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Comment: Re:what this means? (Score 1) 292 292

... it means you wait until the votes are counted to declare a winner instead of when the press tells you who the winner is.

But then the "news" companies won't be able to predict the polls properly!!!

And how will the world go on if this happens?

Comment: Re:Math (Score 2) 236 236

Actually the survivability isn't completely known either. There is a good theory that I heard about the K–Pg Extinction which stated that surface temperatures reached about 700 degrees Fahrenheit about 2 to 8 hours after the impact. The theory is that the asteroid threw a ton of earth into the atmosphere, which all then began to fall back to the earth, which created the temperature change almost completely around the world. This explains the death of all insects, the death of all plankton and why all fossils stopped being found for about 10 million years after this occurred.

If this actually happened today, people could survive the impact, the temperature change (being underground previously allowed mammals to survive) , but the overall climate change that would happen for the next 5-10 years, would be very difficult to survive. All plants caught fire previously and that smoke along with the dust from the impact and the volcanic activity that would happen afterwards, would cast a cloud that would make it very difficult for anything to grow for quite a while after it. Not to mention the fact that the fires and lack of plants would severely deplete the oxygen levels around the world. Human survivability would depend on how prepared we were, but also how long the earth's surface is uninhabitable after the impact, if it is longer than 5 years, I don't see how we could survive.

Comment: Re:WTF (Score 1) 225 225

Plus, a lot of Slashdot's readers are American, and some of us are geeks who like -- wait for this -- football!

I am an American and I like football (and I am not a Patriots fan). But the science here is merely measuring PSI on footballs and testing it under different temperatures and pressures. This set of testing could have been done by a 13 year old. It is nothing new, nothing that technological or challenging and it most likely will have little to no impact on anything other than giving news stations and websites something to talk about for a few days. Oh the Patriots might get a fine, or possibly lose a draft pick.

And the summary has no mention of any specific science or technology here.

Comment: Re:Ken Burns documentary a couple of weeks back (Score 1) 21 21

60 minutes had a story as well about a modified version of the polio virus being used to trigger an immune system response to the cancer cells. It seems (maybe I am just overly optimistic) that more progress is beginning to be made against cancer, since the introduction of chemo and radiation therapies.

Comment: Re:Great article. (Score 3, Insightful) 215 215

Same goes for windmills, etc. Are they really better for the environment than, say, nuclear power?

Uranium has to be mined (most likely using similar circumstances) as well. Most everything that we use and dispose of has an environmental impact.

The real point of this is the fact that China doesn't have better environmental protection laws. The US had issues like this up until the states and the EPA began to regulate environmental impacts. The Cuyahoga River fire was a good example of why we began to clean up our act in the US.

But the reason that I quoted that line is because windmills, solar, nuclear and geothermal are good sources of electricity that our going to lower CO2 emissions and hopefully slow the human environmental impact on the world. All of these can cause a negative environmental impact, if done in an unregulated environment, but they can all hopefully improve the environment as well.

Comment: Re:Gates? (Score 1) 140 140

Why do people give credence to anything this guy says, beyond Microsoft, or more generally, microcomputers, I'll never know.

Maybe because of the vast amount of charity work he has done in the past two decades. His work (not specifically himself but experts that work for him) on malaria, HIV, vaccines worldwide, and other huge issues here and in the third world.

Even if you hate Microsoft, why would you completely ignore his charity work?

Comment: Re:LiDAR solves for vegetation (Score 1) 31 31

I can't speak to jungles, but in local wooded areas in the US there are enough holes in the canopy to get some lidar data through the foliage. One certainly gets more with leaf off, but leaf on isn't a complete deal breaker.

Yes, but little wholes in the canopy are hardly enough to map the area and most likely not anywhere near enough to find more than a couple mines in areas that probably have at least hundreds of mines.

Comment: Re:Have we handed the government control over it? (Score 1) 347 347

This may not work out in our favor over the long term. How soon before they start overtly regulating content?

This Net Neutrality "gift" may turn out to be a trojan horse. There must have be some other way to ensure the net stays neutral without classifying it as a utility subject to government meddling.

One way that this can be reversed and not negatively affect consumers is if there is a ton more competition in internet access. Most places that I have lived have one or if I was lucky two internet carriers. I don't want satellite and I want a better connection than a DSL connection so my only option is to go with a cable company that provides internet services.

So until there is real competition around the country this needs to be classified as a utility.

Comment: Re:Should read (Score 1) 631 631

"Democrats force through socialist regulations." Nothing Obama does in the next year will make durable law, not amnesty, unnatural marriage, communication regulation, healthcare subsidies... A conservative President and congress will set things right in 2010

I sure can't wait for 2010 for this to happen. I expect we will have flying cars by then as well.

Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward? That's the trouble with time travel, you never can tell." -- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"