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Comments

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TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

cusco Re:Not so sure it's harmless (247 comments)

When I pretty much start the call by telling them that I have 18 years of desktop, server and network administration you would think that should scare them off, but no. They have a script to follow, and they'll follow it to the end of the Earth and over the edge. Most of the guys that I get tell me they work for Microsoft, and having worked on campus (and in fact having done security for a lot of those buildings) I find it amusing to take them on a mental tour of the Redmond campus. Eventually they drag me back onto the script. They're quite dogged, impressive in their own way.

About 30 seconds into one call I told the guy that I knew he was a scammer, and that he didn't work for MS. He still stayed on the line, doing his worst to try to get me to comply with his script, for another 23 minutes. The only reason that the call ended then was because it was time to toss stuff in the wok and I needed two hands.

3 days ago
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Scientists Confirm Life Under Antarctic Ice

cusco Re:But what about... (46 comments)

Having ingested fumarole Archea (and survived the truly amazing case of the 24-hour runs resulting from that stupidity) I would guess really, really nasty.

about a week ago
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Scientists Confirm Life Under Antarctic Ice

cusco Re:Wind and sunlight? (46 comments)

The average surface temperature on Titan is about -180 C. On Titan water is a rock, and since these (and all other Terran) organisms are mostly water I think it unlikely. Any critter that lives on Titan will not be at all similar to anything on Earth, no matter how extreme its environment.

about a week ago
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Comcast Training Materials Leaked

cusco Re:Just don't deal with Americans (249 comments)

It's a common mistake, made more common by the fact that at one time it was more-or-less true. Many municipalities did grant exclusive franchises (generally for 20 years) during the initial cable build-out in the 1950s and '60s, but those agreements have long ago expired. The nominal justification was that it would take companies that long to recoup their investment (the actual time to break-even was closer to 10 years, but cable companies were already earning their well-deserved reputation as liars.) It's become a major plank of the Libertaridan platform now so it gets repeated a lot, never mind that it's every bit as inaccurate as most of the rest of their talking points.

about two weeks ago
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Why Hasn't This Asteroid Disintegrated?

cusco Re:Why can't it just be one mass? (74 comments)

Some Asteroids are believed to be aggregations of relatively loosely bound matter.

FTFY. Some asteroids are differentiated masses that were clearly molten at some point in their history. Some are fragments of larger bodies that were broken up.

about two weeks ago
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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

cusco Re:And today (211 comments)

for the enormous cost of servicing the Hubble it could have simply been replaced,

No, there's not enough pork in a new telescope for Congress to pass funding, which is why Webb took so long to get funded. To dig a tunnel out of prison you might want a boring machine, but if all you have is a shovel you'll use that. NASA was stuck using a spoon because that was all that Congress would allow. The most disappointing thing that we learned from the entire Hubble mission is that while they wouldn't even pay for basic maintenance on Hubble until NASA had grovelled sufficiently and promised even more giveaways to the Pentagon, they gleefully purchased so many Hubble-class telescopes for the National Recon Office that the NRO couldn't even use two of them.

If Webb ever needs servicing it will be abandoned, since Congress will never budget the funding for the R&D in time to prevent minor malfunctions from cascading into complete failure. There just isn't enough pork in it.

about a month ago
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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

cusco Re:"Moondust" (211 comments)

Non-obligatory XKCD. 'Number of living humans who have walked on another world.'

The overtext says, "The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there's no good reason to go into space--each discovered, studied and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision."

about a month ago
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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

cusco Re:What if we hadn't? (211 comments)

Early on VonBraun planned on using multiple launches and assemble the spacecraft in orbit. Kennedy's 'end of the decade' deadline made that proposal a non-starter, since we didn't have the time necessary to learn the proper construction techniques, so we ended up with the enormous beast of the Saturn V as our booster. It's too bad, VonBraun's design would have had people working on the surface for as much as a month at a time before returning, and the program would have grown at a sustainable rate that could have been integrated into the economy and government.

about a month ago
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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

cusco Re:It's right there! (211 comments)

The moon landing was carried live worldwide, even on the few television stations in the USSR and China. To my knowledge it still holds the record for the program with the largest percentage of televisions worldwide tuned in. (Any game in the World Cup had larger numbers, but as a percentage of total available viewers I believe Apollo still wins.)

about a month ago
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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

cusco Re:It's not a miracle (211 comments)

Not to be rude, but that's a rather absurd assumption. Do you really think we know everything that will ever be possible to learn about physics? Since the majority of the universe seems to be made of matter and energy that we can't even detect yet I think there just may be some wiggle room for new discoveries.

Even more absurd is the assumption that the only reason to go to space is to go to other stellar systems in the blink of an eye. There is more than enough here in our own system to keep humanity occupied for centuries, and generation ships would be a natural outgrowth of asteroid colonization.

about a month ago
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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

cusco Re:And today (211 comments)

Sorry, but people poking and prodding and adjusting things are all that keep most of the experiments on the ISS running. You have a very distorted view of the reliability of electrical and mechanical equipment if you're unaware of that simple fact. Hubble functioned for as long as it did only because human beings were able to get up there and work on it. The big reason to have people living and working in space is that because THAT'S THE ONLY FRELLING WAY TO LEARN HOW TO LIVE THERE! If we're ever going to colonize the rest of the universe we're going to need to take these baby steps, and the sooner the better.

about a month ago
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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

cusco Re:And today (211 comments)

That was a peripheral objective of the Director, who now-days is mostly a PR position who has very little to do with actual operations. Nothing in NASA's actual goals or funding has anything to do with that right wingnut talking point.

about a month ago
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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

cusco Re:It's always the other guy's fault. (211 comments)

So how does one learn how to colonize space without "slinging meat bags" out there? Robots can do a lot of exploration and even do some of the preparation for installing habitats, but the only way to learn how to live in space is to actually GO THERE. Yes, LEO is barely "in outer space", but until we come up with good shielding we need to rely on the Van Allen belts for protection. For now, we're just taking baby steps, and the pols insist that killing brown people is more important than learning to run so that's what we'll continue doing for now. Space is our future, though.

The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever. - Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

about a month ago
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Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

cusco Re:Bitcoin isn't money but it's still a financial (135 comments)

Unless you're a former Treasury Secretary who goes to work for CitiCorps money laundering, er, 'private banking' division, or the head of the New York Stock Exchange who can go to Colombia and offer the NYSE's services to the FARC. Then you're just a shining example of the values of a Business Administration degree.

about a month and a half ago
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Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

cusco Re:Bitcoin isn't money but it's still a financial (135 comments)

When get get cash from an ATM, the bank associates your name with the unique ID on every bill.

No, they don't. Not even the $100 bills. My mother ran a credit union for over a decade, if the gov't tried to foist that kind of overhead on the country's credit unions you would have heard the banshee wails all the way to McMurdo Station. Whether Chase, BoA or one of the other major money laundries does for some bizarre reason it's voluntary, not a requirement.

about a month and a half ago
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Cassini's Space Odyssey To Saturn

cusco Re:Fear Mongers Didn't Want to Let Cassini Fly (45 comments)

And even then, multiple RTGs have been involved in launch failures and none have ever caused a problem. More often than not they were fished out of the ocean (US) or dug out of the tundra (USSR), refurbished, and used again on a later mission. I've never been clear on the mechanism the Luddites propose for the RTG to "vaporize" and then spread radioactive dust evenly throughout the atmosphere, targeting human lungs, either.

about 2 months ago
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Tibetans Inherited High-Altitude Gene From Ancient Human

cusco Re:Really bad explanation of the evolution. (133 comments)

You just implied that the only non-sexual method of gene migration was artificial, which isn't the case. Among some genera transplanted genes cause evolution to advance much faster than typical mutation rates would.
And yes, the Denesovians are extinct, whether they are a modern human subspecies or an entirely separate humanoid species (the answer to that will depend on which definition of 'species' you use). The African Hairless Dog and the Siamese Hairless Dog both survived into the late 19th century, late enough to be photographed. Being dogs they would have mated with any other canid that held still long enough so some of their genes are still going to be out there, but both breeds have been extinct for a century.

about 2 months ago
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Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

cusco Re:Trolling (349 comments)

I remember the original VCR lawsuits, where the principal complainant, Sony Entertainment, sued manufacturers of VCRs to try to somehow disable them from copying tapes. The principal defendant? Sony Electronics, the largest manufacturer of VCRs at the time. Then we got to see the whole show play out again a few years later with CD burners.

about 2 months ago
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New Class of Stars Are Totally Metal, Says Astrophysicist

cusco Re:Metal Stars (119 comments)

Leave your hearing aids at home . . .

about 2 months ago
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Tibetans Inherited High-Altitude Gene From Ancient Human

cusco Re:Really bad explanation of the evolution. (133 comments)

Horsepuckey. Transposons (sp?) are chunks of DNA that get moved around between species by viruses and plasmids. It's actually quite common. We have many chunks of non-human and in fact non-primate genetic material in our DNA that was imported over the eons. I don't know how much of it is expressed as active genes and how much is just 'junk' DNA, I haven't read up on it for several years, but it's there.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Bill Nye To Debate Creationist Museum Founder Ken Ham

cusco cusco writes  |  about 8 months ago

cusco (717999) writes "Creation Museum Founder and AiG President/CEO Ken Ham will debate Bill Nye at the Creation Museum on Tuesday, February 4, at 7 PM. According to the Washington Post, 'Ham had been hoping to attract the star of TV’s “Bill Nye The Science Guy” to the northern Kentucky museum after Nye said in an online video last year that teaching creationism was bad for children. The video was viewed nearly 6 million times on YouTube.'"

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