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Comment: Re:Misleading (Score 2) 77

by Tim the Gecko (#49465631) Attached to: SpaceX Launch Postponed

Looks like it's been aborted for today due to the weather. The anvil cloud rule was violated. Next try is 4.10pm EDT tomorrow.

Quick question. There are four towers, each with a cylinder on top. Around the cylinder there is some kind of spiral between the bottom and top. What are these cylinders called and what do they do?

Comment: Re:On odd artifact of affect... (Score 1) 130

by Tim the Gecko (#48833987) Attached to: Lost Beagle2 Probe Found 'Intact' On Mars
Colin Pillinger interview transcript (PDF):

We've had lots of cats that have wandered off and... but that was the thing about the name, everybody congratulated us on the name Beagle 2 as inspirational, until after it didn't call in and we had all manner of e-mails, texts, telephone calls, letters saying didn't you realise that Beagles are the worst dogs you could possibly have to let off the leash - they run off, they chase something, they don't come back when they're called, they only come home when they're hungry and they show no sign of remorse.

+ - Lost Beagle2 probe found 'intact' on Mars->

Submitted by Stolga
Stolga (3985589) writes "The missing Mars robot Beagle2 has been found on the surface of the Red Planet, apparently intact.

High-resolution images taken from orbit have identified its landing location, and it looks to be in one piece.

The UK-led probe tried to make a soft touchdown on the dusty world on Christmas Day, 2003, using parachutes and airbags — but no radio contact was ever made with the probe.

Many scientists assumed it had been destroyed in a high-velocity impact."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Take a look at who you elected/reelected (Score 4, Informative) 47

Democrats, Republicans... anyone who thinks there's actually a difference between them is a dumbass.

It does seem to matter when it comes to picking Supreme Court Justices. Nobody would claim that Alito and Scalia are interchangeable with Kagan and Sotomayor. Are you really saying it doesn't matter who chooses the next few justices?

And this has an impact on a lot of real world issues:

There is also the five-finger speech. It generally comes when a new clerk asks, in dismay and outrage, how a majority of the Court has arrived at a decision he or she feels is flagrantly unjust. Justice Brennan holds up his hand, wriggles his five fingers, and says, “Five votes. Five votes can do anything around here.”

Comment: A thousand KBOs discovered, not dwarf planets (Score 5, Informative) 77

by Tim the Gecko (#48542193) Attached to: Pluto-Bound Spacecraft Ends Hibernation To Start Mission

The article confuses Kuiper Belt Objects (more than one thousand discovered), and dwarf planets. To quote Wikipedia: "The IAU recognizes five bodies as dwarf planets: Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake".

2015 will be a great year for looking at two of these. As well as New Horizons, there is also the Dawn probe on its way to orbit Ceres.

Comment: Re:Fuck them sideways with a rusty chainsaw! (Score 1) 118

by Tim the Gecko (#48016599) Attached to: World's Smallest 3G Module Will Connect Everything To the Internet devices that insurance companies use to monitor policyholders' driving

Over my dead body. *find tiny cellphone antenna* *SNIP*

If you're a clever insurance company you ask people if they want tracking in return for lower premiums. If your competitors are charging $300, you make the "no" people pay $315 and the "yes" people people pay $285. Then all the bad drivers and all the people concerned about privacy go off to another insurance company. Given the success of Facebook and Twitter, it looks like only 0.001% of the population cares about privacy. Therefore 99+% of the people who move across to your competitors are probably not very profitable anyway. Win-win!

So it's saying "yes" or "no" to the tracking device that is the important part, not the driving data. As long as you have enough blinky lights (and a few real 3G connections) so people think they might be monitored, then you are golden.

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.