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Comment Re:Yes, and are you sure it's not intended? (Score 1) 90

They're usually true believers who "just know" that this kind of thing will work and once the trolls are "outed", they'll do a completely 180 and become born again good citizens. I mean, all it takes is someone who knows what's best for them telling them the "truth" to straighten them out...

I've noticed this about a strong contingent of liberals; they seem to have an irrational notion that people just need to be exposed to their liberal values and have "the truth" explained to them by someone who knows what's best for them, and they'll magically convert to their way of thinking. It's the same on the conservative side too, and you especially see it with religious people. I got it just a couple days ago here in some discussion about religion; some religious people who "know what's best" telling me that the "truth" is obvious and my mind is simply "closed" to it, or that contraception is evil and I just need to read some Latin text from the Vatican and I'll understand everything.

There's really a complete lack of scientific reasoning from most humans, whether they're religious nuts, or into some social cause (which seems to be another religion of sorts). People believe things without any actual evidence at all, or based on some "evidence" which can't be cross-checked or validated in any way.

Comment Re:How does space elevator save energy? (Score 1) 118

Wrong again. There's gravity everywhere, including GEO. There's no effective gravity in any orbit because the gravitational force is counteracted by your motion caused by inertia: you're in constant freefall when you're in a stable orbit, so it appears to be zero-g in your reference frame, even though it really isn't.

But there is gravity in GEO, and theoretically to the ends of the universe, all caused by Earth's mass: just look at the gravitational equation, there's no distance limits on it. Of course, the effect of gravity diminishes with distance and it competes with the gravity caused by other bodies so past a certain point it becomes negligible. But for a practical example, the Moon exerts significant gravitational force on the Earth, which is what causes our tides, and the Moon is much farther away than GEO.

Comment Re: But (Score 1) 118

Short answer? We're still nowhere even remotely close to being even capable of making a space elevator.
Space elevators face such numerous problems anyway (really don't want to have to go into them all) that they're really not a fruitful avenue of pursuit.

For the Earth, sure. What about for the Moon, where gravity is only 1/6g and there's no atmosphere?

Comment Re: If someone killed my wife and children... (Score 1) 405

Ok, maybe, but still, you're talking about two groups of people who are very closely related genetically. It's impossible for them not to be: they originate from the same part of the world. They even look mostly the same. It's like comparing a German to a Frenchman. They're not very far apart. It's not like the genetic difference between a German and a Japanese person, or even more, the difference between a subsaharan African and just about anyone else. Humans as a species are extremely inbred, especially the non-African ones. We might think we look really different from ethnic group to ethnic group, but we really aren't.

Comment Re:If someone killed my wife and children... (Score 4, Insightful) 405

If someone killed my wife and children... I would not be above genocide utilizing a bioweapon, and I would be capable of building such a thing, targeted to a specific set of tribes or genomes

Good luck with that one. The problem here is that the two ethnic groups are almost the same: they're both Semitic people, and are extremely closely related genetically. Any bio-weapon targeting Jewish genetics is also going to affect Arabs, and vice-versa.

Something like that might work if, for instance, the Nigerians were really pissed at the Chinese. But with most cases where some ethnic group really hates some other ethnic group, the two groups are more similar to each other than to anyone else. It's kinda like all those cases you see where there's a family-run restaurant, but two brothers in the family have a big fight and suddenly there's two restaurants, the original one, and then a new one across the street with the exact same menu and almost same name.

Comment Re:There needs to be a very detail visual 4D sim (Score 1) 102

The length is relevant because all of that dust, seen straight on, blocks a lot of light

Right, I see. I was thinking you meant that the huge length, seen lengthwise, would block a lot of light just because of the sheer length, but this makes more sense since lengthwise it wouldn't be that dense.

How about the other poster's brown dwarf idea? Could this be caused by a brown dwarf in orbit around the star? Those things can get really big. Effectively, it'd be a multi-star system. Or do brown dwarves emit enough light (probably in IR) to still be seen? And why is my stupid spell-checker telling me that "dwarves" is misspelled?

Comment Re:There needs to be a very detail visual 4D sim (Score 1) 102

Yeah, but isn't the length of the tail irrelevant, because the tail would be pointed directly towards Earth (since it's blown by the stellar wind from the star, and the presumed comet is directly between that star and Earth)? I thought comet tails always pointed directly away from their star.

Comment Re:unpossible software hack? (Score 1) 246

No, not really. They didn't pay for any software at all; that's the whole problem. They paid for a service. If they paid for some software, they could just stick with what they have instead of pissing off users by divulging their identities when the users had never agreed to that before, at least until they could get the software made so that old comments used the pseudonyms while newer comments switched to the new policy.

Instead, they bought a service which apparently doesn't offer this ability. I don't know if there's a legal case to be made here, but it seems to me that their website had a policy before where people could make posts anonymously (or pseudonymously), and now they're changing to a real-name policy. That would be OK, except they're making it retroactive, which is certainly wrong ethically, and quite possibly legally, depending on the wording of their prior user agreement policy. You can't just go change agreements like that retroactively. And the fact that the SaaS vendor doesn't support this is no excuse. Either they need to switch to a new vendor, get the vendor to change, or eliminate the service (and comment section) altogether.

Comment Re:There needs to be a very detail visual 4D sim (Score 1) 102

Well again, given that a gas giant can only block 1-2%, this would have to be a really friggin' huge comet, right? A comet bigger than Jupiter? That doesn't sound likely. Sure, the tail might help, but still comet tails don't block light the way a planet does, they're just a collection of dust.

Comment Re:unpossible software hack? (Score 1) 246

Now you're talking about absurd and unaffordable amounts of money. Can you imagine how much money you'd need to pay Microsoft to make a custom version of Windows 10 for you without Metro? It's just not something they want to do. They might not even do it for any amount of money, unless you buy out the company outright, because it goes directly against their corporate vision.

With FOSS, this isn't a problem; there's always someone willing to do the work for you. And you don't have to buy out the original company to get what you want.

Comment Re:There needs to be a very detail visual 4D sim (Score 1) 102

The thing I don't get is how comets could possibly block 20% of the star's output. From what I remember, some astronomer said that if there were a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting the star, that would only block 1% of the star's output. If a Jupiter-sized planet would only block 1%, how the heck would some comets block 20 times more?

Comment Re:unpossible software hack? (Score 0) 246

If it's possible to do with "free" (open) software, it's possible to do with proprietary.

Absolutely wrong.

If it's proprietary, and you ask the vendor to make a change, and they say "no", then you're out of luck. They have total control over the software, so if they refuse, even with you waving money in front of their noses, there's nothing you can do. Proprietary companies frequently refuse to do custom work or listen to customer feedback, because they're selling to lots of people and don't want to deviate from their corporate direction or invest the resources necessary to please a single customer.

With open-source/Free software, you don't have this problem. You have access to the source code, so worst case, you can hire someone to make custom changes for you. It probably won't be that cheap to get a freelancer or some small software house to do it for you, since they're working with unfamiliar code, but it's better than nothing.

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.