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Comment: Re:Unfortunately... (Score 1) 839

by swimin (#34233764) Attached to: Scientists Propose One-Way Trips To Mars

Even if Earth threw all of its resources at sending people on one way trips to Mars, we wouldn't even be able to keep up with our current population growth rates. Currently we're experiencing ~1% growth, so in order to decrease the population of the Earth only by sending people to Mars we'd have to be sending almost 200,000 people a day, which seems extremely impractical.

It would have to be several orders of magnitude cheaper to get people to Mars than it is with our current technologies to have a chance at reducing earth's population in this manner. In fact, I haven't seen any sort of proposal for a cheap way into orbit that is believably scalable to that magnitude of people. Maybe something like a few space elevators would allow 1,000 people a day to head off for Mars, which would allow for a large city (or several small ones) to be built very quickly, but humanity isn't even close to being able to pull off an exodus like you suggest.

  I think that practically, the best way to decrease the population on Earth is to do what China's doing with population controls, though it would really be better if people would just self regulate, rather than having the government get involved with that.

Comment: Re:(0.999...)st Post! (Score 1) 1260

by swimin (#33898780) Attached to: Proving 0.999... Is Equal To 1

Any finite number of 3s making up 0.33333333.....30 is an aproximation of 1/3. In the real numbers (or the complex numbers, or the rational numbers), 0.3333333... (as in an infinite number of 3s after the decimal point) is precisely 1/3. If you consider the sequence .3, .33, .333, .3333. The limit of that sequence is what happens when you reach infinity. That limit happens to be 1/3. The same is true for 1/9.
In other words, you simply can't put a real number between 0.333333333333333... and 1/3. For the real numbers, if |a - b| < epsilon, for any positive epsilon, then a = b.

Comment: Re:We need standards, good ones too. For Linux, to (Score 1) 558

by swimin (#32016758) Attached to: The Mystery of the Mega-Selling Floppy Disk

Your point about the binary is precisely why having the source code is preferable to a compiled application.

If every app had it's source code distributed with it's binary, being locked in to old platforms would rarely happen.

With the source code, and some following of basic standards that have been around forever (like POSIX) it's not terribly difficult to get pretty much any app to work on pretty much any platform

Comment: Re:What do you expect. (Score 1) 494

by swimin (#30629094) Attached to: Novelist Blames Piracy On Open Source Culture

I buy pretty much exclusively from Amazon, due to where I live. It would take longer for me to find the time to make the 1:30 roundtrip drive to the nearest Barnes and Noble (Borders is farther) than it takes for amazon to ship it to me.

Amazon is pretty popular in the more rural areas of the US.

To communicate is the beginning of understanding. -- AT&T