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Comment Cameras (Score 5, Interesting) 127

Just buy a point-of-sale camera system that department stores use. They keep weeks of video from dozens of cameras available for review. Requires 0 overhead in the common case when no audit is required. It is really easy to find out who did what given a time and camera ID. Use humans for your facial recognition, they're actually really good at it.

Comment Re:Just build it horizontally (Score 1) 210

Yes, except substitute "aircraft carrier" with "maybe a 1m target" and "landing at 100mph" to "entering at 5400mph" (the escape velocity of the moon, a reasonable order-of-magnitude guess) and "miss and you lose an aircraft, maybe damage the ship a bit" to "miss and you blow your mass driver to smithereens".

Comment Re:Just build it horizontally (Score 1) 210

Non-uniformity only helps you, as you can take advantage of it to orient your mass driver above horizontal. The problem with a mass driver is the generated orbit intersects the moon again quite quickly (unless you go for escape velocity?). You need to redirect the payload once it is launched, with its own rockets or some sort of catching mechanism.

Comment Re:Fantastic (Score 1) 135

> Black holes at the edge of the universe - you've been there? You purport to know what happened in the first ms, seconds, minutes, and hours of the universe? Please do enlighten the rest of us. We have absolutely no idea what's further out from the prototype galaxies.

I think you're confusing time with space. There is clearly a "time" edge to the universe, the big bang itself. But there is no evidence for a space edge of the universe. Yes, we don't have much evidence for what exists time-beyond the prototype galaxies. But we have lots of evidence for what is space-beyond the prototype galaxies. Namely, it will look like every other region of space that we can see. Relativity and the isotropy of space demand it. (i.e. if an alien grew up in one of those prototype galaxies that is ~13+ billion light years from here, and space beyond it was different somehow, then space wouldn't be isotropic for that alien. And that alien would have the same question about what is beyond our galaxy - we WERE the 13+ billion light year distant prototype galaxy for lots of the observers in the universe.)

In any case, knowing what happened in the early universe is completely irrelevant for what is causing the dark matter effect in galaxies today (other than, of course, whatever causes the dark matter effect was probably created in the early universe). Flying spaghetti monsters could have roamed the early universe, it doesn't matter. Only things that survived until today can be causing it.

Comment Re:Fantastic (Score 1) 135

> That would only apply if there were stars on the other side of them (from us) to generate light so that we could see the lens effect.

True. That experiment has been done, see

There is much wrong with everything else you say. First, black holes can't be only at the edge of the universe. There is no edge - the universe is isotropic, as far as we know. Unless you suggest that the black holes were in the early universe but have somehow vanished over time. But in any case, that is totally irrelevant. We see dark matter effects IN galaxies NEAR us that we can see ALL of. If all the black holes are at the edge of the universe, they aren't affecting the dynamics of the galaxies we can see, and thus can't be cause of the dark matter effect.

Comment Re:US regulations prevent this from being used (Score 1) 54

If you're picking up 70% oil, being able to dump the 30% water back into the ocean isn't going to make a big difference. All you need is a slightly larger tanker to hold the mix. And I'm pretty sure the tanker capacity of the oil industry isn't the limiting factor...

Comment Re:Target ORR (Score 1) 54

I think you meant the ORE (oil recovery efficiency), not the ORR (oil recovery rate). An ORE of 70% doesn't seem bad to me, that means that 30% of your tank capacity is wasted because you can't dump the water back into the ocean. You have to take it to a shore treatment center (where you would have to take the oil anyway). I would imagine that tank capacity isn't the limiting factor, oil companies have lots of tankers. I'd agree with the competition organizers that ORR is much more important.

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