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Comment: that other Earth "like" planet... (Score 1) 104

by Fishbulb (#42565353) Attached to: Mysterious Planet May Be Cruising For a Bruising

FTA:

With a radius that is just 1.5 times that of Earth, the potential planet is what a so-called "super-Earth," meaning it is just slightly larger than the Earth.

Assuming it has a similar density to Earth, wouldn't it have considerably more gravitational force? Like, maybe 3x?

Earth's volume: 4/3 * pi * r^3 = 4/3 * 3.14159 * 1^3 = 4.1888
KOI 172.02's volume: 4/3 * 3.14159 * 1.5^3 = 14.137

People seem to forget that a small difference in radius produces a much larger difference in volume thanks to that r-cubed thing. "Slightly larger" equates to "much more massive" (given same density).
Or am I way off here?

Comment: Risk is risky! (Score 1) 157

by Fishbulb (#41414273) Attached to: Kickstarter Introduces New Hardware and Product Design Project Guidelines

Is our society really so caught up in itself that we can't just admit we got scammed for a few bucks on a bet and walk away? Now Kickstarter has to do some CYA limbo so they don't get sued because they "enabled" scammers?

If you can't handle the risk, you don't deserve the payoff, and you shouldn't stick out your nose in the first place. Stay home.

Comment: I Am Not A Boatie (but my parents are) (Score 3, Interesting) 340

by Fishbulb (#41327335) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech For a Sailing Ship?

My parents tool around the Bahamas every year in a Little Harbor 39'.

They've got at least three different GPS units; one built into the radar so you can match up coastal features with your charts, one built into the map desk, and at least two hand-held units (ala' Garmin Trek). Make sure the units you're looking at have digital sea charts available, as most of the hand-held units don't (or didn't last I checked) come with sea charts built in. The handhelds also have non-slip, brightly colored (yellow/orange) rubber protectors, bought separately.

You'll want to get into HAM radio, maybe even get a license. Definitely get one for home to try out, even if you buy a different unit for the boat.

Get eneloop batteries and a good charger or two. Also get a solar charger that you can roll out or pack away easily that will charge two AA's fairly quickly.

A wind turbine may be a good idea if you're planning to have a lot of tech gear, and almost certainly if you want a fridge with a freezer. However, most of them are noisy and getting a broken line caught in one while in bad weather will only make things worse. Also, if you have the wind to your back (generally speaking, sailing west) they won't generate as much (as if the boat were stationary) since you're traveling with the wind. If you're traveling east, you'll need more fuel to push it through the air (at a much less efficient rate than just running a more powerful generator off your engine).

An app like Night Sky that will super-impose constellation and astronomy info over a live camera image might be of use. (disc: that's the only app like that I've used and not much - not an endorsement, but it is a cool app)

If you're not already, become a: carpenter, plumber, electrician, mechanic, and eagle-scout level knot tying master. Practice doing separate skills with each limb while balancing on a see-saw.

Get used to making really detailed sailing plans and estimating how long it will take and how much gas and fresh water you'll need to get from point A to point B. Then flush those plans down the toilet. Repeat ad nauseam.

Lastly: have fun, it's great! :)

Comment: Solution: taxes (Score 2) 500

by Fishbulb (#41304133) Attached to: More Warnings About High-Frequency Trading

Return Wall Street to be investment-oriented from trade-oriented. A 15% capital gains tax is too rewarding for a gain on stock that technically never makes it to the company it was supposedly and "investment" in, and thereby promotes trad-centered behavior.

How? By adjusting capital gains income (earned investment income) tax according to how long it was held:
less than 1 sec = 99%
1-5 sec = 98%
greater than 5 less than 30 sec = 97%
less than 1 min = 96%
less than 5 min = 95%
less than 1 hour = 93%
less than 4 hours = 92%
less than 1 day = 90%
less than 1 week = 85%
less than 1 month = 80%
less than 6 months = 70%
less than 1 year = 60%
[...]
greater than 10 years = 15%

and finally, and probably MOST important: make it Last In First Out - the most recent stock sold is the most recent stock bought. Pop the stack. Otherwise after 10 years it's right back to where it was.

Comment: Comments matter (Score 1) 472

by Fishbulb (#41267231) Attached to: Comments On Code Comments?

Good comments help capture what you're thinking; what you're trying to do with your code. That's far more important than the implementation. It's the 'why' not the 'how'. Anything that facilitates capturing the why is a good thing.

Case in point: regaining the knowledge of the Apollo program. they still have most of the designs of components, including multiple design revisions, but they never captured the reasoning behind the design changes. You can see that bolt moved a half-inch to the right, but you've lost why that move was important.

Comment: Re:Please Find Alternative Ways to Our Money (Score 2) 333

by Fishbulb (#40862317) Attached to: 400,000 American Homes Have Dumped Pay TV This Year

So, dear cable/tv companies: We have money, we want to support your art.

That's like complimenting the milkman on his diet because "his" milk is SO DELICIOUS.

The artists make the art. The cable/tv companies only deliver it to you. The internet has made delivery trivial. Cut out the middle-men, pay the artists more.

Comment: The rise and fall of general purpose computing... (Score 2, Interesting) 424

by Fishbulb (#40767981) Attached to: OS X Mountain Lion Review

Slightly OT in that I'm getting away from the Apple-ness of the topic, but...

This is precisely why smart phones and pads are going to return us to the days of $2000 hard drives and $5000 PCs. The general population has needed to buy a PC or laptop in order to not be left behind in our increasingly computerized and online society. Now that the average person has access to surfing the web, reading email, and anything other than compute-intensive work in the palm of their hand, there is absolutely no need for them to buy desktops or laptops. The commodity surge of desktops and laptops is now passing us by, and we're going to see general purpose computing return to non-commodity prices.

To quote Samuel L. Jackson, "Hold on to your butts!"

Comment: Did you mean 4x4? try hub motors.. (Score 1) 543

by Fishbulb (#40703133) Attached to: Asking Slashdot: Converting an SUV Into an Hybrid Diesel-Electric?

Not everything marketed as an SUV is a true 4x4.

If you are thinking 4x4, I had a notion once to take an original humvee and outfit it with these:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheel_hub_motor
Rip out the entire drive train, save a hug amount of weight, or replace it all with batteries for distance, and build in a computer drive system that could do a great job of detecting the torque of each wheel so that the power goes where it needs to. Should have better clearance, too.

"Your stupidity, Allen, is simply not up to par." -- Dave Mack (mack@inco.UUCP) "Yours is." -- Allen Gwinn (allen@sulaco.sigma.com), in alt.flame

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