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Comment Re:ought to change the kernel version number to 4 (Score 4, Informative) 464

Two major things: the WP bit doesn't work in supervisor mode on 386, which makes copy on write *very* painful to implement, and the CMPXCHG and XADD instructions which are extremely important to SMP primitives are missing. That has meant needing separate code that only works on 386, and it has not been well maintained and always gets in the way.

Comment Launching a reactor is safer than launching an RTG (Score 0) 122

One thing that is not really covered is that launching a reactor (unlike *operating* a reactor in *low-earth orbit* like the Soviets did) is that it is substantially safer than launching an RTG. An RTG is at its maximum activity at the point of launch, and in the case of a low altitude launch failure could spread measurable radiation over an area. In contrast, the reactor isn't (shouldn't be) activated until already on an earth escape trajectory. "Virgin" (never irradiated) U-235 is not very radioactive: the specific activity is some 8,000,000 times less than Pu-238. If the reactor ends up having a failure and a meltdown it is already on its way away from Earth never to return, and there really is no better dump for nuclear waste than deep space.

Comment Re:This is exactly what was predicted (Score 2) 163

Indeed, and the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization can be amazon.int (which is what the .int domain is for, although for some bizarre reason the biggest treaty organization of them all, the United Nations, is at un.org rather than un.int. Not to mention that having its own ISO 3166-1 code and a number of suborganizations a .un top-level domain would actually make sense.)

Comment Re:Back to the Future (Score 1) 658

Actually, in the most likely form of a universe permitting reverse time travel, specifically an Everett multiverse, next week's lottery numbers would be completely useless. Simply put, you'd go back in time with the numbers, and then the drawing would come up and it wouldn't be the same numbers... because you'd be in another branch of probability (Hilbert) space.

Comment Re:2.4GHz (Score 1) 141

Well, part of the reason it is all there (and other ISM bands like 915 MHz and 5.8 GHz) is because the stuff *can* work with interference. This property is useful both when dealing with other "intentional radiators" and with industrial emissions, so it makes sense to put them in the same area. Pretty much the FCC and other regulatory agencies put an (almost) free-for-all sign up and said "if you can make it work, go for it, just don't complain if it doesn't work at all." However, you wouldn't be able to use the ISM bands -- or, quite frankly, any frequency close to them -- for weak-signal work like satellite. It would be like trying to whisper at Woodstock.

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