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Today, the most common way of providing security in giving access to data or systems is through the use of passwords. Practically every online site now expects you to create an account with a password, which will let you post comments, order products, conduct business, or just post to social media. The implication is that insisting on passwords provides some level of security. Now, following on our last tutorial we should ask a few questions about just how effective this measure is, since someone posting in your name to Twitter is significantly different from someone accessing your bank account. And since the assets being protected are very different, it would be reasonable to approach the problem of security somewhat differently in these cases. But given the ubiquity of passwords as the authentication for online accounts, we need to look at the security involved. Note that I am approaching this from the standpoint of the owner of the site in question for this tutorial, and will follow up with a look at your own role in this. - For more go to http://www.zwilnik.com/?page_id=640
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 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
- 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.
- Early Spacewalks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_spacewalks_and_moonwalks_1965-1999
- Late Spacewalks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_spacewalks_since_2000
- NASA Manual on Systems Integration Standards: http://msis.jsc.nasa.gov/sections/section14.htm
- NASA payload Safety Conference, Feb 2000: http://paso.esa.int/5_training_materials/training_22_materials.pdf
- EVA-22 Cassidy and Parmitano complete ISS spacewalk: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/07/eva-22-cassidy-parmitano-iss-spacewalk-eva-22/
- EVA-23 terminated due to Parmitano EMU issue: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/07/astronaut-duo-us-spacewalk-outside-iss/
- Extravehicular Activity Operations Overview: http://www.colorado.edu/ASEN/asen3036/EVAOverview.pdf
Klaatu muses about the word "hack" and what it means, what it should mean, and how we can keep it meaningful.
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.
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:
In this episode, Garjola presents the C++ programming language by introducing its main features for object orientation, generic programming and functional style.
In this episode: Open source CMS applications go head-to-head, open source tools for making presentations, and WikiProject Med.
Using a Weber grill to cook all your food.
- Weber Grills: http://weber.com
- Basic Grill Model: http://www.weber.com/grills/series/one-touch/one-touch-silver-225
- Chimney: http://store.weber.com/accessories/category/cook/1466
- Lighter Cubes: http://store.weber.com/accessories/category/cook/1324
- Grate for use with a Wok: http://store.weber.com/accessories/category/cook/cookware/1390
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.