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Comment: Re:how many of these people don't want to retire? (Score 1) 19

by dargaud (#46777091) Attached to: I expect to retire ...
Haven't you ever noticed that plenty of retired people "never have time" when you ask them to do something ? They are always busy doing things. Well, not all of them, but those who had an active life and maintain it afterwards. Between fixing the house, the garden, building things, antique stores, ebay, hiking/biking around, etc...

Comment: Taxes from France (Score 1) 380

by dargaud (#46759571) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?
Since you ask how it works in other countries, I find that in France they've streamlined the process to make it the easiest possible. Unless you are self-employed, the state knows how much you make since all jobs have obligatory declarations. So you receive a form that already contains all your info and how much you owe. If you agree, you just scan a QR code present on the page. It takes you to a webpage that just ask for confirmation and that's it. It litterally takes 10 seconds to file. Then topay, you either have already setup automated retrieval thrice a year from your bank account, or receive a form with another QR code that asks for permission to retrieve one third of the sum from your account. That's it.

Things like kids (declared at birth), significant others (declared at weddings), buying houses (declared during the purchase), etc, are all known to the state and taken into account. Pretty easy in most cases.

I don't think there's much possibility to hack the system since to only option you have is to agree or not. And if not I guess you need to file manually.

Comment: Re:He's right! (Score 1) 578

by dargaud (#46728251) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code
Just an anecdote. One of my best friend was a poor kid with no formal education. He works as a janitor. But he's also one of the best coders around, having done tens of dynamic websites in the '90s, a mapmaker (better than the state maps) and plenty of other things that bring in extra money but usually just for friends. And he's also and above all a great guy.

Comment: Re:just keep in mind (Score 1) 408

by dargaud (#46704811) Attached to: Australia Declares Homeopathy Nonsense, Urges Doctors to Inform Patients
Well, in all honesty it depends on the CH. Above 6CH (10^(2*6)) there's hardly anything (that's already one part per trillion, nothing works at that low dose except maybe plutonium), and above 11CH you can be sure that there is less than one atom per mole according to Avogadro's number (~10^23). But the low CH such as 1 to 4 actually do contain something. The problem is that hardly any homeopathic 'remedy' contains those doses.

Comment: Re:Why not? (Score 1) 147

by dargaud (#46691789) Attached to: Seagate Releases 6TB Hard Drive Sans Helium

Designing a hermetic container that lasts for years is non-trivial

Huh ? My cheap plastic watch is hermetic to 4 atm, and for years. Plenty of things are. And for a HD you don't have to stand more than 1/3 atm of pressure differential, something trivial. Having used hard drives at high altitude and seen them die quickly, I always wondered why they don't simply seal the damn things with air at 1 atm inside.


How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System? 392

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'll-volunteer-everyone-in-california dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: "The nearest star systems — such as our nearest neighbor, Proxima Centauri, which is 4.2 light-years from home — are so far away, reaching them would require a generational starship. Entire generations of people would be born, live, and die before the ship reached its destination. This brings up the question of how many people you need to send on a hypothetical interstellar mission to sustain sufficient genetic diversity. Anthropologist Cameron Smith has calculated how many people would be required to maintain genetic diversity and secure the success of the endeavor. William Gardner-O'Kearney helped Smith build the MATLAB simulations to calculate how many different scenarios would play out during interstellar travel and ran some simulations specially to show why the success of an interstellar mission depends crucially on the starting population size. Gardner-O'Kearny calculated each population's possible trajectory over 300 years, or 30 generations. Because there are a lot of random variables to consider, he calculated the trajectory of each population 10 times, then averaged the results.

A population of 150 people, proposed by John Moore in 2002, is not nearly high enough to maintain genetic variation. Over many generations, inbreeding leads to the loss of more than 80 percent of the original diversity found within the hypothetical gene. A population of 500 people would not be sufficient either, Smith says. "Five hundred people picked at random today from the human population would not probably represent all of human genetic diversity . . . If you're going to seed a planet for its entire future, you want to have as much genetic diversity as possible, because that diversity is your insurance policy for adaptation to new conditions." A starting population of 40,000 people maintains 100 percent of its variation, while the 10,000-person scenario stays relatively stable too. So, Smith concludes that a number between 10,000 and 40,000 is a pretty safe bet when it comes to preserving genetic variation. Luckily, tens of thousands of pioneers wouldn't have to be housed all in one starship. Spreading people out among multiple ships also spreads out the risk. Modular ships could dock together for trade and social gatherings, but travel separately so that disaster for one wouldn't spell disaster for all. 'With 10,000,' Smith says, 'you can set off with good amount of human genetic diversity, survive even a bad disease sweep, and arrive in numbers, perhaps, and diversity sufficient to make a good go at Humanity 2.0.'"

Never trust an operating system.