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Comment Re:And over washington (Score 1) 123

Yup, certainly sounds like a fireball. Most shooting stars are the size and density of the ash flicked off a cigarette, so you get a bright but very "thin" trail. A bigger and/or denser object, an actual rock for example, will look very different. I saw one back in the 80s which appeared to be the size and colour of a sodium street lamp from about 50m away, I suspect it was actually about the size of a basketball. Most of the glow you see isn't the object, it's plasma and superheated air from the compressive wave in front of the object.

Comment Re:Russian dashcams (Score 3, Interesting) 123

Yup. In the UK some insurance companies will offer a discount if you carry an (insurance company installed) dash cam and/or black box recording accelerations etc. In many cases people don't do this because of privacy concerns, but fit their own so they can collect their own evidence in the case of a crash - many insurance claims result in a knock-for-knock judgement where each company pays the other driver's claim because fault can't be determined, resulting in higher premiums/loss of NCD for both parties, but installing your own dash cam can provide enough evidence to save you hundreds or thousands of pounds in the long run.

Comment Re:Safe? (Score 1) 75

"Owns" != "Has a right to the data". If the CEO of a major bank wanted to see every purchase his ex-wife makes he can't just call the data up, any sensible company will have need-to-know policies in place to prevent abuse and afford some deniability, regardless of how high up the request comes from. I don't doubt a bank CEO could get access to his ex-wife's data, but I'd be very surprised if any company would admit that policy is simply to hand over any data to the bloke in charge without any control or oversight.

Comment Re:Friendica (Score 2) 94

Big +1 from me on that. People are getting more and more confused about whether Twitter, Google, Facebook or AOL are "the internet", they just don't realise it's all just websites (admittedly some websites running pretty funky background scripts) - at the end of the day all of these things are simply computers which take a request, process it and return some text and images.

As for your point about nobody reading it regardless of whether it's on facebook or "", spot on. I think there's probably a market for a website which allows you to blog things then gives you an ever increasing "x people like this" which starts at 6000. People aren't interested in other people reading and interacting with their thoughts, they're just interested in big numbers. Give the people what they want, you can even be honest and admit it's all a lie to start with - in fact, you could write an app which duplicates any Facebook page but multiplies all the numbers by 1,000 and it would probably be more popular than facebook until it was sued out of existence.

Comment Re:One year ago (Score 2) 94

Ever tried using Twitter's API? They make it about as easy to use/post content to and from Twitter as you can without allowing ridiculous volumes of queries to their servers. Perhaps you mean the instagram debacle? In that case it's Twitter choosing not to pull pics from instagram, nothing to do with whether you can do it on another platform. Twitter can do what they want on their own platform, but they certainly seem to be making it as easy as reasonably possible to integrate their data on a different platform.

Comment Re:Civil Disobedience (Score 3, Insightful) 122

Rosa Parks did what she did knowing she would be punished, that's the whole point of civil disobedience. You do what you believe to be right and in the process force the judicial system to punish you in public, exposing a flaw in the system. If Rosa Parks hadn't kicked up the legal fuss she did then she wouldn't have had an impact that would still be discussed on internet fora decades later.

Comment Re:But there are so many fake accounts. (Score 0) 85

Exactly - I despise facebook and all they stand for, but the idea that national law can intervene on whether or not a website can allow/deny pseudonyms is even more distasteful. It's their website, they can lay down their own naming policy.

The thing I object to is the creation of shadow accounts where they gather data on people who want nothing to do with facebook simply by extrapolating from the data of friends who are on the network. I'm not on facebook because I don't want to be on facebook, they should only be allowed to collect data on me that I have given them freely, not data third parties have given them about me.

Comment Re:Almost? (Score 2) 409

The problem is that anti-missile-missiles are designed to stop the missile's payload from detonating - there's still going to be a rain of hot metal shrapnel, but it's no longer going to have a functioning warhead, so shooting a missile down helps. A meteor on the other hand doesn't have a warhead, all of its destructive energy is in the form of kinetic energy, and there's virtually nothing you can do about this unless you hit it with something very big/fast like a large hypersonic object, then you simply have a bigger bang (most of the damage in this case was simply acoustic energy) and more debris raining down over a larger area.

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It was pity stayed his hand. "Pity I don't have any more bullets," thought Frito. -- _Bored_of_the_Rings_, a Harvard Lampoon parody of Tolkein