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Comment Re:All the passengers fault.. (Score 1) 104

That was my first thought. My second thought was..."I wonder how hard it is to recover your laptop when you get back from your trip?" The TSA as a reputation as quite light-fingered, so maybe these are just the ones nobody wanted, because they'd already acquired all they need. Unless you think they are selling them, in which case this is hard to explain.

Comment Re:What is the carbon footprint? (Score 1) 100

You can be pretty sure that the process will use lots of energy (relative to, say, grass). So it's unlikely to be competitive even if there are decent sources of energy available (say you steal chloroplasts from some algae, the way some [were they bacteria] do). I'm quite willing to accept that they've found a more efficient carbohydrate synthesis mechanism, but that's a long way from something that's capable of competition with microbes that have been evolving for 4 billion years (plus or minus a bit). That said, if they were to genegineer it into an existing microbe it might be successful in some environments. And that could be a problem. So when they get ready to do that in 15-40 years be sure they've filled out all their environmental impact reports properly. Including recovery strategies in case of a mistake.

Comment Re:What is the carbon footprint? (Score 1) 100

Just as catalysts usually get poisoned and need to be regenerated, so enzymes usually suffer degradation in use. In living organisms they're usually they're digested and rebuilt rather than just reconditioned.

So the cost of the enzymes is likely to be a real factor. It's also likely to be a small one...but you can't be really sure without knowing how they are acquired/synthesized/reconditioned.

Comment Re:Well there would be a lot of it (Score 1) 66

Chemical reactions slow down remarkably as the temperature drops. I could envision using this as a spore transportation system, but they'd need to pick an asteroid that was either headed out-system (towards another brown dwarf) or headed towards a plausible planet. And the success rate should be expected to be less than that of wind-pollened plants. If they land on a planet they'll be evolving in the kind of environment we know about subject to things like gravity, so they'll probably need to start in an ocean...and we're back where *we* started. (Obviously there are different kinds of planet, and some of them may work, but in each case the evolutionary adaptations required would take a long time and a lot of evolution away from the star-resident form.)

Submission + - How to View the SpaceX Falcon 9 Return to Flight at Vandenberg Air Force Base (perens.com)

Bruce Perens writes: Silicon Valley folks should, sometime, take the opportunity to view a launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Lompoc is 4-5 hours from the Bay, 2.5 hours from LA if there's ever no traffic. An upcoming SpaceX launch is notable because it's their return to flight, months after their last attempt blew up on the pad during a pre-launch test. Read how to view the launch.

Comment Re: Less politics (Score 1) 110

Eich resigned because of external pressure on the Mozilla organization. I hear that one of the lobbying activities against him was when the dating site "OK Cupid" started informing Firefox users who accessed the site of Eich's activities and that they should download a browser made by people who don't nominate someone with gender discrimination issues to be their CEO. At the time, 8% of OK Cupid customers were there to arrange same-gender meetings.

They felt he was the public face of the company.

Russ Nelson published a piece on what he theorized was the economic motivation of Blacks to be lazy, and was booted off of the Open Source Initiative board. He wasn't thinking about how it would be perceived. A modified version of the piece is still online, but not the version that got him in trouble. In general, executives are seen as the public faces of their organizations even in the case of Nelson, who was not the chairman of the board, but was simply a member of the executive board. In Nelson's case, it wasn't that he made publicity appearances and press releases, it was that he was one of the people with the power to direct the company (and thus a more real face of the company than soneone who just does PR), and folks did not trust that someone who wrote what he did would behave as they would like in that position.

Comment Re:What's the big deal? (Score 2, Insightful) 232

Playboy departed the nude photo market due to the vast and unending supply of photos and video of all manner of naked people doing sexual things which one can access via the Internet.

However, one can make a case that a good deal of the past content of Playboy was about objectifying women and to some extent the publication still is about that.

It was a dumb decision. Several people just weren't thinking. They're embarrassed now. They learned, and won't do it again.

Comment Re:Well there would be a lot of it (Score 1) 66

That's a pretty big "if". The escape velocity of a star, even a brown dwarf, is pretty high, and if you though that the Earth's atmosphere got in the way of space flight, whew! They'd need to go directly to nuclear rocket.

Then there's the question of how large the minimum intelligent entity would be. They need to be diffuse enough to float. Whoops, that means that their brain "cells" need to communicate with each other via wireless transmission. And that implies at each entity would need a huge transmission spectrum. Possibly they could do it at the microwave level, but they might need to go to terahertz or infrared. But the diffuse means that they require an immense volume.

Then there's the question of what they build the vehicle out of. It has to be something that will float in the area of the cloud within which they can live...or they've got to have some kind of remote manipulator.

I really think that space flight is extremely unlikely for this kind of life form. But they might well be able to think extremely well. Possibly they would be "inherently telepathic" to the extent of only having a group mind, as the individual floating entity would probably be too simple to be intelligent.

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