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Comment Re:Im not trying to be that guy.. (Score 2) 91

The lander used hydrazine as its fuel.

Hydrazine is a monopropellant, so it will react on its own. No oxidizer needed.

Ideally, it will react in a controlled fashion using a catalyst.

But since it is a monopropellant, it's a molecule that is only in a semi-stable state. So if enough energy is put into it (though say a high impact crash), it will burn or detonate by itself.

Comment Re:Car with funny looking thing on top goes wrong (Score 1) 254

From a distance he couldn't tell whether the car was driving itself, or its human operator had made a mistake. Stachelek took out his phone in time to shoot a brief video of Uber's vehicle backing up and driving away, then uploaded it to Facebook. "Driverless car went down a one way the wrong way," he wrote. "Driver had to turn car around."

Well, was it driverless or did it have a driver? If it had a driver, was the driver in control? Which would make it just a funny looking car and a confused human operator?

Verdict: meh.

We don't know at this point, but it is important not to let facts get in the way of clicks or being the first to report the story!

Comment Re:Misguided (Score 1) 387

The fact that he makes a case for a pardon shows that he still believes in government. Isn't that contrary to everything he's tried to teach us so far?

Or maybe it just shows that he wants to live in the US instead of Russia, despite all of his concerns about the NSA's domestic spying program!

The grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence!

Comment Re:The Utah? (Score 1) 88

Sort of like how people say "The Ukraine" ;)

I love how thin and fragile looking those layers are, you rarely see such delicate shapes on Earth. Mars has the advantages of low gravity and winds that exert only tiny forces. No rain, snow or floods either. There's stronger thermal cycling, but that's apparently not a problem for them.

Thermal cycling isn't a problem without the frost associated with the presence of migrating water:

Also, CO2 cannot be present in a liquid state on Mars due to the low atmospheric pressure, so there can be no frost weathering associated with that material either.

Comment Re:Frist to come must shut power down (Score 1) 243

I understand the rush to be a first poster rather than actually reading the article.

I don't!

It exemplifies everything depressing about the internet! It was (1) WRONG, (2) snarky, and (3) got modded up as insightful by others who also didn't read the article! The only thing missing is the fact that the poster wasn't anonymous.

Comment Re:Think it through. (Score 1) 306

In one case, the cables included the name of a Saudi who was arrested for being gay. In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is punishable by death.

As the person was already arrested, I assume the govt already knows their name and their punishment is already lined up. Making this info widely public is probably the only way anyone else will ever know what happened to this person.

Uh, what about persecution by his fellow Arab citizens, even if the government "cleared" this individual of being gay?

Losing his job? Losing his family? Losing his life? Are you saying that is it OK for these things to happen because "all information wants to be free?"

Complete freedom of information would probably work in an open, fair, and free society. Unfortunately, such a place does not exist. People are persecuted based on their age, color, gender, socioeconomic status, political views, medical history, sexual orientation, parents, ... just about everything. These are key concepts that the freedom of information proponents often overlook in their ideological zeal. Additionally, it is disappointing when they try to justify that, while their actions have ruined ruined individuals lives, it was for the greater cause... especially when such proponents keep their identities secret for their own safety. Hypocrites.


Comment Re:Proof of China's Superiority... (Score 1) 90

I'm not so sure you should dismiss the Chinese as mere copiers. That's a little facile. The Japanese used to be belittled as mere copiers, too, but that was always an unfair generalization. The Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" fighter was not a copy of anything. It was far superior to anything that any other Navy had. They developed a vastly superior aluminum alloy, 7075, in the middle of World War II. They had the only submarine Aircraft Carriers (I-400 class) in the world, and they were also the largest submarines in the world. They had by far the best torpedoes in the world. The MXY7 Ohka was a devastating rocket-powered, human-guided anti-ship missile.

Yes, China and Japan have in history (up to very recent history in the case of China) copied, and stolen, plenty of stuff from the US. But they also have made great native achievements.

Who already has the world's only anti-ship ballistic[*] missile? Gee ... China - the DF-21D. It can't be copied from the US, because we don't have anything like that.

[*] The "ballistic" part is a misnomer, because the missile has terminal maneuvering. But that is always how it is referred to as.

There is nothing new about this missile. It's a nuclear warhead on a missile with a guidance system.

Are you saying that is a new concept? If so, please explain how in detail.

Comment Re:Ignorant Posters (Score 1) 117

The article has been up for over 1.5 hours with 40 posts and no one has noticed that the first link isn't actually a link.

How do I submit an application for a Slashdot editor position? I'd love to do nothing all day and get paid for it.


This is /.

You're not supposed to read the articles. You're just supposed to post snarky comments about the OP's text!

Comment Re:Yay, hypocrisy. (Score 1) 644

What happened to "she's not fit" for the office? In the time since he said that about her, she's been shown to have been either wildly incompetent or ever more deceitful in her relationship with both her job and her supporters. What's she got on you, Bernie?

It may sting, but you have to consider the possibility that Sanders is just as much of career politician as Clinton. They have, after all, been involved in politics for the same amount of time.

Comment Re:Just one fatality (Score 1) 297

Getting distracted with Autopilot engaged is like removing your seatbelt because you have airbags.

I would argue that getting distracted with Autopilot engaged is a virtual certainty.

Unlike cruise control, the system completely takes control of the car from the driver. The driver is left with nothing to do but look at the scenery.

I think it would be incredibly difficult to remain completely alert, yet relaxed in this situation. I, personally, would either:
1. not trust the system and would be constantly stressed out that it was trying to kill me, or
2. would get overly comfortable, distract myself for increasing amounts of time, and then accidentally fall asleep or completely focus on a different task, like reading.

Realistically, neither of these options work for me. So I would not use autopilot unless it was functional at a level where it could actually fully drive the car and I was willing to cede it complete responsibility for my life.

Now I acknowledge that people are different and that some will be able to continuously stare at the road with complete attention while not driving. My wife for example is really good at this...

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