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Comment: No 'awareness' necessary... FUND THIS SHIT. NOW. (Score 0) 73 73

EADP HAIV Funding campaign has only 12 days left. Only 177 people and $8,475 of $200k raised.
C'mon please. For short notice impact threats this mission is/would be the ONLY thing on the table.
Please, just go there and read what they have to say, what the plan is. Only 12 days left.
I am so extremely fucking embarrassed for my species right now.

The take-away talking points of the threat are no duh. Grab any kid and ask 'em how the dinosaurs died, you'll probably get the right answer. Ask the kid, could it happen tomorrow? They'll probably say, yeah I guess. Now, release the kid.

Now grab some BULLSHIT STATISTICS-ABUSING disaster apologist, you know, the ones that keep repeating with glee that "on average 100 people die every year" from something that could/might/will kill EVERYONE, as if that statistic means anything at all. Now release the apologist, letting 'em fall on their head.

We don't need to raise 'awareness' or make a special flag to wave or make a Youtube video or put a "I made fun of Armageddon on Slashdot" feather in your cap. So many feathers in so many caps around here, thought you'd all be flying around by now. I'm kinda sorry for venting but I've brought up this topic around here and have seen too many answers that translate to, "I dunna give affuck, it's God's Will". I hope the vast bulk of you who haven't commented on this topic at all are open on the idea of weaponizing space for our planet's defense.

If I had wealth or mortgageable assets I'd have ALREADY funded the damned thing.
All by MYSELF in one shot.
That is embarrassing to me...
I really thought that after 50 years on Earth I'd have played my cards better.
Now I am reduced to begging, to help raise $200k
for a cause I believe to be as 'verdant' and 'just' as any on Earth.
And being reduced to begging strangers for money on behalf of this mission
makes me even more angry and resentful.
I'm a real mess.

Comment: Re: Sounds about right. (Score 1) 107 107

3 for 3.
One for all, and all for one!

Why is this article (in general) ruffling so many feathers? Because it is a thinly-disguised Malthusian Energy hit-piece specifically targeted at the center of IT's most sacred golden calf, the cloud server industry. The reason that the assumptions made in this study are confusing to many (as in, why are we even on this page? Isn't an overall one-third quiescent portion a sign of a properly engineered critical system?) is that it was not motivated by intelligent resource usage concerns at all.

Energy-environmentalists are like beavers these days. Their teeth are always growing, so they have to gnaw on something. So today they are gnawing on you. These hit pieces are everywhere these days.

Energy usage on every conceivable scale is the 'new' pseudo-environmentalism, and the bar of publishable relevance has been set low so that everyone can participate. So they do. In the olden days you could enjoy your hot shower without guilt and read a book in the brilliance of that 100 watt light bulb... secure in the knowledge that so long as you were part of a team that was striving towards a general goal of greater efficiency on some massive scale, or heading off the problem entirely by developing cheaper and less limited sources of energy, you were a net 'positive' for humanity. And you were.

Somewhere along the line WE let tabloid environmentalism take over, and the scale was tipped towards presumptive guilt. WE let this happen. This is a religious mental disorder for which no actual religion is necessary. Now the merest accusation of wastefulness gains traction because it resonates with that "we're fucking up the planet" meme, and the burden of proof has shifted to YOU as the individual to 'prove' you are a net-positive or at least a neutral. Whether you are conscious of it or not you have bought into an idea of Original Sin.

It's time to reject the notion that energy is somehow is in 'short supply', 'expensive' or 'harmful to the planet'. What is actually in short supply these days is actually the innovative drive to secure better base load energy sources . And what there is a useless dearth of are people striving for (and achieving) ten minutes of fame by pointing out some comparatively tiny 'waste' of energy somewhere, and using that fame (a phenomenon enabled by click-through environmentalists)... to put some one-ten-thousandth of one-millionth of humanity's energy usage 'on trial'. It diverts you from your daily pursuit, whatever that is. It may deliver the illusion that you're making a positive contribution just be reading the stuff. Nope.

Beaver-chewing on specific industries that are built with redundancy and a certain amount of slack for various reasons, many good, is a waste of time. The best design is an over-design after all, and the real world is old-school. Only those working on solving the BIG problems at any given time are our best real hope.

Don't distract those people, where ever they may be.
For all we know there may be just a few left.

The campaign to develop standard plans for a launch vehicle to intercept asteroid threats stands at 174 people and $8,447 raised of $200k with 20 days left to go. If it was some silly little Raspberry Pi thing it would be funded already many times over. And I was hoping this was the Smartest Generation.

Comment: In Planned Obsolescence World: kill 'em. (Score 1) 59 59

For NASA to build an orbiting depot to refuel/patch its own satellites, and even secret military devices of NATO countries --- the cost/benefit analysis of what is likely to happen can be completely considered --- and no one's job is at stake. Within a government or military entity everything is considered to be a 'mission' that is either a success or a failure.

But the moment this NASA facility drifts into range of someone else's corporate private property... the clouds will part and the night sky will fill with lawyers. Now there is a product being delivered. It's easy to imagine a utopian scenario where everything goes all right, the happy satellite is refueled and goes on its merry way, and its owner shares some of its years of '$free$' money with NASA to help recoup its expenses.

One time fixed price for refueling, or sliding scale based on projected income from satellite? Projected by whom? What if the satellite is still within its original life expectancy? Will the corporation be able to offset the expense of its early demise with the profit from its extended lifespan plus refuel cost... or will it it's profitable orbit began to decay towards Chapter Seven? Because money is involved even a successful mission is not that simple. A large part of the complexity arises because major capital projects are launched for a per-determined time span and a certain expected fixed rate of return. Once those decisions are made corporate boards of directors and the banks behind them are 'locked in' to these projects, win or lose. The scenario where a malfunction or propellant loss takes a satellite out of service has been planned for. It requires corporate courage and applied risk to modify those terms. And courage is rare these days.

That was success. Now on to the risks of failure. It is similar to the escalation of complexity in 1 vs. n-body problems. This would probably be practical for geostationary orbits only, since our facility has lots of mass and finite energy and time to maneuver between jobs. Still there are more things to go wrong than right. Most satellites are 'deployed' with appendages unfolded... how to avoid damaging them? How to tether satellite and repair vehicle safely? The refueling process involves re-pressurization through couplings. What happens if/when tethers snap, couplings fail or tanks burst, escaping propellant slams the satellite against the vehicle, damaging it? What if the failure arises from a corporation or government failing to divulge some key piece of information about the satellite?

Now I'm the last person to go on about planned obsolescence as if it is a good thing, but in geosynchronous orbit it's kind of a good thing. If something has turned to shit and is out of service, it really is best, and safest, to have one certain kind of maintenance satellite up there --- a killer-pusher death satellite to disable and push the junk out of geosynchronous orbit and away from the other precious satellites.

Otherwise the first thing that goes Horribly Wrong will result in a disabled satellite and a satellite repair facility both careening across the heavens. What an awesome spectacle of corporate liability that would be. You could even spot the liability with the naked eye.

Comment: Beware of Crapping, Screeching Low Flying Monkeys (Score 1) 307 307

This issue exists and persists only to illustrate how many people will seize upon some dark conspiracy that not only 'means' nothing on its face... but if it were true and unraveled completely, would still mean nothing. I mean, think about it: there's absolutely nothing actionable in there.

People whose hobby is to fuck with people fuck with people with this fuck, as a hobby. Fuck those people.

If Moon Hoax stuff is coming from someone you love and respect... heed comments on the subject but adopt the same proud and polite tone as a potty training parent who finds a surprise package on the carpet. You cannot express dismay or anger at their poops because a life long poop anxiety is one of the worst things that can happen to a child. You need to scoop it up with their 'help', making friendly conversation about its texture and color, all the while heading to the toilet. Then it goes in and you say, "THAT's where it goes!" and they get to push the handle.

On Internet forums with strangers you don't need to actually scoop it up and take it to the potty (it is after all, someone else's web site). Just a dismissive but polite remark at the beginning that is encouraging like "That's a nice little poop you made, but let's try to get it into the potty next time."

Then find something else to discuss related to space, and discuss that.

Heed not anonymous comments on the subject, treat it as if it was Nature's Own Crap falling from the sky. You can infuriate the cowardly attention-seekers by making direct unseeing eye contact with them and their crap only to say, "How delicate is the process of crap-nucleation and how weighty is crap, that it can fall from a clear sky with no crap-clouds even visible! What a blessing!"

Shit can get personal too. The Bart Sibrel response is the only appropriate direct personal response, and of all the explorers Buzz Aldrin the only one 'man enough' to use it. The Right Stuff indeed.

Comment: I worry about 'Life Hacks' rotting our brains (Score 4, Insightful) 106 106

How many friggin' ways are there to hang shoes in your closet? You'd think that just piling your shoes on the floor has been holding us back all these years, and we're just beginning to get a handle on this shoe storage thing. Buy expensive plastic drawers, make things out of moldy cardboard, hang 'em and wrap 'em like flies in a spiderweb, on doors, above your bed. Make labels. How about an entire room full of wax people in various positions to wear our shoes for us? To select a pair just tip over the wax person and take their shoes off. Simple.

There is always some 'Target Number'. No one ever has a bright idea any more, they must save them up until there is a round or round-plus-one number. Only a brain dead doofus would click into '100 uses for a dead cat' when another article promises 101 uses.

Zero-Day Life Hacks are the worst. Mixed in with the rest, at a glance you can tell that they were made up on the spot to help the author achieve the target number, and are not worth the time spend reading them. And there is no way to unread them, no delivered punishment for this crime. The last time someone felt guilty about wasting another person's precious time was back in 1959.

Life hacks don't just present these tips, they go on about them. You can't just be told to slide a friggin' block of wood along the floor to help set molding at the proper height. There has to be a Using A Block Of Wood Smartly video, and there's always a FAQ with dumb questions like, when I slide it into a corner, what then? (start over in another room, maybe it will work there) and What if the wood falls over? (find another piece). Even the most ludicrous and contrived aspects of something generates lengthy discussion, as if we have carved out a Corner of the Universe devoted solely to wood block molding sliding. The comments slide off into oblivion and disappear like they do everywhere else, the Internet is now like a continuous roll of one-sided toilet paper.

The people surfing these 'Hacks' are really asking themselves, I have these opposeable thumbs connected to a brain. What are they for? Well one thing you could do is spend every spare moment of your life in a voyeuristic journey paging through Life Hacks. As the senses dull and the little voice in our head that says, "Now THAT's clever" becomes over-used, our desperate brains are spurting little endorphin rushes that represent the Eureka! moment, and for a split second we pretend to be filing away every Life Hack like some modern day Sherlock Holmes, to regurgitate it some day at the precise moment when it will attract that mate, save that marriage, save your life and impress everybody

The truth is that you are forgetting them as fast as you are absorbing them and your own brain is becoming that one-sided continuous roll of toilet paper. It's a scam and you are both scammer and scamee. When you go to bed tonight, try to remember all the valuable tips you've learned. Then in the morning. In the place of hands-on basic 'aboriginal skills' of problem solving with the use of fingernails, using levers, found objects and baling wire, things upon things --- we're just merely glancing at things

You know those night-time satellite photos that show cities, highways and towns as shimmering webs of light? Well in terms of average depth of human concentration... those lights are winking out. Celebrities who've had their asses reamed by hateful people on Twitter and delete their accounts (whoosh!) to go back to old-fashioned interviews and press conferences teach us an important lesson about modern culture and long term mental health... which I will not share. This is no 'Life Hack' tip here... figure it out yourself.

Life Hacks also eat up idle quiet time, in which the mind fits things together in silly ways that are uniquely your own. We must use the Internet -- to find the slow tides of thought, laughter and fable we wish to use to construct our worlds, and spend equal time out in the most desperate emotional wildernesses of our time, to tame them to our liking. Not passively surf 'Life Hacks'.

Comment: OH YEAH? How 'bout a RTG Powered TEDDY BEAR?? (Score 1) 419 419

The nuclear attitude to knowledge ratio, especially about RTG design and Pu238, is the highest I've yet seen in a Slashdot thread. It's like some bizarro-world Sesame Street in here with rabid muppets, shrill music, jumbled alphabets, speaking in tongues, flat-wrong math and horrid fonts, websites that require Javascript, and other horrors. Poor Cookie Monster expects some simple puzzle to solve so he can eat a plate of cookies but in swoop a screaming swarm of flying monkeys showing the same film clip of a mushroom cloud over and over again.

An attack on solar energy was sensed by the Solar Energy Promotion Apparatus, which is also the Nuclear Power Demotion Apparatus. Even the mod system has been overwhelmed and filter=insightful yields little insight because so many are modded up because they are quick with a Fukushima snipe. Let's go after StartsWithABang too, who had the audacity to claim that no contact for seven months was a mission 'fail'. Never mind that properly designed modern RTGs survive launch failure, even reentry failure. Never mind the equivalent ~12kg weight. A simple read of the Wikipedia RTF Page would take the Tang out of the snipes and push all of this fission stuff off-topic in one swoop. It's... cult-like in places. I won't be engaging.

So I'll just post... this.

IT IS TIME dip into the vault of Science and unleash a secret DOOMSDAY weapon, the RTG Powered Teddy Bear. A super-toy capable of sustained periods of play, yet self-charging with a heart of Pu238 that begins with ~2x nominal thermal output so you'd have over 100 years at full activity. The RTG is encased in a radiation proof, blast proof thermoelectric shell that is slightly larger than a six-year-old's gullet. It has adaptive intelligence, damage avoidance and a built-in sewing kit. It keeps your child warm at night, helps build muscle tone as it is carried, but can walk on its own with the same bipedal stance that makes human beings energy-efficient.

RTG Teddy will have the Wikipedia RTF Page embedded in its brain, and so he will be able to recite it you. (along with 10,000 bedtime stories from all cultures and fun language lessons). If you attempt to convince Teddy that he will explode like Chernobyl he will politely remind you that was runaway fission and steam. If you mention Fukushima he will point out that was just hydrogen. If you ask him if he might go 'critical' he'll tell you he will be critical of the mistakes you make, so you can always do better. Teddy even has a radiation monitor and his own power source is so well shielded he will help you identify those badly shielded knockoff bears when they come to visit. If you express an interest in nuclear energy he will start you off with the basics and you'll be a nuclear engineer by age eight, as driven as Kirk Sorensen. If mommy and daddy are talking downstairs and you hear mommy express concern that if Teddy crashes in a plane he might spread radiation over a wide area --- Teddy will whisper in your ear that it's alright, even though he would survive a crash and you wouldn't --- he would do his best to prevent it from happening because he contains an aviation network interface with autopilot and instrument landing procedures for all commercial airliners. He can even fly a helicopter with your help. And don't mind mommy, parents are weird sometimes. Could a solar powered bear do all this?

But the best part of owning an RTG Teddy is visiting with those Solar Powered Bears your friends bring over. He will beat the pants off them in feats of sustained endurance. But after he has mopped the floor with them he'll give them all a pulsed burst of ultraviolet light so they can finish the race without the indignity of falling over. He'll even offer them his charging port (with parental permission). RTG Teddy is not like Rock'em'Sock'em Robots or those other toys where all the drama centers on winners and losers, like some hit-and-run Slashdot AC comment. RTG Teddy is an essential part of any base load energy economy, one that can even support the luxury of Solar Powered Bears.

But before long you may hear your friends wonder out loud, "Why are RTG Teddys so rare and expensive? Why didn't they build more of them? Why didn't my parents get me one instead of this Solar Bear?" RTG Teddy has a deep heuristic response to these questions, one that incorporates all the nuclear-related opinions ever expressed on Slashdot, even those by that fucktard lunatic TheRealHocusLocus. RTG Teddy navigates this neural net while crafting responses specifically to avoid expressing any of these opinions and judgements directly. For these are questions posed by children that basically mean, what is wrong/right with the world? And less stated, whose fault? By avoiding stated opinions Teddy is able to do what Teaching Bears do best, what children do best --- answer a question with a more challenging question. Some responses are, "Perhaps you'd like to hear more about..." or "If you're interested in ____ the best place to start is..." or "Would you like me to read the Wikipedia RTF Page?" Leaving young minds more full than they arrived, by showing them doorways into new possibilities rather than opinion honeypots.

Your wise purchase of RTG Teddy Bear will also help to clean out your neighborhoods of persons who irrationally fear radiation, even when it is properly controlled and rendered harmless by excellent engineering. While you simply go about your life and your children grow up enriched by this super-toy, intolerant neighbors will be consumed by the mere presence of RTG Teddy Bear and will move far away. Some will resort to aggressively hostile and direct attacks which clearly illuminate aspects of human behavior which are valuable for your children to witness. So they don't marry one. If you decide to become one of them --- simply return RTG Teddy Bear for a full refund. We'll even throw in an extra dollar because if you don't think taming fire completely and cleverly is the best possible future, then perhaps you think it's all about money. We just want you to be happy.

Behold! The RTG Teddy Bear.
In some things he's smarter than the average bear.
And he works at night, too.

Comment: Re:ply from MISK Customer Service (Score 1) 127 127

What, no happy face Microsoft Bob button?

Microsoft Bob and and Jimmy Hoffa have left us by similar means, one digital and one analog, I'm afraid, but we were able to incorporate Bob's essence --- the packaging material of the Kit is comprised of 100% recycled encrypted Bob! . While we strive to include at least "a Bob's worth in every Kit"... due to variations in manufacture and settling part of him is missing or arrived too late, so you'll need to purchase five or more kits to ensure you have a whole Bob.

The decryption key for Bob was not provided to us, but there are rumors that the Russians and Chinese have cracked it and a reconstituted corrupted version of Microsoft Bob was used to infiltrate the Office of Personnel Management.

If your package has been tampered with or Microsoft Bob is smoking a pipe... you have "weaponized Bob", and your product has been contaminated by Slack from this divine pre-Windows entity. Please return the product for a full and cutaneous refund.

Comment: Microsoft Innovation Survival Kit (Score 1) 127 127

MICROSOFT INNOVATION SURVIVAL KIT
ONLY BREAK SEAL IN CASE OF EMERGENCY

Contents of Packet A: New Keyboard button.
Contents of Packet B: New Mouse button.
Contents of Packet C: New Assistant with Mechanical Voice.
Also included: Start Button removal tool, 10-pack of various Wizards (from1997, dehydrated), Clippy spray.

Customers who purchased this also bought:
Apple Innovation Survival Kit

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

Remember, plumbing is at the heart of civilization - the Romans figured that out for us. Without plumbing, we would be up shit creek.

Hear ye.

I now jet sewers, fix main breaks, drive dump trucks, operate backhoes and repair manholes for a small City in Southern Oklahoma. And I'm happy to report that some 35 years' computer and network experience from the days of Z80/S-100 CP/M to today, starting a BBS, starting a Freenet and running two ISPs with Cisco/OpenBSD/NT/Linux, running a printshop, doing programming at a telco and consulting since age 15... has not left me impaired physically or mentally.

Though some times when we are jack-hammering the street at midnight during an ice storm I have flashbacks.

It's just the most stable job I could find around here and it's bubble-proof. And I like infrastructure. In Austin TX my resumé didn't mean squat because no one returned my applications or calls --- except that boiler room that pays minimum wage for DSL tech support --- which sucked, come live in the big city so you can room with three other people and still struggle to make the rent. Fuck Austin.

Comment: For the Love of Spock! [also] fund HAIV mission! (Score 3, Interesting) 43 43

[tunes TV set]

KIRK: What's the nearest concentration of life forms, Mister Spock?
SPOCK: Bearing one one seven mark four.
KIRK: And how much time did you say we have to investigate?
SPOCK: If we are to divert the asteroid which is on a collision course with this planet, we must warp out of orbit within thirty minutes. Every second we delay arriving at the deflection point compounds the problem, perhaps past solution.
KIRK: You did say thirty minutes?
SPOCK: Yes, sir.
KIRK: Then let's go. Let's find out what life forms are blessed by this environment.
(Standing on the opposite side of the lake from a collection of tipis and a lodge.)
MCCOY: Why, they look like. I'd swear they're American Indians.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise arrives at the asteroid and attempt numerous means to disrupt its course. However, these fail to do any significant damage, leaving the ship's weapons and warp systems offline and the asteroid still on a collision course. [...] Spock surmises the obelisk may have failed, and recognize that they only have a short time when they arrive to figure out how to reactivate it, coming to the conclusion that musical notes may be the key as when the device responded to Kirk's communicator. [...] Spock uses a mind meld to reach Kirk's mind, while McCoy tends to Miramanee's wounds. Kirk regains his memories and Spock quickly alerts him to the situation. Kirk uses his communicator again, opening the trap door, and he and Spock go inside to repair the deflector beam. The obelisk activates and deflects the asteroid with minutes to spare.

~~Star Trek Original Series, "The Paradise Syndrome

CHEKOV: Course of asteroid, I mean spaceship two four one mark one seven.
SPOCK: Interesting.
KIRK: Yes?
SPOCK: The course Ensign Chekov just gave for the asteroid would put it on a collision course with Daran Five.
KIRK: Daran Five? Inhabited?
SPOCK: Correct. Population approximately three billion and seven hundred twenty four million, if memory serves me correctly. Estimated time of impact three hundred ninety six days.
KIRK: Mister Sulu, match Enterprise speed with that of the asteroid vessel. Mister Spock and I are transporting aboard. Mister Scott, you have the conn.
SCOTT: Aye, sir.

[...] Kirk and Spock enter the temple chamber to retrieve the book and find a way to shut down the Oracle computer. The Oracle becomes furious at their attempts to gain access, and the stones of the chamber begin to glow red-hot. Kirk and Spock retreat, but having seized the book they find a way to bypass the Oracle's defenses and shut the machine down. They also discover a secret room containing the navigation controls for the asteroid ship. [...] With the Oracle disabled, Kirk and Spock enter the room and learn that a malfunction in the navigation system has moved Yonada off its intended course. Kirk and Spock make the proper repairs to the ancient navigation system and redirect Yonada onto its proper heading, sparing both the ship and Daran V.

~~Star Trek Original Series, "For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky

One need not scan further to see that Commander Spock was 'passionately' concerned about the fate of human populations who find themselves in the path of asteroids, and the United Federation of Planets clearly did not consider an extinction level impact event as something that should be permitted to happen under the Prime Directive. And how fortunate for Leonard Nimoy that his voice so resembled that of Commander Spock, that he could employ his talent for narration to help Spock continue to implore us into space.

It gladdens my heart to see that 3,251 backers have raised $252,696 of a $600k target to produce this worthy documentary.

But at the same time, I am growing alarmed that only 143 people have raised a measly $6,868 to develop a set of working plans for a HAIV or Hypervelocity Asteroid Intercept Vehicle Project , whose objective is to develop a spacecraft that could deflect or disperse asteroids and comets with only a few days' warning.

Spock would, of course, be somewhat confounded by the fawning attention that will undoubtedly be expressed in this documentary. But if the HAIV Project 'fails'... might he raise an eyebrow and say, "Fascinating."

If a space-faring civilization has for some time been capable of achieving this simple measure of short-notice planetary defense --- yet fails to make it a priority, unable to even raise the yearly salary of a single CEO --- might the Prime Directive apply to us after all?

KIRK: Is there any indication that the people of the planet are aware that this object will impact in sixty days?
SPOCK: Sixty days, twelve hours and thirty-two seconds. It appears they do not.
KIRK: Analysis, Mr. Spock.
SPOCK: Captain, I am puzzled by this advanced civilization's lack of preparation for this contingency. The issue is further clouded by the discernible presence of religions that consider apocalyptic events to be the fulfillment of divine prophecy, If the deflection of the asteroid by the Enterprise might disrupt this culture, in the manner in which it is evolving, that would be a clear violation of the Directive.
KIRK: I see. In this I will defer to your judgement, Mr. Spock.
SPOCK: Perhaps... if we monitor the progress of the HAIV campaign and whether it reaches its conclusion successfully. If it does not we may conclude that the dominant cultural force on the planet is one that expects --- and considers necessary --- these occasional disasters to happen.
KIRK: Fine. Note in ship's log: we shall return in twenty-nine days to check the campaign. If it is successful, we shall divert the object and prepare to make First Contact.
SPOCK: Agreed. And if the campaign is not successful...
McCOY: Then let them burn? You green-blooded bastard! May God have mercy on their souls!

Comment: Re:Bah! Media! Repent from SIN (Score 4, Informative) 173 173

SF86 data is extraordinarily sensitive. What they mean is that the attackers made off with a database of the financial problems, drug habits, family problems, hidden crimes, and sex fetishes of anybody that's working on anything sensitive.

Shouldn't that kind of stuff be only on paper, locked inside some kind of... you know... financial problems drug habits family problems hidden crimes and sex fetishes room?

Tabloid fascination with personal problems or consensual crimes, 'sin' for short --- this whole ability to ruin someone by leaking factual information --- is a known vulnerability of the human condition. One no one wants to fix (it involves losing the moral high ground) or even admit that it is a problem. This means past indiscretions can through blackmail, be used by murders to conceal their crimes, or even drive a blackmailed sociopath on by degrees, to commit murder. In the best of cases it hands the rudder to the most oafish bullies, for the dumbest of reasons. And some brilliant and capable, even trustworthy people find themselves in shit.

Looks like the USG has handed over it all. Beware, my friend, shit winds are a-comin'

I recommend Peter McWilliams' book AIN'T NOBODY'S BUSINESS IF YOU DO: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Country, placed on the web with the deceased author's permission, to help sort out (culturally) what should be an actionable --- or blackmail-worthy --- crime. Also check out this (failed) submission on the DEA and my suggestion to implement duress codes (like a blackmail canary) into society.

Comment: No, we don't need to 'worry' about EMP (Score 3, Interesting) 182 182

Q: Why are we just talking about it and why hasn't the problem been fixed?
Dr. Pry: Okay. Well, the short answer to that is itâ(TM)s called the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. They are basically the representativeâ" they used to be a trade association or a lobby for the 3,000 electric utilities [...] agency in the U.S. government [...] protect the public safety

Woolsey: [mumble mumble THEY could make a bomb]

I call NO THANKS on this transparent attempt to create yet another regulatory agency arm of DHS, and Jen Bawden who may be as concerned as I am about the grid, but sounds like she wants a boxcar on the gravy train. Mumble mumble THEY could come by boat she says. Then Woolsey and Pry go so far as to declare NERC 'worthless'. Sounds like a gub'mint involvement power grab that has little to do with engineering. To find out how little a political initiative like this will actually improve the grid, just go ahead and create this new agency, just like all the other ones. Before long everyone will be working for the Federal Government and the economy will be supported by a single hot dog vendor in Wash DC. They'll spend their whole budget creating scary power point presentations about bad-people-threats, because they'd rather not go outside.

NERC is populated by people who don't mind going outside to look at things.

NERC does need a kick in the ass though. It needs to worry less about cyberattack (which conveniently does not require you to go outside) and put a more concentrated effort into black start capability --- which is the ability (through planned procedures and simulation) to bring up the grid from complete power down This involves the identification of islands and what are called 'black start resources', stations that can power up first and help others to start. See the working document on EOP-005-x. Whatever the disaster and no matter how pervasive its effects, the first priority needs to be a firm plan for getting things going again and isolating sections that need replacement parts.

Do not let that Carrington Event stuff terrify you too deeply. In the 1859 small gauge telegraph wires were strung hundreds of miles to make the perfect EMP antenna, and its effects were what could be expected of a system that was on no way designed to withstand induced EMF. The modern grid is a lightning-arresting monster of conductor. Many old or improperly maintained components may fail in places, but it's not some slate-wiper, the greatest challenge will be merely to isolate problems and restart the rest.

Unfortunately when it comes to telephone communication this generation is pretty well screwed by a series of shitty little compromises over 30 years that will result in NO PHONES WORKING a week after major sections of the grid has gone dark, no matter if there are portable generators handy. POTS is gone, control has been centralized to distant places. Don't expect that cell tower to let you call your neighbor.

But the essential components and practice of the power grid remains the same as it was in the 70s, robust and reliable. If NERC would spend more time planning and training for black start capability, THAT is the best, possibly only, thing that would make a real difference.

Comment: Re:3D printing fanboi much? (Score 1) 85 85

I see this as the New New Orleans. We can find a major disaster; get billions of dollars of aid and instead of wasting it on feeding or housing the poor residents, we can spend it all on DARPA 3D printing experiments which might, theoretically, help a future special case disaster.

3D PRINTING ARTICLES OF THE FUTURE

From Sten Guns to Stem Cells: A Look Back What was the world like before ubiquitous crossover technology revolutionized technology and biology? Its difficult to imagine a time when the plastic steak was the brunt of jokes, years before the plastic human was perfected. Now both steak and human alike are produced from the same Universal Cartridge, and this fascinating short documentary pokes fun at the metaphorical difficulties experienced by what we now call '2D Humans' when trying to imagine the possibilities of today.

3D-Printed Food and Furniture for Disaster Relief: Look what's on the menu! The challenge of providing an appropriate and timely response to disaster, such as when Mother Gaia's tummy gets upset, has been hampered by problems of supply and distribution. Thanks to the application of the same advanced computer models used to verify and adjust historical climate records with uncanny precision, it was discovered that there is more than one practical approach to solving the old adage 'Greatest Good for the Greatest Number with Greatest Assurance of Success'. Traditional response models attempted to solve for Greatest Good, providing a comprehensive disaster response to (regrettably) few people. By maximizing instead for Greatest Number and working towards proactive not reactive measures, the new paradigm calls for global distribution of a package of items that provide a complete measure of support --- food, clothing, shelter, on a smaller scale.

Color your world (stuff your printer-gullet) with Rainbow Slime! It walks like a duck, talks like a duck... but it looks like a rainbow! Why make old things look old when everything can look new? Rainbow Slime is made from old things that once came in old colors, in olden times. These old things have been sorted and composted and re-mogrified with the extrusive dynamacism of Rainbow Eye-Searing Technology until the vividness is palpable and delectable. WARNING: The most vivid of the hues, especially those that glow in the dark, are not approved for human consumption.

3D Printed Cellphone Covers Rock Your World and are an FDA-approved alternative to unprotected sex. Your time spent selecting a style that is uniquely your own from our catalog is time well spent, because the World of Today is Hand-Crafted To Order (tm). Now that the extrusion of copper wire, electrical engineering, steel fabrication and industrial mass-production has all been supplanted by the industrial mass-production of 3D printers, Mankind now has the leisure time once envisioned by such forward-seers as Orwell and Huxley. Celebrate your future! You are you and you is good. Select a cell phone cover today.

Comment: Wanted: A Tentacle that goes up to 'Eleven' (Score 1) 64 64

We don't need to gollump across the desert slinging a rifle Mad Max style. We don't need expressive faces. We don't need stair climber ballet dancers. We don't need batteries. We need not rely on radio controlled operation. We don't need autonomous operation. We just need to lean around corners, extend and hook onto things, retract to pull ourselves along and extend again to get a camera and radiation monitor on a swivel close enough to far corners to answer the most pressing questions. A tentacle with two to three stages, each stage consisting of three to six sections that uncurl and and curl back like flower petals controlled by a human operator practiced in this dynamic of movement. Because the apparatus unfolds to navigate yet is flexible in its collapsed form, when there is equipment failure or the mission is accomplished it need only be pulled back out by its umbilicus. By smart apelike hominids flexing their strong muscles. To replace components, refine the actuators or (if based on Nexus 5) harassing or whacking or replacing the flaky power button to keep it from constantly rebooting.

Perhaps the Fukushima prize will be taken by a couple of bicycle mechanics from Kitty Hawk, NC with a design that uses no electronics whatsoever, aside from the payload.

Comment: Apple Innovation Survival Kit (Score 1) 86 86

APPLE INNOVATION SURVIVAL KIT
ONLY BREAK SEAL IN CASE OF EMERGENCY

Contents of Packet A: Introduction of new streaming iTunes service.
Contents of Packet B: Introduction of new streaming iTunes service.
Contents of Packet C: Introduction of new streaming iTunes service.

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.

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