11 posts • joined 30 Nov 2012
For their next contest, perhaps they’ll select the winners the same way the BOFH selects telecommunications vendors. Put a half brick under each chair. Leave the room. Come back a few minutes later, and the last 10 standing get a free phone.
Re: Oh for goodness sake
Same thing here. Too many passwords. My supervisor keeps hers written on a post-it. I use keepass for all my passwords, so I get different passwords for everything, but only need one to unlock them. The one *is* a bit complex.
I’m pretty old now, and I must say the world has changed a lot, and not totally for the better. I’m an American, and when I was a kid, guys were always fleeing from the Communist regime in Russia or China and coming to America where they were safe and able to speak freely and reveal the horrible things the Russian or Chinese government was up to.
Today, people are fleeing America for the crime of revealing the horrible things the American government is up to and seeking safety in China, Russia or South America.
What’s gone wrong with my country?
Re: Why Bother with Planets?
Sorry, I don’t see how making a habitat more difficult than making a starship.
Radiation? You have that in space, either way. A habitat as I describe would have walls many meters thick. Plenty of shielding. Can you put that much shielding on a starship? (And unless you have working “deflector shields”, let’s leave those out of the discussion.)
Ecosystem? How fast could the fastest starship we could build now go? An Orion with a top speed of maybe .03 c? Well, let’s be generous and say .1 c. So it’s 40 years one way to Alpha Centauri. How were the astronauts (taikonauts, etc.) going to breathe, eat, etc.? You’d need SOME SORT of ecosystem on that ship. And a habitat as I describe would be a lot bigger than your typical starship, so you’d have more room to spread out which would likely help with the issues we have with artificial habitats. Yes, the closed ecosystem issue is a large one and needs A LOT of work, I agree. But it’s an issue that needs to be solved with habitats or ships, barring some magic “warp drive.”
Unless we discover some new physics that makes FTL travel practical, I think the human race will build habitats throughout the solar system, and eventually, some of them will go to other stars.
Why Bother with Planets?
They’re dangerous places liable to get hit by flying objects or be damaged by the local star having a fit, subject to wild climate swings, etc.
Instead, build our own worlds inside large, spinning asteroids. Start with Larry Niven’s idea of “blowing” an asteroid by filling a tunnel full of bags of water, spinning it and directing sunlight from mirrors onto it enough to make it molten. Once it expands, let it cool off and then make it into an inhabitable worldlet similar to the “Stone” from Greg Bear’s book Eon (without the hyperspace tunnel, of course!). You can have any length of day or “gravity” (from centrifugal force) that you like. If the sun gets testy or a swarm of flying objects are coming your way, you can move it. Wouldn’t take any more technology than we’d need to build ships capable of relativistic speeds, and we can do it right here. And, if you can make it self-sustaining for long enough and come up with a drive, you could convert some of these into starships –even use a multi-generational model that takes hundreds of years to reach a destination.
The only case I know of anyone surviving this sort of thing was a couple of kids that escaped from Cuba to Florida in the 70’s. A much shorter trip, and the plane probably didn’t fly as high, either. They also tied themselves into the wheel wells with rope so they wouldn’t fall out.
So, not really a survivable way to fly. As Zaphod said, “OK, so ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for good thinking, yeah?”
It’s sad that they ban ham radio transmissions from the air over there. On this side of the pond, we do amateur radio in the sky a lot, including using balloons to lift antennas and repeaters and normal airborne operations (particularly for emergency services, such as search and rescue). Once I talked on the 2 meter band to a couple of hang gliders over 60 miles away – I’m near sea level, they were up at 7,000 feet (2,134 m)
This is nothing new. The BOFH did this years ago.
I live in California and work at a court. You’re just not allowed to grab the phone while driving. So set it up with your destination and put the phone on the seat next to you and listen for the directions. Works fine for me. If I need to fondle the phone, I just pull over and stop. That way, I get where I’m going, no worries and no tickets. If that’s too hard, driving is probably too hard for you. Take a bus.
Don't forget printing
I well remember the coming of Lotus 1-2-3 and had a similar experience to the author. We had 1-2-3 in our company. I went to a MS show and saw a demo of Excel, and my jaw dropped. I went back to work and told the boss "we need to get this NOW." We ordered it that day. When it came in, I took it home and stayed up to 5:00 AM Friday night playing with it, something I've not done before or since. I was THAT impressed with Excel.
Remember printing on 1-2-3? It was difficult to do. And if you could get it to print what you wanted, it generally looked like crap, like a report typed in EDLIN. As soon as we had Excel, we could do client-presentation-level spreadsheets quite easily and never looked back at 1-2-3.
Actually, we'll all die when that mutant stargoat eats the planet in December. Except for those of us with tickets for the space arks. Looks like I'm on the "B" ark.
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