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Comment Re:IPv6 support (Score 1) 110

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

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, 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!

Comment Re:Questions... (Score 1) 135

Then you'd immediately get "false flag" operations happening as the corporate pigs fight amongst themselves to damage each other's business interests. The drugs will still be released, but by other companies seeking to damage the genuine manufacturer for other corporate strategy reasons.

Comment Re:it was just too long (Score 1) 174

Same reason that Newton (a near contemporary) never won a Nobel. While the work was almost certainly up to standard, they're both disqualified by having been dead before the awards committee met.

I suppose they've both eligible for a "lifetime achievement" type award of some sort though. Might be worth suggesting. I'll get on the phone to Nobel, if you get on the phone to Oscar?

Comment Re:it was just too long (Score 1) 174

The Hobbit book wasn't that, it was all in good fun.

Which is precisely why Tolkein had Gandalf (the Ainu) go off to do his "big scene" stuff with the "Necromancer" (another Ainu, called Sauron) OFF STAGE. Same reason that some guy called Shakespeare (who is reputed to know a thing or several about writing screenplays) had his guys Rosencrantz and Guildenstern killed offstage - to keep the focus on Hamlet.

Comment Re:it was just too long (Score 2) 174

God-mode Mary Sue

You don't understand Tom, do you? He's not "God Mode" anything. He's a god (well, Ainu), though not one of the major ones. He certainly out ranks the other Ainu in the plot (Gandalf, Sarumen, Radagast, Sauron) put together, but he's not allowed to act by orders of the Boss.

returned soldiers from WWII

Tolkein was referring to his own return from the trenches of WW1. Remember that he started to write this in the late 1920s.

Comment Re:it was just too long (Score 1) 174

I understand and accept Jackson's reasons for leaving the whole Tom Bombadil story out of the film version of LoTR. I don't like it, but I do accept his reasons. It would have made the whole story significantly more complex and if he tried to tie up the loose ends (who the fuck is Tom Bombadil? ; why is he unaffected by the Ring? ; why doesn't he take it and wipe out Sauron with the back of his hand, without even thinking of using the Ring?) it makes the whole of the rest of the mythology of Middle Earth unavoidable. That's a whole shitload of other movies. About fifteen for the Silmarillion (five major battles ; one movie per battle ; one movie each for Beren & Luthien ; Tuor and his girl and the dragon ; another for Gondolin ; Earendil ; and another five for setting up the Ainu and Numenor) ... and I can see why Jackson just left Tom Bombadil out of it.

They should have left the Scouring in. but that wouldn't have fitted in with Hollywood's requirement for happy endings. Sucks to work with Hollywood.

Comment I don't care about Apple software UIs, but ... (Score 1) 460

I just got my hands on a piece of Apple hardware for the first time in about 5 years. A colleague is having problems with his Macbook Something not charging properly.

Whoever designed that power cord connector was a dribbling idiot, as was everyone in the design chain up to the level at which someone realised "we can make a shitload of profit on selling replacements when this breaks." Which moved it's problems from being design deficiencies to being business assets.

A reversible, magnetically latched power lead - sounds a cool idea. But the consequence of needing a contact pin, a sliding contact, and a spring instead of a static soldered joint triples the component count and triples the number of failure points. And sure enough, the guy in question has a useless lump of Apple hardware (until he gets to a store - next month) because of the failure of one of those 3 failure points. It's the third such failure he has had at the same point in consecutive power bricks, each brought from Apple at full retail price. We've got three Electronics Technicians on board with a reasonably equipped lab - and ont one of them wants to take responsibility for trying to repair this failed component, because it is very compactly put together and designed to be irreparable.

The guy with the borked Apple won't be buying any more Apple hardware - that's for certain. I won't either (I sold my Apple gear about 5 years ago).

Really great piece of design, Apple's business managers!

Actually ... I'm just wondering about proposing to the guy that we should be able to repair his machine by ripping it's shirt off, soldering flying leads into the inside of the power connector, then repeating the action with the power brick's lead. That should get him up and working again (well - his MacThing ; obviously since he had a MacThing, he brought along a working computer in addition, so he's able to do the paperwork part of his job on that) and be recoverable if he does decide to waste more money following the Apple route.

Comment Re:it was just too long (Score 1) 174

Only if you're printing LoTR on A4 and Hobbit on A3. I'm in a different country to my copies of both (both of which are over 35 years old), but I think the difference is more like 4:1 or 5:1 than 10:1 . There is a "background information" section at the end of my LoTR which bulks the 3rd book up a bit too, without really adding to the actual storyline.

The pacing of the LoTR films was a bit too rushed. The pacing of the Hobbit film was dragged out to at least twice it's appropriate length, and more likely three times it's appropriate length.

Comment Re:Man with hammer (Score 1) 90

As a matter of the fact, he is not the first person to think of this.

Quite. just as a "for instance,", in the late 1990s I was reading related ideas by a German called Manfreid Eigen published back in the early 1990s, and Eigen was referring back to work from the 80s and 70s. It's a well-established way of thinking about things, even if it does somewhat bemuse chemists, geologist and others trying to approach the same problems from their own fields of expertise.

was it somehow "collected" from the system over the generations (i.e. it was always present in the system since the Big Bang?) or is information somehow "generated" over time (which is strange, because the process that creates it would probably contain the information in its definition).

This is where the geologists and crystallographers throw in their few cents, because the realities of crystal structures and their interactions include a LOT of information, some of which is repetitive, constrained in possible values, reproducible with modest error rates ... all sorts of interesting properties for the information scientist to conjure with. If you pass those properties back and forth between physical (crystal) and chemical (molecules loosely bound to the surfaces), you've got some potentially very interesting systems, and as a by product you've substantially reduced the "dilution problem" too.

Comment Re:Time to short Manganese ? (Score 1) 129

That the CIA sub-recovering cover story is real doesn't actually mean that "abyssal plain nodules" are unreal. The first discoveries of them happened back in the 1880s (from the British research vessel "Challenger" which gave it's name to the "Challenger Deep", and possibly some spaceships, and essentially invented the whole subject of oceanography ; in fact, it's "five year mission to explore ..." sounds familiar too), and the results - more like lists of questions - were published mostly over a century ago.

The research projects that the CIA set up did yield results - most research does, even if it's a cover story - and since then there has remained a significant degree of interest in the subject, because they do represent a considerable potential metal resource. Whether they can be exploited at acceptable economic and environmental costs remains a question requiring further research and potentially technological development.

Probably the biggest problem with this technology is that the process of raking up the whole of the seabed, separating out the nodules (easy - keep anything larger than a couple of mm) and dumping the mud, results in the disturbance of the seabed, probably de-oxygenation of the deep water column, and potentially large effects on the survivability of the seabed community. What effects that would have up towards the surface is an open question. (Note that the mud itself may - or may not, or it may be variable on a km-by-km basis - contain significant amounts of adsorbed metals, which may or may not be toxic if disturbed. For this, you need samples and analyses by the 100s of thousands.)

Comment Re:It's even worse than that now. (Score 1) 366

There are just three points to measure.

So, that's three sensors, each of which has to be accurate to around 1 part per thousand, over a range of loads from around a ton to around a thousand tonnes. And all 3 have to remain within calibration error of each other. Without taking into consideration the loads imposed on the plane by weather.

Have you ever actually built and operated instrumentation?

The easiest way to figure the cost of living is to take your income and add ten percent.