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Comment: Re:'Death' Star was just a terraforming laser (Score 1) 54

by TWX (#48944671) Attached to: How Gaseous, Neptune-Like Planets Can Become Habitable
Or, it was a literal plot-device, and it was created solely for the story to advance, without any real concern for backstory... Given that the original Star Wars was written to be like a middle-episode of a serialized show from the movies, like a Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon type of show, there wouldn't be a whole lot of backstory necessary in order to enjoy the show.

Comment: Re: "Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 1) 316

by TWX (#48943363) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change
And while I live in an area that does emissions tests all of the way back to the 1967 model year, I still have long-tube headers, X-pipe, and dual exhaust on an emissions-mandated car. It passes the sniff test and the required-equipment test. I also have aftermarket mufflers that are loud on another car that needs to pass, no problems.

Comment: Re:So, what's the practical concern of this? (Score 1) 69

by TWX (#48942787) Attached to: Reverse Engineering the Nike+ FuelBand's Communications Protocol
Oh, for that I definitely agree, there is a very specific point where that security needs to take place. I just don't think that a bluetooth wrist band that is supposed to only intermittently connect to a host device (not even directly to the Internet) is that place. I'd rather see wireless keyboards and mice see their communications secured before I worry about this thing.

Comment: Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 3, Insightful) 316

by TWX (#48942751) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change
What's the sacrifice though? Having cars that either get really excellent fuel economy or run on battery power? Forcing electrical utilities to switch to separate billing for grid-tie and power consumption, so that customers that want to put solar panels on their roofs aren't shafted in order to have overnight electrical service from base-load power? Mandating emissions inspections based on original standards at the time of manufacture on all vehicles newer than 30 years, so that gross-polluting vehicles that are not running right are either fixed or taken off the road?

Most of these things don't have all that much cost, and for some of them, they're a cost that the individual should have borne anyway.

Comment: Re:next daft question (Score 1) 54

by TWX (#48942711) Attached to: How Gaseous, Neptune-Like Planets Can Become Habitable

Maybe we're looking at what Earth has now completely in the wrong way, considering that even at 430km the ISS is being slowed by atmospheric drag - common assumption has it that "Space" occurs at what, shy of 100km?

Neptune's radius is about 25,000Km. Earth's radius plus the altitude of the ISS is about 6800Km. That's an awful lot of volume to burn-off.

Comment: Re:this is lunacy (Score 1) 147

by TWX (#48942657) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Engage 5th-8th Graders In Computing?
They may not want to work for geek squad, but if they have a computer game that they like, showing them how to upgrade the computer to make that game playable has both a hands-on component and a benefit from the kid's perspective.

First, based on the model(s) of computer(s) you're working with, determine if there's an upgrade path, and if that upgrade path is something that whoever provides support will find acceptable. For many models of computers sold to school districts, that means integrated video, fairly small amount of RAM, small hard disk drives (as they're using using network storage), and the like. Figure out how much RAM the computer can take, what video card options are compatible (some even supported by the OEM) and what hard disk drive upgrades will increase both speed and capacity.

If you have multiple of these computers, have the kids play their game on the inadequate machine. Then introduce upgrading it to them. Open it up, swap the RAM. Boot it up, watch their eyes light up as the game plays better. Shut it down. Replace the hard disk drive (that you duplicated in advance!) and watch the performance improve again. Shut it down, install the video card. Same thing, watch the performance continue to grow.

This teaches them that there's real benefits to what they want to do based on what they do in the physical world to the computer.

Comment: Re:Does It Matter? (Score 5, Interesting) 256

by TWX (#48940583) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill
I only use vbox for local VMs, like when I need to emulate a Windows machine on my Linux box for some Windows-only software that I have to deal with from time to time. I'm not the VM guy at work, but there are lots of virtualized servers running headless on some big blade systems, does vbox do that or is that pretty much out of its scope?

I agree, for basic workstation stuff it works fine as-is.

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