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Comment: Re:alien planets (Score 1) 88

by Jason Levine (#47797497) Attached to: Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far

You'd need to talk to an astronomer to find out the reason that astronomers at the time thought planets weren't common. It might have just been because we hadn't detected any and a lack of evidence for something translates into a certain amount of skepticism about whether that thing exists.`

Comment: Re:Glass half-empty much? (Score 1) 267

by Jason Levine (#47793517) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

In a previous discussion, I argued that I wouldn't buy a self-driving car if it didn't have a steering wheel. Someone (I honestly forget who) argued with me that unless self-driving cars didn't have steering wheels, they wouldn't be real self-driving cars. When I pointed out that the technology had to be proven before I'd trust it to drive me with no backup system, they pointed out the "Google has driven their cars X miles." I didn't say it at the time, but I suspected that there would be some difference between Google's test drives and real-world driving. Now it looks like I was right.

So I would but a self-driving car once it's ready, but I'd still want a steering wheel for those times when I just don't trust the computer to drive me. It'd be foolish to get into a Consumer GoogleCar Version 1.0 that didn't have any manual steering/braking system.

Comment: Re:This Just In! (Score 1) 108

by Jason Levine (#47785893) Attached to: How Big Telecom Smothers Municipal Broadband

That might be the real reason, but the public reason the big ISPs offer up is "unfair competition" from government - even when the "competition" would be serving an area that the ISP isn't serving. And yet, Comcast and Time Warner Cable claim they aren't competing with each other because they serve different areas.

Comment: Re:alien planets (Score 3) 88

by Jason Levine (#47785859) Attached to: Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far

At one point, the prevailing scientific theory was that planets were a rarity. Then we found the first exoplanet and astronomers started wondering if they might be more common. By now, with the thousands of exoplanets found, we know that planets are plentiful. We don't know how many Earth-like ones are out there, but many astronomers think that this is more of a deficiency in our planetary detection methods than a rarity of Earth-like worlds. (Bigger planets are easier to detect.)

Comment: Re:ok, so, what now (Score 1) 88

by Jason Levine (#47785829) Attached to: Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far

Exactly. Currently, our furthest space probe is Voyager 1 and that's only 0.002 light years away from us after travelling for 37 years. At that rate, it will take 18,500 years before it travels one light year and over 200,000 years before it travels 11 light years. Even if we could leave right now and cut the travel time in half, we still wouldn't arrive until the year 102,014. To put it another way, we as a species (Homo Sapiens) have only been around for 200,000 years. A probe sent to this closest planet at Voyager's speed, would have needed to have been sent when Homo Sapiens first emerged in order for it to have arrived now.

Comment: Re:This Just In! (Score 5, Interesting) 108

by Jason Levine (#47784893) Attached to: How Big Telecom Smothers Municipal Broadband

It's even worse when the big ISPs are trying to kill municipal broadband in an area they don't serve. Because you can't have the government competing with them in an area that they might, someday, begin to consider serving. Until then, the residents should grovel (over dial-up) at the big ISPs' feet for broadband Internet service.

Comment: Re: Her work (Score 1) 1217

Considering that I'm married with two kids, I've already found a woman who is attracted to me. She's never arched her back and stuck her butt out. And she's certainly never twisted her spine so that I could see both her chest and rear at the same time. Honestly, if she did that pose, I'd be concerned about rushing her to the hospital, not thinking "Boy, does that look sexy."

Comment: Re:It's powerful, but.. (Score 1) 115

by Jason Levine (#47778123) Attached to: PHP 5.6.0 Released

I actually like coding in PHP. You can create some really nice applications using it. Then again, you can create really nice applications with just about any server side language if you know what you are doing.

My main beef with PHP is the inconsistency with built-in function names. If you want to replace within a string, you use "str_replace", if you want to split a string into an array, you use "str_split". However, if you want to get part of the string, you use "substr". And if you want to compare two strings, you use "strcmp". If they could get some consistency there, it would vastly improve the language.

Comment: Re:Now almost as useful as python was 5 years ago! (Score 1) 115

by Jason Levine (#47778063) Attached to: PHP 5.6.0 Released

How has PHP been given a monopoly on the entire industry? There are other languages out there and many of them are used quite a bit. PHP may or may not be the most popular (I honestly have no stats to tell either way), but even if it was vastly more popular than any other web programming language, it would be far from a monopoly.

Comment: Re:You can get into trouble for using PHP (Score 2) 115

by Jason Levine (#47778045) Attached to: PHP 5.6.0 Released

For a split second, I was going to voice my outrage over such a thing happening before my brain kicked in and I remembered that BBSpot is a humor website.

In my defense, though, when a teen can be arrested for writing a story in which he uses a gun to kill his neighbor's pet dinosaur, the humor/satire stories can be hard to separate from the true stories.

Comment: Re:Her work (Score 1) 1217

Sadly, "perceived slights" can spill over into the real world. For example, there are plenty of stories where people freaked out because a dad was taking photos of his children. Why? Because "man taking photos of child" = pervert! Call the cops!!!!

If you disagree with someone's position, by all means, argue with it (as you appear to be doing), however lobbing death threats and revealing personal information about the person isn't debating their position. It's committing illegal acts in order to scare your opponent into submission.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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