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Comment We Travel through a Crowded Galaxy (Score 1) 232

...and pass close to other stars. Furthermore the Sun probably evolved in a densely packed globular cluster. The solar system is therefore susceptible to random and drastic gravitational chaos. No need to invoke the presence of giant invisible constant companion planets. Rather consider a periodic drive by shooting wreaking mayhem and havoc in the Oort cloud.

Comment I love my Mini (Score 1) 87

I hate laptops. I have a monitor, keyboard mouse everywhere I need to work so I tote my mac-mini around. It has always been under powered and unexpandible however the form factor and durability of this machine is nice and wins out for doing actual work. Doubles as a means to stream/play movies. When it wears out no worries, I can get peripherals anywhere. Hope they continue to support it...

Comment Follow the Nitrogen (Score 2) 125

I was inclined to poo-poo this paper but it does make an interesting observation. Venus has a crushingly dense atmosphere now (mostly CO2) but it is 3.5% Nitrogen. The authors point out that the weight of Venus's Nitrogen is actually comparable to the Earth's (10^19 kg). The field of astrobiology runs off the rails in its endless focus on carbon and water when what you also need is nitrogen (and reduced at that). Since the sun was once cooler and Venus was once wetter there is good reason to investigate the possibility that conditions were once life favorable.
Too bad it is most assuredly dead now.

Comment Re:What exactly can a US Senator do? (Score 2) 813

Pick up the phone. The UC system is a government (cf. political) entity that relies on federal largesse. After her phone call a behind the scenes scramble would secure these particular jobs. It would not solve the problem in general of course but a Senators influence is formidable.

Comment I vote No here's why (Score 1) 380

Self interest. My teenage horde of comics, scfi fi pulps and ancien Hardy Boys novels ain't selling on Ebay because all the potential customers torrent the entire history of Superman off piratebay thus leaving my carefully bagged collection worthless...with transferable digital copies you create a LEGAL aftermarket of say all of the X-men series for 0.5 cents.

Comment iTunes and not really owning your stuff (Score 1) 341

I have accumulated a modest Apple music "collection" -- giftcards.

I have an old firewire iPod and an old laptop. Old G4 laptop started to give up the ghost, I want/went to authorize a G4 iMac I got (to use as a music server it's cute).

iMac iTunes can't phone home to authorize the music library I legally purchased. Not stupid, it's no longer safe to browse the internet with this old thing but it
can't even update it's iTunes to allow this basic function.

I am well aware of other means to get my Apple music into another format but it is annoying.

The cloud is a consumer rip off.

My collection of 78s does not have this problem.

Comment Your numbers are wrong (Score 1) 298

Show your work...

NYC uses 60 GWh per year.
This is a unit of energy per year.
This is 2.16X10^17 J/year
This works out to 6.84X10^9 J/s
A J/s is known as a Watt which is a unit of power.
This solar thermal plant is a 140 MW plant.
It is well known that the sun does not always shine...
This is 140X10^6 W.
Were this a constant level of power one would need...
# plants = (6.84X10^9 W)/(140X10^6 W / plant) = 48 plants.

Your main error is failing to recognize a ridiculous number
(120,000 plants) when you took the time to post your opinion
on this forum.
You get an F.

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