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Hacker Threatened With 44 Felony Charges Escapes With Misdemeanor

QilessQi Re:Duh ... (219 comments)

It would be more accurate to say: it all goes back to money.

Politics is the means by which certain individuals get elected, and how others get appointed by the elected officials. Which is legislation favorable to a particular industry gets passed, and how lucrative government defense contracts get awarded. In exchange for which, the political figure in question can be assured of a nice corporate consulting or board position upon retirement. At which point they become a campaign contributor, and the whole cycle starts all over again.

2 days ago

NASA Offering Contracts To Encourage Asteroid Mining

QilessQi Such a missed opportunity... (153 comments)

"Deep Space Industries is planning to build a number of dense spacecrafts called FireFlies, and they plan on sending the satellites on one way missions to gather information about the density, shape, composition and size of an asteroid. They also have plans to build a spacecraft called Dragonfly, which has the purpose of catching asteroids.

Obviously the spacecraft should have been called Serenity.

4 days ago

Culberson As Chair of NASA Fundng Subcommittee Makes Europa Mission More Likely

QilessQi Noooooooo! (57 comments)

Did he not get the message four years ago??


The dude's gonna get us all monolithed. I don't wanna be monolithed.

about a week ago

After Four Days, Philae Team Gets to Rest

QilessQi Re:Questions for any who have been following this (88 comments)

We've been calling this comet "Rosetta" thanks to the media, but it's actual name is 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Man, anyone who'd name their kid "67P" is just asking for that kid to be picked on. No wonder it prefers to go by "Rosetta".

about two weeks ago

After Four Days, Philae Team Gets to Rest

QilessQi Questions for any who have been following this (88 comments)

1. As the comet approaches the sun, is it likely that the angle of or proximity to the sun will provide enough light to make a difference?

2. I assume we've measured whether Rosetta is rotating, even slightly. Is there a chance that this will help (or hurt) Philae's chances at coming back on line?

3. As the comet gets closer to the sun, I imagine that it will start melting/vaporizing (this being what makes a comet look like a comet in the first place). Since Philae is not firmly anchored (and that might not make a difference in any case), what do we expect to happen, and when?

about two weeks ago

Tim Cook: "I'm Proud To Be Gay"

QilessQi Re:Gay? (764 comments)

He's saying he's "proud" rather than "ashamed" -- because unfortunately, many people still think that being gay is something to be ashamed of. They believe that being gay is somehow a sign of moral failing as opposed to what it is: a normal human characteristic.

"Gay Pride" parades are about that very idea, and have been for decades. When you see someone wearing a shirt on St. Patrick's Day that says, "Proud to be Irish", do you assume they're claiming superiority to you in some way? Of course not. It's the same thing.

Whatever, see if I care.

Clearly you do care, or you wouldn't have bothered to post. Unfortunately, all you did with your post is attempt to frame his use of the word "proud" in an incorrect and unflattering light. I'm not sure why that was so important to you.

To me, it's still amazing that a person can declare their *hatred* for certain religions or ethnicities and many people will feel that it's socially acceptable, but declaring your *love* for another adult can still have serious social and financial repercussions. So in my book he's doing something brave, and that's something to be proud of too.

about a month ago

NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

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

Actually, I've been a private IT contractor supporting various government branches for about 25 years now. :-) I've actually seen projects -- not mine, thankfully -- cancelled for precisely the reason stated in this article: the contractor was screwing up royally, and the Federal managers did not want a flaming disaster on their hands.

about a month ago

NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

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

And yet, as with your house analogy, it's better to bring in a competent contractor to set things right, than to soldier on and live in a house that threatens to collapse in the first strong wind.

about a month ago

NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

QilessQi To me, this is good news (74 comments)

Whenever NASA (or any other agency) cancels a contract because they lack confidence in the contractor, it probably means that someone in the government is paying attention to what's going on, and is holding the responsible party's feet to the fire.

Compare this to situations where billions of dollars of money are tossed away in the pursuit of unworking (and possibly unworkable) missle defense systems.

about a month ago

Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

QilessQi Re:So, it has come to this. (742 comments)

They can cut off 100% of your income suddenly and at a whim.

No they can't. I have several job opportunities.

Good for you. But when you're middle aged, less marketable (by far), and supporting two parents in a nursing home, a kid, a special-needs toddler, and a stay-at-home-wife who takes care of the toddler, you may think differently about your employer firing you just because Some Big Company decided to take revenge on you for daring to badmouth them.

about a month and a half ago

First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

QilessQi Re:There is no "working AI" at this time (98 comments)

You're right that the wording is overblown, but AI is a big field, and pattern recognition is a big part of it -- vision, voice recognition, decision making, and other facets of human intelligence all rely on automated categorization of inputs to some degree.

Getting a tiny piece of the puzzle to work in a test tube is a necessary first step to bigger and better things. No one is going to put together a working brain in one shot (if ever).

about a month and a half ago

First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

QilessQi A small vat of organic liquid? (98 comments)

I read this:

Their quantum computing machine consists of a small vat of the organic liquid carbon-13-iodotrifluroethylene, a molecule consisting of two carbon atoms attached to three fluorine atoms and one iodine atom. Crucially, one of the carbon atoms is a carbon-13 isotope.

And immediately thought of this:

The principle of generating small amounts of finite improbability by simply hooking the logic circuits of a Bambleweeny 57 Sub-Meson Brain to an atomic vector plotter suspended in a strong Brownian Motion producer (say a nice hot cup of tea) were of course well understood ...

God, I love how weird the future is.

about a month and a half ago

Obama Presses Leaders To Speed Ebola Response

QilessQi Re:War! (221 comments)

Let's hope it goes better than the "War on Drugs".

about 2 months ago

Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

QilessQi Re:Unterminated quotation (405 comments)

(Addendum) Apparently, this may be rooted in the archaic practise of:

“Using a
“quotation mark at the
“beginning of every line
“of the quoted text. This
“practise was actually
“pretty commonplace during
“the Georgian and Victo-
“ian Eras.”

Curiously, this is:

> Strongly reminiscent
> of what a quoted
> message looks like
> in emails and newsgroups.
> The cycle is now complete.

Or, you could say that:

/* modern quotes
are like block
comments */


// Victorian
// quotes
// are like in-line
// comments.

I think that's neat. :-)

about 3 months ago


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