NASA and DARPA have gotten together to test spacebound refueling and repairs using a pair of test satellites, ASTRO and NextSat:
Service via automaton
The $300 million Orbital Express vehicles come in two forms: the smaller target NextSat and the larger service spacecraft ASTRO.
Short for Autonomous Space Transport Robotic Operations, the ASTRO servicing satellite is a 2,100-pound (952-kilogram) vehicle laden with 300 pounds (136 kilograms) of hydrazine propellant and measuring about six feet (1.8 meters) tall and wide. Its robotic arm is designed to either latch onto NextSat and pull it close for a manual docking, or transfer replacement hardware, such as a battery, from ASTRO to the target vehicle.
More about the story here
Um, Shouldn’t We Find Some Girls to Talk To?
Hipster #1 with thick-framed glasses: Yeah, he could do the robot [does crappy robot dance].
Hipster #2: You are so lame.
Hipster #1: No, it’s funny.
Hipster #2: It’s not realistic.
Hipster #1: It’s supposed to be how a robot would dance. What’s not realistic about it?
Hipster #2: Yeah, so a robot programmed well enough to have a dance function would do what you just did…
Hipster #1: Probably.
Hipster #2: If they were to program a robot human enough to have a dance function it would have to be incredibly advanced and I don’t think an incredibly advanced life-like robot would be programed with such stiff moves. They would almost certainly give him at least slightly groovier moves.
Hipster #1: I think you’re thinking of a super advanced robot. I mean, we’re just talking about, like, a robot that appears in the next decade.
–Hipster dance bar
Overheard by: Brian D. Adams
via Overheard in New York, Mar 3, 2007
The February 19 & 26, 2007 issue of The New Yorker has a fascinating profile of Robert J. Lang (written by Susan Orlean, of The Orchid Thief fame). Lang is a professional origami folder and designer. He has written extensively on the subject, and even performs. Well worth the read.
Found on Slashdot:
“SETI@home is a distributed processing client from UC Berkeley that installs on the volunteers’ home computers and harnesses their processing power in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. So far nothing noteworthy has comeout of this massive project… that is until today! One of the volunteers was able to track down his wife’s stolen laptop using the IP address that SETI@home client reports back to the server. After getting back the laptop his wife said, ‘I always knew that a geek would make a great husband.'” Link
There we have it: Women, if you’re reading this, geeks are good guys!
has written a “Translation From PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Macrovision CEO Fred Amorosoâ€™s Response to Steve Jobsâ€™s â€˜Thoughts on Musicâ€™” which is well worth reading, and pretty hysterical to boot! Jobs’s letter is here and Fred Amoroso’s is here.
You know you’ve made it when Wikipedia gives you your own URL with your name and no parenthesis! I want mine, where does one sign up for that kind of fame?