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Comment Re:Gold Medal (Score 1) 411

...who scored a perfect 10 for landing on the surface of Mars!

Gold medal, world (and Martian!) record :)

Before we cut to a talking head on NASA TV, the team were reading out landing data. Two bits I loved:

  1. vertical velocity at (presumably just before) touchdown was -0.6m/s and
  2. horizontal velocity was 0.04m/s.

That horizontal figure is truly staggering. Well done to all involved!

Comment Re:Cumbersome interface (Score 1) 54

The admins are aware of the feedback from what I've seen. The interface works much better if you use Chrome, but I agree, it needs tweaking. Like most of the projects, though, there are a group of people behind it who will continue to tweak based on user feedback. It's an iterative process, and personally I'm keen to throw positive support behind something that I think is a great idea and brings cutting edge datasets to the rest of us. I'm not affiliated with these guys in any way, just thing they deserve a red hot go.

Comment Good fun (Score 3, Informative) 54

It's a lot of fun - have been playing with it for the last 24 hours - until it got slashdotted :( At the moment they've only got 35 days of data - that means you're only going to reliably spot planets with fast orbits of less than around 10 days. You've only got about a 10% chance of spotting a planet with a 365 day orbital period. Later they hope to increase this to 120 days as the Kepler mission releases more data. It's not only planet searching that's interesting - you're looking at the light curve of stars and you see all kinds of odd stuff, from stars that have really random brightness peturbations, to stars that have oddly regular variations. Then there are things like eclipsing binaries that create complex waveforms and then stuff that's hard for an amateur like me to make head of tail of. If you've ever enjoyed backyard astronomy, this is great and very addictive. There are some rough edges - it's a bit hard to get started as you feel you don't know what you're looking at at first, and the interface will need some improvements, but it's early days yet and they're already doing some great stuff and building on the back of other project like galaxy zoo, so I'm keen to keep at it for a bit.

Comment Re:Physical is still the best bandwidth (Score 1) 478

Agreed, but the rate of growth in game sizes is not governed entirely by technological factors. The size of a game is the result of a decision on the part of the game publishers to back AAA titles which are bigger, more graphically pretty, etc. This is not the only way to go. Given a significant economic incentive to keep games smaller (eg: digital distribution), I would not be surprised to find the growth game sizes leveling out or even contracting over time.

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 267

agreement should not have an age restriction

I might be misunderstanding you here, so apologies if I am.

Agreement absolutely should have an age restriction, because it comes down to the ability of the person making the agreement to make an informed decision. This is important because if the person making the agreement cannot make an informed decision, then we can't really be sure that noone is going to be hurt.

Is a 14 year old capable of making an informed decision? What about an 8 year old? Maybe, but as a society we've pretty much agreed that 18 is a reasonable place to set the bar.

We might ask who, if not the individual, is in a position to make such a decision on their behalf - I'd say here parents or guardians serve in that role until the child is old enough to make informed decisions.

I agree with the statement that the government is not our moral compass, but in this case I don't think this is about governments acting as a moral compass. I think it's about offering some protection to minors.

Comment Re:It's my computer (Score 1) 535

You don't have a choice with the government - you do what they say or they throw you in jail.

Hold on. Don't you elect your government in the US? When did the US become a dictatorship!? If you've elected a government that throws you in jail because you don't do what they say, then vote them out. If the rest of the people disagree with you and vote for the government you don't want, well, that's not a problem with government, is it? If the system's so broken you can't vote for the right people, change it. That's what democracy is all about.

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