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Comment Solar studies essential, for Climate and more. (Score 4, Insightful) 107

You have to be trolling.

Knowledge of what the Sun is doing is essential for anything we do in space, including studying the weather and climate, because solar radiation is dangerous to equipment as well as people. And down here on earth - someday there is going to be a solar storm such as happened in 1859, which set telegraph cables sparking across the planet. Today, such a thing would fry our phone and electric systems if we can't predict it with the certainty needed to, literally, shut down and disconnect our electricity and copper communication networks while it passes by.

And of course, while it is CO and methane that are driving climate change, the heat it traps comes from the Sun, so good knowledge of what the Sun is doing is needed to understand our measurements of temperature.

Comment The scariest words - "Stolen Database." (Score 1) 215

Data doesn't ever get 'un-stolen'. That database is out there, maybe for a price, or maybe posted for anyone with access to the right dark website. Basically, this should mean that G.M. should now be recalling their entire fleet to reencrypt all their vehicle's remote locking equipment, unless they can prove that some of their vehicles cannot have been in that database.

Comment Re:Maybe the driver believed it was enabled? (Score 1) 166

Auto-pilot comes from aeroplanes, where it is a device that keeps the plane in straight and level flight. It will happily maintain altitude and heading all the way into a mountainside. Really advanced ones even sqwark at you before impact; They all are set to throw their hands in the air and hand the plane back to the human pilot, without prior warning, if things go wrong. Very much like the Tesla's. So, when a system that can control the car without human attention is developed, then it won't be called 'auto-pilot'.

Comment Re:Maybe the driver believed it was enabled? (Score 5, Interesting) 166

Possibly the driver, seeing the bridge or rail coming up and being uncomfortable with the approach speed, tapped the brake. This would have disabled the autopilot.

Now, although disabling automatic systems on manual input has been the standard for as long as automatic systems have been available, I am beginning to wonder if it really is the right decision here. People seem to be turning it off without realising that they have done it.

Comment Worse than that: this spacecraft has broken up. (Score 4, Informative) 77

Sourced from the competition of things you may have read:

https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/714113400008286208 :

Oh this is very very bad. From @spacetrackorg "Breakup Notification: [...] ASTRO H at approx 0820z, 26 Mar 16: 5 associated pieces .."

Suspected causes are a MMOD hit, battery explosion or cryo system overpressure. Suggestoin that "It's too early to write the satellite's obituary", but any good news is very unlikely.

Comment For a real DCMA notice, a real lawyer signs. (Score 2) 157

Notionally, that lawyer is responsible for the notice. But the law has a 'good faith' provision, that clears the lawyer if the notice was issued in good faith. As everyone is interpreting that 'the computer told me to put it on the notice, I didn't check anything' as 'good faith', the penalties in the act have no effect.

If only web sites were keeping track of videos like these as 'canaries', and automatically rejecting as invalid any notices that include them. A notice that includes a video that is so clearly not infringing could not be considered 'valid'.

Comment Re:Destructive test does not mean 'blow it up'. (Score 1) 373

OK, I see - the person you replied to mis-used the term 'destructive testing' to mean repeatedly launching the rocket until it destroys itself. Yeah, that would not be competent, and would tell them nothing.

Real destructive testing is used all the time. SpaceX themselves would destructively test a sample of every part they buy, or build. Parts of this rocket will be destructively tested to confirm what their models tell them. But you knew that.

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