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Comment: Re:Exodus (Score 1) 526

by Immerman (#49800921) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

Nope. Cosmic radiation is pretty much continuous. What's (relatively) rare is the ridiculous high-energy radiation, such as a single photon carrying mass-energy equivalent to an entire iron atom. Our planet is still presumably getting bombarded by them near constantly, but they're rare enough that it's uncommon for them to hit the few particle detectors we have capable of recording them.

Comment: Re:Exodus (Score 1) 526

by Immerman (#49800883) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

Actually, I believe current research suggests that there may be a link between cosmic rays and cloud formation - it's actually one of the current areas of genuine controversy in climate science. The caveats being:
1) The effect is relatively small - to the point of being virtually invisible until you have modeled the many stronger influences with sufficient precision.
2) It has nothing to do with Global Warming, as the direct measurements of cosmic ray levels have been basically unchanged in recent decades.

Of course, the link between clouds and temperature is even less straightforward. As I recall the research suggests there is only a very small effect on average temperatures, though there is a dramatic effect on the diurnal variation - cloud cover tends to stabilize temperatures, causing slower heating during the day, but also slower cooling at night.

Comment: Re:Terraforming potential? (Score 1) 276

by Immerman (#49800651) Attached to: How To Die On Mars

But the gradient won't be across a dozen kilometers - in fact if it were then the vast majority of the vented CO2 would be lost to interplanetary space rather than getting anywhere close to Mars. To be effective this system would have to be designed to resist a laminar flow distribution, so that virtually all the gas leaves the funnel at *exactly* the same speed. Any molecule moving at a speed off by even 0.001% will never reach Mars. We're trying to throw a dart at a bullseye moving at 24.1 km/s, hundreds of millions of miles away, with zero possibility of fine-tuning the path after launch.

As a matter of fact, even the initial thermalized lateral motion of the gas molecules would pretty much render it impossible to hit Mars - We're talking months to years of transition time, even a few dozen m/s of lateral motion will cause the gas cloud to expand so rapidly that I doubt more than a tiny fraction of a percent would even make it to Mars's Hill's sphere, much less the planet itself. You would have to find a way to completely eliminate all thermalized motion, essentially creating a giant highly collimated particle accelerator with negligible inter-molecular interactions rather than an air gun.

Comment: Re:What is the point? (Score 1) 68

I am aware of the russian jet... what is your argument for it being "fifth generation"? What does that mean to you? Because the evaluation from the Pentagon is that it is a hot mess.

it doesn't manuver well, its sensor package is shit, it isn't especially stealthy... so if it engages comparable US or NATO planes it will die before even seeing its enemy.

As to their new tank... remind me again why it is a "4th generation" tank?

Again, you use these terms but I don't think you know what they mean. This whole concept implies a qualitative improvement over previous generations such that previous generations are not competitive. However, the Russian models are not superior to even old US tech. This is shit.

Their new jet could get whacked by some F18 hornets much less the far superior F22... and either new tank is no better than the existing Abrams. So... why do I care again?

As to your final comment... are you claiming the Russians are not in Ukraine? Because... everyone says they are... There are a dozen Nato powers saying it, there is sat photos of it... the ukranians are saying.

Out of curosity, what would it take for you to believe there were Russian soldiers in Ukraine? What evidence would work for you short of someone coming into your parent's basement, throwing you in a sack, carting you off to ukraine, sitting you down somewhere on the border, taking the sack off... and letting you see what is going on with your own eyes.

What evidence would work for you?

Comment: Re:Easily fixed (Score 1) 66

by PopeRatzo (#49800223) Attached to: Feds Bust a Dark-Web Counterfeit Coupon Kingpin

J.C. Penney tried this. It's become a textbook case study in retail management as to how not to run a retail store. Unfortunately, the "feeling of getting a bargain" is a powerful psychological motivator to purchase; treating customers like rational people is not.

That's why Tesla is failing so badly. They treat customers like rational human beings and don't give "incentives" and "cash back" and "0% financing".

And I guess that means that before coupons were invented, every company simply failed.

Comment: Re:2015... the year we bash Russia.... (Score 1) 68

But if it was the US stealing tech from Russia, that'd be an outrage, right? Look, every country steals technology (or tries to) from others, and being tech, that fits the bill for newsworthy on a tech site. Not particularly exciting, no, but not "bashing" on Russia for no good reason either.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 86

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49799991) Attached to: Uber Revises Privacy Policy, Wants More Data From Users
We can only hope that Uber's notoriously...risk tolerant...approach to just ignoring regulations that they don't like will result in a lot of spam that is actually 'spam' for the purposes of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 being sent out.

That particular law is more or less a dead letter, given how easy covert or extraterritorial spamming is(and, of course, it's assorted gaping loopholes); but there are theoretical penalties that could stack up fast if you actually fuck up.

In this case, if grabbing people's contact lists doesn't count as 'email address harvesting' in the context of the prohibition on sending to harvested addresses, I'm not sure what would.

Honestly, it's downright impressive. Uber has managed to get markedly sleazier since they did their "Oh, 'god view' and threatening to stalk reporters who piss us off was naughty; we promise to be good..." charm offensive bullshit.

Comment: There are reasons for 12-TET (Score 1) 95

by Sycraft-fu (#49799983) Attached to: Android M To Embrace USB Type-C and MIDI

It is a good balance between getting a good 3rd, 4th and 5th and not getting too complex. You have to go to 29-TET before you get a better perfect 5th and 41-TET to get a better major 3rd. Gets a little complex musically to represent and deal with all that, not to mention design instruments that can play it back.

So remember that ultimately music is all math, and as such some things do end up being "better" than others musically. I'm not saying we shouldn't have the capabilities to use other scales, I mean computers are more or less unbounded in their capabilities and samplers can microtune to any required setup, but 12-TET has a reason for its prevalence.

Kiss your keyboard goodbye!