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Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

N1AK Re:Someone with no brain is running NASA (162 comments)

However, the primary target of the mission was not the floor of Gale Crater, it was to study the stratigraphy of Mount Sharpe, the mountain in the middle of the crater.

I don't believe that was the primary purpose of the mission. Curiosity had clear scientific objectives and MEP has clear goals, none of which include reaching a specific location. It may well be the case that the team intended to go to Mount Sharpe in order to complete its scientific missions, but it has been able to achieve it without going there.

To slightly correct your analogy: It's like wanting to go out for excellent food, discovering the tube station near the restaurant you had selected due to its reputation is closed and deciding to instead go to another equally great restaurant that is near an open station instead.

2 days ago
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Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

N1AK Re:Someone with no brain is running NASA (162 comments)

The first time when I saw the wheels I was wondering why the hell they spend so much money to send up a robot to Mars and then equip that thing with such flimsy wheels

In short: Because they aren't idiots and know enough about this field to make informed comment. The rover has reached its planned mission life, everything beyond this is a bonus. The wheels survived and will likely, with proper management, last considerably longer still. It's a great success.

Your comment on the other hand is a great example of how people who are ignorant on a field automatically assume it must be simple and that they have some valuable insight. You know when you hear people who don't have a clue say something stupid about something you know a lot about? That's you when you comment on wheels for vehicles travelling on other planets (unless you'd like to point out what makes you remotely credible in this field).

2 days ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

N1AK Re:Insignificant...unless you're the bird (497 comments)

Smaller but not insignificant. If 28,000 birds are dieing to generate 0.4GWh then millions would die just to generate 1% of America's energy needs. Personally I can't understand why it's ok to own cats and negligently allow them to hunt but apparently society is fine with that, but it doesn't mean that we should ignore other issues because we're doing that wrong.

2 days ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

N1AK Re:god dammit. The Numbers (497 comments)

Crunching the numbers, it's foolish to delay solar power adoption for even 28K birds a year.

That's 28,000 birds for this current, small, solar installation: 0.4GWh, when the US uses tends of thousands of GWh. Scale it up to just 1% of US power generation and you'll be talking about millions of birds a year. It may well be that it is the least harmful way of generating electricity, but just saying cats kill more (which is an issue in itself!) doesn't make it unimportant. Personally I think it's very important that the truth comes out on what the figure is, and if the companies figures are false they get fucked for it. If it really is 1,000 birds a year then it's probably an unfortunate, but better than the alternatives, consequence of greener energy.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

N1AK Re:No real need. (381 comments)

I do not see how you could work out the id.

If you had separate blocks for normal posts and AC posts then you wouldn't be able to use it find out who was who. I thought you meant that if I blocked someone's normal posts it would also block their AC posts, and that would be exploitable.

Personally I think throwing out true AC posts (not logged in users) isn't required. I wouldn't be opposed to putting them through a more extensive moderation process before sharing widely (perhaps showing to ~5 'trusted' users, who could flag abuse, and if more than say 2 did it would never show up for anyone else).

3 days ago
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Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

N1AK Re:Oversight and regulation (340 comments)

They aren't banning Uber for the type of service it offers etc, Uber is breaking the law and Berlin is making that explicitly clear. Uber could already make changes to how it operates to be in line with the law, but it doesn't want to.

3 days ago
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Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

N1AK Re:Oversight and regulation (340 comments)

I'll happily stand by my statement about Thai taxis. I know two people who've been there who had issues with Taxis in Thailand. As you'd be aware if you'd both read and comprehended my post before throwing accusations of prejudice around one of the issues I highlighted was ensuring that it is an official taxi that you're getting in.

There are plenty of other places I could have used as examples instead. I used Thailand because I'm heading there in Feb and given the experiences of those two friends and the online guidance on taxis in Thailand I know that I personally would use Uber instead if it was available.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

N1AK Re:No real need. (381 comments)

2. The ability to block the person when they are posting as an AC. The person blocking would still not know who they are blocking as it would just say AC on the blocked list.

There is scope to abuse these ideas. Firstly it stops AC comments without login and secondly you could theorectically work out who was posting by checking with multiple accounts and/or banning and unbanning accounts.

Slashdot's moderation system seems to work pretty well. Sure it's not perfect but it's vastly better than it would be otherwise.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

N1AK Re:Tough guy geeks... (381 comments)

If I do not want imposed censorship, I sure as shit am not going to pay for it directly.

I don't like the state telling people what they can or can't do, that doesn't mean I let people smoke in my house ;)

There are plenty of venues on the internet where anything goes. Having some venues that are more civilised is something I think would be beneficial. I'm not overly sure that paying is the best way to ensure that. Xbox live had (and may still have) some of the biggest twats who seemed to get away with anything even with a 'paywall'. Just making it harder to join forums if you keep getting banned for abusive behaviour (a sort of internet troll blacklist) would likely be a good enough start.

4 days ago
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Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

N1AK Re:Did you even bother to read the GP's comment? (340 comments)

What happened to all the voices in those past Lyft/Uber threads talking about how stupid it was that some US cities were thinking of limiting these startups,

There's a difference between some cities trying to block Uber because it undermines the outdated medallion concept, and a city having reasonable requirements to offer a commercial transportation service and expecting it to be followed. You might feel that Berlin's public transport act is unreasonable, though I doubt you have any idea what's in it, but if the locals think that it is reasonable then it is perfectly reasonable for the government to expect companies to follow it. It seems that Berlin's issues are primarily that passangers may not be adequately insured and that Uber may not be checking that all drivers are licensed (which includes checks on criminal record, health and driving record) which don't seem unreasonable to me. I don't want services like Uber to accept drivers that meet a certain standard!

about a week ago
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Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

N1AK Re:Oversight and regulation (340 comments)

I travel all over Europe and Asian as part of job and for personal reasons and I have learned one thing..NEVER take unofficial taxis. EVER.

Which is why I don't get the concern about Uber etc. I travel abroad plenty and finding out what official taxis are, how to make sure it is an official taxi, how to check they are doing what an official taxi should etc is a lot of work and still has risks. With a system like Ubers I know that the car I'm calling is part of their network, would be kicked off rapidly if they don't follow Uber's rules etc. I've only used Uber a couple of times and in places where I know the official taxis are legit, but I'd probably feel safer taking an Uber ride in Thailand than finding an official taxi.

about a week ago
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Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

N1AK Re:Grades vs IQ (391 comments)

All fair points, although I think you are taking my use of the word 'mundane' to mean poor, when I merely mean unremarkable. The vast majority of people live unremarkable lives by definition. There isn't a right answer to the question of what to live your life for. I don't see "live to be happy" as a better mantra than "live to help others" for example, it's an extremely personal issue. In general I think people focus to much on acquiring things, including wealth, but I'm hesistant to go further than that.

There's a pretty strong body of evidence that says irrationality can help with happiness, and that actively avoiding news/politics can make people happier. Personally I'd rather be a little bit less happy, but be informed and try and make decisions to help others.

about two weeks ago
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Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

N1AK Re:Grades vs IQ (391 comments)

Life is not about the money, it's about the legacy you are leaving behind.

Ultimately it is up to each of us to decide what we think is is about; although I personally feel similarly to you. My point was more to highlight the absurdity about IQ being treated as a something to be proud of. People lie about IQ just like they lie about height and penis length; yet they have no control over their things. I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of if you have a crazy high IQ and don't become a nobel prize winner; however talking about having a high IQ as though it looks good when you haven't achieved anything with it seems to be a strange social compulsion.

about two weeks ago
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DEA Paid Amtrak Employee To Pilfer Passenger Lists

N1AK Re:You can't travel anonymously... (127 comments)

The Constitution has nothing on the right to travel and, if you ask a government official, you'll quickly realize, they consider traveling to be a privilege instead.

I appreciate that you aren't taking this position, just highlighting that it exists; however I think it is worth emphasising that the constitition does cover this.

9th Amendment "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

10th Amentment "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Now we both know that isn't how the government chooses to 'interpret' the constitution, however the issue there is their ability to willfully misinterpret not the lack of clarity. You simply cannot make the constitution complete enough and clear enough that your freedoms are protected. Have an amendment saying they can't stop you travelling and they'll just interpret that as being limited to walking ;)

about two weeks ago
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Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

N1AK Re:Grades vs IQ (391 comments)

What I find particularily amusing about people claiming falsely inflated IQ's is that it shouldn't rationally be anything in itself to brag about. Due to behavioural issues when I was in primary school my IQ was tested, I can't remember the score but it was decent and I was fortunate enough to get accepted into a school for children with behavioural issues which selected for potential. That meant I got a reasonable education, when most kids who had behaved like me would be lucky if the schools they got sent to didn't lead to crime and drugs. Mathematics was always my strongest area. I completed my GCSE 4 years early and did a couple of advanced courses. I remember the odd conversation with staff about how I could go on to study maths at Oxbridge and go into mathematics research etc.

Sounds like a bragging story right? Well it isn't. What I've told you is that I had a comparative advantage as a child, no different to being given say a million pounds at birth. It tells you that it should have been easier for me to succeed than for others. However, I'm not a world renowned mathematician or running my own company. So far in my life my achievements are pretty mundane, even though I was handed a headstart. Claiming to have a high IQ and not having achieved more than average is saying you had a headstart on everyone else and you wasted it.

about two weeks ago
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Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

N1AK Re:Hacking a system... (391 comments)

Intelligent people realize they are immature, and strive to gain more experience and insight before they act.

That isn't the definition of intelligence that other people use, nor is it what dictionaries would call it. Intelligence is generally accepted to be the ability to take in information and to apply that information; it is not the amount of knowledge you have already acquired or even inherently the rationality with which you choose to apply it or not.

I was probably about as intelligent when I was 16 as I am now, perhaps more so, but I don't I was as wise or knowledgeable back then. Sometimes the best way to learn is to try and fail, rather than delay indefinitely as you over-theorise and either never act or act too late.

about two weeks ago
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Point-and-Shoot: TrackingPoint's New Linux-Controlled AR-15s

N1AK Re:A real-world aimbot (219 comments)

A less accurate weapon is obviously going to have an influence on bullets fired; however, the majority of the difference will be because the vast majority of bullets fired in standard infantry combat will be suppressing or speculative shots. Taking 3 shots to hit someone you're targetting instead of 2 doesn't waste a whole lot of bullets. Firing a couple of clips near them to keep the suppressed will. One assumes to get a figure like 250k bullets a kill they are also including things like weapons fired at field ranges etc.

about two weeks ago
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Man-Made "Dead Zone" In Gulf of Mexico the Size of Connecticut

N1AK Re:0.17% (184 comments)

or 0.17% of the worlds oceans.

It's a bit like saying who cares if 0.2% of the worlds land area was heavily irradiated when you don't know whether that 0.2% is in a desert where only a couple of camels would notice, or the locations of the 25 largest cities in the world leading to hundreds of millions dead and displaced.

about two weeks ago
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Man-Made "Dead Zone" In Gulf of Mexico the Size of Connecticut

N1AK Re:Get the neutient right at least (184 comments)

Maybe meat would be more expensive

Meat would be significantly more expensive, when you blur the lines on something that definitive by saying it "maybe" it diminishes the rest of your point. That's not to say meat shouldn't be considerably more expensive.

about two weeks ago
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Idiot Leaves Driver's Seat In Self-Driving Infiniti, On the Highway

N1AK Re:Huh? (406 comments)

I think we can all agree that reducing gentle knocks hugely while bring in a few more multi-fatality crashes isn't progress, so can we assume that other people have the intelligence to also be making the same assumption that crashes need to be of roughly equal magnitude to make a straight trade off?

You'd probably think I was being pedantic if I said your point depended on what was 'serious' and what was 'minor' after all.

about two weeks ago

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