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Comment Re:Wouldn't it be cool... (Score 2, Informative) 116

You said they might just need to use a bit more fuel to correct, but the story also mentions that that they went to great lengths to preserve as much fuel as possible, so i still wonder if they needed to use relativity or not...

Random variation in solar activity, random outgasing of surfaces, and random light pressure effects on decaying surface patterns/paints should totally swamp any relativity effects.

There are also experimentally observed effects that have no current explanation. Perhaps they are just noise, perhaps not. The topics you need to search for are Flyby Anomaly and Pioneer Anomaly. That will give you enough background on the scale of unknown orbital forces to compare with the theoretical effects of relativity calculations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flyby_anomaly

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_anomaly

Comment Video issue a non-starter (Score 1) 514

especially considering the iPad isn't able to watch flash video except off of YouTube and a couple of other popular sites

That's not really true. I've run into quite a few sites that feed up raw video when browsed from the iPhone, and of course the same would remain true on the iPad.

And, there are already a number of common Flash players that are integrating code so that if Flash is not supported on a device, the player can fall back to HTML5 playback.

Remember that most of the video on the web today is ALREADY encoded in h.264, which the iPad/iPhone play just fine - it's only the flash playback container that gets in the way. It's really simple to just strip that container away for some browsers or devices.

You can't just go to a site and say it will not work on an iPad if you see a flash player, you have to actually try on the device and see how the site adjusts content for a flashless mobile device.

Comment Re:Porn and hamburgers (Score 1) 512

A decent comparison using the McDonalds burger analogy would be if we took a picture that was simply meant to represent a human, you would understand there are many humans and that not all humans look exactly like the picture and the picture is unlikely to be idolised and figure aspired to in the same way that of a celebrity might be.

You should be in sales. I can see it now, your selling me a new car, you show me the glossy brochure, we go through the website and order up the options I want.

Two weeks later my new car arrives. Its dented all over the place, the rear spoiler is broken, fluid is leaking out, and the back seat has a tear in it...

"Well, " you'll say, "the pictures were just meant to represent the type of vehicle you were getting. That's what we aspire for each car to ook like but its completely unrealistic think you'd actually get one that looked like that."

When I order a Hamburger, I expect it to look like the picture. I don't expect it to be identical, but if the picture shows a 3 strips of tender juicy bacon, a leaf of green lettuce, and a bit of sauce showing from the inside, on a round attractive bun, itself on a clean dry wrapper... that's what I would like to get. Too often I get a squashed greasy mess with sauce and grease on the outside of the bun and all over the wrapper, the bacon is dried out and broken, the lettuce is a big white rib, the cheese is only half on and hanging out one side, the tomato is only half on and hanging out the other...

Comment Re:Licensed properties are always problematic (Score 1) 124

Task Force Games that published Starfleet Battles contracted with consulting company AMS (later of Dragon's Lair fame) to produce a "computer assisted board game" called Star Fleet Command.

It was a microprocessor based game controller that would let players enter energy allocation, weapons fire etc and then indicate the results on labeled LEDs. It used a much simplified version of the board game and used a simple square grid instead of hex one.

After the project was completed and shown at Toy Fair, Task Force Games decided not to manufacture it, probably because it was a lot more expensive to produce than a board game. AMS attempted to sell it to major game companies, but the feedback was that "Star Trek is dead".

This was in 1982 just before Star Trek, The Wrath of Khan was released.

Comment Re:NPR (Score 1) 234

What moron came up with the idea that annoying me will get me to buy your product?

The whole point, and you can easily find a zillion citations, is that crap like that does work. Maybe not on you, but on most people. Television doesn't try to serve you, it tries to take your money, but in reality you are the product and the advertisers are the customer, so the whole point is to put advertising that works in front of your eyeballs to keep the money rolling in. This is why public television, radio, and in fact all forms of media are so critically important; they like ratings but are not driven by them.

Comment Mother nature doesn't care (Score 1) 296

Well, mother nature will find a way to deal with this. Species will evolve, which thrive on plastic.

Isn't it an excellent defense for the group to be poisonous to most predators? In turn some specialized predators will evolve which have ways to deal with the 'poison'.

However, to us it could pose a huge problem as it could turn out that plastics could eventually start to rot faster as they do now.

All that being said, it's best to clean this up /now/ before mother nature starts taking care of this, because that could endanger our food supply in the long run.

Comment Re:Nothing to do with Porn, it's the Awfulbar agai (Score 1) 673

I've been browsing the web practically since there was one, and I rather like that I can type in a substring of the title of a page I visited yesterday but didn't think to bookmark or save the exact URL somewhere. I'm a human, it's not my job to remember URLs. Domain names sure, but URLs are the computer's job.

Everyone that I've heard complain about the awesomebar hates it because they only want URL auto-complete and are confused that it does more than they were expecting or are used to.

Comment Re:The goal of the chamber (Score 1) 1100

That is simply not true...And neither is that.

Two bald assertions. If you would like to back them up with evidence, feel free.

Stating that you don't have to make an argument against AGW science, because there's no science to argue about is *ABSURD*

It is absurd. That's why I didn't make such a statement.

Comment Re:And race... (Score 1) 1091

It would be termed racist. However when you look at the situation isn't it likely that black men are better-built physically due to forced selective breeding by slave "owners" back in the day? Slave "owners" would want to maximize their "investment" in slaves, so why not force "ideal" black men and women to maximize strength and child-bearing features? While the reason for it is quite disgusting (treating people as mere cattle) the results are pretty remarkable, if horrifying (horrifying in the sense that people could be "owned" and forced to mate). This would be micro-evolution at work. Is this actually what occurred? I'm not familiar enough with the history of slavery to know the answer, but I do know of african-Americans in the Boston area (who told one of my friends of this theory) who believe this is the case.

Just food for thought. And believe me, I do not intend to offend anyone with this post.

As far as what is fair: it's not fair that I can't do strenuous exercise for long periods before my muscles cramp up (salt wasting). Should I demand to be allowed to compete since I am a very fast runner, and be given a handicap or other concession for my lack of endurance? Of course not. Athletic competitions have always centered around two things: physical fitness (usually by conforming to "ideal" physical structure) and skill. When it comes to running there is some skill involved but it's more about what one's physique is technically capable of.

If that selective breeding theory holds any water, is it any wonder that black people outperform white people on a consistent basis? Would it be fair to segregate competitions by races? To me that would not seem fair. If white people really see a disparity and are angry about it, nothing is stopping them from marrying based solely on athletic ability and hope that those desirable characteristics follow in the next generation. However, I do not think eugenics can be considered to be justifiable under any moral standard.

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