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Comment: Re:Simple (Score 1) 204

by TapeCutter (#48928553) Attached to: Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

So, corruption is okay as long as it is culturally acceptable? I see.

In America they call bribes "tips", government workers are not allowed to accept tips, however failing to tip a waiter will get you a spit burger. In India you need to tip every clerk and mail boy in the paper handling chain if you want your government paperwork to move. In Nigeria they put you in an interview room at the airport and wait until you figure out how much they want.

Comment: Technology is a moving target. (Score 1) 122

by TapeCutter (#48914731) Attached to: Proposed Space Telescope Uses Huge Opaque Disk To Surpass Hubble

.... lead or follow it in EXACTLY the same orbit. That would be a feat of orbital mechanics never before achieved.

The GRACE mission has been doing it for a few years now, tiny fluctuations in gravity can be inferred by the change in distance between the two probes. However it's not a geostationary orbit, just one probe following the other in low orbit. Personally I think it's a genius idea to turn the problem of keeping two probes in sync into a highly accurate gravity probe.

Comment: The early 70's are calling. (Score 1) 299

One of the largest internal migrations in US history was in the early 70's when 20 something hippies started leaving cities in droves and building mud brick utopias. Only a handful of the communes survived more then 2ys. The common cause of downfall was human nature - a bully would arise in the commune and take ownership of the land by pushing people out one by one.

Comment: Re:Urban legend? (Score 1) 299

I grew up during the cold war, the term "plan C" sound vaguely familiar. The military is expected to "plan for every scenario", it's unsurprising they came up with silly plans for a nuclear - most primary school kids knew that fallout made "duck and cover" a sick joke. It's an attempt to make people feel like they can "do something" other than dying.

Comment: Re:"A hangar in Mojave" (Score 3, Informative) 38

by Bruce Perens (#48908157) Attached to: Virgin Galactic Dumps Scaled Composites For Spaceship Two

That's actually what it's like at "Mojave Spaceport". Hangers of small aviation practicioners and their junk. Gary Hudson, Burt Rutan, etc. Old aircraft and parts strewn about. Left-over facilities from Rotary Rocket used by flight schools. A medium-sized facility for Orbital. Some big facilities for BAE, etc. An aircraft graveyard next door.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 666

by Bruce Perens (#48897151) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

There is no reason that we have to pick one and abandon work on the others. I don't see that the same resources go into solving more than one, except that the meteor and volcano problem have one solution in common - be on another planet when it happens.

The clathrate problem and nuclear war have the potential to end the human race while it is still on one planet, so we need to solve both of them ASAP.

Comment: OO is not a property of the language. (Score 1) 198

by TapeCutter (#48895439) Attached to: Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded 2015 Dahl-Nygaard Prize

C++ rewards good design but brutally punishes poor designs.

You hit the nail on the head, somewhere in the early 90's, language vendors stopped claiming "Our language supports OO concepts" and started claiming "Our language is OO".

The first C++ compiler I used professionally was Wacom's (circa 1991). Back then the Watcom C++ extensions were not part of the language, they were implemented with a bunch of C macros pulled in with include files, the macros themselves were riddled with goto (another macro) statements. I still have nightmares....

The fact is any general purpose language can be used to implement an OO design because OO is not about language features, it's a design methodology, or at least that's what I was taught when studying for my CS degree in the late 80's. As my smalltalk lecturer pointed out at the time, most of the examples in K&R's "The C language" are also great examples of OO design that were written long before the term OO was invented.

Disclaimer: These days I spend much more time tying spaghetti balls with different flavoured source together than I do trying to untangle the individual gordian knots.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 666

by Bruce Perens (#48887305) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Sure, there are going to be mediating forces in the environment. Melting is an obvious one. The positive feedbacks have been getting the most attention because they are really scary. It appears that there are gas clathrates in the ground and under water that can come out at a certain temperature. The worst case is that we get an event similar to Lake Nyos, but with a somewhat different mechanism and potentially many more dead. The best case is a significant atmospheric input of CO2 and methane that we can't control.

I don't think I have to discount Trenberth. He's trying to correct his model, he isn't saying there is no warming.

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. - Edmund Burke

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