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Comment: robot life is worth more than human life (Score 1) 318

Broken robots can be repaired. Dead humans cannot be brought back to life. I for one would like to see all wars be strictly robot vs robot and may the best robot builders win.

I suppose you could ban autonomous robots from waging war against human adversaries, but I think that is somewhat pointless even if you could get the whole world to agree. We are probably hundreds of years away from having AI that can challenge even rather dumb human minds.

Comment: another ignorant and stupid journalist (Score 1) 122

by 0111 1110 (#48848619) Attached to: Cuba's Pending Tech Revolution

Why is it that journalists don't feel the need to check facts when they write about Cuba? Nearly everything in the article is quite demonstrably wrong. Too many utterly ridiculous ideas that simply don't apply to Cuba to debunk every one.

The only way Cuba is going to have a tech revolution is if somehow their incomes multiply by a factor of 100 sometime soon. I suppose that *could* happen if Raul dies and their government becomes pro-capitalist. That will be huge news if it ever happens, but the end of the US embargo just means lots of US tourists. It won't change anything else. It will just piss off the Canadians who are used to having the place practically to themselves.

Just ending the US embargo isn't going to do shit. The US isn't the only country in the world with tech. Cuba has been importing technology from China (you know that place where everything is actually made) for decades. This idea that Cuba needs US goods is utter bullshit. They don't. Castro liked to blame the US embargo for his total lack of understanding of economics, but Cuban poverty has nothing to do with the stupid useless and senseless "embargo". Does the US even still make anything?

Also Cubans are not any more educated than the people in other Latin American nations. If anything their education is of less value because they are so much more isolated from the rest of the world. When the rest of the world figures out something new it could be decades before that information trickles into Cuba.

Cuba won't represent any sort of business opportunity until the government there stops actively preventing people from making money. The government seems highly offended by the idea of anyone making more than around a dollar a day which is what doctors tend to make there. Most people make about half that much. They can barely afford to buy food let alone whatever high tech gadget some ignorant American who's never spent any time there thinks they need/want.

Since no one likes citing sources when talking about Cuba let me cite mine: I lived there for more than a year. If there is a country in the world that has more misinformation about it just accepted as truth by the rest of the world I don't know what it might be. The Cuban government propaganda arm does their job well. If only Soviet proganda workers had such an easy time. The rest of the world just accepts whatever the Cuban government tells them because of course the government has no reason to lie or exaggerate, right?

Comment: Re:Don't know why... (Score 1) 122

by 0111 1110 (#48848555) Attached to: Cuba's Pending Tech Revolution

So far, they've proven that they're really quite willing to work with companies as long as their activities are helping to prop up their totalitarian regime.

Citation needed. Cubans themselves are not even allowed to own property. They cannot sell their houses for instance. They can only trade them for other houses and even then it's mostly illegal to do.

IMO you'd have to be a total fucking moron to put any money into Cuba the way things are there now. The Cuban government would have no problem whatsoever just telling you to fuck off any time they feel like it. And no they wouldn't let you keep any of "your" stuff.

Comment: Re:US Ego (Score 1) 122

by 0111 1110 (#48848547) Attached to: Cuba's Pending Tech Revolution

It will devastate Mexico, especially since Mexico isn't so cheap anymore.

You may not be able to imagine going to Cancun for any reason other than a stopover on the way to Cuba, but believe it or not a lot of people really do vacation there. The flights are super cheap and it's warm and exotic and different from the US. With a pretty girl at my side I wouldn't mind spending some time in the Yucatan either. The food is way better than in Cuba at least.

Comment: Re:Toothpaste (Score 2) 122

by 0111 1110 (#48848425) Attached to: Cuba's Pending Tech Revolution

People-wise, perhaps. Supplies-wise, no.

They don't do that well people wise either. Not because Cubans are stupid. It has more to do with their isolation. Their medical textbooks are probably so old that 'leeches' might be in the index.

I don't think they really have access to post-revolution medical knowledge. It's not like they can go to pubmed or something. Owning a personal computer has actually been illegal there until quite recently. Only prostitutes and drug dealers could afford to buy one anyway.

And look at things from the pov of a medical student. Even the cheapest paperback textbooks still usually cost like $30 USD. That's two months income for most Cubans or maybe the equivalent of a $3000 textbook to us.

Comment: Re:Common sense space exploration (Score 1) 83

by 0111 1110 (#48763001) Attached to: Analysis of Spacecraft Data Reveals Most Earth-like Planet To Date

One issue is small particles in space (micrometeorites). While the space station may have managed to avoid catastrophic impacts over a decade, the probability of a major impact on a ship traveling for centuries at even a very small fraction of the speed of light hitting *something* in space becomes extremely high.

Citation needed. Outside of star systems I think the chances are more like fat and slim.

At those speeds, a golf ball size object

The chances of hitting a golf ball sized meteorite in the vast emptiness of interstellar space is infinitesimal. The point remains however. It just wouldn't be anything nearly that big. It would be a matter of deflecting tiny particles at around 0.1c. Not an easy task, but certainly doable. Perhaps whatever is used for radiation shielding (lead lined water tanks perhaps) would have enough mass to deflect such small particles. I believe that most of the particles would just be hydrogen atoms. There isn't a lot of matter out there.

You would need some sort of powered force field- a technology that does not exist and has no known theoretical basis for its existence.

That is ridiculous. You don't need imaginary tech. You just need some deflection mass. A large steel plate pushed in front of your ship would probably do the trick.

Another issue is food and biology. Previous attempts and creating a small closed ecosystem (biosphere) were miserable failures.

And of course any task for which there are failed attempts is impossible. We'll figure out the closed ecosystem thing. We'll have plenty of time to do so while we build our enormous spaceship filled with nuclear bombs at a lagrange point.

But even the generation ship must provide power for centuries.

I assume you are talking about maintaining electrcial power for hundreds of years. This is easily done with RTGs.

A final concern is one of need.

The need is the curiosity of any intelligent species. Our need to explore the universe. That is the only need required.

Comment: Re:Common sense space exploration (Score 1) 83

by 0111 1110 (#48762945) Attached to: Analysis of Spacecraft Data Reveals Most Earth-like Planet To Date

>The nearest planet in the "goldilocks zone" is something like 1,000 light years away.

Huh? Which planet would that be? What ever happened to Gliese 581c? Did it disappear while I wasn't looking.

The Gliese 581 system is only 20 light years away and could be reachable by a human constructed interstellar ship driven by nuclear pulsed 1950s tech (Orion) in something like 200 - 250 years. A long time, but doable either for a generation ship or for a probe.

Of course I'd set aside another 200-250 years to get the enormous craft built at a lagrange point station.

Comment: Re:Common sense space exploration (Score 1) 83

by 0111 1110 (#48762909) Attached to: Analysis of Spacecraft Data Reveals Most Earth-like Planet To Date

Before we can "invest in technology" we need to have some theoretical basis for said technology to work.

We do. Nuclear pulse propulsion can get us up to nearly 10% the speed of light. Alpha Centauri in less than 50 years. Within the lifespan of an 18 year old astronaut even. It might take 200 years to actually build the enormous nuclear pulse ship and cost trillions, but we have the tech. We just don't have the money. Or if we do we would rather spend it on something more practical like killing a lot of other humans.

Comment: Re:Common sense space exploration (Score 1) 83

by 0111 1110 (#48762879) Attached to: Analysis of Spacecraft Data Reveals Most Earth-like Planet To Date

Where did you get 1000 light years from? The actual distance seems to be 1833.4 light years. So a round trip time of 3666.8 years.

And yes that is a long time indeed. Long enough that if you transmitted a message in a natural language you would almost certainly need a very cunning linguist to understand the message you originally sent let alone the reply.

Comment: Re:Cat and mouse... (Score 1) 437

by 0111 1110 (#48734291) Attached to: Netflix Cracks Down On VPN and Proxy "Pirates"

Also in Pakistan probably most of the films will be available for like $1 US on fake Chinese DVDs sold by people at night on folding tables. A lot of countries like that don't have fast enough internet connections to stream even DVD quality video anyway. Or if such connections are available they aren't affordable to most people.

Comment: Re:Cat and mouse... (Score 1) 437

by 0111 1110 (#48734281) Attached to: Netflix Cracks Down On VPN and Proxy "Pirates"

>It is useful to consider a hypothetical world in which piracy is impossible.

That is a very hypothetical world because even before the internet people were copying rented movies and software borrowed from a friend. It's also hard to see how they would stop *all* internet piracy.

At best a few countries like the US, UK, Canada, and Australia might have absurd, draconian penalties and have all the major ISPs in the pocket of the media mafia etc. That still leaves most people in the world free to pirate and probably leaves people in locked down countries free to subscribe to a foreign based encrypted VPN and continue to share/trade media with the rest of the world.

With your bare hands?!?