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Comment Re:End of open and honest? I'll disagree. (Score 1) 133

I'm pretty sure I can post open and honest comments while not being anonymous.

If you're white, middle-class, cisgendered, belong to a mainstream religion, have political views within the mainstream, and live in a cosmopolitan community, yes.

If you're a closeted gay atheist anarcho-communist in a small town in "flyover country", maybe not so much.

Comment Re:Hydro = from the sun (Score 1) 107

Direct solar may sound nice and work fine in small scale, but collectors would have to cover great areas to be effective

The total world energy consumption is somewhere around 100PWh/year. That's around 274TWh/day. The sunlight hitting the Earth is around 1kW/m^2, so 8kWh/m^2 assuming 8 hours of sunlight. If you assume 100% efficiency in conversion (totally impossible, but we'll start there and refine later), then that means that you need about 3.45E10 m^2 of land devoted to solar power. That's a square about 185km on each side. If you assume 10% efficiency (mass produced photovoltaics are 12-25% these days), then you need an area about 342000km^2, or about the area of Germany, to power the entire world. Now, given the efficiency of power distribution, you probably wouldn't want to put it all in one place, but you could easily fit solar panels enough that, even with transmission losses, you could power all of North America in Utah or Texas without anyone noticing. The difficulty is not the generation, it's the storage.

Comment Re:The judge issued a verdict ahead of trial? (Score 1) 222

Nowhere does the article say he issued a "verdict," just that he had "sided with the media companies." In this case, he sided with them against a challenge to the legitimacy of their complaint, ruling that if Cox wants to get out of this they're going to have to go with a different defense.

A preliminary ruling like this can be very helpful to both parties involved. The judge has basically told Cox's legal team, "Based on the information I have available to me right now, here is how I would rule, and why." That gives them the opportunity to build their case based on how the judge is leaning.

Judge's are not the same as jurors. They aren't sequestered, and there's no requirement that they only consider information presented at trial. At this point, the judge has read tons of material about the case. If he said he had no opinion at this time, I'd assume he was lying. Better to know where he stands, so that all parties involved can form meaningful legal strategies.

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 222

They do when you call someone a traitor against a country, as in "a traitor of the USA."
One of the official definitions of "traitor" is "one who commits treason." It's reasonable to apply that definition when dealing with nations, as that is the most common meaning in those situations.

If the poster had wanted to be clear that they weren't implying treason, they could have said something like "a traitor to the principles of the USA."

Comment Fanboys Unite! (Score 1) 121

Who knew we would already segment into different fanboy camps for commercial space flight.

In one camp we have the SpaceXers quickly pointing out that New Shepard "only" made it to the Karman line, which really, any mall drone can do. Pshh.

In the other camp, we have the Blue Origin supporters pointing out that getting a rocket to the edge of space and _landing_ it is a pretty cool feat in and of itself.

Then there are the Rutans, (rightly) pointing out that SpaceShipOne did this a few years back. So, what's new?

The Armadillos, unfortunately, are still trying to avoid becoming roadkill on the way to the party.

Here's the camp I'm in: This is commercial spaceflight! Non-states are succeeding in getting rockets and such into space! Let me repeat: we have companies sending craft to FREAKING SPACE! THIS IS AWESOME! THEY ARE ALL AWESOME!


Comment And we still can't import prescription drugs (Score 3, Informative) 363

This is pretty bold (not really the right word) of Pfizer to move overseas, considering that they, along with the rest of big Pharma are the ones who lobbied to make it illegal for Americans to import cheaper prescription drugs. Maybe Pfizer should be required to sell their drugs in the USA for the price they charge in Ireland.

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller