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Comment: Russia wants a lot of things. (Score 4, Insightful) 313

by goodmanj (#46743165) Attached to: Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

Russia's manned space program basically consists of announcing plans to do amazing things, which come to nothing as they keeping on doing the same stuff they were doing in the 1980s. As opposed to the U.S. manned space program, which consists of making plans to get back to the stuff they were doing in the 1980s, which come to nothing.

(Unmanned is another story.)

Comment: Headline is a misquote (Score 3, Informative) 578

by goodmanj (#46725939) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

The headline misquotes Bloomberg. He didn't say you *can't* teach a coal miner to code, he said you won't. And he's right. While it's certainly *possible* for some older adults to radically change their career paths into tech jobs, the majority of us lack the motivation and mental flexibility, and society doesn't want to spend the money to help us make the switch. It's just not going to happen. Bloomberg's overall point is dead on: we need to come up with ways to allow people to gently move into new careers that make the most of their talents, rather than just firing them, throwing a Javascript for Dummies book at them, and expecting them to become the next Zuckerberg.

That said, Bloomberg's got a pretty 19th century view of what coal mining is. Since it's all done with heavy machinery and robots these days, it's a pretty technically demanding job.

Comment: Comments read as expected. (Score 0) 704

by goodmanj (#46548321) Attached to: Getting Misogyny, Racism and Homophobia Out of Gaming

"Oh look," I said to myself, "an article on sexist and homophobic game culture. On Slashdot. I bet 90% of the comments are going to be 'we like our disgusting frat house the way it is' by sociopathic morons, and the other 10% will be self-professed 'nice guys' explaining to women how they're doing feminism wrong."

But I was wrong. It's 100% sociopathic morons.

Comment: Re:Bit coin is highly misunderstood by many (Score 2) 191

by goodmanj (#46434463) Attached to: The Tangled Tale of Mt. Gox's Missing Millions

Agree. The ratio of people talking about Bitcoin to people who know *anything* about how it works is astounding.

More informed slashdotters explained that those "expired" blocks have been purged from most miners.

When I first read the details of the Bitcoin system, this is the point at which I got a gigantic sinking feeling in my chest.
The documentation said, "Look, we keep a distributed record of all bitcoin transactions!", and I said,
"Well that does make it vulnerable to law enforcement, but that means it can't be stolen which is awesome." And then it said,
"And then after a while we throw those records out."
" all I've got to do is conceal my theft until the records get purged?"
"Pretty much!"

Comment: Turns out bankers aren't worthless. (Score 1) 191

by goodmanj (#46434425) Attached to: The Tangled Tale of Mt. Gox's Missing Millions

Turns out those evil corporate bankers with their evil statist money turn out to have some useful skills. Like, they know how to prevent the theft of a good chunk of all the money in their world. Apparently it involves boring stuff like spreadsheets and regulations and corporate hierarchy rather than algorithms, so that's kind of a drag, but so it goes.

Comment: Re:No they don't. (Score 1) 216

by goodmanj (#46424923) Attached to: NASA Wants To Go To Europa

yeah those idiots at NASA that landed a buggy-sized nuclear powered rover on mars. they have a pretty good track record. i tend to put more credence in what NASA has to say than you. nice analogy though.

You're missing the point. NASA is not one thing. The NASA scientists and genius engineers who actually build all the cool stuff say it'll cost $2 billion. Administrator Bolden, the political appointee who's in charge of figuring out how to pay for it all, says he doesn't want to budget more than $1 billion. I guarantee you he has no good ideas about how to make the mission fit into a $1b budget: he himself says "that may or may not be possible."

Comment: Re:Given that interpretation of what the law says. (Score 4, Informative) 519

by goodmanj (#46423879) Attached to: Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal

Just to emphasize your point: the judge in this case is not trying to let the accused off the hook: he/she is pointing out a hole in Massachusetts law.

I'm totally not a lawyer, but I live in Massachusetts and spent some time reading the law today so that makes me an expert. As far as I can tell, upskirt doesn't fall within any of the following Mass sexual crimes:

Rape: Rape in Mass requires penetration.
Indecent assault and battery: Requires physical contact.
Sexual harassment: is specific to the workplace.
Peeping tom: requires that the victim be partly undressed.
Criminal harassment: must be repeated on three occasions.
Unnatural and lascivious acts: applies to sexual acts in public.

It really does seem to me that as far as criminal law goes, upskirting really does fall between the cracks of Massachusetts law.

Comment: Re:No they don't. (Score 1) 216

by goodmanj (#46420851) Attached to: NASA Wants To Go To Europa

I'm a huge fan of SpaceX, but I'd have a lot of trouble getting behind the idea of putting a 20-year flagship mission project on a rocket that exists only on Youtube. But if NASA and congress screw around much longer, SpaceX will be there when they're needed. Or maybe there'll be a smoking crater where their launch site used to be, who knows.

As for ESA, they already had a joint mission agreement with us, where they'd launch a Jupiter system spacecraft focused on Ganymede and we'd launch a Europa orbiter, to carry out joint observations as a team. We fell down on our end of the deal, so they're going on to Jupiter without us, and they are *not* in the mood to get screwed again.

Comment: No they don't. (Score 3, Insightful) 216

by goodmanj (#46418981) Attached to: NASA Wants To Go To Europa

What NASA Headquarters is proposing is not a mission, it's a recipe for failure. They want to spend no more than $1 billion on a mission we planetary scientists have told them costs $2 billion.

Suppose you're planning a trip for two to New Zealand. You've got the budget all worked out: airfare costs about half of the total, even during the off-season, and you're skimping on hotels and meals and skipping the helicopter tour to save money. Then your spouse comes along and says you can only spend half as much. You can't make the plane tickets any cheaper, so unless you consider sleeping in the Auckland airport a vacation, she's saying you're not going to New Zealand at all.

It costs a billion dollars to send a bucket of bricks to Europa. Doing science once you get there is extra.

Comment: Re:Just say "No" (Score 1) 410

by goodmanj (#46264321) Attached to: Obama To Ask For $1 Billion Climate Change Fund

Industry is accountable to the law, idiot.

He said that industry *was* unaccountable in the '70s, because there were no environmental laws to hold them to account. So we created some, and an agency called the EPA to administer them.

You're absolutely right, industry is accountable to the law. So we'd better keep the law around!

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow