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Comments

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Comcast Converting 50,000 Houston Home Routers Into Public WiFi Hotspots

jamstar7 Re:Liability (474 comments)

So does this mean that charges for copyright infringement (or other such activities) will no longer be brought against people based on IP Address evidence alone? Because this certainly gives a lot of people a lot of plausible deniability.

Secondly, how are the clients being compensated for the hotspot service they are now providing?

It almost makes me want to move to Houston and slurp down a shitpile of free wifi. I've got a few terabytes of porn I need to download...

about a month and a half ago
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SpaceX Shows Off 7-Man Dragon V2 Capsule

jamstar7 Re:PR (140 comments)

The down mass capabilities of the Shuttle have not been replaced nor is it anticipated that it will ever be replaced within this century. That is one thing which the retirement of the Space Shuttle definitely hurt.

Per specs, Shuttle could put 25 metric tons in LEO. Falcon 9 V1 can put 13.1 metric tons in LEO. Falcon Heavy is scheduled to put 53 metric tons in LEO and expected to fly in 2015. I didn't realise that the century is ending this year.

about 2 months ago
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Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

jamstar7 Re:What I'd like to know.... (260 comments)

Could someone explain what the difference is between taking a cab and carpooling when the driver expects to receive compensation for the ride?

The government's cut and rules that deter competition for established businesses.

That, and the vehicles are supposed to be safer in case of a crash. Your everyday Detrot/Osaka-made car? Not NEARLY as safe as a Checker cab. Those suckers are the tanks of the street.

about 2 months ago
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Virginia DMV Cracks Down On Uber, Lyft

jamstar7 Re:Third-world Jitney service (260 comments)

But who says that it's in the public's best interest to require drivers-for-hire to have $1m insurance and a special license? Why is that? Sure, you need some insurance and an actual drivers license, but why more?

Because this is the United States, and people will sue you at the drop of a hat. Stay in business long enough, it's a mathematical certainty. Liability insurance pays off when you're sued.

about 2 months ago
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SpaceX Shows Off 7-Man Dragon V2 Capsule

jamstar7 Re:How many flights to test? (140 comments)

Want to bet on whether or not SpaceX convinces NASA to let them transition to sending up the DragonV2 on the supply runs as part of the testing? It would give the new capsule valuable flight data, and wouldn't cost NASA another cent contract wise.

Probably already in the pipeline for when they need to start testing the capsule in space. Unmanned cargo launches to see what it does, then go for the meatshots.

about 2 months ago
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SpaceX Shows Off 7-Man Dragon V2 Capsule

jamstar7 Re:How many flights to test? (140 comments)

Or do all programs run bugfree the day you write them?

That's what incremental tests are for. Like the legs they tested out on the latest Falcon launch.

about 2 months ago
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SpaceX Shows Off 7-Man Dragon V2 Capsule

jamstar7 Re:PR (140 comments)

The Shuttle was awesome. Just not from a cost or safety perspective. It had a freakin' robotic arm in the payload bay and pretty decent upmass to LEO.

The Russians own half the modules on the ISS, and they've threatened to detach them from the ISS after 2020; the ISS won't function without both the Russian and American modules. Not much good being able to fly to a non-functional station.

Given the state of our space program and space program funding, it would probably take another 15 years and hundreds of billions of dollars to build a new space station to replace the ISS -- whether it's in 2020 (the current termination date) or 2024 (the proposed extension date).

Some heavy lifting capability, the US can launch replacement modules. Hell, we can put them in an orbit that makes SENSE if we don't have to worry about the Russians being able to get to it from Baikanour.

about 2 months ago
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SpaceX Shows Off 7-Man Dragon V2 Capsule

jamstar7 Re:But... but... (140 comments)

You know, international cooperation can be a wonderful and mutually-rewarding thing.

But relying on it, or even worse: having to rely on it, for space exploration (which has strategic value) is not just not smart but kind of insane.

It's kind of like when the military was buying chips from China:, a little bit crazy, and a lot stupid.

You epitomize the kind of thinking that keeps us going to war.

You idiot.

Not really. Jane nailed it in one this time. Single-sourcing and then outsourcing your military hardware to a potential enemy is not a good idea. And even civilian gear can have military applications. If your potential enemy becomes a real enemy, you're VSF. Look at Russia. Indifferent to them before WW1 and afterwards, allies in WW2, then enemies during the long Cold War, followed by mutual friendship for a few years til Putin decided to annex most of Ukraine. Now we're pissed off at them again and they're pissed off at us. National positions change. Outsourcing your parts is not a good idea.

about 2 months ago
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SpaceX Shows Off 7-Man Dragon V2 Capsule

jamstar7 Re:What else is needed... Rocket engines (140 comments)

However, the real reasons that astronauts like Chris Hadfield et al think that the Russian Soyuz will be hard to replace are hard to fit into a single post.

  • Consider, for instance, that the Soyuz TMA-M can hang around the space station for 6 months, and be ready for use to return astronauts safely back to Earth, without a maintenance crew having to go and check every nut and bolt - a feat that even the Space Shuttle could never muster (for the record, the Space Shuttle had a mission duration of about 12 days - a few Columbia missions went up to 16/17 days).
  • Another example is that it takes the Soyuz just 6 hours to go from launch to docking with the space station (for comparison, it took the space shuttle almost 3 days to reach the space station after launch).
  • There are many other little things like these that are not cool or sexy, but make the ruthless efficiency and effectiveness with which the Soyuz executes and fulfils its purpose is second to none. It will take a lot more than a larger tin-can and a more comfortable ride to convince astronauts to put their lives in SpaceX's hands.

OK, keep in mind orbital parameters. The ISS's orbit was specifically placed the way it was to allow the Russians to get to it with ease. It's on a steep incline that takes orbital corrections to manuver to from any other launch site than Baikanour. It passes directly over Canaveral occasionally, but the delta-v required to do a one shot insertion orbit to ISS from Canaveral is expensive. That's why the Shuttle was downrated for ISS missions in payload and duration.

Shuttle was also a hell of a lot more complicated than a Soyuz capsule. It's like comparing a Prius to a Model T. Soyuz was designed for no-frills get them to orbit. Shuttle was designed to get a shitpile of cargo to orbit along with the crew and the gear to operate independently of anything once there. Think of it more like a spacegoing Winnebago.

about 2 months ago
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SpaceX Shows Off 7-Man Dragon V2 Capsule

jamstar7 Re:What else is needed (140 comments)

If some issue occurs with the Dragon, it would be nice to have a means of getting people into orbit that was independently engineered.

Thats where the other also runners come in, Orion, Dreamchaser, et al. If a NASA inspector downchecks a Dragon 2, somebody will be able to fly out. Once these all come online, we really won't need Roskosmos.

about 2 months ago
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US Officials Cut Estimate of Recoverable Monterey Shale Oil By 96%

jamstar7 Re:Keystone XL (411 comments)

Of course you do realise that the Athabasca reserves are not American property but in fact the product of a foreign country being imported to the US, that free market capitalism at work? Why should the end result of processing foreign oil be reserved to subsidise US consumers when the source material is imported?

Of course you realise that most of the oil leases are owned by Koch Industries through various cutouts, right? It is a matter of public record, you know.

about 2 months ago
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US Officials Cut Estimate of Recoverable Monterey Shale Oil By 96%

jamstar7 Re: Wait.. (411 comments)

Why do people like you keep talking as if nuclear power is being restricted in some way. Permits are available and companies can build new plants if they want. There are no new restrictions or regulations holding back the industry; it just isn't economical for power companies and hasn't been for a while. Look it up, nuclear plant orders dropped to zero years before Three Mile Island or Chernobyl due to cheaper coal and gas options; that's it. Money.

Gas/coal generators are cheaper because they don't have to go to court every other day to defend their permits. A large part of the cost of building a nuke plant is legal costs just to keep building. See Perry Nuclear Plant for more info. They kept stopping construction whenever a judge issued an injunction, and since the buildings and reactor housings weren't complete, they had to keep a crew there full time playing cards so they could jump back to work when the injunction lifted, and were prohibited from doing maintanance on the site while the injunctions were in effect. Weather in northeast Ohio isn't pleasant, there was a lot of damage that needed removed and rebuilt before they could continue until they got handed their next injunction.

about 2 months ago
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US Officials Cut Estimate of Recoverable Monterey Shale Oil By 96%

jamstar7 Re:Keystone XL (411 comments)

I wonder if this might change the Obama administration's calculus and their continued delays on the proposed pipeline.

Keystone XL won't do a damned thing for the taxpayer at the gas pump. It's designed to take the dirtiest most corrosive form of oil from American-leased fields in Canada to refineries in Texas so they can be shipped overseas for more profit. If they REALLY wanted to use the oil in the US, they wouldn't be piping it to Texas. They'd be piping it to refineries in the north.

about 2 months ago
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Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

jamstar7 Re:Stupid is as stupid does.... (313 comments)

Going to the moon is expensive AND pointless. You have to do everything you do in Earth orbit, but it has to happen farther away from safety and at the bottom of a gravity well. There's absolutely nothing of value on the moon that couldn't be gotten cheaper by snagging bits off of a water bearing comet, or bringing that same water or up from Earth, for that matter, or mining a few local asteroids in-situ.

Look, gravity is *bad* and expensive. You don't go looking for it. You simulate it a bit with centrifugal force when necessary, but that's all.

Keep in mind that all the exploration of the Moon so far is like taking a detailed analysis of a single grain of sand from a beach and declaring that 'nothing of value is on Earth.' We haven't come close to any statistically meaningful samples yet.

about 4 months ago
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Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

jamstar7 Re:Anyone know... (313 comments)

Has the Sci fi story been written wherein the great nations of earth inevetibaly go to war to unceremoniously control the moon?

John E. Stiers' 'Lunar Republic' series.

about 4 months ago
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Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

jamstar7 Re:Annex? (313 comments)

Tell that to the Crimean

Sure, because trampling over a neighbor's backyard is the same as going to the fucking moon.

Point being made is, it was 'illegal' for Putin to annex Crimea.

He did it anyway.

about 4 months ago
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Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

jamstar7 Re:So.. (313 comments)

It would appear that Tea Party Politics are a form of infectious disease, and it's spreading to Russia. Does anyone have the time to tell Capt.PutPut that the USSR, and the Space Race are over?

I dunno, from here, it looks like he's attempting a Soviet Reunion.

Hope he can get the original drummer when he 'gets the badn back together'...

about 4 months ago
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Why No Executive Order To Stop NSA Metadata Collection?

jamstar7 Re:He needs support in congress... (312 comments)

If he issues an executive order to undo the spying, it is likely that those in congress who want the spying to stay will refuse to support Obama on other things he wants.

You're assuming he already has support in Congress. Keep in mind they haven't sent him a budget in five years. Considering that's supposed to be the top priority per the Constitution, seems to me that somebody's dropping the ball. And it don't look like El Presidente.

about 4 months ago
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Why No Executive Order To Stop NSA Metadata Collection?

jamstar7 Re:He can't because of Bush... (312 comments)

Bush wrote his orders in such a way that no other President can undo them. It requires congress, so this is 100% Bush's fault, and Obama is not allowed to undo it. I hate the people irrationally attacking him for something he simply cannot undo. Please attack the family responsible for it instead. The Bush junta created this and has left it in a state that Democrats cannot legally undo.

Yeah, he can undo it. He just can't make it stick. Next asshole in the chair can undo his undoing with the stroke of a pen. That's why they need a law in place to fix this. There's just no way he'll get that unless some serious changes happen in the midterms. Congress needs to purge the Tealiban and get people in there willing to compromise and govern.

about 4 months ago
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Why No Executive Order To Stop NSA Metadata Collection?

jamstar7 Re:No Law (312 comments)

So you are saying Congress needs to authorize the current activities legislatively, before Obama would feel he had authority to override them by executive order? So as long as the activities are completely illegal he's powerless to stop them, but if they got a legislative fig-leaf then he could stand up to the Republicans by defying them? You just might have a future at the office of White House Counsel young man!

No, we're saying that in order for the changes to stick, it will take Congressional action, i.e., a law. Executive orders can be rescinded by the next guy in the chair. See LBJ's rescinding of JFK's executive orders dismantling the CIA.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Deep Space Industries to mine asteroids in 2016?

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "From The Guardian:

Asteroid mining: US company looks to space for precious metal

Deep Space Industries hopes to land spacecraft on asteroids and have them scrape up material for return to Earth for sale A US company has unveiled plans to launch a fleet of spacecraft to hunt for small asteroids that pass close to Earth which might one day be mined for their precious resources.

Deep Space Industries aims to fly a series of low cost prospecting satellites in 2015 on missions of two to six months, with larger spacecraft embarking on round-trips to collect material a year later.

Cute video implying that asteroid mining can lead to permenant colonisation of space. After all, we still can't beat the lightspeed lag, and when something goes wrong with a robot miner, it's a long way home for a $20 part."
Link to Original Source

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Gerry Anderson Dies

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "

Gerry Anderson, creator of the Thunderbirds and Joe 90 puppet superhero TV shows, has died at the age of 83, his son has announced.

In my opinion, his greatest creation was Space: 1999, and ITV production with practically no budget, but still great shows in the first season. Unfortunately, like so many other Gerry & Sylvia Anderson projects, it ran out of gas in the 2nd season. They did some great stuff until their divorce in 1975."
Link to Original Source

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NASA Eyes Moon for Future Space Base

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  about 2 years ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "

NASA is reportedly mulling the construction of a floating Moon base that would serve as a launching site for manned missions to Mars and other destinations more distant than any humans have traveled to so far.

The Orlando Sentinel reported over the weekend that the proposed outpost, called a "gateway spacecraft," would support "a small astronaut crew and function as a staging area for future missions to the moon and Mars."

This is actually a good idea, using the Moon as a staging base for exploring the cosmos. Once we build manufacturing capability there, why not build spacecraft there? We can build bigger, more spacious craft so as to not lock up future astronauts in a closet for months or years at a time."
Link to Original Source

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Hawking Calls for Lunar Based Supercomputer

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  about 2 years ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "

Stephen Hawking, world-celebrated expert on the cosmological theories of gravity and black holes who holds Issac Newton's Lucasian Chair at Cambridge University, called for a massive investment in establishing colonies on the Moon and in a lecture in honor of NASA's 50th anniversary. The Moon is a good place to start because it is "close by and relatively easy to reach", Hawking said. "The Moon could be a base for travel to the rest of the solar system," he added. would be "the obvious next target", with its abundant supplies of frozen water, and the intriguing possibility that life may have been present there in the past.

Last week, in a presentation to the AIAA Space conference in Pasadena, California, Ouliang Chang of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, suggested that NASA build a supercomputer and accompanying radio dishes on the far side of the moon in a deep crater near a pole where it would be protected from the moon's extreme temperature swings, and might let it tap polar water ice for cooling. This lunar supercomputer would not only ease the load on terrestrial mission control infrastructure, it would also provide computational power for the "first phase of lunar industrial and settlement development."

Surprisingly, nobody posted on this. How much geekier and techier can you get? There's even something for the 'Make Space Safe For Robots' crowd, as the Farside Dish could be tasked to handle robot probe communications. Personally, I think the idea is pretty cool. And what better place for a deep space radio dish than the backside of the Moon? Plenty of shielding from all the electrical noise from Earth."
Link to Original Source

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Astronomers catch a star in the act of devouring a planet

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  about 2 years ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "Astronomers have witnessed the first evidence of a planet's destruction by its aging star as it expands into a red giant.

"A similar fate may await the inner planets in our solar system, when the Sun becomes a red giant and expands all the way out to Earth's orbit some five-billion years from now," said Alex Wolszczan, from Penn State, University, who led a team which found evidence of a missing planet having been devoured by its parent star. Wolszczan also is the discoverer of the first planet ever found outside our solar system.

The planet-eating culprit, a red-giant star named BD+48 740 is older than the Sun and now has a radius about eleven times bigger than our Sun.

The evidence the astronomers found was a massive planet in a surprising highly elliptical orbit around the star — indicating a missing planet — plus the star's wacky chemical composition.

5 billion years or so is a long way off, so it's likely none of us has to worry about it, but still, watching a star eating its own planets is not only cool in its own right, but gives you food for thought as to how to keep the human species going long after the Sun starts going off the main sequence into red gianthood. And of course, some more cash into astronomers' and physicists' hands now can give us a closer ballpark number of when this event is going to happen. It's all in the math..."
Link to Original Source

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$100 Laptop Inventor Sees Future Thought Going Straight to Video

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  about 2 years ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "

When Dr. Mary Lou Jepsen gets to work on a technology problem, expect big things to happen.

Confronted with the fact that an inaccessible digital world would freeze poor countries out of development, Jepsen brought the modern computer back to the drawing board and built the $100 laptop. She designed it, invented or co-invented numerous parts and led a team to bring it into mass production.

The initial design and development project, which has gone on to transform educational opportunities in the developing world, took her three years. Since then, she has moved on to other projects and continues to make a name for herself as an innovator in holography, display technology and optics.

The article is a nifty interview piece with Txchnologist that asks Dr Jepson her thoughts on her current and future projects, as well as where she thinks we're heading for technologically. An interesting read..."
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NASA, SpaceX Complete Design Review of Dragon

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  about 2 years ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "

NASA partner Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has completed an important design review of the crewed version of its Dragon spacecraft. The concept baseline review presented NASA with the primary and secondary design elements of its Dragon capsule designed to carry astronauts into low Earth orbit, including the International Space Station.

SpaceX is one of several companies working to develop crew transportation capabilities under the Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) agreement with NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP). Through CCDev2, NASA is helping the private sector develop and test new spacecraft and rockets with the goal of making commercial human spaceflight services available to commercial and government customers.

The review was started on June 12, 2012. It's part of the process to meet requirements to get the Dragon man-rated in order to get crew to the ISS and beyond. Without the man-rating, all they'll ever be able to do is cargo launches. Man-rating will also allow them to qualify for insurance for manned flights."
Link to Original Source

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China Plans Manned Space Mission in June 2012

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "From Yahoo News:

China will launch three astronauts this month to dock with an orbiting experimental module, and the crew might include its first female space traveler, a government news agency said Saturday.
A rocket carrying the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft was moved to a launch pad in China's desert northwest on Saturday for the mid-June flight, the Xinhua News Agency said, citing an space program spokesman. The three-member crew will dock with and live in the Tiangong 1 orbital module launched last year, Xinhua said. The government has not said how long the mission will last.

China, the only non-partner of the ISS, plans to see if its Shenzhou 9/Long March 2F system can get the job done like the Falcon9/Dragon system can. They plan on two missions this year to dock with their Tiangong 1 module launched in September 2011. Their eventual plans include building a full tilt space station by 2020, though one of only about 60 tons, compared to the ISS's 450ish tons."
Link to Original Source

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Intelsat Signs Launch Contract with SpaceX

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "Following the success of the Falcon9/Dragon resupply test to the ISS comes the following announcement:

Washington, DC / Hawthorne, CA May 29, 2012 — Today, Intelsat, the world's leading provider of satellite services, and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), the world's fastest growing space launch company, announced the first commercial contract for the Falcon Heavy rocket.

"SpaceX is very proud to have the confidence of Intelsat, a leader in the satellite communication services industry," said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer. "The Falcon Heavy has more than twice the power of the next largest rocket in the world. With this new vehicle, SpaceX launch systems now cover the entire spectrum of the launch needs for commercial, civil and national security customers."

As of yet, the Falcon Heavy hasn't flown, but all the parts have been tested. Essentially an upgunned Falcon 9 with strapon boosters, the Heavy has lift capability second only to the Saturn 5. Already scheduled for 4 Falcon Heavy launches for the US Air Force this year, the Intelsat contract represents the true dawn of the commercial space age."
Link to Original Source

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Sex Robots:The Future of Prostitution?

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "From an article in the May 2012 issue of Futures comes the opinion of two Wellington University researchers theorizing about the future of 'sex workers' in 2050:

“[They] are clean of sexual transmitted infections (STIs), not smuggled in from Eastern Europe and forced into slavery, the city council will have direct control over android sex workers controlling prices, hours of operations and sexual services,” they say.

This future scenario is detailed by Ian Yeoman and sexologist Michelle Mars. They say that “sex tourists” could pay up to 10,000 euros for a one-night package with a sex robot. This would include it all – everything that their mind could dream up. Robot-populated brothels could be diverse, featuring models “‘of sexual gods and goddesses of different ethnicities, body shapes, ages, languages and sexual features.” A cornucopia of styles, for all types of fetishes.

Price tag? 10,000 euros a night. Expensive now, but who knows about inflation in 2050?

Included in the article is a Youtube link to a currently marketted sex robot, Roxxy, on sale now for basements everywhere..."

Link to Original Source

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Santorum renews promise to root out obscene pornography

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "Republican darkhorse candidate Rick Santorum says the most dangerous thing in America is pornography:

America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography. A wealth of research is now available demonstrating that pornography causes profound brain changes in both children and adults, resulting in widespread negative consequences. Addiction to pornography is now common for adults and even for some children. The average age of first exposure to hard-core, Internet pornography is now 11. Pornography is toxic to marriages and relationships. It contributes to misogyny and violence against women. It is a contributing factor to prostitution and sex trafficking.

This, despite the 1968 study commissioned by President Johnson and the Meese Commission Report determining that 'exposure to pornography' has no connection whatsoever to any 'criminal or deviant sexual behaviour'. The list of supporters for this statement is almost a Who's Who of 'the usual suspects':

That coalition is composed of 120 national, state, and local groups, including Morality in Media, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Family Association, Cornerstone Family Council of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania Family Institute, Concerned Women for America, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and a host of other groups.

These groups are NeoCon and evangelical-tied and funded.

If Santorum gets his way, we'll have a full-on 'War Against Porn', where the US will be further divided into registered sex offenders and those who have yet to be convicted of 'sex offenses'."

Link to Original Source

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Apollo 1 45th Anniversary

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "Space.com offers some thoughts on our progress since the death of the first 3 American astronauts in the plugs out test of Apollo 1. We remember today Gus Grissom, Roger Chafee and Ed White for their sacrifice to open up those strange new worlds."
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Asteroid Vesta's mountain 3x larger than Mt Everes

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "A new image from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft shows a mountain three times as high as Mt. Everest, in the south polar region of the giant asteroid Vesta.

The peak of Vesta’s south pole mountain, seen in the center of the image, rises about 13 miles above the average height of the surrounding terrain.

On the right side of the image is a huge cliff-like slope — the Dawn team’s scientists believe features around its base are probably the result of landslides."

Link to Original Source
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Japanese to build solar powersat?

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jamstar7 writes "The Japanese are looking at building solar power satellites. With a $21 billion dollar investment, the launch of the first components may be as early as 2015. The satellites being planned for should be able to light 300,000 Tokyo homes and have a capture surface of 4 square kilometers (2.5 square miles), and is hoped to come online in the 2030s.



NASA has been studying similar proposals for over a decade, having budgetted a few million here and there for various studies."

Link to Original Source
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H-1B Employers To Be Audited

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jamstar7 writes "Some rocky times may be ahead for certain H-1B visa sponsors due to US Citizenship & Immigration Services performing audits on them. FTA:

Recently, the USCIS has begun making "surprise visits" to the U.S. work sites of companies that sponsor H-1B and L-1 visa holders, including some large U.S.-based financial services companies, says Elizabeth Espin Stern, a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of law firm Baker and McKenzie. USCIS assessors come with a checklist of questions designed to confirm the identity of the employer who petitioned for the visa and the visa beneficiary and to verify that both are in compliance with the terms and conditions of the visa.

It could shut down some projects if the sponsors are found to be in violation. What this means to the availability of IT jobs if the sponsors are found to be abusing the system is unclear in this article. It is estimated that 21% of all H-1B visa applications are fraudulent"
Link to Original Source

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Did Life Start Twice On Earth?

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "From The New Scientist:

Around the world, several labs are drawing close to the threshold of a second genesis, an achievement that some would call one of the most profound scientific breakthroughs of all time. David Deamer, a biochemist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been saying that scientists would create synthetic life in "five or 10 years" for three decades, but finally he might actually be right. "The momentum is building," he says. "We're knocking at the door."



Meanwhile, a no-less profound search is on for a "shadow biosphere" — life forms that are unrelated to the life we know because they are descendants of an independent origin of life. We know for sure that life got going on Earth once, so why couldn't it have happened twice? Many scientists argue that there is no reason why a second genesis might not have taken place, and no reason why its descendants should not still be living among us.

Obviously, this raises some interesting questions. Has this happened? Can we detect it? What are the interactions between the 'First Genesis' and the 'Second Genesis'? How does this affect us? And personally, are we part of the 'First Wave' or the Second?"
Link to Original Source

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Powerbook Explodes in London Office

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "Just when you thought it was safe to go to the office, a Powerbook exploded and caught fire in a London marketting office. The IT guy, identified only as 'IT Steve', confirms that the Powerbook was '3 to 4 years old' and that he'd heard of the battery recall, but declined to check on his office's laptops to see if they were covered.



Hey, when somebody says there's a possibility of something you own exploding and it's subject to recall, wouldn't the hot setup be to check it out?"

Link to Original Source
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Is Religion an atrifact of evolution?

jamstar7 jamstar7 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jamstar7 (694492) writes "In an article on , author Ewen Callaway suggests that the need for religious faith may have evolved in the species:



God may work in mysterious ways, but a simple computer program may explain how religion evolved



By distilling religious belief into a genetic predisposition to pass along unverifiable information, the program predicts that religion will flourish. However, religion only takes hold if non-believers help believers out — perhaps because they are impressed by their devotion.


And there's even a link to the similation software they used to study and model this hypothesis."

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  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>