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Submission + - Why the EU Mars lander Schiaparelli Crashed (

wooferhound writes: As Schiaparelli descended under its parachute, its radar Doppler altimeter functioned correctly and the measurements were included in the guidance, navigation and control system. However, saturation – maximum measurement – of the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) had occurred shortly after the parachute deployment. The IMU measures the rotation rates of the vehicle. Its output was generally as predicted except for this event, which persisted for about one second – longer than would be expected.
When merged into the navigation system, the erroneous information generated an estimated altitude that was negative – that is, below ground level. This in turn successively triggered a premature release of the parachute and the backshell, a brief firing of the braking thrusters and finally activation of the on-ground systems as if Schiaparelli had already landed. In reality, the vehicle was still at an altitude of around 3.7 km.

Submission + - A powerful 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Chile's coast (

wooferhound writes: A powerful 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Chile's coast on Wednesday, according to a preliminary assessment from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake's epicenter was about 54 kilometers (34 miles) west of Illapel, Chile, USGS said. It occurred around 7:54 p.m. (6:54 p.m. ET) and had a depth of 33 kilometers (20.5 miles).

Chile's national emergency agency issued a tsunami alert, ordering evacuations in coastal areas from Arica to Puerto Aysen.

Submission + - Chinese Space Probe flies around Moon and returns to Earth (

wooferhound writes: China has completed its first return mission to the moon with the successful re-entry and landing on Earth of an unmanned probe, state media reported. The mission was launched to test technology to be used in the Chang’e-5, China’s fourth lunar probe, which aims to gather and return samples from the surface in 2017. The military-run space project has plans for a permanent orbiting station by 2020 and eventually to send a human to the moon.
Plus a nice picture of the Moon and Earth in the same frame

Submission + - FedEx Carbon-Neutral Envelope to minimize your carbon footprint ( 2

wooferhound writes: FedEx selected BP Target Neutral, a not-for-profit provider that gives companies like FedEx the chance to offset their CO2 emissions by funding projects aimed at neutralizing global CO2 emissions. Target Neutral is monitored by the Independent Assurance and Advisory Panel to ensure that projects meet the highest international standards and funds go to verified emission-reduction projects.
When FedEx pays to offset the emissions associated with shipping via FedEx Express envelopes, every penny goes directly to projects that prevent the release of CO2, or remove it from the atmosphere.

Submission + - Harrison Ford hurts ankle on 'Star Wars VII' set (

wooferhound writes: Harrison Ford suffered an ankle injury while filming the next "Star Wars" installment, Disney Studios said Thursday.
The injury happened on the set of "Episode VII" Thursday, a Disney statement said. "He was taken to a local hospital and is receiving care. Shooting will continue as planned while he recuperates."
A number of images from the secretive "Episode VII" set have appeared online, showing, among other things, a replica of Han Solo's Millennium Falcon under construction.

Submission + - Chicago Gun Ban Declaired Unconstitutional (

wooferhound writes: - A federal judge ruled Monday that Chicago's ban on virtually all sales and transfers of firearms is unconstitutional.

"The stark reality facing the City each year is thousands of shooting victims and hundreds of murders committed with a gun. But on the other side of this case is another feature of government: certain fundamental rights are protected by the Constitution, put outside government's reach, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense under the Second Amendment," wrote U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang.

Submission + - Cord-cutting: Pay-TV companies lose 113,000 customers in quarter (

wooferhound writes: This year will probably be the worst for the pay-TV industry in terms of customer retention, according to a report Tuesday by independent research firm MoffettNathanson.

Veteran Wall Street media analysts Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson calculated that the pay-TV industry — which includes cable, satellite and phone companies offering video service — lost 113,000 subscribers during the third quarter.

Cable operators lost 687,000 subscribers in the period, according to their estimates. That was a far steeper decline than the year-ago period. And though the satellite TV and telephone companies picked up about 574,000 subscribers, it wasn't enough to erase the net loss for the industry.

"The pay-TV industry has reported its worst 12-month stretch ever," Moffett and Nathanson wrote.

Submission + - Remote Control Breast Implants (

wooferhound writes: mother of two had both breasts removed. Her next step, reconstruction, but doctor Ankit Desai said the process can often be long and painful. There's usually not enough skin to insert an implant after a mastectomy, so doctors have to stretch the patient's tissue with an expander and inject saline into it.
"They have to have a needle that's stuck through the skin. Sometimes that can cause some discomfort for patients," Ankit Desai, M.D., from the East Coast Institute for Research, explained.
As part of study, Michele is trying out a new tissue expander using a remote control. It allows patients to expand their breast tissue at their own pace in the comfort of their own home.

Submission + - Los Angeles School Students Promply Crack iPad Security (

wooferhound writes: Education officials in the nation's second-largest school district are working to reboot a $1 billion plan to put an iPad in the hands of each of their 650,000 students after an embarrassing glitch emerged when the first round of tablets went out. More than 300 Los Angeles Unified School District students promptly cracked the security settings and started tweeting, posting to Facebook and playing video games. At Roosevelt High, it was the unanimous opinion of more than a dozen students that the school district's security setup was so weak that even the most tech-challenged parent could have gotten past it. All one needed to do was access the tablet's settings, delete the profile established by the school district and set up an Internet connection.

Submission + - Poll

wooferhound writes: I prefer a computer that is a . . .

Submission + - Your Flying Car will be ready Next Year (

wooferhound writes: Terrafugia, Inc., the Woburn, Mass., company developing a flying car or “roadable aircraft” called the Transition, says it received special exemptions from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The exemptions, which are particular to vehicles that fly and drive on roads, will allow the company to begin delivering the Transition when it is ready late next year.
Last month Terrafugia said it would delay deliveries of the vehicle because of production challenges and problems with suppliers. The company says it expects to deliver the first production vehicle late next year. It previously said deliveries would start late this year.

Submission + - Congress wants Athiest Chaplain to Councel Military Troops (

wooferhound writes: The effort to create a chaplain for atheists and "humanists" has been building over the last several weeks. While the title might sound inherently contradictory, supporters say the point is to give atheists in the military someone who will pro-actively reach out to them and facilitate meetings.
Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Free Thinkers, claims that 23 percent of those in the military ranks assert no religious preference. And he argues chaplains are not providing enough "positive outreach and support" in the way "they do for all of those beliefs that aren't their own."
As might be expected, the campaign is running into some heated criticism.

Submission + - SPAM: CBS forces CNET to pull "CES Best of Show" award for Dish Hopper DVR

wooferhound writes: There’s some saying about lemons, life, and lemonade, which is exactly the predicament that Dish recently found itself in as a result of the big controversy surrounding CNET’s voted-then-retracted “Best of Show” award at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.
So, how has Dish responded to the entire affair? Exactly what you’d expect a company to do when one of its products, the Hooper DVR, was revealed to have been a finalist for said award – well, technically, it won it outright as was later revealed.
Dish has now started advertising the Dish Hopper DVR as the “Best in Show” product at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show – with an asterisk, of course.
“*What’s an asterisk doing in our award? CBS will go to any lengths to keep you from enjoying ad-skipping technology – even censoring its own writers and throwing out their decision to name Hopper ‘Best In Show.’ Your vote is the only one that really matters,” reads Dish’s explanation.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Russia starts building Moon spaceship, eyes Lunar base (

wooferhound writes: "Russia has started building a spacecraft for manned Lunar missions with the first test scheduled in 2015, the project developer said Thursday. "The work has already started. The unmanned tests are scheduled in 2015, the first manned mission is planned in 2018," head of the Central Research Institute of Machine Building Gennady Raikunov told local media. These spaceships are designed to land on and lift off from the Moon, work as space tug boats and service modules for other space vehicles, Raikunov said."

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