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Comment Re:Too bad we don't have 1977 technologies anymore (Score 1) 56

That is an exaggeration. In the few hours of closest approach, they made some nice images. But Junocam's images are comparable.
Juno will be able to study Jupiter in much more detail than the Voyagers ever could achieve in their brief flyby.

The Voyagers are still listed as working, but they had their issues. Voyager 2's scan platform seized during the Saturn flyby, causing a loss of some of the planned observations.

Submission + - Wikipedia Comments Destroyed by a Few Highly Toxic Users (

An anonymous reader writes: A joint study carried out by researchers from Alphabet's Jigsaw and the Wikimedia Foundation has analyzed all user comments left on Wikipedia in 2015 in order to identify how and why users launch in personal attacks, one of the many faces of online abuse. A closer look at the data revealed that 34 "highly toxic users" were responsible for almost 9% of all personal attacks on the site.

"By comparing these figures, we see that almost 80% of attacks come from the over 9000 users who have made fewer than 5 attacking comments," the research team noted, something that's somewhat normal, as everybody tends to get mad at one point or another. "However, the 34 users with a toxicity level of more than 20 are responsible for almost 9% of attacks. Thus, while the majority of Wikipedia’s attacks are diffused infrequent attackers, significant progress could be made by moderating a relatively small number of frequent attackers," researchers concluded.

Comment Re:Defueling (Score 2) 203

The USN has never published a top speed (just "at least 30 knots"), I wonder if they'll declassify the data now that the ship's been decommissioned.

This article makes a good case that a top speed higher than 33.6 knots is unlikely.
With all 8 reactors at full power, the ship makes more steam than the turbines (rated for 280kshp) can handle.

Comment Re:The Romans didn't do mathematics (Score 1) 229

all those cathedrals that are more or less still standing

That's survivor bias. We don't see all those structures that collapsed because they weren't strong enough.

a side effects mathematics is to optimize and cut corners, making things fragile

And the side effects of not using math are:
a. the occasional disaster,
b. huge time and money sinks because structures were massively overbuilt. Those medieval cathedrals took a hundred years to build, during which they soaked up all disposable income of a province. An optimized cathedral would have left time and money to do other things.

Comment Re:unrealistic expectations (Score 0) 128

Who modded up this drivel? WordPerfect is a steaming pile of excrement and its market share was obliterated by Word for good reason.

The reason people liked the 'reveal codes' feature in WP is that you needed it to undo the clusterfuck WP regularly perpetrated on its own documents. The most common problem was incorrect nesting of code tags ([a][b] must be terminated by [b][a], not [a][b]). And woe betide you if you had a code tag that applied to more than one paragraph of text, good luck finding the matching start and end tags when they're 20 pages apart. If you were editing text and you accidentally deleted an end tag, your entire document fell over. This entire class of problems was eliminated by Word, which meant 'reveal codes' was no longer necessary.

WP shares Word's biggest failings: 1. making it easy to apply formatting directly instead of using standardized styles, and 2. making the layout printer-dependent. Choose another printer and watch the program fuck up your page layout.

Speed and ease of accomplishing things in WP? Someone who worked in WP all day for ten years could be fast. No faster than someone with the same experience in Word though. Features we take for granted in Word were painfully convoluted or entirely absent in WP. WP was severely lacking in discoverability and hostile to casual use.

Submission + - Electronic lenses - better than progressive lenses or bifocals? 3

mmell writes: University of Utah scientists have created a prototype electronic lens which uses several technologies to customize the lens optics focusing on whatever the wearer is looking at.

Not unlike the "oil lenses" in Frank Herbert's Dune series of novels, the electronic lens (a transparent LCD) can have its index of refractivity modified by application of a small electric current. While I can conceive many uses for this technology (in spacecraft instruments, webcams/handicams, handheld binoculars and telescopes for example), these were developed as a replacement for the progressive lenses — a.k.a., bifocals — which are worn by many with less than perfect eyesight. Many eyeglass wearers don't tolerate bifocals well and I wonder if the adaptive optics in this prototype could relieve them of the need to carry multiple pairs of glasses?

Whether they prove cost effective for the role of eyeglasses or not (and I can see no reason why they shouldn't), the applications for this technology seem quite diverse and potentially even revolutionary. I wonder how long it will be before these are more than just a prototype?

Submission + - Soyuz launches successfully from French Guiana (

schwit1 writes: A Russian Soyuz rocket, built for Arianespace and launched from French Guiana, successfully placed a commercial satellite in geosynchronous orbit on Friday.

The launch has some significance. First, it was the first time a Soyuz rocket placed a payload into geosynchronous orbit. Second, the payload was the first satellite built by a German company in more than 25 years

Finally, and most important, it demonstrated that at least one configuration of the Soyuz rocket is still operational as Russia investigates the corrupt practices at the company that has been building upper stage engines for both its Soyuz and Proton rockets.

Comment Re:That's stupid. (Score 2) 277

America was never a full democracy, it is and always has been a republic, and the difference fucking matters.

The difference may matter, depending on context. In the context of this study, 'Republic' is a subset of 'Democracy'. Democracy also contains various combinations of monarchy+parliament. The other broad category (Dictatorship) has flavors varying from the classical dictator to oligarchy and theocracy.

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