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Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far

jafac Re:OK Another one (88 comments)

Okay, but for example:
I am pretty overweight, but I'm in pretty good physical condition. I currently weigh 180 lbs. On this planet, I would weigh 315 lbs. That's like carrying 135 lbs of extra weight. If I'm backpacking, I carry anywhere from 25-35 lbs total, and I can "go" all day like that. I get pretty wiped out, but it's something I can adjust to, over time. I've hiked at 70 lbs, carrying equipment for other "less capable" people. That's really about my limit. This seriously cuts my hike range from about 15 miles in a day (max, really humping hard) to about 5-7. After a day like that, I'm fucking beat. And that is where I can take this pack off, and set up camp, cook, eat, sleep. I could pack 135 lbs, but I wouldn't get far, and I'd probably hurt myself trying.

When I train, I train with a pack that starts at about 10 lbs, and I ramp up over a few weeks to 40 lbs. And that is gradual enough, to avoid injuries, while building-up strength. And this increases my capacity and performance, but this takes weeks. (and as I get older, it gets much harder).

I see absolutely no way in hell I'm going to deal with an extra 135 lbs of weight, 24-hours a day. I'm not going to "build-skeletal tissue" or strengthen my body's structure. What will happen, physiologically, is I'll "survive" (minimally) maybe a day. My joints will get beat all to hell. I will be too sore to move for another few days of immobility. If I stayed on the surface, it's pretty likely I'd not recover.

I think that a "1.25 g" planet might be survivable for short periods. And this level MIGHT be enough for "physical toughness" to develop (over time), given a proper training/rest regimen, proper nutrition, and medical assistance with things like testosterone, HGH, and whatever other "black-magic" stuff that the pro athletes are taking.

I'd also tip my hat to probably the top-10% of the genetic bell-curve; those individuals who have rare, natural gifts of athletic ability, and while they are in their prime years of life, to MAYBE be able to adjust long-term to 1.5 g.

3 days ago

Mozilla Rolls Out Sponsored Tiles To Firefox Nightly's New Tab Page

jafac Re:Turn tiles off... but for how long? (170 comments)

right after they figure out that those sponsored tiles are all listed in my /etc/hosts as . . .

4 days ago

Mozilla Rolls Out Sponsored Tiles To Firefox Nightly's New Tab Page

jafac Re:Blah (170 comments)

No - this is exactly what happened with Television.

We had 3 broadcast channels which were ad-supported.

then we had the option to purchase around 20 channels.

Then, all of those channels which we PAID for with cable, became ad-infes.... ad-supported. And you had to pay EXTRA for more ad-free channels.
Then many of those extra channels also became ad-infested.

Then we got the internet, and the option to pay for ad-free TV. Then motherfucking HULU comes along, and rams ads down your throat for content you paid for.

They don't "get" it: people want a way to escape the fucking ads.

4 days ago

Mozilla Rolls Out Sponsored Tiles To Firefox Nightly's New Tab Page

jafac Re:Work for the man, not for mankind (170 comments)

yeah, remember when the Amazon content in the search window was opt-out in Ubunutu?

4 days ago

Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

jafac Re: Send in the drones! (827 comments)

we're not appeasing russia. Sanctions?

4 days ago

Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

jafac Re:Send in the drones! (827 comments)

There was no "understanding that we would come to their aid". The deal was: they get rid of their nukes, and Russia promises not to invade. Has nothing to do with the US, but it's a very stupid move on Russia's part. Ukraine will be the first and last nation that voluntarily disarms. I suspect many of these other countries who are flirting with nukes, will be encouraged, now, to obtain them.

4 days ago

How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest

jafac Re:Docker & RedHat's Software Collections (232 comments)

Very important for certain customers:
RH has a Common Criteria certificate. So, it's basically the ONLY Linux you can run in an IA environment. The other option is Windows. I don't even know if Solaris is there, still. I've seen customers migrate entire Ubuntu networks to Red Hat, to meet this set of requirements.

This means revenue for Red Hat, and this drives them to work towards being a one-stop-shop for IA Enterprise systems.

With other environments leaning towards HIPPA and other sets of security regulations, the fact that Canonical doesn't really play in this space means that Red Hat is pushing in this direction.

5 days ago

It's Easy To Hack Traffic Lights

jafac Re:Welcome to the Information Age! (144 comments)

Not only is it that the guys making big bucks making decisions are horribly undereducated: they won't pay for security because that would cut into THEIR compensation (to have to pay competent engineering staff). So not only are they undereducated, they have a conflict of interest that promotes horrible engineering practices.

about two weeks ago

The Flight of Gifted Engineers From NASA

jafac Re:Job Security (160 comments)

The point to this practice (yearly rank-n-yank) is really nothing more than a little S&M show to keep the shareholders and investors hard, and to keep them pumping. There is little actual value to this practice, and it has been shown to be actively BAD for overall performance. (don't get me wrong, you can still fire the slackers for slacking) - but in the commercial world, you have to occasionally perform these human sacrifices to the golden calf.

Same actually goes for outsourcing and offshoring. Long term, losing practice. But it gets those shareholders WET WET WET to believe that management is tough on the mythical "undeserving bottom 10%".

about two weeks ago

3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

jafac Re:Devleopment Risk Management (393 comments)

I find your ideas intriguing and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter!

about three weeks ago

WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak An International Emergency

jafac Re:keep calm everyone.... (183 comments)

I think this is panic, mainly because experts are afraid of some mythical nightmare scenario where it gets into a large city and overwhelms the medical infrastructure's ability to cope, and it infects millions.

I think it remains to be seen whether such a scenario would actually play-out that way, or whether other factors would intervene. We've seen situations in history, like Black Plague, and the Spanish Flu, where they did, indeed balloon up beyond anyone's expectations - one wonders whether that will happen with Ebola, which is harder to transmit human-to-human than flu or plague. But I think that health officials don't want to be blamed for any political/social/economic fallout that results. A major African city or region becoming impacted like this would likely bring on war or genocide on a massive scale, because of the general nature of the region. But there are a TON of what-if's in these assumptions. It really just comes down to nervous officials, IMO.

about three weeks ago

Tesla's Already Shopping For More Office Space

jafac Re:Check out Detroit (100 comments)

I'd really be more concerned about infrastructure. When you're mass-producing something like automobiles, you need good access to either a world-class seaport (which SF bay area IS), and/or rail network center (which noplace west of the rockies really does well, and probably LA does best). You need to be able to bring in lots of raw materials from diverse places, and ship your product out. For most purposes, even with the port of SF, SF is a terrible location.

This is why internet startups were able to thrive - because they had those phat pipes.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

jafac Re:ARCH LINUX WIKI (430 comments)

I agree; the archlinux wiki is one of them most helpful sources out there. The arch distribution, however, is basically unusable, unless you personally have the hundreds of hours required to gain proficiency in every aspect of OS operation and configuration that, in nearly every other distribution, is basically 80-95% functional without the heroic levels of user intervention that arch typically requires.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

jafac Re:Nothing (430 comments)

Even as a coder, I've had this problem when trying to contribute to documentation. Even writing howto's for specific use-cases. There are a few good developers out there who are capable of communicating, answering questions, etc. - to help make sure that the documentation I write is accurate. But they're few.

about a month ago

US Army To Transport American Ebola Victim To Atlanta Hospital From Liberia

jafac Re:Vaccine is coming (409 comments)

The Onion had an article on the Ebola vaccine and said that it was only 50 deaths of white-people away. . .

about 1 month ago

Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

jafac Re:Van Braun built weapons for Nazis (165 comments)

There's actually a long story behind this, and Von Braun was actually arrested because Hitler suspected he was a traitor. Von Braun was a visionary who just loved rockets and wanted to land on the moon and colonize space. The Nazis were a funding means-to-an-end for his rocketry studies. After the Nazis tried to arrest him and his team, he escaped with some equipment and top scientists to defect to the allies.

So no, it's not at all accurate to speculate that Von Braun was a Nazi or into that whole ideology.

He used his expertise to con the Nazis into paying for his very expensive hobby.
Then he came to the USA, and played the same con on Congress to fund his continued work here. Congress thought they were getting ICBMs to wave at the Russians. Von Braun was getting a moon landing, and who gives a shit about politics.

about a month ago

Journalist Sues NSA For Keeping Keith Alexander's Financial History Secret

jafac Re:If true. If. (200 comments)

such as the massive & ongoing civil rights violations/infringements that most people agree are wrong, regardless of what political stripe they self-identify as.

But I think that's wrong.

You and I may not agree with this, but I think that MOST people are quite happy to trade-away their civil liberties for the illusion of security. Particularly those who are convinced that since they "do nothing wrong", they have nothing to fear from such violations.

It's a very sad commentary on our democratic peers, but unfortunately, factual, and consistent with pretty much everything else that's gone on since 9/11, (and more-or-less, since the McCarthy era - with regard to "communists").

We're not going to unite in this country. Period. It's like Morpheus said, in The Matrix: "Most people are not ready to be unplugged from the system, and will fight to protect it." Cliche, but true.

about a month ago

The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

jafac Re:The Hobbit didn't take the material seriously (156 comments)

What's funny, is that I remember for DECADES, fans bemoaned the lack of a good LOTR/Hobbit adaptation, because the special effects weren't good enough. We had the Ralph Bakshi atrocity, then the Rankin-Bass embarrassment. (and for the hipsters, the little-known black-and-white Russian adaptation). Then. . . Nothing. No studio was going to invest their good money into such a farce. Then Peter Jackson came along, with some contacts who had a CGI technique that could maybe make human actors look like Hobbits - then, we finally got LOTR.

And there was great rejoicing among the FANS. But if you really want to look at LOTR with a critical eye, step back and take a look at it, and yeah, it was pretty stretched-out (and at the same time, weirdly had the feeling of being tightly compressed; like months of road-travel and hiking crammed into a 30-minute TV episode compressed.) (I hike. And I don't know how you make a long hike "interesting" to a cinema audience. But that experience, of long day-after-day exposure to nature, that absolute breathless awestruck feeling when you behold the spectacle of pristine wilderness, the deafening silence, the overwhelming feeling of "letting-go" of your personal safety in the face of insects, weather, predators, rough terrain, homesickness, isolation, struggle, confusion, physical exhaustion, was all very deftly conveyed in Tolkein's prose, and totally absent from the movies). But, overall, still better than the Bakshi version of the movie.

Hobbit takes that to the next extreme. I think it's obvious that the Studio wasn't going to fund Hobbit unless they could milk it to the same profitable extent that LOTR was milked. Only, it's like 1/10th the literary material to work with. I think it's also apparent that the creative team had a difficult time making that requirement work. My guess is that everybody was all geared up to accept this new whizbang 48 fps 3d technology, and that they were hoping that this would make these movies so visually engaging that the audience wouldn't care about the pacing and story and plot problems. I think that they almost certainly fell into the groupthink trap, and bought into their own bullshit, and somehow, anybody who had any nagging doubts was just never in a position to say; "fuck, this is awful, we need to back up and fix this shit." because, by that time, it was probably too late, and the only impact of speaking-up would be to end one's career in the industry. I've been on projects like that. I know that feel.

about a month ago



Natalie Portman: Not Petrified (of Science)

jafac jafac writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jafac (1449) writes "Turns out, that Natalie Portman, much abused by slasdot geeks, was, herself, a Science geek, in High School, and studied Neuroscience at Harvard. Who knew?

Okay, don't answer that. I don't care."

Link to Original Source

jafac jafac writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jafac (1449) writes "As discussed in this SpaceDaily article, the video footage from the launch, earlier this week (available at, of the Falcon 1 vehicle, seems to show a problem with the stage separation. I noticed this when I watched the video last night — it appears that the top of the first stage bumps the engine nozzle.

The upper stage guidance does a good job of setting the craft straight after this bump, but some odd things happen after that, including some kind of ring flying off the engine, and a wobble that gets progressively worse until the vehicle goes completely out of control. I've been fascinated by the availability of these kinds of videos more and more; but this is the first one I've seen that documents a failed launch — (Elon Musk's denials notwithstanding), and because of that, it's probably the coolest video I've seen all year."


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