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Comment: Re:Stupid Question (Score 2, Informative) 162

by Shimbo (#49308173) Attached to: How Space Can Expand Faster Than the Speed of Light

You need two things to make such a sort of a journey practical: as well as the reactionless drive, you need some sort of Star Trek like deflector shield: because to you every 'stationary' hydrogen atom is a cosmic ray travelling at near light speed. And God help you if you hit a grain of dust.

Comment: Re:Origin of *Species* (Score 4, Interesting) 249

by Shimbo (#49072387) Attached to: Game Theory Calls Cooperation Into Question

You fall into the common error of equating the selfish gene with selfish individualism. Life is more complicated than that. There are times when protecting your family or the wider community at the risk of your own life is absolutely what is best for the survival of your genes.

And for sure, 'dove' is a lousy strategy in iterated prisoners dilemma. Hit him if he hits me first works fairly well though.

Comment: Re:Interstellar missions... (Score 1) 211

by Shimbo (#48891717) Attached to: At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

Voyager 1, which is the operative craft that's been in service the longest and receives the least amount of heat from the sun is, after most of the heaters have been turned off to conserve energy, running at around -80C temperatures.

Yes, but it has a nuclear power cell onboard. Given sufficent plutonium, it's pretty easy to keep warm.

Comment: Re:Insurance (Score 1) 320

by Shimbo (#48242925) Attached to: What Will It Take To Make Automated Vehicles Legal In the US?

One of the biggest issues is going to be insurance and who will pay when one of these cars causes an accident.

I doubt this will be a big problem. Insurers will sooner or later offer policies for self-driving cars, and if the statistics are good, they will eventually be reasonably priced; you can only price fix for so long. What will take longer is for governments to relax the criminal liability of the driver.

"Ada is the work of an architect, not a computer scientist." - Jean Icbiah, inventor of Ada, weenie