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Comment One Facebook... (Score 4, Insightful) 164 164

One Facebook to rule them all. At least Google gave it a try. I guess the end Facebook's dominance will have to be a long, slow process of attrition like with MySpace. It has a critical mass of users that cannot be overcome with money or other Web presence, as proven by Google. It may also take the young generation growing through it - most people under 20 do not have much interest in Facebook at all. They have accounts of course, but very few are very active.

Comment Avoidable? (Score 1) 549 549

It's good that Google's autonomous cars haven't caused any accidents, however the bigger question is if there was a human driver in those situations, would any of them have been avoidable? I try to keep an eye on vehicles coming to a stop behind me when I'm stopped, which is something the Google cars may not be programmed to do (or even have rear-facing sensors to detect that at all). I'm sure these vehicles are safer than a good many drivers on the road, but they can only react and respond in ways they were specifically designed for.

Comment Young surface (Score 5, Informative) 108 108

The detailed image showing Pluto's mountains is, according to one of the NASA scientists, one the youngest looking bodies in the solar system. The surface features appear to be less than 100 million years old. Very strange. Are there even any viable theories on what is providing the energy to resurface such an old, far-out, isolated body? A major impact of some kind is the only thing I can think of. Pluto is too small for the heat to be internally generated, and there is no massive nearby body to cause tidal forces and the like.

Comment Re:How do you define anything? (Score 1) 1083 1083

There are African cultures (or were) where the males and females lived in separate huts. The males considered the female's genitalia unclean, because of menstruation and all that. The men would have the young boys (we're talking boys of all ages) perform fellatio on them, with the explanation that drinking the men's semen would make the boys grow up to be strong men as well.

Citing primitive cultures (Native American or otherwise) as some kind of model for our society is pointless.

Comment Consitution (Score 0) 1083 1083

I don't have a problem with the judges appointed to the Supreme Court doing whatever they want because they have the power and have the final say ("It's good to be me!"), but to attempt to tie it in legally to the Constitution when that does not apply is going a little overboard. You're making arbitrary decisions and rewriting the text of law (ie the Obamacare ruling), so let's just at least not try and justify it Constitutionally (beyond the Constitution giving the Supreme Court the authority to make the decisions they are presented in the first place). A simple "We have the authority to make this decision and the majority have done so" would suffice.

Comment Orbital mechanics (Score 5, Insightful) 59 59

The huge problem is orbital mechanics. The delta-V difference between satellites is enormous. Polar orbit, geosynchronous orbit, low-earth orbit, etc, etc. The difference in velocity between them is more than any satellite or service vehicle could realistically overcome (assuming you want to visit more than one satellite every couple decades). Satellites in geostationary orbit might be doable, because they all have to orbit relative to the earth's rotation, so traversing from one to another might be reasonable. However they are so far up there that it would still require covering a lot of distance to get from one to another.

Comment Twofer (Score 4, Informative) 265 265

A quick search on converting photons to electrons turned this up:

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/...

A new discovery by researchers at the ICFO has revealed that graphene is even more efficient at converting light into electricity than previously known. Graphene is capable of converting a single photon of light into multiple electrons able to drive electric current.

So that could be where the extra electrons are coming from.

Comment Blocking access (Score 2) 253 253

And how exactly do you block access? Politics and policy aside, from the technical viewpoint, what he proposes is not possible. One country cannot get worldwide cooperation of every single adult website to honor this opt-in policy. Keyword based filters cannot work with encrypted traffic. Whitelisting or blacklisting would be such a massive undertaking as to never be effective. There's just no way to even do what he's advocating.

Comment Re:Nostaligia (Score 2) 123 123

To illustrate just how much content I'm talking about, here is a list of BBSs just in the Cleveland area code of Ohio where I grew up:
http://bbslist.textfiles.com/2...

There are 759 BBSs in that list, representing just one little slice of Ohio. Each one was a microcosm all unto itself. There are dozens of different types of BBS software represented there. Each BBS was hand-crafted and configured by the individual sysop with the style, color, behavior, etc, and hardly any two of them were even remotely similar. It was a point of pride for sysops to have a unique looking board, and they were updated often. Some where awful, some were great, but they were all handcrafted extensions of the people who made them. Each had its own character and personality, and the discussion forums and online games drew different types of people together. Some were mainly gaming BBSs, running multi-player online games like Trade Wars ( http://geekswithblogs.net/cwil... ), others had tons of shareware files you could download, others focused on discussion forums and communication, and of course others delved into the darker realms of illegal file sharing, etc. But again, they were all unique, and they are all gone.

The steady state of disks is full. -- Ken Thompson

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