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Comment: Re:It'll never happen (Score 1) 274

...which is why they've never contacted us. Same reason very few people try to make contact with plankton blooms. There's another thought experiment that postulates we're being approached by aliens all the time (in geological time), but that we not only have no way to identify them as living or intelligent, but don't even have a way to measure that they exist. That likely goes the other way too -- another intelligent life that is hydrocarbon-based would most likely destroy us without even noticing we existed.

Comment: Re:better than rushing steaming piles of shit. (Score 1) 101

The funny thing is, he's been working on 6 books over a span of 20 years.

Compare that to Terry Pratchett: 22 Discworld novels in the same timeframe, all in the same universe, all hanging together, including hanging together with the previous 18 novels he had written over the previous 13 years. And that's with him having Early Onset Alzheimer's which has caused his writing to slow considerably in the last 8 years.

Sure, they write in different sub-genres, but Martin could easily have broken his novels up in this manner as well, but chose not to.

Comment: Re:Is anyone surprised? (Score 1) 101

Tolkien had to do it all by hand -- Martin has the luxury of software development and movie writing tools that will plot out all the charaters/relationships etc. and point out any potential inconsistencies. He also releases his manuscripts out to test groups, who among other things go over it for inconsistencies.

So doing something this complex isn't really all that complex these days. He can have the software split it all up into workable chunks that just have to hold together on their own, and meet up with the overall story arc at some point. The later books indicate that he's using some of these techniques because of how the writing style changed. I'm pretty sure he didn't do that on the first two or three.

Comment: Re:Never finish (Score 2) 101

Martin already stated that to avoid pulling a Jordan, he wrote the ending first, and gave copies to interested parties. He also wrote the storyline, so it's just the actual textual details and plot twists that haven't been fully hammered out yet.

What got me to start reading the series in the first place was his promise that he wouldn't leave the story arc open-ended and then die. He also got a thorough check-up from his doctor giving him a full bill of health prior to starting the TV series.

Comment: Re:Human-induced climate change is a hoax (Score 1) 274

by Em Adespoton (#48943101) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

Everyone I know believes humans do influence changes in climate. The difference is that a few people are complete deniers, and a few people are total climate change zealots. With all due respect, your message seems like a cut and paste from a climate zealot site.

Wait... what?

I'm sure we've got climate zealots on here, but claiming that a request for clarification on which part is a scam, outlining the various ACTUAL issues for debate, doesn't seem very zealotish to me.

And it's a checklist that I think should be part of any debate on HIGW. I bet if each of those items were polled, we'd get much different results for each one than we do for HIGW as a whole.

Comment: Re:Painted target (Score 3, Interesting) 119

by Em Adespoton (#48941109) Attached to: Tech Companies Worried Over China's New Rules For Selling To Banks

...until the point where that one company has its software totally pwned, all source code released to the public, and an overproportionate number of security holes and backdoors found.

Suddenly, they're an industry pariah, not just because they were a scab, but because nobody can trust their prioduct anymore. The short term profit is not sustainable.

Comment: Re:VMWare is worth the money (Score 4, Informative) 238

by Em Adespoton (#48941035) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

Same question from me -- VirtualBox is the basis for many niche solutions, such as http://www.cuckoosandbox.org/. The command-line toolset is great, and better than I've found for other similar products; you can easily do offline analysis of product runs, easily automate running test suites across multiple OSes, create a virtual network of VBox guests, and much more. VMWare does some of this, but is really aimed ad virtualized servers and desktops, not at testing and analysis. KVM could work, but is still maturing and hasn't quire reached the same level yet -- plus, it's nowhere near as portable to any host.

I also like that VBox inherits any improvements made in QEmu.

+ - Whales amplify sound with their skull bones->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "The loud, moaning calls of large, baleen whales—such as fin, right, gray, and blue whales—can travel hundreds of kilometers through the sea as the cetaceans reach out to contact others of their kind. Yet scientists have not fully understood how sounds reach the baleen whales’ ear bones. Now, researchers report today in PLOS ONE that they’ve solved the mystery by means of a 3D computer model of a fin whale’s skull. By simulating sound waves traveling through the computerized skull, the scientists discovered that the whales use an unusual mechanism for hearing: bone conduction. The fin whale’s skull bones (and likely those of other baleen whales) vibrate and amplify the low-frequency sounds, directing them to the ear bones. The discovery may help lawmakers set limits on the amount of noise humans can make in the deep sea."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Add noise (Score 1) 83

by Em Adespoton (#48932735) Attached to: Georgia Institute of Technology Researchers Bridge the Airgap

I think the main problem is that many people on here aren't old enough to remember those things in the first place. TEMPEST was big in the 80s and early 90s, but outside of military and electronic payment circles, people haven't been too concerned about it in the last 15 years. So it could possibly be new to a lot of the under-30 crowd.

Comment: Re:TLDR; 2D arrays wit a ton of spares are reliabl (Score 1) 253

Indeed -- remember the experiment posted on Slashdot a year or so ago where they measured the MTBF across drives purchesed in batches and outside batches? Failures tended to cascade within the batch; other batches would cascade at different times.

So that entire cluster is likely to fail catastrophically unless you're swapping in drives from new batches from time to time -- at which point it should last MUCH longer than 4 years with data integrity. Bonus points if your array can handle size boosts over time (swapping in larger disks).

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito

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