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Comment: Re:next 50 to 100 years? (Score 1) 453

by theedgeofoblivious (#46957307) Attached to: Study: Earthlings Not Ready For Alien Encounters, Yet

How long would it take for someone to walk from the southernmost tip of Africa to the southernmost tip of South America?

A long time, right? Has anyone done it?

But over generations, humans moved little-by-little, farther and farther out, and given a hundred thousand years or so, there were humans all over the face of this planet. It's not like one person left Africa and made the trip by themself in one day. No, but humans multiplied and spread out.

Given the universe's age, more billions of years old than we can comprehend, even if we can't bet on a traveler making a non-stop streak across the sky to our backyard, why is it unreasonable to assume that they might have learned to live in space, and might have moved further and further out, little-by-little, and that they could be within a lifetime's travel of Earth right now?

The fact that you're unlikely to meet some form of life from another planet is in no way an indication that you're unlikely to encounter something whose great great great* ancestor was from said other planet.

We're so busy searching for signs of life that we don't realize that a sufficiently capable civilization might be able to exist where such signs of life don't exist, in the same way that we can exist in a plane or on a submarine. For all we know, the first bacteria on Earth could have been scraped off of the "boot" of some interstellar traveler visiting the Earth as the cosmic equivalent of the Grand Canyon. They could have been nearby before we were even here.

And we're searching for intelligence, even though it's much more likely that we'd find simple life akin to bacteria? Has a scientist ever considered that if we do find bacteria and we set out in that direction, by the time any of us get there there might be intelligent life there? And has anyone ever considered that somewhere out there some extrasolar travelers might have made the same bet regarding Earth?

Earth

Let's Call It 'Climate Disruption,' White House Science Adviser Suggests (Again) 568

Posted by timothy
from the let's-just-settle-on-nuclear-winter dept.
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "First there was 'global warming.' Then many researchers suggested 'climate change' was a better term. Now, White House science adviser John Holdren is renewing his call for a new nomenclature to describe the end result of dumping vast quantities of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into Earth's atmosphere: 'global climate disruption.'"
The Internet

Apple Reportedly In Talks With Comcast For Separate Apple Streaming Path 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the fast-lane dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apple is reportedly in talks with Comcast to obtain a network pathway dedicated to live and on-demand programming for subscribers of unspecified Apple services. In other words, Apple traffic would be separated from the rest of the public's internet traffic. This deal is different from the one Netflix made with Comcast in that Apple is reportedly asking for separate traffic in the path from Comcast facilities to consumer homes; the Netflix deal only gains Netflix direct access to the Comcast network. While net neutrality rules no longer restrict ISPs from monetizing their traffic prioritization, Comcast is still bound in that respect until 2018 as part of the conditions for its acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2011."
Science

Scientists Revive a Giant 30,000 Year Old Virus From Ice 121

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-saw-this-movie dept.
bmahersciwriter writes "It might be terrifying if we were amoebae. Instead, it's just fascinating. The virus, found in a hunk of Siberian ice, is huge, but also loosely packaged, which is strange says evolutionary biologist Jean-Michel Claverie: 'We thought it was a property of viruses that they pack DNA extremely tightly into the smallest particle possible, but this guy is 150 times less compacted than any bacteriophage [viruses that infect bacteria]. We don't understand anything anymore!'"

Comment: Re:OLD? Stupid crap still on 10.7 (Score 1) 255

by theedgeofoblivious (#46306259) Attached to: Ubuntu 14.04 Brings Back Menus In Application Windows

Actually, on the Mac, you can't click above the menu items at the top of the screen. Clicking at the edge of the screen activates the control.

As a Mac user it used to be infuriating that with other common desktop environments if you dragged the mouse to the edge of the screen they would miss the button by one pixel. Now it's common on systems using other common desktop environments, too.

Comment: Price has NOT remained the same (Score 1, Insightful) 298

by theedgeofoblivious (#46128197) Attached to: Price of Amazon Prime May Jump To $119 a Year

Nine years ago, I could order whatever I wanted and have it delivered in two days.

Now every item on Amazon is an "add-on item" that you can only get shipped to you if you're buying more than $25 worth of stuff. Making me pay $25 for extra stuff I don't need or want when I need toothpaste and deodorant is quite an increase in cost from nine years ago. Amazon Prime was almost $80. That $80 investment gives people quite an incentive to choose amazon.com, and it's not even like every item on amazon was available for Prime shipping even before they started doing this "add-on item" crap. There are plenty of times where I've chosen the prime item, not because it was the cheapest, but because it would be here in two days. There are many other sites and many other non-prime Amazon sellers who have better prices. Being locked into a system that doesn't have the lowest prices is not a benefit. It's a burden.

And to make matters worse, if I decide that I do want just one add-on item, I can't even opt to just pay the cost of shipping on that one "add-on item" that I do want. If shipping is costing you too much, why can't I just pay the cost of shipping to have you send the *one* thing I do want? People who don't have Amazon Prime get to pay regular shipping cost without having to buy $25 worth of stuff they don't need, so why do people who are paying $80 extra have to get screwed over every time?

Asking someone to pay almost $80 per year to get "unlimited two-day shipping" on things and then hiding most items behind an "add-on item" label and not allowing them to order said items at all unless said person buys $25 worth of stuff every time is not a money saver, and it is not the same price as it was nine years ago. A $40 increase in price for something that is now a burden and not a service is not justified or reasonable.

Microsoft

Microsoft Is Working On a Cloud Operating System For the US Government 171

Posted by timothy
from the like-a-sticky-enveloping-fog-of-goo dept.
SmartAboutThings writes "It seems that Microsoft is relying even more on the opportunities provided by the cloud technology. The Redmond behemoth is preparing to come up with a cloud operating system that is specially meant for government purposes. Government agencies already use two of Microsoft's basic cloud products: Windows Azure and Windows Server. But now it seems that Microsoft is working on a modified version of its somewhat new Cloud OS that could bear the name 'Fairfax.' Compared to Windows Azure, the 'Fairfax' cloud operating system would provide enhanced security, relying on physical servers on site at government locations. Given that CEO Steve Ballmer is striving to make Microsoft much more than a powerful software giant, such a project makes sense, especially because it would help in their lobby activities."

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