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Comment: Re:No doubt... (Score 1) 70

by DerekLyons (#49754491) Attached to: Musical Organ Created From 49 Floppy Disk Drives

That's quite the difference, and something you entirely failed to mention.

I didn't mention it because it's a difference without a distinction - whether you press a key and the command is saved to a file for later replay, or immediately processed and sent to the "instrument", it's all the same. It's something that's been done many, many times before.

Comment: Re:Do people really take this risk seriously? (Score 5, Insightful) 211

by Rei (#49752865) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

The article is also based on some terrible reasoning, like:

That means there will be no asteroids left in the Solar System, because they all will have struck Earth, in another few hundred million years. Think someone’s overestimated something there? Yeah, me too. Let’s take a look with the flaws in our fear-based reasoning.

Yeah, in a universe where our solar system is some sort of perfect steady state. Which, of course, it is not. Asteroids collide or - more commonly, come close to other bodies and gravitationally interact - and throw each other into different orbits. When that happens, non-Earth-crossing asteroids can become Earth-crossing ones. For example, one of the candidates for the K-Pg extinction event is a Batisma-family asteroid. This family came from an asteroid breakup 80 million years ago.

A person well versed in the field would be aware of the fact that asteroids are not in some sort of unchanging steady state. Which is why they're the ones paid to do the research on the subject.

And more to the point, we really don't have a good handle on what's out there. We have trouble making out dwarf planets in the outer solar system. We really have no bloody clue what could be on its way into the inner solar system, apart from studying how often major events happen.

And on that note, another flaw in his logic, given that until recently, the vast majority of Tunguska-style events would never even have been detected, having occurred over the oceans, remote deserts, the poles, etc. So by all means it's perfectly fair to say that the fact that an asteroid hitting earth is more likely to hit a remote uninhabited area is perfectly fair. But saying that while mentioning the rarity of inhabited areas having been hit in the past is double-counting. The historical record is evidence of how often they hit populated areas, not how often they hit Earth.

Lastly, his claim that only one person has ever been "hit by an asteroid" is ridiculous. 1500 people were injured by the Chelyabinsk one in 2013 badly enough to seek medical attention. Yes, they weren't "hit by rocks", but that's not what large asteroid impacts do; they mostly or completely vaporize by exploding in the atmosphere and/or on impact. And there's lots of reports throughout history of people getting struck by asteroids; just because they weren't documented by modern medical science doesn't mean it never happened. Seriously, what's the bloody odds that the only person to ever in historical times be hit by an asteroid would be in the 1950s in the middle of a first-world nation? Now what's the odds that someone being hit in the 1950s in the middle of a first-world nation would be well documented, publicized, and believed?

Just a lot of really bad arguments.

Comment: Re:Seems obvious now (Score 4, Interesting) 214

by Rei (#49742243) Attached to: Secret Files Reveal UK Police Feared That Trekkies Could Turn On Society

Can you imagine the dystopian dictatorship where trekkies come to power? All of the halls of power full of people walking around in spandex and fake ears and brow ridges, the fed directed to work toward the absolution of currency, the military directed to accelerate development of phasers and for all recruits to undergo "Kobayashi Maru" training.... NASA would finally get their proposed $18,5 billion dollar annual budget passed - except that the bill would have the word "annual" crossed out and the word "monthly" written in its place. National anti-bullying legislation would be passed, probably with a name like Spock's Law. And of course they'd insist on referring to the UN as the United Federation of Planets.

Comment: Re:Minimum Wage (Score 1) 1072

by tsotha (#49732535) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

To believe this meme you see lately that somehow ebil corporations are forcing us to pick up part of the tab for their employees, you'd have to believe nobody would work there if Medicaid and other social services didn't exist. Which is idiotic. No, the problem is there are lots of people who don't produce enough value for their labor to live the minimum lifestyle we consider acceptable.

So apparently the solution is to force them out of their jobs entirely. What do you think the response is going to be from businesses? "Oh well. I guess we just won't make as much money"? Were you born yesterday?

Comment: Re:Stupid reasoning. (Score 3, Insightful) 1072

by tsotha (#49732521) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

I love seeing this crap in American articles. "Oh Noes! If we pay people more, it will cost businesses more!"

That's not what people are saying. What we're syaing is if we pay people more, the people whose labor isn't worth the new minimum won't have a job at all. The progressives in the US have succeeded in turning the US into a European country. I hope they own it when youth unemployment is at 25% in a normal economy, and minimum wage isn't enough to pay for increases in the cost of living.

I didn't mind interacting with tellers before ATMs, and I don't mind using ATMs. I won't mind when I use automated ordering machines at McDonalds and eat machine-made burgers, either. But I think it's stupid for the government to force people out of their jobs.

Comment: Re:This will make the Republicans so happy,s... (Score 1) 333

by tsotha (#49723873) Attached to: Genetically Engineered Yeast Makes It Possible To Brew Morphine

Except if you actually read the pages you're linking you see the drugs didn't get shipped to LA as part of the "Iran Contra fiasco". Despite the screeching from Crazy Maxine, the stories directly linking Iran Contra to drugs in the US turned out to be poorly sourced bullshit.

Comment: Re:Sudafed (Score 1) 333

by tsotha (#49723853) Attached to: Genetically Engineered Yeast Makes It Possible To Brew Morphine
That's what I was thinking. This is definitely one of those genie in the bottle stuffing exercises that's never going to work. Drug cartels have more money than God - either they'll hire their own scientists to reverse engineer the yeast strain, or someone will slip it to them for a suitcase full of cash.

Air pollution is really making us pay through the nose.