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Comment Re:Still no word on if its discoverer gets to name (Score 1) 21

Uwingu has the right idea, but it still has no official status, as your article explains. It's just another star registry like the ones in the back of magazines. We need the IAU itself, or some organization(s) it deputizes, to issue and manage the official names. Because IAU has traditionally named the important objects and features, it has to coordinate with whoever would be issuing the auctioned names.

One indicator of a need for auctioned names is that the IAU naming committee is that with today's proliferation of objects, they're running out of ideas. We're getting Inca gods so obscure that nobody has ever heard of them, so who is being honored, exactly? I would feel better knowing that Suge Knight had dropped significant coin to have the next KBO named after himself. And what in hell is "Sedna"? Are we down to Arizona Map Typos now?

Comment Re:Still no word on if its discoverer gets to name (Score 4, Interesting) 21

I would like to see naming rights to minor objects and surface features auctioned off to the highest bidder, the proceeds going to research in the field. Think of it as a star registry with official status. The human ego being what it is, naming rights on all the knobs and craters we just found on Pluto might possibly pay for the mission.

Comment Re: Germany wants a lot... (Score 1) 418

"Define hate speech."

That's the problem. France has pre-Charlie laws making it illegal to criticize Islam. Can they reach oiut over the Internet and censor American comics? How about our profusion of ads for greasy fast food? Thailand still makes lèse-majeste, criticizing the king, a crime.

Let each country have fun trying to program a firewall to keep its own version of the bad stuff out.

Comment Re:Pointless (Score 1) 120

"Cabs, on the other hand, can be identified by their colour. You can just hail one."

From your spelling, I'm assuming you're not a New Yorker. Yes, the protected medallion cab companies want everyone to stand outside in the rain, vainly screaming "Taxi!" like people in a 1935 George Raft movie.

But now that they are losing the ability to bully customers into using them exclusively, there is the "threat" as they call it, of competition. Instead of being part of that damp crowd you could be reserving a cab with an app while still in the comfort of the restaurant. If the app is well written, it will tell you when to go outside and meet your cab. No need for that picturesquely unruly crowd. And you will now be able to get a cab even if you're black.

Comment Re:Just look at the stats of prison inmates? (Score 1) 58

"Why don't they just look at the stats of prison inmates?"

Not a good analogue, because being involuntarily cornholed by huge gangbangers carries a raft of unique psychological problems that will not be relevant to those faced by "Martians."

Comment Re:Not the holy grail (Score 2) 323

"Ultimately, the source of our power will have to be the sun."

No, going all solar would not be a way around the ultimate heating problem. First, every solar panel 'blackens' its tiny patch of the Earth, this being an area of lower albedo. Then you get the same waste heat from consuming PV electricity as you would get from electricity generated any other way.

In any case, the thermodynamic heating problem has nothing to do with carbon warming and is minuscule in comparison to trapping of solar heat by greenhouse gases.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.

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