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Comment They should go through some ship's journals (Score 2) 173

... Or perhaps even better: sailors' personal diaries. Mankind has been exploring this planet for millennia. Every sea-faring nation sent out explorer ships at one time or another. Groups of men packed onto a boat with little privacy, not knowing whether they'd ever reach a destination or what they'd find. With the constant danger of disease, water / food / vitamin shortages, going overboard in a storm, fights with fellow sailors, etc etc. And no communication with the outside world for months.

Plenty of historic reports to pick from, plenty examples of how sailors would (or wouldn't?) cope on such journeys. Never mind that in comparison to an ocean-going vessel, a 'habitat' on some remote island is a pretty controlled environment.

Comment Re:Travelling at 20% of the speed of light (Score 1) 218

I love the whole "it's only 20 years if you travel at 20% of the speed of light!" part. It makes it sound so close.

What's a human lifetime, anyway? Insignificant.

Let's say we set the bar a few orders of magnitude lower. Say, 0.15% the speed of light. Leave around the time the ancient pyramids of Egypt were built, arrive today.

Now pick something in between. Say, 1% the speed of light. One-way trip ~425 years. Is it so hard to imagine that in a # of decades, we might have probes able to accelerate to that speed? Now replace 'probe' with 'city-sized starship'. Something big enough to allow generations of people to grow up & have offspring. Decades of technological progress not enough? How about a century from now? Or 2 centuries?

In other words: all we need is patience, and imagination. And (as mankind) not be stupid enough to blow ourselves up before those spaceships are on their way. As long as travel group can sit out the ride, who cares if the actual trip time is 20, 200 or 2000 years.

Comment Re:TTL (Score 1) 179

I'm guessing that time to live is more important than having everything looking pretty with your i's dotted and t's crossed.

Absolutely. If TTL is set too low, data packets won't make it back to NSA's servers. But for NSA peeps reading this: do make sure to avoid TTL in the electronics! It's lethal for your spying device battery life.

Comment Run your own cell? (Score 2) 90

If 5G is all about short distances, why wouldn't people run their own cells? Kind of like running an open Wi-Fi spot.

For technologies that work over long(er) distances, it's -somewhat- logical that you can't put up your own cell tower. If everybody did that, some would stick to standards and some would not. And soon enough you'd have a free-for-all making the spectrum band(s) useless.

And thus we have (some) government regulation on who gets to use the spectrum & how. Auctioning it off to providers who rig up city- or nationwide networks. But what do you pay a provider for:

a) For maintaining the infrastructure. When everybody puts up their own 'micro-cell tower', no need to pay a 3rd party for maintaining it.

b) For connecting it to upstream (wired) infrastructure. But when those upstream connections have to run all the way to your front door anyway, you can do that yourself right? Again, same as in-home Wi-Fi routing to your internet connection.

c) For user-sharing on those networks, billing, network performance monitoring, etc. Again: when it's all short-distance anyway, no need for that, can be done decentralized by end users. Users that don't play by the rules, can only mess with the spectrum in their immediate area.

Yes you'd still need some standards to enable users to move from micro-cell to micro-cell seamlessly. And use the spectrum in a way that minimizes interference for users that are close to each other. But this is mostly a matter of putting some puzzle-pieces together & declare some de facto standards that every user can follow, right? (in the usual case, baked into consumer devices & their firmware).

'5G' coverage would then simply depend on how interested people in an area are in putting up their routers / antenna's etc. Or am I missing something here?

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 140

Following the general consensus, I'm sure the US Department of Defense has come to the same conclusion, and is re-directing their resources as we speak.

To anyone who lives / works near there: can you please look out the window & check if Twitter HQ is being bombed already? Thx for keeping us up to date!

Comment Let's hope this won't be default behaviour (Score 1) 119

For several reasons:

a) Any attempt to access a non-existing page that results in showing a page anyway, is basically fooling the user. Some (ehm.. read: many) users may even think that page still exists even though the original is gone. From a UI perspective that's just wrong even if convenient in many cases.

b) Access to old / archived versions of pages often comes in handy. And that is what the Internet Archive is for. But sometimes pages (or sites) are pulled for a reason. Sometimes good reason(s). Not all information ever placed on the internet needs to be preserved forever, imho.

c) If every 404 leads to a request to the Internet Archive, can they handle the extra load? Even if so, would the extra bandwidth / CPU / disk IO etc be a good use of the IA's limited resources? I very much doubt that, and perhaps Firefox maintainers should answer that question first before activating such a feature by default.

As one of many add-ons: sure why not. As a default feature: bad idea imho.

Comment Dear Slashdot... (Score 1, Funny) 118

(..) the DNC is one big corporate bride.

Okay, we already knew that correct spelling isn't a job requirement for /. editors.
But FAILing to do a simple copy & paste of an article's title? Hell, even some 6y olds can handle that...

Can't /. editors take themselves out of the process, or something? Just write up a couple of scripts to automate the 'editing' and be done with it?

Comment Re:does he even know anything about DNA ? (Score 1) 203

A 100000 year-old piece of code is not "outdated" if the original software is 4 billion years old. In fact, it is actually brand new.

Yeah... Debian experimental-style new. But a lot depends on your definition of "original"; quite a few patches have been made over time so perhaps little (if any) of the original code is left.

As for 100,000 year-old code: pfff... I keep a some local repositories around that see regular updates. Daily *and* nightly builds, a full suite of regression tests on real hardware, automated backups... the works.

On a side note: the hell with versioning or changelogs. Just kick out a stable release every couple of years, stick a funny name on it, and call it a day.

Comment Jobs vs. purchasing power (Score 3, Insightful) 141

Who is going to buy all this stuff if they don't have jobs?

And there lies the heart of the problem: purchasing power is coupled to having a job.

As technology marches forward, that coupling has to be let go. Or at least loosened. The majority of the population needs to have some purchasing power even if there's no job for them. Think basic income.

The alternative: (almost) everything automated, production equipment (including robots) in the hands of a few corporations & the billionaires at their top, with the rest of the population jobless / out of money (and in the extreme case: out of housing or food). Great recipe for say, a nice little civil war. As it has been several times in history.

The automation itself isn't a bad thing, it increases productivity so we can have more nice things or do fun stuff more of the time. But the fruits of that increased productivity should be divided somewhat evenly over people. If it ends up in the hands of a few you have a recipe for disaster.

Comment Re: unpasteurised milk is way better (Score 3, Insightful) 258

It is even illegal to sell unpasteurized milk in most of EU.

Depends on how & where. For example: I'm pretty sure most dairy farmers in my area will be happy to have a meet & greet with one of their end users, tap a few litres into a bottle, and take ~3x the wholesale price they are getting from factory.

That's unpasteurized milk, full fat, straight from cow -> cooling tank -> end user's fridge (leave it there overnight to skim off the fat). As has been done for ages regardless what EU rules say about it. Thankfully EU bureaucrats haven't rotted everyone's brain.. yet...

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