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Comment Not in 200 Years (Score 1) 97

I will say "No" on the assumption of rare earth model and lack of ability to detect such life. First off, life will be rare. Conditions for life will require goldilocks zone for water, chemical composition including water and appropriate minerals, tectonic plate movement to keep those minerals and water recycling and not getting fixes, magnetic field to maintain atmosphere, non-hostile local area filled with little radiation from other stars on geological timelines, and then the actual creation of life which does not seem to be a common occurance (as we have not detected reverse DNA form on Earth which should have an equal chance to be created). Combine a few 1 in 1000 chance conditions and actual chances for life are pretty slim. Then we get to our ability to detect life. In 200 years, we are pretty much looking for signs of life in planets atmospheres with telescopes. In 200 years, we should start being able to do that increasingly well just as we can detect planets increasingly well, but I suspect we'll need space based telescopes and I don't see that happening quickly. Then we'll need to actually be looking at a planet in the right time when life was affecting the atmosphere in a detectable manner, which will also be another 1 in 1000 chance as most planets we'll study will be too young or old at the moment in time we are seeing. Not saying it can't or won't happen, but I don't put odds of it happening in the next 200 years if just because looking for such will still be a minor subset of other research until we find something interesting, and perhaps even then.

There's always the chance of detecting some sort of signals from a civilization that would make it much easier to find as they are signals afterall, but that would require a civilization which puts the effort to send such signals which is probably another couple of 1 in 1000 chances. The current method the Hawkings suggested would be to look for radar waves like the ones we use for airline navigation or even mapping and detecting objects in the solar system. These are special use wavelengths good at the job they are needed for no matter what form of life uses them and can probably be detected above background noise in the amount needed to do their job fairly easily. Still, chances that there is an active civilization using them within our detection radius in the next 200 years is probably vanishingly small.

Comment Re:Metastability (Score 1) 270

What, repeat an experiment with surprising one off results?

You, sir, obviously have not spent enough time around modern academia! Once you get the result you *want*...

Seeing how their experiment exploded while trying to take measurements, I suspect they haven't gotten the results they want yet. they are trying to get to step 3 or 4 and others are trying to debate step 1 still. To get to step 4, you often have to redo step one several times. In the lab I worked in we did scattering experiments many times over, if only to test different source heating arrangements for the thermal disassociation of fluorine gas. One reason for both was that run time was limited because the fluorine would degrade the nozzle providing a limited time while better nozzle would allow for longer run times.

Comment Metastability (Score 5, Interesting) 270

What I found most interesting about the article is that the guy they were talking to was actually considering that it might still be stable in solid form (and even stuck in the equipment) although also stated it might have just evaporated away. However, he also admitted that some think that they didn't even succeed and were actually getting readings off some aluminium used in the experiment. He says they'll just have to repeat the experiment to prove their case.

Comment Re:Maintenance (Score 1) 329

Just have the AI do a full blown rewrite.

Essentially this. I bet they are just coming up with a new "computer lanugage" that they hope that will be writable by non-programers, perhaps even using drag and drop icons. This will be just like all their forms software they seek to have used in Sharepoint and the like. Maintenance and upgrades will probably just mean changing the original input and recompiling (or whatever is going on in the background).

Comment Re:Bullshit isn't the same as "lie". (Score 1) 391

A conventional lie is detectable because of the network of falsehoods that must necessarily support a consistent sounding alternative picture of the world. Often the best way to detect a liar is to invite him to elaborate on his statements, until the entire fabric of falsehood is unsupportable.

Good luck with that. I find that Socratic debate usually convinces the other person that you are attacking them and their stated belief fairly quickly even if actually just honestly wanting more information. Beyond that, it takes a lot of time and effort to do, and most people just really don't care enough to expend that much of either.

Comment Re:"Taxes applied to worldwide earnings" (Score 1) 174

Apple was abiding with a special deal Ireland made with them but the deal was illegal according to EU regulations. What the EU did is basically tell Ireland "you cannot treat Apple favourably compared to other companies since it would be unfair to the companies not getting the special deal, so your special deal is null and void and your own regular taxation applies instead".

My distrust in others makes me want to think that Ireland (or factions in it anyway) knew or hoped this would happen all along figuring if they can lure Apple into bringing in all their money and then let the EU be the bad guy and make Apple give Ireland the money.

Comment Re:whose fraud??? (Score 1) 188

Plenty of professional musicians make a living playing out of copyright music (most classical music).

Musicians make money mostly from performance of music. Record labels make money from the selling and playing of recorded music, that's not even the musician's part of the pie.

(Disclaimer: anecdotal story) Apparently it is if they are serious about it. I'm not a musician but lots of my friends are or work in music industry somehow, and I ended up at a dinner with them and a friend who was from out of town performing (not claiming that's not part of the picture for various reasons) who had a alt college band back in the 80's and the discussion got around to this. The take away quote was "any musician that assumes that the music industry isn't about licensing is just kidding themselves" to which everybody agreed. Basically, the licensing deal for a commercial, movie, video game, or otherwise use of a song can greatly outweigh any other income. People are out there collecting that money whether the artists are aware of it or not. It's apparently all about getting things set up so that the artists can actually take advantage of it."

Comment Re:Not alone (Score 1) 121

Latin is older than English, but a thousand times better as a language.

Which must be why it's used so today. Oh, wait....

Saw an article on a study once about the value of either language standardization and regularness versus freeform and irregular usage given between the examples of French and English. It seems that the irregular and modifyable nature of English actually helps more towards usage and adoption than standardization.

Comment Re:Death To All Jews (Score 2) 920

Correct. If the US occupied Mexico, then started settling Americans there who openly talked about displacing, out-breeding, and otherwise getting rid of all the Mexicans there, THEN built a wall between the US and occupied Mexico, it would be more similar.

Yes indeed. So, let's talk about Texas.

Comment Re:For the US, not for a political party (Score 1) 895

You didn't vote for Trump because you want good government: He was always the worst candidate.

They didn't say that Trump was the good government they were seeking. It seems many people voted for Trump because he would break shit, and then people would be forced to fix it, much like ObamaCare. Not sure if that was the case for the OP, but I have seen people stating they voted for Trump because they thought he'd essentially shake everybody up (due to incompetance) and others would have to get serious about governing. (Those people have more faith in humanity than I do however.)

Comment Re: I'm sure he had nothing to hide (Score 1) 895

So the real issue here is why Trump seems so keen to placate Russia, when the US's military and economic might literally dwarfs Russia's abilities.

On reasons bordering on conspiracy theories, it's because Trump not only is beholden to financial interests in Russia, but they also have info on him. If that is the case, I suspect what we'll see is a dropping of sanctions against Russia and letting them have their way in places like Syria while also playing them up as the adversary of the USA. This will free up Russia's economy and let them build up their sphere of power while giving them the prestige of being the foil of the US. Lot's of saber rattling while objectively giving them deals.

Comment Re:Okay - that was quick. (Score 1) 895

She did win in a landslide in the only thing polls measure: number of voters. That popular vote win WAS in fact a landslide. No, landslide is not strong enough a word - it was a fucking avalanche.

Not really. She lost about a third of the votes that Obama got. Meanwhile, Trump pulled in about the same as the last two Republicans candidates also got.

Comment Re:Okay - that was quick. (Score 1) 895

Have you ever heard the term "RINO?" As in "Republican In Name Only?" Neocon McCain is the chief RINO, and is generally regarded by conservatives to be a traitor who can always be counted on to attack other Republicans to the delight of the leftist media.

Shit. Tea Party are the RINOs. They're pretty much just Dixiecrats that switched sides back under Nixon due to Civil Rights and were later cultivated by Reagan for their money. It's not as if the actual ideals of the South and its oligarchy changed when it went from solid blue to solid red. Both parties used to have concervative and liberal sides to them, but the Democrats conservatives all fled to the Republicans and took over the party.

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Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan