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Submission + - Trump may pick David Gelernter as science advisor (washingtonpost.com)

Applehu Akbar writes: After a weekend of pomp and politics, at last there is major news for nerds. The new administration has met with computer scientist David Gelernter as a possible pick for science advisor. This Yale University professor, who pioneered the field of parallel computation, is known for his controversial vies and in 1993 was targeted for assassination by the Unabomber.

Comment Re:What complete nonsense (Score 1) 290

The cost of terrestrial mining is going up fast as near-surface materials are exhausted, requiring us to dig deeper, and because of steadily more restrictive environmental policies. Here in Arizona, a new multibillion dollar copper deposit is about to go unexploited because it's in the territory of one endangered species.

Robots are getting better, access to space is getting cheaper, while terrestrial mining is getting more expensive. It is inevitable that at some point the lines on the graph will cross.

Comment Re:Same here. (Score 2) 114

Robocallers know that many people block all no-ID numbers, so they now fake a local number to get through. I would like to see the Caller ID information for each phone frozen at the time of provisioning. The only reason it isn't is pressure from large companies that want to be able to assign their own Caller IDs to in-house phones. Is the current populist wave strong enough to overcome this lobby?

Comment Re:What complete nonsense (Score 1) 290

If we assume that Psyche itself is a purely metallic 'cannonball', we will go to chondrite and carbonaceous chondrite asteroids for the other material we would need to grow your trees and build your iPhone. Since chondrites are 75% of all asteroids, Psyche was highlighted as being a particularly good place for metals mining.

Comment Re:What complete nonsense (Score 1) 290

"Now if I had an asteroid in my back yard worth $10 quadrillion, do you think I'll just sell it on the open market at once?"

Yes you would, because as soon as the technology exists to exploit asteroidal materials, any rise in market price of your product will cause other asteroids to be mined. Even if Phyche is the exact best place to mine because of its status as a planetary core, there are plenty of other bodies in the same region of space that are almost as good.

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