Space X’s Falcon 9 Reusable Rocket Takes Off, Hovers at 250m, and Lands [Video]

Video of Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) taking its first test flight at our rocket development facility. F9R lifts off from a launch mount to a height of approximately 250m, hovers and then returns for landing just next to the launch stand. Early flights of F9R will take off with legs fixed in the down position. However, we will soon be transitioning to liftoff with legs stowed against the side of the rocket and then extending them just before landing.

[spacexchannel]

FCC Denies Ditching Net Neutrality

fcc-logo

The chairman of the FCC has denied that proposed rule changes will spell the death of the net neutrality principle. Tom Wheeler says the changes will instead maintain net neutrality but in a way compatible with court rulings.

A federal appeals court recently ruled that the FCC does not have the authority to make rules to stop broadband firms slowing or blocking traffic for reasons other than “reasonable network management.” That’s because the FCC’s doesn’t currently classify broadband as a “common carrier” who must pass all data through without any intervention. Changing that classification could be a tricky political, legal and administrative task.

The FCC is now proposing new rules that, although not allowing intentional slowing, would instead explicitly allow broadband firms to provide faster connections to particular content providers in return for a fee.

The main restrictions would be that any such deals would have to be made public, and that they would have to be made “in a commercially reasonable manner,” though exactly what that means in practice has yet to be confirmed.

The announcement of the proposals (which have not yet been published) understandably prompted criticism that the FCC was ditching the key principle of net neutrality. Wheeler responded to such criticism by stating:

There are reports that the FCC is gutting the Open Internet rule. They are flat out wrong. Tomorrow we will circulate to the Commission a new Open Internet proposal that will restore the concepts of net neutrality consistent with the court’s ruling in January. There is no ‘turnaround in policy.’ The same rules will apply to all Internet content. As with the original Open Internet rules, and consistent with the court’s decision, behavior that harms consumers or competition will not be permitted.

It’s a statement that reeks of trying to change the parameters of an argument. It’s certainly true that as things stand, the FCC would be preventing what are arguably the worst violations of net neutrality such as blocking or slowing traffic for political reasons or as a judgment on the content.

However, allowing some firms to pay for a fast lane is absolutely a breach of the basic concept of net neutrality that says all legal traffic should be treated equally and without discrimination — including cases where that discrimination is against those unwilling and/or unable to pay for special treatment.

Man Proposes to Girlfriend During ‘Doctor Who’ Photo Op! [Pics]

Based on this photographic evidence from March’s Louisville Comic Con, the young man’s girlfriend isn’t the only one caught unawares!

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org) 

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

(Photo via KarenGillan.org)

[via The Mary Sue | Source: KarenGillan.org]

Amazon Deal of the Day: 40% Off Logitech Wireless Combo MK270 with Keyboard and Mouse – $17.99

mk270

For today’s edition of Deal of the Day, Amazon has the Logitech Wireless Combo MK270 with Keyboard and Mouse for just $17.99. That’s 40% off on the MK270′s regular list price of $29.99.

The reliable wireless combo with the tiny plug-and-forget receiver. With a robust long-range wireless connection and long-lasting power between battery changes, this sleek keyboard and mouse give you the everyday reliability of a corded setup—minus the clutter.

-Logitech Wireless Combo MK270 with Keyboard and Mouse$29.99 $17.99 (40% Off)

First a LEGO Movie. Now? A Barbie Movie.

Yup. While “everything was awesome” about The LEGO Movie, let’s be honest: It got lucky with a great development and production team.

Now, reports say that Sony Pictures has partnered with Mattel to bring a Barbie live-action movie to the big screen.

Barbie

The movie will be written by Jenny Bicks, who used to write for Sex and the City. According to a synopsis, Barbie will “[team] with an overworked bureaucrat looking for an assistant….”

Wait for it:

“A contemporary buddy comedy ensues.”

Hmm. What do YOU think of a Barbie movie and potential franchise?

[via Nerdist]

World’s Longest Experiment Records Success

pitchdrop

Scientists at the University of Queensland in Australia have been watching a piece of pitch (tar) drip–very slowly–for 85 years. They’ve just had the ninth drop in that time, and the first captured on camera.

The pitch drop experiment was conceived in 1927 as an extreme way of demonstrating that a liquid could have such high viscosity that it misleadingly appeared to be a solid. It simply consists of some heated pitch in a funnel, covered by a glass dome. Over time drops form and then drop completely, around once every 10 years. As a sign of how long-term the experiment is, creator Professor Thomas Parnell let  the pitch settle for three years before cutting the stem and allowing the first drop to start forming

Sadly the latest drop comes too late for Professor John Mainstone, who supervised the experiment for 50 years before his death last year. He missed drops in 1977 and 1988. By 2000 staff had added a webcam to increase the likelihood that somebody would, even if not in person, witness the drop as it happened. Amazingly not only did Mainstone miss the 2000 drop, but it occurred during a 20 minute outage in the webcam feed.

This week’s occurrence isn’t the conclusion of a complete cycle of an “official” drop. The ninth drop has now descended to the point where it is touching the pool formed by the previous drops. However, it hasn’t yet detached from the original piece of pitch.

There’s only been one occasion when the duration between drops shortened rather than lengthened. Despite the duration of the experiment, it’s currently too early to be certain if that’s an inherent quality of the pitch, or is affected by other factors such as temperature variation. The substantial increase in the intervals of the last two drops appears to be connected to the installation of air conditioning in the room housing the experiment in 1988.

This isn’t the first time pitch dropping has been caught on camera. Scientists at Trinity University in Dublin started a similar experiment in 1944 but later left the equipment unsupervised and unmonitored on a shelf where an unknown number of drops took place over the years. In April last year, staff decided to resume monitoring and installed a webcam, which caught a drop just three months later.

Flying Hexarotor Robots Perform the “2001: A Space Odyssey” Theme Song on Musical Instruments [Video]

I, for one, welcome our new hexarotor robotic overlords.

From KMel Robotics:

KMel Robotics presents a team of flying robots that have taken up new instruments to play some fresh songs. The hexrotors create music in ways never seen before, like playing a custom single string guitar hooked up to an electric guitar amp. Drums are hit using a deconstructed piano action. And there are bells. Lots of bells.

Many thanks to Lockheed Martin and Intel Corporation for their support.

[TheDmel | Via LS]