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September 15, 2014

Hacker Public Radio
HPR1597: Extravehicular Activity
EVA - The Rules for Extravehicular Activity Here I dip into the NASA experience of and rules for Extravehicular Activity, prompted at first by watching a film called The Europa Report, directed by Sebastian Cordero (2013). WARNING - THIS PODCAST CONTAINS SPOILERS While I have some gripes about the film, I was impressed by its general failfulness to the science It thought to find life on Europa, a moon of Jupiter considered by real exobiologists and planetary scientists to be a good candidate Neil deGrasse Tyson made a cameo appearance The portrayal of Europa's geography and character Having to drill through the ice to get at the sea below The behaviour of the crew as scientists and engineers Science consultant on the film was Kevin Hand, an astrobiologist and expert on Europa at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory To my mind, the scientists were behaving like scientists and the engineers behaved like engineers. To follow along it might help to recall their names Captain - Willam Xu Pilot - Rosa Dasque Chief scientist - Daniel Luxembourg Marine biologist - Katya Petrovna Junior engineer - James Corrigan Chief engineer - Andrei Blok All was going scientifically until the director drove the plot forward with two EVA incidents EVA-1 : Flash back episode, engineers James and Andre go out to fix a failed communications circuit Andre rips his suit James gets squirted with rocket fuel Only one astronaut survives I have problems with this becuase it's just too clumsey for trained professional astronauts. Where are the decontamination procedures, the tethers, the special tools? EVA-2 : Down on the surface, Marine biologist Katya decides to walk out alone Tourtured debate in the ship Of four able and expendable crew members, none go with her Katya does not come back alive With this I am shouting at the screen "No Way! Where's the fracking operating manual? No one goes EVA on their own" So, that is why I researched the NASA rules for Extravehicular Activity. And I found that none of these events would have happened the way they were shown, had the crew, who were so professional in every other way, followed the NASA procedures. The two astronauts issue The most recent occasion where an astronaut went solo EVA was in 1971, when David Scott stuck his head out of the airlock of Apollo 15. Most recent before that was in 1966, when Buzz Aldrin went EVA from Gemini 12 (Gemini craft only had two crew). Since 1971, there have been 358 space walks and every single one has had two crew. I found no written regulation, but de-facto, nobody leaves the spacecraft alone. NASA procedures NASA documents on the internet discuss in exhaustive detail all condiderations for EVA. What I present is a cherry-picked handful. I could not cover all of it reasons for EVA alternatives planning hazard mitigation procedures for safe conduct fall-back procedures failure handling accident control International Space Station (ISS) EVA Procedures Checklists Presuming that all the equipment maintenance checks, and readiness checks have alread been done 30 minutes of Airlock preparation and testing 30 minutes of changing components for the suit to fit the astronaut 170 minutes of EVA-Prep Then you are ready to depressurise and leave the airlock EVA might last 2 - 8 hours Post EVA 30 minute procedure to take the suit off 10 minute procedure to disconnect internal equipment Recharge & maintain the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Clean & maintain the Suit Although this podcast is about EVA, it does reference the science in a film that I enjoyed and respect very much, so here is a gem that I only came across while researching the landing site. In the scientific journal Nature, Volume 479, 16 November 2011, Britney Schmidt et al, of University of Texas, Austin, published a paper titled "Active formation of 'chaos terrain' over shallow subsurface water on Europa." In the paper these authors suggest that in the Conemara zone of the Chaos Terrain, an area on the surface of Europa, the ice may be as little as 3 km thick. Then in the film the Conemara Chaos was the targetted landing zone and the drill broke through the ice at a depth of 2800m. Well there is one more thing that the podcast says, but it is the ultimate spoiler. So if you have not already listened to the podcast, I highly recommend that you watch the film first. Links Early Spacewalks: Late Spacewalks: NASA Manual on Systems Integration Standards: NASA payload Safety Conference, Feb 2000: EVA-22 Cassidy and Parmitano complete ISS spacewalk: EVA-23 terminated due to Parmitano EMU issue: Extravehicular Activity Operations Overview:

September 14, 2014

Hacker Public Radio
HPR1596: About the Word "Hack"
Klaatu muses about the word "hack" and what it means, what it should mean, and how we can keep it meaningful.

September 12, 2014

Phone Losers
Snow Plow Show – September 12th, 2014 – Predacious Phone Calls
In this episode sponsored by Rick from oHIo, we accidentally fill tires with Pepsi, we deal with a dirty business stealing our customers, attempt a reference check, and call up a bunch of bankers.

September 11, 2014

Hacker Public Radio
HPR1595: 37 - LibreOffice Calc - More Financial Functions
We take a look at a number of related financial functions in this episode, and discover that they are strongly related by using the same variables over and over. We construct a Mortgage Repayment Schedule, and look again at the principles of good spreadsheet construction.

September 10, 2014

Hacker Public Radio
HPR1594: Steam and wine with linux
This isn't about my worshiping of Bacchus by playing games on linux in a sauna (that's for a future show) but instead about getting a Windows-only Steam game to work on a recent 64 bit linux distro. I'm using Slackware, but I suspect the pitfalls and solutions I encountered would be similar on other distros. Links relevant to this adventure: Further details can be found on my blog:

Off the Hook
Off The Hook - Sep 10, 2014

The Linux Link Tech Show
The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 574
Let the good times role, android, linux distro splitting, apple

September 09, 2014

Hacker Public Radio
HPR1593: Why C++?
In this episode, Garjola presents the C++ programming language by introducing its main features for object orientation, generic programming and functional style.

Phone Losers
Snow Plow Show – September 9th, 2014 – Ancient Tunnels and Alien Caves
Here's a new Tenants From Hell episode, featuring lots of underground antics.  The live show was 2 hours long.  The podcast is much shorter.

September 08, 2014

Hacker Public Radio
HPR1592: An Open Source News Break from
In this episode: Open source CMS applications go head-to-head, open source tools for making presentations, and WikiProject Med. Links:

September 07, 2014

Hacker Public Radio
HPR1591: The Ultimate Cooking Device
Using a Weber grill to cook all your food. Weber Grills: Basic Grill Model: Chimney: Lighter Cubes: Grate for use with a Wok:

September 06, 2014

Phone Losers
Snow Plow Show – September 6th, 2014 – Comcast Complainers
Today's 30 minutes of Comcast Xfinity customer torture is brought to you by Mistress Morgan.  When you think of screwing with Comcast customers, think of Mistress Morgan!

September 04, 2014

Hacker Public Radio
HPR1590: The xfs File System
The xfs File System

Phone Losers
Snow Plow Show – September 4th, 2014 – The Judy Blume Of The New Millennium
This show is sponsored by Jason from Australia. He only messed up once or twice in this show, but he's also responsible for me being too lazy to insert a picture into this post. Good job, Jason!

September 03, 2014

Hacker Public Radio
HPR1589: KC MakerFair 2014
Mr. Gadgets calls in another show and this time he has been to Kansas City Maker Faire. Maker Faire: Kansas City celebrates things people create themselves — from new technology and electronic gizmos to urban farming and “slow-made” foods to homemade clothes, quilts and sculptures. This family-friendly event demonstrates what and how people are inventing, making and creating. It brings together Makers, Crafters, Inventors, Hackers, Scientists and Artists for a faire full of fun and inspiration. Links

Off the Hook
Off The Hook - Sep 03, 2014

The Linux Link Tech Show
The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 573
Special Guest Hugh Greenburg from, nexus 5

September 02, 2014

Hacker Public Radio
HPR1588: HPR AudioBookClub-09-Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom
SUMMARY In this episode, the HPR_AudioBookClub reviews Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow. You can download this AudioBook for free (or voluntary donation) from and it's also available in just about every ebook format you can imagine on Cory's website and as a paperback through various booksellers. We found this AudioBook enjoyable and thought provoking. The general consensus that we seem to have reached is that while the book left the reader with many unanswered questions about the world in which the book was set, they are welcome questions. It's brain bending fun. FiftyOneFifty (the link-king) found some cool links relating to the Haunted House and how it works. Check these out! The website is a tribute to Disney's Haunted Mansion. A History video with the original designers on YouTube. A behind the scenes look at the mansion on YouTube. gigasphere wrote in to say, I listened to this book in the space of a couple of days mostly. At first it took some time to get into but then was quite enjoyable, however in the second half I started to find it a bit hard going. The story is told exclusively in the first person (I think that's right) and as the story went on I found it quite difficult not having external points of view or reference. This is probably also due to good story telling as the main Character Jules is also getting frustrated and is increasingly isolated. The book was interesting and unique even before you got to the plot line and aspects of the world the characters were living in. I would recommend the book as an example of an interesting method of story telling and I'm keen to pick up the other big Cory Doctorow book, "Little Brother". gigasphere's spoilers (Highlight to read) From having read the wikipedia page on Cory I can see that Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, which is Cory's first novel, seems to have a trademark extrapolation with our own reality. The concept of backing up you mind and being brought back from the dead in a clone seems an excellent example of hyper-our-reality at the moment, but to then have everyone capable of being online using implants is also amazingly realistic when you consider the almost boom in wearables going on and the ubiquity of smartphones. I am reminded of the xkcd comic where the guy was having a USB port implanted. whuffie aspect of the book which replaces money, reminds me a lot of the social media thing of being rated by how many 'followers' or 'likes' or may be even 'hits' you get. This also oddly reminds me of the download stats discussion on the mailing list at the moment.I'm not sure I'll add much to the overall discussion of the book from here as my no spoiler summary really rounds up the book for me. I would have liked to have a broader telling of the story, particularly from Lil's perspective, but the restrictions placed on the story also work to make it great, in that you are forced, as in real life, to view the world through only one person's eyes. BEVERAGE REVIEWS We think you'll agree that the HPR_AudioBookClub really showed up for this one and they brought some all-star beverages. Please enjoy this episode responsibly. x1101 just wanted to make us all jealous. He brought a Lagunitas Imperial Stout to our little party and enjoyed it as much as any of us would have. FiftyOneFifty was slightly disappointed by his German style Doublebock, FIREMAN'S BREW: Brunette. He says it's an unprepossessing brew, but perhaps worth it for fans of beer made with chocolate malts. Not very sweet for a dopplebock, and without much hops note except for a slight spicy kick, despite a general thinness in the flavor, it has enough cocoa flavor to satisfy fans of beers made with chocolate malt, at least until they find a better one. The planets aligned and dictated that Semioticrobotic bring his favorite tea, Ginger Twist by Mighty Leaf, to our little show. It's a zippy but soothing herbal tea (technically, then, a tisane) that combines strong ginger flavors with lemon-grass and mint. pokey's limited run microbrew, Saison du Buff, is a collaboration between three breweries; Dogfish Head Ales, Stone Brewing Co., and Victory Brewing Company. It can be purchased from any of the three, and if you're lucky enough to find some you should do exactly that. pokey described it as a little spicy, very complex and really enjoyable. Big thumbs up. pegwole was worshiping at the porcelain vessel. No, not THAT porcelain vessel... The good one. The one that's used to serve Coffee! This month gigasphere wrote in to say,"It's hot over here in the UK South East at the moment (25-30 degrees Celsius, yes that's hot for here!) and I'm swamped with work so I have a really boring Apple and Elderflower Juice for my drink this month. I have an Ale on the shelf that I haven't tried before but will save that for next time round when I should have a more manageable workload. On the plus side my juice is really cold and refreshing with a really strong and pleasant flavour (sic)2. It's a fresh juice and so has been kept refrigerated. Now everyone can stop laughing1 at me and get back to their proper drinks!" Rather than simply reviewing a beverage like the rest of us, Thaj (attention seeker that he is) risked his life on the show by ingesting a potentially lethal amount of Dihydrogen Monoxide! The HPR_AudioBookClub does not condone this type of risky behavior, and if you are entertained by it, then you're probably a bad person. OUR NEXT TWO AUDIOBOOKS Revolution Radio by Seth Kenlon AND Street Candles by David Collins-Rivera We're really excited about these two AudioBooks because both of these authors are HPR community members! We're assigning both at once because one is pretty short, and one is pretty long. We were a little worried that people might not finish Street Candles in time to participate, and we think this scheme may buy participants the time they they/we need. Seth Kenlon's personal profile page: Seth Kenlon's HPR correspondent page: David Collins-Rivera's personal blog: David Collins-Rivera's HPR correspondent page: NEXT RECORDING Our next book club recording will be 2014/08/12T23:00:00+00:00. If you'd like a Google calendar invite, or if you'd like to be on the HPR_AudioBookClub mailing list, please get in contact with us on the HPR mailing list 'hpr at hackerpublicradio dot org' FEEDBACK Thank you very much for listening to this episode of the HPR_AudioBookClub. We had a great time recording this show, and we hope you enjoyed it as well. We also hope you'll consider joining us next time. Please leave a few words in the episode's comment section. As always; remember to visit the HPR contribution page HPR could really use your help right now. Sincerely, The HPR_AudioBookClub P.S. Some people really like finding mistakes. For their enjoyment, we always include a few. 1: The HPR_AudioBookClub doesn't laugh at anyone for reviewing tea, nor any other drink. We intentionally call the segment a "beverage review," not a "beer review" so that no one should feel alienated. Also because some of us drink wine. 2: The HPR_AudioBookClub does laugh when people try to spell flavor with a "u"

Phone Losers
Snow Plow Show – September 2nd, 2014 – Insurance Fraud and Reformed Hookers
This show full of insurance fraud and reformed hookers is sponsored by Ben from Australia.

September 01, 2014

Hacker Public Radio
HPR1587: Beginner's guide to the night sky 3 - A wee dot on a dark sky
A ramble about stars, by a geeky chap who resides on planet Earth. This episode is entitled a wee dot on a dark sky. I comment briefly on why it's remarkable that the night sky is dark. I then go on to talk about the colour of stars, which we can just perceive with the naked eye. To learn more you need to use a prism, or, as professional astronomers prefer, a diffraction grating to obtain a spectrum of a star. I talk a little too much about the mathematics of diffraction gratings but eventually get back to talking about spectrum of the Sun which in overall shape is very close to what physicists call a black body spectrum ( the spectrum any object will have at a given temperature. Astronomers and physicists prefer to measure temperature in units of kelvin (, and to convert to it you only need to add 273 to the celsius temperature. Conversion from Fahrenheit is left as an exercise to the listener. The Sun shows spectral lines, specifically dark lines on the broad spectrum called absorptions lines. This is caused by atoms in a cooler layer of gas (called the chromosphere) that's just above the bright surface of the Sun (called the photosphere). In fact, Helium is named as such because it was first discovered by its absorption lines in the solar spectrum (Helios is Greek for Sun). Many other elements can be found in the spectrum of the Sun and other stars, but most of the mass of all stars is made up of hydrogen and helium. The temperature of a star is correlated with colour, with blue stars being hotter than red stars. This was originally measured by astronomers by something called colour or B-V (B minus V) index. The luminosity of a star is the rate at which it emits energy as light, and can be measured in the same units as light bulbs, i.e. watts (W). But to estimate the luminosity we need to know the distance to a star which, for nearby stars, can be found by the parallax method. By plotting colour index (a proxy for temperature) against luminosity we can form a key piece of empirical evidence - the Hertzsprung Russell diagram: It turns out that our nearest star - the Sun - is quite unremarkable. It is neither very hot or cool, nor very bright or dim - it's a fairly typical star.

August 31, 2014

Hacker Public Radio
HPR1586: HPR Community News for August 2014
Last Month's Shows Id Date Title Host 1565 2014-08-01 34 - LibreOffice Calc - More on Chart Editing Ahuka 1566 2014-08-04 HPR Community News for July 2014 HPR Volunteers 1567 2014-08-05 Multiboot Partitioning with Linux Matt McGraw (g33kdad) 1568 2014-08-06 Blather Speech Recognition for Linux Jon Kulp 1569 2014-08-07 Many-to-many data relationship howto Mike Ray 1570 2014-08-08 The JFS File System JWP 1571 2014-08-11 Yahoo Mail Forwarder ToeJet 1572 2014-08-12 An Open Source News Break from semioticrobotic 1573 2014-08-13 Make your own t-shirt with bleach Quvmoh 1574 2014-08-14 Arts and Bots klaatu 1575 2014-08-15 35 - LibreOffice Calc - Introduction to Functions Ahuka 1576 2014-08-18 How I got into Linux Inscius 1577 2014-08-19 Introducing Nikola the Static Web Site and Blog Generator guitarman 1578 2014-08-20 AudioBookClub-08-How to Succeed in Evil:The Novel HPR_AudioBookClub 1579 2014-08-21 Crowd Sourced Air Quality Monitoring klaatu 1580 2014-08-22 The fast and ntfs File System JWP 1581 2014-08-25 Sensible Security: The Schneier Model Ahuka 1582 2014-08-26 An Open Source News Break from semioticrobotic 1583 2014-08-27 Podcast Generator AukonDK 1584 2014-08-28 An interview with Josh Knapp from Ken Fallon 1585 2014-08-29 36 - LibreOffice Calc - Financial Functions - Loan Payments Ahuka Comments this month There are 17 comments: hpr1577 x1101: "Thanks!", relating to the show hpr1577 (2014-08-19) "Introducing Nikola the Static Web Site and Blog Generator" by guitarman. hpr1577 guitarman: "Cool", relating to the show hpr1577 (2014-08-19) "Introducing Nikola the Static Web Site and Blog Generator" by guitarman. hpr1570 Klaatu: "JFS works for me.", relating to the show hpr1570 (2014-08-08) "The JFS File System" by JWP. hpr1569 Dave Morriss: "Thanks for an impressive show", relating to the show hpr1569 (2014-08-07) "Many-to-many data relationship howto" by Mike Ray. hpr1569 Mike Ray: "Hope it wasn't too long and technical", relating to the show hpr1569 (2014-08-07) "Many-to-many data relationship howto" by Mike Ray. hpr1569 Ken Fallon: "Brilliant episode but I'm still not convinced", relating to the show hpr1569 (2014-08-07) "Many-to-many data relationship howto" by Mike Ray. hpr1569 Mike Ray: "Scalability", relating to the show hpr1569 (2014-08-07) "Many-to-many data relationship howto" by Mike Ray. hpr1569 Ken Fallon: "Scalability is not an issue.", relating to the show hpr1569 (2014-08-07) "Many-to-many data relationship howto" by Mike Ray. hpr1569 Mike Ray: "Scalability", relating to the show hpr1569 (2014-08-07) "Many-to-many data relationship howto" by Mike Ray. hpr1569 Ken Fallon: "Straw Man Argument", relating to the show hpr1569 (2014-08-07) "Many-to-many data relationship howto" by Mike Ray. hpr1569 Mike Ray: "New host name", relating to the show hpr1569 (2014-08-07) "Many-to-many data relationship howto" by Mike Ray. hpr1568 klaatu: "Amazing!", relating to the show hpr1568 (2014-08-06) "Blather Speech Recognition for Linux" by Jon Kulp. hpr1566 Steve Bickle: "How /etc is pronounced", relating to the show hpr1566 (2014-08-04) "HPR Community News for July 2014" by HPR Volunteers. hpr1566 Dave Morriss: "Et cetera, and so forth", relating to the show hpr1566 (2014-08-04) "HPR Community News for July 2014" by HPR Volunteers. hpr1566 Mike Ray: "/etc blah blah", relating to the show hpr1566 (2014-08-04) "HPR Community News for July 2014" by HPR Volunteers. hpr1554 brijwhiz: "Journey comments and next book podcast", relating to the show hpr1554 (2014-07-17) "07 - The Crown Conspiracy" by HPR_AudioBookClub. hpr1199 Mike Ray: "OTR", relating to the show hpr1199 (2013-03-07) "Old Time Radio on the web" by Frank Bell. Apologies guitarman for messing up attribution, and the shownotes semioticrobotic for mixing up his shows

Phone Losers
Snow Plow Show – August 31st, 2014 – How To Lose Weight The Patterson Way
In this show, sponsored by Darnell, we learn that people are selfish jerks who don't like to support independent authors.

August 30, 2014

Phone Losers
Snow Plow Show – August 30th, 2014 – The Not at PAX Weekend Show
Live from New Mexico! It’s Saturday night! This show is fully funded and supported by KDK Prank Calls. When you want the best in grungy old music and rants about high school, listen to KDK Prank Calls! In this show I do the same ole shtick of calling gym customers and accusing them of wacky things. This show was originally 3 hours and 45 minutes long and broadcast in front of a live studio audience. You’re welcome for the extensive editing!

August 28, 2014

Hacker Public Radio
HPR1585: 36 - LibreOffice Calc - Financial Functions - Loan Payments
In this episode we discuss the function for determining the loan payments on a car loan, compare a manual calculation with the use of the PMT function, and derive some useful lessons. Links:

Phone Losers
Snow Plow Show – August 28th, 2014 – Bumfuzzled
This show is sponsored by Adam from South Carolina. Today Adam brings us many bumzuffled neighbors who will no longer trust their spouses.

Link to us! is provided by:
Binary Revolution | Infonomicon Computer Club