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Comment Re:What happens if the Soyuz spacecraft gets hit? (Score 1) 55 55

They have space suits* on the Soyuz, so when the whole thing is opened to space by a large hole made by space rocks, they can close off the depressurized model and repressurize the rest of the station. *At least those orange survival suits used for mitigating loss-of-pressure accidents on takeoff and landing.

Submission + - The Future of AI: A Non-Alarmist Viewpoint->

Nerval's Lobster writes: There has been a lot of discussion recently about the dangers posed by building truly intelligent machines. A lot of well-educated and smart people, including Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking, have stated they are fearful about the dangers that sentient Artificial Intelligence (AI) poses to humanity. But maybe it makes more sense to focus on the societal challenges that advances in AI will pose in the near future (Dice link), rather than worrying about what will happen when we eventually solve the titanic problem of building an artificial general intelligence that actually works. Once the self-driving car becomes a reality, for example, thousands of taxi drivers, truck drivers and delivery people will be out of a job practically overnight, as economic competition forces companies to make the switch to self-driving fleets as quickly as possible. Don't worry about a hypothetical SkyNet, in other words; the bigger issue is what a (dumber) AI will do to your profession over the next several years.
Link to Original Source

Comment It's not just shills that like Plex (Score 1) 122 122

Logged in just to comment on this without being taken as a shill. (seriously - check my karma.) In much the same way that CryptoCat’s dev team have realized that usability is a core feature of security, and not a nice-to-have, so too has the Plex team made usability a core feature of their product in ways the XBMC team was late to implement.

Plex’s lack of extensibility, scraper support, and local storage support drive me up a goddamn tree, but Plex works and XBMC doesn’t. I’m not a linux person, but I am a nerd - code is not my day job, but I’m teaching myself at night. Sweet baby Jesus, I tried XBMC so many freaking times that eventually I just gave up. And when my certified-Mac-tech friend showed me this miraculous XBMC fork that worked on OSX, with his remote control, and without fucking around, I spent a few years not looking back. I think I got myself banned from the TVDB trying to get Plex to identify shows properly, but it offered me the ability to play back home videos and fansubbed anime on the TV when I could not afford a dedicated HTPC - and that included salvage, scrounged laptops, and selling my body for transistors. (it was a rough patch in my life)

Ironically, I more or less quit watching even foreign television about when I got Plex to sit down and play nice and XBMC became Kodi and began to make setup less infuriating for people who didn’t hack C in their spare time.

More ironically - nay, infuriatingly - I spent most of my free time a couple weeks ago trying to sideload Kodi on my FireTV to try it out, and only found out there was an official app for it after the app was taken down. Way to piss in my cheerios, Bezos. :(

Comment It happened to me (Score 3, Informative) 950 950

Then being told any sexual act with a girl could end up with you in jail.

I was pretty literally told that at my college orientation - 10 minutes after it was pointed out that campus security was entirely handled by local police with arrest powers, and orders to enforce campus policies, we were taken to the dorms and it was casually mentioned that the university policy on sexual consent allowed the female partner to revoke consent retroactively, and one had to get verbal permission every time some new kind or level of intimacy was reached during a sexual encounter.

Standards were relaxed twice in my last two years, but I sure wasn’t interested in dating on-campus - any time I had any passing interest, I flashed back to the dorms, and the interest quickly passed.

Comment Re:Four times the speed not twice. (Score 1) 204 204

Strictly speaking, Apple shipped 4-lane PCIe2 SSDs in the Mac Pro. The Macbooks' motherboards are wired for it, in the name of future proofing perhaps, so the switch to 3x4 is only a single doubling over the state of the art, even if most people didn't realize what the state of the art was.

OWC provides proof!

Comment Re:Kill dogs, why not people??? (Score 1) 179 179

Glyphosate's mechanism for harm is really quite interesting; it seems to work by preferentially killing the gut bacteria responsible for digesting potentially harmful molecules that are frequently - big surprise - carcinogens. Normally, they're safe and non-toxic because they'd be oxidized before absorption, but ...

Also, I've read things suggesting that it suppresses the Cyp450 system; again, an enzyme system focused on detoxifying incidental environmental poisons. I haven't chased down the study in question, but I'll definitely do so in light of the recent announcement.

Comment Re:Uh... They're not required to go to that school (Score 1) 323 323

If the kids have nothing to hide, then release it. If not, pull the kids from the school. They're not obligated to go, and they're certainly not obligated to be abusive assholes either. We don't need more enabling of bullying and peer enforced sociopathy.

Actually, I'm pretty sure they are obligated to go, and in some states parents' drivers licenses can be revoked if their kids are truant.

Comment Re:Uh... They're not required to go to that school (Score 1) 323 323

if it wasn't a public school? Sure. Don't go snooping around my shit. Even if i've got nothing to hide I have a lot to be embarrassed about or just don't want people to know about.

What if the accused bully has entirely unrelated facts to hide? Say, closeted gay?

I suspect that knock-on effects mean this won't actually reduce bullying all that much, just spread the fun around. Also, to run with that theory, there's a reason kids tend to stay in the closet until they're out of their parents' house. In extremis, to avoid child abuse. In milder cases, they may otherwise end up sent by well-meaning parents to some hellhole of a "pray the gay away" camp or boarding school. Further, there are laws on the books protecting children in some states from having to disclose certain medical conditions to their parents - abortions, and in certain proposals I haven't heard about having gone anywhere (but I haven't heard go away) contraceptive implants may be added to that. I wonder which law will have an exception carved into it for the other's footprint?

Second point - why are public schools different?

Comment Re:Uh... They're not required to go to that school (Score 2) 323 323

Because it IS a public school? Yes. The rules are and should be different.

Why? How can your rights magically vanish by virtue of the fact that you attend public school? Especially your rights regarding your life OUTSIDE of school.

So only people who have enough money to attend private school have civil rights?

... Actually, that explains a lot.

Comment Re:Safe nuclear energy? (Score 1) 148 148

I'm not even going to try to calculate the size of the ash pond, but here's what we have for the mountain of coalâ¦

I used the Embalse nuclear plant as a baseline, because it was the first thing I found on Wikipedia.

A coal-fired power plant producing the same 2109 MWt output would burn 2,463,620,940 kilograms of coal per year, for a fuel stockpile on site of 24,636,209,400 kilograms. If you prefer tons, Wolfram says that's 27,160,000. - 27 megatons and change. Since uranium in the core is the form it is used in, we shall assume this is powdered coal magically prevented from blowing away, perhaps with a water mist, or plastic sheeting.

The specific energy of coal is 24 MJ/kg; of TNT, a mere 4.6 - a 5.2-fold difference.

Allowing for this, the coal pile contains 141 megatons worth of energy.

While it might be infeasible to efficiently detonate this mountain of coal, odds are once a fire starts, it would be impossible to put out, forming a firestorm effect which may aerosolize enough powdered coal to cause a thermobaric explosion.

Even failing that, the result would approximate a particularly bad coal seam fire, and the surface area involved in combustion, as well as the open-air nature of the fire, would expose the local population to a manmade âoeevil windâ - substantial portions of the coal's mass would be released in the form of CO2 and other combustion gases, asphyxiating anyone unfortunate to be downwind of it. Assuming only 10 million tons of the coal is released in the form of CO2, the result is 3.932 cubic kilometers of heavier-than-air gas rushing downhill from the fire. This will not be released all at once, but instead will sustain the event, perhaps long enough to kill even the vegetation that isn't incinerated by the firestorm or simple radiant heat from an unexpectedly well-behaved fire that doesn't spark secondary blazes - which is a rather likely eventuality.

Granted that storing ten years of coal on-site at a powerplant is vanishingly unlikely, but when apples-to-apples comparisons are made the law of large numbers suggests that any calamity at a fuel dump of this magnitude - of any kind - is likely to be severe, if not a mass-casualty event.


My math, for verification:

27 kJ / gram for bituminous coal

0.027 mJ/g

80620 kJ / gram for uranium

80.62 mJ/g

2109 MWt for the Embalse nuclear power plant

2986 times denser power

3.154Ã--107 seconds per year


2109/.027 = 78,111 grams per second


2,463,620,940 kilograms of coal per year

P.S.: You're an ass.

How can you do 'New Math' problems with an 'Old Math' mind? -- Charles Schulz