Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Article is stupid (Score 1) 222

by reve_etrange (#49753085) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

One man, Harry Daghlian, working alone at night, let slip one cube too many, frantically grabbed at the mound to halt the chain reaction, saw the shimmering blue aura of ionization in the air, and died two weeks later of radiation poisoning. Later Louis Slotin used a screwdriver to prop up a radioactive block and lost his life when the screwdriver slipped. Like so many of these worldly scientists he had performed a faulty kind of risk assessment, unconsciously mis-multiplying a low probability of accident (one in a hundred? one in twenty?) by a high cost (nearly infinite).

(Emphasis mine). That quote is from Genius, James Gleick's biography of Richard Feynman - the author of TFA apparently makes the same mistake.

Comment: Re:Harder: self-stabilizing parachute, or balance (Score 1) 485

by reve_etrange (#49747913) Attached to: The Brainteaser Elon Musk Asks New SpaceX Engineers

Well there is bound to be some shit floating around any gravity well. As long as we are talking spherical cows in a vacuum just make the massless parachute larger? How do you actually define "atmosphere" anyways?

Say we want to land on Mars. The atmosphere is 100 times less dense than on Earth, so we'll need 100 times more parachute. I'm sure that's still a lot less mass and complexity than the balancing rockets...but what if we want to make a round trip, and need to land on Mars and Earth?

We're going to need parallel parachute systems of different sizes, or a parachute that can be re-packaged combined with variable unfurling, and suddenly the parachute option is looking a lot more complicated. On the other hand, if you get the balancing rockets to work, you can use them anywhere, over and over again.

Comment: Re:Sounds like 6 strikes is terrible (Score 1) 185

I see you've decided to respond with the predicted "it's not tangible, so therefore it doesn't count" excuse.

That's simply false - as several posts below have noted.

This completely ignores the fact that things do not have to be tangible to be considered to have a measurable value.

No, it doesn't, and further you are conflating scarcity and tangibility. Regardless of the measurable value, or tangibility, of a thing, it must be scarce to be stolen.

Referring to copyright violations as "theft" is nothing more than a lobbying tactic based on perverting our language into a simplified form in which nuance cannot be expressed, but I'm not surprised you've fallen for it given your demonstrated lack of legal and linguistic knowledge.

Comment: Re:Sounds like 6 strikes is terrible (Score 1) 185

I'll have to give you that one.

Unfortunately for your position, "that one" is the entire argument. Our civilization possesses codified laws in which the words used to define the laws actually matter.

In the laws that we actually have, as opposed to the ones you wish we had, the taking of scarce goods is theft, while making unauthorized reproductions of copyrighted material is copyright violation.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long