Fun fact: the Turing Test of machine intelligence was derived from a party game called The Imitation Game. There are three players, one man, one woman, and a third person of either gender. A man and woman go into separate rooms, and the third player tries to determine which is a man and which a woman based solely on… » 10/30/14 11:52am Yesterday 11:52am

Cool. This is a form of the Sänger design, put forth by German engineer Eugen Sänger in the early '60s. It features a horizontal takeoff fly-back first stage, either manned or robotic. It is the same approach followed by the Virgin Galactic space plane. » 10/30/14 2:37pm Yesterday 2:37pm

Earhart was a mediocre pilot at best, lacking basic flying and navigation skills. She was in the publicity and endorsement business, tried a crazy-dangerous stunt, got lost, ran out of gas, ditched and died. Let's give it up and let her rest in peace. » 10/29/14 6:08pm Wednesday 6:08pm

Everything is a passing phase in the universe. After about 10^14 years all the stars will have gone out. In 10^100 years, all matter will have decayed and the entire universe will be empty, dark and cold (see Heat Death). There will be only empty space and photons redshifted to absolute zero; nothing will endure. So,… » 10/29/14 5:20pm Wednesday 5:20pm

The smart software might be handy, but these frames are nothing new. I have a Kodak Pulse frame; it's connected via WiFi and has its own email address. I simply use the "share" function to forward pictures I like to the frame, done and done. I can configure the frame remotely, or it has a touchscreen for local control. » 10/28/14 11:12am Tuesday 11:12am

I grew up in the '50s. Golly, where to start... ? Everyone was still putting their lives back together after WW-II, but the economy was booming. Millions of returning soldiers went to college on the GI Bill and got great jobs at Lockheed building fighter jets for the government. Women were still subjugated by society;… » 10/28/14 8:00am Tuesday 8:00am

Fun fact: the name "Mechanical Turk" refers, I'm sure, to an 18th century automaton. It took the form of a man in Eastern garb seated at a desk before a chessboard. The machine man would play chess, actually moving the chessmen around with his robot hand. He was very good at it too, beating experienced human players.… » 10/28/14 9:59am Tuesday 9:59am

The US has a long history of turning a blind eye to Nazi moral lapses when they had something we wanted. Immediately after WW-II the Army's Operation Paperclip brought Nazi scientists to the US, mostly to help in our fledgling rocket program. They called them "wards of the Army", a meaningless phrase with no legal… » 10/27/14 5:00pm Monday 5:00pm

I grew up watching Disneyland. It was one of the longest running shows ever, on the air continuously, with only slight name changes, from 1954 until 1979, and then sporadically ever since. It is still on the air today as he Magical World of Disney Junior. » 10/27/14 7:26pm Monday 7:26pm