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Comment Less than 1400 years and counting (Score 1) 412

If this is a Dyson Sphere we have less than 1400 years before they will see a transmission from us. And then we need to hope they are friendly or just don't care about primitive planets.

If they are building a Dyson Sphere they started this before 600 AD, and our technology is not going to be anywhere close to what they will have.

Comment Re:Slippery Slope (Score 2) 138

Not really, this is the same as turning someone in the mob and using them against others.

I am against government surveillance, but this seems to be just the government using an illegal site to figure out who is using it. They just kept the site running for a couple weeks to catch and track down its users, who were breaking the law by being on a child porn site.

Comment Ejected Star (Score 1) 81

Occasionally we have seen stars that have been ejected from their galaxies. This can happen during galaxy mergers.

How do we not know that this is just a massive star that turned into a black hole after it got ejected from its original galaxy? After all massive stars do not last that long because of their size.

Submission + - Why is gravity the weakest force?

StartsWithABang writes: If you calculate the forces between two fundamental particles separated by subatomic distances, you find that the strong, electromagnetic or weak nuclear force could all be the strongest, dependent on the particulars of your setup. But throw gravity in there, and it turns out to be weaker by some 40 orders of magnitude. This discrepancy, that gravity is such an oddball, is known as the hierarchy problem, and is by many measures the greatest unsolved problem in theoretical physics. Yet the new, upgraded run of the LHC has the potential to uncover any one of four possible solutions, some of which we have hints for already.

Comment Re:Why are there so few? (Score 2) 51

The designs of these devices are not that trivial. They require a power source with most space craft it is either solar or nuclear powered. The solar cells are expensive and the nuclear devices are more even expensive. The cameras and sensors are expensive as well. Also these devices require rad-hardened materials which are not easy to come by as well.

And all of this is forgetting about the cost of actually getting the devices into space to begin with.

Duplication isn't trivial for most devices, but if you are going to make a billion of them. It makes sense to set up a system that produces these rapidly and then duplication becomes trivial after setting up the system. Sending 2-5 items into space isn't worth setting up the type of system which makes these thing trivial as well.

Comment Re:State Courts (Score 1) 48

As a general rule, nobody wants to be in state courts if they can help it. There are exceptions, and there are some good state courts, but you still would almost always rather be in federal court. If they could figure out a way to put all trade secrets cases in the commercial division in New York, for a counterexample of a good state court system, they might do it. But depending on the patchwork of inconsistent quality and law in state courts, if you're a big company in particular you'd rather just deal with federal courts.

That is the cost of those companies rooting themselves in those states.

Comment Re:Back to the future.. (Score 2) 369

The Earth has feedback mechanisms to keep things cozy.

Yeah but these feedback mechanisms have serious consequences as well.

The oceans are becoming warmer and more acidic because they are absorbing some of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification

The warmer oceans are causing some species to die off http://news.discovery.com/earth/oceans/unusual-warming-kills-gulf-of-maine-cod-151029.htm

And we don't know what all of these feedback mechanisms are going to be and what their consequences are going to be either. But if we start having mass die-offs of phytoplankton, most animals will die off including us.

Earth's feedback mechanisms, are made to cope with temperature change over tens of thousands of years, not in a century or two. So either we can change now to help stabilize this change before it gets really bad or we can just sit back and watch it happen and continually adapt to all of the changes, while we kill off a lot of different species and alter the planet completely.

Comment Re:In line with current US thinking (Score 3, Informative) 190

"Constitutional rights? Bah! Who needs 'em!" seems to be the watchword of the new millenium.

//unless they're gun rights, of course. The gun nuts get everything they want.

I thought this was illegal at first. But a little research says that this is perfectly legal. If a prisoner wants to have an unrecorded conversation with his/her lawyer they can do that in person.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/can-jail-record-telephone-conversation-lawyer.html

Comment Re:Thermometer accuracy (Score 4, Informative) 735

If mercury itself can be made that accurate and we did it over 100 years ago, I tend to struggle why in the hell we would use anything else today.

Mercury thermometers could break occasionally. Mercury_poisoning

And Mercury is not an abundant element to find especially because it is liquid at room temperature.

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