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Comment Just a little math problem (Score 1) 497

From the last sentence of the intro: "At the rate of 20 to 50 total Mars trips, it will take anywhere from 40 to 100 years to achieve a fully self-sustaining civilization with one million people on Mars."

What Musk actually said was that, with 100 people per vehicle, it would take 10,000 vehicle trips to move the 1 million people to Mars. Since Mars and Earth are in the proper launch window about every 2 years, there would be 20 to 50 launch windows in the 40-100 year period he is modeling. If you want to do 10,000 vehicle trips in 20 windows (40 years) you would need an average of 500 vehicles, all launching at roughly the same time at each launch window (this explains Musk's reference to the video sequence from Battlestar Galactica when all the shipsgo to light speed at once). If you had more vehicles or more passengers per vehicle, it could be done in fewer launch windows. The math is obvious but the intro seems to make it as confusing as possible.

Comment Re:They are talking about new laws. (Score 3, Insightful) 367

And what has happened since then? 20 years ago we had not had a major terrorist attack that killed 3000 people in New York. Since then we have had the Patriot Act and secret FISA courts. Politicians are afraid to stand up for civil liberties because they will be branded as "soft on terrorism". It's going to take courage and effort by all of us to stop the gradual removal of our privacy.

Comment They are talking about new laws. (Score 5, Insightful) 367

The "adult conversation" the FBI says it's planning is a call for criminalization of any encryption that the FBI can't break. They want a back door and if you won't give it to them, they will put you in jail. Or use the powers of the NDAA to hold you without trial or "rendition" you to a country like Egypt where you can be tortured without anyone noticing.

This is an FBI which not only has broken the law regarding surveillance of US citizens, but then lied about it to Congress. The FBI may be correct that some terrorists will succeed because their communications are encrypted. That is better than living under an FBI shadow government that thinks it is above the law. We don't have to speculate about the intent of the FBI. We already know they broke the law and lied to Congress. And still have not been prosecuted for it.

Comment Re: Except he wasn't (Score 5, Interesting) 236

The attempts to smear Snowden continue to this day. Within days of the leaks becoming public, all the news outlets were telling us that he was a college dropout and that his girlfriend was a poledancer. They didn't mention that the NSA was paying him $200,000 per year and that his girlfriend was a ballet dancer who did pole dancing as part of performance with an acrobatic troupe in Hawaii.

Snowden should get the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his defense of the Constitutional protection of the 4th Amendment.

Comment Except he wasn't (Score 5, Interesting) 236

Snowden worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, a contractor to the NSA, at the time he leaked classified documents. Since he was NOT a government employee, he is not covered by the court decision mentioned in the article. Of course, Judicial Watch knows that.

And if Snowden HAD been a government employee, he would have been covered by the Federal Whistleblower law and would not be at risk of prosecution for the leaks, since he proved that the US government was breaking the law.

Comment Re:Google Voice (Score 1) 46

My cell phone is an 8 year old Motorola flip phone. But even if I had a new iPhone or Android, I wouldn't be able to run my favorite version of Linux on it. Also, for anyone signing up for Social Security, a cell phone has a screen and keyboard that are too small and too limited in performance. And too expensive.

Comment Re:Google Voice (Score 2) 46

No, you just have to have some other number in order to sign up for a google voice number. It could be a friend's cell number or a POTS number, or a VOIP number. They do this to prevent someone from hogging a huge quantity of Google Voice numbers.

The verification can be by text or it can be verbal. They robocall your phone and tell you verbally the two digit code to enter into your computer.

Comment Google Voice (Score 4, Informative) 46

I don't have text messaging on my cell phone (I specifically had it disabled by the carrier). But I can still receive text messages on my computer by using a Google Voice number. The text message appears in my Gmail inbox and I can reply to it as I would to an email.

Ok, maybe folks who don't have a cell phone also don't have a computer. So there needs to be an option of letting SS that you want online services to be blocked for security purposes.

Comment It's the server, not the broadband (Score 1) 108

I can't imagine any home user being routinely constrained by their ISP's highest broadband download limit. Even if you have only 10 MBPS, that's enough to have 2 Netflix movies playing simultaneously and still surf, talk on a VOIP phone, send/receive email, and play music from Spotify. All at the same time. There just aren't many servers from which you are likely to downloading data that will give you more than 10 MBPS.

ISP's are marketing speed as if it's the valuable commodity. But we don't really have a killer data consuming app that challenges even moderate ISP speeds. Unless you have a large family of internet junkies, you don't need the speed.

Comment Most obvious finding (Score 5, Interesting) 643

The summary ignores the most obvious finding: Far fewer men are having sex than women. If the virginity rate is 15% in the 90's-born population as a whole and 5% among 90's-born women, the then rate among 90's-born men must be about 25%.

It also means that a significant fraction of the men are having multiple partners. The women may also be having multiple partners but the data doesn't necessarily demonstrate that.

Comment 3D X Point has no transistors,10X as dense as DRAM (Score 1) 133

"This image covers the basic features of 3D Xpoint. The new memory is designed to be non-volatile, stackable (to improve density), and can perform read/write operations without requiring a transistor (DRAM requires one transistor per cell, which is one reason why it draws much more power per GB than a NAND flash drive)." ----


Maybe transistors can't get smaller, but you don't have to use transistors. 3DXPoint is not as fast as DRAM but it is still so fast that it can replace DRAM in many applications. So the total amount of DRAM (and thus the number of transistors) required is greatly diminished.

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