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Comment You can stop funding the people that harm you. (Score 1) 142

A perfect example of the point I made earlier and previously when talking about Star Wars under Disney versus under Lucas. Not funding your own oppression is hardly radical, it's quite sensible to recognize that politics are very much a part of the matter involved in dealing with corporate media (such as Hollywood movies and TV shows). This also isn't a matter of seeking perfection -- if /.ers stop paying to see Star Trek we don't take down Paramount -- that argument puts more power in your hands than you have (flattery) and then tries to argue how you shouldn't use that power to get what you (presumably) want: more Star Trek-related works and the option of being a participant in that, not just a consumer. It's a matter of recognizing whether you want your money to go toward organizations that needlessly restrict their biggest fans from celebrating the work or organizations that show they're not jerks by letting the derivative works coexist and even considering them a challenge to come up with better plots, interesting characters, and another innovative series.

Comment Re:Catastrophic man-made global warming (Score 2) 278

Perhaps, perhaps not. Venus is still very poorly understood. In its high temperature environment its conditions are largely self-sustaining (preventing the sequestration of CO2 in rock), although it's also unstable, prone to broad temperature and pressure swings. It also appears to have undergone a global resurfacing event about 300-500mya, if that gives a clue as to how unstable the planet as a whole is. ;) We don't know what caused it, or really anything about it. Part of the planet's properties are now a result of it having lost its water rather than being a cause, such as its hard crust. Obviously its lack of a magnetic field is responsible for its loss of water, but we don't know exactly when or why it disappeared (there are of course theories... I had always just assumed it was the slow rotation rate, but the last research I read suggested that not enough to account for it). Other issues as to how Venus ended up as it did may be related to size - although it's only a bit smaller than Earth, that may be the initial factor that set its fate in motion - for example, its lithosphere in general appears to be thicker and higher viscosity on Earth, which could have hindered or prevented plate tectonics, and thus subduction of carbonates.

Either way, it's a mess now at the surface (though rather comfy ~55km up ;) ). And I'm not so sure I buy into some of the proposed ways to fix it (terraforming). For example, some have suggest mass drivers ejecting the atmosphere. Let's just say you can pull it off, and then you start building oxygen in the atmosphere - what happens next? The crust is something like 7-9% FEO; it's going to rust away whatever oxygen you make in short order.

Interestingly, I'd argue that this is possibly the salvation to Sagan's airborne-microbe concept for terraforming Venus. The main criticism is that if you engineered some sort of carbon-sequestering microbe on Venus (or artificial equivalent), you'd end up with a deep surface layer of graphite surrounded by some hugely hot, dense oxygen layer, and the atmosphere would explode. But that would never happen; at Venus surface temperatures and pressures, the surface rocks would rust away the oxygen as fast as it was created, even in tiny quantities, with the wind blowing the dust around to collect at low/eddy areas. So you're laying down bands of carbon and iron oxide as you burn through the planet's iron buffer. Where have we seen this before? Right, Earth, ~2,3 billion years ago, banded iron formations. Just like on Earth, you'd eventually burn through the iron and start to accumulate oxygen. But by then the graphite is already underground, buried in iron dust.

It's not a fast process. But it has precedent. Microbes already rusted at least one planet, and that planet's surface conditions weren't nearly as favorable for rusting as Venus's.

Comment Re:Catastrophic man-made global warming (Score 1, Troll) 278

I don't know how China managed to melt so much arctic ice, leading to the absurd situation that just a couple days before the winter solstice this year I went on a hike through the snowless mountains in Iceland among chirping songbirds digging for worms. All I have to say to China about this is: Best. Conspiracy. Ever. Well played, China. Well played.

Comment RT blew a chance to get an answer on this (Score 1) 558

Earlier today, Melinda Taylor (one of Julian Assange's lawyers) spoke to RT from The Hague. But unfortunately the interviewer stacked so many different questions on top of each other in his interview with Taylor, she could easily escape having to plainly answer whether Assange will turn himself in to the US sometime in May after Manning walks free. At one point (2m06s) the interviewer asked:

Right, so what is the likely outcome of that going to be? What's your best guess at the moment, you are one of his lawyers, what do you think is gonna happen next? Are we gonna see him going off to America? Is there some sort of deal behind the scenes as well, you think? There has been some surmising that there may be some kind of behind-the-scenes deal in Obama's last few days to finally try to get him to go over to America. Is that—any mileage in that or not?

RT's article about this (https://www.rt.com/on-air/374100-assanges-lawyer-melinda-taylor/) currently redirects to their news page instead of showing the article "Assange's lawyer Melinda Taylor talks to RT".

Comment Re:News from other countries... (Score 2) 45

Well, when it comes to space budgets....

NASA: $19,3B
ESA: $5,8B
Roscosmos: ~$2B/yr
JAXA: $2,0B
CNSA: $0,5B official / $1,3B est.
ISRO: $1,2B

It's not just US bias that leads to most stories coming from NASA. NASA really does spend the most on space research and exploration, by large margins.

Still, the public perception is that NASA's budget is far more than it actually is.

Comment Freedom is cheaper and safer in the long run. (Score 1) 124

So many /. posters won't do this eminently sensible thing. A story comes out about how copyright term extension hurts Americans and lots of people who read /. know that Disney was a big push behind the Sonny Bono Act, but /. won't stop giving Disney their money anytime a Star Wars movie comes out. Paramount alienates their core audience by not only not making more Star Trek TV show episodes but working to restrict or shut down fan-made shows. /. readers won't stop seeing Star Trek movies in the theaters (and probably already paid CBS in anticipation of the next Star Trek TV show). They also won't run free software because it might get in the way of their gaming. And I'd bet most of them own trackers (cell phones, mobile phones) despite the non-freedom and constant tracking. Privacy, security, and not handing over sovereignty to corporations are all things to be given lip service to here but not actually acted on by making wise choices and having the spine to say "no" on principled grounds.

Submission + - Law for Autonomous Vehicles: Supporting an Aftermarket for Driving Computers (perens.com)

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:IT is amazing (Score 5, Insightful) 99

Most folks drink stale coffee. Try roasting your own (I use Sweet Maria's for supplies) or going somewhere with a roaster on site who is honest enough to tell you the roast date. It should be from 2 to 10 days ago. Flavor development in coffee is a rancidification process. Like cheese, you want to catch it when it is a little, but not too, rancid.

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