"space" entries

Four short links: 13 November 2013

Four short links: 13 November 2013

ISS Malware, Computational Creativity, Happy Birthday Go, Built Environment for Surveillance

  1. ISS Enjoys Malware — Kaspersky reveals ISS had XP malware infestation before they shifted to Linux. The Gravity movie would have had more registry editing sessions if the producers had cared about FACTUAL ACCURACY.
  2. Big Data Approach to Computational Creativity (Arxiv) — although the “results” are a little weak (methodology for assessing creativity not described, and this sadly subjective line “professional chefs at various hotels, restaurants, and culinary schools have indicated that the system helps them explore new vistas in food”), the process and mechanism are fantastic. Bayesian surprise, crowdsourced tagged recipes, dictionaries of volatile compounds, and more. (via MIT Technology Review)
  3. Go at 4 — recapping four years of Go language growth.
  4. Las Vegas Street Lights to Record Conversations (Daily Mail) — The wireless, LED lighting, computer-operated lights are not only capable of illuminating streets, they can also play music, interact with pedestrians and are equipped with video screens, which can display police alerts, weather alerts and traffic information. The high tech lights can also stream live video of activity in the surrounding area. Technology vendor is Intellistreets. LV says, Right now our intention is not to have any cameras or recording devices. Love that “right now”. Can’t wait for malware to infest it.
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Four short links: 24 May 2013

Four short links: 24 May 2013

Repurposing Dead Retail Space, Open Standards, Space Copyright, and Bridging Lessons

  1. UbiquitySears Holdings has formed a new unit to market space from former Sears and Kmart retail stores as a home for data centers, disaster recovery space and wireless towers.
  2. Google Abandons Open Standards for Instant Messaging (EFF) — it has to be a sign of the value to users of open standards that small companies embrace them and large companies reject them.
  3. How Does Copyright Work in Space? (The Economist) — amazingly complex rights trail for the International Space Station-recorded cover of “Space Oddity”. Sample: Commander Hadfield and his son Evan spent several months hammering out details with Mr Bowie’s representatives, and with NASA, Russia’s space agency ROSCOSMOS and the CSA. That’s the SIMPLE HAPPY ENDING.
  4. Great Lessons: Evan Weinberg’s “Do You Know Blue?” (Dan Meyer) — It’s a bridge from math to computer science. Students get a chance to write algorithms in a language understood by both mathematicians and the computer scientists. It’s analogous to the Netflix Prize for grown-up computer scientists.
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Four short links: 8 April 2013

Four short links: 8 April 2013

Mozilla Payments, Firefox Cleans Cookies, Lost: One Web Please Return to Those Who Love It, and 3D from Spaaaaace

  1. mozpaya JavaScript API inspired by google.payments.inapp.buy() but modified for things like multiple payment providers and carrier billing. When a web app invokes navigator.mozPay() in Firefox OS, the device shows a secure window with a concise UI. After authenticating, the user can easily charge the payment to her mobile carrier bill or credit card. When completed, the app delivers the product. Repeat purchases are quick and easy.
  2. Firefox Looks Like it Will Reject Third-Party Cookies (ComputerWorld) — kudos Mozilla! Now we’ll see whether such a cookie policy does deliver a better user experience. Can privacy coexist with a good user experience? Answers on a tweet, please, to @radar.
  3. How We Lost the Web (Anil Dash) — excellent talk about the decreasing openness and vanishing shared culture of the web. See also David Weinberger’s transcription.
  4. 3D From Space Shuttle Footage? — neat idea! Filming in 3D generally requires two cameras that are separated laterally, to create the parallax effected needed for stereoscopic vision. Fortunately, videos shot from Earth orbit can be converted to 3D without a second camera, because the camera is constantly in motion.
Comments: 3

They promised us flying cars

Tired of waiting, hackers and billionaires alike are building the future they want to see.

We may be living in the future, but it hasn’t entirely worked out how we were promised. I remember the predictions clearly: the 21st century was supposed to be full of self-driving cars, personal communicators, replicators and private space ships.

Except, of course, all that has come true. Google just got the first license to drive their cars entirely autonomously on public highways. Apple came along with the iPhone and changed everything. Three-dimensional printers have come out of the laboratories and into the home. And in a few short years, and from a standing start, Elon Musk and SpaceX has achieved what might otherwise have been thought impossible: late last year, SpaceX launched a spacecraft and returned it to Earth safely. Then they launched another, successfully docked it with the International Space Station, and then again returned it to Earth.

The SpaceX Dragon capsule is grappled and berthed to the Earth-facing port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 12:02 p.m. EDT, May 25, 2012. Credit: NASA/SpaceX


Right now there is a generation of high-tech tinkerers breaking the seals on proprietary technology and prototyping new ideas, which is leading to a rapid growth in innovation. The members of this generation, who are building open hardware instead of writing open software, seem to have come out of nowhere. Except, of course, they haven’t. Promised a future they couldn’t have, they’ve started to build it. The only difference between them and Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Steve Jobs is that those guys got to build bigger toys than the rest of us.

The dotcom billionaires are regular geeks just like us. They might be the best of us, or sometimes just the luckiest, but they grew up with the same dreams, and they’ve finally given up waiting for governments to build the future they were promised when they were kids. They’re going to build it for themselves.

Read more…

Comments: 4
The abandonment of technology

The abandonment of technology

Are we working on the right problems?

We face a choice between a future of accelerating technological progress and an age of declining possibilities and narrowing horizons. That choice depends on the problems we choose to solve.

Comments: 11
The NASA Make Challenge

The NASA Make Challenge

The first challenge: create kits that can be built in a classroom and sent on-board suborbital flights.

If you are fascinated by space, it's a great time for you to be able to do something as a maker and make a real contribution. Makers can now participate in a new kind of space program, one that expands beyond NASA to include commercial space collaboration.

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Open sourcing space

Open sourcing space

The final frontier is now open to amateurs.

The space race has been reignited, but in a much different way. With off-the-shelf components and your own initiative, you can now launch a satellite or weather balloon. Dale Dougherty looks at this new wave of roll-your-own exploration.

Comments: 4
Space IT, the final frontier

Space IT, the final frontier

Exploring open source cloud computing, virtualization and Climate@Home at NASA's first IT Summit.

The first NASA IT Summit showcased the technology of today and the potential of the future. We take an in-depth look at the event and discuss NASA's IT shifts with NASA CTO for IT Chris Kemp and NASA CIO Linda Cureton.

Comment: 1

Open space data can improve lives (and save birds)

Jeanne Holm wants to see an international ontology for space data.

Jeanne Holm, the former chief knowledge architect at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, discusses her efforts to build an an international ontology for space data.

Comments: 3
Can open source guide a moon mission?

Can open source guide a moon mission?

The Open Luna Foundation has a $500 million plan to build a moon station.

The Open Luna Foundation has a $500 million plan to build a moon outpost, and it's going to rely on open source to make it happen. Question is: does the distributed nature of open source lend itself to complex, mission-critical ideas? Take a look at key elements of the Open Luna project and share your thoughts.

Comments: 15