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Comment: Re:This again? (Score 1) 425

by cerberusti (#49599571) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

I am sure they will experiment with a few prototypes and come up with a model of how it works before they launch it.

You want an explanation as to why it either fits with our current understanding of physics or where our understanding was wrong, which is not required in order to make use of it. From an engineering perspective all we need to know is how much thrust it produces, if there are any side effects that could cause problems, and how to keep it functioning.

We can do all of that through trial and error and some basic modeling, without understanding exactly what is happening.

Comment: Re:This again? (Score 1) 425

by cerberusti (#49598067) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

This isn't junk science. This is junk sensationalized journalism reporting about science. Rest assured that if any agency capable of orbital launches was actually confident in the merits of this device, it would be in orbit within the month.

Most of those are governments... Maybe you are hoping SpaceX will make this a priority as a non income generating research project? If not, I think there is an important life lesson about the speed at which government agencies and their contractors accomplish tasks in your future.

With five years is more likely, assuming a better explanation which makes it useless as propulsion is not found. Maybe within a year if it gets the attention of those who create the budget.

Comment: Re:This again? (Score 1) 425

by cerberusti (#49597989) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

The fact that the anomalous readings are net thrust is pretty encouraging.

Launching things into space is expensive, devices intended for space are harder to design, and it makes the experiment harder to run and measure. Better to run some tests on the ground first, produce a model on which they can base a more efficient design, test that design in order to maximize the thrust they can easily get, then go design an actual test spacecraft (which will probably be tiny, and take some time to do.)

A series of promising results on the ground are a good sign, and are what make it worthy of the further work and expense necessary to test it in the intended environment. I am sure someone will get around to launching a test vehicle in due time if nobody comes up with a better explanation for the results than generation of thrust.

Comment: Re:This again? (Score 2) 425

by cerberusti (#49597329) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

Their measured force is far greater than radiation pressure could explain (around 1 newton /kW now, expected to be 500-1000 newtons per kW with some refinement if their current theories are correct), and it was not tested in sunlight as far as I know.

It cannot be simple radiation pressure, of this NASA is certain.

Comment: Re:This again? (Score 5, Insightful) 425

by cerberusti (#49597239) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

That is pretty close to what is going on.

There are now several experiments which confirm the production of thrust, many efforts to falsify the results, and a few efforts to come up with a theory which explains what we are seeing. There may be another test or two on the ground, but the first real space trial is likely coming soon. The only real way to be sure is to launch one and measure the dv.

I had the same thought they did initially, which is that convection of air was responsible for their thrust. That will not happen in vacuum, so that idea is right out.

This is a very promising experimental result, following several other very promising experimental results from different labs. I would say there is now serious evidence that this works, or at least that there is more to it than we can easily explain given our current understanding of physics.

Comment: Re:SAVE US AND THE WEB FROM MOZILLA! (Score 1) 311

by cerberusti (#49595937) Attached to: Mozilla Begins To Move Towards HTTPS-Only Web

Public opinion these days is that discrimination against a person based on attributes which cannot easily be changed is a problem.

A person may hate anybody they want, but as CEO he was the face of their business. If their CEO had spoken out on the wrong side during the civil rights movement he would also face some social issues. That is probably the closest analogy to what is currently happening with homosexuality. I expect the social consequences of speaking out in favor of discrimination to become increasingly negative.

The main difference between "defending traditional marriage" and supporting same sex marriage is that the former is attempting to restrict the actions of another person based on an attribute they cannot change. In this case it harms nobody to allow two consenting adults to marry each other, so it is difficult to come up with a valid reason to deny them access to the same government processes and protections which a heterosexual couple would be able to legally enjoy.

Separate but equal is also generally accepted to rarely be equal, so marriage it is.

I really do not care much either, as being a heterosexual white male most discrimination does not affect me. Despite that, I do see how unfair it is to deny this to somebody based upon who they love.

If he got his way and gay marriage was entirely banned, it would not affect him at all (presumably he would not consent to marry another man.) He is trying to restrict the freedom of others because he does not approve of who they are, and I do have serious objections to placing that kind of person in a position of power (even at a private organization.)

Comment: Re: It's called Regret Porn, not Revenge Porn (Score 1) 230

by cerberusti (#49409339) Attached to: 'Revenge Porn' Operator Gets 18 Years In Prison

This is pretty much a textbook case of extortion, specifically blackmail.

He made a business out of continuing to publish embarrassing and socially damaging imagery until he was paid off. Publishing the images alone would have been a grey area at the time he did it, but the extortion site is definitely illegal.

If Google started a service where they dug up dirt on people then contacted them to get a payment in order to make the problem go away, their representatives would absolutely be hauled into court. Google knows better than to try of course.

Comment: Re:Doesn't seem likely. (Score 1) 160

by cerberusti (#49256873) Attached to: LAPD Police Claim Helicopters Stop Crimes Before They Happen

They are much better at finding those who commit very serious crimes, and bringing a helicopter down over a city is extremely serious.

This is one of those situations where almost anybody who would be capable of committing the crime and having any real shot of getting away with it also has better options in life.

Comment: Re:Doesn't seem likely. (Score 1) 160

by cerberusti (#49252191) Attached to: LAPD Police Claim Helicopters Stop Crimes Before They Happen

That ignores the not so minor point that if you take a helicopter down the response will be extreme.

That one helicopter is not the only thing the state can bring to bear against you, and they will be very pissed off. In short, it would need to be a case of much of the city revolting before that becomes the kind of thing you might get away with.

Comment: Re:White balance and contrast in camera. (Score 1) 420

by cerberusti (#49154109) Attached to: Is That Dress White and Gold Or Blue and Black?

My gf and I looked at it on the same screen.

My answer was periwinkle and brown for the image, but I thought the real dress was probably blue and black. She says white and gold.

I had to spend a moment looking at the background to determine that it was probably blue and black.

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz