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Comment: Re:They better be damn sure we're not home... (Score 1) 392

Yeah, tell yourself that.

The same person who hits 100 sequential bulls-eyes at the shooting range is rarely able to hit a barn wall from ten yards in a real life and death situation.

Also, the government tends to use body armor and automatic guns.

Comment: Re:If all goes well. . . (Score 1) 228

by rasmusbr (#48888431) Attached to: Eric Schmidt: Our Perception of the Internet Will Fade

Sigh. This is how it works:

Big corporation A: Would you please share your most private information with us?
Average person: No way, creeps.
Big corporation B: Would you please share your most private information with everyone on the planet and us?
Average person: OMGOMGOMG!!!! Am I gonna be a famous person?! HeretakemyinfoshowittoeveryoneNOWNOWNOW!!!! I swear once everyone realizes how awesome I am I'm definitely going to be famous and I'll be friends with famous people and I'll... Have you taken my information yet???! Here, here's a picture of my new awesome outfit! I should be a fashion model.

Comment: Re:Dammit, Europe! (Score 3, Insightful) 219

by rasmusbr (#48839277) Attached to: European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism

In case you've been living under a rock for the last 14 years, they already have a war with the West/NATO.

In a somewhat ironic turn of events, Muslim fundamentalists in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and Gaza now have an actual real honest-to-science angry skydaddy with winged creatures that shoot fire from the sky.

Of course, this does not really bring us any closer to peace with the Islamists. If anything it probably helps them recruit.

Comment: Re:Pressure versus mechanism (Score 1) 154

by rasmusbr (#48813589) Attached to: Human Language May Have Evolved To Help Our Ancestors Make Tools

Chimpanzees sometimes make tools, so tool making almost certainly preceded language, unless Chimpanzees are descended from animals that had language but lost it.

Possibly the most interesting thing about humans is that there is an exponential increase in diversity of objects in the archaeological record, which seems to start somewhere around 100.000 to 50.000 ago. This exponential increase in diversity of objects produced continues to this day, especially if you count virtual objects like digital art.

What happened 100.000 years ago? One possible answer is "nothing in particular". Due to archaeological sampling bias and the nature of exponential growth it may just be that the exponential increase in diversity began much earlier than 100.000 years ago.

Comment: Re:Re usability (Score 3, Interesting) 151

by rasmusbr (#48739525) Attached to: In Daring Plan, Tomorrow SpaceX To Land a Rocket On Floating Platform

Even if they can recover the engine intact how many times can it be reused. Saving a few million on a higher chance of blowing up multi billion payloads is not exactly wise economically.

Think of it this way: if they can fly the first stage 20 times, that along with some cost optimizations of the upper stage could cut the cost per pound by a factor of ten. Then it would become economical to launch mere multi-hundred million dollar payloads. That would dramatically reduce the economical risk of any single launch, as long as the rocket is not ten times as likely to blow up, but rather only maybe twice as likely.

Of course, anyone who launches a lot of rockets of the same type is likely to become really good at getting that type to orbit in one piece. Just look at the Russians and their now ancient Soyuz rocket.

Keep cutting costs and you might one day have a system where you could launch a ten million dollar payload, which you could easily insure at your local insurance company.

Comment: Re:Terry Pratchett say... (Score 1) 578

by rasmusbr (#48724823) Attached to: What Language Will the World Speak In 2115?

Chinese could become malleable as well. Just get rid of everything that's weird and unique about it (and invent new words and grammar to cover for any ambiguity that emerges). Toss out the writing system and switch to pinyin.

In fact, according to TFA, this sort of thing is what happened to English back in the early middle ages when England was continuously invaded by Scandinavians and French people.

Comment: Re:Those backwards Ruskies (Score 1) 290

by rasmusbr (#48705185) Attached to: War Tech the US, Russia, China and India All Want: Hypersonic Weapons

Active sonar works fine as long as you're in deep water, far away from land, where you're suppose to be if you're an aircraft carrier.

Diesel subs are designed to wait in ambush near the bottom in shallow waters, where active sonar operator could easily mistake them for natural formations.

It does not seem likely that carriers and diesel subs would ever face one another, unless a sub managed to sneak across the Atlantic and into shallow US waters, near an aircraft carrier port... But then we're talking Hollywood/Clancy scenarios.

Time-sharing is the junk-mail part of the computer business. -- H.R.J. Grosch (attributed)