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Comment: Re:This again? (Score 1) 427

by Bruce Perens (#49598949) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

OK, I will try to restate in my baby talk since I don't remember this correctly.

Given that you are accelerating, the appearance to you is that you are doing so linearly, and time dilation is happening to you. It could appear to you that you reach your destination in a very short time, much shorter than light would allow. To the outside observer, however, time passes at a different rate and you never achieve light speed.

Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 1) 540

by cduffy (#49598791) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

Prepare for another culture-shock, my dear passport-less American. Tokyo has competing privately-owned subway lines. Japan's wonderful highspeed trains are privately-owned too.

Which shock would this be, exactly? Major American cities used to have competing privately-owned commuter rail lines as well -- mostly torn down in the first half of the 1900s in favor of the highway model. This is by no means a surprise to anyone who knows even local transportation history.

If a government is doing it, it can not be smart...

You lecture me about fallacies, and then pull out that?! I find it hard to believe that you're actually interested in making a good-faith attempt at a meeting of the minds.

Comment: Where we need to get to call this real (Score 1) 427

by Bruce Perens (#49596461) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

Before we call this real, we need to put one on some object in orbit, leave it in continuous operation, and use it to raise the orbit by a measurable amount large enough that there would not be argument regarding where it came from. The Space Station would be just fine. It has power for experiments that is probably sufficient and it has a continuing problem of needing to raise its orbit.

And believe me, if this raises the orbit of the Space Station they aren't going to want to disconnect it after the experiment. We spend a tremendous amount of money to get additional Delta-V to that thing, and it comes down if we don't.

Comment: risk versus risk (Score 2) 103

by firewood (#49595749) Attached to: Climatologist Speaks On the Effects of Geoengineering

Of course there are serious risks to engineering... to be traded off against the huge risks of the planetary science experiment ongoing since the dawn of agriculture and the industrial revolution, the risks of modifying that science experiment and waiting to see what happens, or of potentially fighting over the enforcement of planetary carbon, water, pollution, and etc. rights inferred by those modifications.

Comment: There Goes The Neighborhood (Score 1) 161

Certain items are classified as "dual use" for US export control laws because they have 2 major use classifications - military and non-military. The only way to ensure that goods sold for non-military purposes are not later used for military purposes is by monitoring and controlling.

We all know how effective the US's monitor and control systems worked in Iran.

Comment: Re: Elon Musk (Score 1) 108

by Bruce Perens (#49582987) Attached to: Russian Cargo Spacehip Declared Lost

Obviously I am missing something, then. Please fill me in on your better information sources. Email to bruce at perens dot com if you don't want to put them on Slashdot.

It's time to start planning another trip to Lompoc. The Motel 6 was sort of yukky last time. Maybe I'll try something else. There was an official visitor observation site that I found and got into last time, but that was for the Delta, and it was on Pad 4 if I remember correctly. This one is all the way on the other side of the base on Pad 7 or 8, isn't it? There are some farm roads that might be good observation sites if they are open.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 108

by Bruce Perens (#49582029) Attached to: Russian Cargo Spacehip Declared Lost

I am not confident that the world will remain a hospitable place for life until we are ready by your standard.

Getting the resources and people there is very close to being within our technical capability. The task ourselves, if we perform it, will take care of the remaining gaps.

Creating a self-sustaining colony outside of the Earth's environment is going to need a lot of work, but it is not work that can ever be achieved on this earth. We have to actually put people in space to achieve this. Our best experience so far is with submarines. Academic research has so far yielded only farcial frauds like Biosphere II.

Comment: Re:Again? (Score 1) 141

by Bruce Perens (#49581731) Attached to: Ham Radio Fills Communication Gaps In Nepal Rescue Effort

Technically, making transceivers work when there are 30 of them in vehicles next to each other can get difficult. People wonder why you can buy a dual-band walkie talkie for $60 but the one in the police car costs much more. If it's well engineered, the one in the police car has some RF plumbing that isn't in the $60 walkie talkie.

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.

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