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Comment Re:Can't we just send them all? (Score 1) 176

The problem is by failing you'd mess it up for everyone else, by contaminating Mars with Earth micro-organisms, you have no idea how valuable a Pristine Mars with probably independently evolved life is potentially for science and for humanity. If you could somehow colonize Mars with humans without bringing their micro-organisms along as well, but no-one knows a way to do that. There is a way around that too, to explore Mars telerobotically to start with. Why such a rush to land humans on the surface when the surface is cold as Antarctica, near vacuum, and far less habitable than the coldest driest deserts on Earth (the McMurdo dry valleys in Antarctica and the Atacama desert are both far more habitable for humans than Mars)? Is easier to supply and maintain a colony in orbit, the Molniya orbit is easier to get to in terms of delta v than the Moon. Then you can control telerobots on the surface instead. See: http://www.science20.com/robert_inventor/blog/ten_reasons_not_live_mars_great_place_explore-118531 See http://www.science20.com/robert_inventor039s_column/blog/how_valuable_pristine_mars_humanity_opinion_piece-115954

Comment touch screens are awesome for onscreen music kbds (Score 2) 359

10 finger touch is what you need for on-screen keyboards. - lets you do things that are impossible with mouse or keyboard. Haptic feedback would be a big plus and velocity sensitivity of the finger touches. I am music software developer in the process of upgrading my apps to take advantage of touch - though only have 2 finger touch on my current development machine which is a handicap - 2 finger touch isn't that awesome for music making on the screen but 10 finger for sure would be.

Comment Re:Logic: (Score 1) 237

Yes and asteroid retrieval actually combines well with telerobotic exploration of the Moon. The asteroid woud be returned to an L1 or L2 position around the Moon if I understand right, From there, you can do good telerobotics control of missions on the surface of the Moon, which is a cost effective way to explore the Moon if you are interested in the science return.

Comment Re:White Noise (Score 1) 561

Yes I was in a similar situation, actually was a neighbour with OCD who got up frequently in the night to wash his hands for hours on end - and the bathroom was right next to my room so I heard all the noise he made. I had a continuously running loop playing the sound of running water - you could also use sound of the sea. Better if it is natural and continually varying sound, because if it is steady you can filter it out and hear the sounds through it but if the sound is just interesting enough to be continually varying, relaxing and natural sounding - but not so much that it keeps you awake - that's ideal. Water has lots of sort of "popping" noises in it and so a few more sudden noises in the background can just get lost in the mix. You can play it over headphones, though it is a bit tricky to keep headphones on while you sleep. Or play it over loud speakers close to your bed - it is an unobtrusive sound for those outside your room so not likely to get complaints to run it over night especially if you explain why you are doing it to anyone who wants to know. It wasn't a perfect solution, I still got woken up occasinally - but it let me get some uninterrupted nights of sleep when I was exhausted and tired all the time and very much needed some sleep after being woken up so many times in the middle of the night.

Comment gamma ray burst is thought to be generated along t (Score 1) 157

It is also very likely to be far away because the gamma ray burst is thought to be generated along the axis of the rotating star. So the chance that a nearby star will happen to point exactly towards us is very low indeed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-ray_burst One that might be a danger at some point apparently is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WR_104 but most likely it is angled more like 30 degrees to us so not a danger (just summarizing the info you find on wikipedia about them)

Comment Re:How many developers? (Score 1) 177

There are 204,784 active developers right now, so that's $34,182 average per developer. Since most developers are probably earning next to nothing, some must be earning serious amounts of money from the App store.

You can also divide by the total number of apps, 1,039,518 apps so that makes an average income of $6,733 per app.. Again a serious amount of money.

It would be interesting to know what happens to those averages if you remove, say, the top 100,000 apps and the top 10,000 developers from the list, to give a better idea of what it is like for most developers.

You can get the up to date figures here (may be changed by the time you read it)

Comment Re:DNA is an Earth-specific coincidence (Score 1) 142

That can't be quite right, because some spores on Earth are viable after hundreds of thousands of years. What makes a difference is that they have self repairing DNA, some claimed to still be viable even after millions of years. If there is life on Mars now, it might remain dormant most of the time in spores of some form or other, and waken when conditions are better even just every few hundred thousand years - or could germinate when good conditions are encountered on present day Mars. Both are reasons to possibly find spores even on the surface of Mars, viable spores, perhaps it's those that they are targeting, or anything else like that. The life itself might not be on the surface especially near the equator - but the spores might be.

Comment Re:Working as intended (Score 1) 333

You can look at the history of the article, and there's an extensive discussion of the article there too, case of a small human error on the part of one wikipedia editor, not a failure of wikipedia policies, and the whole thing is very understandable - both sides - the biographer didn't engage in any discussion at least on the talk page - you can understand that from a human point of view but it's best to talk to the other editors of the article especially when editing an article about yourself or the person you are the official biographer for, to help deal with some of the confusions.

Comment Re:Working as intended (Score 1) 333

Have you looked at the wiki article - quite a storm in a teacup, nothing much really happened and it's all fixed now, with a long discussion about it - it seems it dates to an incident where his official biographer edited the article and a wiki editor reverted the edit, doubted his claim to be the biographer. The biographer then reverted the edit again, and the wiki editor reverted it back and and put in lots of supporting references to the other POV from published material. The biographer apparently made no more edits and didn't engage in any discussion on the talk page. You can understand both from a human point of view one of those misunderstandings that can easily happen - the biographer you can well understand giving up no-one likes it if someone else doubts that you are who you are - and the wiki editor you can understand some scepticism about it since anyone can claim to be anyone and you get lots of "sock puppets" on wikipedia people claiming to be something different from who they are - though their reaction violates the wiki guidelines to "not bite the newbie". If it happens to you the thing to do is to talk about it on the talk page and engage in discussion. And it is okay to edit your own biography in wikipedia - to correct facts like your date of birth, or other things like that, it's just a guideline about not editing pages about yourself and is meant to stop you from putting in things like critical appraisals of your own work e.g. saying how good you are at what you do, or just putting in lots of extra material that no-one else is interested in - it's hard to have a neutral point of view. But you can go in and edit and correct facts, and if someone reverts your edit, explain on the talk page and engage in talk with the other editors and it should work out fine.

Comment Re:Rockstars aren't all they're cracked up to be (Score 1) 487

Yes - that type of code is limited to the working lifetime of the coder. As long as he is alive and part of the company then he can continue to do updates of the code. After that then no more updates are possible, and even simple bug fixes may be hard to do. Which may be fine in some situations. Just so long as you recognise the situation.

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