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Comment: Re:Folks need to see 'The Day After' (Score 1) 210

by argStyopa (#47972385) Attached to: US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

Let's not forget that The Day After was shameless propaganda of an order that would make Leni Reifenstahl blush.

The Hollywood establishment despised Reagan and was willing to do anything to portray him as a crazy warmonger and highlight public terror of nuclear weapons.

The movie, btw, full length: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
 

Comment: Re:More lucky than careful... (Score 1) 210

by argStyopa (#47972339) Attached to: US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

True....and false.
An unarmed missile IS barely a dirty bomb, but a wave of missile launches, say from 1962 to 1989 or so, would likely have prompted the other side to launch their counterstrike (the point was to get them launched and in a high ballistic arc before the other guy's landed as the fear was that successive EMPs might deactivate crucial circuitry in your outgoing warheads).

So yes, your unauthorized launch in and of itself was not even a V1-level explosion.
What it would have likely started might have been armageddon.

Comment: The sad history of US nuclear weapons. (Score 3, Informative) 210

by Animats (#47971615) Attached to: US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

It's amazing how bad many nuclear weapons were, and perhaps are. The Hiroshima gun bomb wasn't much better than an IED. If the Enola Gay had crashed, it probably would have gone off. (The crew was under orders not to land with the bomb; if they had to return to base, they were to dump it in deep water.)

For a while after WWII, the US didn't actually have any functional nuclear weapons. This was a major secret at the time. The war designs weren't suited for long-term storage. Nobody wanted another gun bomb, and the first generation electronics for triggering implosion didn't store well. A "GI-proof" line of bombs had to be developed.

The first round of Polaris missile warhead wouldn't have worked. This was learned only after there were SSBNs at sea with functional missiles and dud warheads. That took over a year to fix.

In recent years, there was a period for over a decade when the US had lost the ability to make new fusion bombs. The plant to make some obscure material had been shut down, and the proposed, cheaper replacement didn't work.

There was a tritium shortage for years. The old tritium production reactors were shut down years ago, and no replacement was built. The US is now producing tritium using a TVA power reactor loaded with some special fuel rods. Commercial use of tritium (exit signs and such) is way down from previous decades. (Tritium has a half-life of around 11 years, so tritium light sources do run down.)

The US was the last country with a gaseous-diffusion enrichment plant. The huge WWII-vintage plant at Oak Ridge was finally dismantled a few years ago. There's a centrifuge plant in the US, privately run by URENCO, a European company.

The US had a huge buildup of nuclear capability in the 1950s, and most of the plants date from that era. They're worn out and obsolete.

And that's the stuff we know about. Being a nuclear superpower isn't cheap.

Comment: Re:The WHO (Score 1) 400

by Jhon (#47971219) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

"I have one thing to say. Fuck you. "

An excellent point. I must be wrong.

"Don't demand other people act as you think they should, and drop the annoying superiority act."

I don't think I "demanded" anything. I did strongly suggest that it's wise to learn to live with our limitations rather than say "I don't want to live not being able to do what I want when I want". I've too many happy 80+ year olds in my life who despite their pain and/or infirmity are enjoying their life and family. And if you can't see that then maybe my "annoying superiority act" isn't an act -- at least where you are concerned.

"There are living fates much worse than death. "

And of course I said exactly the opposite of that, didn't I? Or are you reading your own fears and insecurities in to what I ACTUALLY said?

Comment: Re:0 if dead, more if alive. (Score 2) 161

by Shakrai (#47967431) Attached to: My resting heart rate:

On the other hand, I don't spend large parts of my life exercising and worrying about my health. Why spend 30% of your off-time to perhaps live 20% longer? Especially if most of that time is going to be in a retirement home, worrying about bowel movements and whether there will be pudding.

In no particular order:

* The person who is fit/healthy is less likely to end up unable to wipe his own ass in a retirement home.
* Fit and healthy people get more attention from the opposite sex.
* Exercise is a natural anti-depressant.
* Exercise boosts libido.
* You'll sleep better.
* You can eat more.

Of course there are no promises. You could be in the best shape of your life and get hit by a bus tomorrow. Such is life.

Comment: Re:I agree, 100% (Score 1) 400

by Jhon (#47967207) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

If you don't want to be a financial drain to those you love then you must try to make sure you have assets available for yourself should you require them at that age. Or, when the time comes you move to a state where whatever aid is available to you (SS, SSI, whatever) brings more bang for your buck.

Or ENJOY the fact that your family is taking care of YOU now. The whole circle of life thing.

My mother retired to AZ. She had zero money saved, got a mobile home for $500 in 'decent' condition and had $1700/mo coming in (pension + social security). That's QUITE a comfortable income in Arizona. She lived there until she was 82 (about 10 years) when she came back to be closer to family and entered an assisted living home. Her memory isn't great, can't controller her bladder that well, needs help taking her meds regularly and requires a walker, but she's still truckin'. Still smokes a half-pack a day and walks to the near by gas station store to pick up her cigs if we dont bring them to her.

Comment: Re:The WHO (Score 2, Insightful) 400

by Jhon (#47967055) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

"What's the point of living when their is no real enjoyment?"

This is not some "universal" state -- there will be less things to enjoy, but most likely there will still be enjoyment.

"When it hurts to get out of bed and you can't go and do what you want when you want?"

Then you change your expectation of yourself. You DON'T go and do what you want WHEN you want. You rely more on others and your world will grow "smaller". So long as long as the pain can be managed...

"When you aren't living but just existing and waiting to die?"

That's something else. If you are stuck on a machine completely unable to interact with the world around you, then yes. But that needs to be two-way -- there must be someone on the OTHER end of that (family or friends) who want to interact with you.

"I can see his point easily enough."

I can UNDERSTAND his point. I don't AGREE with it. I'm not saying "forced life" under any condition, of course.

"I'm pretty sure that if I get cancer after 70 I'm just going to start the bucket list."

My mother-in-law has cancer. She's 80. Aside from age related dementia (and the limitations that come along with that) she's doing great and enjoying her home, garden, family and life in general.

"I don't want to be 90 laying in bed waiting for someone to come change my diaper."

Ever read "Tuesday's with Morrie"? I like his outlook on life when HE came to having someone else wipe his arse.

Comment: It has to be really cheap to succeed (Score 1) 48

by Animats (#47966675) Attached to: SkyOrbiter UAVs Could Fly For Years and Provide Global Internet Access

This service has to be really cheap and fast to succeed. Iridium and GlobalStar already offer a satellite-based service. Iridium really does cover the entire planetary surface; GlobalStar has most of the planet, but not the polar areas. So it's all about being price-competitive.

Comment: Nothing new (Score 1) 190

by argStyopa (#47963873) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

Nothing is new under the sun.

The same ancient rule still applies: Caveat Emptor.

If you throw money at someone with no contractual guarantee in return, there is simply no protection for your money. It's still your money - throw it at whomever you want. But don't expect sympathy because you "lost" it if the person wastes it, eats it, or somehow fails to execute what they said that that would.

As kickstarter started generating large sums of money the conmen and shills naturally have taken notice.

Comment: Not distributed (Score 4, Interesting) 75

by Animats (#47962527) Attached to: Researchers Propose a Revocable Identity-Based Encryption Scheme

I'm not qualified to judge whether it's secure, but it's not distributed. "Each user is provided by PKG with a set of private keys corresponding to his/her identity for each node on the path from his/her associated leaf to the root of the tree via a secure channel as in IBE scheme." So there's a tree of all users, maintained by somebody. I think; the paper suffered in translation.

Comment: Re:Alright smart guy (Score 4, Interesting) 486

by Jhon (#47960459) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 8 a Pig?

I have an Ipad Mini Retina. I honestly don't notice any major slow-downs (a wee bit longer to launch an app -- and noticeably longer to boot the device). However, some apps no longer worked (awaiting an update) -- and this is somewhat minor.

The MAJOR issue I have (and it's appearing a lot on the apple forums) is 5ghz wifi. For many users it's pretty much unusable. I had to switch down to 2.4 (my router has up to 4 SSIDs, 2 for each frequency). I don't LIKE 2.4 because it gets a fair amount of interference, but it's a suitable work around. I'm hoping this gets resolved in the next update.

My main complaint is (and I kick myself in the butt over it) *THIS* complaint was registered while IOS8 was in beta by many users. I SAW those complains and figured they were resolved before they released the update. I should have known better. I had enough sense *NOT* to update my phone (iphone 5).

That said, I don't notice much of ANYTHING worthy of real "hoopla". 'Hey siri' is neat, but I'm still unsure if I will find actual utility from it once the novelty wears off. Certainly not enough "new" stuff to warrant it's size and bulk.

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr

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