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Comment: Re:Displacing five times as much water... (Score 1) 113

by Martin Blank (#48623697) Attached to: New Cargo Ship Is 488 Meters Long

You would think with that volume of gas you would be up there with a nuclear sized detonation.

It has a capacity of some 430 million liters of LNG. At an average density of 0.463 kg/L at -160C, that's 199 million kilos of liquefied methane. At 22.2 MJ/L, that's 4.42 billion MJ, or a shade over a megaton of TNT if it were to all go off at once.

Though I doubt that's possible. The storage facilities will have separation, so at best there would be a chain that would dampen the impact somewhat.

Comment: Re:class act (Score 1) 171

by Martin Blank (#48579805) Attached to: Julian Assange Trying To Raise Nearly $200k For a Statue of Himself

It's not quite nothing--he did retweet it to give it some attention--but I thought it was iffy myself, and I am certainly no fan of Assange. I keep him on one of my Twitter lists just because his delusions amuse me (and because he sometimes posts something interesting). When something this unusual pops up, it's best to look into it a bit further.

Comment: Re:Every 30 days. (Score 1) 247

by Martin Blank (#48540857) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

I use sentences of my own creation. In the case of mandatory password changes, I will sometimes use some piece of trivia. For example, I might use the counties of a state. It reduces the entropy somewhat, especially if someone finds out what the reference is, but it allows me some room to work and embeds a new bit of trivia into my head.

I do use password managers (a couple of them, actually), and I know there are some enterprise password managers out there. There's a danger to stand-alone managers, but a well-managed enterprise should have all of the core passwords securely stored somewhere.

Comment: Re: rounding error (Score 1) 71

by Martin Blank (#48529157) Attached to: Technical Hitches Delay Orion Capsule's First Launch

More launches mean more cost, especially if you're scattering it across launch pads located around the world. There aren't many sites that can handle significant launch masses: Cape Canaveral, Baikonur, Plesetsk, French Guiana, Jiuquan (China), Satish Dhawan (India), and Tanegashima (Japan). So you have enormous coordination between nations that have widely varying launch experience for their heavy lifters, that use different technologies and procedures, and have different goals for their space programs. This doesn't even get into the politics of "What do you do for me if I agree to lift this 15T payload into orbit?"

It also would cost more fuel, since launching from different locations means having to match inclinations. This has already led to one major limitation with the ISS, since its inclination is a compromise between the ideal inclinations for Cape Canaveral and Baikonur.

On top of that, you add complexity in having to dock so many more times, increasing the risk of an incident. While the potential loss from a single large launch is significantly more than that of a single small launch, the cumulative risk of any loss is greater with multiple launches. Putting a thousand tons into orbit would take eight SLS launches, but a minimum of 44 launches of the Delta IV Heavy or Proton, currently the heaviest launchers available.

I would rather see projects like the Falcon XX or MCT encouraged, and I expect they'll be showing up on the test schedule around the same time as the SLS. But NASA is going to have their own path despite the costs, and so they may as well work on an SLS-class launcher. If nothing else, it will give SpaceX (and maybe others) something to aim for and probably provide some valuable lessons along the way.

Comment: Re:Over what time interval? (Score 1) 528

by Martin Blank (#48528237) Attached to: The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

For one thing, that is likely the storage size, not the transfer size which is likely going to be way less due to compression.

The transfer size probably is smaller to some degree. But to hit that uncompressed volume of storage size, there is going to be a lot of data with poor compression rates. I expect that a lot of pristine, high-resolution digital video is in that, and that certainly won't compress all that well.

But as you point out, those can be terabytes in size. Even with the potential value of that, most people aren't going to download the raw files, and fewer still will go through the work of converting them to lower-res files more amenable to download. I'm not saying it won't happen, just that I think it's unlikely. Sony has more to worry about from the financial and personal information that was obtained than the revenue loss from any movies that were downloaded.

Comment: Re:Every 30 days. (Score 1) 247

by Martin Blank (#48527269) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

Why do random words? Use a sentence. I do that for many of my passwords. You get upper and lower case letters, symbols, and maybe even numbers, and it's not hard to go past 20 characters. It's highly customizable for each user and much easier to remember.

The problem with this is that there are still too many systems that have length caps that are too short. Not really many solutions for limits of 16, 10, or even 8 characters.

Comment: Re:rounding error (Score 3, Interesting) 71

by Martin Blank (#48522489) Attached to: Technical Hitches Delay Orion Capsule's First Launch

While I'm not terribly enthusiastic about the Orion project, I do give them some credit that you clearly don't. A moon mission is to be possible with a single launch, similar to the Apollo missions. (I think a near-Earth asteroid will also be possible in one launch.) I believe a Mars mission is expected to be 2-3 launches, with the last one the manned launch, followed by docking in orbit and then leaving for Mars.

The setup flying from the Delta IV Heavy is only part of the stack. When the SLS launches, it will have a payload capacity of 130 tons, compared to the Delta IV Heavy's 23 tons. (The Saturn V could lift 118 tons.) That's a lot more hardware and fuel that can be lofted.

Comment: Re:Look, cheaper for everyone by removing luxury! (Score 1) 286

by Martin Blank (#48247783) Attached to: The Airplane of the Future May Not Have Windows

On recent Delta flights, I was surprised to learn that I could get free movie and TV streaming to my tablet. I'm fine with that since the resolution on my tablet is far better than the screens that get installed into seatbacks. I also got what was listed as 24-hour access to the movie, though I forgot to check to see if I could finish the movie once on the ground until after the 24-hour mark. It doesn't make up for seat issues, but it's definitely better than options I've seen on United or American.

Comment: Re: Rent a Tesla for $1 (Score 1) 335

by Martin Blank (#48016011) Attached to: State of Iowa Tells Tesla To Cancel Its Scheduled Test Drives

Franchise opportunities have to be open to anyone (with geographical restrictions in some states), and it's my understanding that auto manufacturers may not have an interest (or at least a controlling interest) in any entity that owns a dealership that sells their vehicles.

Comment: Re:kill -1 (Score 1) 469

by Martin Blank (#47965343) Attached to: Fork of Systemd Leads To Lightweight Uselessd

Really? You don't reboot after a kernel security update?

I do believe that the comment also include "and in scheduled windows".

I see too many Linux systems with uptimes well in excess of a year and even three years, in the belief that it's Linux so they don't have to worry about it, and no one codes exploits for Linux kernels, ignoring whatever may be on ExploitDB. In many cases, "scheduled downtime" is for when the service is restarted after patching, not for rebooting. It's far more common than it should be, even among people who have been using Linux for many years and should know better.

Comment: Re:This is supposed to be the *WAY* they do their (Score 1) 392

Obamacare seems to have only helped a little under 3% of the people who did not have coverage previously.

The NBC News article says that 5 million people had insurance who did not have it before. If that's only 3% of the people who didn't have insurance, it would require that approximately 166 million people--half of the country--not have insurance before.

What happened was there was a drop in the uninsured rate of about 3% from around 15% to around 12%. That's about 20% of the people who did not have insurance before now having it. As the penalties go up, the uninsured rate is expected to go down even further.

"Bureaucracy is the enemy of innovation." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments

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