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Comment: Re:I like Gnome 3, and I am donating (Score 1) 682

by Man Eating Duck (#46759809) Attached to: The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

I actually use gnome 3, and I'd hate to see it gone. I think even with its problems, its the future.

Sure they made some bad decisions.

Good it works for you. I don't know if your last paragraph referred to the OPW or the UI. I don't really have strong opinions one way or the other about their getting involved with the OPW, but to me the main bad decision was that they essentially made Gnome 3 into something completely different, while removing as many features as possible. Many people, including me, used Gnome because they basically liked how it worked. The current Gnome 3 should have been a fork, which could very well have been managed by the same people. They could have sanctioned that the current Mate devs managed *their* version, still under the Gnome umbrella.

Their attitude when confronted with the reality of the majority of users' opinions certainly don't garner much sympathy from me, either. If they had acted in a different manner, and certainly if they had gotten rid of their attitude, they would have had many more supporters now when they're in financial straits.

Comment: Re:People need to start with the scale (Score 1) 392

by Man Eating Duck (#46709149) Attached to: How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

Every electric engine?
Or do you mean this:
Our parent was not talking about that, but about engines that simply don't have an "exhaust" or other means of expelling impulse in one direction.
At least that is how I understood his post.

Yes, of course I meant a reactionless means of propulsion, which was *exactly* what meta-monkey's post was talking about (the fuel *is* the reaction mass in a chemical rocket engine), and incidentally it was the very word you used without any inclination about its meaning. He even gave you a hint about Newton's laws, look them up, pay attention to the words "action" and "reaction". The third law has never been proven wrong, any reactionless engine would earn you an extremely easy Nobel price.

"Every electric engine" would not help us doing spacecraft propulsion without reaction mass. I don't suppose you actually read the Wiki page you linked to, as I think your understanding of "reactionless" still is a trainwreck.

You obviously have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, but feel free to mention just one of the plenty "reaction less" engines (or drives, whatever) that we have. Please don't mention "electric engines" again unless they are reactionless.

Normally I would just leave this inane discussion, but I am feeling grumpy today.

Comment: Re:IANA Physicist, So... (Score 4, Interesting) 630

by Man Eating Duck (#46707971) Attached to: Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

OK, hot, yes, but wouldn't they need something combustible to actually erupt into flame? Or what am I missing?

I think this is what's going on: when something is burning, the flame you see is just glowing hot air, heated by the energy from the combustion. The flame is not part of the combustion, just the side effect. In this video you see glowing hot air heated by compression and possibly the shock wave from the projectile. Same result, but the energy source is different.

If you've seen a meteor (streak of light in the sky at night, or a visible fireball with a trail if you're really, really lucky), the principle is the same, nothing is burning. The heat come from compression of the air in front of it, and the light you see is from the superheated air in its wake (and a little from the glowing meteorite).

Comment: Re:Phones yeah (Score 1) 227

by Man Eating Duck (#46705369) Attached to: Nanodot-Based Smartphone Battery Recharges In 30 Seconds

Current cars can 80% charge in 30 minutes. So I think the question is do we need 5 minute charging instead of 30 minute charging?

If my range was 300 miles, I'd be cool with 30 minute charging. I'd almost never use it.

I bought my car exactly a year ago. I have driven it about 9000 km in that year, but the longest single-stretch trip was about 250 Km. Turns out I could easily have managed the vast majority of my trips without stopping to charge in one of the longer range electrics, and it would be close to free compared with the petrol prices where I live.

I really like the idea of electric cars, sadly they are still expensive to buy where I live. Then again, so is petrol. I'm watching the used market, and it'll also be interesting to see how well the newer battery packs hold up after a few years, but we'll certainly consider an all-electric car as our primary vehicle. A plug-in hybrid is also attractive, but even more expensive to buy, as taxes are based on total engine power (fuel + electric).

Comment: Re:People need to start with the scale (Score 1) 392

by Man Eating Duck (#46700253) Attached to: How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

I guess the ghost of Newton would be very happy with 'reaction less' engines as you 'christian' them ... after all we already have plenty of them, they are just not suitable for space crafts.

I would be be very excited to hear about this plethora of reactionless engines... That is, if you had any idea what this word you are parroting actually means. (Please, do me the favour of looking it up before replying).

Comment: Re:People need to start with the scale (Score 1) 392

by Man Eating Duck (#46700143) Attached to: How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

To add some details: the Moon's gravity being about 1/6 of Earth's, lifting the 300 Kg object on the Moon would require about as much strength as you would need to lift 50 Kg on Earth. It would take a little bit longer, however, as you would still have to struggle against the full 300 Kg of inertia.

If you're a diver, you might have experienced that lifting rocks underwater is easier than on land. This is because of buoyancy helping you, making the apparent weight of the rock less. It feels strangely "sluggish" because the inertia is the same (and the resistance of water is a lot more than that of air, partly because of the water's inertia). This paragraph might not be very clarifying after all, but I'm leaving it in because I already wrote it :)

Comment: Re:People need to start with the scale (Score 1) 392

by Man Eating Duck (#46700039) Attached to: How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

Didn't know inertia came into play in the empty vacuum of space.

No need to be a cock about it.

I'm not good at explaining things, but here's a try: many confuse weigth, the effect of a gravitational field on a massy object, with mass, an intrinsic property of massy objects anywhere. The inertia of an object depends only on mass, not gravity. A couple of examples to illustrate: on the moon a healthy person could easily lift a 300 Kg object off the ground, which you probably couldn't do on earth. However, if that object were falling at you from above at 10 m/s it would hurt you exactly as much as it would on Earth. This equals a fall of about one second (five meters) on Earth, but on the moon it would require a fall of about six seconds / 29 meters due to the lower weight/mass ratio. The speed is the same, the crushing inertia which is a property of mass is identical everywhere, only the weight is different. In space, the 300 Kg object coming at you at 10 m/s would *still* do the same damage to you (assuming you were crushed between it and a space station, for instance). This is a real concern when astronauts are handling heavy objects in space.

If you decelerate an object the mechanics are identical to accelerating it, including the effects of acceleration, and this is again no different in space. If you needed one year to accelerate the spaceship without crushing the passengers, you will also need one year to brake. There are a lot of other problems with interstellar travel which we really, really don't have the technology to address, such as for instance reaction mass, energy concerns, and deep space impacts, but that isn't relevant to the above explanation :)

Comment: Re:Something From Nothing. (Score 1) 392

by Man Eating Duck (#46696983) Attached to: Why Are We Made of Matter?

Uh, where do YOU think it came from? If you say "God," then you have to explain why God can pop up from nowhere, or why he can be eternal, but nothing else can. Oh, wait... it's "ineffable," sorry.

Besides, no one has given any reason why existence itself must be subject to cause and effect; only things that already exist can be observed to hold to that law.

They don't want to explain anything, they only want to attack and denigrate the evil, evil science at every crossroad. If there is *anything* that science can't explain, the cause must of course be supernatural (god). Look up the fallacy "god of the gaps". For some, this is not a search for truth.

Comment: Re:Freedom of Speech? (Score 1) 328

by Man Eating Duck (#46679389) Attached to: Federal Bill Would Criminalize Revenge Porn Websites

... but the simple act of consenting to the recording is enough, under the law; a release at that point is just ass-covering.

That might be US law, but it sounds strange to me. In Norway the matter is more complex: you can not publish a photo of somebody without their expressed consent, even if they were aware that the picture was taken. "Publishing" includes posting on a website accessible to the general public, and this makes a lot of sense. I would not stop someone taking my picture in a social setting, but if I don't give my consent for them to post it on Facebook, they are in violation of the law if they do so. If you're part of a crowd and not the primary subject of the image, this law is not applicable.

There is an exception for "public persons" (celebrities), which must expect that images of them are published if available, but for regular guys this law is sensible. In fact there was a case a few years back where a picture of some random dude enjoying a beer alone at a sidewalk café was used as an illustration image in an article about alcoholism. He was not aware that the picture was taken, but when the article was published in one of the largest dailies his friends and relatives started calling him, concerned about his alcohol consumption. The paper ended up paying him a substantial amount of money because he obviously hadn't given consent to publishing, and he pursued the case until conclusion.

"Publishing" stuff on the internet, like on a revenge porn site, would certainly fall under this clause here in Norway. Again, this makes sense.

Comment: Re:Don't worry (Score 1) 509

by Man Eating Duck (#46673031) Attached to: The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

Most people have little idea of what is about to happen as the pH of the oceans falls another 0.1 to 0.4 in log hydromium ion concentrations. A 0.1-0.2 pH drop is already in the cards as the oceans come into equilibrium with current atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the next 50 to 100 years so the intense selection regime is already baked into our planetary system.

I think the main problem is right here; most people won't be alive in one hundred years. Even if they were sure about the consequences many of those people would still not use an electric car for their 10 km daily commute and rent an F-250 only when they need it (twice a year), since the consequences will not affect them personally. The vehicles are just an example here, the important thing is the mindset.

Incidentally, a bunch of posters will now complain about how a Leaf can not tow their loaded boat trailer, blithely ignoring the fact that they actually only tow their boats twice a year. Point proven.

Comment: Re:2nd Array or Tape (Score 1) 983

by Man Eating Duck (#46500931) Attached to: How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

$2000 + $60/tape isn't what I'd call cheap for home use. Or is that stuff available for a LOT less?

Well, it is available used for somewhat less, but 20TB isn't exactly your average home storage system either. I would ask him *why* he needed to keep all that data online, including backing it up. If the RAID itself contains a copy of his physical media library (or the bay), well, there's your backup already :)

He should balance the need to keep it all instantly available against the cost of doing so. The reason why there are no cheap solutions to backing up 20TB in a home scenario is that very few people do it. If it were me I'd just get a bunch of cheap drives and a hot-swap bay, and just create a script that catalogued the content of each drive. If it was irreplaceable content I created/shot myself I would invest in a tape solution, in that case it isn't *that* expensive. Crashplan works well for me to keep onsite/offsite backups of videos and pictures of my kids, but if I needed so much space that recovery time became a concern I would shell out for some disks or a tape library (it won't, however).

He could be something like a freelance video producer, in which case it might be a legitimate need, but then he would be insane to not already have a backup solution in place. Also, that would remove him from the home user category. For instance, rip-on-demand is likely the cheapest strategy storage-wise for using your library on your media center, and you probably won't end up with 20TB on a RAID :)

Comment: Re:Ah, "unlimited"... right. (*cough*) (Score 1) 983

by Man Eating Duck (#46499977) Attached to: How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

Theres no storage system in existence that will store 2TB of data for $5, let alone maintain it.

No, but the average customer stores far less, obviously it all works out because they're still in business :)

I wouldn't find it inappropriate if Crashplan contacted the poster storing 14TB above with a suggestion to get a business plan (if he doesn't already have one), but Crashplan obviously can handle it. I've read articles about people successfully recovering terabytes of data from Crashplan, but that guy had to use the HDD recovery option because it would have taken him weeks or months to download it all.

Money is the root of all wealth.