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Number of ET Civilizations In Our Galaxy Is 37,964 544

KentuckyFC writes "The famous Drake equation calculates the number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy right now. But the result is hugely sensitive to the assumptions you make about factors such as the number of habitable planets that orbit a host star, how many of these actually develop life and what fraction of these go on to become intelligent etc. Disagreements about these figures leads to estimates for the number of advanced civilizations ranging from 10^-5 to 10^6. Now an astronomer in Scotland has worked out how to make the calculations more precise so that different theories about the origin of planets, life and civilizations can be compared. His calculations say that the rare-life hypothesis predicts only 361 advanced civilizations in the Milky Way now. However, the so-called tortoise and hare hypothesis predicts 31,573 and the theory of panspermia says that there ought to be 37,964 extraterrestrial civilizations more advanced than our own in the Milky Way."

Comment Same reason as hardware lock in (Score 5, Insightful) 411

Apple when dealing with third parties loses some control over the experience of using their devices.

They want to minimize this. It's bad enough they have people perceiving the iphone to have problems because of cell service outages, ridiculous billing from at&t, awful customer support at AT&T, etc. Imagine if they were having to fight that battle on more than one front?

It's silly, because it's not apples fault, but everyone (average consumer) will relate the bad experience to apple even if they are one of the more clear thinking ones.

Since their inception, they've kept control of their hardware, ensuring a consistent and good experience on their computer. This is their strength over microsoft. This is their strength over Dell. They can give you a good experience and manage it. They don't have anyone else to blame!

The Time Has Come to Ditch Email? 398

Krishna Dagli writes to mention an article at The Register claiming that it's time we stop using email to communicate. From the article: "The problem is, email is now integral to the lives of perhaps a billion people, businesses, and critical applications around the world. It's a victim of its own success. It's a giant ship on a dangerous collision course. All sorts of brilliant, talented people today put far more work into fixing SMTP in various ways (with anti-virus, anti-phishing technologies, anti-spam, anti-spoofing cumbersome encryption technologies, and much more) than could have ever been foreseen in 1981. But it's all for naught."

FORTRAN is not a flower but a weed -- it is hardy, occasionally blooms, and grows in every computer. -- A.J. Perlis