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Scott “marsroverdriver” Maxwell
I'm a pretty big wheel down at the cracker factory.
I'm a pretty big wheel down at the cracker factory.

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I am absolutely not at all surprised that Elon Musk understands economic incentives. I just wish (more of) NASA did.

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Humans landed on the moon for the first time on this date in 1969. Here are some things you might not know about that historic, amazing achievement.

One thing you probably do know: we're capable of really great stuff when we try. Let's never forget that.

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This genius piece is well worth reading for its insights into the nature of sexual harassers and other abusers. Its point that harassers are often defrauding their organizations in other ways should get the attention of every top-level executive out there.
This is an extremely interesting article (via @avflox) about how harassment is often part of a pattern of "versatile criminality" - that is, harassment which isn't a mistake or misunderstanding is generally not an isolated behavior, but correlated to other kinds of unethical and/or illegal activity as well. If true, this suggests better ways of investigating and dealing with harassment complaints, and ones which specifically identify and target bad actors.

I don't have time to write more about this now, but it's a pattern which seems familiar to me from other contexts as well, including fraud, online abuse, and sexual assault: a disproportionate fraction of this is done by a small number of people who do a lot of bad things, most of which go individually under the radar but which form a clear pattern when you see them all. 

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Space is hard, and so is NASA’s Space Robotics Challenge. This contest required human operators to use virtual Martian space robots to repair problems on a broken virtual Mars base. Most of the competitors are teams of multiple humans -- which makes me even more impressed with the winner. He's an individual, a stay-at-home dad in California.

Here's an interview with that awesome space dad.

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Don't you dare vote for "Rovie McRoverface."

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The first step is admitting you have a problem. (The problem you have is Congress.)

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If you haven't done so already, today's the day to contact the FCC to protect #NetNeutrality. I hope you will.

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Cool! It even works on mobile!
Says Malin Space camera designer Mike Ravine: "In case you’d like to see what things are looking like on Juno in advance of this evening’s perijove pass, there’s a realtime rendering of the current spacecraft location at:

Closest approach is a 6:55 PDT this evening. Eleven minutes later, we’ll fly over the Great Red Spot. Hopefully, it won’t take too many days to be the images down…"

I have several Raspberry Pis scattered around the house. And I live in LA, which suffers power outages at this time of year. We've already had a few this year, and restoring my state on all of the Pis after each outage is getting annoying.

So, as an experiment, I just put a simple USB battery between one of the Pis and wall power (i.e., wall power feeds USB battery feeds Pi). The net effect is a super-cheap UPS, one that can ride out short power outages. (Most of our outages last just a few seconds, so this solves most of the problem I have.) I tested it, and it works!

So, consider that your #protip for the day: a USB battery makes a fine UPS for low-cost and low-power computers.

(The "real" computers, and incidentally one of the Pis, are connected to a real UPS. But those suckers are expensive; buying a $100 UPS -- or, frankly, even a $20 UPS -- for each of my $35 Pis seems wasteful. This solution solves 95% of my problem for just a few bucks.)
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