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Comment: Re: How? (Score 1) 272

by symbolset (#48723179) Attached to: How Civilizations Can Spread Across a Galaxy
It turns out going fast is an energy problem, not a mass problem, except in as much a mass is a form of energy. Fusion converts mass to energy, so Lockheed Martin says they might have this figured out. Naked fusion propulsion in the gigawatt range (million horsepower) in a form factor that would fit in the back of a pickup truck. A few of those in parallel, a few gallons of water and it's off to the stars at 1G. Being in the exhaust would suck though - wear your SPF 5 billion because it's going to be hot.

Comment: Re: (Score 2) 272

by symbolset (#48723153) Attached to: How Civilizations Can Spread Across a Galaxy
These suns have already been this close to our sun thousands of times in the last 4 billion years that our solar system has been thoroughly polluted with life. We have exchanged many megatons of material with them. As some of these suns are 8 billion years older than our sun it is far more likely life came here from there than the other way around.

Anyway, the article neglects that these suns probably have Oort clouds of their own, and a different ecliptic plane, which means theircomets would be coming at an angle Jupiter doesn't protect us from, and potentially at an exceptionally high rate of speed. What with our own comet adventures with Shoemaker-Levy 9 and Siding Spring, Earth interaction with a comet may be more likely than previously thought.

Comment: What? (Score 1) 241

by symbolset (#48588007) Attached to: Is Enterprise IT More Difficult To Manage Now Than Ever?

Slashdot Beta sucks.

It is an acknowledged fact that the operating systems we use cannot be made secure even without end user interaction. They are just too complex. And yet we must trust them to do business. Even without the acknowledgement the proof comes weekly. Despite this we still use them, and worse - old versions of them that are a parody of secure code and known to be exploited.

We spend the end user's trust too readily. And we let them spend it greedily.

If I were the man I was five years ago, I'd take a FLAMETHROWER to this place! *

I don't post here much any more.

The problem with firewalls and antivirus is they all locking the door after the cattle are fled.

Your data will never be secure.

*Scent of a woman Great movie.

Comment: Re:Completely Contained? (Score 1) 475

by symbolset (#48039067) Attached to: Ebola Has Made It To the United States
Seven days ago he started becoming ill in a home with 4-5 school age children. Those children could become symptomatic (contagious) within 2 days, infecting their schools. The students in those schools could start being contagious about the time he was admitted to hospital. This could blow up very quickly. It probably won't, but it could. If it does, there is no way to lock down the city. That will be it. Last week we could have shut down flights out of West Africa and not faced this prospect.

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos