Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 575 575

It's not as easy to sneak onto a military base (where, you know, base housing is located) as the TV/movies would have you believe. You do know that, right?

Yes, actually it is as easy to get onto a military base as TV/movies would have you believe. As long as the base includes housing, your worst cast scenario for "sneaking on base" is "steal a car with a base sticker and drive right in". Usually it's easier than that in CONUS.

Comment: Re:no we can't (Score 1) 74 74

its 27-tonne weight could be launched to LEO by a single Delta-IV Heavy and hauled off to intercept by a second launch vehicle.

I find this an interesting statement. Running the numbers, I find that you'd have to be using a rocket burning something rather better than H2/O2 (we're talking Isp >500 just to reach escape speed, much less to reach the target rock) to allow two launches of a delta-IV heavy.

And this entirely ignores that noone actually has a Tsar Bomba sized nuke available to be detonated.

Oh, and you didn't allow for a backup - if your delta-IV heavy blows up on launch (no it won't be a nuclear explosion, much less a tsar bomba sized nuclear explosion), getting another Tsar Bomba put together with a launch vehicle in your now shorter window (and it'll require more deltaV, since you'd presumably do your first launch attempt at the point that minimizes deltaV requirements)...

In other words, it'll be a bit more difficult than two delta-IV heavy launches, even if things go perfectly. If they don't it'll be a lot more than two...

Comment: Re:Goodbye free speech (Score 0) 184 184

Note that:

BLOCKQUOTE> you can say Obama is a cock-sucking negro ape

is clearly a matter of opinion, and thus protected speech.

On the other hand:

BLOCKQUOTE>you can say Bush staged 9/11

is a statement of purported fact, and thus libel/defamation/slander begins to rear its ugly head.

Note that Bush being an ex-President is a counterweight to the libel/defamation/slander thing - it's really hard to bring such charges against comments about someone in that public a position....

Comment: Re:Those outside of Greece will have an impact (Score 1) 355 355

If you look at deficit as a percentage of GDP it's not too bad:

Might want to look at total governmental debt instead of deficit. Deficit just marks the extent to which the debt is increasing year by year.

Or even look at current accounts deficit - the deficit ignoring interest on outstanding debt.

Comment: Re:Renewable versus fossil - where is nuclear? (Score 4, Interesting) 273 273

The risks of nuclear are much larger than the estimates at the beginning of the nuclear age, which are used by the merry slashdot pro-nuclear band.

And yet, to date, nuclear power has done less damage to the environment, as well as killing fewer people (by several orders of magnitude) than just coal mining, much less coal power in general.

If we'd gone all nuke back in the 60's, we'd not have had the last half century worth of coal mining deaths, nor would we have the coal ash heaps piled untidily about our environment. And best of all, we wouldn't be talking about AGW, since CO2 levels wouldn't be this high by a significant margin....

Comment: Re:What plan? (Score 1) 87 87

Yes, I know you were being snide.

That said, the ability to reach an NEO means putting a multiton spacecraft farther out (in deltaV terms) than we've ever gone before.

Something meant to put men on Mars MIGHT be suitable. Or not, depending on the orbit of the particular NEO that turns out to be a threat.

Yes, we're likely to have years of warning to develop the needed hardware. But "likely" isn't certainty, and it would really suck to waste ten years mapping NEOs only to discover that the last one we found was going to impact in nineteen months....

Which is why the development of suitable spacecraft should be done in parallel with the search for NEO's, NOT in series with the search....

Comment: Re:What plan? (Score 1) 87 87

It already has weeded out large landbound reptiles that can't take the heat (or the cold) due to meteor strikes.

I really, really hope you're not talking about dinosaurs here. Since dinosaurs were more closely related to birds than reptiles (why do you think they move Aves under Dinosauria recently?)....

Comment: Re: Bullshit narrative ... (Score 4, Interesting) 223 223

Do you even understand why the medallion system was implemented? I'll give you a hint, it has nothing to do with so-called taxi cartels.

Let's see. A bit of reading shows that the medallion system was implemented because of "public fears" that taxi drivers were driving too much, and therefore not doing proper maintenance on their vehicles.

So, the solution to "public fears" was to limit the number of taxis (which would require the taxi drivers to drive even more, thus further limiting their time spent on maintenance, OR to reduce the general availability of taxis, since they'd have fewer taxis working fewer hours each)....

Yeah, that's a strong argument in favour of the medallion system alright.

Comment: Re:Because job outfit only look for links in googl (Score 2) 141 141

You are entitled to a private life, but if you make something public, it's public, period. No take backs. Not because I said so but because of the nature of public information.

For the sake of argument, what if someone with a twitter feed decides it's newsworthy and does it for you?

Umm, for someone with a twitter feed to decide some part of your private life is newsworthy, you had to have told him about that part of your private life.

And once you tell someone something, it's no longer "private".

Remember: "three people can keep a secret as long as two of them are dead"....

Comment: Re:Not the best title (Score 1) 72 72

Why is is that after more than fifty years of progress, the United States is taking more time to put humans into orbit than it took to go to the moon?

Two reasons, really.

1) We spent money like water on the moon race.

2) We really don't care about putting men in space these days.

Okay, 3 reasons:

3) Two shuttles full of dead people in a risk-averse society. We've gotten so we get panicky when people die, especially when they do it on TV. So we're insisting on an insane level of perfection for putting people up. Hell, Dragon could've been putting people up for a couple years now, if it weren't for NASA's "man-rating" standards....

Comment: Re:Welcome! (Score 2) 1069 1069

If they get that going beyond the talking stage, I demand that they include a clause banning divorce in that proposed amendment. Vows that include the phrase "as long as we both shall live" should mean something, dammit!

Note that marriage is NOT a religious thing. It's a government thing. The religious ritual is completely irrelevant to marriage in the USA, since the only thing that makes a marriage valid in the eyes of the law is that marriage license you get at City Hall (or wherever the appropriate office is where you live).

The words the pastor says no more a marriage make than your father saying "well, you're ready to drive" means you have a Driver's License....

Comment: Re:GMOs have so many different problems (Score 4, Informative) 187 187

Of course, the GMO proponents will oppose this.

Of course they will. Because if it costs money to develop GMOs, then there had better be a return on investment. Or noone will bother.

And since GMOs, like any new drug, includes a lot of trial & error (mostly error), your successful new GMO (or drug) has to carry the costs of all your unsuccessful ones. So you have to be able to make a lot of money on any success, or noone will bother.

Note that the cost of developing this failed GMO will have to be paid, down the line, by higher costs on other products produced by the same people.

Comment: "Acquired" 65 rockets? (Score 3) 45 45

39 of the rockets they've "acquired" have never flown. LauncherOne is over a year away from its first test flight.

Arianespace's soyuz launchers (the other 21) have at least actually, though why they're not buying soyuz launches directly from the Russians is unclear.

Every cloud has a silver lining; you should have sold it, and bought titanium.