"The Interview" / Sony Fiasco and What it Means for Everyone...

"The Interview" / Sony Fiasco and What it Means for Everyone...
Why does a terrorist threat from North Korea produce appeasement, whereas threats from Islamic terrorists produce courage, defiance and resilience? I suspect it’s because we are fully aware of the barbarism of jihadi terrorists. But we tend to think of North Korea in somewhat comical terms — the odd dictators with their strange haircuts; the weird, synchronized mass adulation in stadiums; the retro-propaganda and rhetoric.

Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated...

Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated...
Here's a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published 19 December in Nature Communications.

2014 Geek Gift Guide

2014 Geek Gift Guide
Slashdot.org always has the best Geek Gift Guide I see all year... If anyone wants to get me anything from this list (except the nail polish but I always gotta throw in something for the wife), please feel free (I already have a Drone with an HD camera but could always use another...) Additionally, anything kewl from ThinkGeek.Com as well would be right up my alley :-)

 

May All Your Geek Christmases be #FFFFFF!!!

Who's the Mole in Silk Road 2.0?

Who's the Mole in Silk Road 2.0?
"But the arrest of the Silk Road 2.0 leader and subsequent seizure of the site was also due to the presence of an undercover US Department of Homeland Security agent, simply referred to using the anonymous identifier “HSI-UC." This agent “successfully infiltrated the support staff involved in running the Silk Road 2.0 website," according to the FBI's complaint. From this position, the agent had access to confidential communications between Defcon and his staff, from day-to-day running of the site to casual chats and plans for the Silk Road's expansion."

Should We Remove the "Philosophical" Exemption for Vaccine Requirements?

Should We Remove the "Philosophical" Exemption for Vaccine Requirements?
"Over the past decade, the number of unvaccinated kindergartners has spiked. "Nearly half of the state's population lives in counties with kindergarten vaccination rates below the level needed for "herd immunity," the public health concept that when at least 93 percent of people are vaccinated, their immunity protects the vulnerable and prevents the most contagious diseases from spreading." Surprise, surprise, the state is now in the midst of a whooping cough outbreak. How do these kids get into public schools without being vaccinated? Well, Michigan is among the 19 U.S. states that allow "philosophical" objections to the vaccine requirements for schoolchildren."

Rosetta Results: Comets 'Did Not Bring Water to Earth'

Rosetta Results: Comets 'Did Not Bring Water to Earth'
Scientists have dealt a blow to the theory that most water on Earth came from comets.
Results from Europe's Rosetta mission, which made history by landing on Comet 67P in November, shows the water on the icy mass is unlike that on our planet.

What Will Happen When These Massive Blue Stars Finally Fuse Together?

What Will Happen When These Massive Blue Stars Finally Fuse Together?
European astronomers have detected an unprecedented binary system featuring two hot blue O-type stars in orbits so tight they're actually touching each other — and they're not entirely sure what will happen when the stars complete their massive merger.

UPDATED - 12/9/14 - NASA Scrubs Orion Launch at Last Minute...

UPDATE 12/9/14 - 

From UniverseToday.com:

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – NASA’s exploration roadmap aimed at sending Humans to Mars in the 2030s got off the ground magnificently with the flawless launch and landing of the agency’s new Orion deep space capsule on its maiden voyage to space on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014.
“The first look looks really good from a data standpoint and will help us as we go forward,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Directorate, at the post Orion landing media briefing at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC).
“We, as a species, are meant to press humanity further into the solar system and this is a first step. What a tremendous team effort.”
Orion roared to orbit atop the fiery fury of a 242 foot tall United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket – the world’s most powerful booster – at 7:05 a.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 37 (SLC-37) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The unpiloted test flight of Orion on the Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) mission carried the capsule farther away from Earth than any spacecraft designed for astronauts has traveled in more than four decades.
Humans have not ventured beyond low Earth orbit since the launch of Apollo 17 on NASA’s final moon landing mission on Dec. 7, 1972.

NASA’s first Orion spacecraft blasts off at 7:05 a.m. atop United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy Booster at Space Launch Complex 37 (SLC-37) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Dec. 5, 2014. Launch pad remote camera view.
Credit: Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com


Original Story from 12/4/14 - The planned first launch of NASA's new Orion MPCV spacecraft was scrubbed this morning after a string of delays kept the vehicle on the pad through the end of its 159-minute launch window. The mission, referred to as Orion EFT-1 (for "Exploration Flight Test 1"), would have sent the unmanned Orion spacecraft into an elliptical orbit with a 5,790 kilometer (about 3,600 miles) apogee, allowing it to reenter the atmosphere at very high speeds in excess of 32,000 km/h (about 20,000 miles per hour), simulating the type of reentry the spacecraft would experience when returning from a lunar mission.

The window for EFT-1 opened at 7:05am EST this morning, and NASA was compelled to hold the launch for weather-related conditions and also because a cruise ship wandered too near the launch area. However, the deciding factor behind NASA's decision to scrub the launch for today was an apparent malfunction with a fill and drain valve in the Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle's first stage. The small valve failed to properly close when commanded, and launch controllers were unable to remotely address the problem in the launch window time available.

The Delta IV Heavy on which the Orion capsule is perched is the largest active rocket in the United States' launch inventory. Built by the United Launch Alliance—a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin that provides rocket services to United States government entities—the Delta IV Heavy is a cryogenically fueled launch vehicle that can put about 28 metric tons into low Earth orbit. Usually employed to launch large reconnaissance satellites into high orbits that require extra oomph, this is the first time a Delta IV Heavy has been used to launch a payload for NASA instead of for the Air Force or the National Reconnaissance Office.

The reason for using the big Delta IV Heavy for the EFT-1 flight is that it's the only launch vehicle that can impart the delta-v necessary to push the big Orion capsule into the desired elliptical orbit. Once launched, the Orion crew module would go through a series of checks to verify both its on-board systems and the systems of its attached Service Module. The spacecraft would then reenter the atmosphere and splash down in the Pacific Ocean for recovery.

Though unmanned, CNN explains that the Orion spacecraft carries a small collection of mementos, including a Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil, a few props from the Sesame Street TV show, and a sample of lunar soil. If all goes well, this will be just the first of many Orion launches, with the Apollo-like spacecraft carrying an actual crew some time after 2020.

With today's launch scrub, NASA will have about 22 hours to address any problems with the launch vehicle before trying again at the same time tomorrow morning.

Russia May Be Planning National Space Station to Replace ISS

Russia May Be Planning National Space Station to Replace ISS
Russia may be planning to build a new, independent national space station rather than prolong its participation in the $150 billion International Space Station (ISS) program beyond its current 2020 end date, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday.

What Did Philae Do In It's 60 Hours Of Operation?

What Did Philae Do In It's 60 Hours Of Operation?
"Strangely, life on Earth is based entirely on left-handed molecules. It is perfectly possible to make the right-handed versions, but life just doesn’t. Where this preference for left-handedness comes from is a mystery. One theory is that the bias came from within the chemistry of comets. In the comets, right-handed molecules may have been preferentially destroyed by a combination of sunlight (to provide energy to trigger chemical reactions) and liquid water (with which the organic compounds could react)."

Music Review - Rise Against: The Black Market

Music Review - Rise Against: The Black Market
This album, The Black Market (Released: 2014), is, to me, their Break-out Album. Much like American Idiot was Green Day's Break-out release. The sound is so refined and pure and solid that a few songs literally gave me the chills (Time + Tragedy & I Don't Want To Be Here Anymore). If you're interested, you can pick it up on Google Play 

Comet Lander Philae Connection Lost After Download

Comet Lander Philae Connection Lost After Download
ESA on Friday ordered a rotating operation to pull the lander out of a shadow so that solar panels could recharge the depleted batteries. If it works, it may take days or weeks until the batteries of Philae are strong enough to send signals again.

Even Google Celebrates #Philae!

November 13th, 2014 - Google Doodle for November 13th, 2014. Google is celebrating man's first attempt to land on a comet. #Rosetta had a 10 year journey and launched it's probe #Philae yesterday and landed successfully on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenk

Woke up this morning to this. It's pretty kewl and a pleasant surprise. I knew that Google would eventually do something to mark this momentous occasion.

The link takes you all of the News and Information links around the Interwebz for your perusal.

What do you think?


Dawg 

Congratulations #Rosetta & #Philae! You Just Landed On A Comet!

Artist's impression of #Rosetta and Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. C

I was fortunate enough to make to work on time to watch the ESA live stream @ http://rosetta.esa.int/ and I have to admit that I got a little emotional when it finally touched down. People were looking at me as I stood up with a hearty "Yes!" I LOL'ed.

Here is a very kewl way to watch the path that #Rosetta took in 2004 and where it is now including detailed information about each player wrapped up in a nice 3-D animation.