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Comment Re:Why Mars? (Score 1) 310

Not all of it... The moon's composition is actually nearly 60% oxygen, and it entirely possible to extract on location once you have the appropriate mining facilities available. The two vital needs. air and water, are available on the moon too, if one is willing to do work to get at them. Weighing this difficulty in comparison to the sheer magnitude of pursuing colonization over a hundred times further away on a world that is perhaps at best only marginally more hospitable, the moon makes far more sense... at least as a stepping stone on the way to more distant worlds, than bypassing it for headline-grabbing ideal of going to Mars instead. The *only* thing keeping us from being able to go the moon right now is ultimately the lack of significant incentive to do so. There are much more substantial barriers, both economical and technological, that are keeping us from going to Mars right now.

Comment Re:Refused to hand over "evidence" (Score 1) 60

Just because the fire started at the battery does not mean that the person did not do something that caused it to happen. An independent party may be able to determine this, but they also may not. More importantly, even knowing that it started at the battery would not generally be helpful to other parties in determining if the underlying cause was a one-off occurrence on the so-called "safe" note 7's, or is symptomatic of a deeper issue that Samsung was not yet aware of. Samsung is the only company that can make this determination, and in the interests of the safety of all owners, it is imperative that they analyze the phone.

Comment Re: meh (Score 1) 308

but what are the chances of finding a good vintage of scotch to go with all of this breaded goodness they are going to be having up there?

Alcohol is definitely going to space. Ballantine's zero-gravity glass is made in cooperation with something called the Open Space Agency, which also has a design for an automated Dobsonian telescope. Ardbeg is going to space. And a vacuum still is an old science-fiction trope.

Comment Re:Refused to hand over "evidence" (Score 1) 60

What, I may ask, could you expect an independent party to do? with it? Only Samsung is truly qualified to determine if the fault was in the design of their entire product line as it was with the vulnerable Note 7's, or if this was a one-off occurrence... or if the person sabotaged his own device and was simply claiming it had exploded.

I'm not saying third parties shouldn't be involved here... someone needs to keep Samsung honest in all of this. Ultimately, however, it is Samsung that is going to have to examine the phone because anything that anyone else does will not be founded on the necessary expert knowledge that only Samsung will have about their product to make a deterministic evaluation.

Comment Why Mars? (Score 1) 310

Why not the moon?

Oh sure, we've been there before... but seriously, if the goal is to build a self-sustaining permanent habitat as soon as possible, then why not build one on the moon first?

I'm not saying that we shouldn't go to Mars eventually, but I think talking about it before we've even started to seriously talk about colonizing the lunar surface, let alone doing it, is really putting the cart before the horse.

At the very least, the moon is less than a hundredth as far. Why do the people who propose this always refuse to even try to walk before they want to run?

Comment Re:Everybody should be prepared to die. (Score 3, Funny) 308

Out of several tens of billions of humans, only a fraction have not yet died, and of those who died, only a small percent of disputed cases indicate recovery.

On the contrary, I have never died before and rumors that I would do so are spread by fact-checkers of the liberal press and corrupt global warming scientists.

Comment Some Artistic License (Score 1) 308

I like the part in the SpaceX video where the rocket lands, and the door opens on magnificent desolation. This is artistic license. Obviously the material for a habitat would precede the arrival of people.

But yes, a first-try planetary colony won't necessarily work. Getting there is dangerous, and once you're there being able to continue to provide the population with air, water, food, shelter, and energy is going to have significant risks of lethal failures.

AI

Nissan Debuts 'ProPILOT' Self-Driving Chair (pcmag.com) 48

jasonbrown writes from a report via PC Magazine: The Japanese automaker Nissan this week debuted what it's calling the ProPILOT Chair -- an autonomous chair that automatically queues for you while you sit back and relax. With its built-in cameras, the high-tech chair "detects and automatically follows the chair ahead of it, maintaining a fixed distance and traveling along a set path." Standing (or sitting) in line has never been so much fun. "Nissan drew inspiration for this new chair from its ProPILOT autonomous driving technology, which has been available in the company's Serena minivan in Japan since August," the report adds. "The ProPILOT technology allows the vehicle to maintain a safe distance between the car ahead, and ensures that it stays in the center of its lane." While the product appears to be a marketing stunt, Nissan is actively looking for restaurant partners in Japan who want to offer this technology to their customers. Japanese restaurants can tweet their name and website along with the hashtags #NissanProPilotChair #Wanted in an effort to be outfitted with the technology. You can watch the joyful and jazzy launch video here.

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