Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re:This isn't as good as it sounds (Score 1) 72 72

3DES isn't horridly broken. With the most commonly used keying option, it's vulnerable to a meet-in-the-middle attack, but it still provides 112 bit security. That'll start looking a little lean in the coming years, but it's still a beast to brute force.

On the other hand, RC4, SSLv3, and TLS1.0 are actually broken.

Comment: Re:Oh (Score 1) 18 18

I mean, of course I'm ashamed of my sin. As for you, personally: you blew up the benefit of the doubt long ago. Nothing about morality requires I be a doormat, and I've stood falsely accused enough by you that I always figure that you're setting me up.
Sure, I forgive you. For the past. But the idea that I have some "moral kick-me" in place is specious. Pre-judging you? Only of being human, sir.

Comment: Re:Oh (Score 1) 18 18

Morality is wholly positive; prejudice, negative. Thus, I deem "moral prejudice" an oxymoron.
Morality is fertilizer for the soul. Amorality is nihilism. As C.S. Lewis answered your piffle: “Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning"

Comment: Re:Oh (Score 1) 18 18

Oh, I guess the fact that the unborn life can't consent to its murder makes it OK?
My point being, once you've made pleasure the only guide, arbitrary rationalizations are simply a matter of creativity. No one's responsible for anything, least of all their own behavior. Huxley uber-goober.

Comment: Re:no we can't (Score 2) 75 75

I find this an interesting statement. Running the numbers, I find that you'd have to be using a rocket burning something rather better than H2/O2 (we're talking Isp >500 just to reach escape speed, much less to reach the target rock) to allow two launches of a delta-IV heavy.


The fact that a Delta-IV Heavy has a LEO payload of over 27 tonnes is a fact. You don't need to "run the numbers". As for the kick stage, I didn't specify a propulsion system - for all we care (since we haven't established a timeframe), it could be an ion drive and not even take a rocket so large as a Delta IV-Heavy.

Meanwhile, the Falcon Heavy is to make its first launch this year, with double the payload of a Delta IV-Heavy. And as was mentioned, the Tsar Bomba was not optimized to be as lightweight as possible.

And this entirely ignores that noone actually has a Tsar Bomba sized nuke available to be detonated.

Oh, and you didn't allow for a backup

It's almost as if I didn't add "with enough advance warning" for that scenario and leave what "enough advance warning" is unspecified. But if there's another rock the size of the Chicxulub impactor out there and we don't see it until the last second, we deserve to get hit - we're no longer talking about a 50 meter spec (Tunguska-sized), rather a rock with a cross section 30% bigger than the island of Manhattan. We're talking about an impact of a scale that happens once every hundred million years or so.

Comment: OMG - matti makkonen .fi sms pioneer dead (Score 0) 31 31

A more appopriate version of the BBC's article:

OMG - matti makkonen .fi sms pioneer dead!!!
WTF - mm just died @63! #txtpioneerdeath was father of sms & dvlped idea of txt msg with phones. @2012 msged BBC that txt would be here "4EVR".
shoutout 2 Nokia for spreading sms w/Nokia 2010. thought txt good 4 language. was btw mng. director of Finnet ltd and "grand old man" & rly obsessed with tech.
OMFG people!

Comment: Re:no we can't (Score 2) 75 75

It is not only possible, but the easiest option, to "blow them up Armageddon style" (minus the drilling and the like). There's a lot of simulation work going on right now and the results have been consistently encouraging that even a small nuclear weapon could obliterate quite a large asteroid into little fragments that won't re-coalesce, while simultaneously kicking them out of their current orbit. A few years ago they were just doing 2d calcs, now they've gotten full 3d runs.

Think for a second about what nuclear weapons can do on Earth. Here's the crater of a 100kt nuclear weapon test. It's 100 meters deep and 320 meters wide. You could nearly fit a sizeable asteroid like Itokawa inside the hole. And that thing had Earth's intense gravity field working against it and was only 1/10th the size of weapons being considered here. In space you don't need to "blast out" debris with great force like on Earth, you merely need to give it a fractional meter-per-second kick and it's no longer gravitationally bound. And the ability of a nuclear shockwave to shatter rock is almost unthinkably powerful - just ignoring that many if not most asteroids are rubble piles and thus come already pre-shattered. Look at the "rubble chimneys" kicked up by even small nuclear blasts several kilometers underground (in rock compressed by Earth's gravity). Or the size of the underground cavity created by the wimpy 3kT Gnome blast - 28000 cubic meters. Just ignoring that it had to do that, again, working against Earth's compression deep underground, if you scale that up to a 1MT warhead the cavity would be the size of Itokawa itself.

You of course don't have to destroy an asteroid if you don't want to - nuclear weapons can also gently kick them off their path. Again, you're depositing energy in the form of X-rays into the surface of the asteroid on one side. If it's a tremendous amount of energy, you create a powerful shattering shockwave moving throughout the body of the asteroid. If it's lesser, however, you're simply creating a broad planar gas/plasma/dust jet across the asteroid, turning that whole side into one gigantic thruster that will keep pushing and kicking off matter until it cools down.

The last detail is that nuclear weapons are just so simple of a solution. There's no elaborate spacecraft design and testing program needed - you have an already extant, already-built device which is designed to endure launch G-forces / vibrations and tolerate the vacuum of space, and you simply need to get it "near" your target - the sort of navigation that pretty much every space mission we've launched in the past several decades has managed. In terms of mission design simplicity, pretty much nothing except kinetic impactors (which are far less powerful) comes close, and even then it's a tossup. Assuming roughly linear scaling with the simulations done thusfar, with enough advance warning, even a Chicxulub-scale impactor could be deflected / destroyed with a Tsar Bomba-sized device with a uranium tamper. Even though it was not designed to be light for space operations, its 27-tonne weight could be launched to LEO by a single Delta-IV Heavy and hauled off to intercept by a second launch vehicle.

Comment: Re:Taxi licenses are crazy expensive (Score 5, Informative) 312 312

WTF have your shares got to do with your desire to deliberately trash the life savings of millions of taxi drivers in the western world?. They entered into a contract with the government...

Typically, taxi medallions aren't sold by the government anymore. They're typically sold by their previous holders and the high prices reflect their scarcity and perceived value. The market decides this value (even when they're auctioned off by the state), so there isn't any guarantee that they'll maintain that value. Any contracts that exist say nothing about limiting the supply or compensating medallion-holders for any speculative prices they paid. Buying a medallion for $800k is just as speculative as buying an $800k house or $800k worth of stock. There are no government guarantees that they will maintain value.

tl;dr... The economics of the taxi medallion situation are extremely similar to shares in a company. The "contracts" that you're referring to don't exist (at least in the form that you image).

Comment: Re:Not surprised (Score 5, Insightful) 312 312

Uber drivers are subsidized by everybody else. Taxi drivers have to pay high insurance rates because the act of driving a long distance every day for a ton of strangers is a job that inherently leads to a much higher statistical rate of payouts. If they're driving as a taxi on regular car insurance, it's you that's paying the bill for their swindle of the insurance system.

A commune is where people join together to share their lack of wealth. -- R. Stallman