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Comment: Re:F the UK (Score 1) 335

by Rei (#48185113) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

I agree. If by "poisoning" they mean people making insolts or dispatching flying penises in Second Life or stuff like that, then it's a bill too far. But if by "poisoning" they mean launching flickering images on an epilepsy forum to try to cause seizures, "doxxing", making legitimate rape and murder threats, etc, then I think it's absolutely justified. All too often is there the assumption that what happens online doesn't warrant enforcement, even if it's something that crosses over into the real world.

Everyone has the right to free speech, but it ceases being free speech when it crosses certain bounds (shouting fire in a crowded theatre, incitement to violence, solicitation of criminal activity, etc). All of these cases are nuanced and require careful balance, but what they should not be is ignored.

Comment: Re:Overly broad? (Score 1) 297

by Rei (#48182001) Attached to: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

Exactly what I'm thinking. I respect peer-reviewed research, and take results seriously - preferably consensus positions, but on lesser researched topics, individual studies. But isn't this pretty useless without more details? Is it sugar consumption? Then diet soda doesn't count. Is it phosphate consumption? Then are all kinds of other foods also a threat? Is it caffeine? If so, then coffee is a threat and caffeine-free soda is fine. Is it other lesser ingredients, such as certain flavorants or colorants? What element in their test soda is so harmful that it has such a dramatic effect? Surely it's not all ingredients, or the act of consuming them at once...

Comment: Re:Baby steps (Score 1) 348

by Rei (#48179831) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Wrong. I said mass manufacture - you don't have to re-engineer curiosity from scratch and hand-build it every time. And if you can pay to build a super-heavy-lift vehicle, or tons of smaller (but still very large) launches to get your ~100 tonne manned Mars round trip spacecraft into orbit, then you can launch a 100x 889kg curiosity rovers.

You literally can launch about 100 mass-manufactured curiosity-sized rovers for the cost of one manned mission. The scientific bang for your buck is way, way, way higher with robots.

And FYI, if your goal is to be able to help people "live on another planet", then you absolutely should not be supporting wasting money on a trip to Mars on today's way overpriced launch systems. You should be supporting spending it on developing novel systems for orders-of-magnitude reduction of launch prices, be they scramjets, launch loops, coilguns, metastable fuels, nuclear thermal propulsion, or in general insert-your-favorite-potential-cost-reducer-here, so that it doesn't cost an impractical amount of money to send people there. (never mind that we're not even centuries away from being able to recreate a full self-sustainable tech tree on Mars.. see earlier in the thread)

I always find it funny to hear people the same alt-space fanboys complaining vitriolically about how maintaining ISS is a huge waste of money but then insisting that we set up a manned outpost that would cost orders of magnitude more to maintain ;)

Comment: Re:Baby steps (Score 1) 348

by Rei (#48175493) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

What "all purpose robot"? A robot or person's capabilities are limited by what scientific equipment they have on hand, not by whether they can digest corn or catch a cold. I'm talking about a robot like Curiosity. A person could mass-manufacture and dispatch a hundred Curiosity rovers to every corner of Mars for the cost of one manned mission and would collect dozens of times more data.

Comment: Re:Baby steps (Score 1) 348

by Rei (#48175481) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Ref. It took 30 seconds. Please don't ask other people to use Google for you, you're (presumedly) an adult and should be able to manage these sort of things on your own.

But in order to avoid thermalizing your fission fragments the reaction is going to need to be in near-vacuum

The reaction is done in a near vacuum. But that doesn't mean that there's almost no fuel. Fission fragments and neutrons behave totally differently, fission fragments are positively charged and respect Lorenz force, neutrons are neutral and do not, so it's easy to separate the two (as well as from the fuel, which becomes negatively charged and is not moving at relativistic velocities).

These things have been fully simulated, there's nothing unreasonable about them.

but our best neutron mirrors can only get total reflectance at angles of incidence of less than a single degree

I have no clue where this is coming from. Neutron reflectors (more properly thought of as scatterers) can scatter back, and in fact moderators produce a relatively anisotropic thermal neutron flux. The current proposal for a dusty fission fragment reactor involves U235 fuel and a moderator in the shell of the reactor.

Comment: Re:Baby steps (Score 1) 348

by Rei (#48172161) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Oh please, be serious. It's humans running the robots who make the decisions. The only benefit a human on Mars has is latency. But that's a really silly benefit, given that there's no urgency to get the data and just travel there takes months and the limiting factor on how much data you'll collect overall is how long your scientific equipment lasts. And no, an astronaut on Mars isn't going to be repairing a broken mass spectrometer or the like, it's a silly concept. And it'd, as noted, be orders of magnitude cheaper just to send a second robot.

Comment: Re:Remove It (Score 2) 514

by MightyMartian (#48169567) Attached to: Debian Talks About Systemd Once Again

Binary logs are also far more secure, but I guess that doesn't matter to you.

That has to be most bizarre justification I've yet read. How exactly is a binary log more secure?

*nix systems have had permissions systems for the better part of half a century. If you don't want someone looking at a file, don't give them permissions, but if they do have permissions, the mere fact that a file is binary isn't an obstacle save to the technically illiterate (who wouldn't likely be looking at a log file anyways).

Comment: Re:Power Source (Score 2) 348

by Rei (#48167453) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

I totally disagree. A dusty fission fragment reactor has been demonstrated using a non-nuclear substitute fuel, which demonstrated proper containment and thermal management. And modelling shows that such a configuration should produce a collimated fission fragment beam. So what's so grossly impractical? Have you come across a paper indicating that it's impractical? Because I sure haven't.

My previous comments apply to NEP

I'm not talking about NEP. I'm talking about generating a RF plasma and funnelling it through a nozzle, like in VASIMR, but with primary heating being from an IR nuclear lightbulb. And even if I wasn't, commentary on conventional nuclear reactors vs. solar is inapplicable when one is talking about totally different type of reactor.

Any given program, when running, is obsolete.