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Comment Re:Go figure. (Score 1) 250

The sum chance, not the per-time chance, yes. The same is true of all stochastic processes.

It's like saying "the sum of flipping a coin every second and having at least 100 total tails results increases over time."

It's because more trials are constantly being held.

There's also a chance that life will emerge on Earth a second time.

Comment Enough. This is a peer reviewed paper. (Score 1) 299

I can only add to this back-and-forth that the paper in question has been peer reviewed. You all are not dealing with Shawyer's self-published non-reviewed paper here. This is physics, an actual hypothesis. Those of you who disagree have to consider that your comprehension of photon-photon "annihilation" and momentum conservation might be flawed. In any case, we have a way forward; all the previous negative responses had in common (endlessly) was the fact that physics had to be completely wrong for a resonant cavity drive to provide propellantless propulsion. Now we have a way in which EM drives do not violate physics. And - it's emminently testable. Even if Shawyer is completely valueless here, he might have triggered a new way of thinking about momentum transfer, a hack in the universe we can use for propulsion. We need one badly.

Comment Long length and haystack. Weird chars not needed. (Score 1) 637

Length, not weirdness, is the key to uncrackablity. For easy remembering, embed a simple password in a hell of a long string of repeating characters broken up by odd interruptions of non-repeaters. For instance:

=-4=-=-(repeat lots)=-=-yourpassphraseorword=-(repeat lots)=-88=- (repeat lots) -=-
is bloody impossible to crack with any tables.

Most people think password breaking is like the way people crack safes. One spin, crack, another spin, crack, until the code is broken. Password crackers have *no way of knowing* if they are hot or cold. They must guess the entire string at one go. That means length, not oddness, is the primary defense. You can have a simple one word password.... if you embed it in a string of simple and easy to remember character repetitions (broken at random intervals by a deal breaker to foil crackers trying for character padding repetition guesses). Steve Gibson came up with it, and it works, if the site allows for long passwords.

If someone bugged your keyboard, all bets are off, of course.

Note: Slashdot's filter error won't let me type repeating characters.

Japan

Design, Hardware, Software Errors Doomed Japanese Hitomi Spacecraft (scientificamerican.com) 101

Reader Required Snark writes: The Japanese space agency JAXA said its recently launched X-Ray observation satellite Hitomi has been destroyed. After a successful launch on February 17, contact with the satellite was lost on March 28. Off the 10-year expected life span, only three days of observations were collected. Preliminary inquiry points to multiple failures in design, hardware and software. After the launch it was discovered that the star tracker stabilization didn't work in a low magnetic flux area over the South Atlantic. When the backup gyroscopic spin stabilization took control, the spin increased instead of stopping. An internal magnetic limit feature in the gyroscope failed, causing the spin get worse. Finally, a thruster based control started, but because of a software failure the spin increased further. The solar panels broke off, leaving the satellite without a long-term power supply. It seems that untested software had been uploaded for thrust control just before the breakup. This is a major loss for astronomical research. Two previous attempts by Japan to launch a high-resolution X-ray calorimeter had also failed, and the next planned sensor of this type is not scheduled until 2028 by the ESA. Just building a replacement unit would take 3 to 5 years and cost $50 million, without the cost of a satellite or launch.

Comment This isn't a victory for Behring-Breivik. (Score 3, Insightful) 491

Someone once pointed out that hoping a rapist gets raped in prison isn't a victory for his victim(s), because it somehow gives him what he had coming to him, but it's actually a victory for rape and violence. I wish I could remember who said that, because they are right. The score doesn't go Rapist: 1 World: 1. It goes Rape: 2.

What this man did is unspeakable, and he absolutely deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. If he needs to be kept away from other prisoners as a safety issue, there are ways to do that without keeping him in solitary confinement, which has been shown conclusively to be profoundly cruel and harmful.

Putting him in solitary confinement, as a punitive measure, is not a victory for the good people in the world. It's a victory for inhumane treatment of human beings. This ruling is, in my opinion, very good and very strong for human rights, *precisely* because it was brought by such a despicable and horrible person. It affirms that all of us have basic human rights, even the absolute worst of us on this planet.

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