* Posts by horriblicious

18 posts • joined 14 Jul 2017

Official science: Massive asteroids are so difficult to destroy, Bruce Willis wouldn't stand a chance

horriblicious

Re: I didn't think anyone serious still believed "blowing it up" was a viable plan

Yet surely the damage from many of those smaller pieces is far preferable to the damage that would be caused by the asteroid in one piece? Much will land where there are no people - 2/3 of the surface is ocean and the land surface is surprisingly empty as well. It will still cause damage, but in the absence of a perfect solution many smaller chunks sounds "good enough" as an alternative.

horriblicious

Re: Throwing theories gets us there

It would be a very good thing if asteroid mining took off as a practical venture. It would be the place to try-out and prove many of the technologies you would need in an emergency. That looks to be a few years out too, but at least that is starting.

horriblicious

It is a great and simple idea. Of course, we need to wait until we figure out how to build one big enough to make a difference. Well, that or build a Death Star.

horriblicious

Re: I didn't think anyone serious still believed "blowing it up" was a viable plan

Small meteorites are "small" - well, you will get a range of sizes but all smaller than the original asteroid. The damage from some fraction of those that would survive passing through Earth's atmosphere is surely minor in comparison to a direct hit by the entire asteroid. I do like the "multiple coordinated plans approach" to divert it though.

horriblicious

Re: The Later Lite Bombardment?

Low probability, but absolutely deadly and devastating. Disturbing the Oort cloud might divert more objects towards the inner solar system, but there are plenty already wizzing around to look out for.

The "human-caused" problems you list are slow-moving, unlikely to be as devastating, and are subject to changes in human behavior. A big rock on a path to collide with Earth will not be swayed by protesters or clever editorials.

horriblicious

Re: Best option?

Unless you are talking about cutting off and launching rather large bits of the asteroid (and where are you getting the energy to both mine and launch a really big rock, repeatedly), it doesn't matter if they are pointed at earth. They will just be small chunks of rock that will burn up on re-entry.

horriblicious

Re: Throwing theories gets us there

If NASA thinks it can prevent a large asteroid impact with 5 years notice, I think they are in serious denial of the effort required. Yes there are missions to asteroids now - small vehicles with tiny payloads that take along time to get to the target. I am not a physicist, but whatever approach you take will require delivery of very large machinery (mass driver) or perhaps a sequence of very large bombs aimed to redirect rather than smash said asteroid. We are barely back to where NASA was in 1970 as regards lifting large objects into LEO (the space station). We do not yet have a vehicle with a large payload size that can leave LEO and head out to intercept an asteroid that might also be moving quite quickly. Thanks to SpaceX (and maybe NASA and the traditional rocketry companies), we might have some of the vehicles needed in the next decade or 2. We need to spot these things 20+ years out, or there will be nothing that can be done, and I am not so sure about 20 years.

I'm a crime-fighter, says FamilyTreeDNA boss after being caught giving folks' DNA data to FBI

horriblicious

Tempest in a teapot. Users of the service have voluntarily provided their DNA to allow for matching against anyone else that might wish to also provide a sample. If you are unhappy about the fact that anyone else could try to match, why did you submit the sample? Once again, folks are not thinking about how much they are diluting their privacy by using all these wonderful, modern, internet tools. How would the company prevent evil uses of the information once you have provided your DNA? They can't know the motivations of those asking for access.

Hubble 'scope camera breaks down amid US govt shutdown, forcing boffins to fix it for free

horriblicious

NO. Getting re-elected depends, somewhat, on being able to keep the promises you made. Somewhat, because all politicians know that voters like being lied to, and as long as you are telling voters the lies they want to hear, you can get re-elected repeatedly without ever fulfilling all your promises. This should not be news to anyone that lives in a democracy.

horriblicious

Re: Easily solved

The system was also designed to encourage creation of 2 broad parties of the political center that would differ on certain policies but were able to compromise on legislation. They were not meant to be ideological opponents. What you see now is a dysfunctional party system where the parties have become ideologically extreme with supporters often viewing compromise as betrayal. In a system designed to require compromise between separate power centers (Senate, House, and President), ideology preventing compromise is the cause for dysfunction. How the parties became ideological is a separate and important discussion.

horriblicious

Re: Hypocrisy 101

Trump frequently criticized everything as that built a case for him to attack that that institution later if it was to his benefit to do so. No different from birther attacks on Obama or using "fake news" to attack the media or his attack on the legitimacy of the overall voting process. Don't pay attention to attacks like this from the clown.

IBM to GTS: We want you to 'rotate' clients every two years

horriblicious

The organization I work for outsources technical work. The contract with the vendor included increased payments as they built experience in our applications. Some years into the contract when we asked for details of who was working on the contract, the only resources with more than 2 years experience were the 3 resources we insisted stay on site - they had been in place for 5 years and were very knowledgeable. We were paying for a constant training cycle for the churn of the other employees and this was often reflected in the quality of response and code. This situation would have been a nightmare without the long-term employees acting as mentors/senior consultants.

If IBM is going to cycle everyone every two years, their clients should ask for a discount as the quality of support is about to decrease. IBM should consider some long-term support roles in support of the "churn" whether that is due to the industry or their own HR mandates.

When tyrants pull on their jackboots to stamp out free speech online, they reach for... er, a Canadian software biz?

horriblicious

Re: Scumbags

Well now there is a valid comparison - cluster bombs and software. We cannot be far from a Godwin's Law violation at this point.

horriblicious

Re: Right to information?

Well if they are breaking international law then the international policeman should arrest them and try and convict them before the international court. Oh wait, there is no international police? Not everyone agrees with the ICC as a valid court? Is there a codified book of international law?

Gee wiz, that could be a problem when people keep saying someone is breaking "international law" - as if that really meant something.

Sloppy coding + huge PSD2 changes = Lots of late nights for banking devs next year

horriblicious

Re: Legacy Systems

Those core account systems are not the problem nor is COBOL the problem. The security problem exists in all the layers of code added to allow access from phone, or internet or mobile. No one accesses a COBOL based banking system directly (do you see a CICS screen on your phone?) When security fails in one of those user-friendly interface layers then what is presented to that back-end account system is what looks like a valid user. The legacy system is not your security problem. Replacing is an impossible task if what you will say to a business person is: Give me $250 Miliion dollars and 5 years and I will give you exactly what you have now, except newer. What is the business value in that? You will never get that funding so those old systems will remain in place until the hardware is no longer manufactured - and that may be never. Better to spend a fraction of that $250MM properly securing (or rebuilding securely) those "front-end" layers.

Equifax execs sold shares before mega-hack reveal. All above board – Equifax probe

horriblicious

Uh, this is directors investigating directors. I suspect all they could do was review the public facts about meetings and timings. They are not the police or the SEC - did they check everyone else trading (relatives, friends, etc...) for others that might have known? Did they subpoena phone or message logs, speak to brokers and other staff and many other activities only government investigators can do? WHITEWASH!!! Worse still, the dummies now may be considered to have colluded in a cover-up. I await the SEC's investigation.

BlackBerry's QNX to run autonomous car software

horriblicious

Re: Toyota

The article is about autonomous car software. Surely we mean actual "driving systems" by this phrase? QNX is an RTOS and therefore very suited to this purpose, I would think. Whether it gets used for infotainment as well is surely not that important, though perhaps convenient.

Luxembourg passes first EU space mining law. One can possess the Spice

horriblicious

Re: They need more than just this

It would be very expensive to build and operate the hardware required for mining in space. Where do you think funds are coming from for hardware for pirates? I can see it now: "Here's $5BN to build ships and armaments. Try to break even in the first year." All sarcasm aside, I look forward to the day when space travel is so common and inexpensive that piracy is a problem. I think the concern is a bit premature though.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019