Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tech News

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WIRED: AT&T / Time Warner deal done; now what?
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TechDirtAT&T's purchase of Time Warner brings competitive headaches.
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Martian Dust storm lets rover nap. C|NET:
NASA's Opportunity rover is stuck in a huge storm that has literally turned day to night, forcing the solar-powered robot to nap for now.
Within a week, the storm had grown to cover an area larger than North America. Just a few days later, NASA says the storm has more than doubled in size again making it nearly the size of Asia and casting a very ominous shadow on the Opportunity Rover, which is caught in the storm.
Mars Dust Storm - Image: NASA
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Tech Crunch"THEY" can see you through your walls.
...a system that can see your body through walls, recreating your poses when you walk, sit, or simply stand still. 
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(I don't know why the lower screen is like that. It's a simple copy and paste embed code. Tried a few times, couldn't get rid of it. Click lower right and make it full screen).

Morbidly obese VW bus will serve free hot dogs in NYC all summer.
 Image Source: Public Art Fund
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BETA NewsWindows 10 tales of woe. (And there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth).
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The agency found no evidence that the vehicle's crash-avoidance systems kicked in before the horrific crash[.]
"At three seconds prior to the crash and up to the time of impact with the crash attenuator, the Tesla's speed increased from 62 to 70.8mph, with no precrash braking or evasive steering movement detected," the report notes.
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GeekNerdy gifts for geeky Dads for Father's Day.
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Science News: New theory that the Easter Island (Rapa Nui) statues were pulled [using] cylinders up a ramp with ropes[.]:
No more than 15 people were needed to manipulate ropes that rolled stone cylinders, or pukao, up ramps.
The hatlike cylinders were then tipped over to rest atop statues[.]
Hundreds of [statues] [measure] up to 10 meters tall and [weigh] up to 74 metric tons.
 Image: C. Lipo


BB-Idaho said...

"Windows 10 Tales of Woe" Guess that is why I am still on Windows 7?
Back in the early 80s, I obtained one of the first NASA rocket chemistry programs. It was converted by U of Minn grad students from
early card systems and Cray super computers and ran on simple PC-DOS. Developed at NASA-Lewis, the free energy minimization equations were
matched to thousands of exhaust chemicals, each describing four thermodynamic properties over a temperature range. Four simultaneous
equations were solved iteratively using impressive calculus, matrix
equations, Taylor expansions and Gaussian eliminations: but the operating system was what is now termed "elegant'. Eg. it did a
whole lot of fancy stuff with a minimum of bits and bites. (Now we
have systems that do minimal useless crap and take zillions of bits) My favorite feature of the set up was warning at time of
process failure- operation failed due to matrix = 0, or TEMP CALLED
AT STAGE 3- REINSERT CARD. (card! ha) and my favorite IDEBUG which
called for the operator to debug in steps. Somewhere along the line
of development, MS got too fancy and was unable to run my explosion
algorithms, so the last few years I sit and bemoan all the reduced
squares NASA coefficients I got from the defense business and academia (and even a TruboPascal program to calculate such from
atomic bond energy and angles.) Did I mention I'm not a fan of
the way modern computing has gone from really neat science to dreadful data collation? Back in the day there was this gal from
accounting with great legs and big cardfile who was quicker and more accurate than the big team IT specialists. Call that progress?

David Drake said...

@BB, IDeBug, I haven't thought of that in years. Win 10 does seem to generate a lot of "expressed frustration" with it. Have been on a couple different versions of linux and am impressed. Yeah, like car engines (can't work on 'em yourself like you could in the past), agree that the simplicity of an elegant script or code to too many dependencies on too many other things. That's supposed to be progress I guess :) ? I've into tangles (the Iota crypto) now, a blockchain alternative. It has some high expectations.

What really depressed me is when I read MS buying GitHub. They are the Taj Mahal of open source. I know MS will fuck that up big time, I know they will. Someone will will build a better GitHub and not sell out to MS ----- maybe...I hope. Guess I am jumping the gun, maybe MS will have the good sense not to mettle with GH, but even theirbeing hands-off brings up issues of licensing and copyrighting that they'll have to figure out. Or already have and we don't know yet how they're going to fuck it up.

When I think of all the things that humans built pre-computer age, using slide rule it blows my mind.

Hey, how about those Easter Island statues? I really enjoyed that article.

Appreciate your taking the time to comment, always. Stay well.

David Drake said...

Holy shit, I had to go thru 5 reCaps on my own blog to publish my own comment. WTF ?!? :O

BB-Idaho said...

Easter Island is an intriguing place . More than a thousand miles to the
nearest dry land (Chile to the east, Pitcairn to the west. Quite
mysterious, the great effort, and we continue to learn more as the culture of the Polynesians is explored. Apparently, some of the
heads were brought by sea, although most were quarried on the island.
Rollers and other early mechanical advantage devices are understandable (the why is unkown), but imagine paddling for weeks
and actually hitting the target. As far as I know, that culture
had no compass and navigation was by sun and star location. The first culture encounters between Polynesians and Europeans were a
bit dicey- Captain Cook and Ferdinand Magellan fell victim to angry
spears back in the day.

David Drake said...

Been AWOL form the blog a couple days. Didn;t know some parts were transported via sea. No GPS :)....amazing what cultures accomplished before the tech age. I wonder if the Boy Scouts (now just "Scouts" since they decided to admit girls) - still teach how to read a compass. That's how I learned and I still remember how-to. I wonder if a compass would still be reliable in a post apocalyptic (partial)-nuclear war? Would nukes interfere with the magnetics & declinatino as I would guess an EMP would ?? What about digital compasses? They still must be based on magnetics, yes? No? Not throwing all these questions at ya, just rhetorical. Did some searching on it, didn't find much on how a nuke would affect compass readings, if at all. It would have to, though, wouldn't it?

David Drake said...

-- oops, declination, not declina-tino...that's the Italian family across the street. :)