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kenny Hitt (hittsjunk)
Works at I try to work with developers to make Google products accessible to the blind
Attended University of Alabama in Huntsville
Lives in Huntsville
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kenny Hitt (hittsjunk)

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I’ve long taken an unusual position on the Crypto Wars…
Intelligence agencies have  warned that increasingly encrypted communication will create a crisis "going dark" that will make it impossible to track terrorists; A new study indicates that new technologies such as implants in items ranging from “toasters to bedsheets, light bulbs, cameras, toothbrushes, door locks, cars, watches and other wearables,” will give the government numerous opportunities to track suspects and "in many cases reconstruct communications and meetings."

The solution is not and will never be seeking some way to limit what Big Brother - or any other elite - can see. If you think that can work, you truly are so deeply delusional that I wonder how you can drive.

One method can work and has worked. It is even more militant (!) than demanding that elites “don’t look!” And it turns technology from our enemy to our friend. Instead of whining impotently “don’t look at us!” we can demand of all elites “strip down to your shorts!” So we can see what they are doing. Because in that case it won’t matter what they KNOW about us, because they won’t be able to DO anything bad to us.

Oh ye who are now sneering “that can never happen”? Tell that to the folks out on the streets, using cell phone cams to hold police accountable. When Obama and the courts declared that to be our absolute citizen right, I knew we were going to win this thing.
Fears that encrypted communication will prevent agencies from tracking terrorists are overstated, according to a study that included current and former intelligence officials.
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kenny Hitt (hittsjunk)

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Suppose you could bring historic figures forward in time? Could they adapt? Ben Franklin certainly! He'd never drive a car but would soon host a talk-show. Adam Smith? He's already up and running the Evonomics site, filled with weekly insights about how we can save creative market enterprise from its age-old enemy, that Smith despised - oligarchy. Monopoly and cheating.

Till Evonomics came along, I was the person discussing Smith the most - how the left misunderstands him and the right has betrayed him. Now I should retire my role, as scores of economists and sages have a place to talk about this vital issue - how we can save our mixed-pragmatic economy and civilization from fanatic over-simplifiers. 

How to prevent feudalism - the error of 99% of societies across 6000 years - from spoiling our creative, flat-open-fair competitive system. How to be practical, creative and compassionate - like Adam Smith.

http://evonomics.com/they-dont-just-hide-their-money/
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kenny Hitt (hittsjunk)

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This will fail because Publishers still insist on locking down their content. Still, I would like to see it succeed. www.google.org/impactchallenge/disabilities/grantees/daisy-consortium.html
Google.org grantee DAISY Consortium is developing technology to quickly convert content to be accessible to people with visual impairments.
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kenny Hitt (hittsjunk)

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Debian GNU/Linux 8.4 "Jessie" and Debian GNU/Linux 7.10 "Wheezy" are out! Please update your Debian box as soon as possible!! The ISO images are coming soon.
Installation media and Live DVDs are yet to be released
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Dear President Obama: encryption makes us more secure.
Encryption Isn’t Something We Can Negotiate About, No Matter How Politically Convenient That May Seem
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kenny Hitt (hittsjunk)

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The Alberta fire known as the Beast is another harbinger of climate change.  The monster  is now moving into Saskatchewan, making a  run for the oil sands extraction area owned by Sunoco. Winds shifted and the fire perimeter remained at the edge of the facilities. What toxins will be unleashed if the winds shift again and the Beast invades?

A commenter in my site says: "I note that this is all happening in early May at 56 North, an area designated as continental sub arctic. May is usually the big warm-up month there, with day time highs in the 50s (10-12C)at the start of the month and near 70 (20-22C) by the end of the month. On May 1st in a normal year, there's usually patches of snow in the Boreal still, and the taiga is soaked. This year, it's been in the 80s and 90s (25-35C) for several weeks already, and the ground is bone dry. Thus the huge fires.

"It's been happening for the past five or six years throughout the extent of the Boreal; this is just the first time it's destroyed a sizeable town, something that is scarce in those latitudes."

In other words, the spectacular stupidity of denialist cultists now appears to be only matched by their stunning obstinacy..

"Alberta battles The Beast, a fire that creates its own weather and causes green trees to explode..." 

http://edmontonjournal.com/news/insight/alberta-battles-the-beast-a-fire-that-creates-its-own-weather-and-causes-green-trees-to-explode
Firefighters started to realize the uniquely destructive nature of the Fort McMurray wildfire when they saw aspen poplar trees instantaneously and loudly explode into fire. As veterans of Alb…
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Scientists are making some progress in learning how to manipulate the microbiome, a realm that I predict will bring the 21st Century’s first truly major medical transformations – because the array of bacteria living within us, while large and complex, is inherently linear and ought to be well-corelated, soon, with genes, body types, diet and lifestyle. Already there are pushes to alter many longstanding practices, as described in Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues.
 
A preference for dark versus milk chocolate, among other things, shows up in the kinds of healthy germs found in the gut
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Some observations about the aerodynamics of Blue Origin's New Shepard.

I think that aerodynamic stabilization is much more important to New Shepard than Falcon 9. Falcon 9 did eventually add aerodynamic control surfaces in the form of its famous "grid" or "X-wing" control vanes. These are deployed and moved hydraulically, and help to stabilize and steer the descending booster. But they were a late addition to the design, and I think F9 was originally intended to mostly use thrusters for attitude and roll control during descent.

New Shepard, on the other hand, seems to have been designed with a number of important aerodynamic surfaces from the beginning.

If you don't have a bunch of childhood model rocket experience to give you an intuitive grasp of what makes a rocket aerodynamically  stable, here's a primer.

The first important characteristic of a rocket is its center of gravity. A rocket will tend to rotate about its CG.  A simple tube with its CG in the middle will have no real stability at all, and will simply tend to spin freely about its center. That's because the other important axis of a rocket, its center of pressure, is also smack in the middle of a simple tube.

The center of pressure, or CP is the balance point of all the aerodynamic forces acting on a rocket. Adding things to that tube, like fins, nose cones, payload fairings, etc, will move the CG. On a rocket (or other moving object that you want to be aerodynamically stable, like a bomb dropped from a plane, or a common pub-dart from a dart game), to make something aerodynamically stable we generally want the center of gravity well in front of the center of pressure.

We can move the center of gravity by moving around the parts of the rocket, though in a space booster, which is mainly a flying fuel tank, there's not a lot of room to play. And of course, as the fuel burns, the center of gravity changes, moving backwards as the tanks empty from the top down.

The rocket's payload though, is generally at the front, and it's generally heavy, and it becomes a greater portion of overall spacecraft weight as the spacecraft climbs, so that's good for stability.

But generally, moving the CG forward isn't enough. You need to use aerodynamic surfaces to move the CP rearward. The New Shepard has small fins at the rear that seem to be for this purpose. I don't see any obvious control surfaces, or mechanisms to steer them, so I assume they're simply passive guidance fins, like you'd find on a Estes model rocket kit. They don't steer the rocket, they just keep it moving more or less straight up.

But at peak altitude, everything about New Shepard changes. The fuel is mostly gone, so the tanks are very light, and much of the weight is in the pumps, piping, and rocket motors at the back of the rocket. This is even more true when the heavy capsule separates. At this point, my ballpark guess is that the CG is well rearward on the rocket. I'd say no more than a third of the way from the rear of the rocket, and maybe even further back.

But, at this point, they want New Shepard to fall tail first. Those fins that helped on the way up are now on the wrong end to make that happen. But if I'm right, those fins are also much nearer the center of gravity now, and that reduces their effectiveness. The body of the rocket acts like a teeter-totter hinged at the center of gravity. Forces that act far from that rotation point have more effect that those that are very close to it. The rear fins (which you'll note, are not located all the way back on the rocket body, probably for this very reason) are largely canceled out by the rearward movement of the center of gravity.

Now, look at the ring around the front of the rocket. THIS IS ANOTHER SET OF FINS. Yeah, it's a "ring fin," similar to the fin cans and rings seen at the rear of some air-dropped bomb designs. Why doesn't this ring fin make New Shepard fly backwards, or at least become unstable, on the way up? Well, it's because the top opening of the ring fin is plugged by the base of the passenger capsule on the way up. Air flows around the outside of the fin rather than through it, effectively canceling it out during descent.  Once the capsule separates, air is free to flow through the lower opening of the ring, and suddenly New Shepard has a big new fin located as far as possible above the CG, where it will do the most good.

This gives New Shepard aerodynamic stability causing it to tend to fall tail first.

Note in the landing photo, there are also some additional aerodynamic surfaces: Eight rectangular flaps that deploy from the outside of the ring fin. I don't know if these act as drag brakes, add to descending stability, act as aerodynamic controls like F9s grid fins, or some combination of the previous. I don't see them moving in the video, so I'm guessing they're again just passive controls that deploy and don't move thereafter, but I can't be sure.

Anyway, there's a lot of very clever aerodynamic trickery here, and if I'm reading things right, it's all done very simply with a minimum of control or deployment mechanics.

#space   #blueorigin   #newshepard   #spacex   #falcon9  
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The Chinese government now controls the majority of all movie theaters in the US. So, do you expect to see anything Sino-critical on any of those screens? And the dollars we spent on cheap clothes come back to us in other ways! Chinese companies have recently bought the Waldorf Astoria chain and virtually every technology conference destination hotel on the US West Coast except the Terranea. As tech consultant Mark Anderson put it: “Hey, they wouldn't bug the rooms, would they? Theater-goers, hotel visitors, and technology conference attendees will now have to pay attention to who is self-censoring their movies and who is listening during their late-night bar conversations about smartphones and chip design.”

I’m not sure they’ll risk getting caught bugging ALL the rooms.  That goes too far. Still, the lesson should spread - learn to practice safe prophylaxis on your laptops, phones… and conversations. And expect that some kinds of films will go straight to video.
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My mid-week posting is about DELUSION. The greatest human talent, feeding our greatest art and dumbest mistakes. Americans wallow in many. Indeed, we'd not be in a civil war if we could pierce the fog ourselves. Here I expose several delusions, including one that's embraced by our richest and mightiest.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2016/03/political-delusions-do-we-just.html
I've long maintained that humanity's greatest gift and greatest curse are one and the same - our prodigious talent for delusion. For believing things - passionately - that are belied by both logic and evidence. This is the w...
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I try to help people use and understand technology
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programming as well as keeping current on tech so I can explain it to others
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  • I try to work with developers to make Google products accessible to the blind
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I live with a cool cat named Donoven. I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy
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The net knows me better as hittsjunk.
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I want to live full time in the Google eco system
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  • University of Alabama in Huntsville
    computer science, 1983 - 1996
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kenny Hitt (hittsjunk)'s +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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