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Comment: Re:Mars Direct - Unanswered? (Score 1) 57

by BranMan (#47415653) Attached to: Interview: Edward Stone Talks About JPL and Space Exploration

I just thought of an analogy that may be very fitting. Few know this, but the first submarines used in combat were built during the US Civil War (or WoNA, whatever floats your boat). It was possible, but incredibly dangerous, and more than one was lost entirely.

Fast forward to WWI and WWII, where submarines were solid, dependable, and safe (to a large degree - not including combat of course). And on to the modern nuclear subs - downright luxurious in comparison.

So, Space Flight was in the Civil War era with the Apollo missions to the moon - we could do it, just, and it was incredibly dangerous, and we nearly lost one (13). The Shuttles were more of WWI tech level - still really dangerous, but doable on a regular basis.

We need to reach the stage in Space Flight analogous to nuclear subs, I think, before we can reach Mars. We just aren't there yet. And without wars to push the development (like it did subs) it may take a while.

That's why Mars is 20 years away. Still.

Comment: Re:Will no one think of the Irish Obama? (Score 1) 646

by BranMan (#47276455) Attached to: Washington Redskins Stripped of Trademarks

Why does everyone seem to think Obama is African-American? We have yet to elect an African-American president - and may never at this rate. Obama's mother is American. His father is African. That makes him the first African American president, with nothing at all in common with African-Americans. Historically, culturally, or genealogically

Why does everyone overlook that?.

Comment: Re:https (Score 1) 104

by BranMan (#47264773) Attached to: Google and Facebook Can Be Legally Intercepted, Says UK Spy Boss

Against the average Joe, fairly secure. Against the wrong people? Not even a speed bump. HTTPS works using Public Key encryption, not Secret Key encryption. That difference makes all the difference - Public key encryption is used to generate Secret keys, which are then used to pass information back an forth securely.

      The problem is that Public key only depends on mathematically hard problems to make is secure (it's a hard math problem to break it, but not anywhere near impossible) vs Secret key, in which the key is basically random, and can be made long enough (i.e. use enough bits) to be physically impossible to break, no matter what (though often fewer bits than that are used to make it faster). Public key also has part of it public (hence the name) and part private. If you know the private key - game over - 'cause the Public key is already out there, by design.

      Piled on top of that are Certificates that make sure you are using the right Public key to talk to who you want using encryption. Assume all the Certificates and Certificate Authorities (who vouch for them) have been compromised. Assume Public keys used by a lot of people have been broken (I'd include HTTPS to any well known group).

      Today? I'd assume HTTPS is not secure - at all. Kinda leaves you SOL though, so really we're stuck with it.

      Does that help?

Comment: An answer to the Fermi Paradox? (Score 1) 293

That does make for an interesting idea - if the center of every galaxy has wormholes, and every advanced civilization discovers this, and they can be used for travel.....

Maybe the reason we have not seen any alien civilizations is that they all congregate towards the center of the galaxy. Then we would not see them because we are out towards the rim, in a backwater if you will.

Makes for an interesting thought at least.

"Can you program?" "Well, I'm literate, if that's what you mean!"