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Comment: Re:Well (Score 1) 305 305

However, apps in general do not show your genitalia to anybody walking past. People will do something concrete to defend from a specific threat, like close the stall door in case somebody else is coming by. Private electronic data is a lot more abstract, and we weren't raised to not show it in public.

Comment: Re:Cost of making the USA piss their pants: Pricel (Score 1) 372 372

Pay no attention to what they're saying, but what they're doing. It will take more than a few high-ranking imams to get the nukes sent out, and the rest of the people involved will have an excellent chance to make sure it doesn't happen, likely while keeping plausible deniability for the imams.

Comment: Re:Nuke in a container perchance? (Score 1) 372 372

Whichever government is responsible ceases to exist, and everybody knows that. There's a strong deterrent effect. Iran and North Korea aren't going to, because they know the consequences, and ISIS is not likely to develop its own nuclear capabilities and still remain fanatics. Nothing is perfectly safe, but we can deter most possible significant attacks.

Comment: Re:What is the point? (Score 1) 138 138

Why would waiting an extra year result n ten years' delay? Part of the delay is developing technology, and part of it is sending everything slowly enough so we can afford it. We're still going to be advancing science and technology through the process, so I'd expect a delay in starting to result in an eventual delay that's less.

Comment: Re:Correction (Score 1) 250 250

These are scientific issues where there is more of a controversy among people in general than among scientists. I doubt most people care about dark matter, most generally accept that the Theory of Relativity (which one?) is true because Einstein was smart, most don't understand genome mapping or P vs. NP.

Comment: Re:What is the point? (Score 1) 138 138

If you find that the robot is deficient in some way, you build another robot and send it to Mars. The cost of sending a robot to Mars is trivial compared to the cost of sending a team of scientists, so you can repeat many, many times and still stay cheaper than a manned mission. Also, since you're launching hundreds of rovers, you're covering a lot more ground than the scientists can.

There are reasons to send people to Mars, but doing science isn't one of them.

Comment: Re:What is the point? (Score 1) 138 138

Any extinction-level event like one we've got traces of would leave the Earth far more habitable than Mars, and keeping the species alive and thriving would require more concentration on what was happening to Earth.

Assuming Earth was eaten by a giant mutant space goat, consider what the species would need to survive on Mars. It's not possible to live on Mars without an advanced civilization and economy, and for species survival this would have to be completely supportable and expandable on Mars. My gut feeling is a minimum population of a million, with sophisticated resource extraction and manufacturing facilities. That isn't going to happen any time soon, and it isn't clear to me that waiting a few decades to send humans to Mars is going to matter.

Comment: Re:Private Sector Chemists Lowest Paid? (Score 1) 80 80

To make sense of this, you need to figure out what the real job mix is. "Chemist" covers a lot of things. In some fields, the Feds tend to contract out the lower-level jobs, and keep the higher-paid people on the payroll. If Fed chemists pretty much all have ten years of experience, then they could make less than their private sector counterparts while Federal chemists as a whole made more than the average.

Comment: Re:Why live there then? (Score 1) 80 80

There's a difference between pay and total compensation. I get paid a certain amount. I also get several types of subsidized insurance, a 401(k) match, the cleverly named "employer" part of FICA paid for me, and that mounts up. The amount of employee benefits does seem high to me, but I don't know any details, or what they're counting. I've seen my time off presented as part of employee compensation, so if I got four weeks it would be listed as 1/13 of my total pay.

"If you own a machine, you are in turn owned by it, and spend your time serving it..." -- Marion Zimmer Bradley, _The Forbidden Tower_