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Comment: Re:The cost of anti-terrorism (Score 1) 730

by toddestan (#49358869) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

I don't understand how Helios Flight 522 could be related to anti-terrorism measures. The cause of the crash seems to be pretty clearly due to some horribly incompetent pilots who failed to check the state of the pressurization before takeoff, then completely failing to recognize the problem once they were in the air.

Comment: Re:This validates the US policy... (Score 1) 730

by toddestan (#49358779) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Another idea is that you make a regulation that always requires two people in the cockpit, and then redesign the system so that there are two switches that must be pressed simultaneously to lock the door that are positioned in such a way that one person can't physically trigger them both at the same time. This has its own flaws, most notably that if one person is left in the cockpit during a terrorist attack, they can't lock the door. But at the same time it would prevent a lone person from being able to barricade themselves in the cockpit and do as they please.

Comment: Re:To impress me, try cross-city drives instead. (Score 1) 132

Yeah, I don't get all the "fully autonomous cars will be here soon" posts. Sure, I can see cars that can handle themselves on the freeway, given clear weather and no construction. We're almost there anyway with the adaptive cruise control and lane keeping systems on cars you can buy today. But we're a long way from cars that can handle construction zones, two lane highways and rural roads, poorly maintained roads, gravel roads, bad weather, and the like. If I was a professional driver I wouldn't be worried quite yet. Once you can give an autonomous vehicle any random destination in the US and it can get there on its own without any human assistance then maybe they should be worried.

Comment: Re:At this point Mars is running before you can wa (Score 2) 228

The key with Venus is to not land, but build could cities about 50km up. At that altitude, you have an atmospheric pressure of about 1 atm, temperatures are a bit above freezing, you still have the Earth-like gravity, and due to the atmosphere being mostly CO2 (a heavy gas), a balloon filled with breathable air will float. You've also got plenty of solar energy (during the day, at least). It's about as close as earth-like as you're going to get without actually being on Earth. On the downside, you have the 200 MPH+ winds to deal with, the lack of a strong magnetic field, as well as the long day/night cycle.

Comment: Re:It is not solar and wind... It is natural gas (Score 2) 283

Because of the fracking boom, we've got so much natural gas that we don't know what to do with it all, causing the price to crash, and given that you can convert coal plants to natural gas without too much difficulty that's what a lot of utilities have been doing.

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