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Comment: Re:A foretaste... (Score 2) 76

by cusco (#46830353) Attached to: The Hackers Who Recovered NASA's Lost Lunar Photos

I like the difference this demonstrates between this White House administration and the previous one, which first instructed NASA to "dispose of" old Mariner data and were so upset that NASA handed it over to the Planetary Society rather than shred it that they directly instructed NASA to destroy the still-unanalyzed Pioneer data later. (NASA administrators risked their jobs and pensions to get that data to the Planetary Society as well, with the result that today we have a likely solution to the 'Pioneer Anomaly'.) Obama ain't much, but he's better than what we had.

Comment: Re:The Original Meaning of "Hacker" (Score 1) 76

by cusco (#46830339) Attached to: The Hackers Who Recovered NASA's Lost Lunar Photos

When I got into computing in the mid-'90s 'hacker' was synonymous with 'computer wizard'. Good or bad, didn't matter. Of course computing included a lot more hardware then than it does now, so the term was being extended to hardware hackers of various types, even including radio hams. Now Hollyweird has taken a perfectly good word and changed it to suit their dramatic needs.

Comment: Re:1-600 kilotons (Score 1) 140

by cusco (#46829783) Attached to: Asteroid Impacts Bigger Risk Than Thought

You mean like our resounding success against primitive tribesmen armed with Kalashnikovs in Afghanistan? Fucking hell, we had to pull out of Iraq with our tail between our legs and you think we have a chance invading a country where military training is mandatory, where thousands of tons of weapons are in depots all over the country, which has never been successfully invaded since the time of the Mongol hordes, and which is armed with nuclear weapons.

You're a special kind of stupid, aren't you?

Comment: Re:hmmm really.... (Score 1) 140

by cusco (#46828299) Attached to: Asteroid Impacts Bigger Risk Than Thought

Yeah, because our civilization is only capable of doing one thing at a time . . .

The impediment to feeding everyone while maintaining a viable ecosystem is not technological, it's political. Powerful people get that way and stay that way by ensuring that the overwhelming majority have nothing. The Pentagon budget for JUST LAST YEAR was larger than the inflation-adjusted cost of the entire decade of the Apollo program, and what do we have to show for all that expense? Nothing. In fact, less than nothing as the Pentagon manages to suck the world economy deeper into debt and further from freedom and peace.

If you want to eliminate the truly nasty byproducts of things like rare earths mining and chip fabrication move the process off-planet. For less money than the bottomless pit of the F-35 program a workable skyhook or space elevator could have been developed.

Comment: Re:This is the tail - it means more (Score 1) 140

by cusco (#46828099) Attached to: Asteroid Impacts Bigger Risk Than Thought

When Comet Shoemaker-Levy hit Jupiter astronomers estimated that it was a once in a century to once in a millennium event. Since that time, with our improved telescopes, we've seen evidence of half a dozen more similar impacts. When astronomers started observing the Moon for impacts they expected to see a noticeable strike every couple of years, instead they're seeing a couple every year. I think that estimates of the amount of junk floating around the solar system may be radically low.

Comment: Re:1-600 kilotons (Score 1) 140

by cusco (#46827843) Attached to: Asteroid Impacts Bigger Risk Than Thought

Its the aftermath of the A-bomb that was so gruesome.

No, it was the actual event that killed almost everyone, residual radiation killed relatively few compared to the initial blast. I highly recommend the US Army's Strategic Bombing Survey's work "THE ATOMIC BOMBINGS OF HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI" , the definitive work on the subject and about as horrible a read as you'll find.

Comment: Re:Difference between erratic & erotic (Score 2) 536

by cusco (#46822509) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

Unless of course you think the more complex theory full of mysterious unobservable entities like dark matter is correct and better uses Occam's razor.

Well, yes. There is no evidence at all supporting the Electric Universe folderol and none of the predictions that it makes come true. For that matter, most of them are impossible. On the other hand, the current construct is internally consistent, can make predictions that work, and is supported by a couple of centuries of observation. So-called 'dark matter' and 'dark energy' simply mark the threshold where our current powers of observation fail, we need better equipment to explore that section of our universe. So yes, Occam's Razor would come down on the side of current cosmology.

Comment: Re:Oh noes, I can't drive X miles (Score 1) 384

by cusco (#46817667) Attached to: Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

I live in Seattle. If the hill where my house is located existed back in the Midwest there would be a ski resort on it (really), and the Park and Ride is on the top of the taller hill on the other side of the valley. I only have to walk a mile or so, but it's a good 20 minutes.

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234