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Comment Re:Yeah we'll just do that in software? (Score 1) 86 86

"web-scale data centers are designed to cope with hardware failures". So.... it's OK if you use my motherboard design and they randomly fail, because you should just make up for that in software or hardware redundancy? Um, no.

That's exactly what it means, and how it works. When you have tens of thousands of nodes, some of them WILL eventually fail during operation, no matter how good the hardware is. Thus, the software must be designed to accommodate hardware failures and seamlessly continue operation without interruption or data loss. If you already have to design the software to handle that anyway, then there is not much incentive to go to great lengths to improve hardware reliability. Whether the failure rate is 1:100000 or 1:1000 annually, the result is the same on the software side. But if the less reliable hardware is dramatically cheaper (which it is), then it makes more sense to use the cheap hardware and replace it more often.

Comment Legal failure; politically misguided. (Score 4, Insightful) 69 69

This lawsuit is a legal mess, destined to fail. In fact, it already did fail and they're just trying futilely to revive it. All applicable statutes of limitations passed years ago. You can't wait decades to file a lawsuit. Equally as importantly, "The Marshall Islands" as a political subdivision does not have standing to sue for injuries that occurred to specific people and property there. Those people and property owners would have to sue, not their regional government. Finally, the decisions which were made and the actions taken were political decisions made by the United States in exercise of its sovereign authority - and you can't sue for that. It seems that the plaintiffs know this, which is why they are now trying to frame the lawsuit as a claim to enforce the NPT. The problem with that is, yet again, a lack of standing on several levels, and an inaccurate interpretation of the treaty itself. First, there is no cause of action through which any individual or entity can force the government to comply with or enforce a treaty. International relations are solely the sovereign domain of the federal government, and they can decide to abide by (or disregard) treaties as our elected officials see fit. Second, the treaty is not being violated. It does not require disarmament, nor is there a mandatory timeline for any particular disarmament-related activity. It says the signatories will negotiate towards an agreement regarding disarmament. That's not an enforceable mandate in any meaningful sense. Why? Because the signatories never actually had any intention of disarming, so they made an agreement that didn't require them to disarm. A third party can't come in and force them to abide by a deal they didn't make in the first place. Look, the Marshallese got screwed. There was a discriminatory component to that. It wouldn't happen the same way today. But the bottom line is that we needed a place to test weapons of mass destruction, and the Marshall Islands were the best choice available. So the US did what they had to do to make the program work. They should have provided market-based compensation for the taking of land, and they should have relocated everyone out of the zone of danger, turning the entire area into a restricted military installation before blowing it up repeatedly. There should have been no injuries and no uncompensated loss of property. But the reasonable conclusion to take away from those events is not that nuclear weapons should be eliminated, or that the tests shouldn't have been conducted at that location. They served a critical purpose for national security, and anyone who says otherwise is a revisionist with an agenda.

Comment Questionable engineering decisions. (Score 2) 75 75

Ever since their first widespread implementations in the mid 20th century, turbopumps have been powered by rocket propellants - either the same stuff they are pumping (F1 engine in the Saturn V), or a separate propellant dedicated to powering the pumps (Space Shuttle Main Engines). There are excellent reasons for this, and not many good reasons to use batteries and motors instead. Rocket propellant pumps require truly massive amounts of power to move thousands of gallons per minute of propellants at thousands of PSI pressure. The SSME turbopumps require over 70,000 horsepower per engine. Like all other rocket hardware, size and weight are extreme concerns. Power-to-weight ratio is the single most critical design goal. Rocket engines themselves burn the propellants they do specifically because those chemical combinations are the absolute best we have for producing the maximum amount of thermo-mechanical energy from the least mass, no-compromise. Using the same types of propellants to drive the turbopumps also provides the maximum achievable power to weight ratio. The SSME turbopumps produce over 100HP per pound, which is insanely high. No known electric motor technology can even reach that order of magnitude in power density, even considering only the actual motor itself! There is no legitimate contest in performance between a gas-driven turbopump and any other technology besides nuclear, and that's that. To make such a large compromise in power to weight ratio by using electric pumps is very odd. Yes, gas-driven turbopumps are really hard. They are the hardest part of building a large liquid rocket engine. But those challenges were first solved over 60 years ago, and avoiding a tough engineering exercise is no excuse for making a giant compromise in performance. The extra mass of that electric drive system could be replaced with propellant or cargo.

Comment Murder-suicide? (Score 5, Insightful) 400 400

So if two listing, burning ships strap themselves together, do they float better? Or do they just sink faster? It seems to me that if your browser market-share is dropping and you're losing relevance, the best move is probably not to attach yourself to a search engine whose market share and relevance were lost years ago.

Comment Re: Old saying (Score 4, Interesting) 249 249

Because it would be meaningless to "compensate" for the time difference between clocks moving and accelerating differently. Time literally moves at different rates in different reference frames. The clocks are correct; the problem is that the concept of similtaneity is fundamentally flawed.

Comment Re:Things once thought impossible... (Score 2) 350 350

1. Powered Flight 2. Bending Light 3. Traveling Greater than 300mph 4. Transparent Aluminum 5. Artificial Diamonds

All of these "Feats" of human ingenuity were once thought to be impossible by the physics standards of the day.

Physics and our understanding of it, continues to evolve every moment we live.

To say the words "It Cannot Be Done" after seeing all we have done already... Is kind of foolish.

We will learn how to accomplish this feat, or one very similar that accomplishes the same goal, Eventually...

That, is the power of Consciousness My Friends.

All hail the thinking, reasoning, Problem Solving, Human Consciousness!

Hold up there, turbo. Transparent aluminum? Surely you're not serious. And don't post a link to something about aluminum oxide or other ceramics.

Comment "Smart earrings" or "smart necklaces" too? (Score 1) 381 381

No, I do not want a "smart watch" any more than I want any other "smart" jewelry. Purely functional timepieces are obsolete. If all you want is to know the time, your phone already solves that problem for you - hence the decrease in percentage of people wearing watches. A modern wristwatch is a piece of jewelry where its functionality (and the means of achieving it) are part of the beauty. "Smart watches" have enhanced functionality, but universally at the expense of beauty. The aesthetics are terrible, thus defeating the primary purpose of a watch these days.

Comment Re:The actual Guides (Score 4, Informative) 286 286

Since the summary links you to a stupid news article and not the guides themselves, here is the ACLU Guide and EFF Guides here.

The EFF guide you linked has not been updated yet to reflect the Riley decision. Some of those answers need to be changed because they are incorrect now. The ACLU "Know Your Rights" manual does not appear to have been updated either, but it simply doesn't address the issue of cell phone searches incident to arrest at all.

Comment Who is being taxed, exactly? (Score 1) 322 322

Soooooo.... we tax ourselves to make China change? Because that's what's being proposed. Tariffs are passed straight through to the buyers of the products. We we're raising prices on imported goods, to change the behavior of the manufacturers, who will still take in the same revenue. As long as domestic manufacturing remains more expensive than the imports plus tariffs, we will still be buying the imported goods, just paying more for them and funneling the extra money back to the federal government.

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