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Comment Play the Terrorist card (Score 1) 171

A thought (although surely not unique): Pit the industry that is doing this, against our beloved lawmakers. Suggest that terrorists could use this methodology to cause damaging earthquakes that could potentially kill people. Any politician that rolls their eyes at this suggestion is surely to have the ridicule and damnation of their peers visited upon them, because they're not anti-terrorist and pro-america... right?

Comment Perish the thought... (Score 4, Insightful) 370

To paraphrase a favorite character of mine, "... I'm so sick of (article writers like this) I could vomit...".

Wikipedia has at its core one basic job to do: convey information. Setting aside for the moment the questions of validity of content, sources, spats between editors, astroturfing, etc, the prime question is, how quickly and easily was one able to find what one was looking for and absorb it. This is a task at which I personally feel Wikipedia does a fine job. It is a simple, straightforward visual style that doesn't bolt on any extraneous flash (no pun intended) or style just for flash or style's sake.

By the way, when the article author compares Wikipedia and Geocities visual style and finds similarities, I'm prompted to wonder where the author actually was when Geocities was in its heydey.

As for the complaint about the complexities of editing on Wikipedia: Heaven forbid that when editing one of the great repositories of human knowledge, that the editors should take the time required to learn the skills necessary to do so... seriously, if Wikipedia ever "redesigns" itself to appeal anywhere near the lowest common denominator of the Facebook/Twitter/Myspace generation, I quit.

Comment Re:Laser (Score 4, Insightful) 374

It's amazing how trivial those problems are compared to protecting a blimp at 65,000'.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airborne_Laser:

"If the ABL achieves its design goals, it could destroy liquid-fueled ICBMs up to 600 km away. Tougher solid-fueled ICBM destruction range would likely be limited to 300 km"

65,000' is just a hair under 20 kilometers. That's beans compared to what the ABL is supposed to be able to do against a smaller, much faster moving target, from a mobile platform. You might need a stronger laser than the ABL carries, but as I said before, most blimps aren't particularily tough.

Comment Re:Data safety with extreme prejudice using a hamm (Score 1) 546

One nice side effect, is the smashy smashy bit is a great stress reliever, just wear safety glasses and perhaps gloves.

In the case of a drive that really isn't prime for donation or repurosing (I'd rather see them reused than destroyed), I'll second this. It's also a great perk for a subordinate. One time we had a junior tech who was just having a hell of a week. I plucked an old 4gb scsi drive off the shelf, gave it to him, and said, take this out back and beat the crap out of it. When he came back in he had a huge grin on his face and he sure felt better about life.

Chemist who falls in acid will be tripping for weeks.