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* Posts by mr.K

179 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

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NASA finds first Earth-sized planet in a habitable zone around star

mr.K

Re: Red dwarf = bound rotation = probably not habitable.

I might as well respond this comment by you also. Yes, I am sure it will. I tried to figure out the formula, and I think I will at some point as I am curious. It is an interesting concept. It would seem that all objects in a non-eccentric orbit will at some point tidal lock. Once you know the radius of the object, the radius of the orbit, the mass of both objects, the spin and some other things which I think is about how easily it is affected by tidal forces then you get a formula that spits out how long it is until it is tidal locked. If you make a few assumptions on the initial conditions, and make the assumptions so that you are on the extreme end of things, then you would get the maximum time it would take for it to tidal lock, then you just need to ask an astronomer which can probably do some clever astronomer calculations on the age of the star and compared the numbers. If your number is way less than the age of the star system, then it is probably safe to say that it is tidal locked. Or you can ask an astronomer to do both as he is likely to be better at doing both calculations.

And I am curious about whether or not this is certain for this particular planet.

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mr.K

Re: mr.K

Well, it all depends on what you compare it with, I suppose. It is the most efficient solution life has come up with on this planet, so in that regard, it is quite efficient. Efficiency of the photochemical process is around one third, I think. Which compared to human engineered photoelectrical processes, i.e. solar panels, is not bad. I tried in these late hours to find figures for it, but you usually get for the whole visible light spectrum, not just bands on light. So it is not directly comparable. I think they are around a quarter efficient atm.

However, I think I kind of compared it with the available energy in solar radiation down here on earth. A combination of the suns Planck curve and the atmospheric window, half of the energy is in the visible spectrum. Since chlorophyll is only able to use half of the visible spectrum and only at max one third efficiency, we are talking about less than 15% in the visible spectrum and less than half of that of the available spectrum. That is under optimal conditions.

Compared to the cost. Well, of course it is efficient. I think a plant that couldn't harvest more energy in the process that it spends would be a very short branch on the evolutionary tree indeed.

As far as I know and am able to read up on the web. I am not a biologist, bioengineer, biochemist or a chemist. Meaning I am not all that sure on most of these figures, but when you add them up, throw in margins of error, take into account that this is a comment section of exoplanets, that I commented on the likelyhood of it being a goth planet and the chlorophyll bit was an anekdote, then I am fairly confident on my claim.

Try Wikipedia on photosynthetic efficiency. For this, it is good enough (and it shows that my figures are rather flattering when you take the whole plant into consideration). If you are interested I think you can get a kick ass greenhouse out of it.

So in essence, I think we do agree, I was probably just not very clear on what it is inefficient compared to. I guess it is the engineer in me that always uses the hypothetical perfect solution as a reference point and use it to measure all other solutions, either implemented or on the drawing board,.

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mr.K

Re: Red dwarf = bound rotation = probably not habitable.

Since Mercury isn't tidal locked around Sol, but locked in a different resonance (3:2 spin-orbit), why does a planet orbiting about the same distance around a much smaller star has to be tidal locked?

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mr.K

Re: The Red Planet

As much as I would love the idea of a freezing cold goth planet out there, I am not that confident that a lower wavelength would equal to black leaves. Quite the opposite in fact. We see from red to blue wavelengths due a combination of the plank curve to our particular star and the filtering in our atmosphere. In that window of the spectrum there is by far the most amount of energy on our planet. Thus not only do we see in that spectrum, but plant life try to make the most of use it. The fact that plants only manage to make use of small bit of the red and a small bit of the blue is the surprising thing here. I.e. because there is most energy in the visible spectrum the plants should be black*. Outside of that bit of the spectrum it doesn't matter and they can be transparent or reflective without any consequence.

So, in the light of a red dwarf with peak wavelength in the infra-red I would argue that it is arbitrary what parts of our visible spectrum they absorb, reflect or refract, except for red. Thus blue, cyan, green or black are all likely candidates.

*The reason they are green is of course that chlorophyll is simply the best chemical evolution has come up with. It is highly ineffective, but evolution is based upon two things. One being that there actually exists a solution that is more competitive. Two, that it is possible to reach that solution through intermediate steps from the current best solution.

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Torvalds rails at Linux developer: 'I'm f*cking tired of your code'

mr.K

Re: coding

Popcorn...got to get some popcorn...

Can't watch a fight without popcorn.

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Google hands over $1.4m for unmarked Street View cars in Italy

mr.K

Re: Google cars are obviously recognizable!?

I am not sure about Italy, but I imagine that it would be illegal in my country. You have to have permission by any individual before publishing their picture. There are a whole lot of exceptions and probably a lot of fine law to argue over of course. Some of the basics are that it applies for all private situations. In public it is a little more gray. If the individual is the motive and it hasn't a "public interest" (it is quite strict what that is) then it is illegal. If you are passing by in the background or otherwise is not the main motive then it is illegal. Then there are these considerations about whether or not the photograph can be considered harming an individuals reputation or not.

If I am driving past somebody with a dashboard camera and me and my car is possible to recognize and I am picking my nose at that time, then it would be illegal to post it on youtube if you are a Norwegian citizen or located in Norway. If what you really is trying to show is some sort of other event picked up by the camera, then you should try to make me non-identifiable.

The law is a bit messy about all this, and not really made for the new age of cheap, accessible and mobile video equipment, and I do not have a law degree. So I am not 100% sure about the finer points here.

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mr.K

Re: Just another blatant ...

1.4 million is nothing for a country. The idea that they do this for money is just silly.

And the fact that they are weird looking is only making it worse when you do not know what it is. And of course there is a lot of people that would not understand what it is. I would be very surprised if more than half the population would recognize a street view car for what it is. Some would probably figure it out in the end, but after staring at if for a minute or so you kind of have lost the time window to get out of it's way.

No, this is quite simple, without me being an expert on Italian law, they have just simply broken the law in some way or another. For instance in my country you have to have permission to put up a camera and you have to put up a sign telling the public that you have done so.* The fine is nothing, neither to the company nor the country. It is just a statement. Could easily have been one dollar, or euro. Same effect.

*Strangely enough though, nobody ever cared about the Street View cars here. A domestic company had done it a year or two earlier and nobody cared then either.

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Two guilty over 'menacing' tweets to feminist campaigner

mr.K

Glad to hear it

Muppets.

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Kepler data yields Earth-mass 'gas giant'

mr.K

Re: Proto-planet

A solar system is never done forming, but will continue "clumping together" as long as it's sun is "alive" and long after. There however a few things that will happen that makes part of it more or less stable, and that is mostly planets. Among other things what makes a planet a planet, as per the new definition, is that it has cleared the neighbourhood. In a three-body system, that is system with three bodies of significant mass, and where the mass of one is so big that the last two orbits it, the two orbiting bodies can't be in the same orbit. If their orbits are too close their gravitational pull on each other each time they pass each other either throw both into new orbits or into each other, thus "clearing the neighbourhood". This of course will take a while, and it will take greater and greater time the further out the orbit is. So way out there in what we call the Oort cloud around our star the system is still forming to a degree, but the orbital periods are so long that in fact it might never happen and the gravitational pull from other stars might throw it out of whack. Close to our star though, this is nearly done. We have some debris left over between Mars and Jupiter and a few other places, but mostly it is cleared for stuff.

The planet they are talking about here though has an orbital period of 22 days. That means that if you throw in another body in it's orbit and try to balance it perfectly to avoid collision then you would still probably achieve it within in a year regardless. It had most likely finished forming long before it's host star ignited.

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Silk Road 2.0 busted! At least two arrests as federal crackdown begins

mr.K

Re: It's all good

Isn't the botanical equivalent of wine, like, wine?

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'This BLACK HOLE just isn't BLACK AT ALL' snarl boffins

mr.K

Searching for discrimination in broad daylight...good grief...

If by here you mean The Register with it's slogan "Biting the hand that feeds IT" and by readers mean people that frequently read The Register, I think you need to draw up a venn diagram to answer it. First circle you will have all us geeks that are capable of understanding some the articles in here, otherwise you wouldn't be a reader. The second circle will be the people that are into SM and like to be demeaned by a dominatrix. This because that if you have to take some pleasure in it since they do it to consequently. The intersection will be the people you are asking for. I will not ask you as to why you want to seek out that particular crowd though.

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Samsung is officially the WORLD'S BIGGEST smartphone maker

mr.K

'cause they are better

The non-smart phones are quite a bit cheaper. If I had the cheapest smartphone on the market I would be a bit annoyed if I broke it or lost it. A cheap non-smart phone, not so much. So there is that. Then there is all the other things that they are better at.

They are safer, easier, more durable and you can easily go ten days without charging them.

But it is a different product. If you don't need, don't want (at all, or in some situations) a smart phone, then it is a very good alternative that cost less than lunch. Some people own both a car and a bicycle.

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FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS: Microsoft faces prising XP from Big Biz

mr.K

Re: I don't think so

At some point early last decade the MS operating systems became so stable that I at least have never really seen a crash that was related to the OS itself. Sure I have seen them crash, but always due to poor hardware. Software may of course crash, but that really shouldn't bring down the OS and it doesn't. Bugs in the drivers are the exception to that, and of course that is kind of a hardware issue as well. The only way a hardware vendor has to correct a fault with their hardware is to write in a workaround in firmware or drivers, and this does indeed happen. Not only software makers ship products littered with bugs. Even though testing is more rigorous on hardware, this does happen, and you can't rewire a shipped product.

You would be amazed on how many hardware errors you can run with on a modern operating system and all you notice is the occasional blue screen or similar, if you are unlucky. But people blame the operating system, and they are then made to try to cope with faulty hardware, but there are limits.

And of course it is possible to manage your computer so badly that you do indeed have a buildup of digital garbage as you call it and that you have to either learn how to clean it up or reinstall. But that isn't really the OS' problem. Personally at least the last time I reinstalled a Microsoft OS on my home computers was after a disk crash over ten years ago. And no, they are not slower than when I got them. They rather tends to run smoother and smoother as new drivers and updates come along and I myself get a better and better handle on them.

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Watery asteroid discovered 150 light-years off hints at habitable worlds

mr.K

Re: Wet impact

Are you serious? Hard to tell on the Internet.

In case you are not, after all numbers in science, and specially astronomy, can be hard to get a feeling of:

To increase the sea level with one and a half centimeter we can say that we need to cover the surface with one centimeter of water since one third is land. So how much water is that? Well since a centimeter is so small compared to the radius of the Earth it is simply the surface times a centimeter. The surface of a sphere is:

Ae = 4*pi*re^2

The volume of the water, Vw is then:

Ae*h

We assume a spherical roid hitting us so we figure out how big a sphere we need for that amount of volume, it radius rr would have to be

Vw = 4 * pi * rr^3 / 3

So we end up with:

rr = (3 * re^2 * h) ^(1/3) = 10km

So a roid twenty kilometers across, that is a hell of a big roid, and I think it would cause slightly more problems than one and a half centimeter increased sealevel.

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mr.K

Re: Ceres is 26% water? Hmmm...

Perhaps people have thought of this. Perhaps there are people on this particular rock other than you that have the ability to form simple hypothesis and then afterwards check to see if it holds water or not.

I am pretty far from being an astronomer or an astrophysicist, but as far as I can speculate and a brief reading on the subject the theory is this (keep in mind that my knowledge of this is extremely limited, if in doubt seek an adult or an expert (which normally would be both)):

In the beginning you have a disc of gas. The atoms and molecules bumped into each other and slowed down causing the disc to contract and heat up. Then the center had enough pressure and heat to ignite, i.e. hydrogen starting to fusion. The result was a pressure of particles pushing outwards. The light materials like hydrogen would evaporate due to the heat and stay as gas and be pushed outwards beyond what is called the condensation perimeter where it would be cold enough to condense and it would allow them to stay together and form planets thus reducing the surface area per mass enough that the solar winds would not affect them so much anymore. Further in you were left with the heavier elements and molecules that managed to stay together in the heat and continue to form planets. Therefor you have rock planets in the inner solar system, gas planets at the outskirts and more rocky planets and objects further out again since you have less gas there in the first place and it was dumped large amounts of gas right outside the condensation border, but not any further than that.

So we are left with little gas, most importantly hydrogen at the inner solar system. Oxygen is not so rare since it easily form with heavier elements. Then we have the contraction and forming of rock planets which is violent and reach extreme temperatures. Without any atmosphere, extreme high temperature and a steady solar wind you would lose the rest of your hydrogen very quick. The Earth would probably not form a solid surface in a long long time and let alone any surface cool enough to hold any water. We are now here a few billion years later and still most of the planet is molten rock. Only a thin slice of about 60 km is frozen solid.

So the theory is that we have had to have a rather large import of hydrogen after the formation of the planet itself. And I am guessing that since the oxygen here already was tightly bound to other elements and free hydrogen would be lost to space again if it didn't find anything to cling to, you would be much better off if it came as water in the first place. And there was a "hell of a lot" of stuff in orbit out there in the beginning. The formation took a long long time and we are not yet done with clearing the system of debris.

As for the rare among "Earth-like planets". Er...what do you mean by that? We do know that of the four rock planets in this system only ours have any water to speak of. But you are trying to define them out of your probability calculation, but leaving rock planets with more water in? Yes, that would make Earth unusual dry. Kind of like when I stack of cards by removing all two, three and fours and replacing them with kings and asses. That would make any cards less than six rare.

My point is this: Yes, surely it is simpler to postulate that water was already present during Earth's formation. That is the bleedin' point. If it is simpler to postulate and the collective of scientists that have spent the decades on this dismiss the theory, then you should maybe consider that they have actually thought it through. And if you are curious as to why, pick up a book or visit the Internet.

Bah, now I sound harsh and mean again, but I made a pun I think, so...happy.

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NASA: Humanity has finally reached into INTERSTELLAR SPACE

This post has been deleted by a moderator

We've cracked riddle of ANTIGRAVITY mountains on Saturn's Titan - boffins

mr.K
Facepalm

Re: How do they know...

They don't. They are actually hoping that it is, as that is one of the conditions for existence of sea lions on Titan.

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'Silent' staff stood by as £100m BBC IT project tanked – DG

mr.K

Re: Burnt cakes

Do you not think he needs to master making bad sandwiches also? To rule England I mean. Isn't this the country that there is this persistent feeling embedded in the population that making a sandwich interesting, attractive, or in any way pleasant to eat is something sinful that only foreigners do? That by eating sandwiches in pubs at Saturday lunchtime the British seek to atone for whatever their national sins are.

Or is sandwich making a prerequisite to burning cakes?

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Pulsars: the GPS beacons of the cosmos

mr.K

Re: Missing something?

Pretty much the same way you do with GPS satellites. The difference is that the pulsars are stationary (more or less) and you are moving. As long as you have more than enough, you can lose a few and when you gain a new one, you place that one into your already established system of references. You would get a little drift over distance unlike GPS where the satellites already know where they are, but that drift will not be more than a meter for each complete new set of pulsars. With time of course when we have sent more ships* out there they will share data and you will get a near perfect navigational starmap.

*WHEN not IF!

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Your encrypted files are 'exponentially easier' to crack, warn MIT boffins

mr.K

Compression

Would then a compression algorithm alleviate this weakness, and a perfect compression completely remove it? (The idea here being that compression increases entropy and if perfect up to one)

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Xerox copier flaw changes numbers in scanned docs

mr.K

A little to the left, a little to the right

"Legally, then, Xerox is in the clear, but that's going to be cold comfort if your newly-built house extension collapses in the middle of the night."

Confronted with the poor "student quality" a professor in civil engineering answered drily that concrete is a highly flexible material, it can even cope with decimal mark misplacements.

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Texas teen jailed for four months over sarcastic Facebook comment

mr.K

Re: Divided

Enlighten me, where did he threaten to do such a thing?

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Samsung Galaxy S3 explodes, turns young woman into 'burnt pig'

mr.K

Re: Increased energy density leads to increased risk

You are right that this is something to keep in mind, and I gather that some promising new high density battery technology might get very limited use due to this. However, it is quite possible that they manage to find chemical reactions that can't go fast enough for this to happen. The other way is that you only carry with you the fuel and you take oxygen from the air. This will remove the chance that it will do a "thermal runaway" as they call it with lithium batteries.

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mr.K

Re: Only a matter of time, and lack of protection.

A switched on phone doesn't really send out all that much microwaves. An infrequent burst to the phone company to let them know where you are, how you are and if your kids are alright, but not much data in that. Also these microwaves would transmit perfectly well past the fabric and heat up water and fat they encounter outside the pocket. Some might even reach an antenna out there somewhere. In addition the juice actually spent on generated these microwaves ain't actually all that.

Oh wait...you want an explosion resistant casing with a pressurized gas canister that can put out a selfsustaining chemical burn...is your comment ironic?

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Students outraged: Computer refuses to do any work for entire week

mr.K
FAIL

Re: wtf?

When I was young (I was lucky if I got handful of hot gravel to eat before I was beaten to sleep by a rolled up newspaper) you could do such things. You could do a lot of things back then. You could meet up in person, you could call, the stores kept open if the power went out etc etc.

I have a healthy distrust of computers because I know they can fail, and if I am not handed some physical proof that I have done my part, I am calling each piece in the chain to at least get a verbal confirmation that whatever I am putting through is propagating through the system. It is a bloody pain I tell you, and I am of course a bloody pain to them. To get hold of anyone that know that isn't on maternity leave, sick, vacation, just didn't show, on a fashionable late lunch, is still working there, etc takes a while at each office I call. Sometimes I meet up in person. Well, I try. They do no longer have a place that is designed to meet their clients. But you usually get in, and after an hour you can wrangle out a piece of paper with a signature that states that you have sent in the form.

This is when the system is working. I imagine that a system that isn't even tuned to handle one paranoid geek, well, one geek is worth ten ordinary paranoids, but still, such a system I imagine would not be easy to reach on phone when it fails across the board. So, neh, young people are like all people, useless, but I can't blame them on this.

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Boffins develop 'practically free' sulphur-powered batteries

mr.K

Energy carrier.

It can solve some of it, in some cases, but it is more a solution for transport than anything else. What we really need a new energy carrier. Since not only does the energy production capacity necessarily correlate with consumption in time, but quite often not in space either.

The trick with oil is not that it is a good energy source, but rather that it is a great energy carrier. In fact it is so good that I struggle to mention any other that can compare.

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UN report says killer bots could fight WAR WITHOUT END

mr.K

Civilised war

"The report does also point out that LARs might make war a little less uncivilised, ..."

I don't know why, but the concept of a civilised war gives me the heebie jeebies.

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Things that cost the same as coffee with Tim Cook - and are WAY more fun

mr.K

Re: Au-pair in a tank...

If you paint it pink, yes.

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PayPal security boss: OBLITERATE passwords from THE PLANET

mr.K
FAIL

Biometric will never work

Fingerprints is a crappy way for secure identity. It has always been, and will always be. So is DNA and any other biometric contraption that is automated. It does work if it is run by humans. There is a very simple reason for this, and I can see no way to overcome it. You leave your "password" everywhere. Bits of DNA falls off you all the time, and you do touch quite a large number of objects each day.

So basically all the security in these systems is based on how good the sensor is, and I will not thrust a single piece of sensor with my bank accounts, e-mail, game accounts, theregister account *shudder*, etc. Sooner or later somebody will make a good enough replica of a finger so that the sensor will believe it is indeed a finger. Then all they need is to be the next in line to use the fuel pump and they can swipe my fingerprint. Or they can pick a piece of hair that fell off me.

Iris is a bit more tricky, but I am quite confident that the technology will get there that they can be scanned from some distance. Or you always have the "Here, try my Google Glasses." The point is that along with all other biometric it is basically public data.

So thus, biometric is stupid, it is a braindead idea from the start. It does work in pass controls, credit cards in stores and all the other places where there is a physical person that checks you are not pulling out a fake finger. There is a reason most debit and credit cards still only use a four digit pin while the rest of the world requires eight character alphanumerical passwords. I have no idea on the motive of this guy, but he is probably smart enough to know this. Yet, he fronts this.

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First, the bad news: EA bags Star Wars games rights

mr.K
Coat

M and M and the Hero

I cannot brag that I have tried every Star Wars game out there, and other sci-fi world based games. But as I see it hero based worlds like Star Wars is very poorly suited for multiplayer games, at least massive multiplayer. The trick for a good massive multiplayer universe is a place were being the average Joe is exiting. A universe were the exiting thing is to be the hero, then it will be a bit too many heroes in the world.

But then again, quite a lot of the massive multiplayer games is it just in name. They are really parallel solo player games. You do the quests that everybody else have done and nobody pauses to say "Listen lady, I just saw that guy over there return it, and I have it from good authority that half a million other people has also retrived your purse, so no, I will not retrieve your stinking purse." There are exceptions of course, but they are rare.

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Greenhouse gasses may boost chances of exoplanetary life

mr.K
Pint

Re: In as many cases

No, I am saying that I am not an astrophysicist and thus I have no way to tell either way except to listen to actual astrophysicists and astronomers. It can be so, it can not be so, and I can make up arguments for most views, and even if I couldn't, it wouldn't have any impact on reality. So when somebody that is an astronomer and a professor at MIT has researched something, and that research is presented in an online newspaper, I would hesitate a little bit more to claim that for her to be right the universe has to be supported by magic. So I was interested in knowing what you have or who you are to back up that claim. Then I got annoyed and this got out of hand. So, meh, not feeding anymore, have a beer instead.

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mr.K
Meh

Re: In as many cases

We seem to be writing replies at the same time, and thus it is a little mixed. You did answer my post while I responded to your first response. I could withdraw one and rewrite, but meh. Sorry for the mess.

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mr.K

Re: In as many cases

But now you simply start to argue against things never actually said, unless I am mistaken here. Where does it say that:

"...if you have a planet outside of the hospital zone its not simple enough to say give it a greenhouse effect and it will be in it"

Who has said anything against this?

"...is that there are more ways for the greenhouse effect to produce effects outside the narrow temperature range that allows for liquid water as there are ways for it to do so."

And then we are back at the start where you basically say that greenhouse effect would cause more habitable planets to become inhabitable, and now you argue that the outcome would be net sum zero. And of course we have this:

"I know of no selective pressure to predisposes planets to develop the exactly precisely tuned greenhouse effect to allow life to form. ... So i have to assume its random chance. Greenhouse gas is definitely a possible factor, as are countless other things, but it has as many negative as positive effects. Its is not predisposed towards making a planet hospital." Which raises the question we are asking you. Why do you have to assume that it is so just because you haven't heard of it?

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mr.K

Re: In as many cases

I was worried that I might have been too harsh, but that worry is no more.

First, you postulate that there is no mechanisms that favors certain temperature ranges. You base this on that any such mechanics would be magical. Clearly then such mechanisms do not exists. As evidences go, I find that one stunningly beautiful, totally worthless as evidence of course. It even fails at reasoning, but man, how beautiful.

Second, assuming that is the situation, which I have not researched in any way. Neither by reading other peoples research or done my own. So thus, it is in the blue, and we have to at least look into the possibility of that being the case. And indeed, it is not unlikely. Then your entire argument, as I have already stated and you have not responded to, hinges on half of the planets being habitable in the first place, before you factor in the greenhouse effect. Again see my example above.

Third, it still does not matter since the core is that research only states that no planet in the goldilocks zone does not mean that there isn't a planet in the system with no liquid water on the surface.

So, we are indeed scared if the nonsense you are coming with passes as logic anywhere.

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mr.K
Paris Hilton

Re: Oops!

Could you try again please?

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mr.K
Coat

Re: In as many cases

Is this just a claim, or do you have any reasoning or research behind this?

I can see that it may be at least as many ways to push it out, but I can not see that it has to be that way. You bring up Venus which is a planet radical different from Earth. First of all it has extreme length days, second the solar radiation is double of that of Earth, third it has no plate tectonic and fourth it has no internally generated magnetic field. Yes, we call it our sister planet, mainly because we are about the same size, we have an atmosphere and neither is orbiting Jupiter, but that is about it.

On the other hand we can easily argue that a planet too far on the inside of the goldilocks zone will have their atmosphere blown away regardless. Then we have a narrow band where the heat from the star is sufficient on it's own (possibly Venus as you point out), after that you have an extremely broad band of planets that would be too cold without a greenhouse effect (Earth and beyond). So you then end up a very small percentage where greenhouse gases could make an otherwise habitable planet inhabitable, then we have a much larger percentage of inhabitable planets that could be knocked into habitable range, and we have the planets that could not be habitable no matter what.

It is like this. You have a lottery, with a 1:100 chance of winning. Then you hand out a second ticket with a 1:10 chance of winning. The only problem is if you win on both your winning is canceled. Still, the second ticket would improve your chance of winning. The only way the second ticket would lower your winning chances is if the first lottery is more than 1:2. And clearly, not half the planets are habitable.

It is a little more complicated than this of course. For instance, the further away from being habitable the less chance there is of course to make them so with greenhouse gases. But unless you can put some actual reasoning or research behind your claim, I fail to see how you can be so sure.

Then we have that you failed to see the main point. That regardless of all of this, the conclusion still stands. That not finding a right sized planet in the goldilocks zone is not enough to conclude there can be no life in the system.

At last I would like to point out that we havn't actually looked at that many places yet. We have basically a good idea that quite a few of the objects orbiting the same star as us are so inhospitable that they are have no chance of having life. The ones that could maybe support life we have not been able to examine closely enough to actually confirm that they don't. Outside the solar system we have no way to check anything.

My hat and coat, please, I'll go and check.

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2,000km-wide Eye-of-Sauron MONSTER hurricane spotted on Saturn

mr.K
Flame

Re: 3D looking storm

25:1 ratio or even bigger between diameter and hight is pretty 2D to me, at least enough that I would not flame somebody for claiming so.

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Yelling at mobes while driving just as bad as texting

mr.K
Paris Hilton

Re: It's only a matter of time...

It is very different to talk to somebody that is there, and to talk to somebody that is elsewhere. It is of course worth looking into by a controlled study like this, and yes talking to passengers are distracting. However it should be less than using a mobile phone. The reason for this is that a passenger is there with you. If a particularly difficult situation arise in the traffic you stop talking and it is quite clear for anybody else there with you that you are preoccupied. Even passengers, at least those that know how to drive, will shut up because they know you are not listening. The counter argument to this is of course that you can do the same on a mobile phone, but the fact of the matter is that you don't, or if you do, you have to process it the decision first. Also in general talking in the telephone is a much more demanding task for the brain that talking to somebody present. Exactly why I do not know, but probably something to do with you spending a lot of time visualizing them and their situation.

I would very much like to see the gender differences in this study. Paris because she has a gender and she is distracting.

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Anons torn over naming 'n' shaming of 17yo's gang-rape suspects

mr.K

Re: @mickey mouse

I am not a lawyer or anything like that, but I think the problem is that law doesn't and shouldn't* consider the offenders state of mind (when not insane that is). It does take into account intent, but we do not judge the individual as a person, just the act. For instance if I drive down my wife and kill her it the resulting punishment is highly dependent on my intention. If it was an accident it comes down to how careless I was, if I wanted to kill her it comes down to if I had planed it or if it was in the heat of the moment. But, if I am a sadist and take pleasure in it, it won't factor in unless it results in a behaviour from me that the law cares about.

And there you have it. The eternal problem for the lawmaker, how to write a law that covers all cases. Because as moral beings we can easily judge and say that one crime is worse than another, how to write that down into a law, and make it possible to prove, is another thing.

Because I agree with you. Anybody doing that are not fit to live among the rest of us, and I retain little hope that they will ever reach a state where they are. However, there are rapists that I think could. And with the principle that law is there to protect everybody and if you are not able to separate between the two, then you have to judge the two as mildly as the second group.

When that is said, I do think that the law treats these things too mildly. Basically that it has inherited an outdated view that women that have put themselves in a position where they can be raped are some to blame for their own misery. It is a severe form for violence with highly likely long term harm, and it is hard to prove. (I also think that false accusations of rape should carry the same punishment (has to be proven of course).) So we can argue that rape in general should carry longer sentences, but any aggravating circumstances has to apply for all cases and the law can't be so specific that it mentions "if the victim is carried from house to house over an evening and...". We are using our morals to judge the offender in these cases, but Justice is blind and I think she should be. It doesn't make her perfect, but the alternative is worse.

*Well, "shouldn't" depends on your personal opinion of course. Also, for some reason it carries some weight in USA after all, but when it is the other way around. "The defendant comes from a well respected family and is important...." or some other crap like that.

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NASA chief: Earth is DOOMED if we spot a big asteroid at short notice

mr.K
Facepalm

Cereal?

Is this cereal?

I can't tell if this should be joke-tagged or moron-tagged, hard to know on the internet.

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Researcher sets up illegal 420,000 node botnet for IPv4 internet map

mr.K
Happy

My house

I can see my house from here.

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Apple ordered to surrender coveted docs in iOS privacy lawsuit

mr.K
WTF?

A cereal world

Judging by the responses you got it seems that it has become a cereal world. It is hard to tell on a few of them, but others clearly take your comment cereal. I am not sure if it is Internet in itself or if it is the loonies roaming around the comment sections, but it seems that something has fatally wounded sarcasm, irony, goofy comments and untagged jokes as an art form.

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Newborn planets spotted slurping up gas from young parent star

mr.K
Paris Hilton

Re: Yummy?

Could somebody please explain this one to me, please? I get that hapticz tries to communicate something, and I get that there is annoyance or fake annoyance over the use of the word slurping. However the message and purpose of the post is lost on me. Anybody care to enlighten me?

0
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Chinese spacecraft JUUUUST avoids smashing into Toutatis

mr.K
Mushroom

Re: Micro gravitation changes?

If you have a lottery where the winner number is only revealed if you win. And suppose you decide on a number and then a friend comes along and says you should add one to that number. There are two outcomes, either you win, or you do not. If you do not it is still highly unlikely that you would have won on your original number and you will never know, but if you do win you know it is because you added one.

Back to China, if it does hit us at some point we know it is their fault. If we avoided disaster because of it (it nudged it just out of course), we will never know. So....like...blame Canada! (Sorry, it is my goto blame-country)

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Ten... PC games you may have missed

mr.K

Not sure about it being closer to UT than Tribes, but it is a lesser game than Tribes 2. So I actually recommend installing Tribes 2 instead.

0
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Hubble snaps exploding star's near-fatal weight-loss bid

mr.K
Thumb Up

Re: The Mote in God's Eye (Niven/Pournelle)

Yes, I am shamed to admit that I had to look it up myself, and not having read it I am a bit of a loss whether I was insulted or not. Since it apparently is too clever for me I'll give it a thumbs up just in case.

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mr.K

Re: No

I'll give you a chance to look up the word in a dictionary.

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mr.K

Re: Closeness... too close for comfort??

Four

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mr.K

Re: I think I can speak with authority when I say that

I on the other hand am pretty sure the Sun is weightless.

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Melting Arctic leads to snowy winters

mr.K
Facepalm

Observations

It is always convenient when observations happen after the fact.

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