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Comment Re:Given that the shuttle program... (Score 1) 236

Absolutely right. In Carter's position I would have made the same call, because I'm sure somebody at NASA would have convinced me that reusable must be inherently cheaper eventually, and that we need to go through these growing pains to debug the technology. But in hindsight it was the wrong call, and it set space exploration into a malaise from which is has not yet emerged.

Comment Verizon and international standards. Ha! (Score 1) 44

It seems that Verizon only talks about international standards when it's trying to impose its will on others. To actually follow global standards is another thing entirely. In the heady cash-by-forklift times of the early Iraq occupation, Verizon was almost given the contract to do Iraq's cellular network... in CDMA, of course. Nevermind that every other country in the region was GSM. I think this says a lot about how Verizon thinks about standards.

Comment 600 Americans emit 10,000 tons of CO2 per year (Score 2) 126

If the "upscaled" project sequesters 10,000 tons of CO2 every 2 years, that offsets the emissions of about 300 Americans. But there are lots more of us, and we're not even the biggest polluters. This will only start making a noticeable difference if it could be scaled up further, by a factor of one million.

Comment Every subject taught in school is too shallow (Score 4, Insightful) 369

Of course one computer science class is not sufficient to turn students into programmers. Their history class is also not going to make them into historians. After all, there is nobody forcing kids to search archives for original documents! By professional standards, everything taught in school is fluffy and watered down. Harel noticed that only now, and she's outraged?

Comment Re:Mobile Atom was a dead-end anyway (Score 1) 170

The big selling point for Atom is that it's almost as efficient as ARM but it runs REAL WINDOWS with all those x86 programs we love. What killed the market for Atom is that people aren't that eager to have Windows on portable devices. Intel went through contortions to implement all the x86 instructions on low-power chip, to support all the legacy software that's written for x86. But with iOS and Android, ARM seems to have all the apps that people want, and they just don't pine for the legacy stuff.

Comment Re:"Unlimited nights and weekends" (Score 1) 145

My usage is very similar (streaming, youtube, twitch), and in April I'm well past 600GB - actually, that's for two people in my apartment. To be fair, I do feel like I've been hogging bandwidth this month, and making it past 1TB seems unlikely with anything I do now, but if Twitch or Netflix started streaming in 4K, I'd be over that cap every month.

Comment I wonder if people got like this with 2D printers (Score 1) 27

Do you think that our parents were like: "Ooooh, what I just printed is sort of like a newspaper, but it's the only one like this in the whole world!" Now I wonder what is the average lifespan of a printed page, from printer to bin. My guess is that 3D printed crap will converge to that same average lifespan, and we will treat it with the same (lack of) reverence.

Comment Re:Fucking hell, people are dumb. (Score 1) 245

It's not like it's a secret who won the competition, and you know the winners are about to seriously upgrade their jobs. There's also prize money, but arguably, the fact that you can get a job pretty much anywhere with this on your resume is the bigger reward. There are lots of incredibly competent people in the world whose competence is underutilized by their employers. If contests like this bring out their A game, everybody comes away better off.

Comment Most life doesn't need an ozone layer (Score 4, Insightful) 86

Unless you're really close to a gamma ray burst, your planet will not be radiation-sterilized. And since most life is in the oceans and underground, it will not notice when the ozone layer is burned off. Anyway, the effect would be temporary. I have a feeling that this is a case of physicists who don't understand the difference between the resilience of familiar lifeforms and the resilience of life.

Comment Re:since most visitors will pay more for their tic (Score 1) 164

Now that I look back at the total pointlessness of elementary school, I'm surprised there aren't more parents who take their kids out for vacations during the school year. If I told my 4th grade classmates that my parents are taking me to Disney World in February, so that we could have the park to ourselves, they wouldn't look at me askance and suspect my parents of being irresponsible.

Comment TFA doesn't need the overstatement (Score 1) 144

Hey, dummies, this will most definitely not be "the longest, most hazardous voyage in history". Three years is a long time, but explorers have often set out on voyages that take longer. Have you maybe heard of Charles Darwin and The Beagle? That voyage took almost five years, and it still isn't a record. And it's straight up laughable to say that it's the most hazardous voyage in history. NASA will never run it if the chance of death is over 10%. By historical standards, I'd call that a voyage of moderate hazard.

And then there's this:

...[T]he first people to go to Mars will be isolated as no human beings have been before. For a long period, 20 minutes must pass for messages to go to and from Earth.

Let's grant that the crew will set the record for being really far from other people, but as the article observed, that's not sufficient for them to be "isolated". Can they then seriously suggest that a 20 minute video communication delay is some unprecedented record of human isolation? Do they not realize that humans didn't always have smartphones?

They don't need to add all this hyperbolic shit to their article. Then again, maybe they do, because it doesn't really say anything specific and non-obvious except that Johns Hopkins got money to study this, and that their test group will consist of surgeons.

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