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Linking Drought and Climate Change: Difficult To Do

towermac Re:Restored some faith (181 comments)

Kids.

They overran Ars, and sort of ran me back here. I, also, am glad.

2 days ago
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Linking Drought and Climate Change: Difficult To Do

towermac Re:10 years ago on Slashdot (181 comments)

Mmm, no, you look stupid.

First, he posted under his username, and you as AC.

Second, he's right; that's not what you were saying 10 years ago.

2 days ago
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Google Closing Engineering Office In Russia

towermac Re:Growing Isolation (157 comments)

"self-described Nazi thugs which seized the elected government and drove it into the ground"

Anybody who was watching it unfold knows that is simply not true. The government abandoned their posts, and then your man Yanukovych fled like a pussy. It doesn't matter what Washington said, we were all watching on live video. The fact that the CIA also has plots and goals is largely irrelevant.

But I actually agree that Crimea belongs to Russia (unless you want to discuss giving it back to Turkey). While Ukraine and Russia were practically the same country it didn't much matter. When Ukrainians wanted some distance, Russia should have just said fine, we'll take back Crimea, and paid for it. Not the whole value of course, but some compensation for infrastructure and lost assets would have been in order. Given that Ukraine was/is deeply indebted to Russia, it seems a deal could have been stuck easily.

Putin obviously has other goals...

5 days ago
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Congress Passes Bill Allowing Warrantless Forfeiture of Private Communications

towermac Re:PRIVATE encryption of everything just became... (378 comments)

No, that's what happened. And when you don't have that random plane, you let your friends and allies die.

Or give up the only weapon you have that is working, when your ships and planes and soldiers are losing. That's how you lose a war.

I'm just glad I wasn't one of those 20 people. Dang. Because they did a good job, I don't have to know what that feels like.

about a week ago
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Aliens Are Probably Everywhere, Just Not Anywhere Nearby

towermac Re:Life Everywhere out there? (334 comments)

You're right, but all those lifeforms you describe, if they are intelligent; I don't want to meet them.

about two weeks ago
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Aliens Are Probably Everywhere, Just Not Anywhere Nearby

towermac Re:Drake is Obtuse (334 comments)

The length of the civilization bugs me. It's one of the variables. It's measured in some thousands of years. The only one we know of is around ten thousand years, but as far as aliens listening to radio waves are concerned, it's closer to a hundred years.

But having a number there also places an upper bound on the timespan, and that does not reflect reality. As far as we know, civilization lasts forever, once started.

That's a big infinity in the equation. I'm just sayin'.

about two weeks ago
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Aliens Are Probably Everywhere, Just Not Anywhere Nearby

towermac Re:Paradoxes Be Damned (334 comments)

Obviously, that wouldn't work. You would have to carry your local region of space with you.

about two weeks ago
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Aliens Are Probably Everywhere, Just Not Anywhere Nearby

towermac Re:Paradoxes Be Damned (334 comments)

You assume the gravitational constant of a relative, local region is unchangeable by any conceivable science.

You are in error.

about two weeks ago
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'Mirage Earth' Exoplanets May Have Burned Away Chances For Life

towermac Planets move (62 comments)

Presumptuous maybe, but TFA is flawed as hell; planets move after they have formed, and generally inwards. They make no mention of this fact anywhere.

In our case, we had the Jupiter - Saturn duo that stabilized things, and prevented Jupiter from crashing into the Sun, taking the inner 4 planets with it.

It's entirely plausible that decent planets with atmospheres exist within the habitable zones of small stars, with crazy shit like 50 day years, and the dark side of the moon melts a little when it swings close to the sun. Heh.

But, a planet that formed close in to a star early on, and has remained there the whole time the system has cooled down, is likely to be a barren rock. Agreed. And a bit obvious...

about two weeks ago
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In UK Study, Girls Best Boys At Making Computer Games

towermac Re:What kind of a "study" is this? (312 comments)

You know, something else just occurred to me. This was an already existing computer class, that I bet is an elective course.

In that case, girls that choose to enter a more advanced computer class are more likely to be hotshots than the more common boys. Skewed sample?

about three weeks ago
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In UK Study, Girls Best Boys At Making Computer Games

towermac Re:What kind of a "study" is this? (312 comments)

Yeah I was wondering if the kids were allowed to share and over what timespan the project ran. If there was downtime between sessions, the girls are more likely to collaborate and text and share good stuff. The boys are more likely to guard a good secret, because they want to 'win'.

A group of girls is always going to be less competitive with each other than a group of boys, unless, of course, they are competing for boys...

about three weeks ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

towermac Re:Deliberate (652 comments)

True. My point was though, that those have the potential to melt down like a merf if not properly attended to. Not a turn-key type of black box delivery. That is true, no? I believe the Russians have similar subs, and without a similar Navy, they ran at least two into the ground pretty badly. I bet we had similar situations, that were handled and we never heard about. Not because our plutonium or even scientists were better, but because our Navy was better.

I don't think running those types of super hot instant on reactors is easy, nor something I'd want in my backyard. A molten salt reactor reactor, on the other hand, would be okay. As long as there was some nice shrubbery ...

about three weeks ago
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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

towermac Re:Won't happen (433 comments)

That's not really fair, to Mitt Romney I mean. He ran a business junkyard; that's what that investment company was/is. Companies were already broken and failing by the time his group touched them. The closest he came to taking over a company and running it, was the Salt Lake Olympics, which turned out to be a decent entry on his resume.

I'm not saying Romney would have done a better job running HP, although it's hard to imagine him doing any worse. But to his credit, he never tried. He seems to stick to his core competency pretty well.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

towermac Re:Simple answer. (516 comments)

Yep. I've lived in two places like that, and both were wonderful, cheap, good service... One was city owned, the other was a rural co-op. The co-op was dirt cheap; the city was not so cheap, just reasonable, but had excellent and instant service. The mayor saw to it personally. :)

Now I have Duke; I reset my clocks one or more times a month, and it's the most expensive power I've ever had.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

towermac Re:VAT fixes everything (516 comments)

You win the internet today.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

towermac Re:Cost. Pure and simple (516 comments)

Heh. So no easy answers. I advocate a middle ground...

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

towermac Re:Simple answer. (516 comments)

Why would they? Companies exist to make profit. Their greed is the same as your greed when you cash your paycheck, or whatever it is you do for your profit. Adulterated or no.

They are doing only what they are supposed to do. And the part where they generate and sell power for a profit is wonderful. There's no real limit to the number of power generators that could compete in a 'free market'.

But that ain't the grid. How is it that the public doesn't own the grid in the same way they own the interstates? There's no freedom; there's no market; there's only the one freaking grid.

There is no way a private for profit company can be financially responsible for the grid in any satisfactory way. The problem is political, and completely our fault.

about three weeks ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

towermac Re:Deliberate (652 comments)

I don't think you can black box them like that. In fact, they are not really all that 'safe'; they run weapons grade plutonium in those things. All you have to do is bang two fuel components together, and you've made a nuke.

I think the perception of them as safe is more because our Navy is just that bad ass.

about three weeks ago
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NASA Offering Contracts To Encourage Asteroid Mining

towermac Re:Funny as hell (153 comments)

To elaborate on Mr Reed's point, why not shoot up a rocket whose payload is a rocket? After you attach the rocket and get the rock stabilized, then you spray on the heat shield where it needs it. De-orbit gently, and fall into a giant mattress dump that you've been building up, just for this purpose.

If that idea sucks, then maybe that's why they didn't hire me. But the point is, it is possible to drop a big rock to the surface at less than species ending speeds.

There is a way. If it's a small mountain made half out of gold, and the other half is rare earth metals, it'd be worth it, right?

about three weeks ago
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Extreme Shrimp May Hold Clues To Alien Life On Europa

towermac Re:In Reverse (75 comments)

Thank you. Venturing into space starts with flying through the gaseous atmosphere. Which starts with standing at the bottom of that atmosphere, staring up at the stars, and wishing you could fly. You can't even see stars from underwater.

I might be imagination challenged, but I just don't see a progressive species with opposable thumbs and language developing underwater.

about three weeks ago

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