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Comment: Re:Confused much? (Score 1) 692

by OzPeter (#49577027) Attached to: Pope Attacked By Climate Change Skeptics

While I would have no reason to consider the pope's opinion on a scientific matter to be particularly interesting; doesn't climate change count as a glaringly obvious moral issue under all but the very, very, most optimistic models of its expected effects?

Only if it exists(*)

* Note that I am not advocating either side - I am just pointing out the likely basis for the argument against the pope getting involved.

Comment: Re:Yesterday's News (Score 1) 120

by OzPeter (#49576621) Attached to: Russian Cargo Mission To ISS Spinning Out of Control

Unless the story is about politics, then the comments (including the +5s) are in the groupthink sewer here the same as they'd be anywhere else.

Not sure I totally agree with that.

From my experience even the groupthink comments still have to back up their arguments with some justification rather than just a "Because I said so" argument. (and anyone who tries to present a "Because I said so" argument is going to be called out pretty quickly.) Thus even if I am not in the groupthink, I am still learning the basis for the groupthink.

Comment: Re:Yesterday's News (Score 4, Insightful) 120

by OzPeter (#49576151) Attached to: Russian Cargo Mission To ISS Spinning Out of Control

Dear Dice, please let us know when you have something that wasn't reported in the major news outlets a day ago.

If you are coming here for cutting edge news, then you are in the wrong place.

The only reason I come back here is for the discussions about the stories. While I typically seen the major news pieces in other locations (and with more in-depth reporting than will ever be on /.) I haven't seen a site that comes close(*) to the /. comments section for it's structure, moderation and (gasp) insightful comments.

Many times I let the comments brew for a few hours and then read the ones that have risen to the top of the moderation system. That can give me a lot more insight into the background of a story than anywhere else.

* Yes I look at Soylent News every so often, but there is a tenth of the commenting there than there is here.

Comment: Re:Cool world (Score 1) 216

by OzPeter (#49571225) Attached to: US Successfully Tests Self-Steering Bullets

You already could. An Israeli defense firm designed a system that could fire Glocks and Uzis around a corner by the use of a folding "stock" and a camera/screen combination. It could also be fired regularly like a rifle.

Pfft .. you young people today. The Germans did it in the second world war without any fancy folding stocks Krummlauf /a.

Comment: Re:Someone is going to get a surprise (Score 1) 100

by OzPeter (#49567713) Attached to: A Cheap, Ubiquitous Earthquake Warning System

Depends on the level of mnitoring a day. One ping a day, and inbound alerts on "quake detected"? A PIII on ADSL would probably handle that!

Or, of course, you could give the contract to EDS, and pay $38B.

You can't spec the back end system out on the non-earthquake situation.

The "value" in this guys solution is that you have a metric shitload of dumb sensors, and you process the data to determine the epicenter and then send out warnings appropriately. However once you are in an earthquake event, then you are going to get a sizable fraction of that metric shitload of sensors all instantly sending messages to the backend saying "Look at me! Look at me!", and your backend needs to be able to handle those messages without choking, perform the requisite calculations within fractions of a second, and then either get the 40 million warnings out instantly or try and decide what fraction of those warnings need to be sent - and again do that in a timely manner. . And that will take money for network infrastructure at the very least.

And given that it is intended as a life saving system you have to be able to regularly test and validate the reception of data and propagation of alert messages to a high level of certainty. Again, more costs. (If you have ever been in Hawaii then you should know that they test their tsunami sirens once a week)

Throw in some additional administrative costs for oversight and integration into *every* vendors cell network, and now you are talking about a decent chunk of change to run the entire system.

Comment: Someone is going to get a surprise (Score 1) 100

by OzPeter (#49567527) Attached to: A Cheap, Ubiquitous Earthquake Warning System

Yildirim says his Zizmos system will have virtually no installation or maintenance costs, because he plans to rely on the kindness of the crowd. Zizmos asks for volunteers to donate a tiny bit of interior wall space and a power outlet to host a sensor package, which is about the size of a deck of cards. Though these packages won’t go into the most remot areas along fault lines, and are far less sensitive than the types of sensors used by systems like ShakeAlert, the wider distribution, he says—10,000, or even 100,000 to cover California, compared with 1000 planned by the USGS—more than compensates for these deficits.

Oh my, I wonder what magical pixie dust he plans to use to bring the back end costs (setup and maintenance) to zero? A system that monitors 100,000 sensors and is capable of sending messages to almost 40 million people is not going to be done for free.

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein