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Comment Pocket Spacecraft (Score 1) 90

Even better, the Pocket Spacecraft project has started its Kickstarter

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1677943140/send-your-own-pocket-spacecraft-on-a-mission-to-th

"We’ve developed a very low cost, open source, open access, mass space exploration system that anyone can use, and we need your help to send your very own Pocket Spacecraft, and thousands of others, on a first of its kind expedition to the moon."

A dude from the project had a stand at the recent RPi day in @Bristol and the whole thing is awesome, thousand of spacecraft thinner than a floppy disk will crash land on the MOON!

Comment We also love the count (Score 2) 241

Irish elections are decided by a transferable vote in multiseat constituencies; the counts are quite difficult, most take a whole day and recounts in individual constituencies can take days and, on a few occasions, weeks. One perhaps surprising thing is that we like the delay; one reason the insecurity of the electronic system was take seriously was that were was a general lack of enthusiasm for speeding the count. Irish votes are first sorted and then counted, in public; a species of political activist, called tally men, watch the sorting and make estimates of the outcomes, these are discussed on the radio, on twitter, around kitchen tables, in pubs and the gradual unfolding of the count, with its estimates and predictions, with the anticipation of coalition talks and general horse trading, forms a sort of political theater and moment of political engagement which is part and parcel of our system of government. I think we did not want to loose that and there was some dismay at the swiftness with which the results were announced in the three trial constituencies. That removed any real will to make the count more efficient, coupled to the problem with security, that halted deployment.

Comment Re:Stop posting articles from arXiv! (Score 4, Informative) 650

It is worth noting that these days _all_ theoretical physics papers appear on arXiv first; it is at this point that they are usually disseminated and discussed and publication in a peer review journal is a post-hoc event. Theoretical physicists typically judge a paper by reading it and based on the reputation of the author, Erik Verlinde's is very high, they generally ignore peer-review.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 926

I live more or less across the road from where the explosives ended up: they explosive itself is unstable below -4 centigrade, the night time temperature in Dublin at the moment is -5 to -10, the guy with the bomb didn't notice he had it for three days, what would have happened if he'd thrown it out by accident? I'm unlikely to have been hurt but frankly, although I do fly quite often it seems to me that, if you'd done the calculation a few days ago, my odds of being killed by the Slovakian police where far higher than being killed by Islamic terrorists.

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