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Comment: They can't pass through everything ... (Score 1) 35

by Aviation Pete (#47787481) Attached to: Particle Physics To Aid Nuclear Cleanup
... or they couldn't be detectable. In order to measure muons, they need to interact with the instruments, which are clearly part of earth. This alone shows that most of the summary is bunk. Muons can very well damage the materials they pass through.

As usual, please do not use Slashdot summaries for your physics education.

Comment: Re:What a bunch of Wuss (Score 1) 579

by Aviation Pete (#47701489) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

If Germany had just grabbed their "lebensraum" and stopped they probably could have kept it.

Nonsense. From the start, Britain would accept nothing but unconditional surrender by Germany. They kept the flames burning by expanding the war to Norway and Greece, helped by the Italians who opened new fronts in Albania and North Africa. Germany and most likely Hitler, too, never wanted the big war which followed. In fact, Germany tried to negotiate for peace as early as late 1939. The flight of Rudolf Hess to Britain was one of many attempts at negotiations. They would have stopped if only the Allied had allowed them to stop.

Comment: Re:Gives an interesting look.... (Score 1) 234

by Aviation Pete (#47568913) Attached to: Comcast Confessions

When their greed trumps even the most basic tact and professionalism, how can anyone in their right mind expect us to believe that the best thing for everyone is to let them run amok unchallenged and unregulated with a virtual monopoly? It boggles the mind.

It's the army of lobbyists in DC, these are the ones who want to make our elected representatives believe that. And they are quite good at it. What you and me believe is completely irrelevant.

Comment: This is not really new (Score 4, Informative) 60

by Aviation Pete (#47292027) Attached to: 3D-Printed Material Can Carry 160,000 Times Its Own Weight
for those who know 3D printing well. The new aspect is the precision of the printer, which allows to make those structures on a micro scale, but the basic technique has been used for over a decade to save material in big-volume articles.

Fruth Innovative Technologien has developed an algorithm to fill large volumes with such a scaffolding quickly. This speeds up building time and saves on the precious sinter powder, and yes, the scaffolding is very strong for its weight. They do this for more than a decade now. And now a MIT professor comes up with the same idea, and it is presented as a breakthrough. MIT marketing at work.

Comment: That's normal (Score 1) 103

From the article:

the biggest hiccups were very localized and unpredictable.

What a surprise.

The things you anticipate are those that you predicted and prepared for. It is always the unpredicted ones which cause hiccups.

In the end, you cannot prepare for all eventualities, but you must budget for a number of them that will hit you, even when you cannot say precisely in advance what or when they will be. If you don't, your project will come in late and over budget.

Comment: We will be doomed if they start to self-replicate (Score 1) 222

by Aviation Pete (#47183075) Attached to: The Sci-Fi Myth of Killer Machines
... because then a parallel evolution will start, but the robots will have much more potential to evolve than we. Sooner or later, imperfect copies will cause a higher reproduction rate, and sooner or later we will compete for the same resources. The ones with the highest reproduction rate will crowd out all others over the long term. When that happens, we humans better find a role in which we are valuable to those robots. Or we will become history.

+ - 'Female' Hurricanes Are Deadlier->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Hurricane names help to make public safety messages memorable, but new research shows that the choice of name may influence how people react to evacuation orders. Although the World Meteorological Organization assigns the storms alternating male and female names, historical records show that those with more feminine names had higher death tolls. Could people be avoiding evacuation because they assume that female-named storms will be gentler? Researchers tested this idea with written scenarios that described an upcoming storm and asked respondents how dangerous they expected the storm to be and whether they would follow a voluntary evacuation order. No matter which names they used—Victor/Victoria, Christopher/Christine, or selections from the upcoming hurricane name lists—respondents who read about male-named hurricanes judged them as riskier and said they would be more likely to evacuate than people who read about hurricanes with female names."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Pilots crash planes (Score 4, Insightful) 75

by Aviation Pete (#46793779) Attached to: DARPA Developing the Ultimate Auto-Pilot Software

such as hold back the stick in a stall (Air France)

True, but not the cause for the crash.

Yes, the pilots were the cause for the crash. They even made remarks about the unusual attitude. The situation was obvious, and their ignorance and lack of competence was staggering. Just because the automation was switched off due to an iced probe does not mean the automation is to blame. Ask pilots why they think themselves to be indispensable, and you get some airy stuff on the line of "catch mistakes in the systems that nobody foresaw". And yet, when exactly this happens, they did actively, but unwittingly, do their utmost to crash the airplane in circumstances when continuing the flight uneventfully would have been the by far most likely outcome.

Comment: Why research - there is plenty of data already (Score 1) 392

by Aviation Pete (#46663635) Attached to: How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?
Look at the Pacific and check how big populations on remote islands have to be to stay healthy (Easter Island for example). From that, 10.000 looks much more realistic than 500.

But there is another problem which has not been addressed: Keeping or even raising the technological level of this population. Even a population of 10.000 will be very small in this respect. Evidence: The early inhabitants of Tasman Island arrived by boat and knew how to make arrows and such, but their descendants lost all that know-how. Sure, writing it down will help, but if you need to quickly expand your knowledge (for fighting new pathogens, for example), an isolated population of 10.000 humans will not be enough.

Looking things up in a book is not enough, practice is needed as well. There are plenty of skills which had been developed earlier in the last century which now have been lost for the most part (think of analogue control as an example), even in a population of 6 billion people.

Comment: Re:Here's the key phrase (Score 1) 242

by Aviation Pete (#46597099) Attached to: Hacking Charisma

It's almost as if most executives have no fucking idea what they're doing...

Very astute observation on your part. They really don't know, but they have a knack for making everyone believe they knew. A total disregard for honesty is very helpful to be effective in doing this, as is ignorance in their audience.

... and that is not so different to what the speaker is doing. Making everyone believe he knew all the secrets. And the executives are dumb enough so it works. It really is this simple.

Comment: Guess who is replacing the low wage workers: YOU! (Score 3, Insightful) 870

by Aviation Pete (#46579825) Attached to: Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate
Most of the low wage jobs have been / will be replaced by some self-service arrangement, and computerization will make it possible. Just think of the shop clerks which won't be needed when most selling is done online. Or the bank clerks - ATMs have replaced most already. Or the travel agents - online booking has made most obsolete already.

Thinking of some 1:1 replacement of a human with a human-shaped machine is too simple. The replacement will be of outdated, job-heavy business models with self-service models.

Comment: Re:Oh the humanity! (Score 3, Interesting) 66

by Aviation Pete (#46556281) Attached to: Goodyear's New State-of-the-Art Airship Makes Its First Flight

Although, to be fair, zeppelin safety has improved tremendously.

Before WW I, Zeppelins had a spotless safety record, having flown thousands of passengers in hundreds of flights. Only when the military came in did accidents happen. See Wikipedia list of airship accidents

If the same standards that grounded Zeppelins after the Hindenburg accident had been applied to aircraft, civilian heavier-than-air passenger transportation would never have taken off.

1 Billion dollars of budget deficit = 1 Gramm-Rudman