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Comment: Re:Absence?! (Score 2) 595 595

IPv4 at its maximum would be 4 billion addresses - that's it!!! That is just marginally more than the world's population.

The world's population is currently more than 7 billion. The population hasn't been able to fit into 32 bits since about 1978. (Amusingly, that's about when IPv4 was developed.)

Comment: The Usenet Physics FAQ did it better (Score 4, Informative) 226 226

For a more thorough and slightly more technical approach to the same subject, check out the Usenet Physics FAQ's article "Is Faster-Than-Light Travel or Communication Possible?". Here's the conclusion:

To begin with, it is rather difficult to define exactly what is really meant by FTL travel and FTL communication. Many things such as shadows can go FTL, but not in a useful way that can carry information.

There are several serious possibilities for real FTL which have been proposed in the scientific literature, but these always come with technical difficulties.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle tends to stop the use of apparent FTL quantum effects for sending information or matter.

In general relativity there are potential means of FTL travel, but they may be impossible to make work. It is thought highly unlikely that engineers will be building space ships with FTL drives in the foreseeable future, if ever, but it is curious that theoretical physics as we presently understand it seems to leave the door open to the possibility.

FTL travel of the sort science fiction writers would like is almost certainly impossible. For physicists the interesting question is "why is it impossible and what can we learn from that?"

Comment: Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 623 623

In the broadest scope I've never understood why there has to be laws concerning marriage. It's a private contract. There shouldn't be a question of can two people of the same sex get married - the question should be why we need to regulate this at all. If some regulation is found to be useful, what should it be? I'm not happy about "The State" getting that far into my business.

It's not the state getting into your "business", it's your business getting into the state. Marriage predates nation-states by millennia. And as a practical matter, I'm glad I didn't have to get a lawyer and sign a 500-page contract in order to get married, and I'm glad that other people don't need their own lawyer to go over such a contract in order to recognize my marriage.

Comment: Come on, Slashdot, at least get her name right! (Score 5, Interesting) 176 176

SurveyMonkey's CEO Dies While Vacationing With Wife Susan Sandberg

Dave Goldberg, the chief executive of SurveyMonkey and spouse of Facebook COO Sheryl K. Sandberg, died on Friday night.

Her name is Sheryl. It's fairly well-known. How do you screw this up when the correct name is in the first sentence of the summary?

Comment: Re:In before JERB-KILLITAXES AND REGULATIONZ (Score 1) 170 170

The US west coast is -10 GMT, the Australian east coast is +8 GMT. This means when someone gets to work in Sydney at 8:30 AM it's 3:30 PM yesterday in LA, if the head office is in Washington D.C. then all the execs have already gone home as it's 5:30 PM.

That's better than the U.S./India time difference.

Comment: Re:Broken thinking... (Score 1) 397 397

If you can master technical skills and complex math, overwhelming data suggests that you have also learned to read and think, and on the path to proving your competence have also managed to write clearly.

I used to think that way, but my whole working life so far has been the opposite experience. Many, many technically competent people simply don't put any effort into reading and writing. They might have passed the tests in school when they were being graded, but their emails, specs, and source code comments are not up to scratch. Very few people are *good* at writing, of course, but most people don't even proofread.

Comment: Re:There's only three plants. (Score 1) 417 417

I was talking about the suggestion that California uses enough water to have a significant effect on Pacific sea levels. My back of the envelope estimate suggests that lowering the Pacific by one inch would take at least ten thousand times as much water as California uses in a year.

"Everyone is entitled to an *informed* opinion." -- Harlan Ellison