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Comment: gravity fields will rip you to shreds (Score 3, Interesting) 289

by RichMan (#48492019) Attached to: Physicist Kip Thorne On the Physics of "Interstellar"

Tidal forces. This is the biggy, If you are in orbit deep in a gravity well with a steep gradient then the orbital velocities of things 1m up/down from each other are significantly different. The material stength of any object extending over that 1m has to resist that force.
Those forces will rip materials to shreds.

Think of your hands being pulled up, while your feet are pulled down. The further into the gravity well you get the more up and the more down the two pulls get.

The only way to avoid the tidal forces are a straight in drop. But you can't do that as all around the well is a swirling gas field that will push you into an orbit.

Comment: How can faking a call back number be remotelylegal (Score 2, Interesting) 159

by RichMan (#48398219) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With VoIP Fraud/Phishing Scams?

Looking at the US today, how can providing an incorrect call back number not lead immediatly to an FBI investigation?

Sure the general police don't really care because they don't understand this, but this is "interfereing with the operation of computer network" (yes the phone system does count as a computer network) and the phone network is a vital civil infrastructure. We know from past things interfering with a computer network, even a small scale private one, can actually lead to very serious charges. The phone networks is much more important (than some universities database accesses).

Comment: warnings are out there (Score 4, Insightful) 495

by RichMan (#48266329) Attached to: Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

The failure to act on the warnings lies clearly on the people who fail to react to the warnings. This is a failure of the human social system to adapt to a limited resource. This is a classic tragedy of the commons example.

There are many factors at play
1. lack of education to undestand the science, pollution, basic tragedy of the commons problem
2. desire of profit or lifestyle, pretty much the strict commons problem, not willing to make a sacrifice
3. blind to the problem due to religious beliefs
4. plain old innertia to what is not preceived as an imminet threat

The science is clear even if we don't 100% understand all he dynamics, (we can't get 7 day weather right why should we expect 2 year, 5 year or 100 year predictions to be perfect).
The generation and acceptance of un-science is wrong.

Comment: Have the solutions converged? (Score 4, Interesting) 77

by RichMan (#48053005) Attached to: Supercomputing Upgrade Produces High-Resolution Storm Forecasts

I was at a supercomputing conference back in the 90's. There were wonderful reports on doubling the resolution of the grid and so on. Advances in the scale are all good.

The questions are
a) with the increase in detail of the simulations have we converged on a solution. That is do solutions at scale N and 10N match. If they do then the resolution and model are aligned for accuracy in the solution.
b) do the simulations agree with reality.

If a) and not b) then there is something wrong with the model that is not related to compute power or problem resolution, and no amount of compute power will fix it.

Comment: Consitantly inconsistent name/numbering (Score 1) 644

by RichMan (#48031983) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows 10

So has Microsoft stuck with a naming convention for more than 2 releases?

Looking at the program loader days --
        Windows 1.0
        Windows 2.0
        Windows 3.x
        Windows 95
        Windows 98
        Windows ME
- not really. 1.0,2.0 3..... was close

Now the real OS lineup -
Windows NT 3.1
Windows NT 3.5
Windows NT 3.51
Windows NT 4.0
Windows 2000
Windows XP (full details)
Windows Server 2003
Windows Vista (full details)
Windows Server 2008
Windows 7 (full details)
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows 8 (full details)
Windows Server 2012

I would give them points for server 2003,2008,2012 if they were not spinning Vista and 7,8 at the same time.

Going to have to say they were doing ok with the NT numbering, but we know NT was not done by real Microsoft People, when the Real Microsoft (tm) got ahold of it, it became WindowsXP.

Comment: wind is caused by temperature not the reverse (Score 0) 207

by RichMan (#47979077) Attached to: Study Links Pacific Coastal Warming To Changing Winds

Wind is flow from high pressure to low pressure. Remeber physics PV = NrT. Local pressure is proportional to temperature (in Kelvin).

"somewhat surprising degree to which the winds can explain all the wiggles in the temperature curve"
Interesting that the paper author can have it backwards.

PV=NrT explains a lot. It explains why hot air rises. At the same pressure, left hand side if T is bigger than N is smaller (r is constant). So a specific volume of air at the same pressure the hotter air has less N, or less component atoms so weighs less.

Comment: Re:Where is the misuse of military equipment charg (Score 1) 286

Regardless of guilty or not he was using the equipment outside of the allowed operating parameters. You can't take a tank for joyride, borrow an automatic rifle to go varmant hunting at your rural property, or misuse military computers.

The question for the masses, is this worse than committing the military network to working on folding-at-home or bitcoin production?

Are you having fun yet?