up.

Comment If he believes any of this, they are doomed. (Score 1) 299

> RIM is still a very innovative company. BlackBerry 10 will absolutely prove this.

Translation - we have been and are an innovative company, and let me point out this vaporware as my sole example of this.

I also like the part about their strong discipline with regard to product delays - on a product that's had numerous delays.

They were 10 years late to the touchscreen party, 5 years late to the functional web browser party, and they are still trying to show up to the UI party.

Comment As far as I can tell, this is a non-story. (Score 1) 1167

It's more of a clarification, not a drastic change. For example, the $27.63 is already in current law! Things like "similarly skilled worker" are just spelled out with more examples.

Current law (as of Jan. 7, 2011), from

(17) any employee who is a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or other similarly skilled worker, whose primary duty is—

        (A) the application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications;
        (B) the design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications;
        (C) the design, documentation, testing, creation, or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or
        (D) a combination of duties described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) the performance of which requires the same level of skills, and

who, in the case of an employee who is compensated on an hourly basis, is compensated at a rate of not less than $27.63 an hour.

That really isn't very different from the Proposed bill, from story:

(17) any employee working in a computer or information technology occupation (including, but not limited to, work related to computers, information systems, components, networks, software, hardware, databases, security, internet, intranet, or websites) as an analyst, programmer, engineer, designer, developer, administrator, or other similarly skilled worker, whose primary duty is--

        (A) the application of systems, network or database analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine or modify hardware, software, network, database, or system functional specifications;
        (B) the design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, securing, configuration, integration, debugging, modification of computer or information technology, or enabling continuity of systems and applications;
        (C) directing the work of individuals performing duties described in subparagraph (A) or (B), including training such individuals or leading teams performing such duties; or
        (D) a combination of duties described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C), the performance of which requires the same level of skill;

who is compensated at an hourly rate of not less than $27.63 an hour or who is paid on a salary basis at a salary level as set forth by the Department of Labor in part 541 of title 29, Code of Federal Regulations. An employee described in this paragraph shall be considered an employee in a professional capacity pursuant to paragraph (1).

Comment Re:minimum altitude (Score 1) 435

Um... you overlooked FAR 91.119a. You need to be able to land "safely" if the engine fails. This doesn't necessarily mean that you need to be able to glide to shore, but you do need to give yourself time to react. There's no set limit, but you should be able to justify your choice in a little room with a bright light.

Comment Re:javascript (Score 1) 799

+1 javascript

If you're not careful, you can learn a lot of bad habits in Javascript since it'll let you do some fairly messy stuff. This is more than made up for by the lack of a "compile" step, easy and pretty UI, etc. It's easy to do fun little projects with Javascript. Use it to set the hook, then branch into more "formal" languages. If he enjoys programming, he's going to learn Javascript eventually, so you might as well start out with it.

I can take an HTML/Javascript file with a interactive button and a text box and easily explain every line to most anybody. I can't think of a more important criteria.

Feed HP inkjet printer kicks out environmentally friendly circuit (

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets

It's been nearly three years since we first reported on printable circuit boards, but researchers in the UK are still working to hone the process. Leeds University's Seyed Bidoki was recently able to load a "standard Hewlett Packard inkjet printer with a solution of metal salts and water" and print out an actual electronic circuit. The mysterious "silver salt solution" and vitamin C mixture could be used to "pave the way for safer and cheaper electronics manufacturing," and moreover, this cheap and easy alternative should certainly be a hit with the environmentally conscience crowd. This method utilizes a water-soluble base, which differs from the less green solvents used in polymer ink / graphite paste varieties from before, but even individuals working with the project admit that ousting the current regime will be difficult. Still, the crew is pressing forward with this toxin-free approach, and hopes to elicit the help of "industrial jet printers" before long to speed things up.

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