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Comment: Re:I don't see the big deal here. (Score 1) 182

by dargaud (#48625201) Attached to: US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking
Also the fact that the DPRK is ready to put its cards down for a mere movie should be considered a good thing. This way we can be (somewhat more) ready against them for when the shit really hits the fans. It's not like they can repeat the same attack with as much success, and it's never guaranteed that you'll find another vector as successful.

Comment: Let cool (Score 1) 200

by dargaud (#48617753) Attached to: NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration
I like the idea of building a gigantic monomolecular sheet at the L1 point of Venus to reflect/deflect part of the sunlight, letting Venus cool off. Below a certain temperature parts of its atmosphere start to condense, also dropping the air pressure by a significant amount. Possible terraforming in a much easier way than on Mars, hardly any high tech involved except for a sheet factory and tanks of raw material at L1.
Space

SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship 81

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-luck dept.
An anonymous reader writes: SpaceX has announced that at the conclusion of its next rocket flight, it will attempt a precision landing of its Falcon 9 first stage onto an autonomous ocean platform. They say the odds of success aren't great, but it's the beginning of their work to make this a reality. Quoting: "At 14 stories tall and traveling upwards of 1300 m/s (nearly 1 mi/s), stabilizing the Falcon 9 first stage for reentry is like trying to balance a rubber broomstick on your hand in the middle of a wind storm. To help stabilize the stage and to reduce its speed, SpaceX relights the engines for a series of three burns.

The first burn—the boostback burn—adjusts the impact point of the vehicle and is followed by the supersonic retro propulsion burn that, along with the drag of the atmosphere, slows the vehicle's speed from 1300 m/s to about 250 m/s. The final burn is the landing burn, during which the legs deploy and the vehicle's speed is further reduced to around 2 m/s. ... To complicate matters further, the landing site is limited in size and not entirely stationary. The autonomous spaceport drone ship is 300 by 100 feet, with wings that extend its width to 170 feet. While that may sound huge at first, to a Falcon 9 first stage coming from space, it seems very small. The legspan of the Falcon 9 first stage is about 70 feet and while the ship is equipped with powerful thrusters to help it stay in place, it is not actually anchored, so finding the bullseye becomes particularly tricky."

Comment: Re:Simplest is best (Score 1) 259

by dargaud (#48598721) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Image Organization?
Exactly. Using the filesystem is the best and simplest method. I have images ranging 150 years and 10 Tb using this method and I can find things in a few seconds, either with the find command or by zeroing on the date. Fo old scans that aren't dated precisely you can simply use 'YYYY-event" or 'YYYYMM-event'. And it works on any OS and any media (CD, HD...) so you KNOW it'll still work when your granchildren will want to sift through your images.

Comment: Re:Why does this need a sequel? (Score 1) 299

by dargaud (#48592407) Attached to: Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"
Interesting post.

Since you mention it I'd like to ask a question about the pictures in the movie. I saw the movie several times but could never figure out what is seen on the picture is actually zooms on, the one with the room and (?) mirror. I'm sure it's on some FAQ somewhere but never dug into that.

Medicine

Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements? 1051

Posted by Soulskill
from the science-doesn't-care-about-your-opinions dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Michigan has a problem. Over the past decade, the number of unvaccinated kindergartners has spiked. "Nearly half of the state's population lives in counties with kindergarten vaccination rates below the level needed for "herd immunity," the public health concept that when at least 93 percent of people are vaccinated, their immunity protects the vulnerable and prevents the most contagious diseases from spreading." Surprise, surprise, the state is now in the midst of a whooping cough outbreak. How do these kids get into public schools without being vaccinated? Well, Michigan is among the 19 U.S. states that allow "philosophical" objections to the vaccine requirements for schoolchildren. (And one of the 46 states allowing religious exemption.) A new editorial is now calling for an end to the "philosophical" exemption.

The article says, "Those who choose not to be vaccinated and who choose not to vaccinate their children allow a breeding ground for diseases to grow and spread to others. They put healthy, vaccinated adults at risk because no vaccine is 100 percent effective. They especially put the most vulnerable at risk — infants too young to be vaccinated, the elderly, people with medical conditions that prevent vaccination, and those undergoing cancer treatments or whose immune systems have been weakened." They also encourage tightening the restrictions on religious and medical waivers so that people don't just check a different box on the exemption form to get the same result. "They are free to continue believing vaccines are harmful, even as the entire medical and scientific communities try in vain to tell them otherwise. But they should not be free to endanger the lives of everyone else with their views."

Comment: Re:programming (Score 4, Interesting) 417

by dargaud (#48565683) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us
Probably not. I guess it will be some emergent behavior. And teaching. LOTS of teaching. A baby isn't intelligent from birth, it takes... err... quite a while. The AI, a true AI, will show whatever way it's tought. My hope is that it won't come out of the NSA servers... But I'm not an optimist.

Comment: Re:How about a straight answer? (Score 4, Informative) 329

by dargaud (#48562969) Attached to: Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane
Here's a different way to look at it: have you ever heard of the carboniferous period ? It's the 50 million years period between the time plants invented lignin and became trees (300MY ago) and the time when microorganisms evolved a way to digest it. During this period trees that died didn't rot. They just piled up. And other trees grew on top to hundreds of meters of depths. All that accumulated carbon is still around, in the ground, in form of coal of petroleum. But it took humans barely 200 years to release a good part of it into the atmosphere. Draw your own conclusion...

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.

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