"got 2 grams for $40" - the story is really about the US adopting the metric system
Or, they could use a star itself and modulate the light coming from it, like stellar semaphore.
One method that has been proposed http://www.iterate.com.au/SETI/SETI.htm uses a swarm of self-replicating robots. Given raw materials to work with it could in time create a large enough structure or cloud in front of the star so as to be able to send a signal to a large percentage of the heavens. This would be detectable over much greater distances than 1200 ly.
Let's say I have the genuine ability to tell if the number of grains in an unoponed sugar packet is even or odd, 60% of the time. How is it trivial for me to demonstrate this ability? I wager that wouldn't even get past Randi's application process as it would be deemed unfeasable to test. I've read their case files, that is how the process works - if they don't think their amateur investigators with limited resources and budget can test your ability, then you get rejected right off the bat.
Discovering new science is hard. Most of the stuff that is trivial to demonstrate was discovered long ago. That's why we build thing like multi-billion dollar supercolliders, because Higgs Bosons just don't fall into our laps. It takes effort to detect them. It's why we have scientists.
If 99.99% of people with claims of the paranormal are frauds or deluded, then you need very careful and propper procedure to identify the 0.01%. Any moron can claim to debunk psychics, and they'd be right almost all the time, even if their methods are hopelessly flawed. A brick with the words "debunked" painted on it could do the job and be right 99.99% of the time. But it would never find the 0.01%.
Kudos to Randi. He's parlayed his little dog and pony show into a nice little livelihood, making money off the arrogance of skeptics through appearance fees and books. You'd think skeptics might be more skeptical of a man who spent decades perfecting the art of deception and manipulation, but apparently not.
I don't. The point is that a professional magician is specifically trained in deception and trickery. When a magician offers you a chance to win some of their money, it is safe to assume that the game is hopelessly rigged in their favour. That is what magicians do.
When a professional magician offers you a chance to win $1 million, you have absolutely no chance to win $1 million.
Of course that video is an actual advertisement for the app. So possibly they didn't post it in the story because Slashdot isn't being paid to run commercials for this app. So instead they post an interview to avoid being criticised for running an ad, and they get criticised for not showing the demo. And then they still get criticised for running an ad. lol.
The Slashdot editors make their share of mistakes, but sometimes I don't think they can win no matter what.
Probably unrelated to TFA, but I made an amazing discovery about the webkit-based browser Rekonq 0.8 in Kubuntu 11.10 - it doesn't show commercials in streaming video. Whatever mechanism is commonly used to insert commercials into a flash video stream - it doesn't work in this version of Rekonq. I'm talking youtube, ustream, livestream, social cam sites, porn sites, and television networks that stream their own shows - no commercials ever. It's glorious =)
I'm actually reluctant to upgrade in case this "bug" has been fixed.
I wonder if solar-assisted trains would make any sense. Lot of nice flat surface area on all those freight cars roofs.
Sure, a zapper that might indiscriminately spray bug guts onto the people walking below =)
Transparent spinning blades with lights on them attached to light poles. I wonder if moths and other insects end up getting attracted to the light and then get whacked by the blades. Hopefully birds are smart enough to stay clear.
FWIW, it need not be a bogus card. You can buy a VISA gift card (paying cash and showing no ID), then on the gift card website enter the name and address of your victim. It is now a perfectly legit card in that person's name. I use VISA gift cards on Amazon all the time (in my own name). You could probably do quite a bit of identity theft or creating false personas, using such a method.
The guy gets his home raided by SS-goons, sicced on him by Apple, and his first inclination is: Yay, let's go buy another Apple product!
That was my thought too.
What exactly does Apple have to do to before their users will stop buying their products? because apparently trying to destroy your life by having you thrown into a federal prison doesn't make the cut.
Given how hopelessly addicted their users are, I'm surprised Apple just doesn't design their computers to randomly explode, in order to boost sales. "Yeah my girlfriend lost three fingers this time, but at least the Apple Store was still open after I dropped her at the ER, so I was able to buy a new MacBook right away."
That might be too obvious to a human judge. Better would be to come down like rock and then stick out your fingers like scissors. If it's operating at thousandths of seconds and we are operating at tenths of seconds, then one may well be able to beat it that way
Where are the female robots?
Yes, I was thinking the same thing. My vote would be for the Buffybot. That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo!
A sufficiently massive projectile of sufficient velocity will result in a huge amount of momentum that needs to be conserved. You will either need
1) a very very massive ship,
2) powerful engines,
3) to shoot an identical projectile in the opposite direction, or
4) to live with the fact that you will propel yourself into a much higher orbit, or quite possibly out of orbit
Nuking has its advantages.