1178 posts • joined 11 Jun 2007
"The intelligence of that creature known as a crowd is the square root of the number of people in it."
-- Terry Pratchett
The rationale is actually quite simple - the plan is to protect other planets so that future science missions have as pristine an environment to work on as possible.
Planetary Protection is not designed to be a tree hugging greenie ideal that were protecting the other planets from us nasty humans or any of that bollocks - it is purely down to protecting the potential of future science missions.
If for example, the early missions to Mars hadnt been kept as clean as possible. They wouldnt have been able to detect the life they brought to Mars, but a later mission coming along might have found those microbes and we would have thought that was proof of life and got our theories very wrong. But because they were very clean we can now say with some certainty that if we discover life on Mars, we are actually discovering Martian life and not transported Earth life.
I hope that explains things a bit... =)
It's a nice idea, but you normally dont want to send any sort of rover to a place until you know what the surface is going to be like (if its all deep gullys and trenches, a rover is pretty much useless). I would have thought first call is a dedicated orbiter with a high definition stereo camera, so you can pick a good landing spot.
THEN something like Curiosity would be a good idea. But usually landers are easier and lighter (and cheaper to build) than rovers, and so for a first touchdown a stationary lander is probably not a bad idea.
Oh and I have some insight into the problems involved in the planetary protection of this sort of mission (im working on a different Mars mission right now) and probably about 20% of the entire costs of the program are on avoiding contaminating your hardware. And thats at the lower level of a Class 4a project (landing on another planet in an area not deemed a high risk for contamination from earth lifeforms). Europa is considered a very high risk location (liquid water interior, may be at "nice temperatures for spore forming microbes"), so you're looking at a ridiculous level of cleanliness (probably 4c). To give you an idea of what those levels mean - 4a means you cannot have more then 300 spores per m² of surface on your hardware and 300,000 spores total on the entire spacecraft (whichever value is lower). To put that in context, right now you have 300,000,000 bacteria on your finger tip. I dont want to even think about what spore count level you need for a 4c mission (probably no more than 3 spores per m²!)
Re: Duck test = fish test!
"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands."
-- Douglas Adams
Re: Orbits shmorbits
I was actually thinking this as well, but I would like to believe that the scientists did think of that and after a bit more investigation (calculating how big an impact would be required to move that monster, etc.) they decided that option wasnt really on the cards.
But then again maybe I'm being too generous...
I disagree Sandpit . I come to El Reg (in part) for the witty titles and double entendres.
Keep up the good work chaps!
Re: Consider this
And in my longish life, I have noticed an increase in rudeness, crudeness and coraseness whilst seeing a steady decline in the number of hours that politicians work!
I therefore declare that in order to improve mankind for the better, all politicians must be forced to work 80hr weeks, and not be allowed outside of parliament unless they are dead (either actually or politically I'm not too concerned which...).
(Two little things called Causation and Correlation, you know?)
Meet the flintstones...
Bugger me! Are you saying Fred Flintstone was Jesus??? So i guess that makes Wilma Mary Magdelene. Hmm is Barney, Peter or Judas?
Re: what is the surprise
I'm interested to know what a riffle is.... ?
Someone searching for UFO's and who exposed the weaknesses in the US military systems, versus someone who delibrately created a trojan to steal money from millions of people around the world.
I can see how they are close together cant you?
I dont know. Most people know to ignore the bollocks thats spewed on the internet, but if someone anonymously wrote to me saying that they had placed a bomb outside my house, I think I would be ringing the cops too...
This guy is a muppet...
I'm not even going to go into his arguments (I couldnt care either way), but who launches a legal case based on a law that they havent actually read! Surely the first thing you would do, is to obtain a copy of the document in question (and there not hard toget a hold of), read it, make notes of the areas that you believe are being breached and THEN if you think you still have a case, then raise a complaint.
You dont raise a case based upon the writings of some intenet bloggers who havent read the document either, but heard from their brother's girlfriend's uncle's best mate down the pub that something's not right.
Re: Where are the jobs? Where are fair taxes for the rich and corporations?
What? So the Department for Transportation should focus on taxation now? Or creating jobs? Not on the things of which it is actually competent in, i.e. road laws?
Re: Presumed guilty then @Scorchio
Snowden has not admitted to any crime. He has admitted performing an action - whistleblowing. And whistleblowing is not an illegal action (hence why there is a public interest defence for cases where overzealous prosecutors go after journalists and other whistleblowers).
Whether Snowden's actions can be considered illegal is something that should only be determined in a court of law by professionals. However, given the nature of the pressure being exerted by the US parliament on to the judiciary in cases of "National Security" the question is whether a fair trial could be expected. Snowden does not appear to think so, and to be perfectly honest most people outside of the US believes that he has no chance of a fair trial.
This whole topic has hurt US relations with its allies significantly and to be honest the way the US is still chasing after Snowden is only making you appear worse. No one likes a bully...
Re: Presumed guilty then
I would hope that a good defense laywer would now be able to claim that the defendent (Snowden) had been portrayed often enough in the media and even by members of parliament as a criminal to such a degree that any chance of a fair trial has been removed. The outcome of any trial would be prejudiced beyond the ability of a court to decide fairly as to innocence or guilt and so must be abandoned.
However, considering the amount of hysteria in american government and judicial circles on these topics, I some how doubt the requirement of a fair trial is still considered necessary.
Re: Don't drag the bag
You should have sued them...
I'm waiting for Ludicrous Speed...
Sorry but your solution wouldnt work.
People will not pay for things which they are now used to getting for free. So if Twitter started charging even if it was a 2c fee just to prove identity, people would not pay it and would jump ship to the next application that offered free spleen venting.
Such is the way of the modern world...
Re: Kinda pointless if you live in a safe constituency, though.
If your not happy with the situation, and you think your vote wont count, then go one step further - get out there and ACTIVELY campaign for a candidate that you DO want representing you.
A lot of people vote for the same party that they've always voted for because they dont have any better information. Get out there, educate your fellow constituents and then you might have a chance of dislodging your safe seat status.
Re: Another cost of outsourcing
Hmm... ok, ban not only the companies, but the senior executives from said companies.
It might prevent a few pump and dump exercises, as it will be harder to find work if its known that hiring a particular executive who just jumped from that previous company means your company cant bid for any of that juicy public sector gravy, i mean contracts...
Re: Another cost of outsourcing
How about this as an idea for fixing the system. If a company complains, the documentation, etc. goes to an independent examiner (I'm leaning towards judge or retired judge here). If no real breach was found, and its just the company trying to delay the tender or whatever - said company pays the costs of the investigation AND is banned from applying for all government tenders for a year (and make it stackable, so if they complain again the next year for nothing, they are banned for 2 yeas the next time etc.). Where a major breach is found, the government pays, is forced to restart the process from scratch taking into account the judges findings and the manager of the project who made the monumental cock-up/corrupt action is out on his a$$ and banned from taking employment with any company who has applied for that tender for 5 years. Where a minor breach is found, the government pays, the findings are taken into account immediately, and the process continues.
Sounds fair to me...
No suprises here. Move along please...
When a new and revolutionary product comes out (and I hate to admit it but the iPad was revolutionary, not because it was the first to market but because it actually created the product people wanted from the market), it is normally of relatively low hardware spec. People jump onboard the product and sales are huge. And progressively over the next few years, the hardware specs jump significantly, meaning those early adopters buy newer and newer machines so as to be able to use the latest and greatest software for said machines. But eventually, you get to a point, where the increase in hardware specs slows significantly, and the software requirements also stop needing such high requirements, and then the need for jumping on board the latest and greatest device stops being driven by the software. At this point sales will of course plummet, as people return to a sane upgrade cycle level. Its happened with PCs over the last few years, it will happen to tablets now.
That's just economics, nothing suprising is happening... Now we wait for the next company to launch the next revolutionary product and watch the whole cycle start again...
Re: Ah. Russia.
Actually I'd guess that if you're ever on the receiving end of a visit from the FSB, you probably are thinking Fuck, Shit, Bollocks...
Re: security through obscurity
Your making a rather large assumption that he didnt go to VW and Megros first.
It is entirely possible (and I would think probable) that he contacted Megros and VW and told them of their gaping security holes, and instead of working with him to come up with a fix, they ignored him and buried there heads in the sand. Only now that he was planning to reveal to the world their incompetence, are they reacting. Andreacting badly.
And by the way, I havent heard anything out of Megros or VW to say that they are going to do anything about their gaping security holes. Have you?
I've always been a fan of the Sony Ericsson's. Had a couple of them (going back to the T28 - brilliant phone if it still worked today I'd still be using it!), and Ive never had one get damaged from any amount of damage Ive thrown at it. The ones did die were from things like battery failures, or more often where I just decided it really was about time to upgrade. My current Experia Arc S is serving me well. Been dropped a few times, seen a lot of rough treatment, and so far not as much as a scratch on the screen.
I do have doubts about the new Sony phones though. Can they really live up to the old Sony Ericssons?
Re: God I love the Justification....
"What is this 'Rest of World' of which you speak?"
Without reading the paper itself (I'm too lazy to do that right now), has the good Doctor taken into account that it is not only people living in rural areas that have crashes in rural areas? City folk do travel to rural areas occasionally (family visits, holidays, etc.). Since its well known that more crashes and deaths occur on the roads on holiday weekends (when city folk are also travelling the rural roads), has the doctor seperated that particular statistic out of his work?
Maybe I'm missing something...
The Dune(TM)* is moving at 15m a year, so in say 10 years, it's gone 150m and the Dune will have passed the set by and apart from needing a bit of a sweep out will probably be right as rain. It'll give the Star Wars geeks something to get excited about in 10 years time after Disney release Star Wars 15: We Cant Be Bothered Coming Up With A New Title (TM)*.
* I'm claiming TM on both of these items as I think they could be really big features in a few years! ;)
Re: Is there no-one writing the legislation for these things
Whilst I can understand the police's desire to be able to back track a suspects movement (i.e. we only be came aware that X was planning to bomb that church today, where did he get the bombs from, lets check the data and see where he was previously), I dont agree with it, and I dont believe that Joe Public would actually accept their every movement being tracked, catalogued and assesed, if they were honestly aware of the level of intrusion going on.
Then again I might be giving too much credit to Joe Public, having seen the level of education in some areas of the UK, I doubt they can even spell Surveillance State let alone think about how it affects them...
Oh please, oh please...
... let someone bring up a case against Google or YouTube using this as an argument...
"YouTube aggregates together a large number of streams from a variety of streamers, indexes them for the convenience of the user and provides a simple link for the user to click on in order to access a specific stream," Justice Richard Arnold said.
"It is true that the technical effect of clicking on the link is to direct the stream from the UCG site to the user's computer, but even so the stream is presented in a frame provided by YouTube. In all the circumstances, I consider that YouTubeis responsible for the communication. ""
Fixed that for you!
Of course you wouldnt sue your optometrist...
... but then again you're not a lawyer...
Heat seeking doesnt work on ICBM. In fact most guidance systems dont because you dont have a heat signature (an ICBM uses all its fuel in the first few minutes and then "cruises" to its target), you have a low radar signature (the cross section of an ICBM is relatively small), the ICBM is travelling very fast, and its not transmitting on other frequencies. So shooting down an ICBM is pretty difficult stuff.
Wow I cant believe no-one thought of that...
Oh my god, all those engineers and boffins working on this, and they never thought of that. You should totally take control of the project because the people running it are obviously too stupid to realise its as simple as that...
Re: Rational voting
"This does however require a high level of cynicism."
When dealing with politicians, is their any other sort?
Re: Soft target?
That was kind of my first thought. If the hackers were after something which required a physical delivery, then surely it should be easy to track down the culprits (hint: check the delivery addresses). I know that there are ways to make this more difficult PO Boxes, etc. but anytime you actually have a physical delivery makes the chances of tracking someone a thousand times easier than a purely digital medium...
Re: Statute of Limitations...?
There already is... It's called the life of a Patent...
Not really enough details in the text
We are all kind of jumping to the conclusion that this is trolling, but there could be details we are missing. For one thing there are companies licensing this tech so its obviously not a completely trolling patent. Its actually being used for products.
Still I agree that going after the end product seems wrong when the suit should be against the manufacturers of the individual items that are (probably) in violation. Unless of course the firms being attacked are designing the LED themselves and specifying the manufacturing method and only outsourcing manufacture which would put the onus back on the designers I would think as being the orchestrators of the patent violation.
Can El Reg provide more info along this line?
Re: The data overhead? Really?!
What are you missing? The fact that ICANN cant make money from Whois....
Or am I being too cynical?
Re: "doesn't actually risk the earth-shattering kaboom of a matter-antimatter annihilation."
Sense of humour fail...
Please recalibrate your satire meter and try again...
Re: I use Snapchat and it is very useful
Alright Dave, I'll bite...
Will you pay for it when the inevitable price tag gets attached?
I cannot understand this... The may have a huge following with "Da Yoof" but "Da Yoof" are also the first to jump ship if something starts trying to charge them money. So I'd love to hear how they are going to "monetize" this fickle audience...
Re: "based on an interoperable open standard"
I just got back from Japan, and they have recently lined up pretty much all of their metro systems to run on any city card. So whilst each city has a different card "brand" they all work everywhere. You have seriously no idea how convenient that was!
If they can get the same thing happening in the UK, trust me, you will be a happy camper in the long run!
Doubling? Did I miss something?
You say that a 20 carnet trip costs £22, and a week pass costs £12. So buying 2 week passes, costs £24.
I would hardly hardly consider a £2 add on as doubling the cost of transport!
I've had Kabel Deutschland internet once since living in Germany and it was superb, much faster then normal connections and absolutely no dropouts (except when the modem froze, but thats another story).
However, since movingout of that particular apartment, I havent had it again. The reason - the cost to install it to your building. I was particularly shocked to find out that it would cost €3800 to have it installed to my building (a terrace house) when both of the buildings on either side already had it installed. Thanks but no thanks...
This always makes me wonder...
The whole reason that the Norks general population isnt permitted the internet is to try and hide the realities that the rest of the world is not starving worse then they are and to maintain the belief that North Korea really is the shining beacon of humanity that their glorious leaders say they are.
But if you take 3000 people and task them with trawling the internet for things to attack and they will pretty quickly see that their leaders are full of sh*t (half an hour on Youtube should do it!). Now you can probably sweeten the deal for those 3000 by giving them access to everything, great pay, etc but eventually someone is going to let slip the truth to family members, who let slip to neighbours and before you know it an entire town is going to be aware that things arent quite as rosy as they are being told they are. At that point, keeping the word from spreading further is not going to be an easy task.
Add to that, that even the most basic script kiddie has to have some level of intelligence and so when confronted with evidence like that, they have to begin having second thoughts about the bollocks spewing from the "Great Leader" and you wonder why such info hasnt spread through the masses more widely.
I'm not suggesting that this army of 3000 doesnt exist but I'm also aware that people cant keep secrets (especially not 3000 script kiddies!), which makes me wonder how the Nork general population doesnt know more about the rest of the world. And why there isnt more of an outflux of people fleeing the sinking ship that is North Korea?
Apple fines its staff? WTF?
I dont care if its $5, any company that tried to fine me would quickly find itself with a position to fill and a burgeoning reputation of being complete a$$hats!
Non-Dutch people speaking Dutch
Non-Dutch people speaking Dutch just doesnt work... You end up having to clear your throat after every second word because in English you only make those sound when your trying to bring up a very stubborn bit of flem!
Saying that , it's still easier to understand then Glaswegian...
ASA only investigates complaints
If you have a bee in your bonnet about VM's "Fibre", make a complaint to the ASA. They only investigate things if people make a complaint, so having a whinge about it here on El Reg isnt going to accomplish anything, go and have a whinge at ASA, and hopefully they'll get off their butt and deal with it...
Re: Come on 150GB a month @ aahjnnot
Of course they dont watch any porn... *wink wink*
"...faraway clouds of water and alcohol. Such localities are where hot young stars are to be found..."
So we're talking Ibiza then... Does that position Earth somewhere in the equivalent of the Spanish Riveira? Somewhere beautiful but which you drive past because Barcelona's only that little bit further away? ;)
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