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Comment Re:Umm? How far away would it have been? (Score 1, Insightful) 157

Alex, calling people idiots doesn't really help your credibility. Try not being a name calling jackass. 3 digit ID doesn't give you the right to be a prick.

Normally I would agree, but when the person you're responding to was being a douche to begin with, the response is warranted.

Comment Re:Brilliant idea (Score 2) 480

I remember suggesting this at a customer's office years ago. As an example, I used a password made from the first letters of the words in the sentence, "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain." They seemed to like the idea in principle, but thought it would work better with a famous and easy to remember quote rather than a weird, random sentence. To my utter shock and horror, not a single person there had heard that sentence before.

Comment Re:IMPORTANT QUESTION... apk (Score 2) 182

The only reason to blow up the asteroid while it's heading away would be if it were coming back. But if it's coming back, blowing it up "as it goes away from us" is really just blowing it up on the way in, just further ahead of time. It's still a bad idea for exactly the same reasons, you're just executing the breakup so the shrapnel with a total mass identical to the original asteroid shotgun-blasts into the planet on the next pass rather than on this pass. If you're trying to make it not head in our direction, it's actually a lot easier to do that if you don't break it up.

I imagine in your head you're picturing some kind of massive explosion that sends the mass of the asteroid flying in all directions, rather than just cracks the rock up into smaller asteroids in the same orbit. That would work, if we had something powerful enough to do that. A nuclear bomb wouldn't, however. Might as well suggest we use a stick of dynamite. At the time it was invented, in the popular imagination you could do anything with it, but really, it's just dynamite. Nowadays, since nuclear bombs are the most powerful explosive devices ever invented, again in the popular imagination you can do anything with them. But really, no. An asteroid large enough to really worry about is too large to be much affected by a nuclear bomb.

Comment Re:Apophis larger than we thought (Score 3, Informative) 182

...I think euthanasia may be appropriate in certain situations, but not when you can put the minds of a couple of expert trauma surgeons into some of the crew and just cut the patients legs off, or waste some explosives to try and remove the debris, or send the ships robot down to the surface to move the debris, or any of a dozen ideas better than just having a few soldiers try to muscle the debris off.

None of these options were possible at the time.

When a patient is in extreme chronic pain that can't be stopped and will last for the rest of their life and begs to die, it's time to consider euthensia.

That would be exactly the situation here. The only options were to either euthanize him, or leave him there in pain to die alone. He asked for the former, and got it.

Comment Where's the thermodynamics outrage? (Score 1) 161

Usually whenever /. posts a story about harnessing energy from some source, the pseudo-physicists come out in force to complain about the energy being stolen, e.g. a story about harvesting energy from the motion of cars over a road attracts comments about stealing gas from the motorists (it must increase fuel usage, or the laws of thermodynamics are being violated, yada yada). Knowing /., I was expecting complaints about how this must increase food usage of the people in the subway. Kinda like how putting solar panels on your roof causes the sun to burn out more quickly, right? That energy you're getting has to come from somewhere...

So disappointing, /. You've lost your outrageous outrage. Or you've grasped the concepts of efficiency and otherwise wasted energy... (not holding my breath on that one -- we'll see what happens the next time an article is run on harvesting energy from something other than the sun or body heat or other examples where the fallacy is obvious.)

Comment Re:America was Founded by Terrorists (Score 2) 584

Any reasonable definition is going to include terrorists primarily targeting civilians or using civilians for shields. The founders didn't do that.

This "reasonable definition" is rarely used in practice, which makes the definition suspect. Most people use the word to refer to enemies using unconventional tactics, even when they target legitimate military targets. I first learned about "terrorism" as a kid when a lot of kids of my generation did, when a suicide bomber attacking a Marine base in Beirut. Apparently marines are civilians now. The apparent justification for considering this terrorism regardless is that the marines were off-duty. If attacking soldiers while they're off-duty is terrorism, you're completely wrong about "the founders didn't do that". Few wars are won by those who wait at the battlefield patiently for their enemies to show up on their own schedule, and we've bombed plenty of military bases ourselves, barracks and all...

Comment Re:PCI Compliance (Score 1) 84

On a more serious note, when are you guys going to wake up and see that this is just an old fashioned ponzi scam...

Using "ponzi" to describe something that's not a ponzi scheme, even if it is a financial scam of some sort, just makes you look like an idiot who can't tell the difference between ponzi schemes and other kinds of scams.

Comment Re:So, maybe like Venus? (Score 5, Informative) 143

Runaway greenhouse effect. Basically the fate Earth will end up in.

No. There's been times in the past when the CO2 levels in our atmosphere were twenty times higher than they are today. The rise since the Industrial Revolution is nothing compared to back then. Of course, back then we had "tropical" climes north of the Arctic Circle, but it didn't lead to a Venus-like runaway greenhouse effect. No, the true horror will be men wearing Speedos on the beach in Point Barrow...

Comment Re:Online Storage? (Score 1) 330

" (I trust online storage more than optical discs that may or may not last another twenty years)" Seriously? those discs will be around far longer than those online storage companies.

Irrelevant. The data I currently store will outlive the media it's stored on, and probably the companies that made or hosted it. The discs will be around only as long as the disc lives. The data will be around forever, assuming I'm not stupid enough to leave it on the disc. Well managed data outlives the media it's on, and is more likely to do so based not on the durability of the media but on its convenience to copy.

Comment Re:Online storage?! (Score 2) 330

what? the grandparent has a point.. pressed cds theoretically could last centuries if reasonably cared for.

Anything on my hard drive is far more likely to outlive anything on pressed CD. It has nothing to do with the lifespan of the media, but the lifespan of the data. When a pressed CD dies, that's the end of its data. Some of the data on my hard drive, on the other hand, has been with me across half a dozen hard drives. It's more than convenience, it's the security that comes from a medium that is convenient to backup regularly. Anything not on my hard drive is far more likely to be lost to me, regardless of how durable the medium it's on. Nothing on my hard drive can be lost short of a fairly cataclysmic event that would simultaneous destroy all copies in existence, and frankly I'd probably be dead then too, so what would I care?

Keep your cds in a box somewhere as a catastrophic recovery, and have one duplicate of your ripped files offline somewhere.

No point keeping the CDs once the data is ripped. Even if the copies on my HD-stored music library are lost, pulling them from one of my backups is going to be far quicker than reripping the CDs. They're not even a good backup medium, really, despite the durability...

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