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Comment Re:Say this aloud: "It's so massive..." (Score 1) 212

I'm reaching way back into my long term memory, but IIRC, the existence of Pluto was predicted from disturbances in the orbits of Neptune and Uranus. However it was not where astronomers were looking for it, but further from the ecliptic than anyone expected. I believe it was first seen by a comet hunter. So that was a happy accident.

I was taught back in the day that Neptune's existence was first postulated from disturbances in Uranus' orbit, and Pluto was first inferred because Neptune did not account for all of Uranus' deviation from the expected path. I was taught this some 3 or 4 decades before we even knew about Charon. It sounds like we now know that Pluto is not massive enough to account for deviations. So I guess Pluto's discovery was one of those occasions when you look for something, but by accident find something else that at first looks like what you looking for. So that kind of accident.

Comment Re:Say this aloud: "It's so massive..." (Score 4, Interesting) 212

A more careful reading of the article reveals that what is being tilted is the plane of the ecliptic. From a geocentric point of view, that appears to be a tilt of the Sun's axis, but to an observer outside the solar system, it is the plane of the orbits of all the known "non-dwarf" planets that is tilted. (IIRC, Pluto's orbit is outside the plane of the ecliptic-- which is part of the reason it took so long to find it after the maths showed it must exist.)

Do we have enough data to estimate the orbital period of Planet IX? If so, it may be possible to correlate its changing angle to the plane of the ecliptic with long term changes in Earth climates. It would seem that during the thousands of years when Planet IX is near the plane of the ecliptic, the Earth's orbit would become more oval. Currently Earth is closest to the Sun (and moving faster in its orbit) around January 3, give or take a day; and most distant around July 3 (moving most slowly in its orbit). This causes Summer in the northern hemisphere to be around 4 days longer than Summer in the southern hemisphere. If Planet IX can cause a tilt of the planetary orbits at this time, then when it is in line with the plane of the ecliptic the Earth should see northern Summers significantly longer than southern Summers (and southern Winters longer than northern Winters).

Comment Re:It's cool. It's also going to be a while. (Score 1) 88

Flatland is a lot more dangerous than 3D space. So many factors to consider--- is that ball that just bounced across the road ahead being followed by a kid or a dog? Is there an icy patch on that shady curve up ahead? In the air, potential hazards can be spotted long before they become threats and there are a lot more options for avoiding them.

The way to reduce traffic fatalities is to put everyone in the air, but make it so that they have to leave the driving to the AI. The operator's input should be no more than what we tell our Garmen, Tom-Tom, or other GPS to do now: this is where I want to go, show me the alternate routes and I'll pick the one I want.

Comment Re:It's cool. It's also going to be a while. (Score 1) 88

Aside from take-offs and landings, the problems the AI of a flying machine will face are a lot more simple than those an AI of a car must face. Drones show that many flying AI issues are already adequately solved. Issues concerning toddlers chasing after bouncing balls or ice on the shady curve just simply don't exist at flight levels above 10 feet. And take-offs and landings are probably not going to be much of an issue, what with sonar or laser assisted optical rangefinders managing the last little bit.

I look forward to the day when I can call up my personal drone on my smart phone, have it meet me on the rooftop, climb inside and tell it to take me the beach--- by the scenic route. It will join the airborne swarm and the distributed group AI will maintain safe distances between all the personal drones, cargo drones, airliners, and incoming meteors.

I don't think the future is like a flying car. I think the future is like a quadcopter on steroids, with wings for long distance aerodynamic flight.

Comment Re:response (Score 2) 222

Yes, running Linux is still the best option, for most Windows users.

Obviously if you are required to use software that only runs on Windows --perhaps you are a photographer who has to submit his finals in Photoshop format-- then you are stuck in the Microsoft microbiome. Too bad.

But most Windows users are not being coerced into that submissive role; they could switch to something like an Ubuntu LTS and be happy --and more productive at lower long term cost-- than if they continue to pay to be a commodity in an obsolete and slowly failing marketeers' world.

Comment Re:More political redirection (Score -1, Troll) 569

HRC and her team did everything they said they were going to do: they curated the emails, marked the ones that were personal for deletion, then used bleachbit to do the actual deletion. There is nothing new in that story.

But Trey Gowdy has demonstrated an appalling level of ignorance wrt to technology, and to the recent history of Federal level Republican politics. Oliver North, in Reagan's Iran - Contra fiasco, demonstrated full well that when it is expedient to delete something, you better damn well delete it. And not simply mark it as deleted. Gowdy is either an ignorant fool, or a disingenuous fool. But note that "fool" remains a constant with him, in this context.

To repeat: the Clinton team handled the deletions that she said she was doing in a professional manner. Gowdy just thinks that is somehow criminal that HRC is competent at handling sensitive information.

At this point I'm beginning to see a pattern shaping up where HRC is being found to be too competent at what she has been doing for fifty years, and therefore we hates her, we do, yes, we hates how this mere woman who is not a Republican is competent. Yes, we hates her.

Comment Re:Neocon shills (Score 2) 133

The GOP wasn't hacked cuz it was self-destructing on its own and didn't need any help from Russia to fall completely apart.

Also there is this possibility that Trump is a Russian agent, doing what he does best, to be rewarded with ownership of a prime vacation palace on the shores of the Crimea. I'm not saying that's what's going on... I mean you just got to wonder. You know? What with being so chummy with Vladimir. It could be.... we'll have to wait and see where Trump goes after he drops out of the race... but I'm just speculating. You know?

Comment Re:The mandate to change passwords every three mon (Score 2) 211

Passwords in wallets:

Carry a business card (not your own) and steg the password on its back using some variant of the following:

"Ben O. Aronsen: 237 Smith Place #12 Roxbury Vt 05669 ---Sally has phone number". This stegs the password "237SP#12RVt05669" for a Bank Of America account.

Like the Purloined Letter, the password hides in plain sight. Ain't stegging wunnerful?

Comment Re:Rules for thee, not for me (Score 1) 216

That doesn't matter. Until it is demonstrated in court that she does not have standing to press her suit, Getty Images continues to lose credibility and customers. She wins.

And if GI does take it into court and proves that the images are public domain, then its loss is even greater since that would also prove that it had been fraudulently claiming to own the non-existent copyrights. That opens the door for multiple lawsuits from its previous customers. And of course is an admission of violation of USA Federal law.

Checkmate. She wins. Getty Images best course of action is to attempt to liquidate itself while trying to cover the asses of all its highest level executives.

If the FBI is not yet investigating, it will be soon.

Comment Re:Rules for thee, not for me (Score 1) 216

Exactly how she gave the images to the LoC, and exactly what the LoC means when it says the images are now in the public domain, will need to be explored in court. If she transferred the copyrights to the LoC, then she has no standing to sue for copyright violation. So she must be saying that she retained the copyrights and only gave an unlimited use license to everyone.

Getty Images needs to show that she transferred the actual copyrights to the LoC and therefore has no standing. That is likely to be a very tough thing to do.

And frankly I'm not sure that it matters. The photographer is righteously pissed off that Getty Images is making profits off of her work when she intended it to be freely given to everyone. And for as long as this trial makes news, Getty Images is being righteously punished as its name gets dragged through the mud, and potential customers start using the LoC and other resources for stock photos. Which is as it should be.

Getty Images best course of action is to settle quickly and quietly and cut its losses. But it may already be too late: it is clear that G.I. was making false claims of copyright ownership, which violates USA Federal law, and must have involved a conspiracy between the executive officers of the corporation. Since they were either doing this knowingly, or were deliberately grossly, criminally, negligent in failing to search for prior copyright before they claimed they held it.

There should be a story along soon about FBI involvement in this case.

Comment Re:Rules for thee, not for me (Score 1) 216

Yes, it appears they were not in public domain. And Getty violated a copyright notice that gave a broad class of individuals license to use these photos without payment in certain ways. But also Getty claimed a false copyright on material that was copyrighted by the creator.

There is no problem here in understanding "WTF the actual status is" for anyone who has a passing familiarity with FOSS copyrights. And those who benefit from the use of FOSS copyrights should become somewhat familiar with FOSS. Such as anyone who makes use of the material in any of the more than 80% of all websites that use Apache. And of course anyone who uses Slashdot.

Comment Re:Rules for thee, not for me (Score 1) 216

I also feel this is not enough.

Getty was either doing this with full knowledge that it was breaking the law, or it was grossly negligent-- criminally negligent-- in failing to determine that it could not have copyright on these images no matter how the images might have come to it. A company that makes its profits by licensing use of copyrighted material does not search the Library of Congress before purchasing or otherwise claiming copyright on its stuff? The only way that could happen is if the company deliberately chooses not to do due diligence before representing itself as the copyright holder.

At the least, the courts should put the company in receivership to be dissolved since that is the only way to assure that the clique of corporate officers who conspired to bring this situation about would be broken apart. Ideally various corporate officers would be tried for fraud or other white collar crimes, but at least the corporation could be destroyed.

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