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Comment Cheaper than starting over (Score 1) 117

Mind if I dream for a minute?

1. Build a set of solar powered soil processors that can pull the toxins out of Martial soil, including H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide), break down the H2O2 into hydrogen and oxygen and compress the H and O for storage in tanks.
2. Build a set of relay tugs capable of using H and O to launch into orbit from Mars' surface and return in one piece several thousand times without significant repairs.
3. Build a set of zero-gee drones that can handle the H and O tanks.
4. Build a set of Martial surface drones that can handle the H and O tanks.
5. Break the ISS in half. Break one half down and brace it as needed Take one half, attach boosters and a payload containing the soil processors, the tugs, and the drones, and take off for Mars. Unmanned.

[ 2 years later ]

6. Arrive at Mars.
7. Soil processors, tugs, and surface drones drop off, land on Mars near a water deposits + cliff face / lava tube / cave
8. Orbital drones start reassembling the newly relocated MSS (Mars Space Station).
9. Soil processors begin churning out non-toxic soil and shipping rocket fuel up to the MSS.

[ some time later ]

10. Humans arrive.
11. The supply part of their ship detaches, lands on Mars not far from soil processors.
12. The human transport portion of the ship docks with the MSS.
13. The finish reassembling the MSS, including attaching the human transport as a new module.
14. They hop on the tug and head down to Mars.
15. They begin using the detoxified soil to grow crops and start building an underground facility

[ some time later ]

16. Subsequent ships arrive
17. dock with MSS, drop off new modules, and
a. refuel, pick up supplies, continue outward
b. head to Mars' surface.

Comment Re:Rotten Tomatoes is getting self-important (Score 1) 394

I do the same when looking for a restaurant - find a negative review and they'll tell you everything good about the place that they don't understand.

This. I use this same strategy when evaluating any product. Read a few good reviews, sure, but I need to read a few of the top negative reviews to figure out if the product actually has weaknesses that matter to me, or if it's just been purchased by a few users with unrealistic expectations.

The good thing about negative reviews is they usually aren't placed there by the business or by a sock puppet/SEO, so the dishonest reviews are at least more transparent. If some jerk with a grudge posts a 1 star review, they'll often include a whole sob story about how this company was unfair to them because they didn't immediately replace the broken thing the user dropped on a concrete floor.

Comment Unsurprising (Score 1) 38

Patents have become another "must-have" item in a scientists resume. It presumably shows you're able to create practical applications from otherwise abstract research results.

In practice, of course, you can patent pretty much anything you want if you put your mind to it, and the vast majority of granted patents are never implemented in an actual product and never make any money at all. So researchers just jump through another set of hoops to pad their CV with, usually, a completely worthless patent or two.

The researcher is happy since they got another item on their career-critical CV. The university is happy since granted patents counts toward university rankings. The granting agencies are happy since it shows their research grants are producing tangible results. Too bad the actual end result - the patent - is utterly worthless.

Comment Re:But which kind of stroke? Too thin or too thick (Score 1) 41

To throw another wrench into the decision matrix, an ischemic stroke is caused by a clot that has been jammed into a narrow blood vessel. If the patient is not particularly healthy he may have fragile arterial walls, in which case the clot can damage the artery. Ironically, this may lead to the clot doing its intended task, becoming the thing preventing the damaged artery from hemorrhaging. In these rare and undiagnosable cases, responsibly using tPA (or spider venom) to dissolve the clot can actually lead to a hemorrhagic stroke.

Comment Re:What do you expect? (Score 3, Insightful) 151

Just think about how many movies have come out in the last 20 years, and even RECENT TV shows/Movies whose plots break down immediately if a true Panopticon/Big Brother society exists.

CallerID would have wrecked 25% of Columbo episodes if it had existed back then. "Won't somebody please think of the screenwriters" is an unusual take on technology changes!

I recently rewatched the original Day of the Jackal from 1973. The entire movie was the suspense of the police chasing him via a paper trail of hotel registrations and phone calls, and I couldn't help but think that the whole movie would have been over in about three minutes if SQL existed.

Comment Big companies still get it wrong. (Score 1) 124

Just a couple of weeks ago I asked my colleague if he got an Email I knew he was CC-ed on. "Nope didn't see it".

On inspection we found that the sending company had installed DKIM and SPF and set them to "don't warn, simply refuse the mail".

This was something like paypal or ebay where this came from. Sure, they have big infrastructure which is difficult to get right, but also they should have a big team capable of getting things right.....

it is difficult to get things right. Lots of stuff is being sent automatically from "unattended mailboxes". Any bounces or warnings during the testing phase are going nowhere....

Comment Re:False assumption (Score 3, Insightful) 202

The point is, getting around encryption is too costly to do it on a mass scale, so they can only really do it for the small portion of targets judged worth it.

It's like with door locks. Your door lock is good at stopping casual probing, but pretty much useless against a determined attacker. If a government agency (any government) decides that they really need to enter your home then they will enter. It may be with a warrant, with an armoured bulldozer or with a covert penetration team. But it's much too costly and much too risky to do so unless you have really good reason. They can't do it for every house in the city, on the off chance somebody might have something interesting stashed away somewhere.

Same thing with crypto: it may not stop them if they decide you are a high-value target. But it stops mass surveillance dragnets in their tracks.

Comment Re:Vault 7 (Score 1) 82

Imagine you have a sixyearold who doesn't want to go to school, so he hides the car keys. This morning he hid the keys in the honey pops box. So you decide to put an alarm on the honey pops. Not the fruitloops next to them, not the sugar bowl, not the fridge! Thousands of other places to hide the item, but you put an alarm on the ONE spot he used this time (And you tell him about the alarm!).

This is very similar to how this "FIX" affects the CIA from "hiding the keys" again.

It is wrong to publish about this issue calling this a "FIX".

A "fix" would pose a significant barrier to entry, or at least close this one issue that would allow entry.

Comment Data transfer cost (Score 1) 74

One limitation of "the cloud" (also called "other peoples' servers") for many HPC applications is the data transfer costs. Transfering data in is cheap or free, but getting your data out again is anything but. Even if the cpu-hours would be cheap enough, it's usually cost-prohibitive to transfer a few tens of gigabytes of results out of the server and back home for each job.

Comment Re:Reasonable (Score 1) 180

It specifically says SatNav is allowed. But just like speed limits you still have a responsibility of your own. You can drive the speed limit and still be prosecuted if your speed is excessive for the current conditions. And if you use the navigation in a way or at a time when it is dangerous you're still responsible for that.

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