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Comment Re: Travelling at 20% of the speed of light (Score 1) 198

"The biggest difficulty is transmitting useful data back to Earth as there's going to be very little power available."

wouldn't be possible to send many of those at regular intervals on the same path, and use the them as a line of breadcrumb repeaters of sorts?

Comment Re: Surprised? (Score 1) 138

"Cut me some slack."
no worries... it was actually meant largely as a self deprecating joke... (because I myself get annoyed maybe 100 times a day for things that I immediately feel guilty for getting annoyed... things like if one badly designed toothpaste tube doesn't let you squeeze it all out... so I have to constantly remind myself "yeah, first world problems".. Btw, I guess this constant self reminding is actually a first world problem in itself, or a first world metaproblem..) cheers!

Comment Re:Free Speech Must Be Stopped!!! (Score 2) 465

Some humble thoughts:
        - The UK has a conservative government, and had one for some time.
        - The current Scotland Yard commissioner was appointed by Boris Johnson, a staunch conservative, when he was Mayor of London.
        - The legislative background of this supposed initiative is the so called Malicious Communications Act, which at least in its most recent incarnations is again a brainchild of a conservative government.
        - According to the narrative you suggest, the liberal media would be conspiring to cover up the presumed misdeeds of a conservative appointed commissioner, under a conservative government, trying to (mis)use a law squarely backed by conservatives.
        - That does not honestly appear to make much sense, especially in the current UK political climate.
        - The "next article" on the page you link as reference has the following headline (copy pasta) : "I could do that: Woman who thinks she's faster than Usain Bolt claims she could sprint 100 metres in just SEVEN seconds." You know, that's the Daily Mail, that's what they do. So really take anything they write with more than one grain of salt.
        - The Independent article you mention is available in the google cache: http://webcache.googleusercont...
        - The Independent traditionally has mixed views, but in the most recent occasion they endorsed a conservative-led coalition: "For all its faults, another Lib-Con Coalition would both prolong recovery and give our kingdom a better chance of continued existence.". Hardly a fortress of the "left".
        - The UK Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron appears in this case to be quite reasonable. (For our American friends: In UK 'liberal' has a different meaning than in the US, but liberals are still considered on the "left" of the conservatives, for the ones that are especially attached to those labels). So, Farron is on the record as saying about this initiative: “Online bullying is an increasingly serious problem but police should not be proactively seeking cases like these and turning themselves into chatroom moderators. With such measures, even if well-intentioned, there is a real danger of undermining our very precious freedom of speech.”
        - I don't know why the article from the Independent appears to have been removed since publication. But I very much doubt, given what above, that one should think of a grand liberal conspiracy as the likely explanation. Unless liberals are conspiring against themselves, using a conservative-endorsing newspaper as their outlet.
        - For that matter, I equally very much doubt there is any ongoing grand conspiracy of conservatives (and I am not too convinced with this grand conspiracy of cats either). Maybe I am hopelessly naif, but in general, I like to start with the simplest possible explanations and move from there. In this case the Independent suddenly realizing after publication that they "like the idea of a leftist Thought Police", is NOT the simplest explanation - it's rather at the "WTF" end of the spectrum.

In general, a very friendly advice that I try to regularly also give to myself: try to focus on the issues, avoiding to rely too much on precooked but fuzzy categories like "the ruling class" "people on the left" "people on the right" "the liberal media", "conservative something" etc.

If you want to voice your concerns about the dangers of governmental overreach on digital media, I'm happy to join my concerns to yours. But you lose me fast if you throw around, in support to your concerns, suggestions of conspiracies and labels like "leftist Thought Police" recycled from a page on the Daily Mail.

Comment Re: Good luck with that. (Score 5, Funny) 344

"With an evironment like that, we can rule out higher life forms."

Centaurians called.
They wanted to know how can we sustain higher life forms on Earth - since we have neither the cyclic megahurricans that are essential to recharge cyclic biotanks, nor we have a proper dark side of the planet where we can comfortably hatch our silicon eggs.
To be frank, they sounded rather narrow minded about any real possibility of life without those things.

Comment Re: sigh (Score 1) 225

from the tone of your post it sounds you are, like me, old enough to remember the days when Usenet, around the time of the Great Renaming and the introduction of the new hierarchies, were flooded with "newbies".
you probably remember old timers back then declaring that "the good ol days are over" and proclaiming the intention to go offline. the ones who did, have certainly missed a lot of fun.

Comment Re: sigh (Score 1) 225

"The days of technical pioneering are over. The technology has been invented and built and deployed. It's not changing rapidly like it used to."

until very recently, internet reached people through cables, now it reaches them through airwaves. we are in the middle of changing the very addressing system of the core protocol. we are embracing arguably the most significant update of HTML in decades. the face of user land if anything is changing even faster.

of course, if you take historical RFCs and look at them framed on a wall, many are still perfectly valid and this can give you the impression that stuff is not changing so fast.

But honestly, that's like not seeing any change in the transportation system since horse carriages, just because wheels are already invented and deployed.

"The opportunities that exist now are business opportunities for sleazy entrepreneurs to sell shit to idiots. Keep chasing those unicorns."

cheer up, some entrepreneurs are very sleazy, some are very clever and well intentioned, most are in the middle, all of them are human.

Comment Re: sigh (Score 5, Insightful) 225

I enjoy the spirit of your post, but I would disagree that the days of 'pioneering' are over .
from a broader historical perspective, the internet is still very young, there is still an enormous amount of stuff to be invented and figured out around it, we are still grappling to fully understand what it means to humanity, and from a business perspective its still a place where clever guys with some ideas and good luck can go from zero to a billion in a couple of years - which isn't the case in the steel industry.
its still quite pioneers time to me.

Comment Re: Rapid research timeline? (Score 1) 90

if a Belgian had invented the wheel, would we all be stealing from the Belgian people or we would thank them and move on?
We don't think of stealing from the Romans, even if our basic idea of how to organize an army is largely derived, through the century, from theirs. Oh, we also learned quite a bit from Napoleon. And where would be modern military aviation without the Germans? The British were the first to have a truly global Navy, my guess would be that they learned a thing or two in the process, technically and otherwise. And I would not put past the modern navies to have carefully studied some of such learnings.

At some point information is considered public domain. Any information - if nothing else because at some point the long haul of history clouds everything. Many of us believe that a more expedite process benefits the humankind.

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