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NASA Warns of Potential "Huge Space Storm" In 2013

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the after-twenty-twelve-who-cares dept.

NASA 464

Low Ranked Craig writes "Senior space agency scientists believe the Earth will be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flares after the Sun wakes 'from a deep slumber' sometime around 2013. In a new warning, NASA said the super storm could hit like 'a bolt of lightning' and could cause catastrophic consequences for the world's health, emergency services, and national security — unless precautions are taken. Scientists believe damage could extend to everyday items such as home computers, iPods, and sat navs. 'We know it is coming but we don't know how bad it is going to be,' said Dr. Richard Fisher, the director of NASA's Heliophysics division. 'I believe we're on the threshold of a new era in which space weather can be as influential in our daily lives as ordinary terrestrial weather.' Fisher concludes. 'We take this very seriously indeed.'"

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464 comments

Scary (1, Redundant)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576436)

Like a giant EMP bomb.

Re:Scary (2, Insightful)

ThinkWeak (958195) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576476)

So would something like an EMP destroy pace makers, artificial hearts, etc.? I know the typical discussion is in regards to someone not being able to listen to their Jason Mraz album on their iPod, but would something like this essentially kill anyone with an artificial/bionic enhancement that controls life support?

Re:Scary (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576584)

So would something like an EMP destroy pace makers, artificial hearts, etc.? I know the typical discussion is in regards to someone not being able to listen to their Jason Mraz album on their iPod, but would something like this essentially kill anyone with an artificial/bionic enhancement that controls life support?

No. My titanium ribs act as a Faraday Cage and protect my electronic innards. So after the disaster happens.... I'LL BE BACK.

Re:Scary (5, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576830)

So would something like an EMP destroy pace makers

Pacemakers are installed inside a poorly constructed Faraday cage. That being your highly conductive body. Pacemakers historically have occasionally gotten all wound up in high RF fields, but aside from folks working at high power UHF TV station transmitters it has not been a serious issue.

You can "short out" and essentially blow the fuses of a pacemaker. Of course it takes more than enough power to hopelessly electrocute someone, in fact depending on the design you pretty much need to cook them like one of those electric hot dog cookers.

Its pretty much the usual useless scaremongering B.S.

would something like this essentially kill anyone with an artificial/bionic enhancement that controls life support?

Could something worse than we have ever experienced, result in deaths? Just speaking generally, not about any specific threat, and taking a wild guess, I'd say that's a good solid maybe, unless my salary depending on raising money by saying yes, in which case I'd say yes.

Around 2013 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576446)

Around 2013? So what, maybe December 2012...

Re:Around 2013 (1)

MacDork (560499) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576562)

Has the sun even come out of its extended hibernation yet? And what scientific basis do they have to expect large storms? Just because the down time was unusually long? The articles had a serious lack of specifics. I'm beginning to think the solar scientists are taking a page from James Hansen's playbook.

Re:Around 2013 (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576760)

Protip: If TFA is found on the "telegraph.co.uk" domain, it almost certainly represents the state of knowledge of someone who majored in "journalism", after surviving an editor, rather than the state of knowledge of the actual scientists involved with the question...

EOTW? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576572)

Since the headline of TFA describes this as a once-in-a-generation "space storm", I'd say this is umlikely to be a problem. There were lots of electronic gadgets around a generation ago (or two, for that matter), and the world didn't come to an end.

Re:EOTW? (1)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576742)

While I agree with your conclusions, we do have to factor in that modern day electronics are a lot more sensitive to electromagnetic disturbances than electronic devices of 70 years ago were.

Re:EOTW? (2, Interesting)

yotto (590067) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576796)

Actually a "Generation" is typically 20-25 years. However, today's electronics are a pretty big advance from those of the late 80s.

I just had a thought, wouldn't it be odd if the only space ships that weathered the space storm were the Shuttles? :o

Re:EOTW? (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576916)

Working on the assumption that, in the contemporary west, "generation" means ~25 years, there have been pretty enormous changes in that time. In '85, a 386 fabbed on a 1.5 micrometer process was seriously exciting stuff. In 1960, the transistor was only 13 years old, and seriously retro(but electromagnetically robust) stuff like magnetic core memory was still standard. There were plenty of electric gadgets, though.

Mayans only off by a few months. (3, Funny)

DigitalReverend (901909) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576448)

That IS impressive.

Re:Mayans only off by a few months. (2, Funny)

Splab (574204) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576624)

Technically they can still be proven correct, no one knows when the suns next big fart is coming up (the shiny one, not the paper version, they shit crap out all the time :D - and are probably an even greater danger to society)

Re:Mayans only off by a few months. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576814)

This is too early to make that comment.

Invest in FRDY! (3, Interesting)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576460)

I seriously wonder whether I should purchase a few crate-sized Farady cages [wikipedia.org] in preparation, and ensure I have non-magnetic backups of everything.

Re:Invest in FRDY! (2, Interesting)

capnchicken (664317) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576518)

Non-magnetic? Like what? Writable CD-R's are only good for about two years. (not snarky, just curious)

Re:Invest in FRDY! (3, Informative)

daid303 (843777) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576546)

Flash disks are non-magnetic. But if you want something that survives better then I suggest something like engravings on stone tablets.

Re:Invest in FRDY! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576564)

Number-memorizing Chinese people have been known to survive well. Unless they work for Foxconn, that is.

Re:Invest in FRDY! (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576550)

if we only have large activity in 2013, a single set of optical media would survive this, to be read in again in 2014

Also, my computer is pretty much a large steel cage, with the magnetic platters encased in another thick layer of metal, how vulnerable would a regular tower be?

Re:Invest in FRDY! (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576906)

Also, my computer is pretty much a large steel cage, with the magnetic platters encased in another thick layer of metal, how vulnerable would a regular tower be?

Simultaneously plugged into a multi-thousand mile grid of copper electrical power wiring and miles of aluminum hardline for the cablemodem, not so good.

Unplugged in a box, excellent chance of survival.

Also, electrical fields have no direct effect on magnetic material, you can completely vaporize the electronic of a computer in a lightning strike and a cleanroom service can install new circuit boards and recover most/all of the data off the drive. Now, heat the platters above the curie temperature, like in a fire, and you're screwed.

Re:Invest in FRDY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576558)

DVD-RAMs supposedly last 30 years.

Re:Invest in FRDY! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576596)

Unless you have a punchcard to jtag writer, documentation on your cd-rom drive, and of course backups of your bios, you're screwed anyways. Every electronic component you'd use to recover those backups probably has either an eeprom or flash part in it containing the device specific code. In the event of any sort of serious EM pulse that could damage hardware or wipe software you would either have lost or best case had minimally corrupted every device along the chain you'd use for recovery. This actually falls in under 'reasons to have blueprints for your hardware'... if the software were to disappear tomorrow, who would be able to reimplement it in order to help recover all that now-dead hardware?

Re:Invest in FRDY! (1)

gox (1595435) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576818)

I had some data in heavily scratched CD-R's from 1996 I had tossed in a box, which I was able to recover in 2007 -- I'm quite sure they still work. OTOH I have CD-R's from 2009 that are barely readable. I guess if you have a well-thought error correction strategy (e.g. distributing recovery data to different types of media), you'd be safe.

Re:Invest in FRDY! (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576714)

non-magnetic backups of everything

Does anybody know how the advent of GMR hard drive heads influences the EMP scenarios? They're resistant to change enough that regular high-power drive de-gaussers don't work anymore.

Re:Invest in FRDY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576752)

aren't these kind of solar storms the kind ruin electrical systems on the scale of power grids not small electronics?

Re:Invest in FRDY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576878)

Better yet, get one of those blue lasers and rig it up a disc writer.
Burn (literally) the data in to some plastic disc.
Then put some render over the disc and store it safely.

Or print encoded data with a few copies of how to decode it.
I forgot the link to a recentish good one, but i'm sure someone will come along with it at some point.
This is useful if all computers got wiped.

Of course, still put some computers in cages just to be safe.
Just have an entire room or closet dedicated to it. (just make sure to have a 2 door system so nothing leaks through when you are entering)
100% safe room... unless the sun blew up.

Michael Bay it! (2, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576478)

Send a rag-tag bunch of misfit ex-astronauts in space with an atomic bomb to place at the center of the storm, to create "a sort of firecracker in closed fist effect", YEEEEEEE-HAW!!!

Re:Michael Bay it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576622)

"a sort of firecracker in closed fist effect"

An atomic bomb vs. the sun sounds more like "throwing a water balloon at a tsunami".

You're fucking with me, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576482)

You're fucking with me, right? Please tell me you're fucking with me.

They should hire better PR. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576484)

If they had said it was coming in 2012 it would have generated way more publicity!

I still have my Y2K food (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576492)

Oh, good... I was worried that I'd have to throw out all that canned Y2K food that I have in my basement bunker. (actually, it's technically my mom's basement)

2012 called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576502)

...they want their end of the world back!

We're important! (0, Troll)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576512)

Let other people push further in space travel, we're too busy predicting space weather a year in advance.

It does sound important.

Article summary: (0, Troll)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576514)

Give us more money so we can do more research.

Re:Article summary: (1)

mokeyboy (585139) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576904)

mod insightful. Space weather events only strongly couple with the Earth in geomagnetic high latitudes (Alaska, parts of the Canadian peninsulas etc - you know, missile sub launching areas). Most of the Earth's population lives in equatorial (subject to tropospheric {rainstorms} more than space weather {ionospheric}) or mid-latitude regions. Yeah, there is a really low risk of a high energy electron embedding in satellites and other terrestrial electronic systems - every day risk largely independent of solar cycle activity. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_weather [wikipedia.org]. I was at the Hitachi, Japan conference where the term "space weather" was coined. Talk about a media piece trying to conjoin disparate instances of geophysical systems :-(. 2012, you are kidding me right? Who is going to get a satellite program up in an early warning emplacement in time? USA, you have _got_ to be joking. This is a money grab, nothing more. Is there a risk, for sure there is. Beating a drum and sounding the end of the world? I think cry wolf has been sounded a couple of times already and the effort on the cry wolf at least is doomed (may be not misguided, to note, ipad generation).

TFA. (4, Insightful)

bbqsrc (1441981) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576520)

If you RTFA, it's not a world ending event. It's just gonna mess up some transformers if they don't turn them off in time.

Re:TFA. (5, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576600)

If you RTFA, it's not a world ending event. It's just gonna mess up some transformers if they don't turn them off in time.

But will it be more likely to turn Autobots into Decepticons or the other way around? It's an important distinction!

Is your hat ready ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576522)

Time to reinforce your tin foil hats!

home computers, iPods, and sat navs (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576538)

"home computers, iPods, and sat navs"
Why not "Macs, iPods and Garmins"?

Re:home computers, iPods, and sat navs (4, Funny)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576574)

because apparently the only PMP's affected will be ipods..

No EMP resistance, less space then a nomad, lame

sure, sure. (2, Insightful)

Banichi (1255242) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576544)

You can't plot the weather here on Earth more than 3 days from now accurately, but you expect us to believe you can plot the sun's weather 2 years from now?

I call BS.

Re:sure, sure. (3, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576578)

Are you an astrophysicist?

I'm going to assume you aren't. If so, wtf makes you think anyone is going to take your BS accusation seriously?

I call BS on your BS.

Re:sure, sure. (2)

Mr_Plattz (1589701) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576606)

Calling BS on BS doesn't make the initial statement true.

Re:sure, sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576724)

Calling BS on BS doesn't make the initial statement true.

I call BS on that!

Re:sure, sure. (1)

Heed00 (1473203) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576650)

Are you a BSologist?

I'm going to assume you aren't. If so, wtf makes you think anyone is going to take your BS accusation seriously? I call BS on your BS on his BS.

Re:sure, sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576798)

Are you a Bull?
Because us human being types know bullshit when we can see it. Ofcourse, no one is saying they are 100% wrong... just not 100% accurate... give or take 80%

Re:sure, sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576590)

Space doesnt have air, it doesnt have a careful balance of chemicals.

The sun is 98% hydrogen, and 2% helium.

When you put probablities and odds on a larger scale, such as the sun, then predicting things that usually fallow the Chaos Theory (like the weather), seem to be logical.

Hence, predicting the space weather.

tl;dr: Flip a coin once, who knows? Flip it 100 times, you get 48 heads and 52 tails.

Re:sure, sure. (1)

color 0e echo Thilo (1833980) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576712)

this comment was mine, but expanding on it, even if PR was joking, still; you can predict space event fairly easily and accuratly compared to eath events.

Re:sure, sure. (1, Insightful)

nadaou (535365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576638)

... two mods who think this post is insightful, and two posts showing it is wrong, and still no one has figured out that this is a joke making fun of the global warming deniers ... sigh, yup, which ever of these groups you side with the answer is the same: no one gets it and at this point we're pretty much screwed.

Re:sure, sure. (3, Insightful)

masterfpt (1435165) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576732)

It is common knowledge the sun has seasons, like the hearth. But they take 11 years to cycle.

With statistical analysis and observations, it is very well possible to make an educated guess...

Like we are not scared enough (3, Insightful)

dragisha (788) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576548)

With influenza pandemy, Maya's calendar doomsday, $|€ crisis, oil spills, earthquakes...

Or NASa just saw the light and how public fear can me made into profit, using for example big pharma recipes...?

Whatever, only reasonable thing to do about it is to cool down and ignore as much as we can.

Re:Like we are not scared enough (2, Interesting)

cpaalman (696554) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576822)

It is reasonable to ignore as much as we can. That line of thinking worked out well in the Gulf.

Good thing we dont have Electric Cars yet (2, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576552)

I'd hate to see what would happen if all our energy usage was electric instead of burning stuff.

Re:Good thing we dont have Electric Cars yet (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576612)

Got fuel injection? That's controlled by a computer [wikipedia.org].

Re:Good thing we dont have Electric Cars yet (1, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576674)

I'd hate to see what would happen if all our energy usage was electric instead of burning stuff.

It doesn't matter, we have electronic controls everywhere. If there's an EMP-level event from the Sun, any cars made since about 1970 will be rendered inoperable.

Re:Good thing we dont have Electric Cars yet (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576774)

If there's an EMP-level event from the Sun, any cars made since about 1970 will be rendered inoperable.

Good, my 1968 muscle car will still work. And since everyone else's cars will be dead, there'll be plenty of cheap gas and I won't care that it only gets 9MPG.

Countermesures anyone? (2, Interesting)

gorg1 (205080) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576576)

From one of the links we learn that "..powergrids will temporary switch off some transformers, to save them from the effects..".
What about our computers? Anyone here able to confirm that powered off electronics would not be damaged by the blast?

British acronyms (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576582)

In some deep and primal way it infuriates me that the British only capitalize the first letter of acronyms. Consider this due warning England: change your ways or we will have to invent our own version of your language, with different spellings and everything.

Re:British acronyms (1, Offtopic)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576756)

Only when the word is pronounced as a word, not a series of letters, i.e. USA, FBI, CIA are all caps but Nasa and Nato are not because you don't pronounce the letters. You're welcome to make your own version of our language just please don't call it English - it just leads to confusion and arguments. At the very least call it American English.

Re:British acronyms (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576874)

Not to mention GPS, which is in the article had our anonymous coward only bothered to read the whole thing before complaining...

Re:British acronyms (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576920)

fuck you! You didn't invent the language dipshit. The british did!! We can do what we want to OUR language!

from wikipedia "English is a West Germanic language that arose in England and south-eastern Scotland in the time of the Anglo-Saxons." - doesnt say USA does it? No so fuck you!

EVERYBODY PANIC!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576594)

Run in circles outside before collapsing in tears.

Re:EVERYBODY PANIC!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576640)

Just like prom night. Ahhh, the memories...

Why should we expect a worse sun spot maximum? (4, Interesting)

CdXiminez (807199) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576632)

Why should we expect a worse sun spot maximum than previous maxima?
Nowhere in the two linked articles does it say anything about why it would be worse than 2006.
They don't even talk about the unusually long sun spot miminum we've had.
I was hoping for some science about how that might affect the coming maximum...

Government thinking writ large: (4, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576636)

The National Risk Register, established in 2008 to identify different dangers to Britain, also has "comprehensive" plans on how to handle a complete outage of electricity supplies.

Yes, secret plans. Don't worry, when we need to know, they'll be disseminated, presumably by a network of tin cans and bits of string, with a smoke signal backup system.

Can't Touch This (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576644)

My iPod has a Monster Cable brand cover!

"He said large swathes of the world could face being without power for several months, although he admitted that was unlikely."

It could be really bad, or not. Plan accordingly.

Re:Can't Touch This (1)

dragisha (788) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576766)

My iPod has a Monster Cable brand cover!

I am still undecided would iPod problems be bigger than number of people dead once their pacemakers stop
working.

Makes one think just how people can be irresponsible in their quest for funding. One's fear for iPod is nothing compared to, possibly, milions of people whose lives depend on piece of electronic.

NASA is on the 2012 Band wagon? (0)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576646)

How ironic that we can add even NASA to the crowd saying that 2012 or thereabouts will lead to huge destruction...

creators' big flash already happening everywhere (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576666)

there's plenty of doubt nowadays when ANY prognostication issued by a member of man'kind' leaves out EVERYTHING of any spiritual nature. it's like trying to solve an equation without 99% of the components/variables available to consider.

the corepirate nazi illuminati is always hunting that patch of red on almost everyones' neck. if they cannot find yours (greed, fear ego etc...) then you can go starve. that's their platform now. they do pull A LOT of major strings.

never a better time for all of us to consult with/trust in our creators. the lights are coming up rapidly all over now. see you there?

greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of our dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children. not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one, & the terminal damage to our atmosphere (see also: manufactured 'weather', hot etc...). see you on the other side of it? the lights are coming up all over now. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be your guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. we now have some choices. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on your brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

"The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."--

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson

no need to confuse 'religion' with being a spiritual being. our soul purpose here is to care for one another. failing that, we're simply passing through (excess baggage) being distracted/consumed by the guaranteed to fail illusionary trappings of man'kind'. & recently (about 10,000 years ago) it was determined that hoarding & excess by a few, resulted in negative consequences for all.

consult with/trust in your creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." )one does not need not to agree whois in charge to grasp the notion that there may be some assistance available to us(

boeing, boeing, gone.

'We take this very seriously indeed.'" (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576670)

But the rest of the world doesn't! Silly scientists with you wacky microscopes.

Vacuum Tubes (1)

Carpal Tunnel (728358) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576672)

Damnit... i KNEW i should have requested the vacuum tube version of my new Android phone! With this new information, i think the extra weight would have been worth it!

Ah, the 'quality' press (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576684)

Just a few snippets from the wonderful Telegraph article...they say that;

"While scientists have previously told of the dangers of the storm, Dr Fisher’s comments are the most comprehensive warnings from Nasa to date."

Indeed they are! For example:

“Large areas will be without electricity power and to repair that damage will be hard as that takes time.”

Ah, OK...but there's more!

"He said large swathes of the world could face being without power for several months, although he admitted that was unlikely. "

Eh?

"Dr Fisher said precautions could be taken including creating back up systems for hospitals and power grids".

Great idea! Damn, why did we not think of that before?

Telegraph sensationalized stories (4, Informative)

Fractal Dice (696349) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576690)

Does it seem to anyone else that the telegraph routinely confuses "Something up to size X could hypothetically happen some day" with "X IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN!!!!"?

I'm not saying this is a bad topic to have a conversation about (in fact it's one of my favorite disaster scenarios to rant about), it's just that if slashdot is going to reference the telegraph, it should frame it as though a new Hollywood disaster movie has been released, not as though it was an actual news item was printed.

Time to deploy TCP/IP Over Carrier Pidgin! (1)

Silly Man (15712) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576700)

Looks like RFC1149 is needed after all!

http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1149.html [faqs.org]

Cult Anyone? (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576848)

Rites include worshiping the sun and wrapping copious amounts of copper wire around your body, making a huge human electromagnet for nuking organs from the inside. Our holy sun-god will feast so well that night!

"The sky is falling" (0, Troll)

Ichido (896924) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576850)

It seems that most "Scientists" like to try to scare the population so they can Get more money just to feather their nests.

Doomed! (0, Troll)

dandart (1274360) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576864)

Oh, no! We're all doomed! We must build massive underground lead chambers to live in to prevent all our shiny gadgets from dying!! Oh, the over-the-top-ness!

Once-per-century event affecting out daily lives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576880)

'I believe we're on the threshold of a new era in which space weather can be as influential in our daily lives as ordinary terrestrial weather.' Fisher concludes.

How is this the conclusion? Since when is a once-per-century event affecting our _daily_ lives?

Understanding the spaceweather or not, its effect on our daily lives will not be any greater than it does today.

budgets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32576886)

so this coes at a time when NASA are seeing their budgets cut/completely removed... deeply suspicious.

stupid shit (1)

alobar72 (974422) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576944)

when this thing happens just after I finally got my iPad - just to have it rendered useless immediately... I will be _very_ pissed

The end of the world is nigh!!! (0, Troll)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 3 years ago | (#32576946)

Oh woe begot us. The end of the world is nigh.

The earth survived the previous 4 billion years just fine.

Sigh...

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