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Comment Re:The odds are very low... (Score 1) 182

technically it's non-trivial

As they say - rocket science isn't exactly rocket's easy bordering on trivial, but might be a tad expensive.

As far as nukes go, why would they be dumb?

Generally because blowing the blasted thing up isn't really going to help much. However, your question shows you have not read up on this stuff. You should. A tug is far easier, and has far less unknown side-effects.

Comment Re:The odds are very low... (Score 1) 182

Deflecting an asteroid is anything but trivial.

Technically it is trivial. It will have a significant cost, but compared to losing a major city, the cost is going to be trivial. We can deflect very large masses at a cost significantly below the cost of the Iraq war. In some cases, as someone pointed out, "painting it white" could be sufficient. The only important factor is detection. Given enough time we can move just about anything that is likely to impact us. The easiest wold be to increase (or perhaps decrease) the objects orbital velocity a tiny amount. Putting a somewhat dense object in front of the asteroid moving at a slightly higher velocity is probably the easiest way to do it.

We really don't know the best way to do it.

We have one or two alternatives, but increasing orbital velocity is probably the easiest. Solar sail. A "rocket" with some weight "pulling" it by just staying in front of it. There are a few good alternatives. Anything involving nukes is probably dumb.

Comment Re:The odds are very low... (Score 1) 182

make their defensive/offensive tech as far ahead of us as a modern naval battle group would be ahead of some revolutionary war army with muskets and cannons

I am going to disagree in a manner. An alien race with such technology would, compared to us, be like the US Army vs 12 sheep and a dog. We probably wouldn't even know they were attacking. In fact, the moronic stuff we see here, they probably already are. They have discovered a dino-killing asteroid heading our way, and now they are making sure we'll never see it coming.

Comment Now we know why the US is in trouble (Score 1) 182

I am amazed that people simply do not understand the difference between, as other have pointed out, risk and chance.

The cost of fixing the problem the B612 foundation are trying to fix is close to zero. A few hundred million is close enough to zero to be discarded entirely. The potential upside - saving a major city from an impact is enormous. Are there anyone at NASA who are not morons?

Comment Re:Remembering what Microsoft did (Score 1) 137

what Microsoft did to stop Lotus

This is actually urban legend. Never happened. Pure myth. Remember, Microsoft was, in the DOS days, utterly dependent on Lotus to sell PCs. Every Lotus employee involved at the time also deny there ever was such a problem.

Lotus 1-2-3 dies because Excel was a (in areas vastly) superior product. It certainly had its flaws, but from a usability standpoint it blew Lotus out of the water. You only have to look at the Apple side of things. Lotus Symphony and Excel existed at the same time on the Mac, and I would guesstimate that Excel outsold Lotus on Apple by about a million to one.

and WordPerfect

This isn't even an urban legend. This never happened, and there isn't even a myth that it did.

Word Perfect committed suicide. Word Perfect on Windows was a deeply flawed product. It was, for any windows user, a usability nightmare. The morons insisted on staying with WP shortcuts and their own (horrible) menu system despite the fact that nobody wanted it. Refusing to change, and at the release of Microsoft Word 2.0, which was a far inferior product from a technical standpoint, but good enough for 97.5% of all use-cases, WordPerfect was dead. By moronic suicide. WP refused to go the proper Windows route, their product (on Windows) was buggy as to be unusable until version 6.0a and by then the fight was over.

Comment Re:And yet (Score 1) 172

Thousands have died from Chernobyl

This is pure fantasy with no basis in reality. We simply have no idea how many deaths Chernobyl may or may not have caused. The number is unknowable but probably somewhere between 0 and 4000. We also do not know how many people suffered health consequences.

Comment Re:And yet (Score 1) 172

I love articles like this. They are sooo funny. Take a look at the illustration picture. You saw the same type of imagery with another "investigative report". Here the TV crew got dressed up like that and took a TEPCO representative with them who declined the "protective gear". They claimed he did so only to safe the face of TEPCO 'cause, you know, everybody knows we can't enter Fukushima with this type of protective gear.

Except, this is for protection against dust, not radiation. Same as is used in a slaughter house or in a factory producing micro chips.

Journalists are clueless morons who'll do anything for a click.

Comment Re:Another Win For the Anti-Nuclear Guys (Score 1) 172

Which effects? Seriously. I learned in school (back during the nuclear-holocaust nonsense) that nuclear bombs would make the world uninhabitable for millennia and more. Still, a mere weeks after the bombs fell on these two cities living there posed no risk to anyone (except from the fact that significant parts of the infrastructure was gone). Radiation risks after a nuclear bomb are negligible. Unless you were exposed when the bomb exploded.

"Trust me. I know what I'm doing." -- Sledge Hammer