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Comment Re:Explore the ocean depths (Score 1) 94

I mostly agree with you, but you're leaving out the critical factor, which is the motivation for the people who stay behind on earth to develop and fund this project. The US got a return on the investment of going to the moon: USA #1 FUCK COMMIES. If we could establish a moon or mars base without breaking the bank it would be similarly useful. Commercialization of anything beyond satellites seems a long way off, but there are at least ideas in development about asteroid mining although the engineering challenges are still daunting. Everybody loves to talk about the trillions of tons of platinum in them thar asteroids, but they don't mention that minerals on earth have been concentrated by eons of geological, hydrological, and biological processes that didn't take place on a dead asteroid. There's tons of platinum! There's an atom over there and an atom over there and an atom over there...

But as far as launching an interstellar colony mission that will take 10k years (earth frame of reference), those people will have (figuratively) fallen out of the light cone of human civilization. Might as well have been swallowed by a black hole. No one will hear back from them for 20k years. No resources will ever be traded between the homeworld and the colony. There is no good PR, there is no ROI, just vast resources shot into space to be forgotten about after the next celebrity scandal knocks the launch out of the news cycle.

I imagine launching such a mission would be one of the most expensive endeavors in human history. And there is absolutely nothing in it for anyone who stays behind on earth, not even the satisfaction of "well at least somewhere else humans have survived if we all die" because everyone on earth who had any part in making the mission happen will have been dead for 10k years before the colonists arrive and 20k years before their descendents (twice as far removed from us as we are from the cavemen) could hear back.

Any attempt to fund such a mission will be met with very obvious responses: "that sounds neat, but what's in it for us? And don't we have plenty of other problems to which we could direct these resources?"

You would have to make it cheap enough that nobody cares that some nutjobs are taking off to the far corners of the galaxy on their own dime. And that ain't happening without new physics.

Comment And it will never happen (Score 1) 160

Win10 was designed *from the ground up* with telemetry and spayware/malware/whathaveyou in mind.

You will never get them to "turn it off", at best you'll get "minimal" and it will require 3rd parties to fix (if they can, closed source and all that)

Why use it to begin with, if you have the option, use anything else, but not Win10.

Submission + - Law for Autonomous Vehicles: Supporting an Aftermarket for Driving Computers (

Bruce Perens writes: How will we buy self-driving cars, and how will we keep them running as self-driving software and hardware becomes obsolete much more rapidly than the vehicle itself? Boalt Hall legal professor Lothar Determann and Open Source Evangelist Bruce Perens are publishing an article in the prestigious Berkeley Technology Law Journal on how the law and markets might support an aftermarket for self-driving computers, rather than having the manufacturer lock them down or sell driving as a service rather than selling cars. The preprint is available to read now, and discusses how an Open Car, based on Open Standards and an Open Market, but not necessarily Open Source, can drive prices down and quality up over non-competitive manufacturer lock-in.

Comment Re: He cheated OTHER players (Score 1) 393

If the house were doing it knowingly and willingly to cheat the player they would lose their gambling license and be subject to all kinds of criminal laws and civil lawsuits. Any casino doing that would be mind-numblingly stupid because they don't need to cheat...the games are already in their favor so they'll win in the long run and over a large customer base. Cheating an individual player would be stupid, because one of those minimum wage casino employees would rat them out and there goes the gravy train.

The difference here is intent. The house didn't intentionally choose marked cards and use them to cheat the players. They didn't know the cards had an asymmetric pattern and didn't use that fact to cheat.

Comment Re:wake me up when elon musk announces this (Score 1) 136

He's also a target of the Republican party... which I have NO idea why. I mean, aren't we supposed to celebrate entrepreneurs?

Is he? I can't recall ever hearing a Republican say anything cross about Musk. I will occasionally see libertarians roll their eyes at Musk fanboys because Musk relied so heavily on government subsidies, but that's about it. What are you talking about?

Comment Re: He cheated OTHER players (Score 1) 393

The Casino played with marked cards. He just noticed and used that to his advantage. If the house marks the cards, is it illegal to read the marks?

I think it's that gaming regulations do not allow games with marked cards to be played, regardless of who marks and who reads. So once it was determined the cards were "marked," the games themselves were void.

Comment Re:Germany is getting smarter (Score 1) 432

Here is VW building a new plant
Here is Daimler's second factory
Here is Seimans

For the regular car maker, the battery is about 1/3-1/2 of the price because they have not gotten their costs down low. OTOH, Tesla has batteries that costs a fraction of what the big players do. As it is, Tesla now sells more batteries than all the rest combined. With the Model 3, it alone will sell more batteries, than the entire rest of the industry, which includes the Model S and X.

The major car makers will be bankrupt again, unless they learn to start making their own cars and parts.

Comment Re:It's a good idea (Score 1) 84

The only issue is, can Apple produce anything anyone wants to watch? That's the real trick.

It was telling he mentioned South Park. South Park was edgy counter culture 20 years ago. "Oh my God I can't believe they said that it's so irreverent lolololol!" But today they're doing the exact same "lol Trump is orange and doesn't really want to be president and is stupid ha ha ha" joke you find on every single late night comedy show. They were a counter culture and they became the culture.

The new counter culture is right wing, not lefty/libertarian. If they wanted something edgy and new that would get people talking it needs to be something the cultural establishment (college professors, the Daily Show, etc) would find outrageous and irresponsible, and that would be right wingers skewering the places where the cultural left has gone too far, and Apple is not going to air that kind of shit and weather the backlash from their hipster fan base.

Comment Re:Explore the ocean depths (Score 1) 94

But for a colony - why not ? You are taking people with you, you're taking your family, you aren't planning to ever come back. Who cares if ten-thousand years pass on earth during your 20 year journey ?

Economically, what's in it for the people left behind on Earth? Are the colonists themselves going to fully fund the expedition? Setting up a colony would be massively expensive. In the past empires created colonies to exploit them for resources and for strategic purposes in competition with other empires.

But for a colony that takes 10k years of travel time (from the Earth's frame of reference) they might as well cease to exist. 10k years is the about the entire age of civilization itself. Whoever contributed to their colonization mission will never trade with them, will never communicate with them. So for capitalists they will get no return on investment, and for governments they will get no PR boost. Besides some appeal to emotion about "the future of humanity" or wanting to LARP as Buck Rogers, what's the appeal of shipping people off 10k years into the future, never to be heard from again?

Comment Re:We leave as we came (Score 1) 94

To achieve that, we'll have to give up tribalism in all its forms (ex. nationalism, religion), work together and pool resources.

So we have to stop being human.

You can't change human nature. We will always be tribal, because those who didn't care more about their in-group than the out-group got killed by the out-group and their genes were not passed along.

Instead of trying to change human nature and try to force everyone to pretend there are no more tribes, or that all tribes are the same, we acknowledge our differences and cooperate out of mutual self-interest?

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