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Comment Re:Unsafe at any speed (above 100 MPH)... (Score 4, Informative) 443 443

Actually, since energy goes up at the square of velocity, a jump from 100 to 70 is double the impact energy.

Also, getting your car ripped in half after hitting a pole apparently is "normal", in that it happens to many cars. It's unfortunate, but physics isn't your friend in situations like this.

Comment Re:Putting the cart before the horse. (Score 5, Informative) 152 152

From the article, however, the regulations that are being discussed are for meteorites on federal lands. From the article:

Courts have long established that meteorites belong to the owner of the surface estate. Therefore, meteorites found on public lands are part of the BLM’s surface estate, belong to the federal government, and must be managed as natural resources in accordance with the FLPMA of 1976."

In this case, I'm thinking that claiming that these changes will somehow apply to asteroids in space is a very long stretch. Especially since they don't apply to the significant volume of privately owned land in this country, let alone the rest of the world.

Comment Re:Does it explain the sucky battery life? (Score 2, Informative) 248 248

Except it shouts "Marco", then expects to hear "Polo" back. If it gets the response, great. Otherwise, it can increase power and try again. It will repeat this until it gets a signal or hits its maximum strength, and gives up.

I know my phone drains much faster when I'm in a poor reception area than when I've got a good signal.

Comment Re:It's the bueracracy we hate ... (Score 1) 1322 1322

I think the key is some sort of balance. Absolute dictators are bad, but if someone has to stand for election, then they can at least be voted out of their position. Or fired if they make bad decisions.

This is just an example of it swinging way to far to the process side.

Comment It's the bueracracy we hate ... (Score 4, Insightful) 1322 1322

... but somehow we keep creating.

The problem is that we don't want to trust people in authority to make decisions, so we come up with a process or committee or something to ensure that one person can't make the hard decisions. But time and time again, it's shown that if no one can make hard decisions, no one will.

And while it's probably going to beat the hell out of my karma for it, I recommend The Death of Common Sense, by Philip K. Howard. It basically goes into examples of how our unwavering belief that a legal processes can sort through the mess impartially causes all sorts of unexpected results.

As soon as the authority to make a decision is lost, how can bad behavior be punished?

Comment Re:Laser (Score 1) 374 374

An interesting article, and I hadn't heard of that.

Such a system (air->space or air->air) would probably be sufficient. But even the article mentions "... firing through the dense atmosphere would weaken the beam." Now, the example from the article is describing from flight altitude to a ground target, but the same problem would apply to a ground based laser system.

But, overall, an interesting read. But I suspect an adversary capable of such a laser system would also be capable of shooting it down with more conventional air force weaponry.

Often statistics are used as a drunken man uses lampposts -- for support rather than illumination.