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Comment Re:"Self sustaining base" (Score 1) 519

I think if you start to break the problem up into to more manageable parts it starts to become realistic (I know, I know, forest for the trees and all that). One of your points was about universities, but we have already started to build portable and distributed systems of information management (open source search engines like Lucene, or presentation/collaboration systems Media Wiki). So the fact that a university has complex administration and takes up a lot of space on Earth doesn't mean it has to on Mars. We are approaching a point where it might be possible to export and backup all of humanity's knowledge in a device as small as a laptop. Imagine what it could do for the world if while pursuing this larger goal we gained the ability to put a university into the hands of someone with access sun light. As for the ability to fix or replicate that laptop on Mars, that is a valid point but not necessarily a deal breaker in building a sustainable outpost. Mr. Aldrin is advocating that we start to think bigger, and I think his aspirations for humanity are in line with a more prosperous and exciting future that befits everyone.
The Courts

Supreme Court Nominee Sotomayor's Cyberlaw Record 384

Hugh Pickens writes "Thomas O'Toole writes that President Obama's choice for Associate Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, authored several cyberlaw opinions regarding online contracting law, domain names, and computer privacy while on the Second Circuit. Judge Sotomayor wrote the court's 2002 opinion in Specht v. Netscape Communications Corp., an important online contracting case. In Specht, the Second Circuit declined to enforce contract terms (PDF) that were available behind a hyperlink that could only be seen by scrolling down on a Web page. 'We are not persuaded that a reasonably prudent offeree in these circumstances would have known of the existence of license terms,' wrote Sotomayor. Judge Sotomayor wrote an opinion in a domain name case, Storey v. Cello Holdings LLC in 2003 that held that an adverse outcome in an administrative proceeding under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy did not preclude a later-initiated federal suit (PDF) brought under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). In Leventhal v. Knapek, a privacy case, Judge Sotomayor wrote for the Second Circuit that New York state agency officials and investigators did not violate a state employee's Fourth Amendment rights when they searched the contents of his office computer (PDF) for evidence of unauthorized use of state equipment. While none of these cases may mean much as far as what Judge Sotomayor will do as an Associate Supreme Court Justice 'if confirmed, she will be the first justice who has written cyberlaw-related opinions before joining the court,' writes O'Toole."

Comment Re:Send in Al Gore (Score 2, Insightful) 327

Is there an emoticon for standing up and applauding a well written and totally spot on comment? You sir deserve it. The really sad thing is that people who understand and value natural resources don't need to be told why it is important to use less, and recycle. For us, even if global warming was completely out of our hands we would still strive to live less resource demanding lives. The people who actually need to be scared by global warming (or resource depletion) are the same people who take aim at the messenger without out acknowledging the message. It's really frightening how much we will have to lose before some people see what they have thrown away.

Submission + - CSS Equivalent of Prototype? (

thinkingserious writes: "One of our programmers had the following comment in a recent Subversion commit: "Verified to display correctly with IE6, IE7, FF Ubuntu, FF, Galeon, Konqueror". Sigh... don't you hate when you have to do that? Frameworks like Prototype and Symfony has made development life much easier, but sadly CSS cross browser hell still brings the pain. So I ask, can some brave master-hacker create a Prototype/Symfony like framework for us poor CSS/HTML programmers?"

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