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Comment: Re:It was a myth (Score 5, Funny) 986

by HappyHead (#44620043) Attached to: Joining Lavabit Et Al, Groklaw Shuts Down Because of NSA Dragnet
The neat thing about the English language is that it has it's own built-in excuse for massively varying dialects and accents. Adding "ish" on the end of a word in English generally means "bares some vague resemblance to, but probably isn't actually the same as". Kinda like saying "Well, what we did was legal-ish", or "it looks kinda brownish". When we say we're speaking English, we're saying what we are speaking is "kinda sorta vaguely, but not quite exactly like what they speak in England". Thus, what they speak in Newfoundland is totally Engl-ish.

Technically, under those rules, Quebec "French" is also more Engl-ish than it is France-ish, but don't tell them that, it'll just upset them.

Yes, I did completely make that up on the spot, but it's a real-ish explanation.

Comment: Re:Vikings? Really? (Score 1) 147

by HappyHead (#44393665) Attached to: 'Space Vikings' Spark (Unfounded) NASA Waste Inquiry

And that's with oversight and real-time news reporting. Can you imagine the havoc we'll create when politicians and the media are 220 million light years away?

Are you kidding? Half of that havoc was because of the media coverage making soldiers want to show off and look tough, and politicians sending screwed up orders based on their personal (and highly uninformed) biases. (The other half was just because that's what "organized" militaries do. The unorganized ones are even worse.) That's okay though, any exploratory/colonial/invasion force sent out by earth will likely carry politicans and media with it to turn things into a messed up circus as well.

Comment: Re:Unfortunately, not all of us have that choice.. (Score 1) 218

by HappyHead (#44288461) Attached to: Current Doctor Who Warns Against Facebook
You do realize that Facebook has fallen in popularity a lot since things like Linkedin and G+ came into existence, right? Those things weren't always around, and before they existed, a lot of places would demand access to their potential employees' facebook pages. There were even slashdot articles about what to do when an employer demanded access to your facebook password, like this one and this one

Comment: Re:Aquarium Chanel (Score 1) 199

by HappyHead (#44288305) Attached to: TV Programmers Seek the Elusive Dog Market
Neah, I had a networked camera to watch the place - every time I checked, all day long, he was in front of the TV staring at it, or looking around the side of it. It was like it was hypnotic or something. When he got into mischief while I was away (without the TV on), it would be pretty obvious. Torn open and empty dog food bin, (and a dog who couldn't walk properly because his stomach was so full - that was a fun explanation at the Vet.) all of the blankets from my bed dragged out into the hallway, or an Irish Setter stuck up on the kitchen table and unsure how to get back down. Fun stuff.

Comment: Re:Always funny (Score 2) 158

by HappyHead (#44188231) Attached to: Zynga Puts Random Stranger In Customer Support Role
When I was a teenager, a local pizza place had a similar phone number to mine, and on every holiday, we'd get middle of the night drunken pizza orders called in to us, from people who refused to believe that they'd called the wrong number. Eventually we'd just tell them "Ok, you got me. It'll be there in 30 minutes or it's free." I once had a long argument with someone about anchovies, and informed him that he couldn't order a pizza with those on it over the phone due to regional by-laws. Eventually he relented and left them out of his order. I still couldn't convince him that he'd accidentally swapped the "5" and the "0" while dialing though.

Comment: Re:useless without infrastructure (Score 1) 277

by HappyHead (#44187155) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Permanent Preservation of Human Knowledge?

Why are we assuming a cataclysm? Yes, there may be one, and we have to prepare for the worst

That's why. This isn't a discussion about "sharing things with people now" - the internet does that quite well. It's a discussion of "what/how do we share information with future people after a hypothetical cataclysm, to get civilization back on track".

but we should also make as much available via technology as well. A thousand copies of an encyclopedia on thumb drives perhaps?

That would be of no use to an immediately post-cataclysm society, since they wouldn't be able to read them, and of no use to immediate society since they already have it. Also, by the time they'd developed (all on their own) the technology to read them, the 5-10 year average lifetime for data on thumb drives would have long since passed many times over, and the data would be gone.

Just don't use ROHS-compliant electronics; the lack of lead in the solder joints would whisker them to death over time.

The lack of long-term viability of magnetic storage would destroy the data long before the solder joints became an issue.

Comment: Re:useless without infrastructure (Score 4, Interesting) 277

by HappyHead (#44181903) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Permanent Preservation of Human Knowledge?
While that's true to some extent, it doesn't mean that knowledge shouldn't be preserved in a format that would be accessible by a recovering civilization. Just because they don't have electricity now, doesn't mean they never will, and a handy guidebook telling them how those things work will speed things up later.

It does mean though, that the information should be prioritized - there's a T-shirt/poster floating around the internet full of "things to take credit for discovering if you go back in time". Most of the items it lists are either critical discoveries that led directly to improvements in quality of life, or were the basis for other technologies. Pasteurization, antibiotics, electric generation, radio, flight, and more. (It's here by the way.)

A guide like that is a good start - build things up in stages, add in more (useful) detail, never assuming that the reader will already have a tool unless it has already been explained how to make it. Then if you want to go hog-wild, after you've reached the part explaining how to make a computer and digitize information, put the stuff that would require a heavily industrialized civilization into a digitized code format and explain how it's encoded, so they can read it when they're ready/able to use it.

Random data being used for research though, is likely totally useless. Not only is the DNA/RNA sequence from that rat likely to be useless to a recovering civilization, depending on what sort of cataclysm happened, the DNA/RNA of a rat may not even match what was recorded. Leave stuff like that to DNA/Seed banks, unless it's part of an explanation of "what DNA/RNA is", and even then, the whole set is pointless. (Also probably patented.) A Tokamak reactor may not be useful to a low tech civilization, but with the boost provided by being taught how to make hydro-electric generators, lights, heaters, radios, and internal combustion engines (they can run on cheaply made alcohol, they're just less efficient that way, and wear out faster.), they might be able to make use of that information in only a few generations.

The real problem of course, is format, and ensuring that not only does the information survive, but that these future people are able to understand it when they do see it, rather than thinking "Oh, pretty metal plates with squiggles on them. I bet I could melt those down and make a great set of knives out of them."

Comment: Re:Crucial (Score 4, Interesting) 168

by HappyHead (#44060103) Attached to: Pirate Bay Founder Sentenced To Jail
Part of the problem here is that he does often come across as a drug addled terrorist, and judges almost universally tend to not only find against people who do that, but also tend to put the maximum sentence on them, in the hopes that during their time in prison, they'll come out of their drug-addling, and actually notice where they are. (Yes, sometimes that's hopeless optimism.) Gottfrid may be partially responsible for some wonderful technology being popularized, but he's also responsible for a lot of horrible things as well (google "Potentialprostitutes" and "extortion" for an example) - calling on Karma for this really doesn't weigh in his favor.

Yes, Logica and Nordea did fail to protect their customers from people doing bad things, but that doesn't mean the people doing the bad things shouldn't be punished for it. If anything, Logica and Nordea deserve a bit of punishment too - much like if a school bus driver decided to take the kids through a rough section of town (as a shortcut!) and some gang member shoots the bus up - yes, the bus driver should be in a lot of trouble for that, but that doesn't mean that the gang member who shot at the bus should be let off, even if nobody was hit.

Comment: Re:Are they safe? (Score 2) 233

by HappyHead (#43646817) Attached to: New Flying Car Design Unveiled
Will the internal systems check be able to verify that the hub-caps are all clipped on properly, the mirrors haven't been knocked loose (to the point of falling off), etc? The street I used to live on had a railroad crossing with a steep grade on either side of it, and all up and down the street were littered pieces of poorly maintained cars - hubcaps, mirrors, door handles, the occasional fender (how do you not notice that falling off?), and once a mostly intact (though very rusty) car door sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. (I am assuming the driver was drunk for that one. There's no other way.)

Every time I hear about flying cars, I think about that car door, the fenders, and all those hub-caps, and I think "Do I really want these people flying over my house?"

It's later than you think, the joint Russian-American space mission has already begun.