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Comment: Re: MAD (Score 1) 314

by SJHillman (#47973165) Attached to: US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

The great thing about nuclear weapons is that they're most effective against cities and other surface targets when detonated in an airburst. The fallout from an airburst causes significantly less fallout of the kill-everything-on-Earth kind, and less uninhabitable-for-a-few-dozen-millennia radiation on the ground than a comparable surface-detonated weapon. This is one of the reasons why Hiroshima and Nagasaki are inhabitable today (both were airbursts), while Chernobyl is going to take... a few more years.

Comment: Re:More evidence for the existance of the Tech Bub (Score 0) 330

by SJHillman (#47908303) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

Why aren't they worth that much? What do you value them at? The value of Minecraft is way, way beyond those 50 million copies sold. Minecraft has a metric fuckton of merchandising out there - people love the merchandise more than they love the game. It would also give them control of the IP to use it in marketing elsewhere as well. Picture, instead of Clippy, we could have Microsoft Creeper.

Comment: Re:Throwing chairs was less costly (Score 2) 330

by SJHillman (#47908253) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

"a willfully incomplete game"

I don't know which cave you've been in for the last decade or so, but a great deal of games are now sold before completion. Developers, especially indies, realized that people absolutely love putting down $20 for a alpha/beta game that's getting new features added every few weeks/months. I have to say, having Minecraft add new features every few months gave me significantly more interest and play time than if I just started with all of those features already there. It doesn't appeal to everybody, of course, but neither does any finished game.

Comment: Re:Corroborating Hieroglyphics? (Score 2) 202

by SJHillman (#47763947) Attached to: How the Ancient Egyptians (Should Have) Built the Pyramids

That picture is of moving a statue, which I would assume couldn't be moved by most of the other methods mentioned. They could very well have used different techniques for transporting different objects. Personally, I'd like to think they planted pyramid seeds and grew them in the rich Nile soil.

Comment: Re:Public cynicism about fusion (Score 1) 147

by SJHillman (#47750517) Attached to: Princeton Nuclear Fusion Reactor Will Run Again

It took somewhere between 1500 and 1700 years from the time the first steam engine (aeolipile) showed up until it was practically applied. If that's your idea of instantaneous development, then fusion should be no problem for you.

Likewise, depending on where you want to consider the development of the internal combustion engine beginning, it took somewhere between 60 and 2100 years to develop it into a practical application.

The key difference with fusion is that we're not saying "here's an invention, what can we do with it?", we're saying "here's what we want to do, what can we invent to do it?". It's a very different way of approaching things, and should explain why your development idea of "here's a prototype" obviously doesn't apply. It's more akin to the well-known anecdote about Edison's "ten thousand ways that don't work" - you know your goal, you just need to figure out how to get there.

One other thing to keep in mind is that fusion, if we can find a way to make it work, could potentially outshine every other technological achievement in human history up to this point because of the possible applications. It's very much a high-risk/high-reward endeavor.

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