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Comment: Re:Effect of nukes on NEOs (Score 3, Interesting) 272 272

Agreed. The question the article poses presupposes that nuclear devices CAN protect against NEOs. Most research in the field answers the question with a resounding "no". The best use of a nuclear weapon against a NEO would be to detonate several, in succession, to slightly alter the course of the NEO or to change its velocity. But as maroberts intimated, this would have to be done at a significant distance from Earth...probably near or past Jupiter's orbit at a minimum.

Comment: More like 57% effective (Score 4, Insightful) 357 357

According to this poll http://www.harrisinteractive.c..., about 57% of frequent flyers believe the current TSA procedures are making it safer to fly. The other 43% recognize them for the theatrics that they are.

Sure, they find their fair share of fake novelty hand grenades and medieval weaponry in checked baggage. They even once saved a plane from the pudding cup my daughter left in her backpack (which naturally earned her a pat-down). But what the TSA was really doing was keeping a major mode of transportation operational for a brief time of uncertainty. As with all things government, the project's scope began to creep and pockets got lined while we stood in a line to have our pockets felt by a creep.

57% think the TSA is money well spent. That is the metric by which the TSA measures itself.

Comment: Unicorn (Score 0) 392 392

You almost have to stand in awe and wonder at the level of stupidity exhibited by a car company (the brand once synonymous with safety) creating a vehicle that operates with any level of autonomy without basic collision avoidance. Whether human, fire hydrant, light pole, vehicle, or wall; an autonomous vehicle should not be able to proceed should an obstacle be in its way.

Humans are capable of saying and doing all manner of ill-conceived things. It's part of our nature, and we all do something dumb from time to time. But this is an entirely different level. It's a decision so divorced from reality that it's difficult to find a comparison.

It's like an elevator that will move up or down with the doors still open and people half-way through, unless you buy a separate software package to check for that.

Comment: Re:Again? (Score 4, Insightful) 206 206

Creating a business is all about mergers and acquisitions. You build a customer base and become attractive enough to one of the larger players to be gobbled up. The C-level execs all get golden parachutes, the mid-management get completely axed, and the peons see a reduction of 60% and a pay cut; which pays for the parachutes.

In the end, the consumer gets necessarily screwed as there is either a reduction in competition, or a preclusion of competition; unless you own stock in the company being purchased.

This has been the predominate business methodology in the U.S. since the mid-80's (admittedly, conjecture on my part), and requires a major shift in thinking to stop this nonsense. But truly, mergers and acquisitions should be the exception not the rule, if fair-market competition is to be nurtured.

Comment: Hanlon's Razor (Score 2) 92 92

My guess is this isn't a case of cherry-picking, it's just that it took them 2-3 years to complete and publish the research. I wouldn't think it takes that long to acquire and study 21 phones, but looking at some of the dates in their paper, maybe it took *them* that long.

I don't think of this as ground-breaking research, it's more like archaeology. Better editorial surrounding the research could have been done in a "See how far we've come since 2013" type of way.

Comment: Re:Government Intrusion (Score 1) 837 837

Average miles driven per year in the US is about 13,500. It varies by gender, age and state (about 11k in Oregon according to carinsurance.com), but there's a strong common-good argument to be made. So at the current rate, that's roughly $200 per driver per year. Just charge that at license plate renewal. Done. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. There's no tracking, no technology, it's cheap to implement and enforce, it doesn't require outside vendors, etc.

This whole thing smacks of big brother, cronyism, pork-barrel spending, and government stupidity. The problem with legislators is that anyone actually smart enough to do the job effectively is working in the private sector. What's that saying? Those who can, do; those who cannot, legislate. It's something like that ;-)

Comment: Re:How to Make "A" LIke "B" (Score 1) 99 99

That's the maker spirit! We learn best with product-in-a-box solutions!

You're not wrong, exactly, but this person appears to be looking for a fun project and to learn a little something in the process. Plus, they're looking to re-purpose existing hardware instead of landfilling it which should be commended.

Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself.