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Comment: Re:Clean room implementation? (Score 4, Informative) 205

No, it does not. Re-read my post after you've had your morning coffee. You're free to use the API however you want, it's presumed not copyrightable. The *one* exception is using it for interacting with the Linux kernel, because the kernel *is* protected from such access by the GPL, and only GPL-compatible code is allowed to interact with its internals. The API is irrelevant to that fact - it's simply the interface used by those who *are* allowed to interact.

Comment: Re:faster than light never violates Relativity (Score 2) 201

by Immerman (#49790747) Attached to: Ways To Travel Faster Than Light Without Violating Relativity

Actually, correlated random noise is extremely useful for cryptography. At its simplest, Alice takes their noise as received, Bob takes the inverse of their received noise, and since the noise source is entangled they are then guaranteed to have the same noise, which can be used as an encryption key, or even a one-time pad.

Comment: Re:Clean room implementation? (Score 3, Interesting) 205

I believe it's not that you can't use the API, but that you can't interface non-GPL code with the kernel due to the restrictions of the GPL. That you would use the API to do so is incidental to that restriction.

If instead you want to build your own kernel implementing the same API, I don't believe they have any objection.

Comment: Re:Terraforming potential? (Score 1) 272

by Immerman (#49790551) Attached to: How To Die On Mars

As soon as it touches something NOT moving 25.4km/s? Probably. Or if it were to hit a gas, the gas would be plasma.

In this case, you've got gas moving at 27.4km/s across a stationary funnel surface - you're going to get a lot of thermalization in the boundary region, and I would bet on plasma formation. Obviously that's not particularly relevant to the bulk of the fast-moving gas, but it's *very* relevant to the funnel.

Comment: Re:One quote from the article that is nice... (Score 1) 146

Oh, and as for my assumptions - yes, I could be wrong - but of all the things that might possibly emerge from new fundamental physics, it seems *extremely* unlikely that any of it would be particularly applicable to non-physics science. Well, beyond the potential fount of xeno-biological knowledge and/or interaction with alien civilizations if it led to some sort of FTL travel :-D.

Our technology is already on the cusp of allowing us to observe living organisms on the atomic level - while it's not impossible that some new physics might allow even more detailed and non-invasice information gathering, or even reveal that the ultimate source of the spark of life is not actually the biological organism, introducing new fields of science, neither would have much impact on biology itself, other than potentially accelerating it's advance by a few centuries.

Comment: Re:One quote from the article that is nice... (Score 1) 146

Absolutely, the technology is not there yet. But the fundamental science underlying the technology is. The two are interconnected, but NOT synonymous.

As for humanity changing - you are talking about human *technology*, I am talking about humans themselves. Two very different things. We've become far less lethally violent as population density has increased and made violence much more destabilizing, but otherwise we seem to be basically the same creatures as described in the most ancient legends.

Comment: Re:Terraforming potential? (Score 1) 272

by Immerman (#49785881) Attached to: How To Die On Mars

Careful yourself - heat and temperature are two completely different concepts related by a material-specific conversion function.

But yes, you are right that temperature and speed are rarely used interchangeably outside particle physics - it is quite likely you could substantially avoid thermalization of the "wind", however any portion that *was* thermalized, say by interaction with the surface of the funnel, would thermalize to an extremely high temperature. Though I suppose in that case we should probably be looking at the RMS speed, rather than the most probable, which would lower the temperature a bit

As for speeds, I'm just going from the specific orbital energies, perhaps there's other tricks that can be played - I'll freely admit that I always seem to have trouble translating between delta-V and delta-E in an orbital context. But to go from Venus's orbit to Mars's orbit you still need to add 322MJ/kg - more than to escape the sun entirely from Mars's orbit. And 322MJ/kg of kinetic energy would translate via E=1/2*m*v^2 to... 25.4 km/s....

Okay, it would seem I've got a math error somewhere... Ah, right, flipped an exponent there. 6x the energy translates to 2.45x the velocity, not 36x. Sorry about that.

So that would make the required departure velocity only 27.4 km/s, and the associated thermalization temperature only about 1,340,000K...

Except wait - we've got a phase change from gas to plasma in there, which almost certainly breaks their calculations badly. At any rate you're going to have a steady flow of hot plasma against the surfaces of your funnel - that's going to add some serious material science challenges (or engineering, if you go for magnetic shielding)

Comment: Re:One quote from the article that is nice... (Score 0) 146

There's one substantial difference though - reaction density. Creating one micro black hole or strangelet in the upper atmosphere may be a non-issue, it will evaporate long before it can absorb enough matter to stabilize. Create dozens or thousands of them within a miniscule target region and a small fraction of a second though, and you have to start worrying about how they might interact with each other.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Arthur C. Clarke