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Comment What? (Score 1) 36

"Keys waived his Miranda rights at the time of the interview and was concerned that the case not be publicized, apparently believing he might get off as a cooperating witness."

I think that means "he would rather that the case not be publicized but was worried it would be" and not "he was worried because he didn't think the case would be publicized and he thought it ought to be", but i'm not entirely sure.

Comment Re:Normal mission mode (Score 1) 240

I've not read the book, but everything in the movie indicates that the normal mode did involve a large amount of delta v for Hermes to enter and leave Mars (and Earth) orbit.

Hermes was in stable orbit the entire time they were down on the surface for the mission, which is how they were able to evacuate at the beginning without worrying about the proper time to rendezvous with Hermes.

The issue was that Hermes was intended to have enough fuel to leave Earth orbit and get to Mars, enter and then later leave Mars orbit, then return to Earth and enter orbit there. As such it was provided with enough fuel to accomplish those maneuvers, along with the usual safety margin, but no more.

(Spoilers after this point)

So when it came time for the fly by they'd already used all the fuel needed to get into and out of Mars orbit on the last pass. As well as some of the fuel they would have used to get back into Earth orbit before they decided to change the plan. As well as a little more re-accelerating for the Earth slingshot. Meaning that from a very rough "number of maneuvers" viewpoint they'd already used somewhere over 3/4ths of their fuel, not counting the safety margin.

So at the point they got back to Mars they didn't have nearly enough fuel to enter orbit, which is why they needed to do the flyby pickup. Likewise the ascent vehicle was never intended to reach high orbit, which is why they needed to lighten the load so much.

Hermes would have been coasting back to Earth on fumes after that, with barely enough fuel to decelerate on arrival and no margin for error. In fact, although it wasn't mentioned in the film, it's possible they were intending to return without even enough fuel to fully brake on return and there was a plan to send up a booster with extra fuel to meet them as they arrived.

Comment Re:There could be reasons for skipping the broccol (Score 1) 257

"It sounds like a no-brainer, but [...] Hearing something like this, over and over if necessary, can only help what has become an epidemic of poor Western dietary trends."

Ever notice how a study comes out that says something people don't like, usually but not always about diet or psychology, and people here will try to pick it apart with "correlation does not equal causation" or argue there's some obvious factor that the people running the experiment forgot to account for.

And does anyone else recall that report awhile back about how scientists rarely try to reproduce studies, and how outraged everyone was by it? Or the report that most psychological studies couldn't be reproduced?

So if it's something the zeitgeist disagrees with it's "you didn't do it right, you need to do it again but differently and better". But in case like this where most people seem to agree with the conclusion it's "well that was obvious" or "they already did a study proving that", with the sometimes stated but usually implied closer "that was a waste of time and money."

In essence, everyone wants scientists to keep rerolling their studies, under the guise of reproducibility and changing variables, until they get a result the current audience agrees with, and then dear gods stop while you're ahead! Don't even look at the subject again lest you change the conclusion by observing it!

Comment "Bioweapon defense" (Score 2) 323

"Tesla says that the car features 'a medical grade HEPA filter strips outside air of pollen, bacteria, viruses and pollution before circulating it into the cabin.'"

I'm guessing they don't just use that filter all the time because they don't want to wear out a (presumably) much more expensive filter?

And silly name aside, i could actually see using this feature to defend against the relatively benign bio attacks of skunks and that portion of I-5 in central California right next to all the cattle lots.

Comment Re:How Much? (Score 1) 232

There are generic codes and work arounds, but insurance companies are threatening not to pay up if they decide the code for an incident is "too generic."

And yes, the doctors and the people responsible for filling out the forms are _not_ happy with the new system and think it's a waste of time, but it doesn't seem like they feel they can push back against the insurance industry on this.

Comment Re:I have seen that happen. (Score 5, Interesting) 410

And then close Firefox, open it again, with this post as the only tab. 349,349 K. Opening up a second tab takes it to 357,096 K.

So when you start Firefox has a base footprint of about 340 K + 8K per tab. (Depending on the contents of the page of course.) If it could actually _stay_ like that and recover memory properly when i close tabs then i wouldn't complain. Instead however there was about 1.6 GB of crap stuck in memory before i closed the program completely.

Comment Re:I have seen that happen. (Score 5, Informative) 410

I would buy into that argument more if Firefox actually released all the memory from tabs when you were done doing using them.

Coincidentally i just happen to have 100 tabs open, spread across 9 windows, and Firefox is currently consuming 2,871,288 K of private memory.

Close one window with 8 (graphically dense tabs). Wait 30 seconds. Now down to 2,802,295 K.

Close a window with 15 tabs of webcomics. Wait 30 seconds. Now down to 2,717,452 K

I won't bore with you with the rest of the details. Continue closing windows, then tabs, until this post is the only tab left. Still using 1,979,024 K!

The other 99 tabs were apparently just a little it's over 9000 K each, but this last tab is holding on to almost 2 GB of memory with a death grip

The incentive to close extraneous tabs and windows is pretty minuscule when it doesn't actually gain me that much. So instead i open as many tabs as i feel like, then just close everything and start over when either Firefox or the PC starts getting sluggish.

Comment Re:W...T...F... (Score 1) 365

That may be what the original article is saying, but the Slashdot summary draws the conclusion "either humanity really is the only intelligent species in this part of the universe, or advanced civilizations are far more efficient in their use of energy than is reasonable to assume."

Even disregarding the the assumption about what it's reasonable to assume, that's a completely false dichotomy. Trying to make a direct correlation between average intelligence of a group and how technologically advanced they are is provably wrong even if we just stick to Earth. Or as the GP pointed out, if an alien civilization the next galaxy over that was exactly as technologically advanced as we are performed the exact same study, and used the same false correlation as the summary, would conclude that they are the only intelligent life in the area.

Understanding is always the understanding of a smaller problem in relation to a bigger problem. -- P.D. Ouspensky