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Comment Re:Usage? (Score 1) 68

From the article: 'But in contrast to its conventional form, it is soft and malleable by hand' - so not quite usable for jewelry

That depends on what sort of jewellery you're using it for.

While I wouldn't claim to be a jeweller, I have probably made more items of jewellery then the other hundred people on this boat, and repaired a number more. I could certainly envisage using, for example, the red form as the centre piece for a pendant, with (say) alternating "rays" of gold and silver sheet (or gold rays laid over a silver foil base) to represent a sunburst.

That's without the intrinsic interest (well - to a chemist and mineralogist) of these essentially different allotropes of the metal.

Comment Re: Ministry of JUSTIVE prevents access to INTERNE (Score 1) 70

Though many places allow prisoners to vote, i don't know if the UK is or isn't on that list.

The UK government has recently been told by the courts that they have to allow prisoners to vote (if they're on an indefinite sentence, IIRC), and the UK government are livid about being told that that is the law.

Comment Re:There needs to be a very detail visual 4D sim (Score 1) 102

A comet the size of Jupiter would be a Jupiter.

To get this amount of dimming, you'd need an awful lot of comets (possible - let's say a Jupiter-mass worth of them), and for them to be in a relatively compact group. That would be (as I mentally draw models of the system) concentrated around something like 1/10th of the circumference of the orbit. And you'd need something to hold them in that position.

My mental imaging is suggesting that this could be a dense "Trojan" swarm held in place by a "Super-Jupiter" whose transit we haven't observed yet.

Comment Re:Slashdot is not your personal blog (Score 1) 164

The guy has got up my nose more than a few times with that shit that he used to do through - was it Medium, Vice, or MediumVice, or some such piece of shit. It got to the point that I was looking for ways to actively block his stuff from coming up again (short of completely trashing Slashdot.

But props to the guy - he has improved his posting somewhat the last couple of months, and has squeaked back into being worth paying attention to. In particular, in this one he STARTS with a link to TFP (that The FUCKING PAPER, for the multitude of Slashdotters whose association with science is more in their imagination than the reality) on ARXIV. So I think he's learning his craft.

I've no idea what his writing on Forbes is like because I can RTFP, so I don't need second hand presentations. But if he's trying to be a science journalist there, then the fact he's appreciating the importance of primary sources is worth noting and encouraging.

Comment Re:IPv6 support (Score 1) 112

IPv6 specific security features, such as not automatically assigning IP addresses to anything that may just be loitering about in the vicinity of the network?

I didn't see any mention of this being a wireless router, so I'd expect the simples way of not having random devices connect to it would be to not plug a cable into the router.

Comment Re:Mars isn't going anywhere. (Score 1) 173

Right, so long as its not my offspring that you are willing to sacrifice. And everybody has this same viewpoint for his own value of "my".

You chose to use the word "everyone" ; that is a word with only one meaning.

You are wrong. It is absolutely and incontrovertibly untrue that "everyone has this same viewpoint". I do not hold this opinion. The two-decade old receipt for my vasectomy (before having any children ; it was a bureaucratic struggle) supports my assertion that I hold a different opinion to you on this matter. I can also think of at least ten others of my friends who do not have children and who assert that they do not want to have children ; several of them are at or beyond the technical limits of child-starting age and remain child-free. This also supports my correction of your claim that "everyone" thinks like you. "Every-", "all" etc are words and prefixes that you should think several times before ever using.

Incidentally, I object to paying taxes to subsidise your children, their education and your spending on food and clothing for them. I'd rather spend the money on development of elder-care robots and extending lifespans. Robots are considerably less resource wasteful than people. Since I do get out and vote, this might be an incentive for you to do likewise.

But "Backup Earth" is not the only reason to go out colonizing.

"Backup Earth" never has been a credible reason for going out to colonise, in any sense of possibly providing a place where Earth-born humans can go to in any demographically significant numbers (for Earth ; far smaller numbers would be significant for the putative colony). The number of people who will ever die on a planet that they were not born on is always (caveat follows!) going to be far smaller than the number who die on the planet of their birth, for the same reason that today most people die in the country of their birth : transport is expensive. Colonies rarely receive more than 1% / year of their population by immigration - most of their growth is by local breeding of second and higher generation natives. Meanwhile the colony's internal growth can exceed 3% / year. Those numbers add up.

(Caveat : assuming that the currently-understood laws of physics hold, in particular the equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass, and the speed of light being an upper limit on speed. Actually, it doesn't matter that c is "legal max" ; even getting to c/10 qualifies as "expensive".)

If we (our generations) conspire with your children to fuck up the planet for their children, then it is your children's grandchildren who will suffer on Earth in consequence. The odds of your descendants including anyone who gets off planet (e.g., to the asteroids) are low (the corresponding probability for me is zero, of course).

Comment Re:Mars isn't going anywhere. (Score 1) 173

Mars will be much easier to colonize than the moon.

That's a moot point.

Neither place is going to provide a solution to Earth's population problems and environmental problems. If people go around gibbering that "if we fuck up on Earth, we can always go to Mars or the Moon", then they're condemning the large majority of the Earth's population to death in the ecological collapse they'll allow on Earth.

The inhabitable area of the Earth is approximately 510072000 sq.km.

Allowing that Mars can be terraformed to Earth standards (if it's not impossible, I reckon that's a multi-million year project), then the inhabitable area of the Earth plus Mars is about 654870500 sq.km, a 28% increase. Human population on Earth has increased by that much in my lifetime, so a terraforming project on Mars would buy less than 50 years of human population growth. Let's be optimistic and hope that the Solar system has enough available volatiles to perform the terraforming project, and I'm wrong by a factor of a hundred on how fast that atmosphere can be put onto Mars - so a 10,000 year terraforming project on Mars would yeild a 50 year buffer space to stack humans on. Humankind must get it's addiction to population increase under control. Permanently.

In reality, I would expect that the first humans to live in space will continue to grow as human populations do. So before the terraforming project on Mars is half-way complete, there will be another Earth-full or several of humans who will need accommodating. Mars simply won't get the resources (volatiles) for the terraforming unless someone goes around mining Jupiter's atmosphere.

Oh, Unobtanium cake! Lovely!

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie