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* Posts by TechnicalBen

763 posts • joined 23 Mar 2012

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Cracking copyright law: How a simian selfie stunt could make a monkey out of Wikipedia

TechnicalBen
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Facepalm

"arguing that Wikipedia’s continuing publication harms his livelihood."

Copyright is protected by law. This is indisputable. Wikipeda broke that law, for a fact.

The loss of livelihood resulting from Wikipedia's actions though, I'd not challenge that as "factual".

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Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

TechnicalBen
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Joke

Re: Big and not clever.

That's ok. I found out that in Windows 8.1 this had all been improved. Not only does Word automatically capitalise your writing for you, Windows also automatically turns off half way through your work to "update"...

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TechnicalBen
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Re: @ Fred Flintstone

An honest question. Do you ever think styling can be included at times, though through verse and other means? This has some effect, does it not?

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TechnicalBen
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Linux

Re: Personally ...

Wait, how do I undo my upvote? I thought you said "I use Emacs"...

... Oh, they are the same. :)

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Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER

TechnicalBen
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Re: If Samsung can do it then surely Apple can...

I'll wait for the model with the autowinding...

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Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC

TechnicalBen
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Re: Genuine question (and maybe that's not the point of the article).

Nothing wrong with pushing Tbits if you pay for Tbits. It's if Netflix or their customers are charged more because it's Netflix Tbits instead of Google Play Tbits or Apple iTunes Tbits.

Neutrality means even playing field, as supposed to anticompetitive pricing. Like "oh, your email is from John, so I'm charging double because I like Fred and he pays me back handers when I sell servers..."

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Something's phishy: More holiday scam spam flung at real hotel customers

TechnicalBen
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Strange how just after you get off the phone to BT you get a call from "BT engineer we need you card info for your account" three minuets later. I can only imagine someone passing paper notes around like at a school, only with slightly more fibs going on.

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Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report

TechnicalBen
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Re: But it said, "Heavy Duty"

But is it cheaper to clean/protect the solar cell?

If it's easy to block a solar cell, it's relatively easy to stop a battery too, though you need to be more inventive with the latter. :P

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Brits' BORKED Samsung kit held up after repair centre slips into administration

TechnicalBen
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Meh

Re: Oursourcing...

So, your supplier does not deliver a product, how do you solve that problem for your customer? Any takers?

But I agree we should get help from the store (seller) when the supplier provides a faulty product.

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ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water

TechnicalBen
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+ Space elivator...

Who needs a space elevator when you generate [anti] gravitational waves to levitate! :D

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TechnicalBen
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No, not a sound generator if you want any fish/sea life to stay alive. I'd hate to know the size and DB required for sound that loud to move "waves". :O

Moving blocks/buoys though have a much more easily survivable waveform.

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NASA tests crazytech flying saucer thruster, could reach Mars in days

TechnicalBen
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Water vapour from the atmosphere could do this. The Vacuum chamber is suppose to "cook off" such vapour, but by the sounds of it, they forgot to turn it on! :P

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TechnicalBen
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Re: Jargon

Actually it's very spot on with the scientific observations and calculations. The problem is though, if this is possible, as soon as someone theorised the quantum "foam" they would have tested for these kind of effects... no?

The first thing to do would have been "can we use the quantum foam like a sea and sail through it/drain it/use it as a resource". However, I never see anyone, not even Stephen Hawkins, suggesting that one.

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TechnicalBen
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Re: Sorry, too busy to check the details of the test right now but...

Yes, but can you produce trust from a closed system of Crookes Radiometers?

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TechnicalBen
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Re: I4ecks

Quick duck, I see downvotes coming as you dared to question science, scientists and NASA with some additional observations to support their findings.

Notice no where did we say they are wrong, but that science needs to be done before it can be said to be "right".

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TechnicalBen
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Re: I'm wainting with baited breath...

"Translation: you could use photons; on the other hand photons might work too."

Thanks for spotting it, I was waiting to see who would. But still got the downvotes. :(

So, this thing is a photon drive. I'd expect the same results as a photon drive, and not claims of magic (from news sites, as I'm sure the scientists who wrote the paper are above that) game changers to space travel.

Now, if there is some interesting effect, it would be great to see some proper tests and results. Like Vasmir has been getting or similar projects done with ion drives. They are being used in space right now, so we know the actual processes and the results given.

This current "effect" is dangerously close to "oops, it was Dave leaning on the table with his coffee" as the effect. :P

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TechnicalBen
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Re: I'm wainting with baited breath...

Then it's the claims of the news sites. Just as with the FTL neutrinos. "Mars in 6 months" etc as headlines does not help.

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TechnicalBen
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I'm wainting with baited breath...

As not much of that makes actual science/sense.

Though theoretically you could fire photons out of a ship, just as you'd fire any energy source in any other form of propulsion. Microwaves would have a similar effect, though I don't know the specifics.

Most of the claims though, could end up to be nothing more than FTL neutrinos, especially seeing as the control also gave a result! (That's not suppose to happen!)

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BAD VIBES: High-speed video camera records your voice from trash

TechnicalBen
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Re: @The last doughnut Er....

Or you could just look at the movement of the laser on the surface (providing high enough resolution/lenses).

It's a small movement, but it would have one none the less. http://lifehacker.com/5961503/build-a-laser-microphone-to-eavesdrop-on-conversations-across-the-street

Though using something outside the (normal) visible spectrum is even better.

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Remember Palm's WebOS? LG does – check out its smart TVs

TechnicalBen
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Re: Wrong priorities

Or a HDMI switch, as using all 4-5 at the same time seems unlikely.

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PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users

TechnicalBen
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Re: One app for all?

Biggest sin... MS never employed programmers like you. Not even Samsung and the like who build everything from Phones to TVs... as they'd save a lot in unifying the OS/software (no need to port software, use same chips in all devices etc).

But then again, perhaps they want built in obsolescence?

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DAYS from end of life as we know it: Boffins tell of solar storm near-miss

TechnicalBen
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Re: " You build underground. "

I suppose the question is, do probabilities stack like that? If we keep adding the probability of a location suffering an extinction event (natural, human, disease, economic etc), does it decrease as we add more locations, or just keep the average?

"The fact that you have such a fantastically poor understanding of science that you A) think we should live on the surface of a planet in a big gravity well as a colony world and B) think that a colony is particularly hard (as opposed to merely outrageously expensive) means you shouldn't be allowed to have this conversation at all."

A) Please support this argument with an understanding of biology and it's dependencies. Using robotics to collect materials is a great boon to us in low G, using humans increases a risks in total.

B) Getting to space is hard. It's not just expensive. It's brute force effort. It's expensive not in just monetary terms, but in time and resources (both physical power/energy/materials and time/research/planning). We can pull it off, but again, it's diverted resources that take excessive time-scales for a return investment. That increases risks, not reduces them. It may pay off, but it's a gamble, not an "insurance", unless we have the surplus for it.

We have proof of A) in our current space exploration. We have proof of B) in the calculated return times for our nearest star (or Mars if you wish, it's still resting at 6 months 1 way trip at best theoretical transit times).

Science is not a failing here, mine or others, but feel free to expand on the ideas and how it might work in the future.

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TechnicalBen
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Re: " You build underground. "

That's a silly idea, and you know it.

It's not that people are against the idea, it's just like FTL travel, it's a "hard problem" which we need to face the facts to. It's not as simple as "just go faster, now you have FTL travel" or "just add more fuel now you reach the next star (the rocket equation)". It's not as simple as "just go to another planet/moon and your safer than on earth".

I said jumping out of a life raft into the sea is a bad idea...

We could build underground on earth too, and survive anything that hits earth, plus earth has more mass and more protection than any moon. Again, we'd lower odds of survival by spreading to a moon, rather than increase. Only if we find additional exploitable (that is usable) resources with self sufficiency can it be an increase to survivability.

"If you put a half kilometer of rock between you and space then you have a lovely shield against all sorts of radiation."

We have a bigger one around earth. However anyone suggesting the Moon plays a part in our survival get's funny looks...

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TechnicalBen
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Re: Just goes to show...

Down vote all you like for pointing it out again, but the "all your eggs in one basket" argument does not hold when you mention solar flares. Why? Show me one other rock in this solar system protected by both an atmosphere and a magnetic field. While moving to another safe place is desired, there is a distinct lack of them to move to.

It's like bailing out of a life raft into the sea...

Argue about safety and protecting the human race, but not by asking it to jump out of a frying pan, into a fire!

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Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low

TechnicalBen
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The duality bit is correct, but as you said the explanations sometimes fall short. Though that may not be the fault of science. The mathematical explanations fit well, perfectly even. It's just hard to articulate such explanations in general speech.

Either because they use concepts we don't often meet in the macro world (like Born probabilities in QM).

Likewise, the particle/wave explanation fits because light acts as both. It's either a thing that is both, and we have no word for that, or a system able to switch between them, which likewise we have no word for. Once we realise reality does not "have" to do anything, except what it does do, then it becomes easier to grasp.

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TechnicalBen
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Sadly not. As it all still keeps to the rules of the universe. They are observed as no FTL travel/information propagation. That gravity (relativity) effects all things (though we have yet to look at things that small with gravity, as it's so week).

Reality does not "catch up". The larger rules of the universe, hang on these smaller ones, so they are the same thing, they give the same results.

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TechnicalBen
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Re: What's a neutron?

Possibly more strange than that. It may be locality is out the window. It may be something temporal that's afoot.

Or it may just be statistics...

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Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY

TechnicalBen
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Re: PDF on Windows?

PDF through Javascript... Is that a holy combination?

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Verizon to limit unlimited 4G plans

TechnicalBen
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Re: Not so much "unlimited"

It's not up to unlimited... I can prove mathematically that within a month I can only download a finite, limited number of packets.

My download bandwidth in bits/packets is limited. Unless I assume infinite compression... ;)

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

TechnicalBen
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Re: TV manufacturers are shackled by a social phenomenon

Frame rate is not a manufacture problem, it's a content/broadcaster problem.

As a PC user, I prefer higher FPS. It's purely a "what your eyes are use to" thing, no different than moving from monochrome sets to colour sets.

While it's true that it looks "strange", I'd put that down to filming techniques needing to catch up. As higher FPS need a different way to film (as a side note, HD needed them to stabilise the camera more, colour meant your needed to make sure nothing was washed out/over tinted).

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TechnicalBen
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All the 4k TVs I've seen support Stereoscopes [3d], so what was the question? 3D is usually down to cheap refresh rate tricks or a polarisation sheet over the tv. It's not "hard" and it's not "future tech" it was possible back when the first cameras were ever made. :P

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TechnicalBen
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Re: " were perfectly comfortable with the televisions they currently use"

I agree on the price bit.

It's one of those "if it's for free, I'd not turn it down" things.

4K looks very nice, and gives a softer clearer image, as for matter of fact, the TV has more to actually work with to create an image.

But is the return for investment, is the result worth the extra cost? It's almost there.

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Indie ISP to Netflix: Give it a rest about 'net neutrality' – and get your checkbook out

TechnicalBen
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"Costs extra compared to the rest of the content".

No, it costs the same. If you send 10 gb of emails, it costs the same as 10gb of netflix in bandwidth and pipe use. The difference is before the customers did not use the ISP at all, they just sent emails.

Now the customer wishes to use the service they are paying to the full. This creates a problem, as the ISP was playing the "spread the costs over low users" game. Which leaves them in a sticky situation when the real figures show they cannot server the customers with the product they were charging for...

(This sometimes happens with airline companies. They sell 310 seats on a 300 seat plane in hope 10 people don't show up because of reasons, like work turning down holiday or being ill with a cold etc)

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TechnicalBen
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They already charge both ends for access. They wish to charge both ends twice for access. Once for access (netflix to upload, customer to download) and again for who they choose to access!

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Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket

TechnicalBen
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Re: Mush/Musk

Depends on how hard the landing is. Thankfully it lands softer than the competion...

PS, mines the one with "softer than others" in the pocket.

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Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch

TechnicalBen
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Re: Patent filing date

>> Jan 31 2011 <<

Still 6 years after this patent: (First hit in google) http://www.google.com/patents/US20070042821

... [looks at patent filling, sees Samsungs name]...

Buhuhuhuhuha... one moment while I go outside to laugh profusely!

[edit]

I'm back... notice it also specifies detachable parts from the main "body"... though Apple note "strap" instead AFAIK. Also while it notes a bluetooth headset, the patent does also note an LCD display on the device.

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TechnicalBen
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Re: Samsung's pre-invented Gear

Pity that Galaxy only released a smart phone watch in 2009 then... they should have patented it... without any phone in the watch! :P

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2422750,00.asp

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TechnicalBen
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Re: I'm curious...

I can understand that making such a thing is different than actually writing about it in sci-fi.

But the fact of the matter is, most of these devices are made by combining existing parts, in different ways. As said, we have had mobile phone watches and smart watches for ages now... so that in and of it's self cannot be "new".

However, just as fashion gets along well without patents, you could instead protect the design/feature/logo and brand name (hopefully with a real attachment of good construction and materials).

Or you can patent a specific novel function or design... not sure they are here, as even power/cams/functions in the straps have been done before.

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TechnicalBen
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Please...

tell me there is something original and special about the idea or function they are attempting to patent. Please. I wish to continue to hold hope there is not just a game of paper chasing going on in the courts over patenting existing ideas, products and technology...

PS, I'd type this on a current smart watch, smart phone watch, bluetooth smart wrist device, touch enabled wrist mounted HID or my casio caculator watch, but I'm hard pressed for time and cannot decide which one to use. No doubt all these devices will disappear into the ether as soon as the patent surfaces in a court room?

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

TechnicalBen
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Re: This is what happens ....

It's not always the designers I suppose. If you set up a separate display for the radio, and one for the dash/info... then someone comes along and "saves some money", all the good engineering in the world goes out the window (along with some vital nuts and bolts I assume)!

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Shields up! Nvidia crams Tegra K1 into gaming slab to rival your PS3

TechnicalBen
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Controller?

I might get the controller if it supports other tablets and works nice with other apps/software. I can already stream to a tablet using existing apps quite nicely... so not really keen on being tied into a format.

But if it's available on both, I can see the gaming tablet for those who won't also want other options.

The controller though is win win in most cases.

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NASA: ALIENS and NEW EARTHS will be ours inside 20 years

TechnicalBen
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Re:Lars

Why would life exist everywhere? I observe there are limits to it's existence.

This is the case for matter. This is also interestingly the case for Earth.

If I deal a pack of cards, I can state "this dealt hand only exists here on earth". Why do you suggest I can say that it exists else where?

So, with some things, I can say "it only ever happens once". I consider life to be at least as unique (and / or complex) as a pack of 52 cards. Something that seems extremely simple, can in reality have a mathematical probability so obscure that it only ever happens once in the lifetime of the universe. :)

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TechnicalBen
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Re: John Bailey

There is no life on the moon. This is an observable fact. Therefore, while it's incorrect to state "there is no life outside of 20 miles of my house" it is correct to state "there is no life on the moon".

We can state there are places where no life is. Does that boundary stop on the earth, or extend past it? But there is a certain boundary to life.

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TechnicalBen
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It's not impossible for a whale and a pot of petunias to appear. It is however extremely not probable.

Really, make the universe as big as you like. Make time as long as you like. There is a limit on what will and will not happen. We prefer to use evidence and observations for this. Speculation does not help one bit to change our understanding.

A spontaneous pot of petunias is about the same probability (within an acceptable margin of error) as life appearing (in the vastness of the universe multiple times). So, if we state that one can happen, we have to admit we also believe the other is likely. Are we happy to make that conclusion?

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TechnicalBen
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Re: probability...

" In contradiction to what quite a few people believe in statistics a sample size of one will reveal quite a lot about what you have sampled."

No, no it does not. Our solar system has 1 sun. We can conclude from this:

Solar systems only ever have 1 sun. Or all orbital systems have 1 sun.

Both are incorrect, as we have binary star systems, and orbits around planets (or dwarf/failed stars if we wish to keep the stellar definitions in our example).

So... long story short, with 1 data point, we can only ever (mathematically, logically and scientifically) state "There is at least one star in at least 1 solar system in the universe", the same applies to life.

We got more data on stars, we need more data on life. :)

PS, citation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_joke#Stereotypes_of_mathematicians

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TechnicalBen
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Re: A quote from Hawking

If they wished or had the ability to harm us in such a way they would have already. Which leaves two options.

1) They cannot.

2) They can, but are playing games with us until they do.

With Occam's razor at play, I'd say they are not there. That and the fact any space faring race could colonise/explore/leave marks on the galaxy so quickly, if they existed before us, we'd see the evidence everywhere.

The current evidence points to us being the only/first intelligence within observable and traversable distances.

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X marks the chop: Microsoft takes axe to Nokia's Android venture

TechnicalBen
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Re: X customers

Is that the plan? Kill off all mobile phone markets to get people to lug around PCs... um, Tablets... um Xboxes...

Wait, none of that seems on MS plan, well successful plan. So is it they plan to kill off all markets, then retire to the Good Life?

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BitTorrent not to blame for movie revenues, says economist

TechnicalBen
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Re: you mean movie makers still have not realised

Actually, Netflix having only 1 and 3 is a bonus in the subscription fees IMO... Though only having the first would be better.

Like most Trilogies, they only ever made the first film, the other 2 are figments of our imagination and shall never be watched...

(Or in the case of trilogies of trilogies, only watch the first 3... though Disney could turn it around ;) )

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BT: Whew, we've been cleared of major privacy breach. Oh SNAP, another webmail blunder

TechnicalBen
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Re: Slowly does it

That's my new response. I've had enough with BT. In the past it was "I'll help you sort it" and I had success every time. Now it's "Call BT, they'll hell... wait, their not helping? Well, you chose to go with them against my advice..."

;)

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Read the proposed US ASTEROIDS Act to green-light mining IN SPAAAACE

TechnicalBen
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Re: "Refine the fuel from ice".

The reality is more amazing than we realise, but sadly our imaginations are just that, and rarely do they become real...

You cannot just make fuel from ice. That's not how thermodynamics works. "Water" is an energy store here, from which we make rocket fuel (ox and hydrogen) with the assistance of a power source.

You have solar in space, but much less in the asteroid belt. So your looking at decades to return something that way. Taking your own fuel is again problematic as you hit the rocket equation and fuel becomes a payload you cannot afford to carry (basically a reducing return of investment problem).

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