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Comment Physics explanation (Score 2) 867

The article doesn't explain what the warp drive actually does. As far as I can tell the idea can be roughly phrased as "rather than making a long journey, cause the road in front of you to become short, then make a short journey". The drive would contract spacetime between the object and its destination to make it really small. Apparently to do this, one has to also affect spacetime behind the object, expanding a region of it. Once spacetime is distorted appropriately, the long journey becomes short. Seems vaguely plausible - as much as physics ever does.

On the other hand, the process of distorting space time should propagate at the speed of light at best. So the ship would spend a standard amount of time bending space-time and not moving, then move a short distance and arrive at the destination. And then after the trip, we'd still have all this distorted space-time to either fix or leave stretched.

Comment What actually happened: (Score 1) 574

Overwhelming feedback: 187 comments.
Google revealed their view on the community: One developer said, specifically: 'Commenting on this bug has absolutely no effect at all on the likelihood that we are going to reconsider. So that people don't get their hopes up falsely, I'm locking this bug to additional comments.'

The issue was set to WontFix in September 2010, but people are still complaining about the design decision.

Comment Customs Authority (Score 0) 390

Customs officials need the right to inspect everything that goes through the border - if we are going to have a customs system at all. If a customs official finds a locked box you refuse to open, they should have the right to ship it off to the box-opening facility for further inspection. The case with the laptop is no different.

This, of course, comes in conflict with the desire for privacy. But if you're planning to argue that laptop searches are unconstitutional, you must conclude the same about customs searches in general. Most likely, customs searches are constitutional, or at least there is plenty of judicial precedent claiming so.

Disclaimer: I'm not saying I like the searches, just that they are an inevitable part of the current setup.


Submission + - 11,000 year old carved stone building (smithsonianmag.com)

OakWind writes: "This site predates stone henge by 5000 years, Sumeria by 6000 years. As far as I know this is the earliest example of humans getting together to plan out and build a stone structure. One interesting thing to note is that at the time, the most advanced technology was stone tools.
There are opinions as to why it was built, but the truth is, no one really knows. It is certainly an interesting puzzle."


Submission + - Tolkien Estate Censors the Word "Tolkien" (boingboing.net)

An anonymous reader writes: Following their recent attempt to censor a work of historical fiction containing Tolkien as a character, the estate have now issued a takedown notice to someone making buttons with the words "While you were reading Tolkien, I was watching Evangelion" on them, claiming "intellectual property right infringement". Predictably, this has led to widespread blog coverage, a new store has appeared offering a range of 'censored' Tolkien items, and the 'offending' product has had vastly increased exposure as a direct result of the removal.

Woman's Voice Restored After Larynx Transplant 246

mvar writes "A woman in the US is able to speak for the first time in 11 years after a pioneering voicebox transplant. Brenda Jensen said the operation, which took place in California, was a miracle which had restored her life. Thirteen days after the surgery she said her first words: 'Good morning, I want to go home.' It is the first time a larynx and windpipe have been transplanted at the same time (image) and only the second time a larynx has ever been transplanted. In October, surgeons at the University of California Davis Medical Center removed the larynx, thyroid gland and 6cm of the trachea from a donor body. In an 18-hour operation, this was transplanted into Ms. Jensen's throat and the team connected it to her blood supply and nerves. Thirteen days later, she was able to speak her first croaky words and is now able to talk easily for long periods of time."

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