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Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch

Dereck1701 Re:Horrible track record (439 comments)

The minotaur series was basically a bunch of mothballed US ICBM & rocket hardware bolted together. Almost half of the launches were suborbital, and those that weren't were quite small for satellites, most less than half the weight of the Mars Science Lab rover. I suppose its nice that they're using up the old military stocks, but there's a big difference between using old military hardware that cost massive amounts of money to develop and was created with the major safety margins required for carrying nuclear warheads and building your own rocket system.

2 days ago
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Ken Ham's Ark Torpedoed With Charges of Religious Discrimination

Dereck1701 Re:Existence of this... (431 comments)

Don't you know? Those dimensions were purposely misstated to test the faith of believers, like dinosaur bones, the myth of a spherical Earth & the apparent vastness of our universe when it is actually only a few hundred thousand miles across and centered around us. /sarcasm

2 days ago
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Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

Dereck1701 I like automation, sometimes (714 comments)

I hate to say it, but there are some cases where I will seek out a machine over a human employee. For example recently I discovered the wonders of my banks new(ish) ATMs, I can withdraw a little running around money, deposit checks, and check my balance often in 3 minutes or less. The last few times I've went into the office for assistance its taken 15 to 30 minutes for the same activities. Its not really the fault of the employees, they seem to try to move people through as quickly as possible. Its the customers that seem to gravitate towards bank offices, people who have troubles and are seeking to make it someone elses problem as well, older folks who long for a little conversation & businesses with stacks of transactions all who seem to take up residence at a tellers window until every permutation of their situation is explored. Those same people seem to (at least for the most part) avoid a machine because they know they won't get anywhere with it.

5 days ago
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CHP Officers Steal, Forward Nude Pictures From Arrestee Smartphones

Dereck1701 A decade or so should do (272 comments)

Weren't some of those celebrities who had their private cloud accounts hacked with saucy photos claiming that it was a form of rape, others have been convicted and sentenced to a decade in prison for similar acts. Sounds like that, or more, is the least that should be expected for these officers. Sadly I would bet that they'll claim firing them is more than enough "punishment". Wasn't that BART police officer who shot an unarmed, handcuffed, restrained individual in the back out on the streets in less than a year? And after he got our he had the gall to even ask for his job back.

5 days ago
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Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

Dereck1701 Something doesn't add up (286 comments)

Something about this doesn't add up, $40,000 distributed between 8 employees is about $5,000 per employee over about 3.5 Months. Assuming that they all worked the Sept 8 - Dec 21 window that figures out to about 15 weeks, or about $333.33 a week that they weren't paid I'm guessing to get them to minimum wage (all BEFORE taxes). Even figuring an average of 100 hours a week that puts their minimum wage pay in California at about $900, where as at $1.21 it would only have been $121 a $779 difference. Those "special bonuses" must have been pretty hefty. Somehow this doesn't sound as nefarious as the Labor Department is making it out to be. It could be some cultural thing, kind of like how in the US waitresses aren't paid much of anything but they make it up and more in tips. In any case they were underpaid by US standards, but not nearly as much as the Labor Department is claiming, and assuming that they weren't trying to skirt US Taxes by claiming to be under India's auspices. US taxes alone would eat up that $333 difference and put them right back in the same boat they were in as before if India's taxes are far more lax.

about a week ago
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NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

Dereck1701 Re:To me, this is good news (74 comments)

I see you're new to the US, Welcome! Things here rarely are canceled because they're "holding the responsible party's feet to the fire". Projects can go orders of magnitude over their budgets, with less capabilities then promised and and still continue unquestioned (F-35, Big Dig, Bridge to Nowhere, Afghan command center, Solyndra). The only thing that really stops a project is if it doesn't have enough political clout and the money is wanted by those who do or it is proven beyond all doubt that it will never come to fruition.

about two weeks ago
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Watch Comet Siding Spring's Mars Fly-By, Live

Dereck1701 16 minutes and counting (33 comments)

I've got it loaded, but not expecting much of anything interesting in a "live" feed. Any earth based telescopes aren't going to have the resolution to see anything interesting and any Mars based assets are going to take a few days to send any decent resolution photos.

about two weeks ago
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Robot SmackDowns Wants To Bring Robot Death Matches To an Arena Near You

Dereck1701 Re:Not until they're sentient. (82 comments)

If you're referring to the "Chinese curse" "may you live in interesting times" you might want to look up its etymology. Apparently here has never been a similar widely used saying in Chinese history, our wide usage of it in the US appears to date back to Robert Kennedy using it in a speech. No one seems to be quite sure where he got it from.

about two weeks ago
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Robot SmackDowns Wants To Bring Robot Death Matches To an Arena Near You

Dereck1701 Re:Piloted? (82 comments)

Hopefully this setup won't be as cheesy as Robot Combat League, while I didn't watch the show from the clips I've seen it was like a big version of "Rockem Sockem Robots, with fake sparks & some manufactured damage instead of a spring loaded head. While it sounds like this competition will have its own simulated damage hopefully it will be a lot more realistic and more quantifiable than the random whaling that seemed to be RCL.

about two weeks ago
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Robot SmackDowns Wants To Bring Robot Death Matches To an Arena Near You

Dereck1701 Piloted? (82 comments)

It looks interesting, but why in the world are they piloted mechs? Remote control them with a simulated cockpit so you don't have to make a bunch of convoluted rules so no one is injured. If things take off and the tech improves you can also ramp things up from a simple paintball game type setup to bots that can actually inflict damage.

about two weeks ago
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The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

Dereck1701 Amusing (350 comments)

I find it amusing how people continuously claim to "know" what is and isn't possible based on our infinitesimally short stint into the sciences. We have had electricity in any meaningful fashion for what, 120 years? I'm not saying that cold fusion is possible, and even if it is it may take a society that has been advancing technologically for over a million years to achieve it. But we aren't even children when it comes to knowing the intricacies of the universe, we're a few cells dividing. Claiming what is or isn't possible is premature to say the least.

about two weeks ago
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How Nigeria Stopped Ebola

Dereck1701 Re:It only takes one ... (381 comments)

Wouldn't a person holed up in a bunker be in an very effective self quarantine? If they had the disease whether or not they recovered it would be contained which is a lot different than an Ebola contact nurse who jumps on a commercial airliner despite symptoms. Both are crazy but one is at risk of infecting no one, one just put thousands of people at two airports and on a tightly confined aircraft at risk. So which is more dangerous?

about two weeks ago
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Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Dereck1701 And the sky is blue (610 comments)

Obviously its cheaper, how could what is effectively a generator with some propellers and an inexhaustible free fuel source be more expensive than something that needs a massive infrastructure of fuel mining, refinement, transport & waste disposal? True, wind does currently have one glaring drawback, it is not an "on demand" power source and must be either used when it is in abundance or stored for later use. But in the long run I think renewables are going to be a no brainer. Fossil fuels are going to have a place for our foreseeable future as well as a backup/baseload/niche energy source but with even moderate advances in energy storage technology renewables in their various forms are probably going to provide a majority of our energy in the coming decades.

about two weeks ago
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Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

Dereck1701 Hospitals (421 comments)

Hospitals..... One of the most contagious places in an area. Being in an environment with the highest concentration of infected people is bad enough, but hospital employees have been known to have less than stellar hygiene. I think an entire technology product sector has had to be created just to encourage employees to wash their hands regularly.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/...

about three weeks ago
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DoJ: Law Enforcement Can Impersonate People On Facebook

Dereck1701 Re:"Consented" (191 comments)

It goes quite handily with all of the other terms they've corrupted. Like that recent story about how information doesn't count as being "collected" until its looked at (mass surveillance), the "shall not/no law/nor shall/limited time" portions of the constitution have mostly been rendered into "whatever you think its necessary" and the (re)interpretation of the "interstate commerce" clause would be laughable if it wasn't so tragic.

about three weeks ago
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DoJ: Law Enforcement Can Impersonate People On Facebook

Dereck1701 Insane (191 comments)

Are they insane? Wasn't there a run on creating laws in many states just to stop high school students from making fake facebook pages to harass? This act not only could result in job loss, public humiliation, harassment & other life changing events but in threats and even death if an angry drug dealer/user came after her. This officer even misused private information collected for the limited purposes of serving as evidence in a trial. This officer and anyone associated with this heinous act should be charged with identity theft, property theft, libel, unauthorized access to a computer system (remember violating a TOS is now considered to be a crime) and fraud.

about three weeks ago
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Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

Dereck1701 Language (481 comments)

Its of course not a perfect measure, but the ability to communicate would probably be the easiest guidepost as to what we should/shouldn't eat. Language of some sort is required for a society/culture to develop and without society/culture creatures often act on a purely instinctual level. I don't think we have any concrete evidence of a non-human species on Earth having a language, the closest possibilities would be certain cetaceans. I am sure there are other guideposts (personality, intelligence, problem solving, etc) but communication should be the easiest to recognize.

about three weeks ago
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Supercomputing Upgrade Produces High-Resolution Storm Forecasts

Dereck1701 Re:And as the resolution increases ... (77 comments)

I think we're a LONG way from needed to know information the "down to the tree/building level", but I would be very surprised if they aren't using reflectivity and intensity characteristics from satellite photography (usually about 3 meter resolution). I would think that kind of information would tell them the heat generation/absorption/water evaporation of a particular area reasonably well, they may even have to simplify the data so they can compute it "real time". I work with mapping quite a bit and I can tell you that working at that level uses up a lot of processing power, even mapping small areas. I've seen water flow models running on a very high end PC for an area of only a few square miles take an hour or more at those resolutions.

about a month ago
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Supercomputing Upgrade Produces High-Resolution Storm Forecasts

Dereck1701 Re:Think of the weathermen! (77 comments)

Where are you that weathermen are reliable enough for you to want to keep them around. Around me there's a running joke that you'd be more accurate at predicting the weather throwing a darts blindfolded at a board with all of the seasonal weather possibilities.

about a month ago
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Man Walks Past Security Screening Staring At iPad, Causing Airport Evacuation

Dereck1701 Headlines wrong (217 comments)

"Security overreaction/faulty airport exit/wholly inadequate security measure causes Airport evacuation" would be a far more accurate headline.

about a month ago

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