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Comment Re:Incredible opportunity (Score 1) 112

Perhaps you forgot about the other identical rover that failed (partly from mechanical issues, partly due to rough terrain) around six years ago after several of its wheels failed.

No, I didn't. Only one wheel had failed by the time it got stuck, the other wheel failed while trying to free it (possibly because the very fine soil entered the wheel area). The fact that Opportunity has not become stuck should be an indication that it is possible to reach the landing site. It's a worthy goal to shoot for, anyway - the first on-site images of a spacecraft landing site taken from a different spacecraft.

expecting said rover to traverse a distance several times its entire already vastly extended mission profile is like expecting a tire rated for 20,000 miles under optimal circumstances to traverse 400,000 miles.

Many people expected Opportunity to last for 90 days.

Both rovers have already gone so above and beyond what they were designed to do that it's ridiculous. Might as well give the little guy one more shot at another first on Mars. It would be truly amazing if it made it there, and if it didn't then no one would really be surprised. It would still be able to take more pictures along the way.

Comment Re:There is still a way to get science out of this (Score 1) 112

Only if they wanted to look at everything along the way (i.e., how the rover has been used so far). If they set that point as a target to reach they *could* get there in a couple months, but they would probably want to go a little slower to take a few pictures along the way and make sure they get enough time to recharge the batteries.

Opportunity is pretty slow, but it's not 4km per year slow. They've just been stopping anywhere and everywhere to look at that rock over there.

Comment Re:AT LAST! (Score 1, Insightful) 88

Oh wow! You POSTED A "VLAD IS FAT" REFERENCE! Congratulations!

Just kidding.

Posting Vlad memes is literally the most basic, desperate, tragic, hopelessly-void-of-meaning, outrageously obnoxious, troublesome, costly, and downright pointless cry for help that the universe has ever screamed. Wow, you were born as a merely BORDERLINE retarded member of your species. WOW! INCREDIBLE! You managed to open your web browser and go to Slashdot (which in evolutionary terms, willing translates roughly to "fucking desperate for at least a few reasons") managed to somehow visit Trolltalk and post a "LOCKWOOD IS FAT" reference that was stale in 2001! WOW! This has literally only been taking place for ALMOST TWENTY FUCKING YEARS! WOW! Except guess what, nobody even reads Trolltalk anymore... which means you failed at submitting yourself to an act which means absolutely nothing. The only thing left to do now is kill yourself.

Not nearly as obnoxious as your post.

Comment That's not what they did though. (Score 1) 427

They went in and searched everyone's phones. Unless there's an important detail we aren't being told here, that's unconstitutional. The 4th amendment says "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The important part there is "particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." That is in there specifically to ban general search warrants. The idea is the police can't go to a judge and say "We think there is something illegal in a house somewhere in this 500 home neighbourhood, we'd like a warrant to search the houses," and the judge issues them a blanket warrant allowing them to search any home there, and look through anything in said home. That isn't allowed. They have to say specifically where it is they want to search, and what it is they are looking for, and also why they have probable cause to believe that what they are looking for is there.

If you read the article they say right at the bottom "I think it's very questionable whether the 4th Amendment" -- which protects citizens against unreasonable search and seizure -- "allows such an open-ended extension of the search warrant."

Comment 5th amendment and it would seem so yes (Score 3, Informative) 427

It isn't 100% clear, there is no cut and dried supreme court ruling and there have been some conflicting lower court rulings but in general the opinion of the courts seems to be that you can't be forced to hand over a password/code/etc because that is something in your head, which falls under 5th amendment protections against self incrimination.

The 4th amendment is what would be used to challenge a broad search warrant like was issued in this case. Without knowing the specifics I can't say for sure but this sounds like it would be an illegal search since it was a general warrant and that isn't allowed. The police aren't (supposed to be) able to get a warrant to just search anyone or anything in a given place, they have to be specific. This doesn't sound like it was, and so would probably be a 4th amendment violation.

Comment Re:If the point was ... (Score 4, Insightful) 332

There's no proof that it has anything to do with Wikileaks, but in a world of IoT devices with no thought toward security, anyone who cares to do so can mount DDOS with the power of a national entity.

What's the point of doing what Assange and Wikileaks have been doing without any moral position? He isn't helping his own case.

Comment Re:Legal? (Score 2) 279

No, of course it is not legal to set a trap to intentionally hurt someone, even if you expect that the trap could only be activated by the person committing property theft or vandalism. Otherwise, you'd see shotguns built into burglar alarms.

Fire alarm stations sometimes shoot a blue dye which is difficult to remove or one which only shows under UV. Never stand in front of one when pulling the lever! But they are not supposed to hurt you.

And of course these booby traps generally are not as reliable as the so-called "inventor" thinks and tend to hurt the innocent.

Comment Re: Mars is difficult (Score 2) 112

He claimed "mission to Mars", not just a lander. Excluding flybys, the first US mission to Mars was Mariner 8, which had a failure of the launch vehicle and crashed into the Atlantic (you can decide for yourself whether failure to leave the Earth constitutes a failed mission to Mars or not). Mariner 9 was the second attempt at an orbiter, which succeeded, and was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. Mariner 9 beat the Soviet craft Mars 2 to orbit by 13 days, and Mars 3 arrived less than a week after Mars 2. Both Mars 2 and Mars 3 had landers, the one for Mars 2 crashed but was the first spacecraft to reach the surface of another planet, and the Mars 3 lander operated for 110 seconds on the surface. Several years later Viking 1 returned the first images from the surface.

India's first (and only) mission was a success, and you could also consider the first EU mission a success, even though the Beagle 2 lander failed.

Comment Re:Incredible opportunity (Score 1) 112

Opportunity has moved a total of about 27 miles in its entire 10 plus year mission.

That's because the goal has been to look at everything it can, not move to a particular place far away.

But chances are the crash site is considerably further than 50 miles and the rovers wheels/motors/solar panels/batteries would never survive the trip.

Yeah, the odds of failure have really beat up on Opportunity, haven't they? How about a 6-month trip that is more leisurely and would still provide time to look around a little on the way?

Comment Re:There is still a way to get science out of this (Score 2) 112

They aren't even that far from each other, relatively. They tried to put Opportunity onto a position to image the descent and landing, although apparently it didn't actually see it. Still, the place where it crashed is not that far from Opportunity, although the little guy can't move very quickly. It might take years before it shows up to get some pictures. I think they should re-designate their mission targets.

Comment Re:Great! (Score 1) 264

Paying money every month for a couple of sine waves coming out of a cheap tinny Chinese speaker.

Real music aficionados such as myself attach a wire directly to the inner ear and use a homemade needle on the other end to manually read the grooves in the vinyl record which I'm turning myself. I would tell you who I'm listening to but you probably haven't heard of them.

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