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Comment Re:Well (Score 2) 756

I think masternerdguy was getting more at the idea that humans have always endeavored to explore the unexplored. It is why people eventually left Africa, some type of instinct to go the distance, risking everything in pursuit of knowing what lie just a little further away. We've somehow lost that initiative, and have become a sedentary world, saturated with gadgets and meaningless news and gossip while just above our heads, an entire universe lay unexplored by us. How very sad it is to know that once upon a time, we were able and willing to fund an adventure dreamt for thousands of years, sending people on an over half million mile journey to the Moon and back, and yet in a more modern era, we can't even decide whether scientific research, which could and will benefit everyone around the world, is worth the public dollars. What a fucking shame.

Comment Re:Wait! I know this one (Score 1) 493

Just thought I would point out that solar isn't as green as you might consider it to be. First, a lot of heavy elements go into making the photovoltaic panels themselves, which last at best, 20 years before needing replacement and this is without any incidence of weather phenomena (hail, etc.). Second, they only work in the daytime so to store the energy through the night, batteries are the most viable option for most locations with the least annual cloudiness. Current battery tech also has a pretty short lifespan and also includes the use of many hazardous elements to produce. Solar really isn't viable at all in my opinion, when yyou have to replace elements at such a rapid pace. The cost balance tips too far into the red to maintain a grid on solar, and that is without even considering the land necessary to locate enough panels to power an area.

Comment Re:Geothermal issues (Score 1) 401

Well geologists theorize that the Earth maintains iits liquid interior due to fusion in it's core, which is roughly the size of Mercury. The chance that humans could impact such a large object in an way, is pretty slim. A lot of heat escapes naturally anyway in the form of volcanic eruptions. As for the heat being pumped into the atmosphere, it won't happen. Power stations have cooling towers where the waste steam condenses back to water form and is cleaned and reused.

Really geothermal plants operate just as any other heat driven plants do, by directing super heated water through turbines. The benefit is that you don't have to burn anything to get the steam so it's practically no pollution.

Comment It's entirely disheartening... (Score 2) 1797

to hear someone speak of taking away a chance to have a better educated population. While it is almost a certainty that student loans have lead to some inflation of institutional costs, he completely neglects to inform (if he even knows) that the largest cause is the consistently reduced state funding in more recent years. Most private universities are increasing tuition at a yearly rate of 4.5% while public facilities average closer to 7%. Public universities have to pick up the slack somewhere. Unfotunate for students these days, they're the ones who have to shoulder much of the burden upfront. These are the people who should be innovating, opening business partnerships, getting well paying jobs to buy consumer items so the economy can continue to operate and function.

Meanwhile, many of less-taxes-less-revenue-less-government bunch that are advocating reductions to financial aid and university funding, are the same ones who suggest businesses take their factories and offices overseas, leaving them much at the helm of the problem with the lack of jobs and absence of regulations for businesses to operate ethically in the US. No jobs in the US means less people to buy all the stuff being produced which in turn means less demand from a factory which can mean either lesser wages to factory workers or less positions in factories, which means even less people to buy items. Somewhere, someone has to be willing to inject money into the system by investing in the future, that means education.

Comment Re: (Score 1) 134

Often software releases for submission to SIGGRAPH, don't appear until the following year. The number of individuals working on the software is quite limited and it may be too buggy still for release. Another possibility, and very unfortunate if so, is if they intend to market this to an interested buyer, which would likely be MANY.

Submission + - Netflix Aborts Qwickster Quicker Than You Can Spel ( 1

phmadore writes: "So, for those of us who haven't given up on Netflix, we know that Netflix has in fact given up on its recently announced first-born, "Qwickster."

From the e-mail:

It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs.

This means no change: one website, one account, one password... in other words, no Qwikster."

Submission + - Brown vetos citizen rights (

kodiaktau writes: In probably the most important decision Gov. Brown of California will make this year he has vetoed the bill that would require officers to get a search warrant before searching cellular phones of arrested citizens. This is sweeping legislation that further enables the police to carryout warrantless searches of private property extending into contacts, email, photots, banking activity, GPS, and other functions that are controlled by modern phones.

Submission + - Illegal to take a photo in a shopping centre? ( 3

Kyrall writes: A man was questioned by security guards and then police after taking a photo of his own child in a shopping centre.

The centre apparently has a 'no photography' policy "to protect the privacy of staff and shoppers and to have a legitimate opportunity to challenge suspicious behaviour"

He was told by a security guard that taking a photo was illegal. He also said that a police officer claimed "he was within in his rights to confiscate the mobile phone on which the photos were taken".

Submission + - Buying a million dollar telescope

spot diagram writes: We've been graciously given $1.5 mil to assemble a large optical telescope. Primary usage will be education, public observing, and funded research. This telescope will be operated by knowledgeable engineers, so the configuration will likely change regularly. Our current likely candidate is a 1 meter diameter Ritchey-Chretien with field flattening optics. Estimates show roughly 2/3rds of the money will be spent on the scope and the mount and the other half million on instruments (dome is already provided). Current shopping list includes a spectrograph and an imaging camera with filter wheels. We've done our research, but maybe there's something we've missed. If you had the money, what (who) would you buy, and why?

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