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Comment: Re:Wouldn't it suffer eminent heat death? (Score 1) 523

by mark_osmd (#48423521) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?
>Though I do wonder if the temperature at the comets solar perigee will ultimately reach, and if it will exceed the probes functional temperature range. Not likely, the perihelion for this comet is 1.24 A.U. so the probe got more solar heat leaving Earth than it will ever get on the comet. What they are hoping for is that as it gets closer to the Sun it might get enough extra light even in its poor location to charge back up.

Comment: Re:Good for them. (Score 3, Interesting) 165

by mark_osmd (#46796481) Attached to: Declassified Papers Hint US Uranium May Have Ended Up In Israeli Arms
That's a rumor of a strategy, usually quoted from unidentified third parties or as personal opinions of military historians. I don't know of any official Israeli government document or statement that there's such a doctrine. It would be hard for them to since there's no official admission by Israel that they possess nuclear weapons. When looked up in wikipedia it's described as "...the name that some military analysts have given to Israel's hypothetical deterrence strategy of massive retaliation with nuclear weapons as a "last resort" against nations whose military attacks threaten its existence" hardly equivalent to nuking "every major European city" which implies those cities are in nations not attacking Israel.

Comment: Re:Firefox is the most unstable program in common (Score 4, Insightful) 207

by mark_osmd (#46496229) Attached to: Firefox Was the Most Attacked & Exploited Browser At Pwn2own 2014
I think the 'crashy' people are installing huge numbers of questionable plugins. I have good luck with Firefox but only install a few well selected plugins (noscript, better privacy, adblock, flash block, littlefox, and self destructing cookies). Because many of those plugins block crud like flash ads I get even better stability.

Comment: Re:Hawking radiation (Score 5, Informative) 122

by mark_osmd (#45867897) Attached to: The Far Future of Our Solar System
That's true right now, the 3K background is higher than the tiny temperature of the black holes. But the background temperature will get lower and lower as the universe expands, eventually it would get lower than the hawking temperature of even the largest black holes. At that point all black holes will be shrinking.

Comment: Re:What about diversity (Score 1) 284

by mark_osmd (#44731283) Attached to: The STEM Crisis Is a Myth
Mostly that's because these companies have the Government for their main customer. That's the only explanation I can come up with for the diversity training I see at some companies. I have to assume the feds have some requirement that they only deal with companies with a certain set of diversity policies. You take your annual training and mostly it's business as usual. Companies that mostly sell to plain old private companies or individuals probably ignore the diversity stuff.

Comment: Re:Biggest mistake going (Score 1) 615

A lot of people don't realize that the average age of US nuclear weapons is a lot higher than some other powers. All are older than 20 years and the last new U.S. design was from 1991. So an unknown and likely significant fraction of our nukes would probably dud if used. We at least need to rotate old nukes to make new ones into the arsenal so the ones we have are at least reliable. Plus some work needs to be going on to keep the skill pool of the nuclear engineers up, the engineers with experience of actually building a weapon are getting pretty up there in age and lots have retired.

Comment: Re:this is a stupid example (Score 1) 589

by mark_osmd (#42769449) Attached to: Missile Defense's Real Enemy: Math

Smart interceptors (like Iron Dome, today) are always going to be way more expensive (like $90k) than the incoming warhead (Palestinian Shahab, like $300).

One thing the Israeli's do is only expend an Iron Dome if and only if the incoming Kasam or Shahab is heading to a populated area. When the adversary is going as cheap as these Hamas rockets are, they have pretty poor accuracy and frequently land in empty areas.

Comment: The hole is only relevant to the Java plugin? (Score 4, Informative) 265

by mark_osmd (#42565165) Attached to: Oracle Knew of Latest Java 0-Day Security Hole In August
I was reading that the vulnerability is not in general standalone Java but only in the Java plugin in your browser, that is, you can secure from the issue by disabling the Java plugin in your web browsers but it's not that big of a risk to a standalone Java app. Is that true?

Comment: Re:Red Dwarfs (Score 1) 228

by mark_osmd (#41914119) Attached to: Study: the Universe Has Almost Stopped Making New Stars
Another interesting point about red dwarfs, along with the extremely long life time they have (ten trillions years), is that the universe locks away some material as brown dwarf pairs. In the extreme future after star formation is all done, a few of these pairs will spiral together from gravitational radiation forming new red dwarf stars if the total mass of the two objects is more than the minimum red dwarf mass.

Comment: Re:SC - 1 1/2 hour wait. not too bad (Score 1) 821

by mark_osmd (#41901245) Attached to: U.S. Election Day In Progress: What's Been Your Experience?
The deal here in Maryland that makes the voting lines slow is the ballots are getting a bit long. The one here in 2012 had 30 selections to make. I got in line at 3:30pm and was done at 4:13 only because I had pre-filled out a sample ballot all my selections. A lot of people I saw there seem to go in cold and look over the all the ballot language in the booth, taking a lot more time.

The difficult we do today; the impossible takes a little longer.