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Comment And don't forget . . . (Score 2) 784

Virtually all of the people who have visited "Antarctica" are SCIENTISTS. And the rest are GOVERNMENT WORKERS.

Can we really believe people who have a vested interest in grant money to accurately report on this place?

Pretty soon now we'll find the set in Alaska where "South pole research station" news segments are filmed.

Comment Forgot some steps (Score 1) 661

Missing steps:

4.5 No One Could Have Foreseen This Problem. Let us not point fingers and play the blame game.

5.5 Fine, we're in a fix. It is time for the ideologues to step aside and the Level Heads and Professionals and People Who Have a Stake in the Game to take over and provide reality-based solutions. We'll start by proposing tax credits for owners of shore front vacation homes to move their properties, because summer recreation is a vital part of our economy. And cancel Social Security to incentivize Honored Citizens to get healthy exercise filling sandbags to protect oil industry facilities in the Gulf. And annex Canada to provide homes for citizens displaced by the Texas Hell-Cyclone. After all, Canadians sold us a lot of that oil . . . remember the XL pipeline they forced us to build?

Comment Re:"Still in use by the US military" (Score 1) 128

Meanwhile, Spain managed not to lose any in accidents, primarily by using them in the interceptor role for which they were originally designed and not as the fighter-bombers that Lockheed tried to turn them into.

Besides, by the time the F-104G came around, Johnson was working on the U-2 and the SR-71.

Comment not likely (Score 1) 865

"Eventually, drivers will be expected to download and install car software patches themselves."

I can hardly see that happening. You'll need a valid support and maintenance contract and the patches will be downloaded automatically or you'll have to visit an authorized service center if the downloads fail for some reason.

Comment Re:"Still in use by the US military" (Score 1) 128

When? The U-2 was designed by Kelly Johnson, a man who enforced simplicity wherever possible and valued the lives of everyone around his planes. Having anyone run up to it or chase it in a truck to install pogos while it was moving would risk a collision or injury, or both. Besides, the entire aircraft is only 16 feet tall, and the wings are maybe a third of that off the ground.

As far as I know, the plane has always landed like that, and Kelly Johnson knew it would. That kind of practice doesn't start showing up decades or even years later.

Comment Re: This is a problem now? (Score 1) 128

It wasn't in LAX airspace (that caps out at 10,000 feet), but in LA Center's coverage area, which oversees airspace in Southern and Central California and parts of Nevada, Utah, and Arizona that isn't controlled by airports or by approach/departure controllers. The entire system is tied together to handle transitions from one controlling agency (or controller within an agency) to another.

As an aside, LAX's airspace extends various distances from the airport with the most distant point about 25 miles to the east, depending on the altitude. At any given time, there may be dozens of aircraft within its airspace on approach or departure, or transitioning through to other destinations.

Comment Re:And the question of the day is... (Score 1) 327

I just went and checked on a number of search engines to see who does this. I used the Top 15 engines (the site draws from Alexa's rankings, which I know are borderline useless but they seem to suffice for this). In each case, I searched for "slashdot" and checked the results by right-clicking on the appropriate link, copying, and pasting into the URL bar to inspect the results. (I substituted Baidu for Contenko since the latter didn't return any results and Baidu is pretty popular, and added Yandex and IxQuick for popularity reasons as well.)

Search engines that use hidden redirects:
-- Alhea (does not hide URLs displayed at the bottom of the page, but also appears to be part of InfoSpace)
-- Baidu
-- Dogpile
-- Google
-- (does not hide URLs displayed at the bottom of the page, but also appears to be part of InfoSpace)
-- InfoSpace (does not hide URLs displayed at the bottom of the page)
-- MyWebSearch (does not hide URLs displayed at the bottom of the page)
-- Webcrawler
-- Yahoo
-- Yandex

Search engines that do not use hidden redirects and link directly to result:
-- AOL (has JavaScript onclick action)
-- Ask (has JavaScript onmousedown action)
-- Bing (sends information on link click to
-- Blekko
-- DuckDuckGo (sends information on link click to
-- IxQuick (has JavaScript onClick action)
-- Wow (has JavaScript onclick action)

Blekko appears to be the only one that doesn't send anything in any fashion back to the server. That doesn't mean they don't log your IP address or your search terms, of course. And their display method leaves much to be desired.

So which is worse? Using a hidden redirect that can be detected if you right-click on the link and paste it somewhere? Or sending back where you go by JavaScript that is sometimes visible to someone with a modicum of code knowledge and sometimes requires either much deeper analysis or watching the URLs that are called?

As ultranova said, you're getting upset over something that search engines have very solid reasons to do so they can rate the pages and return better results for the searcher.

Comment Bugs? (Score 4, Interesting) 116

There was an interesting piece on Radiolab* last year about some guys who'd found an protein-rich insect whose larva at almost anything, including agricultural waste and pig manure. They reduced the amount of waste that had to be dealt with and result in copious quantities of nutritious bug flesh.

One of the suggested uses was food for farmed fish.

* I think . . . I'm having trouble finding the segment in the archives.

Comment Re:Just like Nuclear Fusion (Score 1) 256

It's worth a thought experiment. A submarine fuel facility has the advantage of not being affected much by the surface seas. Perhaps it wouldn't go deep, but instead remain about 60 feet or so underwater. A float mechanism could be used to hoist the hoses to the surface, and then the hoses could be connected for fueling. This would keep the fueling platform itself stable and reduce the risks involved in a collision. It would probably require a significant re-engineering of the coupling mechanism, and I'm not sure how refueling underway would be accomplished, but maybe someone else has an idea.

Comment Re: Great Headline (Score 1) 103

Wreckage of AF447 (including bodies) was found within the first couple of days, so they knew for certain there was a water impact and approximately where. It took time to find the main wreckage, but it was located, and in fact new analysis of sonar data collected by a French sub within the first week after the crash was critical in finding it. The sonar had heard the FDR pings, but it was below the equipment's identification threshold at the time.

Here, a water impact is presumed but not certain. Aside from the engine pings, there's very little to go on, and even the satellite images and the civilian sighting of a pallet and belts the other day may be nothing more than shipping equipment that fell overboard.

Comment Re:We need a US base in the Ukraine (Score 1) 623

China and India may become friendlier and work together on more issues, but will probably not become allies in the short term. Their interests do not intersect well enough, the Himalayas prevent significant cross-training or war games to allow their militaries to interoperate, and both are interested in expanding their influence over fellow Asian states. China's belligerence over claimed oceanic territory and their growing navy threatens Indian trade. India's growing population seeks food supplies that China may need for its own population.

They're unlikely to become very close. Fortunately, the same Himalayas that help prevent them from becoming close also make a war between them unlikely because neither side could actually hold territory. There is a risk of nuclear exchange, but the rest of the world has strong reason to keep that from becoming likely.

Comment Re:We need a US base in the Ukraine (Score 1) 623

Calling the Warsaw Pact "allies" is perhaps a bit of a misnomer. Even within the governments that nominally looked to Moscow for guidance and direction, there was often a great deal of quiet grumbling. When Czechoslovakia was invaded by Soviet troops, many of the Eastern European countries protested privately to Moscow but were either ignored or threatened into submission. They did so, knowing that the West wasn't about to get involved in their affairs because the risk of war was too high.

The same thing is happening now. As much as the West would like to see Ukraine become closer, it's not about to risk outright war with Russia over it. This is going to be played out over years or decades.

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