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Comment Re:Best attempted on Earth first! (Score 1) 204

Hint: Replace the words "mining robot" with "mining RPV".

Realistically, we're not talking autonomous mining robot, we're talking remote controlled mining equipment. Sort of like what we use on Earth, but with a longer delay between command and response.

What I'm curious about is whether they've established requirements for CNC milling machines that can make the parts for the mining robots, to include the parts to make another CNC milling machine.

Excluding IC's, of course. They're light enough that you can ship a 100-year supply from Earth for less than the cost of building a chip fab on Mars, most likely.

Comment Re:Cost of loss? (Score 5, Insightful) 104

How much did all of this mission cost?

In the neighborhood of $1.3 billion.

Does anyone realize how much food that money could have provided to those in need ON THIS PLANET?!

$1.3B would buy in the timezone of 300 million big macs. Which would be enough for every poor FAMILY in the world to get a Big Mac. Hardly a significant impact on world hunger.

Note that if ALL the money ever spent on space were spent on food instead, we'd be worse off. The weather satellites alone paid for the entire world's space exploration budgets in better harvests as a result of better weather prediction....

Comment Re:The consumer market needs military-grade securi (Score 1) 421

(1): Some form of secure (preferably cloud-stored) backup/restore mechanism with appropriate encryption and access protection mechanisms, and

Note that a cloud-stored copy of your data can be gotten at with a Search Warrant issued to the cloud service provider. If the backup is on your own hardware, at least you know when the Feds are looking at it....

Comment Re:Supply and Demand - where is the demand? (Score 4, Insightful) 417

And yes I realize that finger print technology will reduce deaths.

It may reduce deaths by the gun's owner, while causing more deaths OF the gun's owner.

So, no, we have no real idea whether it will cause a net reduction in deaths. We can be pretty sure it'll produce some change in the identities of the people killed though.

Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 1) 894

Lets say we pay out 100% of current federal revenue as UBI (setting aside the fact we'd still need Medicare etc). That's just over $10,000 per citizen.

First, why should we still need Medicare? A major point of a UBI is that we can eliminate the existing social programs and replace them all with UBI.

Second, $10K per citizen translates to $40K for a family of four (what, you weren't counting children as citizens?). Which is about median income these days. I fail to see a problem....

Comment Re:No we can keep working instead (Score 1) 894

Nah, that won't work.

We need to repeal the last couple centuries of progress first. Drop back to, say 1800, and we'll be fine.

Well, except for the lifespans being reduced by ~30 years, and the diseases and regular starvation.

But that's a small price to pay to keep people working, right?

Seriously, we're heading into a period that makes the transition through the Industrial Revolution look minor. And, yes, we may find that a UBI works.

Note that a UBI should replace all the myriad existing government handouts, so it actually won't cost nearly as much as might be expected. Yes, it'll require higher taxes, but not exorbitantly so....

DIsclaimer: yes, I'm one of those conservatives that /. is offended by. So I should probably be opposed to a UBI on general principles. I'm not. Get over it.

Comment Re:More spin against Trump (Score 2) 394

Alternately, you do false accusations about the (distant) past so that there's no possibility of confirming/disproving the allegation.

Since I'm not voting the Trump no matter what, I hardly care. But I'd expect that about half the women coming forward now are doing it for the publicity, and not because they want Trump punished for his crime(s).

Comment Re:Obviously needs to change (Score 2, Interesting) 145

Y'know, you'd think from TFA that we're awash in a sea of smart-phones/tablets in landfills.

So, assuming all 100M+ Galaxy S4's were in landfills, with absolutely nothing recycled, we'd have a landfill with 13Mg of smartphones. Which is less than 20% of the annual debris produced mining aluminum (aluminium for you Brits).

And that pales to insignificance beside the debris produced annually by coal mining, much less burning the coal. Or making steel with it....

Note that that entire run of S4's amounts to only a cube only 25m on a side. Assuming NONE of it was recycled.

Comment Re:Space Tourism (Score 1) 64

Just under a century ago (1919), a transatlantic flight took 23 days, and required 53 merchant ships to provide navigation waypoints.

Today, it's more like six hours. And costs about a week's pay for a poor man....

It should be noted also that fuel costs for a trip to LEO are comparable to fuel costs for a transatlantic flight. A transatlantic flight would cost millions per passenger if we used each airplane once too....

Comment Re:How dows this make sense? (Score 1) 149

Would you be OK with charging black people more than white people?

No. Our society's top priority should not be maximizing profit for the financial industry.

Of course, that's not actually the issue. What actually happens is that the financial industry raises the "normal rate" enough for them to make their money. Which means that Asian-Americans (best loan risk around, in general) pay more to allow African-Americans (arguably the worst right now. Could be Hispanic-Americans are worse, though) & Anglo-Americans to get loans at lower rates.

Comment Re:If they think it's viable... (Score 2) 186

Let's try a novel approach to the problem.

1. If you don't want to go to Mars, don't.

2. If someone else does, it's their problem. They're not asking you to be their Mommy and tell them what's good (or bad) for them, anymore than you're asking them to be your Mommy....

Done. Problem solved.

And as an extra bonus (for one group or the other), someone will get to tell someone else "See!? I Told You So!"

So a win-win situation, in general. Yeah, you lose the "I told Wilbur and I told Orville that that thing would never fly" parts which sooooo many people enjoy. But that's a minor loss, really....

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