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Comment: Re:Arcade games are still skill based (Score 1) 181

by Zephyn (#46714581) Attached to: Do Free-To-Play Games Get a Fair Shake?

Actually, there were a few arcade titles following the 80's crash offered advantages if you chipped in more coinage. Cyberball 2072 would sometimes give you the option to buy improved team performance or enhanced players between quarters. And I seem to recall Xybots offering extra in-game currency for tokens. Thankfully the trend never caught on back then.

Comment: So let me get this straight... (Score 4, Interesting) 174

by Zephyn (#45747817) Attached to: DHS Turns To Unpaid Interns For Nation's Cyber Security

You want to offer a bunch of impressionable young people, most of whom are accumulating large amounts of debt, the opportunity to learn as much as they can about the computer security infrastructure of the country. While they do this, we're not paying them a cent or giving them any guarantees regarding future employment, further increasing their financial insecurity in the present and the future, as well as exploiting whatever sense of loyalty they might feel for their country for the purpose of reducing government labor costs.

What could possibly go wrong?

Comment: Re:Anthropic Principle (Score 1) 312

I doubt a 15 million year old universe would have been little more than atomic soup. Water may have existed, but not as we know it. It takes more than 15 million years for a star to form and blow up, where would you have gotten enough heavy elements for a planet to arise? :)

That's not quite accurate. Heavier radioactive elements would have come from supernovas, which only occur in stars much more massive than our own. The more massive the star, the higher its luminosity and the shorter its lifespan. Some of the most massive stars we've found will spend (or have spent) less than 100,000 years on the main sequence before expanding into supergiants and exploding as supernovae. So there's plenty of time for nucelosynthesis over that 15 million year span.

Comment: Re:Upper limit on planets? Lower limit on stars (Score 5, Informative) 129

That's the mass threshold for deuterium fusion. No fusion = planet, deuterium fusion = brown dwarf, hydrogen fusion = main sequence star.

So at 11 Jovian masses, the planet is close, but not quite big enough to reach brown dwarf status.

Comment: Re:It's a Big Universe (Score 1) 110

by Zephyn (#45291069) Attached to: Kepler-78b: The Earth-Like Planet That Shouldn't Exist

That, and the results of both of our effective planet detecting schemes - transit and doppler - skew proportionately towards these hot worlds, as for both methods a shorter period will give a stronger signal and therefore be more likely to be detected. So just like with the hot jupiters detected by the doppler method, they are probably actually a minuscule fraction of the planets out there but happen to be the easiest to detect. So even though they are rare, we are guaranteed to see them, and then muse about their rarity.

It's just like scientists to be racist and not be willing to detect the black planets.

No it isn't.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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