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Comment: Empire! (Score 1) 134

I was a CS undergrad and never used the Plato system for structured learning, but played many an enjoyable hour in the basement of the CS building on a Plato terminal playing Empire. Was the best Star Trek game back in the day. Fantastic game for its day, and very fun after spending uncounted hours hacking some assigned programming task into shape.

Comment: Why believe this? (Score 2) 248

by rumpledoll (#44796477) Attached to: Google Speeding Up New Encryption Project After Latest Snowden Leaks
Given that the reports of the Snowden NSA documents indicate that the NSA worked with willing private sector companies, why should anyone believe that this is nothing more than a public relations push by Google? I think Google is trying to restore trust by appearing to be doing something while in fact being just as open and cooperative with the NSA as it has always been. I will believe that there is some pushback by private companies when there are actual public (not secret) court cases brought by the government to force them to do something. Until then I call shenanigans.

Comment: Re:How is that an "upshot"? (Score 2) 167

by rumpledoll (#44705615) Attached to: Uber Tip-Skimming Allegations Could Spark National Class Action
The point is that a) Uber is stealing tips from the drivers and needs to be punitively punished and the behavior stopped and b) there is so much malfeasance by companies doing this sort of thing that one can make a career out of stopping them from shafting working people. That is the outrage. And yes, the bad actor in this case is Uber and their stealing, not the people trying to set it aright. Dimwit.

Comment: No source of ignition except a fireplace? WTF (Score 1) 224

by rumpledoll (#37513790) Attached to: Irish Man's Death Ruled Spontaneous Combustion
From the article "Forensic experts found that a fire in the fireplace of the sitting room where the badly burnt body was found, had not been the cause of the blaze that killed Mr Faherty.". Yet we the investigator has no clue how the body could have caught fire. Geez.

Comment: Re:My take on Doomsday from a market perspective (Score 2, Insightful) 271

by rumpledoll (#15828256) Attached to: The NYT Imagines Life After Earth
"If the rocks are small enough, they burn up in the atmosphere. And even if the rocks remaining don't completely disintegrate in the sky, their impact on the ground, while causing loss of life in particular, will be so limited as to not cause loss of life in general."

Unfortuantely no. The issue is energy. The kinetic energy of the impactor has to go somewhere, and since it's hitting the Earth, all the energy is transfered to the Earth. With large impactors this will cause enough heating to bring about the conflagration of the biomass of the planet, or a large percentage thereof.

The other issue is that these damn things are so huge, our nuclear arsenels don't have enough umph to break up the solid ones, not to mention that the numerious "rubble pile" astreriods and comets are fantastically resistent (read completely immune) to this sort of effect.

Nukes are not the answer to cosmic impactors, not because tree hugging nuts don't like them, but because they won't work. Taking ones science from Hollywood is a mistake.

interlard - vt., to intersperse; diversify -- Webster's New World Dictionary Of The American Language