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Comment: Re:NASA will pick the easy targets (Score 1) 64

by NockPoint (#46256417) Attached to: A Year After Chelyabinsk, NASA Readying Asteroid Response Mission

Most asteroids large enough to cause an "extinction event" have been found and future orbits calculated for hundreds of years.
What might hit are smaller asteroids and long period comets. There is almost nothing we could do with a large long period comet. While we might get several years of warning, there is almost nothing that could be done.
Smaller asteroids we would get no warning on most of the time. There is a lot of sky, and only a tiny fraction of it is searched by something big enough to see a "city killer" a month away. A week's warning is more likely, even a day's warning is less than 50%. The most likely first warning would be a bright spot in the sky as the asteroid starts to hit the top of the atmosphere... Seconds before impact.
To get warning of city killers would require putting up some specialized sky survey satellites. Unlikely, in today's political environment.

Image

Smart Wallets React To Spending By Shrinking 98

Posted by samzenpus
from the smaller-by-the-hour dept.
fangmcgee writes "These high-tech wallets are digitally programmed to react to your bank account levels by shrinking in size, refusing to open, or vibrating whenever a transaction is processed. From the article: 'The Proverbial Wallets come in three attractive styles to fit your spending needs: The Mother Bear has a constricting hinge that makes it harder to open the closer you approach your monthly budget, while the Bumblebee buzzes every time a transaction is processed. The Peacock inflates and deflates with the amount of cash in your account, which puts your assets on “display” for potential mates, according to the designers.'"

Comment: Re:Forcing people into impoverished lives (Score 1) 822

by NockPoint (#30258312) Attached to: Engaging With Climate Skeptics
Many of them have wanted this since before Global Warming was even theorized.

So most of 'them' must be much older than a hundred plus years... Global warming has been around since 1895 or older.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius

They demand the power to do this, but they refuse to release their data.

This should do for a start:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/

They refuse to publish the code for their computer models

Really. Did you try SourceForge? And why not??

http://sourceforge.net/projects/climate-model/>

And this one has been public since 1983. 1983 was a long time ago...

http://www.ccsm.ucar.edu/models/ccsm3.0/

They refuse to rationally refute skepticism.

You mean like giving pointers to climate data and climate models that you claim are not public? Or pointing out that this isn't an new theory?

They refuse to address the question of whether warmer may be better than colder.

Ah yes. A little warmer might very well be better. You have a point. The problem is that we are unlikely to stop at a little warmer.

--

This is not a sig. If this was a sig, the "--" would be closer. If it was a sig, it would say something witty. If it was a sig, it would be meaningful. If it was a sig, it wouldn't be nearly this long.

Comment: Well... (Score 1) 1127

by kkrajewski (#27559461) Attached to: Worst Working Conditions You Had To Write Code In?

We work from home, so about the most hazard we experience would be a cat jumping on the keyboard.

OTOH, in the realm of just annoying, is that a device emulator we use frequently takes about 90 seconds to load and can't just be left running -- you have to restart it for each recompile. It's like the testing cycle is make as many changes as possible, compile, go get a beverage or take a pee, come back, it should be just about ready to run.

Comment: Re:I always wondered (Score 5, Insightful) 367

by NockPoint (#24364099) Attached to: Nukes Not the Best Way To Stop Asteroids, Says Apollo Astronaut
And blasting it into little pieces would most certainly have an effect, since smaller pieces have more drag, they would be more likely to burn up harmlessly in the atmosphere (same total energy, much wider dispersion).

For a small object, yes.

For a object big enough to seriously worry about, no. Think of it this way. Take a rock the size of the one that killed the dinosaurs. It had roughly 300 million nuclear weapons worth of energy. Break it into a million equal size pieces, and there are a million rocks with 300 times the energy of a nuclear weapon, each of which would be more than large enough to punch through the atmosphere. The damage would be more focused on the surface of the Earth, and less would be "wasted" on deep layers of rock.

Small explosions are much more effective at destroying things than large explosions. That's why cluster bombs were invented.

Microsoft

Bill Gates Reveals Secret of Microsoft's Success 584

Posted by kdawson
from the polishing-the-legacy dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Bill Gates, in a interview with the BBC, revealed the secret of Microsoft's success: 'Most of our competitors were very poorly run. They did not understand how to bring in people with business experience and people with engineering experience and put them together,' said Gates. 'They did not think about software in this broad way. They did not think about tools or efficiency. They would therefore do one product, but would not renew it to get it to the next generation.' Mitch Kapor, founder of the Lotus Corporation, has a different view: 'Claims by Microsoft that people were buying the software because it was good are pretty self-serving. I'd like to smoke what he's smoking.' Gates also said that he took a 'conservative balance sheet approach' to running Microsoft explaining that he wanted 'great financial strength so we would have the flexibility to do software in the new way, or whatever we wanted to do.'"
Transportation

SwiftFuel Alternative To Alternative Fuels 725

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-about-pedals dept.
TheDawgLives writes "PBS has an article by Bob Cringely about the best route to end our dependence on oil and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Instead of replacing all our expensive cars with even more expensive hybrids or electric cars, his suggestion is to use a cheap drop-in replacement for gasoline called Swift Fuel. It is derived from Ethanol, but doesn't require any modification to older cars to prevent corrosion. It can be mixed with gasoline in any amount and can even be distributed using the same network as gasoline, including being pumped in the same pipes and shipped in the same trucks. It is truly a drop-in replacement for gas, and it is real. It is being tested by the FAA for certification in propeller aircraft. It also happens to be about $2 a gallon cheaper than gasoline."
Earth

Scientists Surprised to Find Earth's Biosphere Booming 692

Posted by timothy
from the but-there's-also-the-slow-hiss-in-the-background dept.
radioweather writes "An article from the Financial Post says that recent studies of biosphere imaging from the NASA SEAWIFS satellite indicate that the Earth's biomass is booming: 'The results surprised Steven Running of the University of Montana and Ramakrishna Nemani of NASA, scientists involved in analyzing the NASA satellite data. They found that over a period of almost two decades, the Earth as a whole became more bountiful by a whopping 6.2%. About 25% of the Earth's vegetated landmass — almost 110 million square kilometers — enjoyed significant increases and only 7% showed significant declines. When the satellite data zooms in, it finds that each square meter of land, on average, now produces almost 500 grams of greenery per year.' Their 2004 study, and other more recent ones, point to the warming of the planet and the presence of CO2, fertilizing the biota and resulting in the increased green side effect."
Power

Successful Cold Fusion Experiment? 387

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the so-cold-it's-hot dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The italian economic journal 'Il sole 24 ore' published an article about a successful cold fusion experiment performed by Yoshiaki Arata in Japan. They seems to have pumped high pressure deutherium gas in a nanometric matrix of palladium and zyrcon oxide. The experiments generates a considerable amount of energy and they found the presence of Helium-4 in the matrix (as sign of the fusion). I was not able to find other articles about this but the journal is very authoritative in Italy. Google translations are also available."
Education

+ - MBA 'Fuqua-Up' at Duke

Submitted by
theodp
theodp writes "Prompted by Duke's B-school cheating scandal, The Christian Science Monitor questions if business schools are training honest corporate leaders when so many MBA students cheat. Looking beyond the 10% of the '08 class at Duke that was caught cheating, The Monitor notes that a recent study of 54 universities found 56% of MBA students admitted to having cheated. Wonder what this portends for Google, the new #1 darling of the MBA-set."
Announcements

+ - Nano Light Bulbs for Your Shirt

Submitted by moscowde
moscowde (1096675) writes "Craighead Research Group at Corenll University created a so-called "Nano-Lamp" — a microscopic collection of light-emitting fibers with dimensions of only a few hundred nanometers. The fibers are made of a polymer that is spiked with light-emitting molecules using technique called — electrospinning. The nanofiber glows bright orange when exposed to an electric field and can be seen in the dark by a naked eye. A professor at Princeton University called this "a breakthrough in the way nanosize light sources are made". Since the nanofibers are flexible they can be potentially used in clothing and flexible computer display."
Programming

+ - Get Closure with JavaScript Memory Leaks

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox are the two Web browsers most commonly associated with memory leaks in JavaScript. The culprit in both browsers is the component object model used to manage DOM objects. This article explains how circular references can lead to memory leaks in JavaScript, particularly when combined with closures. You'll see several common memory leak patterns involving circular references and some easy ways to work around them."
Communications

+ - AT&T Dumps VOIP Customers

Submitted by Proudrooster
Proudrooster (580120) writes "In the past two-weeks AT&T sent out disconnect letters to VOIP customers in big rude red letters, stating that VOIP service would be suspended in 30-days and permanently disconnected in 60-days. AT&T cited E911 service as the reason. Many AT&T VOIP customers have found that they are unable to transfer their AT&T VOIP phone numbers to a new provider. Further, AT&T is unwilling to provide a forwarding message directing callers to a new phone number for those that are unable to transfer their old AT&T VOIP phone numbers. In effect, AT&T has told many long-term VOIP subscribers, we are turning off your phone in 30-days, goodbye, and good luck. AT&T does not appear a corporation that values customer loyalty, especially of those who hung on during the experimental days of the AT&T VOIP service

Many longterm subscribers are extremely upset at the AT&T cold shoulder and short notice. It is also interesting AT&T is unable overcome this E911 technical hurdle, since AT&T is also the local landline company (SBC/AT&T) in many areas where VOIP cancellation notices are being received."

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