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Comment: Re: How Does SpaceX Do it? (Score 0) 70

by MickLinux (#47793307) Attached to: NASA's Competition For Dollars

Well, if I remember correctly,first theyor other private corporations fight the government on whether they should be allowed to have propellant; then they have to fight the government on whether they should be allowed to launch. Then having proved their technology they have to fight the government on what new paperwork they have to fill out to sell US-made rockets to the government, rather than buying from the standard graf^H^H^H^Hgovernment contractors like boeing that illegally buy Russian rockets, mark them up, and sell them to the US government for nonbid profits galore.

Then they have to fight the government on quickly having signed an exclusive nonbid contract with said preferred contractors while the previous issue was still being dealt with.

Idon't know, it seems pretty par for the course, and was why Mircorp went under.

Why did you want to know how companies like spacex do it?

Comment: Re: Global Warming? (Score 1) 273

by MickLinux (#47751777) Attached to: Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

You said that we can't predict volcanos and quakes. That isn't entirely correct. Mt. St. Helens was predicted, and they cleared the mountain of most people.

And we do have signs of impending quakes, including certain mediterranian ants. Also, IIRC, methane gas release is also considered to be a quake precursor.

Which DOES make me wonder, if this methane release is normal, or recent. I guess we won't know, or even have an idea unless we compare it to other areas.

Comment: Jehova's Witnesses Knew This Years Ago (Score 1) 273

by turgid (#47750561) Attached to: Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

Blimey, in about 1998 this old guy from the Jo-Hos knocked on my door and presented me with some literature including something about how "all scientists" believe in god, especially the Great Fred Hoyle, so God must be there.

It also said that "scientists are telling us" about this vast, untapped wealth of hydrocarbon deposits on the deep sea beds in the form of these methane thingy-ma-bobs, so God had provided us with all the energy we'll ever need. He's a great guy that God dude! He didn't mention atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and global warning, though.

So, the Jo-Hos are right. God is really there! And we will never run out of energy!

Comment: Slackware Forever (Me Too!) (Score 1) 810

by turgid (#47750403) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

Slackware does things The Right Way(TM). I've been using it since 1995 as my main distro with a brief detour into SLAMD64 in 2007 when I bought a 64-bit AMD and Slackware was still x86-32.

I've had the misfortune to have to suffer Debian. RedHat/CentOS, Ubuntu and Arago for work over the years, but Slackware is the best. Everything I've learned from Slackware has empowered me to be productive with all of those other distributions.

Comment: Re:I hope not (Score 1) 508

by turgid (#47747015) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?


Learning a language that comes from a completely different school of thought (i.e. "paradigm") will give you a far larger perspective than only having learned one language or family of languages. For example, if all you ever saw was C++, Java and C# your world view would be extremely limited. Someone who has learned a little FORTH, LISP and Smalltalk, not to mention various assembly languages, would be an order of magnitude more productive than you, produce fewer bugs and be able to think of more good solutions to difficult problems.

If all you ever do is write GUIs for the corporate Oracle or MS database, then stay in your C# paradise.

+ - Peak prosperity: preparing for the end of growth->

Submitted by MickLinux
MickLinux (579158) writes "You all hopefully have heard of peak oil: that the easy oil is gone, and so now we're down to fracking. If fracking costs $120/barrel output, then the price of oil isn't going to go down below $120 a barrel ever again.

And you aren't going to find 2-ton copper nuggets in the streambeds either: the mines now get 0.04% rich ore, which takes a lot of oil to work the mines. So peak oil means peak copper, too.

Peak oil means peak everything. So that means peak growth.

But our world's national debts, which are all far above the highest debt-Gdp ratio that has ever been repaid, assume infinite growth.

Worse, growth and prosperity depend on the same resources, so that means an end to prosperity.

So what's coming? And how do we prepare? That's the point of this website, because founder Chris Martenson's idea is that if we collectively give up the growth, we can still have prosperity. And if we don't collectively give up the growth, we can still predict what is coming, and weather the storm until the growth dies on its own. *Then* perhaps we can recover the prosperity.

Chris Martenson has put together a website including forums, groups, and above all three crash courses: a free 1-hour overview course, a free 4-hour 2008 version broken into 2-6 minute chapters, and half free/half paywalled 2014 version. The 2008 and 2014 versions are basically equivalent, but the 2014 contains better graphics and a bit more info.

He's asking people to get the word out:

Go watch the crash course, and then prepare."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re: wait.. did you feel that? (Score 2) 90

by MickLinux (#47741379) Attached to: Western US Drought Has Made Earth's Crust Rise

Making the earth's crust rise should not directly affect the strike-slip San Andreas fault at all. However, it has been anecdotally noted on forums that thrust quakes seem to be on the rise, along with hypothesizing that the rising crust might release friction allowing exactly that.

For my own part, I've noticed a large increase of small quakes surrounding the great elliptical basin, the southwest of which coincides with the rising sierra nevada; and occasional time-coincident radial forays into the same basin.

So I half wonder if the rising isn't part of a larger-scale process.

Comment: Re: Dobsonian (Score 1) 187

by MickLinux (#47741241) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

Why not... get with small museums and astronomy clubs in remote (low-light-pollution) locations across the US, and use smaller scopes not just at your location, but set up all across the US?

Then phase the scopes together, and use scheduling software to let the museums (and you) use them.

Early on, you should be able to get an image under any weather conditions.

Later, as you upgrade and develop your software, you should be able to get excellent 3-D images of planets, better identify the orbits of asteroids and comets, identify new asteroids (take one image, align it to others, and subtract the scaled values to minimize the overall light. Then look for arrays of speckled dots, that indicate a closer object. )

Eventually, what you could end up with is a very large phased array.

Comment: Re: Jurisdiction 101 (Score 3, Interesting) 391

by turgid (#47727669) Attached to: UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

Errr... the UK still has an reasonable approximation of a well-functioning court system. That the police say something is illegal isn't enough to get you thrown in jail.

It is under Tony Blair's Anti-Terror Laws. You only need to be suspected of something that could be vaguely related to terrorism to be locked up. No jury trial involved, just the police, some politicians and a few judges.

Comment: Re:Code more.. (Score 1) 548

by turgid (#47723461) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Very wise words.

I'd add to that: write unit tests for your code (preferably before you write the code). You'll understand how it works and where it's broken quicker and better and free up your brain cycles more for the creative design part.

You will learn and improve much more quickly with much less stress.

Comment: LISP (Score 1) 548

by turgid (#47723383) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Back in the day (80's 8-bit micros) I started on BASIC and Z80 machine code followed by a little FORTH.

The one thing I really wish I'd known about - or understood - was what LISP really is. It was often described in the popular computing press as a language "for processing lists."

How very wrong. The reality is so much better.

I didn't seriously look at the lisp family of languages until about 6 or 7 years ago. I really wish I'd looked 25 years sooner.

Comment: Re: Bioaccumulation Ahoy (Score 2, Insightful) 180

by MickLinux (#47693651) Attached to: Fighting Invasive Fish With Forks and Knives

Okay, here's your first citation.

Now, having worked on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, I can assure you that it is common in the newspapers to have articles about projects to restart clam and oyster aquaculture, which crashed, resulting in a spike in pollution in the water.

But more to the point, I worked at Atlantic Metrocast, where the land had been taken over by the military during world war 2, and all kinds of extremely toxic munitions leaked in. That site is a superfund site, paid for by the Federal Government, because they are the ones who polluted it.
To the south is Julian Creek, where munitions were just dumped into the water, and the cancer rates and birth defect rates are sky-high.

Oh, I haven't mentioned the shipyards yet. They also were dumping in the river, aah, welding materials, lead, whatnot. AND, when the company at the old Bells Mill site needed to turn the mashland of their worksite into solid land, they used fill from the shipyards. So as you walk along the land at BayShore Concrete, you'll every so often find all kinds of heavy-metal-laden industrial parts there, embedded in the ground.

Oh, and don't forget right by the Gilmerton Bridge where there's a recycling center that tears down ships.

Now, that's just the Elizabeth. Let's move on up to the James, where you have Tenneco/Newport News Shipbuilding, the Navy's ship graveyard, and of course Smithfield Hams. And all that agricultural land that gets sprayed every year.

Or how about the Shenandoah River, which five years ago practically died due to heavy metal pollution in the Shenandoah Valley, and dumps into the Chesapeake Bay through Maryland?

Citation needed, I gave you one; I mentioned a few other places where you can find more.

One hint is that wherever you find the military, destruction is not far behind.

Open your eyes and look for yourself, and quit with the laziness, because that's what it is.

Comment: Re: The utility/need/desire exists (Score 1) 107

by MickLinux (#47667859) Attached to: Where are the Flying Cars? (Video; Part One of Two)

No, we just need to rethink our concept of what a 'live' human means. In the future, it can mean a human who makes a geiger counter jump off the table.

Really, though, the constraint ennvelopes for cars and planes is completely opposite, one from the other. What that means is that a flying car will perform neither job well, which means that even when (not if) invented, it won't sell. And it'll burn up those fossil fuels.

Cars have to be narrow. Planes have to be wide, for stability and lift. Cars have to be strong against head-on, rear-end, and (somewhat) t-bone crashes. Forplanes, that's utterly unimportant, but they need to be strong against vertical shocks, which doesn't matter for cars. Cars should be heavy planes should be light. Cars need to do well under low-maintenance conditions; planes that are under low-maintenance should be retired.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.