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Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

Black Parrot Huh? (219 comments)

GRBs clearly haven't prevented life in *our* galaxy, so the Fermi Paradox still stands.

The caluculations probably rule out life in the core of our galaxy, but systems further out would be exposed even less often than ours is. And even though GRBs can periodically sterilize a planet, their directionality means that one burst would not likely sterilize all the planets in an intercellar civilization simultaneously.

So, to modify what someone said above, we can add another term to the Drake equation, but this doesn't do much to answer Fermi.

yesterday
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Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

Black Parrot I feel sorry for rich people, (331 comments)

what with the rabble's concerns boiling over and impinging on the fringes of their attention.

2 days ago
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How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

Black Parrot Re:We Really Don't (152 comments)

Sorry... I was going for the joke and didn't pitch it very well. My actual views are more like yours.

As for the reality of the subject matter, I would borrow the concept of "probably approximately correct" from machine learning, and give it a 90-95% chance of being ~80% correct. (The 80% is lower to allow room for some more big discoveries like inflation.)

Unfortunately, people will be (hopefully) studying this for thousands of years on top of the <100 we have so far, and none of us will live to see how it turns out in the long term.

2 days ago
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Ubisoft Revokes Digital Keys For Games Purchased Via Unauthorised Retailers

Black Parrot Re:"Fraudulent" (456 comments)

And I'm guessing that the publishers who use region codes cry like babies whenever governments impose artificial barriers to free trade.

2 days ago
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Ubisoft Revokes Digital Keys For Games Purchased Via Unauthorised Retailers

Black Parrot Re:I have an idea.. (456 comments)

It's like the old Texan saying: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, can't get fooled again."

I always heard it as: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

And of course, the word of choice usually wasn't "fool".

(Is this really a regional saying?)

2 days ago
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How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

Black Parrot Re:We Really Don't (152 comments)

This is the comic book version of what happened.

Like all esoteric fields of study, we outsiders can't understand it because we don't have The Right Stuff.

(Presumably that's something they smoke.)

2 days ago
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Bomb Threats Via Twitter Partly Shut Down Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport

Black Parrot Re:Other than the obligatory security theatre... (110 comments)

My first cynical thought was "shoot them down if they blow up". But one bomber claimed to be on board, so they could have reasonably been concerned that the planes would be hijacked and used as missiles.

4 days ago
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Bomb Threats Via Twitter Partly Shut Down Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport

Black Parrot Re:we don't do credible here (110 comments)

Yeah. If you make threats on Slashdot you get picked up by men in white coats instead of black helicopters.

4 days ago
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New Advance Confines GMOs To the Lab Instead of Living In the Wild

Black Parrot Re:I`ll be the pessimist (130 comments)

``the number of escapees was so small as to be undetectable``.

This doesn`t exactly sound encouraging.

It means no one had died yet, as far as they know.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Outlook Users In China Hit With MITM Attack

Black Parrot Imagine that. (35 comments)

A state spying on it's own citizens... shameful. I'd be outraged, unless of course they said it was part of the war on terror, or whatever China's current favorite boogeyman is.

about two weeks ago
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Insurance Company Dongles Don't Offer Much Assurance Against Hacking

Black Parrot onStar? (199 comments)

What do we know about the security of systems such as onStar?

about two weeks ago
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To Avoid Detection, Terrorists Made Messages Seem Like Spam

Black Parrot porncoding (110 comments)

If you can think of as many distinct sexual activities as there are symbols in your wrinting system, make a table and encode your secret messages as porn movies. (Spies will probably watch them, but probably also forget that they're supposed to be looking for messages.)

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

Black Parrot Re:Get in your 2 minutes of hate now! (893 comments)

This is so stupid I don't even know where to start criticizing you...

Free speech means it's ok for him to post when he's off his meds.

about two weeks ago
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Human Language May Have Evolved To Help Our Ancestors Make Tools

Black Parrot More likely, to help them get laid. (154 comments)

Which is something that knowing a programming language isn't much help with.

about two weeks ago
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The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun

Black Parrot Calling Star Trek (300 comments)

We found your stoned script writers.

about three weeks ago
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The Missing Piece of the Smart Home Revolution: The Operating System

Black Parrot More important than the OS - (252 comments)

Don't forget the British Charm Unit, asswipe.

about three weeks ago
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The Coming Decline of 'Made In China'

Black Parrot Re:What Will They Do... (327 comments)

No, I'm an advocate of not having children. And yes, I started with myself.

I didn't have myself either. It's acually pretty common.

about a month ago
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Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

Black Parrot Re:Basic tenets of science (755 comments)

Actually, science "states" (or rather, simply recognizes) that it can't investigate anything that doesn't leave any observable evidence. It's religion that works hard to ensure that their cherished phenomena all stay in that category.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Video Games at Museum of Modern Art

Black Parrot Black Parrot writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Black Parrot (19622) writes "The New York Museum of Modern Art is collecting video games for an exhibition. MoMA is the most prestigious museum for modern art in the world, and according to Wikipedia, is the third-most-visited art museum (of any type) in the USA, 13th-most-visited in the world. The museum holds all that famous stuff you (maybe) learned about in art history class: Jackson Pollock, Henry Moore, Edvard Munch, Andy Warhol, Cézanne, Manet, Monet, Renoir, van Gogh, Picasso, Dali, etc. Maybe art historians of the future will talk about Dwarf Fortress as 'Animated Cubism'."
Link to Original Source
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Did Anonymous prevent election hijack?

Black Parrot Black Parrot writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Black Parrot (19622) writes "The internet is abuzz with a story about Anonymous setting up a "firewall" to prevent a scheme to hijack Ohio's electoral votes, as some claim actually happened in 2004. Reportedly there are similarities this time around, except that the votes didn't suddenly shift to the other candidate, and Karl Rove got a big surprise. Fact, fiction, or conspiracy theory? Only Julian Assange knows for sure."
Link to Original Source
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Sandy Sinks HMS Bounty

Black Parrot Black Parrot writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Black Parrot (19622) writes "Several news sites are reporting that the 1962 replica of the HMS bounty was lost at sea due to hurricane Sandy, about 90 miles off North Carolina. The latest news I find says 14 of 16 crew rescued, one drowned, and the Captain still missing."
Link to Original Source
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Company of Heroes 2 announced.

Black Parrot Black Parrot writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Black Parrot (19622) writes "THQ announced Monday that the long-awaited Company of Heroes 2 is scheduled for release next year. The initial offering is designed from the perspective of the Soviet Army, which never made an appearance in the original game or its add-ons."
Link to Original Source
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Global Warming Skeptics Discover Global Warming

Black Parrot Black Parrot writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Black Parrot (19622) writes "A team of Berkely Scientists skeptical of global warming, led by prominent skeptic physicist Richard Muller (and funded by the Koch Brothers) unexpectedly testified to skeptical politicians in the US House of Representatives that theiir results — still preliminary — is finding the same thing mainstream climate scientists have been telling us. Other scientists are unsuprised; the article quotes Peter Thorne (not on the team) as saying "Even if the thermometer had never been invented, the evidence is there from deep ocean changes, from receding glaciers, from rising sea levels and receding sea ice and spring snow cover." However, Thorne criticizes the team for announcing the preliminary results before publishing an peer-reviewed papers on their work."
Link to Original Source
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Textbook references Wikipedia

Black Parrot Black Parrot writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Black Parrot (19622) writes "Not as a source, but as a destination. From the third edition (December 2009) of Russell & Norvig's popular AI textbook: 'The Encyclopedia of AI (Shapiro, 1992) contains survey articles on almost every topic in AI, as does Wikipedia. These Articles usually provide a good entry point into the research literature on each topic.' Has Wikipedia passed a milestone of respectability?"

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