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Comment: Re:The problem with double standards. (Score 1) 223

by hey! (#48047449) Attached to: 35,000 Walrus Come Ashore In Alaska

Well, you can call it a "double standard", but that's how science works. Interpretations of data that contradict the established theory face higher burdens of proof than interpretations that support it.

It's frustrating to climate denialists and perpetual motion inventors that their ideas aren't given equal dignity with the scientific consensus, but that's because by in large they're ignorant of the effort that went into forging that consensus. It took fifty hard fought years for AGW to become the scientific consensus, and as a result it enjoys a privileged position: it gets to play the null hypothesis. To do otherwise isn't fair to the people who fought that fight for decades, and won. You can overturn the scientific consensus, but it's an uphill battle, as it should be.

Comment: Re:Antecdotes != Evidence (Score 1) 520

by Bert64 (#48045149) Attached to: Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

Many applications install the startup widget without asking, and often without informing the user at all. It could be solved through the use of a proper package manager and standard package format so that the package manager rather than an arbitrary installer program actually controls the installation and always gives the user the choice.

Comment: Re:Antecdotes != Evidence (Score 2) 520

by Bert64 (#48044999) Attached to: Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

It's not that unix is magical, but there are several very important differences that make unix systems far less susceptible to these problems than windows...

1, The biggest difference is probably the use of package management on unix vs arbitrary binary installers on windows... with a package manager, every install, update and uninstall is controlled by the same process which keeps track of what got installed and is able to cleanly remove it again, with windows an "installer" is just a binary program that you are trusting to write files all over the place but you have no real idea what its doing or if its working correctly. With the package manager its very easy to identify what package installed any given file etc. If you go outside of the package manager on unix and try to overwrite system packages by hand you can have serious problems too.

2, Transparency - Unix systems are much simpler and better understood, the boot process is usually just a series of scripts for instance, the filesystem is laid out in a mostly logical hierarchy and most configuration is stored in individual human readable text files, its much easier to understand exactly whats going on and much more difficult for poorly written programs to hide performance crippling cruft in unexpected places.

3, Lack of third party drivers - on most unix systems, drivers typically ship with the OS, get updated when the OS does and get tested together... Windows systems typically have a random collection of disparate drivers which sometimes don't play well together or with updates to other parts of the system. The other problems mentioned above also apply to drivers as well as userland.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 520

by Bert64 (#48044885) Attached to: Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

The real problem is that the install and/or uninstall is handled by the program itself, and not by a centralised package manager... So every installer is different, there is no consistency, not always a list of what exactly got installed or where, and no guarantee that the uninstall will actually remove everything.
You can also encounter really stupid problems, like the one you describe where you cant uninstall because the uninstall program is damaged. Sometimes you can reinstall over the top and then uninstall, but again due to inconsistency that doesnt always work.

Comment: Re:Faraday Cage / Tempest (Score 1) 135

by khallow (#48042641) Attached to: Boeing Told To Replace Cockpit Screens Affected By Wi-Fi
Unless it a) is not an actual increment in safety, and b) is not the only imposition the FAA makes. There's also c) the estimate is a wild underestimate of the true cost (the FAA has an incentive to underestimate cost). Given that the air carriers are complaining so much, I think the FAA is probably low balling the cost and maybe exaggerating the benefit as well.

Comment: Re:No, who cares? (Score 1) 266

by khallow (#48042511) Attached to: Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

Correlation does not imply causation.

The timing matters sure. I'll just note that the alleged cause precedes the alleged effect. That plus the correlation implies causation.

If one manned mission was so fruitful, there should be more incentive to do more manned missions and more people would want to jump in.

Why? Last I checked space science wasn't actually a high priority. This is a nuance that people routinely miss in my postings about manned space exploration. Keep in mind Keenmustard emphasized the value of science. In that light, then it matters what you use to get that science and on site humans have considerable advantage over current remote controlled robots in terms of scientific output for the dollars spent.

But if your goal is merely the appearance of doing scientific research, then robotics is the better deal since the ante is much smaller. You can throw something on the surface of Mars for a few hundred million dollars right now.

And that's fundamentally why surface-based lunar research stopped for forty years. There was nothing cheap you could do on the surface of the Moon that could look impressive after the Apollo missions.

Comment: Re:Mars has no magnetosphere (Score 1) 515

by khallow (#48042259) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

We could have a star trek utopia right here... Free education, opportunity through small businesses, cheap housing, plentiful energy.

I read through your essay. You spend way too much time talking about changing peoples' attitudes rather than concrete structural changes that would matter more.

For example, we already have part of the above. It turns out people are willing to borrow lots of money for an expensive education rather than get the cheap or free education. There's little difference in outcome between societies with free education and those with expensive educations.

And energy has been plentiful in the developed world for half a century or more. Same goes for opportunity through small businesses.

And housing isn't cheap because it isn't cheap to make or situate. The technology has to come about first in order for that to happen.

I'll just note that a lot of the obstacles to progress here come from your fellow utopianists who think that interfering with the above leads to their desired utopias. Perhaps you could all agree on the ideal approach (it'll only take forever, of course) while the rest of us build a nice society, which probably will include a substantial space-side presence?

Alternately, perhaps you could find a few perfect people who believe what you think needs to be believed, and implement a prototype of your desired society. If that turns out well, and it probably won't - be warned, then there will be a strong example for getting the rest of us to adopt the necessarily beliefs in order to implement your utopia.

Comment: Re:Mars has no magnetosphere (Score 1) 515

by khallow (#48042063) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity
That's a terrible risk diversity argument. There might be thousands or even millions of human generations before the next asteroid big enough to destroy human civilization on Earth. Taking fifty years to say, first develop the alleged "Star Trek" utopia wouldn't significantly change the risk for us.

Instead, I think far more mundane risks are better to consider. For example, there are routinely large economic downturns every ten to twenty years. A larger economy due to a space-side presence would help to smooth out the effects of such recessions.Or if there's a large war or disaster, there would be more resources available to help mitigate the harm.

Obviously, they don't provide a "killer ap" for space development, but there really isn't one over the span of a few human lifetimes except the opportunity to be at places that are completely alien to us on Earth and do things that haven't ever been done before.

What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away.