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Comment Re:Calculations (Score 1) 93

The holes are in the assumptions of 10km/s delta-V, 1000kg craft and 1000km of tether. Make it a 100kg craft using 100km of tether and a much smaller delta-V leads to a much different result. A 1km/s delta-V is nothing to sneeze at. Additionally, half of that energy is transferred into the velocity and angular momentum of the captured object.

It's certainly a better idea than mine: wrapping the probe in a loose wad of double sided sticky tape and aiming directly at the comet.

Submission + - Another Neurodegenerative Disease Linked To A Prion->

MTorrice writes: A new study concludes that a brain protein causes the rare, Parkinson’s-like disease called multiple systems atrophy (MSA) by acting like a prion, the misbehaving type of protein infamously linked to mad cow disease. The researchers say the results are the most definitive demonstration to date that proteins involved in many neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, exhibit prionlike behavior: They can misfold into shapes that then coax others to do the same, leading to protein aggregation that forms neurotoxic clumps. If these other diseases are caused by prionlike proteins, then scientists could develop treatments that slow or stop disease progression by designing molecules that block prion propagation.
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Submission + - Ashley Madison Source Code Shows Evidence They Created Bots To Message Men->

An anonymous reader writes: Analee Newitz looked through the source code contained in the recent Ashley Madison data dump and found evidence that the company created tens of thousands of bot accounts designed to spur their male users into action by sending them messages. "The code tells the story of a company trying to weave the illusion that women on the site were plentiful and eager." The evidence suggests bots sent over 20 million messages on the website, and chatted with people over 11 million times. The vast majority of fake accounts — 70,529 to 43 — pretended to be female, and the users targeted were almost entirely men. Comments left in the code indicate some of the issues Ashley Madison's engineers had to solve: "randomizing start time so engagers don’t all pop up at the same time" and "for every single state that has guest males, we want to have a chat engager." The AI was unsophisticated, though one type of bot would try to convince men to pay and then pass them to a real person.
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Programming

The Most Important Obscure Languages? 427

Nerval's Lobster writes: If you're a programmer, you're knowledgeable about "big" languages such as Java and C++. But what about those little-known languages you only hear about occasionally? Which ones have an impact on the world that belies their obscurity? Erlang (used in high-performance, parallel systems) springs immediately to mind, as does R, which is relied upon my mathematicians and analysts to crunch all sorts of data. But surely there are a handful of others, used only by a subset of people, that nonetheless inform large and important platforms that lots of people rely upon... without realizing what they owe to a language that few have ever heard of.

Comment Re:Does any one care? (Score 1) 449

I've been wondering for a long time now about this Ashley Madison issue. After the hacking has gone down does any one really still give a shit about this story?

Well, they were trying to go public (IPO). *If* they misled investors about the way their business worked, this might land a few folks in hot water.

Submission + - NASA mulls missions to Uranus and Neptune, using the Space Launch System->

MarkWhittington writes: According to a story in Astronomy Magazine, NASA is contemplating sending flagship sized space probes to the so-called “ice giants” of Uranus and Neptune. These would be probes that would orbit the two outer planets, similar to how Galileo orbited Jupiter and how Cassini currently orbits Saturn. The only time previously NASA has had a close encounter with either of these worlds was when Voyager 2 flew by Uranus in 1986 and then Neptune in 1989. Each of these missions would happen after the Europa Clipper, a flagship-class mission scheduled for the mid-2020s
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Comment Re:Software error ... (Score 3, Interesting) 234

Surgeons leave tools in patients because they have no process when operating on a patient. Read the Checklist Manifesto sometime and read what the author has to say about best practices in the operating room. Everyone makes mistakes. The process we follow is what allows us to catch those mistakes, and prevent any mistakes from re-occurring.

Comment Re:When do I get to be a multinational corp? (Score 1) 330

That lack of global jurisdiction is used by both the rich and the multinational corps to skirt laws and taxation that are unfavorable to them in their home country.

- which is an extremely important right of people, the right not to be enslaved and kept in any particular country against their own will, the right to freedom of association, of private property, liberty and life.

The problem is people do not have these rights. The poor cannot just come to the U.S. and stay as long as they please.

A few people have this ability. For those with wealth, most countries have special investor visas that allow the wealthy to come and go as they please. J. Random Citizen do not have a say whether they have such a right, nor a say that this right will be respected globally.

Until we have global representation, the people will not have any such rights.

Comment Re:When do I get to be a multinational corp? (Score 1) 330

That's quite the double-edged sword you've got there. That lack of global jurisdiction is used by both the rich and the multinational corps to skirt laws and taxation that are unfavorable to them in their home country. These are the same groups that use treaties to enact local laws that would otherwise be rejected by the populace because treaties skirt the popular vote. Lack of global jurisdiction and global representation is fundamentally reshaping all free countries today.

France doesn't have a right to "dictate the behavior of the entire internet", but certainly we all have some right in influencing how we are governed at that scale.

If it wasn't for Newton, we wouldn't have to eat bruised apples.

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