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Comment: Quote (Score 1) 132

by Rei (#49363093) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

"We are pleased Roscomos wants to continue full use of the International Space Station through 2024 -- a priority of ours -- and expressed interest in continuing international cooperation for human space exploration beyond that. The United States is planning to lead a human mission to Mars in the 2030s, and we have advanced that effort farther than at any point in NASA's history. We welcome international support for this ambitious undertaking.

Yeah, that's basically "Go F* yourselves" in diplomatic speech.

And as it should be.

Comment: Re:Time to stock up on shotgun shells (Score 1) 76

by Pharmboy (#49361329) Attached to: How long until our skies are filled with drones?

That is silly. A falling bullet has a much lower speed than one that was just shot. I've been hit by shotgun pellets at the end of their range, it was like having gravel slung at you.

A returning bullet CAN hit someone, and possibly injure them if everything is lined up right, or there is a very low angle of fire, but they have a small fraction of the energy they had in the first km after being fired.

Comment: Re:WIMPs (Score 1) 214

by Rei (#49360117) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

One thing that dark energy can't be is *all* fundamental constants, plus position, velocity, etc scaling up evenly. Because if such was the case then there would be no perceptible change.

If youe saying that for example what is ground state would change too then it seems like you're arguing that things at the quantum level *aren't* moving into higher energy states. But things at the macroscopic level absolutely are moving into a higher energy state. So are you arguing that dark energy doesn't act on the quantum scale? I find that difficult to accept if so.

Comment: Re:WIMPs (Score 4, Interesting) 214

by Rei (#49358535) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

That the thing about dark matter... it has a perfectly reasonable explanation (WIMPs). It's not that weird of a "thing".

Dark energy on the other hand, that's just WEIRD ;) It doesn't act like any "energy" as we know it, even though everything is clearly moving into a higher energy state. A question I've had for a while... if space itself is being inflated (or any sort of mathematically equivalent scenario) - everything inflating in all directions at all scales - wouldn't there be some sort of weak radiation signal from electrons expanding into a higher energy state due to dark energy and then collapsing back down? But I have trouble picturing how to reconcile an absolute, varying distance at the atomic scale with quantization of energy states, positions, etc...

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 1) 365

by Rei (#49358149) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

Sure there is: add this to the CPDLC standard and make all of the hardware modifications needed to support it:

----
Message type: Revert flight plan and lock
Message arguments: TIME: the time of the flight plan to use
Message description: Revert to the flight plan that was active at TIME that had been approved by both ground control and the pilot; engage autopilot; and disable all pilot / copilot access to all systems. If there is no approved flight plan then the flight plan is to return to the nearest suitable airport in the most direct route possible.
----

Additional modifications: Make sure that the pilot can never disable datalink communications with ground by any means that ground wouldn't have time to respond to.

Result: Nobody is ever "remote controlling" the plane from the ground. A murderous / terrorist ground controller can't crash the plane, only make it autopilot itself on a previously approved or otherwise reasonable flight plan. A pilot behaving suspiciously can't crash the plane, as ground control will just engage the autopilot and lock them out. To abuse the system both ground and the pilot would have to agree on a suicidal flight plan.

Comment: Re:Pilots must remain in control (Score 1) 365

by Jeremi (#49355927) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

Hm, maybe FOUR people in the cockpit. Plus an armed TSA agent. And an armed TSA agent agent. That'll do the trick.

I say we get rid of the cockpit entirely, and instead provide a set of virtual controls in every passenger seat's seatback touchscreen. That way the passengers can fly the plane democratically. It will only fly into a mountain if that's what a majority of the passengers want it to do.

(Now, where do I pick up my consulting fee? ;))

Comment: Re:Memorizing site-unique passwords isn't possible (Score 2) 257

by Rei (#49350175) Attached to: Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess

Yeah, the suggested method for generating passwords generates needlessly long passwords. The total entropy is good, but the entropy per character is pretty poor. You get much better entropy per character with abbreviation passwords, where you have a sentence or group of random words and you use the first letter from each, or second, or last, or alternating, or whatever suits you. It's still not as much entropy per character as a random pattern, but it's much better than writing out full words - and pops into your head just as fast (because it is, in essence, the same).

Comment: Re:what will be more interesting (Score 1) 635

by Space cowboy (#49346829) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

Fortunately the comment history is preserved. Not 5 posts up you state, and I quote:

"Most Americans don't understand just how restricted speech is in the UK by comparison to the US"

Restriction of free speech pertains to government restriction. We don't care what companies / institutions do. The BBC isn't the government.

So, I guess the gp was correct.

Comment: Re:The BBC doesn't have much latitude here. (Score 3, Insightful) 635

by dj245 (#49345427) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

The BBC is a public broadcaster, funded and owned by mandatory license fees in the UK.Clarkson was on contract to the BBC. Once the organization confirmed that unprovoked verbal and physical abuse had occurred, they had to take action or leave the corporation open to an indefensible lawsuit from the victim. They can't exactly say, "Yeah, get stuffed. We have extensive policies promoting equality and prohibiting harassment and violence in the workplace, but we're ignoring them because the presenter is popular and profitable."

No doubt Clarkson and pals will make a profitable jump to Netflix or Sky to make a similar motoring comedy show. Meanwhile, the BBC has a chance to reinvent Top Gear with younger presenters and a reinvigorated format (there are only so many new Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Aston Martins that can be driven around a track in a cloud of smoke every week and only so many routes for contrived road trips through war zones in ancient sports cars).

If I wanted to see everyday cars that real people drive, I would go to a car dealership. Top Gear is the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous of cars. I will never buy a Lambo but that doesn't mean that watching them isn't fun.

Comment: Re:it could have been an accident (Score 1) 727

by dj245 (#49345319) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

No. You are trying to explain a mechanical failure of a door right at the moment when the aircraft suddenly starts descending into mountains all the while during which the copilot also does nothing to try to correct this unscheduled descent and also ignores air traffic control. Seriously if it has wings and floats on the water and looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. Your version requires many, many things to go wrong at once. The simple answer is, of course, only one thing went wrong - the co-pilot locked the door and set the plane to descend. Occam's razor, and all that.

Adding fuel to this theory is that the co-pilot was detatched and monosyllabic when receiving the briefing about landing in Dusseldorf - he had already made up his mind that he wasn't going to reach Dusseldorf. If the pilot wasn't going to go to the bathroom he probably was planning on killing the pilot anyway.

Give yourself the quick "MYSTERY SOLVED" pat on the back if you want, we're about 48 hours into an investigation which will probably last months. I'll wait for the final report.

Comment: Re:what will be more interesting (Score 5, Insightful) 635

by Rei (#49345311) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

Are people really going to miss yet another totally fake show pretending to be reality? Is it just because this one combined cars and Daily Mail-style politics?

Sorry, but I have no sympathy for a primadonna for whom curses at an employee for 20 minutes and then physically assaults him up for half a minute (without any resistance from his victim) before someone pulled him off, all because the Clarkson's food wasn't warm. And this is hardly the first time Clarkson has behaved like this, he was already on "final warning" after a string of other incidents. What befalls him is his own bloody fault. And all of the abuse that the victim got over this whole thing... my favorite tweet on the subject was:

"Man assaults another man and victim receives abuse because people can’t watch a TV show about cars. Bravo society. "

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