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Comment: Re:Conversion (Score 1) 117

by eclectro (#49077155) Attached to: Another Star Passed Through Our Oort Cloud 70,000 Years Ago

Actually if Scholz's star had a planetary system, that would not make any meaningful difference for the larger numbers especially considering the low accuracy. E.g. using your thought, it might take 109 years instead of 110 to reach a planet orbiting Scholz's star using a nuclear engine. So the distance would not necessarily be a lot smaller. It does have a brown dwarf companion, but again it would not make much difference time wise. Being discovered in 2013, it is not known if it has any planets orbiting it. Another question is if it gravitationally captured anything in the Ort cloud.

According to the article, there will be a satellite launched that will be able to provide more information on stars passing close by both in the past and in the future.

Comment: Conversion (Score 1) 117

by eclectro (#49076339) Attached to: Another Star Passed Through Our Oort Cloud 70,000 Years Ago

For those that wonder, Voyager at 125 AU is about .002 light year distant. The star was 400 times further out. Likewise, if we to launch our currently fastest spacecraft New Horizons (that is reaching Pluto soon in July 2015 at 33.77 AU) towards the star (when it was closest), it would take about 14,000 years to reach that star. There have been a number of nuclear rockets proposed, with the latest version from NASA in 2011 (the Magneto-Inertial Fusion planned for Mars missions). If that rocket reached its technological goals (by 2030), it would take roughly 110 years to reach Scholz when it was at its closest. These numbers are merely back of the envelope two digit accuracy, and are not meant to be precise but give ballpark figures.

Comment: Re:I predicted this 30 years ago (Score 1) 294

by eclectro (#48996725) Attached to: Radioshack Declares Bankruptcy

They were able to stay in business longer because of cell phones, which hit a peak in the nineties. In fact, their stores that will stay open will be owned by a cell phone carrier and branded as such.

No matter what, they were myopic to their original business model and their employees. Otherwise, they could have been a Digikey or Mouser when it came to components. But I did know that this day was inevitable, if not predicted.

Comment: Re:This could be fun.... (Score 5, Informative) 164

by eclectro (#48812453) Attached to: Man Saves Wife's Sight By 3D Printing Her Tumor

I could see this as a growth industry for hospitals (hey, we need the money)

Not really, according to 60 minutes. Hospitals have no problem getting money. They're rolling in the dough and can afford to pay their CEOs millions of dollars. So called non-profit hospitals mark up prices many times. Really, don't fool yourself with a statement like that.

Comment: Re:Kind of disappointed in him. (Score 1) 681

by eclectro (#48692351) Attached to: Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

Except he never intended it to be flamebait.

This is quite disingenuous. The way he phrased his 'tweet' was purposeful. I personally don't care about what Tyson says or what other people think about what he says. I doubt that I am in the minority either. Even if thousands responded to him negatively (and was he that dumb that he thought that no one would? Really??) the reaction would still amount to a small minority of twitter users, which according to the company's last year numbers they had 232 million users.

Yes, it was flamebait.

The problem is the religious right is embracing a culture of victimhood to compete with the left

The bigger problem is people who are responsible for representing a scientific message not being culturally sensitive to have enough tact, even if they disagree with that culture. For example the importance of teaching people the science of climate change should lead to a degree of restraint in other not very related public arenas such as holidays.

Comment: Re:Herp a derp fast computers DEEERRRPPP (Score 4, Informative) 197

by eclectro (#48537525) Attached to: Orion Capsule Safely Recovered, Complete With 12-Year-Old Computer Guts

My guess is that they have a truckload in storage already made. It would not make sense for them to not make them available for sale in exotic applications. It's a proven design being (that can use a minimum of other expensive rad hardened parts) used in other proven designs so they can pull them off the shelf and have something ready to fly quickly. As parent poster noted, for many applications 64 bits can be overkill. They could also being used for repair for things like military aircraft that used them in their manufacture in that era and are still flying.

Comment: Re:IANL (Score 2) 268

by eclectro (#48359729) Attached to: GNOME Project Seeks Donations For Trademark Battle With Groupon

The GNOME desktop guys need to stop acting like they own the word "gnome".

Said the poster quoting executives inside Groupon!

As far as operating systems are concerned, they do in fact "own" the word "gnome." That is by definition of what a trademark is.

The gnome foundation does have a right to be concerned. With an point of sale system that offers a "gnome" operating environment, end users could easily confuse the two. And it seriously could affect the Gnome Foundation's ability to conduct any business in the future as their mark would be seriously diluted.

What is also disturbing is the hubris behind this. Clearly Groupon thought that they could steamroll over the Gnome Foundation!

I am not a user of gnome, and I know that developers and users have had disagreements with Gnome in the past, but that doesn't mean that users of open source software shouldn't stand behind the Gnome Foundation on this issue. As they have made significant contributions to GPL code and promoting open source software. This really is a no-brainer.

"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"