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Comment: Re:WSJ is owned by NewsCorp now, right? (Score 4, Insightful) 161

by lgw (#49755945) Attached to: WSJ Crowdsources Investigation of Hillary Clinton Emails

You have to actually wade into the issue and form a discrete opinion of it.

By far the coolest part of all this is now a "crowd" will form an opinion about Clinton and Benghazi from reading her emails. Primary sources FTW. Not want any journalist wants them to think, not a quote picked carefully for a political ad, but by actually reading what was said at the time. That's more informed democracy already than I expected in this whole election cycle!

Comment: Re:what the... (Score 1) 142

by lgw (#49754971) Attached to: The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police

IIRC, he used planes and such to get a smooth finish. At one point he had a guest who he introduced as a hacker (an older guy with a beard). He made 4 legs for some table or chair project Roy was working on in about 30 seconds, 4 chops each with a hatchet, perfectly square, tapered appropriately, and of course blade smooth. Impressive as anything.

Comment: Personal vs. Species Survival (Score 2) 217

by Roger W Moore (#49754363) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone
I think the thing which the article completely misses is the difference between survival of the species vs. survival of the individual. There are very few things which threaten the survival of the species: nuclear war, massive volcanic eruption and asteroid impact. Other things, such as disease, significant climate change etc. may kill a lot of people but they are unlikely to affect the survival of the species directly - even ebola has survivors.

People who worry about asteroids don't do it because of the risk to themselves personally since that risk is negligible. They do it because of the risk to the species. The risks of these sorts of events are incredibly low. However if you compare a "1 in 100 million" chance of an extinction-level asteroid impact with the similarly tiny (and probably larger) risk of a massive volcanic eruption then suddenly the odds become more relevant. The article completely misses that point.

Comment: Re:what the... (Score 1) 142

by lgw (#49754201) Attached to: The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police

The old meaning is "computer criminal," the new meaning was invented when a bunch of kids decided that being a hacker sounded cool,

The old meaning of hacker is "one who makes furniture with a hatchet". It's a fantastically impressive skill. "Hacker" meant "computing enthusiast" for a couple decades before it meant "computer criminal", as the latter was often the former and the distinction blurred.

Comment: Re:Ooh! A letter of apology! (Score 1) 82

10 years ago this was a real problem. Now it just takes a few calls to clear everything up, and a few weeks for it to all get sorted out. Yeah, it sucks you have to waste hours on it, but the credit agencies have a procedure for identity theft reporting now.

If you're ever worried something might happen, just flag your account for fraud. Once you do that, opening any new accounts will require they call you to confirm (which should be the default IMO).

Of course, the real problem is that we're all far to much in the habit of borrowing money, but that's a different rant.

Comment: Post Wrong and 100+ years Out of Date (Score 2, Insightful) 92

I think you're missing the point

Actually he has a very good point. The article is wrong: there is just as much mass "beneath your feet" since technically the entire planet is beneath your feet. The point is that the mass is, on average, located further from your feet near a mountain because of the thick crust which floats on, and displaces, the far denser mantle. The gravitational field depends not just on the mass but on the distance as well.

What I don't understand is how this counts as 'news'. The effect was discovered by the British Trigonometric Survey of India where they noticed a discrepancy in their measurements caused by the fact that the 'vertical' was not the same near the Himalayas. This was well over 100 years ago...hardly news.

Comment: Re:What does that even mean (Score 3, Informative) 92

A mountain at 42,164bkm would have the peak in geosynchronous orbit

But not geostationary (unless the mountain were at the equator) so while you might not fall down, you'd be in a bit of an awkward orbit yourself, relative to that mountain. Quick, someone try it in Kerbal Space Program!

But if someone built a tower 384,000 km high, it would travel faster than the moon. And if you jumped off that tower, you'd also never reach the ground.

One of the problems with building a space elevator on Mars is that it would be higher then the (innermost) moon, which would come say "Hi!" every few hours, moving quite fast.

Comment: Re:Force his hand..."Sue me! Sooner than later..." (Score 1) 369

by lgw (#49748061) Attached to: Student Photographer Threatened With Suspension For Sports Photos

If you were fired from your job because became a registered Republican, the Republican party would go to war for the right to represent you in court./quote

A great many people have been fired for being Republican, most famously the editor of Playgirl. Oddly, political party is not a protected class and you have no recourse in most states.

And on the seventh day, He exited from append mode.