Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Do people really take this risk seriously? (Score 5, Insightful) 210

by Rei (#49752865) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

The article is also based on some terrible reasoning, like:

That means there will be no asteroids left in the Solar System, because they all will have struck Earth, in another few hundred million years. Think someone’s overestimated something there? Yeah, me too. Let’s take a look with the flaws in our fear-based reasoning.

Yeah, in a universe where our solar system is some sort of perfect steady state. Which, of course, it is not. Asteroids collide or - more commonly, come close to other bodies and gravitationally interact - and throw each other into different orbits. When that happens, non-Earth-crossing asteroids can become Earth-crossing ones. For example, one of the candidates for the K-Pg extinction event is a Batisma-family asteroid. This family came from an asteroid breakup 80 million years ago.

A person well versed in the field would be aware of the fact that asteroids are not in some sort of unchanging steady state. Which is why they're the ones paid to do the research on the subject.

And more to the point, we really don't have a good handle on what's out there. We have trouble making out dwarf planets in the outer solar system. We really have no bloody clue what could be on its way into the inner solar system, apart from studying how often major events happen.

And on that note, another flaw in his logic, given that until recently, the vast majority of Tunguska-style events would never even have been detected, having occurred over the oceans, remote deserts, the poles, etc. So by all means it's perfectly fair to say that the fact that an asteroid hitting earth is more likely to hit a remote uninhabited area is perfectly fair. But saying that while mentioning the rarity of inhabited areas having been hit in the past is double-counting. The historical record is evidence of how often they hit populated areas, not how often they hit Earth.

Lastly, his claim that only one person has ever been "hit by an asteroid" is ridiculous. 1500 people were injured by the Chelyabinsk one in 2013 badly enough to seek medical attention. Yes, they weren't "hit by rocks", but that's not what large asteroid impacts do; they mostly or completely vaporize by exploding in the atmosphere and/or on impact. And there's lots of reports throughout history of people getting struck by asteroids; just because they weren't documented by modern medical science doesn't mean it never happened. Seriously, what's the bloody odds that the only person to ever in historical times be hit by an asteroid would be in the 1950s in the middle of a first-world nation? Now what's the odds that someone being hit in the 1950s in the middle of a first-world nation would be well documented, publicized, and believed?

Just a lot of really bad arguments.

Comment: Re:Seems obvious now (Score 4, Interesting) 214

by Rei (#49742243) Attached to: Secret Files Reveal UK Police Feared That Trekkies Could Turn On Society

Can you imagine the dystopian dictatorship where trekkies come to power? All of the halls of power full of people walking around in spandex and fake ears and brow ridges, the fed directed to work toward the absolution of currency, the military directed to accelerate development of phasers and for all recruits to undergo "Kobayashi Maru" training.... NASA would finally get their proposed $18,5 billion dollar annual budget passed - except that the bill would have the word "annual" crossed out and the word "monthly" written in its place. National anti-bullying legislation would be passed, probably with a name like Spock's Law. And of course they'd insist on referring to the UN as the United Federation of Planets.

Comment: You're offtopic but I'll answer anyway. (Score 2) 364

by Medievalist (#49740363) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Solve a Unique Networking Issue?

Is there anything that uses Ethernet without using */IP?

Yes, tons of stuff. Dozens of protocols.

Is there anything that uses Ethernet without using */IP that also uses IP addresses??

Yes; there are a number of "companion" protocols that interoperate with IP when it's on an ethernet. You've probably heard of ARP and ICMP, to give just two examples. Neither of those is actually part of the Internet Protocol, and they don't ride over it, but they do use IP addresses on an Ethernet.

Comment: Re:Why not lasers? (Score 3, Interesting) 220

Not even lasers. Hackers have been doing this with freaking LED's for long range networking.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...

Short of really massive weather conditions they are reliable as hell and dont require clearing all the trees out of the frenel area in front of the dish.

Comment: Re:not far enough. (Score 1) 201

by Lumpy (#49719813) Attached to: Baton Bob Receives $20,000 Settlement For Coerced Facebook Post

Plus the chances of you shooting and killing someone without going to prison or even lose your job are incredibly high.

You can Taze and Mace anyone you want at will.

You can break all traffic laws at will for any reason at all, or even no reason at all.

Being a cop means you are in the largest and best financed street gang there is.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of code." -- an anonymous programmer

Working...