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Comment Re:Because this will be unlike Biosphere 2 how? (Score 4, Informative) 49

To answer your question, smaller habitat, no experiment at maintaining atmospheric composition, outside excursions in "space suits" etc. Its not very much like Biosphere II.

As for why not under the sea or Antarctica I can give at least three reasons. (1) cost of building, transporting and maintaining the habitat; (2) all the support and research personnel live in Hawaii, above water; (3) the research objectives don't require putting the experiment in a dangerous or inaccessible place.

Now someday when we have an actual habitat design along with all the actual support systems we plan to send to Mars, a trial on top of a super high mountain would make sense as a kind of Mars analog. But we don't have such stuff to test so we don't need the Mars analog with all the expense and complication.

Comment Re:Furthermore, Saudi Arabia must be destroyed (Score 2) 263

Not everyone in Saudi Arabia are bedouin; in particular the ruling House of Saud is descended from town dwelling Arabs.

I'll go out on a limb and guess that not everyone in Saudi Arabia is worthless. Even people involved in managing their oil. And as for the elite they don't seem to be worse than anyone else who's inherited oil-based wealth; they've managed that for the long term benefit of themselves and their families. If they're ostentatious with their wealth, well they have a lot of it and it hasn't bankrupted them yet.

So there's no rational reason to want to destroy Saudi Arabia. But there's every reason not to want to be so dependent upon them.

Comment Re:DS9 aka "Cspan" (Score 1) 77

LEXX lost steam after the first season, and just began to resemble Star Trek, and in all the bad ways. DS9 turned into a political/wartime strategic series, and I'd say if you have a love for military SF (which I do), it was probably the finest of its kind. I really wish they had continued in the vain of the grubbier, less noble Federation, muddied and made ugly by its wars, sort of a "The Third Man" of galactic proportions. Instead, they made the completely irrelevant and silly Voyager with a cast of characters that I never could even remotely get into, and the even worse Enterprise, which might have been interesting in the right hands, but instead just ended up being an even worse version of Voyager.

Comment Re:It'll devolve. (Score 1) 77

Overall, the last few seasons of DS9 were indeed probably the best in overall quantity. I still think there are about a dozen ST:TOS episodes that are better than anything that later Trek series produced, and a handful of just really brilliant TNG episodes, but the overall story arcs in the last few seasons of DS9 were, as a group very gripping, and in some ways kind of presaged, though I wouldn't say at the same level of quality, the way that the writers of shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men built up strong characters with long-term character plots and trajectories.

The problem with DS9 is that I think it exhausted the Trek universe, and they should have paused things there for five or ten years. Instead they saturated and degraded the whole thing with Voyager and Enterprise, which while they might have had the odd episode here and there that was reasonably good, all in all felt like the products of tired writers and producers who no longer really had a zest for the universe, or the ability to conjure up new and interesting characters.

Comment Re:Okay, if they think that will work (Score 3, Insightful) 77

I actually thought the movie was a pretty good one, probably the best movie outside of the Toy Story films that Tim Allen has been involved in. He played a great Bill Shatner, vain and obnoxious, and of course Rickman and Weaver were pitch perfect as versions of Spock and Uruha. It was much about gently mocking Treckies as it was about mocking the actors. It was a mild, good-natured bit of satire that I've watched a couple of times since it came out and have enjoyed.

Comment Re:History repeats. (Score 2) 77

I always thought the crazy gears/blades that Allen and Weaver had to jump through were more inspired by the bizarre security of the Death Star. I don't recall the Enterprise having that many pointlessly dangerous sets in the ship itself. The closet would be the "mains" in Wrath of Khan, but I don't think it's that much of a stretch to assume that a matter-antimatter engine would probably involve some seriously bad radiation.

Comment Re:A simple test is in order (Score 1) 409

Well, this is a bit like parents who take their kids to get vaccinated and a few hours later that kid exhibits the first signs of autism. It's an immensely compelling coincidence. You'd have to (a) know that autism symptoms often have a rapid onset and (b) realize that when they do they can follow any commonplace childhood event. Even if you did it'd still be hard to shake the suspicion if it happened to your kid.

Somebody points a IR remote at your friend; he gets up and has a brief moment of orthostatic hypotension -- also known as a "dizzy spell" brought on by a sudden drop in blood pressure -- just at the moment the guy pushes the button. Orthostatic hypotension can happen to anyone, but if your friend isn't otherwise prone to it that can be a very compelling coincidence; and many of the symptoms of hypotension can be reproduced by psychological stress.

If something like that happens to you people will say, "oh, it's all in your head," but the thing is that all suffering is inside peoples' heads. One of the worst kinds of pain you can have is passing a kidney stone, but if you happen to be in a coma at the time you won't feel a thing. Distress produced within the brain is indistinguishable to the subject from distress produced outside the brain. Having an external explanation for that distress can make someone feel like they have some control over what is a disturbing experience, and shooting holes in that explanation isn't going to help unless you can offer them a better handle on it.

Sometimes I think we'd be better off if we just brought back shamans and witch doctors.

Comment Re:CEOs stepping down (Score 4, Interesting) 190

I'm not sure what the point of any of this is. Between the hacks and the revelations that the site is little more than a few hookers, some staff trying to titillate members, and a whole fucking lot of men, I'd say AM is pretty much dead at this point.

When I'm tinfoil hat mode, I wonder if this hack was really about some competitor committing an act of commercial homicide. It sure would be one way to wipe out a dominant player in the "find you a fuck buddy" industry.

Comment Re:Centos = RHEL really (Score 1) 152

This is a huge part of RH's problem IMO, that they go to great pains to distance functionally identical things. For Ubuntu, the free and supported client base aren't so visibly separate, so it's hard to get a read on how many folks actually pay for it. So stories like this happen, where the gap between RHEL and Ubuntu is presented as hopelessly wide when reality is that they are surprisingly close...

Comment Re:no surprise, what people use at home they use t (Score 3, Interesting) 152

It's when paid businesses go to Ubuntu they have to worry, but the requirements of the customers willing to pay out big money for licenses and support are vastly different than those of desktop users

And here's the rub, they made the desktop platform pretty bleeding edge (major kernel changes are inflicted in routine updates, breaking things like nvidia driver if you choose to use it, not merely being mostly unhelpful about closed source realities but actively making it more painful). Even if drivers didn't break, updates can change things dramatically at a whim, and there's no blessed 'long term' servicing branch that so nearly matches their 6 month cycle releases like Ubuntu does. RedHat is making the free situation needlessly complicated and risky to push people to RHEL, but instead are giving ubuntu the free market. Like you say, the free market by itself is no huge threat, but it influences the commercial market in the long term.

You could also say RedHat has very little to lose by having something more like Ubuntu in lifecycle out there for free. Those folks won't pay for anything, but their mindshare is valuable among the audience that will pay.

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