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When will the first successful manned Mars mission happen?

Simonetta Space Loonies (214 comments)

Manned space flight was a government program that has been determined to be
too expensive and too limited in returns to be continued at its former funding
levels. We have serious problems now that we didn't have then, and few people
believe that throwing hundreds of billions of dollars into space will solve
them. Grown-up people who have to make hard and realistic decisions about our
public funds and resources have decided this. NASA and Tom Swift-space buffs
can't accept it. Sorry, guys, but it's time to get real.

      Sure, politicians will continue announce great new projects like manned Mars
missions. But then they will quietly de-fund them to nearly nothing a year
later. They don't have any choice. Money that would have been spent on these
projects has already been spent; and it's gone. Get used to it because it is the
way that things will be from now on.
    The permanent, endless war and 100 million obese, stupid Baby-Boomers are all
that we got for it this massive misallocation of resources. It's all that we're
going to get. This is the great tragedy that is America and what it could have
been, but isn't and now never will be.

    People born into 20th-century America are prone to economic fantasy because
they have lived their whole lives inside one. What they don't realize is that
their country and their government is broke. There is no trillion dollars for
space exploration. There is no trillion dollars for anything left anywhere in
the USA.

    Money is not a physical good. Money is basically created out of nothing. If
this conjured money doesn't in turn create real wealth, it disappears back to
nothing by means of inflation. Space exploration does not create wealth by
itself. It is a combination of heavily-subsidized unfocused research and
technological stunts done for national prestige. NASA engineers never
understand this. They don't study economics, and they don't understand
economics.

    There won't be hundreds of billions of dollars spent on space in the coming
years because there was already a trillion dollars spent on a Iraq-Afghanistan
war that accomplished nothing. There was a trillion dollars spent on
maintaining the fantasy that some Wall Street banks and investment firms are too
big to fail. There was a trillion dollars spent giving $600,000 mortgages to
janitors. There were many trillions of dollars spent on federal government
budget deficits.

    All these trillion-dollar misadventures didn't create any wealth. And
therefore, the money disappeared. America was rich in the past, now it's not.
There were great sums of money in the past for funding giant government
projects, but there aren't going to be any giant projects in the future. The
trillions of dollars that space enthusiasts believe could and should be spent on
the glorious future in space and its endless possibilities for the betterment of
humanity don't exist anymore.

      Space-cadets love to talk about the need to venture beyond the moon in order
to save humanity from a soon-to-be dying Earth. But this is not science
talking, it's a personality disorder. These guys assume that because their
scientific prowess has created tools and techniques that can destroy the Earth,
then they have a right, and even an obligation, to do so. They confuse rockets
with penises and hydrogen bombs with testicles.

      These guys are not clear-eyed, sober engineers; they are death-worshiping
fascists. They are transparently insane, and you shouldn't pay serious attention
to them. They are left-over 'Dr. Strangelove' techno-psychopaths from mid-20th
century. They're pissed because 'little-minded people' wouldn't let them burn
the Earth and rule the ashes. Fortunately, their time has gone and they don't
have the political power that they did fifty years ago.

    We live in a different age now. This is the era of limits. Understand this
and we will prosper in new and unexpected ways. Learn to differenciate fact
from fantasy and leave the fantasies to the Hollywood movie-makers. Space
Exploration is a 20th-century quasi-religion that has begun to manifest itself
as a mental disease among those people who continue to believe it too strongly.
Don't let that happen to you.

5 days ago
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Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

Simonetta Better password (545 comments)

I suggest that you use the initials of all the people that you had crushes on when you were in middle school. You won't forget them, and brute-force cracking software is unlikely to detect your password.

  For example, if you had crushes on Carly, Janis, Gina, Wanda, Jane, Janet, Joan, Julie, Sally, Cindy, Alice, and Farah, then your general password would be: cjgwjjjjscaf. Which is a wonderful password. [You can't help it: you're a hopeless romantic.]

Unfortunately, nitwit system admins are requiring people use passwords with numbers and "special characters".
Which brings us to the number one rule of passwords: Always Let The User Pick Their Own Password!
Rule number two: Never force anyone to change their password if they don't want to!

If you are serious about having unbreakable passwords, then forget all this number and special character nonsense and allow backspace to be a character in the password that your user chooses.

One more thing. If you're not guarding hydrogen bombs, then you don't really need hydrogen-bomb-level password security. You don't minimum 10 unique_characters_plus_numbers_and_special_character passwords for your kitten video website.

about a week ago
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Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

Simonetta Primal difference between Man and Woman (342 comments)

There is a primal difference between men and women that is applicable to software engineering.
Software writing is basically the manipulation of symbols to change the operation of physical machinery. This definition can be extended to mean that software creates functional machinery through the manipulation of symbols (text typed on editors that is compiled into machine-controlling patterns of 1s and 0s).

Men get a primal Promethean thrill and ego boost from creating machines from symbols.

Women get the same thrill and primal sense-of-purpose from creating new living human beings (i.e. babies), instead of machinery.

This, I believe, is the subliminal reason that so few women go into the software development field.

about two weeks ago
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Book Review: Architecting the Cloud

Simonetta a solution in search of a problem (75 comments)

Until such time that the tech community of the world can and will effectively deal with (i.e. either convince to stop misbehaving or just kill 'em) all the brilliant psychopathic programmers in their mist that create malware and viruses that defraud millions of people, then it is plain madness and criminal negligence to encourage people to entrust their data to some unknown and unmonitored external entity such as the 'cloud'.

Until that time, safe and productive cloud computing is just a fantasy. It's a solution in search of problem. Avoid it.

about a month and a half ago
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Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

Simonetta JJ meets his Waterloo attacking high tech (514 comments)

JJ meets his Waterloo when he barges into the electronics lab. Even the black people in the electronics/high tech biz are about as far away from being black as you can be. All fifty of them.

For 400 years, the Afro-american community has been desperately breeding a certain type of individual. A type of person who can survive slave work and still pass their inherent africaness into the next generation. After 20 solid generations, they created the 'African-American'.

The technology industry is almost as old (if you see the industrial revolution and beginning of science as part of the tech industry). It too has created a certain individual type: the nerd.

The A-As and the nerds are about as far apart as people can be. All the characteristics bred into one group were bred out of the other group. They can barely talk to each other, even when they speak the same language.

The tech industry hires two types of people: nerds and people who support the needs of nerds. And since the tech industry is one of the most important industries in the world today, (along with food production and high finance) , they get to choose who they will pay to work for them.

The only reason the nerds will hire black people is as office pets. And then only the ones who know the difference between flux and a capacitor. And the ones "just know" without being specifically taught that you can type "ST7735R" into Google when you want to get the 250 page manual of a thin-flat-transistor screen. And who would never bring up the subject of "mah dih'que" in the workplace. Not too many people like this around, and the ones that are, are already working in the high tech biz.

So let's just redirect our conversation to the vast legacy of great JJ jokes that have written over the past half century. Old standards like:

Q: What's this? fee foh fii - fii fee foh foh A: JJ's telephone number (from 1977)

-or, the more esoteric,

JJ visited the Middle East and met with Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat. After the meeting, JJ was overheard saying to himself: "...been a long time since I said 'Yah, sir' to anyone".

about 3 months ago
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A Seriously High Speed Video Camera (Video)

Simonetta Not exactly needed (62 comments)

A 700 frame per second camera really isn't needed by very many people. It doesn't matter if a new design reduces its price by an order of magnitude.

What we need is the opposite: a very cheap camera with very high resolution and a very low price. Then we can put them on light poles and get good high-resolution courts-evidence-quality images of the people who are running out of nowhere to attack you, beat you senseless, and stealing your $500 bicycle when neighborhood is quite 100% gentrified yet.

At the present we have low-res video of "people" doing this, but they are rarely have enough resolution to positively identify the attackers.

Same with 'Flash mobs' that come into a store in groups of dozens, grab handfuls of stuff off the shelves, and just walk out in a large group.

about 4 months ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Simonetta Re:Progenitors? (686 comments)

The chances of advanced technological lifeforms developing is nearly infinitely small, and the distances between the ones that actually do develop are so great, that they never contact or even become aware of each other. Life forms on earth that are far in advance of humans are based on intelligence that evolved into post-biological form before one of the 100 million year cycles that periodically destroys all life on earth.

about 4 months ago
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Getting Misogyny, Racism and Homophobia Out of Gaming

Simonetta Re:Disable player chat (704 comments)

" His GDC talk focused on 'misogyny, sexism, racism, ethnocentrism, nationalism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, queerphobia and other types of social injustice.' "

      Boy, this one is a challenge. Wish I had Will Shortz here to help. But I'll do the best I can:
Capital Crime: Example in a game comment:
misogyny You dumb fuck, you fight like a girl
sexism You dumb chick, you don't fight worth a fuck
racism You fight like a white boy.
ethnocentrism You fight like a French white boy.
    nationalism You fight like a French white boy. USA, fuckin' A!
  ageism You fight like an old French white boy. USA, fuckin' A!
ableism You fight like an old French white boy in a wheelchair. USA, fuckin' A! ,
homophobia, You fight like an old French faggot white boy in a wheelchair. USA, fuckin' A! ,
  transphobia You fight like an old French faggot white boy in a wheelchair who dropped her dick on the floor. USA, fuckin' A!
  queerphobia You fight like an old French faggot white boy in a wheelchair who dropped her dick in his boyfriend's asshole. USA, fuckin' A!

Did I miss anything?

about 7 months ago
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Google Faces Up To $5 Billion Fine From Competition Commission of India

Simonetta Took the words right out of mouth (89 comments)

I was going to write exactly the same thing as the comment above.

A bunch of pissants in a country like India that think that they can shake down Google for f-ing $5 BILLION dollars are living in the the 20th century when power was defined by being a country with a flag, a UN seat, an airline, and a president-for-life.

Things are different now.

Especially for a country like India, which is run by corrupt IIT graduates who live on delusions of being a super-power with a moon base and don't have a clue about how to deal with having 500 million people living in abject poverty around them.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Online, Free Equivalent To a CompSci BS?

Simonetta Ask your students.... (197 comments)

With all respect...
  All the comments that you'll be getting from Slashdot readers will be worthless to the point of your question. As you may have noticed by now, every responder assumes that you want to learn to how to do what they consider a dream job in CS to be. And they give replies like 'read Knuth' or 'do MIT on-line courses'.

Since you already have an excellent job with a good future, and you have already studied elementary program texts in CS languages like Java, allow me to suggest that you ask the middle school students in your programming club what they would consider to be cool and useful programs to have. After you get through the fantasy aps like ' a really cool game that the player doesn't end up always losing' and ' a smokin' 3-D interactive girlfriend' or ' a bio-implant that will allow me to get perfect SAT scores without studying', then you might get some interesting suggestions.

Personally I suggest that you and your programming students develop Arduino and Raspberry Pi applications. The elementary 'blinking LED' stuff, simple robotics applications, and digital television art projects made from inexpensive TFT displays will be fascinating to middle school and high school students. (hopefully).

about 7 months ago
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Obama To Ask For $1 Billion Climate Change Fund

Simonetta Mousetraps and ping-pong balls (410 comments)

And you thought that I was going to say something vulgar and metaphorical about the president....

No, I'm reminded of the atomic-pile simulation that used to be taught to kids. You remember, the one where there is a big floor filled with set mousetraps. And each trap has two ping-pong balls ~gently~ placed on the spring. A single ball is tossed in, and ~zap!~ a trap goes off, more balls are released, more traps go off, a few here and there, and then the big crescendo... balls flying everywhere.

Climate change is like that. We are just seeing the beginning now. It's small enough that stupid people can convince themselves that it's not happening. But as the Siberian tundra melts, and the 100,000,000 year old methane stored there gets released, and the polar ice caps melt, and the changing salinity alters the north-south oceanic current flows, and the mean temperature of the tropic regions rises to 140 degrees F for an average day.... well, balls flying everywhere.

A billion dollars tossed at a global problem of this magnitude of problem is nothing. A billion dollars is about the size of the heavy-metal music industry, a heaping spoonful of the toilet paper industry, and most of the "Hello Kitty" trinket industry. More chickensh*t public posturing from a man who has spent most of his adult life publicly posturing about chickenshit.

National Geographic recently published a series of maps of what the Earth would look like in 100 or so years from now when the ice caps have melted. They missed out on the fact that most of the earth except for the polar regions will be bright yellow instead of green. Yellow as in areas where nothing will grow and nothing will live. You probable live in one of these regions now. Best to spend the next decade ignoring the bozospeak coming from corporate and governmental entities. Instead find a place on those maps that presently has temperate weather, internet access, indoor plumbing, and civilized people.

  Move there; move your family there. And as the decades go by and all the billions of doomed people start to realize that they deserve to be in that place instead of you, well, prepare yourself to have to deal with them like they are all one big surplus giraffe.

Gnome Sane?

about 8 months ago
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South Carolina Woman Jailed After Failing To Return Movie Rented Nine Years Ago

Simonetta Why no one with a brain lives in the USA south. (467 comments)

No comment necessary. Stupid is what stupid does. This is South Carolina. North Carolina is just the same, all you do is just change the name. In fact the whole South is like this. And not to put too fine a point on it, every point on earth south of the Mason Dixon latitude line is like this. (except Australia and New Zealand).

Don't move there. Don't take a job there. Unless you have the money to deal with stupid sh*t like this.
But you'll need a lot of money. Because there are a lot of just plain stupid people in the South.

about 8 months ago
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US Secretary of State Calls Climate Change 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'

Simonetta Mousetraps and ping-pong balls (401 comments)

And you thought that I was going to say something vulgar and metaphorical about Mr. Kerry....

No, I'm reminded of the atomic-pile simulation that used to be taught to kids. You remember, the one where there is a big floor filled with set mousetraps. And each trap has two ping-pong balls ~gently~ placed on the spring. A single ball is tossed in, and ~zap!~ a trap goes off, more balls are released, more traps go off, a few here and there, and then the big crescendo... balls flying everywhere.

Climate change is like that. We are just seeing the beginning now. It's small enough that stupid people can convince themselves that it's not happening. But as the Siberian tundra melts, and the 100,000,000 year old methane stored there gets released, and the polar ice caps melt, and the changing salinity alters the north-south oceanic current flows, and the mean temperature of the tropic regions rises to 140 degrees F for an average day.... well, balls flying everywhere.

A billion dollars here and there tossed at a global problem of this magnitude of problem is nothing. A billion dollars is about the size of the heavy-metal music industry, a heaping spoonful of the toilet paper industry, and most of the "Hello Kitty" trinket industry.

National Geographic recently published a series of maps of what the Earth would look like in 100 or so years from now when the ice caps have melted. Indonesia was gone. John Kerry is just giving them a 'head's up" warning.

NG also missed out on the fact that most of the earth except for the polar regions will be bright yellow instead of green. Yellow as in areas where nothing will grow and nothing will live. You probable live in one of these regions now. Best to spend the next decade ignoring the bozospeak coming from corporate and governmental entities. Instead find a place on those maps that presently has temperate weather, internet access, indoor plumbing, and civilized people.

  Move there; move your family there. And as the decades go by and all the billions of doomed people start to realize that they deserve to be in that place instead of you, well, prepare yourself to have to deal with them like they are all one big surplus giraffe.

Gnome Sane?

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: An Open Source PC Music Studio?

Simonetta Get used professional MIDI tone modules (299 comments)

Get used professional MIDI tone modules on eBay for your musical instruments. The 10-20 year-old stuff is rapidly increasing in resale value so you can always resell any piece of equipment on eBay for what you paid for it.Get a Yamaha MOTIF, Korg Kronos, Roland Fantom G, or something in this class. The interfaces are awkward with lots of rack-mount front panel button pressing, but the sounds are good enough. You can build interactive MIDI controllers with Arduinos to overcome the inherent user-interface difficulties of these MIDI modules.

    Try all the cheap and free software before buying anything. Anything that you buy that costs more than a few hundred dollars is going to make you sound like everyone else who bought the same program.

about 9 months ago
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Tesla's Having Issues Charging In the Cold

Simonetta If you live in Norway, stick with proven tech (476 comments)

If you live in Norway, stick with proven technology. Like gasoline engines. Let's face it. Norway is often very cold in the winter. Cold enough that people die from cold unless they have machines to keep them warm. When you live in places that have extreme weather, you HAVE to accept that proven working technology like gasoline-engines-for -transportation overrides any emotional feelings of needing to serve as a test site for so-called green technology. In California it doesn't matter. But Norway's not California. If you fuck up and buy a 'green' car that won't start in the cold, then you die in the cold. Act accordingly. Nobody in California gives a shit whether or not you freeze to death because their technology failed.

    This very expensive automobile has demonstratively failed to meet the needs of people who live north of the 55th meridian. Norwegians should not buy it. Buy a Volvo: Swedes understand cold and their cars can be coaxed to start in extremely cold weather.

    And there is this briefly mentioned problem of the fucking Norwegian electrical connectors not mating with standard electric car connectors... You'all need to find the guy responsible for this, strip him to underwear, and dump out into the snow. Be sure to leave him with an electric heater that has a plug that just quite doesn't fit into the socket needed to stay alive. If he lives, then he won't be doing stupid shit like this any more. If he dies, well, just one more soul sacrifice to the Viking gods.

about 9 months ago
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Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

Simonetta Re:Should be Alternative Language Requirement (426 comments)

You never learned of subjunctive, conditional, imperative, indicative? All native english speakers I talk to said they did.

-- They learned a few of those terms when studying french. There's only one unusual use of pure subjunctive mode in English that I know of: the grammatically correct use of "if I were..." instead of the common form "if I was..."

French needs all of its tenses because it has such a high percentage of vowel-based phonemic constructions and the tenses (with all their slightly different endings) are needed to tell them apart.

French is now, always has been, and will continue to be the language of diplomacy. When you are in the presence of your enemies and they refuse to debase themselves by speaking your language and you would rather die than actually hear the sound of their language come out of your mouth, then you both speak French to each other. It's pretentious and stupid, but it works.

I learned a little French in secondary school. But no one (except for the Europeans) learns enough of a language in secondary school to actually speak or use the language. I am relearning French by using Hollywood movie DVDs. In North America all the DVDS of Hollywood movies have French language subtitles and audio dialog tracks. I watch the movie first in English to know what's going on. Then I set both the subtitles and audio track to French and re-watch it. They NEVER match because the subtitles are done in France and the audio dubbing is done in Quebec. It just means that we have to develop our ears to hear when the words spoken mean more-or-less what the subtitles are showing. As far as I can tell, this is the only realistic way to learn conversational French in the modern world (outside of actually being in Quebec or France). Since secondary school, I've been in francophonic countries two or three times and could never understand anything that was said to me. Now after about a year of DVD movie training, I understand about 30% of spoken dialog in French audio tracks of Hollywood films.
    French films are worthless for this training as they almost never have subtitles in french (for deaf people, etc...). Only two DVDs I've found had french audio that exactly matched the french subtitles: Luc Besson's 'La femme Nikita' (1992 with Tcherky Karlo and Jean Reno) and Truffaut's 'La Nuit Americain' (1974 with gorgeous Jackie Bissett)

about 9 months ago
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Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

Simonetta Re:Should be Alternative Language Requirement (426 comments)

Europe is nothing more than a bunch of weird small countries. Always has been, always will be.

Lighten up on the Americans. Their famed lack of precision knowledge in any individual field is basically inconsequential now that there are Google computers that can instantly deliver the general facts that we laugh at them for not knowing.

Here's your best friend's conversation:

(American receptionist) Hello,
(your best friend) Allo Bonjour Est-ce que vous parlez francais? Je voudrais que mon order soit avait envoyer a Europe? Combien ca coutera?
(Amer) Sorry, I don't speak spanish.
(your best friend) I want to have my order sent to Europe.
(Amer gal) What part of the USA is Europe?
(your best friend) No Europe, Europe.. Specifically to the Netherlands. You know Holland? with dikes, tulips, windmills, Heiniken beer.
-- superior European snicker and contemptuous laughter --
(Amer gal) Oh, that Europe! Wij zullen het uit aan u vanavond verschepen. Dank u voor het roepen!

about 9 months ago
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Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

Simonetta Re:I like this idea (426 comments)

In 25 years the Baby Boomers will be just as influential as they are now. But there will be a lot fewer of them around.

The English language is not dying. In fact, it is the fastest growing language in the world. When Finnish businessmen sell telephones to Indonesia in exchange for tropical wood lumber and spices, no one speaks Finnish or Indonesian. They speak English.

Also note that in 25 years, when people who only speak English need to communicate with peasants that only speak legacy languages, they will smile gracefully and speak into a microphone and their personal-translator unit will reproduce their translated words into that legacy language.

It's not that difficult to learn sufficient Spanish as an adult. About one third of the vocabulary is cognitively identical to English. Its grammar is functionally similar to all the other Romance languages. The Romance linguistic framework is not hard for people who have learned English in a structured school environment, because other Romance language speakers (the French and the Normans) ruled England for hundreds of years in the Middle Ages and set the grammar rules that continue to be used to this day.

about 9 months ago
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Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

Simonetta Success = English && C++ (426 comments)

Wasn't it George Gilder who said that the only languages that anyone needed to know to be successful today are English and C++?

So what that Kentucky uses a programming language like BASIC to satisfy their foreign language 'requirement'? It's not like anyone speaks a foreign language in Kentucky. Except Spanish, and the Mexicans aren't going to know the difference between Kentuckians speaking KY_BASIC and KY_Spanish anyway.

10 ? "I'm smart, educated, trained, and ready for world-class productivity employment"
20 Goto 10

Was it Bill Gates who invented using the question mark as the PRINT token? If I recall correctly, he personally brought back to life the BASIC language by writing assembly language interpreters for every microprocessor available in the 1970s. Does he speak any foreign language?

about 9 months ago
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Will Electric Cars and Solar Power Make Gasoline and Utilities Obsolete?

Simonetta Future Schlock (734 comments)

I'm always stunned and amazed at what so-called academic professionals will write about the near future. This one is 'predicting' that there will be mostly electric cars in , what, 16 years and that gasoline engine service stations are going to obsolete and gone by that time?. He actually gets paid for this?

    Girlfriend, in 16 years the only thing that is really likely to change is the color of the table counter-tops at the local Burger King and the name on the alcohol/caffeine combo drink sold at the Arco Mini-mart. Plus the annoying junk-mail and stuff that you are throwing away now is going worth a lot of money to retarded collectors of 2010-era nostalgia that have too much money.

    These guys are almost as dumb as the Hollywood types that do CGI graphics of cities 20-years in the future that look like cities may be in 1000 years if techno development continues at the same pace that it has in the past 100 years. Like the 2010 city in 1983's Blade Runner.

about 9 months ago

Submissions

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Simonetta Simonetta writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Simonetta (207550) writes "The big story of the day in Oregon is about a family that got lost in the dense woods after following a 'road' listed on Google Earth. After being lost for days, the family survived but the father died after leaving his family to get help. The 'road' listed on Google Earth is nothing more than a grown over logging trail that is barely accessable in the summer. The area in southwestern Oregon where they got lost is one of the largest sections of semi-wilderness left on the coast of the USA. If Google Earth or Maps lists a road that goes deep into the wilderness, and the road doesn't really exist, and you drive your SUV far into it and get hopelessly lost, are they responsible?"

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