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Comment Re:The dark matter between their ears (Score 1) 166

Attributing the extra gravity phenomenon to dark matter is nothing more than a variation on the G-d-of-the-Gaps. Got a problem with gravity, Dark Matter.

For more than two decades you could have written:

Got a problem with beta decay energy conservation, "neutrinos".

Even as invisible particles, they were the best explanation on the table to explain beta decay. Then they got detected as well.

Comment Re:Vista users need to switch to IE for final year (Score 1) 140

I strongly associate Vista with misery. I dual boot and only use Vista for my taxes. So in January I will get my regular experience of receiving nine months of Microsoft and Adobe updates. After rebooting a few times and telling Mr Ellison that no, I don't want the "Ask" toolbar, I can then settle down to fun and finance.

My normal boot option - Ubuntu 15.10 with Unity - is a lot nicer.

Comment Re:if this is the spearhead of human colonization (Score 2) 150

We could send robots onto the surface that could be directly and nearly instantaneously piloted by humans that are stationed on Phobos.

An automated car can drive 30 miles on US Highway 101, avoiding thousands of other moving objects going between 0mph and 65mph. Do we really need a human driver for the Mars robots, which only have to steer around some rocks, and are thousand of miles from any other vehicle? Especially as this would be the most expensive human driver ever.

Comment Re:Better (Score 4, Interesting) 130

Just look at the Hubble telescope. It has far exceeded it's expected life and is still sending images back. Not possible without people in orbit and putting hands on.

It would be much less expensive to construct ten telescopes and send one up every year or two on the cheapest possible launcher. Human repair only makes sense because you've already spent so much on the Space Shuttle.

You don't need someone to traipse across Mars, but having someone being able to change the tire on a rover enables it to continue its mission.

Rovers are cheap and patient. Humans are super-expensive and the costs for their consumables rack up very fast. We returned 12 humans from the Moon, which costs quite a lot of money. We have left dozens of landers on the Moon and Mars - although parts of Surveyor 3 came back with the Apollo 12 astronauts.

Comment Re:The artificial expense of radio and tv (Score 2) 351

we can up the power and antenna significantly, and that's the end of your expenses.

Your competitors will ramp up their power, and then you will ramp yours up some more and then they will be drowned out and decide to ramp theirs up...

But it all works out well, because we can save money on radios and just listen to your station through our fillings.

Comment Re:It's the end of the world as we know it! (Score 1) 307

Yeah. Okay. And how many companies are sitting on vast blocks that are only partially tapped?

There's some interesting economics coming up. Companies will bid up the price of IPv4 blocks, but that will also make it look like a better idea to move to IPv6. Google's stats show IPv6 users have gone up from roughly 3.5% to 7% in twelve months. If you expand the graph you'll see IPv6 is higher at weekends, when people are at home, and lower on weekdays.

So the price of IPv4 will go up, but this will push companies toward IPv6 migration, and when that happens the worth of IPv4 blocks will drop significantly.

Adapt. Enjoy. Survive.