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First Human Colonies Should Be Among Venus' Clouds 238 238

StartsWithABang writes: When we talk about humans existing on worlds other than Earth, the first choice of a planet to do so on is usually Mars, a world that may have been extremely Earth-like for the first billion years of our Solar System or so. Perhaps, with enough ingenuity and resources, we could terraform it to be more like Earth is today. But the most Earth-like conditions in the Solar System don't occur on the surface of Mars, but rather in the high altitudes of Venus' atmosphere, some 50-65 km up. Despite its harsh conditions, this may be the best location for the first human colonies, for a myriad of good, scientific reasons. NASA proposed something similar last year and released a report on the subject.

Comment: Re:New internet explorer (Score 4, Insightful) 305 305

If only enough people that mattered used Safari.

You mean other than CxOs and VPs that carry an iPhone and/or iPad?

No I mean accountants and ERP users that actually use applications in the enterprise. C-levels and VPs are a very small group of users, important, but only if you are managing stakeholder expectations.

Oh and I can see the fanbois are out modding again and taking everything personally.

Comment: Re:just let it go (Score 1) 807 807

I would rather like to know why the tax payer is on the hook for a failed project from a contractor? The US government needs to stop negotiating these one-sided contracts where we the buyer take all the liability. If the contractor fails, we don't pay, period.

There just aren't enough mod points for this comment.

Comment: Re:New internet explorer (Score 0) 305 305

If Safari is the new internet explorer then that's not bad. If Safari is the old internet explorer then that's really bad.

If only enough people that mattered used Safari. Deploying an enterprise based web application using Safari the way dependency on IE6 was created is unlikely to happen again.

Comment: Re:Um.. we don't see it as advancing our career (Score 1) 125 125

Why should it be any other way?

Well, I think some people do the work do it because they want to be good at it and, they enjoy it. They pursue challenges for the skill sets and visa versa. So being genuinely productive is a way to acquire new skill sets for yourself so everything is under control.

That's why the best IT professionals rarely work big hours, they don't need to.

Time and again experience shows there's more profit in looking productive than actually being productive -and arguably, being experienced in looking productive more than being productive will help you climbing the corporate ladder once you go into management.

I've noticed. For me though, I'm not doing a role just so they can get something out of me, I have my own objectives otherwise I wouldn't even be there. Acquiring talent with technology is still a discipline with difficult and interesting challenges - why else would you put up with the crap.

Management is a different set of skill sets where softer skills are important. Any programmer who wants to become a management person should focus on developing their people skills.

Actually, programmers should do that anyway, however it is impossible to become a good manager without having good people skills. Project management, budgeting, negotiating, and more to become a good manager.

The programmers path to management lays in developing emotional intelligence, empathy and awareness of others, reading body language, especially for leadership roles. So in some respect, it's not so much the path to management but what will you do to change so that you can accommodate those soft skills.

Comment: Re:Um.. we don't see it as advancing our career (Score 1) 125 125

Unfortunately there are plenty of managers around who think that the person who knocks off at 5.30 is not a "team player", regardless of whether they get their work done. And they'll reflect this moronic point of view in their review of the employee.

So true, they don't take into account that some people know when it is time to go home instead of become a hollow shell of a being.

Comment: Re:Um.. we don't see it as advancing our career (Score 1) 125 125

They don't care that you're old, they care that you either can't or won't put in tons of overtime they don't pay you for.

Since people work for free the expectation is there but it can't be put into a contract, so ultimately it is still a choice. At issue is whether or not someone can maintain their productivity if they consistently work back.

I think it is the social norm that should change. People seen staying back and working overtime used to be seen as the 'go-getters' when people worked a normal 8 hour day. Now most people do it for no other reason than they are too spineless to buck the trend and actually *be* productive as opposed to looking productive.

The idea that repetitive (as opposed to transient) overtime is a jerk move that steal employment opportunities from your peers needs to permeates our culture. It's the same behavior as the asshole that comes into work with the flu to be a hero and a week later the rest of the office has to suffer it.

No needs that person around.

Comment: Re:Obligatory reading (Score 1) 419 419

Besides I'm unclear if the RTG was justified for this mission mass or duration wise.

It would have massed about 1/10th the solar panels and lasted longer.

That looks like a guess. Are you able to cite the mass of the solar cells and rtg vs the power requirements of the lander?

"Justified" doesn't enter the equation.

Yes it does. The availability of pu238 (IIRC) used in the rtg is scarce. The duration of the mission isn't multiple decades in deep space where you have to keep electronics warm and supply electricity.

Additionally the rtg degrades and the lander was in storage while the rtg produced it's peak power output. That means the characteristics of the mission would defeat the need of the lander to have an rtg.

So it doesn't make sense to put the mission planning through the additional logistics for a craft that is going to be destroyed anyway.

I think this whole rtg discussion is a case of Captain Hindsight not really knowing the situation.

Comment: Re:From people who listened to it live (Score 1) 307 307

Huh? The live television broadcast did not run for "hours".

Your statement is ambiguous.

No, it is not.

Yes, it is. I find it ambiguous, so it is ambiguous.

You say it started before breakfast

Bullshit. You lie and leave tracks. I wrote Huh?! The radio broadcast started before breakfast, but it was a normal school day until just before lunch. The television broadcast (via Parkes) started just before lunch East Coast Time. It didn't run for "hours". No such thing as ADD or dsylexia then.

It is your message. The responsibility for communicating it accurately is yours. So instead of rushing to take offence just resolve the ambiguity, it is not as if I'm trying to insult you.

1) Did you listen to the live radio broadcast?

2) When did it start and end?

3) When did you start and stop listening?

Comment: Re:From people who listened to it live (Score 1) 307 307

Huh? The live television broadcast did not run for "hours".

Your statement is ambiguous. You say it started before breakfast and television broadcast (via Parkes) started just before lunch and fail to say when you stop watching or when it ended for you.

How hard is it for you to pay attention to something written on the same page you're replying to?

Without any accuracy and specificity in your response my level of attention is irrelevant. "did not run for hours" implies sometime less than 1 hour and 59 minutes, before breakfast to just before lunch implies at least 3 hours, even though you didn't connect the two statements. Therefore, based on the information you supplied, I can imply that you watched it for between 1 and 119 minutes. How long you watched and listened to whatever broadcasts were made was what I was interested in.

From the wiki:

Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface six hours later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC. Armstrong spent about two and a half hours outside the spacecraft, Aldrin slightly less

The people I am talking about took the *entire* day off to watch and listen to *everything*. From the duration of the mission on the moon perhaps more than two hours was broadcast from the surface of the moon. Maybe they saw something you did not *see* or *listen* to or it was an earlier broadcast, considering the duration of the landing. I was simply giving you the benefit of the doubt with your answer. As I said, I'm not committed to any opinion on the matter, I was just wondering what other people saw and heard and you have told me that so thank you.

Do you even think about the things you say? Them words have meanings - have you considered that and what they mean? It's a rhetorical question.

Yes. I considered that now-a-days, instead of calling you a 'fucken little smart arse' and giving you a slap in the head, they medicate you and fuck your head instead. It wasn't about you.

Undoubtedly you don't like "smart arses" and prefer the company of the opposite - for obvious reasons - given that the opposite of a smart arse is a dumb prick.

Sometimes smart arses are entertaining. The opposite could also be a dumb cunt, a smart cunt or a dick head, however the obvious the reason appears to be you taking the conversation too seriously. Again, not having a go at you.

That must of been a slow news day....

yes, they were slow news days, I was incredibly fortunate that no-one had anything better to do, than me.

Because they're both competing for election funding from the same business interests? According to the AEC the party who spends the most gets the most votes.

Agree, I was speculating about the motives.

It's a conspiracy if you don't know about it

Indeed, so I generally focus on the the things I can do something about. Unfortunately the general public's apathy isn't a problem I can solve.

Comment: Re:Assholes (Score 3, Informative) 181 181

So you made your bit torrent client look like a speed test?

No, they identified the ports the popular free speed check software used and then wrote special rules to handle that traffic with priority so the user thought the connections were faster than they were.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming