Yes it was muddy, yes it rained on Friday and Saturday morning but it was a fabulous festival full of wonderful science and geekery in the shadow of quite possibly one of the most iconic telescopes of all time.
The Register braved the mud of Bluedot 2019 to chat to Human Exploration Programme Manager at the UK Space Agency, Libby Jackson, and Professor of Planetary and Space Science at the Open University, Monica Grady. Both were present in the shadow of the newly UNESCO-ed Lovell Telescope to dispense lectures on space and …
There's something to be said for staying up until 4 something in the morning just listening to the moonlanding recordings being played out underneath the teliscope.
That and going off from your tent then coming back to find all the other dishes have moved again was an odd experience (never saw them move once).
Got to speak to lots of boffin students doing some fascinating and awesome things with science.
...the organsiers clearly didn't know how to get vehicles out of the car parks efficiently once it was over (on both Saturday and Sunday nights).
It's not the first time this has happened either...as I was there a few years ago and it took 1-2 hours just for the car park to empty.
Went to the last three Blue Dots and thoroughly enjoyed it all three times. Some of the science lectures are still a bit tailored to the general public, considering it's a science festival but there are 'deep-dives' as well. They can't afford the best bands to play but the stages are well curated anyway, I always find a few excellent bands that are new to me. Just being close to that telescope is an experience in itself.
They also gave the impression that if you loaded up your own account you could link up others... say the wife's, to the same pot of money....
Turns out no.. you have to top up each RFID separately. no linked pot of money. Which was embarrassing for the wife when we found this out was the case.
It really wasn't clear at all nor did it remind you that this was the case, save for some mention that you could top up separately in the linked account area. Makes you wonder what the point was (other than to allow older kids to auto top up and drain your card dry, cynical? Moi? )
I went to the first Bluedot in 2016, but haven't been since. It has certainly expanded.
The ticket and the wristband are connected - they recommended you keep your ticket to allow you to cancel lost/stolen wristbands and get replacements with less fuss. The phone app is fairly explicit about this (or at least I inferred as much from the way the information was presented) I wasn't hugely concerned, because they already have most the information on the wristband from your ticket anyway. It's not such a bad idea because it cuts down the amount of floating cash and opportunistic theft connected to that. You could claim back any remaining balance in your account from Tuesday, which was a quick job if you'd registered; you could choose to donate all/some/none of that remained to nominated charities. (the refund takes around 3-5 working days to process, apparently, when I did my request, and the money's now back in my bank account)
My principal problem wasn't payment, which largely worked ok for me, but the rather hit and miss nature of the "mission log" feature. The contact points didn't make it clear whether the registration had worked or not (a visual, not just audio alarm would be nice), and I can see why having some of the is data is useful- -it helps them to see how busy venues are getting at particular times, and is probably useful for crowd flow and planning purposes. Given how much busier people said this year's event was than previous (some truth in that), and some had mentioned crowding, that's probably useful data to have if they can make it more reliable. It's the first year they've run this, so I'm expecting when they do it again (and they will), that they will learn some lesion form his year. It might actually be easier to use bacons at venues to record attendances and capacity as most hand their phones with me anyway.
I understand where you're coming from. But presumably they got your personal details when you bought a ticket?
So that's OK, but it's not OK for them to know you bought a beer or a burger or a programme or a toilet roll?
There's privacy, which I totally support. And there's paranoia.
Just a comment - I heard someone from one of the big music festivals on the radio recently talking about the cashless strategy: previously they had no real idea what to charge on-site vendors for their pitches, and found out they were being ripped off big-time by said vendors. So the data grab may be as much directed at the food providers as the punters. (Not saying this is the case here, of course.)
Been a couple of times now, and the part of it that amazes me most is the scientists who very patiently explain some of the most mindbendingly difficult science to people who are either hungover, or mostly still drunk.
I learnt some brilliant stuff, like how they spent a year freezing and then diverting and underground river that was in the way of LHC, amazing what you can do with big brains and fat wallets...
Rocket Lab has sent NASA's Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) spacecraft on its way to the Moon atop an Electron rocket launched from New Zealand.
The launch had been subject to a number of delays, but at 09.55 UTC today, the Electron lifted off from Rocket Lab's Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand.
What's old is new again with reboots of classic devices for gaming and music coming out all the time. But that kitsch value comes at a cost, even if the tech is from the current era.
Audiophiles want digital music players that leave out cellular components in favor of sound-quality-maximizing gadgets – or at least that's what Sony appears to be betting on with the introduction of a $3,700 so-called Walkman this week.
Before you ask, no it can't play actual tapes, which means it's not really a Walkman at all but rather an Android 11 media player that can stream and play downloaded music via apps, much like your smartphone can probably do. But we won't talk about that because gold plating.
Pic When space junk crashed into the Moon earlier this year, it made not one but two craters on the lunar surface, judging from images revealed by NASA on Friday.
Astronomers predicted a mysterious object would hit the Moon on March 4 after tracking the debris for months. The object was large, and believed to be a spent rocket booster from the Chinese National Space Administration's Long March 3C vehicle that launched the Chang'e 5-T1 spacecraft in 2014.
The details are fuzzy. Space agencies tend to monitor junk closer to home, and don't really keep an eye on what might be littering other planetary objects. It was difficult to confirm the nature of the crash; experts reckoned it would probably leave behind a crater. Now, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has spied telltale signs of an impact at the surface. Pictures taken by the probe reveal an odd hole shaped like a peanut shell on the surface of the Moon, presumably caused by the Chinese junk.
Interview NASA has set late August as the launch window for its much-delayed Artemis I rocket. Already perched atop the booster is the first flight-ready European Service Module (ESM). Five more are in the pipeline.
Airbus industrial manager Siân Cleaver, whom The Register met at the Goodwood Festival of Speed's Future Lab, has the task of managing the assembly of the spacecraft, which will provide propulsion, power, water, oxygen and nitrogen for the Orion capsule.
Looking for all the world like an evolution of the European Space Agency's (ESA) International Space Station (ISS) ATV freighter, the ESM is not pressurized and measures approximately 4 meters in length, including the Orbital Maneuvering System Engine (OMSE), which protrudes from the base.
South Korea's ambition to launch a space industry on the back of a locally developed rocket have stalled, after a glitch saw the countdown halted for its latest attempt to place its Nuri vehicle into orbit.
The launch was planned for Wednesday, but postponed by a day due to unfavourable weather.
The Korea Aerospace and Research Institute tried again but, as the countdown progressed, an anomaly appeared in a first stage oxidizer tank. That issue was considered so serious that Nuri was returned to its assembly facility.
Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.
Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.
"It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."
Apple has ended production of the last remaining version of the iPod – the iPod Touch.
A May 10 announcement broke the news gently, referring to the iPod Touch being available "while supplies last".
Apple pointed out that the iPod's core function – storing truckloads of songs in a portable device – has long since migrated into its smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices.
Rocket Lab has taken delivery of NASA's CAPSTONE spacecraft at its New Zealand launch pad ahead of a mission to the Moon.
It's been quite a journey for CAPSTONE [Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment], which was originally supposed to launch from Rocket Lab's US launchpad at Wallops Island in Virginia.
The pad, Launch Complex 2, has been completed for a while now. However, delays in certifying Rocket Lab's Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS) pushed the move to Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand.
Progress on NASA's Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) mission to search for useful chemicals at the Moon's South Pole has been delayed by two tech-related issues springing from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As explained by the space agency's Office of Inspector General and Office of Audits in a report [PDF] published on Wednesday, NASA staff "reported they experienced collaboration challenges due to limitations of remote, virtual interactions caused by the pandemic and resulting mandatory telework for much of the NASA workforce."
Scratch building Moon rovers off the list of jobs that are suitable for the new normal of hybrid work.
NASA is offering a second lucrative contract to fund a lunar lander for its upcoming mission to put men and the first woman on the Moon, it announced this week.
Under the Artemis program, NASA's most ambitious project yet, the space agency hopes to send humans back to the surface of Earth's natural satellite as early as 2025, more than half a century after it last set foot, in 1972 with the Apollo 17 mission. In April 2021, SpaceX was awarded a $2.89bn contract to build a lander to take a crew down to the lunar dunes.
Rivals Blue Origin and Dynetics in response fired off an official complaint to protest NASA's decision. All work for SpaceX's Human Landing System was paused while the US Government Accountability Office investigated claims of foul play.
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