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Comment: Figure Out Electricity (Score 1) 391

Then lets assumed complex life did evolve on a planet... what if it's a ocean planet and they're aquatic? They're never going to figure out electricity, they can't even experiment with it.

The superintelligent alien electric eel next to me has requested you amend your statement.

Comment: Absolutions & Repair-ations (Score 1) 436

by neoshroom (#48497213) Attached to: Supreme Court To Decide Whether Rap Lyric Threats Are Free Speech

If I were to publish an article in a newspaper claiming that you embezzled millions of dollars with no proof whatsoever

What?! You are going to publish an article in a newspaper claiming I embezzled millions of dollars with no proof whatsoever?!?! How dare you, sir!

If I read your comment as a threat to publish just such an article about me and then sue you, I only need to convince others that you meant it that way regardless of the truth -- even if the truth is you didn't mean it as a threat. Systems that don't uphold the truth as one of the principle values which are sought after in their systems of justice are not just systems. Such systems do not achieve justice, but instead enforce a false opinion. The justice system should be a just system.

Comment: Garbage In, Garbage Out; Treasure In... (Score 1) 219

by neoshroom (#48470901) Attached to: Hacker Threatened With 44 Felony Charges Escapes With Misdemeanor

That's the whole point in throwing the book at someone and then extracting a plea deal.

Without plea deals the system would grind to a halt.

Without criminalizing forms of speech the system would be freer to deal with actual crime. The legitimate powers of government reach actions only, not opinions.

Comment: Learning Resources (Score 1) 316

by neoshroom (#48007497) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

I would stick to Objective-C for the moment as there are more learning resources online.

I agree with this. As a new user, for the moment, Objective-C is likely the way to go due to their being more documentation out there. Swift documentation though is rapidly increasing.

As a developer in both Swift and Objective-C, the primary advantage of Swift is it is slightly faster to do many things as it doesn't require strict classing of variables, so you find yourself not having to spend as many lines of code swapping strings to integers as that kind of thing and end up with slightly more readable code.

However, these advantages likely aren't as important for a new user as having a wealth of documentation to learn from.

Comment: A Solution (Score 1) 255

>such as mandatory criminal record checks, vehicle inspections and insurance

Allow drivers to send those in via taking pictures of them with their phones. Have the drivers maybe pay a small fee to get some kind of background check on their driving records which the DMV should have anyway (instead of a criminal background check, which does't seem relevant). Problem solved.

Comment: Re:Moon Ring Math (Score 1) 330

by neoshroom (#46321689) Attached to: Japanese Firm Proposes Microwave-Linked Solar Plant On the Moon
I agree with you. There would likely be a boost over land-based mw estimates. 10% seems reasonable, but I'm not sure how much exactly. I saw 144% on Wikipedia, but that number also took into account the fact that space-based uptime is better than land-based uptime in rainy and snowier places. This system uses stable weather areas as stations though, which would lower that 144% by some amount.

Good article on space-based solar here:

Comment: Moon Ring Math (Score 3, Interesting) 330

by neoshroom (#46320163) Attached to: Japanese Firm Proposes Microwave-Linked Solar Plant On the Moon
Yes, I don't however see any data on their website about how wide they are planning to build the ring out. If their graphical renderings are accurate, they display a 195 pixel moon with a 22 pixel ring. Given that google tells me the moon's radius is 1737 km, that means the ring should be about 200 km wide.

So considering that we have a 11,000 km ring that is 200 km width, the power generation for the light-facing half should be what you'd expect from 5500km x 200km or 1,100,000 square kilometers. I've seen estimates of 1.2 mw per square km for solar. Using that as a basis we'd expect 1,320,000 mw of constant power generation. Wikipedia says to take off 10% due to conversion inefficiencies of microwave transmission of electricity and we probably should take off another 5% or so for weather and atmospheric disruptions or inefficiencies. That leaves us with 1,122,000 mw of constant power.

As a point of comparison, all the wind power in the entire world added up to 238,351 megawatts in 2011, so it is roughly five times the capacity of that. However, in 2008 the world had an average power consumption rate of 15 terawatts . 1,122,000 mw is 1.12 terawatts, so this project could supply roughly 7% of the worlds electricity if it was operational today.

The moon has an area of 37,932,000 square km though, so if we coated the entire moon and got energy from the sunny side and do the same math we get 19.34 terrawats. So, at our current state of energy usage it could power the world if we coated the moon in solar panels.

I'm not sure about the aesthetics of it though, a racing stripe on the moon.

Comment: A Good Sign (Score 1) 255

It always seems that when companies start trying to branch out into wildly dissimilar industries, it's a sign of trouble within the organization. Do what you do well, figure out how to do it better if things aren't going how you'd like them. Don't try making sushi if you've always sold donuts.

Yeah, Steve Jobs, don't try making phones or music players if you've always sold computers. Actually, don't even starting making computers if you've always made Atari games. Actually, maybe you've got the whole thing backwards...

Comment: Utopia (Score 1) 888

by neoshroom (#46253499) Attached to: Star Trek Economics
>If food, shelter, and energy were in virtually unlimited supply no one would need to work, yes, but more importantly, no one would *want* to.

This is incorrect. If food, shelter and energy were plentiful, people would still work. They would just work on things they wanted to work on. Some people enjoy their work or enjoy aspects of their work. (They do.)

> Where would the goodies come from then? Automation? Okay then, the Machines rule the Federation.

In Star Trek they come from essentially a microwave that spits them out. Using your logic, I have determined that the United States is ruled by microwaves. (It isn't.)

> And no one would ever emerge out of their self-created kingdoms inside holodecks. Just everyone plugged into their fantasies in their holo-simulators, a civilization of lotus-eaters.

And no one would ever emerge out of their self-created kingdoms inside books. So, I say, Mr. Gutenberg, we should burn the infernal press! (We shouldn't.)

Comment: Perfectly Safe (Score 4, Insightful) 365

by neoshroom (#45417755) Attached to: Nearly 1 In 4 Adults Surf the Web While Driving
I think you are being misled by the Slashdot headline. Notice the headline says:

"Nearly 1 In 4 Adults Surf the Web While Driving"

But then below it is says:

"In 2009, 13 percent of motorists admitted that they'd accessed the Internet while driving. In 2013, that figure had jumped to 24 percent."

Finally, note that "surfing the web" and "accessing the Internet" are not the same thing. Surfing the web means viewing websites. But accessing the internet while driving can occur automatically by your car, when your phone is in your pocket, by listening to Internet-streamed music or by using GPS. All of these are perfectly reasonable to use in your car.

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents