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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

pepsikid Re:As with all space missions: (198 comments)

In learning school, the people of my tribe were taught that molecules ARE matter.

Anyway, I disagree with putting off the cheap, automated construction of simple, straightforward "space concrete" colonies in favor of throwing our entire planet's disposable income, for millions of years, into gussying up a hellhole like Venus or Mars. If we someday invent antigravity or anything else that makes it feasible to commute from Marinaras Deep-Sea City on Earth to Mars each day to work at Yeastburger King, we'll move into the planets then.

yesterday
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

pepsikid Re:As with all space missions: (198 comments)

Seriously, I didn't mention rockets at all, did I?

I love the space elevator/beanstalk idea, but we're several human generations away from the first full-scale model. For getting on and off of planets and moons, I think we'll probably have transorbital skyhooks first. A grappling device at the end of a space-anchored cable will periodically swing down and "catch" high-altitude flying launch vehicles, moving at sub-escape speed, to pull them onward into space itself. Another grappler on the other end of the cable serves as the counterweight, which holds another vehicle headed home. The cable is far shorter than a space elevator, and the system is essentially in low orbit, rotating around a shifting point somewhere along the cable.

Typical interplanetary propulsion will be through solar wind sails, ion thrusters and maybe nuclear rockets. It's going to be slow, so there will be swarms of roomy interplanetary "ocean liners" on permanent tour between the Solar System's destinations, following meandering paths which again, cost very little in energy but take their time. These will be like mini-colonies, but with mostly temporary residents. Perhaps colonists will get some practice here for life in their future home.

Earth-moon-Lagrangian and inter-colony transportation may be through a network of space-slingshots much like the skyhook. AKA "rotovators" or space tethers. Freight and passenger modules are caught on one end of an anchored cable, whirled around, and released at just the right time to send them on to their destination, or yet another slingshot. This system relies on precision timing, but is extremely low-cost in terms of energy. Folks could board on Earth at a relatively conventional airport, and ride in the same seats all the way to the colonies or interplanetary 'liners.

If we're to make nuclear rockets routine, we'll first need to have already reached the asteroid belt - and gotten lucky with what resources we found there. If we're to make antimatter rockets routine, we'll need to have already built immense production facilities in Mercury orbit. And there's the problem of thousands of these torchships pointing their ultra-radioactive exhaust here and there.

So; a few hundred more years of chemical rockets, yeah. They'll still be heavy, complex, dangerous and expensive. And why go through all that just to get to and from solid ground when we have materials floating around everywhere, and can build our own habitats to fit our biological needs precisely. We just wait for the robots to finish a new colony, then we toss a can of settlers at it, lol. The issue with gravity isn't whether the plumbing works. It's that our bodies work properly only under 1G. It's far easier and cheaper to build space colonies with the proper characteristics, than it is to rebuild a lethal world or breed a new species tolerant of inhuman environments.

Oh, and if you want to cool Venus down with a solar shade, you'll first need a society stable enough to maintain a complicated, expensive project for many millions of years. Venus doesn't shed much heat, and it isn't absorbing much any more, either. The clouds are very reflective. Once Venus is stripped and chilled, you'll still just have a nice, cool sterile rock. Venus won't be of much use until we can disassemble and reassemble matter itself.

yesterday
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Time Warner Cable Experiences Nationwide Internet Outage

pepsikid Re:Can't wait to hear what happened (133 comments)

My symptoms WERE DNS. My home servers were still getting (reduced) web and mail connections, and I could reach web pages by IP address. I swiched my DNS servers around multiple times and found everyone's DNS servers just timed out. That's highly selective. I think what got screwed up was an attempt to transparently filter or redirect DNS traffic.

about 4 months ago
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Time Warner Cable Experiences Nationwide Internet Outage

pepsikid I was affected (133 comments)

I can't believe how much chat there is about this outage, and so little talk about what diagnostics showed the problem was. It was a DNS issue, NOT a general routing issue.

It hit us here in Austin TX. It looked like a DNS outage... but I was using Google DNS. Routing was NOT down... I could still access a selection of web servers by direct IP address, and ping and traceroute. Rebooted my modem and router repeatedly. Modem acquired a link quickly, and status page showed it had a valid configuration. Modem's signal strength dropped from the usual minus-8-ish to minus-6-ish dBmV. Router acquired IP and WAN domain name effortlessly.

I tried OpenDNS, Earthlink, Dell, and some other public DNS servers I have in a list, but they didn't work either. All timed out. I didn't know what TWC's DNS servers were, so I zeroed them out in my router config, then rebooted. Well, DHCP picked up TWC's DNS servers like nothing was wrong. STILL had no working DNS resolution! And I could still access websites by direct IP address. I was also still receiving mail and web traffic to my own servers, though well below usual levels. The email server was rejecting all mail though, since it couldn't verify the sender's domain names.

Exhausted, I gave up and went to bed. Everything was simply working again when I got up.

The evidence suggests that TWC decided to *filter* DNS traffic, possibly even to aggregate and reroute all of it, and they screwed the pooch. I can't think of any legitimate reason they'd need to do this. I think I'm going to go back to running my own DNS server. Not much I can do about state-redirected DNS traffic other than tunnel it through a VPN perhaps.

about 4 months ago
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Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

pepsikid Is it the military? It's them, isn't it? (303 comments)

I mean, it's got to be the military. They can still burn radioactive PCB contaminated mattresses in open trenches out in the desert and call them "destroyed".

about 4 months ago
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NSA's Novel Claim: Our Systems Are Too Complex To Obey the Law

pepsikid NSA Definitions and weasel words (245 comments)

"an immediate, specific, and harmful impact on the national security of the United States."

Yes, and see, they measured it out to be on the order of .0000000000000001% of a mission obstacle lasting all of 6 seconds. But by strict definition, it qualifies to trigger the "let us do anything we want without conditions" mechanism they love so much.

"This of course implies that they have no backup system — or at least that the backup are not held for long."

Unfortunately, it proves nothing. The recording systems capture EVERY byte coming along the cables and can be used to REPLAY exactly what data went between two points at any time. This means they can go back and re-examine traffic to find hidden transmissions they overlooked before. They don't throw anything out (specifically stating that they keep anything encrypted forever) and longevity is reported as anywhere from 4 days to several years of 100% of the Internet's activity. Reports vary due to being what the system was capable of at the time, probably. The UT center probably won't be full until your kids are out of diapers and graduating high school.

about 6 months ago
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Al Franken Says FCC Proposed Rules Are "The Opposite of Net Neutrality"

pepsikid Re:ya (282 comments)

Really? REALLY?

So, Netflix pays to have a direct line installed to Comcast, thus circumventing Comcast's backbone provider, and saving Comcast the expense of paying for all that video bandwidth. The bill is picked up by Netflix. For some refuckulous reason, Comcast wants to CHARGE Netflix for this direct-peering arrangement, and when Netflix goes "dude... whut?" Comcast starts bawling about being "forced" to provide Netflix with "free bandwidth"? Hahahhhhahahahahaa.....

See, when I walk down the street to drop a note off at my neighbor's house, I am NOT "cheating" USPS and "forcing" them to provide me with a "free" delivery. I've gone and done the damn thing myself, at my own expense, if any.

What's happened here is that Netflix found that Comcast's backbone providers could not be trusted to move data reliably and equitably. Then they went and determined that it would also be damned cheaper to just run their own line to Comcast's network as well. This contributes to a multi-pathed Internet which circumvents the grievously centralized Internet that we have now, studded with gate-keepers who do nothing but impose obstacles and demand money to overcome them. The Powers That Be cannot have this. Although the peering benefits Comcast in this case, it sets a precedent which could cost them profit in the future. By failing to rise up and sabotage this aspect of network neutrality, Comcast would receive the scowls of their monopolist peers.

about 7 months ago
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50 Years of BASIC, the Language That Made Computers Personal

pepsikid Re:Was FORTRAN really that hard? (224 comments)

First of all, you don't "hit RUN". You type "run" and hit "enter". If your keyboard had a big, red "RUN" key, it probably just locked up the computer. :D

Now, some versions of BASIC would evaluate each line of code you'd just input for obvious errors as soon as you hit enter to save it. It would work whether you had preceded the code with a line number or not. It would try to tell you what kind of error it thought it saw. If you had multiple syntax errors, it might frustrate the fark out of you by responding with the same error even though you'd retyped or edited the line to fix one of them. Some of them would just flash $ERR?$ or something useless at you instead.

about 8 months ago
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50 Years of BASIC, the Language That Made Computers Personal

pepsikid Re:Happy Birthday (224 comments)

Purists will LOVE this:

0 cls:forx=1964to2014:?"Happy Birthday, Basic":nextx
run

LBASIC was very easygoing about spacing and is probably the reasonicanstilleasilyreadsentenceswithoutspaces.

The feature only failed me under one circumstance as in; 100 letcall="5982341000":ifphone<>callprint"They Don't Match!" because since "phone" would never match "cal", it would always cause "They Don't Match!" to unexpectedly come out on the line printer, scaring the shit out of ya in the process.

about 8 months ago
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Million Jars of Peanut Butter Dumped In New Mexico Landfill

pepsikid Costco's target market DOES buy extra goods (440 comments)

...to donate to food banks. If word spreads that NM food banks have all the peanut butter they'll need for this year, then Costco loses a tiny percentage of their expected sales of that item. I expect that the math works out to at or above $60k worth of peanut butter sales per year which are tracked to food bank donations. Thus, fcuk the needy, fcuk the peanut butter.

I say; boycott Costco peanut butter. Take multiple jars of it to the checkout counter, but then set them aside and say you aren't buying them.

about 9 months ago
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Inside the Billion-Dollar Hacker Club

pepsikid w00tw00t? (58 comments)

Are these the dicks who are constantly filling my weblog with:

140224 042320 69.174.245.163 - 69.174.245.163 /var/www/html/w00tw00t.at.blackhats.romanian.anti-sec:) 401 401
140226 084433 64.15.159.21 - 64.15.159.21 /var/www/html/w00tw00t.at.blackhats.romanian.anti-sec:) 401 401
140226 210354 122.49.0.220 - 122.49.0.220 /var/www/html/w00tw00t.at.blackhats.romanian.anti-sec:) 401 401
140301 232858 46.105.100.220 - ns382685.ovh.net /var/www/html/w00tw00t.at.blackhats.romanian.anti-sec:) 401 401
140217 122758 122.49.0.220 - 122.49.0.220 /var/www/html/w00tw00t.at.blackhats.romanian.anti-sec:) 401 401
140217 124326 67.215.248.8 - 67.215.248.8 /var/www/html/w00tw00t.at.blackhats.romanian.anti-sec:) 401 401
140218 081257 111.207.191.92 - 111.207.191.92 /var/www/html/w00tw00t.at.blackhats.romanian.anti-sec:) 401 401

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Misdirected Email?

pepsikid Re:I've just been dealing with this (388 comments)

The funnest case I've had is where I actually get emails addressed to pepsikid@stupidcompany.com in my pepsikid@gmail.com inbox. This is when some company uses gmail as their provider internally, but using their own domain name. The system is remapping the email name wrong because some dufus at stupidcompany typoed their real email pepsikidd setting up the new employee/

about a year ago
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Insight On FBI Hacking Ops

pepsikid Re:There is something wrong here (137 comments)

jesusandmo.net (just click "ok" when it prompts you to accept the browser helper to improve your experience)

1 year,12 days
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Insight On FBI Hacking Ops

pepsikid Yahoo! Custom! Spyware! Embed! Service! (137 comments)

Unless this Iranian troll was naive enough to open one of those "e-cards" that required a little "browser helper", this strongly suggests that Yahoo complied with the government's request to push spyware onto a specific member's computer. They could do this through the ad mechanism, or perhaps the all-new Yahoo! Email! has an embedded Patriot! Patch! facility built-in?

1 year,12 days
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Black Holes Grow By Eating Quantum Foam

pepsikid Black holes older than the current universe (164 comments)

It doesn't sound like too crazy of an idea to me, that these apparently precocious supermassive black holes were just left over from an earlier universe. Suppose our Big Bang erupted into a preexisting space, and these awaiting black holes significantly accelerated the galaxy-making schedule this time around. Yes, this time around.

Instead of hyperinflation expanding faster than light in the first microseconds, perhaps our Bang opened into a pre-existing "cavity" of a few light-minutes across. Perhaps we burst out of a dimple in the wall of a larger space; an ancient, nearly-collapsed universe, breathing new life into it and restarting inflation. Expansion was at purely Einsteinian speeds (is there such a term?), but an illusion was created of superluminal motion.

I've also got a theory that the acceleration of inflation is less due to mysterious 'dark energy' than to our halo of "new" matter approaching a halo of really, really old cold matter and inactive black holes that exists beyond the Hubble radius. The Great Attractor may just be a lump that is a bit closer than the rest.

Or acceleration may be due to our 3-dimensional universe passing over and through higher-dimensional topologies that are invisible to us but for their gravity. We've begun to roll downhill, for reasons of absolutely no significance, and we'll just continue to do so until things level out. The higher-dimension topologies being invisible to us, we just have to take them as we get 'em, like unexpected waves.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Is the Future of Old Copper Pair Technology?

pepsikid Re:ATT is forcing users onto Uverse (347 comments)

Bad news; chances are, they moved your wire pair to the same box your uverse neighbors run through anyway. Your connection is crummy because they make it so. See if you can verify the configuration of your modem at 192.168.0.1. If you're getting 50% or less of what your tier is supposed to provide, they will have to fix it. And they can throttle it transparently by "misconfiguring" upstream equipment. Happened to us once a year. Level II has to "fix" that since the lines will "check out ok".

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Is the Future of Old Copper Pair Technology?

pepsikid Re:ATT is forcing users onto Uverse (347 comments)

This is true. We were told we couldn't get higher speeds than "Pro 3Mbps" because we had "legacy DSL". Our speeds sucked even though we were only 4000' from the nearest central office. One tech we had out here told us that really, we were wired into the DSLAM 1500' away just like the uverse in the area. So, we were getting a miserable 2.5Mbps while only 1500' away from where our wires joined the fiber just because we wouldn't "upgrade" to a different brand of service.

about a year and a half ago
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Gauging the Dangers of Surveillance

pepsikid Re:Control of information is power (111 comments)

"should read that the people should have near unlimited access to any government records"

So what exceptions would you gladly like to see the government routinely classify EVERYTHING under ever after?

about a year and a half ago
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Schneier: The Internet Is a Surveillance State

pepsikid Re:tor (333 comments)

Whenever I log onto Slashdot, my firewall immediately reports Slashdot servers sniffing a bunch of my ports. I use DD-WRT with logging enabled and WallWatcher to display events.

about 2 years ago
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NASA's Space Colony Designs From the '70s

pepsikid Re:Would have been a futile effort. (90 comments)

There's no way nor reason to launch most of the building material from Earth. In a boot-strappy way, we'll be mining the moon to build orbital solar power stations. The power stations and mining efforts will need larger and better living quarters for the workers, so we'll build habitats in the Earth-Moon area. The first big habitats will be built mostly out of crud launched from the Moon. Pulverized rock will be sintered into great tubes using focused sunlight, like a gigantic 3D printer. Unlimited material, unlimited energy. The colonies will become self-sufficient, and their people comfortably well-off providing power to Earth, perhaps exchanging rare materials, exporting the biological elements of Earth's many environments. But even if we build space elevators, the vast majority of Earth's inhabitants will never leave; space will not be an outlet for overpopulation.

Colonies will probably pop up around moon-sized Mercury next, then Mars' asteroid moons, and eventually the dark, distant asteroid belt. There is ample room and materials for millions of habitats, each essentially self-sufficient, once built. Robotics would mostly automate agriculture. Mining and habitat construction might be largely automated, too. There will be far more humans living in space than on crowded Earth. It will be too expensive and time consuming to bother colonizing the other planets. There is room and resources to continue growing unchecked for thousands of years, if not millions. Our race really never needs to leave the solar system.

about 2 years ago

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