Allen Thomson

Allen Thomson

  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    Here we go on punk wood: https://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/2013/02/more-on-punk-wood.html...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    old rottten and brittle wood, or can also mean small bits of wood used to start a fire That's the only meaning of punk, aside from the pejorative one, that I ever encountered. Actually, both together: dry rotten wood used...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    The hydrophone networks weren't ocean-spanning; that would be rather expensive. AIUI, they were more of a tripwire across key choke points, allowing the triggering of other resources (ASW aircraft and ships). In the Atlantic, this was the GIUK gap. The...
  • Commented on Rejection Letter
    Apparently the fix can be circumvented: https://phys.org/news/2017-05-cyberattack-ransomeware.html A cybersecurity researcher appears to have discovered a "kill switch" that can prevent the spread of the WannaCry ransomware—for now—that has caused the cyberattacks wreaking havoc globally, they told AFP Saturday. The researcher,...
  • Commented on Laundry summer madness sale!
    The monster truck Totally irrelevant to the post, but here's a 100 petabyte thumb drive disguised as a monster truck: https://aws.amazon.com/snowmobile/ https://www.enterprisetimes.co.uk/2017/05/12/want-to-move-100pb-from-your-data-centre-into-the-cloud/...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    On meteor/bolide detection: https://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/fireballs/ I think that the data mostly comes from IR missile warning and/or intelligence satellites in GEO and HEO....
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    Yes, there was a piece on NPR about another former and maybe future prison town, Eden, yesterday. Also https://www.texastribune.org/2016/08/18/justice-department-wants-phase-out-private-prison-/...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    Seriously, by .87 c we're talking about kinetic energy equivalent to the mass-energy of the projectile True, and it's easy enough to see by programming the relativistic paramater gamma, which is the relevant one, into a spreadsheet. gamma = 1/(1-beta^2)^0.5,...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Or is the singular of teaspoonsful teaspoonful? Hard to remember. Probably depends on whether the second s is for singular possessive or plural. Or something....
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    There are still plotholders who put in on in teaspoonsful, whereas I dump it on by the barrowload, if I can. I knew that a teaspoonsful is 5 cc, but had to look up barrowload. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/volume-wheelbarrow-81476.html So like 60,000 to...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    If I may be forgiven for returning to the topic, the US Congressional Research Service has just published a CRISPR-Cas9 conspectus for the edification of the Representatives and Senators. (Me, I think it would have been best not to bring...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    Part of the problem is that regional judges often suffer from regional prejudices, or have sacrificed their impartiality to partisan ideology or partisanship. But sometimes not. There's been an interesting example playing itself out in Texas, where the Republican legislature...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    Part of the problem is that regional judges often suffer from regional prejudices, or have sacrificed their impartiality to partisan ideology or partisanship. But sometimes not. There's been an interesting example playing itself out in Texas, where the Republican legislature...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    Hard to avoid wondering if there's going to be an excess mortality event. The Senate might want to appoint a few designated survivors to be out of town tomorrow. Not that anything's likely to happen, of course....
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    Hard to avoid wondering if there's going to be an excess mortality event. The Senate might want to appoint a few designated survivors to be out of town tomorrow. Not that anything's likely to happen, of course....
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Apparently something called a "hydroxyl radical" can affect the amount of methane in the air And how! OH is a major player in atmospheric chemistry. (Something I learned on my way to not getting a PhD in planetary astronomy.) http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/people/faculty/djj/book/bookchap11.html...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Going way back to #31, The result is that AI programs will have emergent behaviours that are beyond our ability to analyse. Yeah. It seems to be happening already: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604087/the-dark-secret-at-the-heart-of-ai/ No one really knows how the most advanced algorithms do...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Second, with a few simple exceptions, genetics is a very, very complex subject. There are few quick and easy fixes, and they rarely work as well as more complex solutions. Most important problems involve multiple physiological systems and thus, multiple...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    we all know that all GM is EEEVILL, don't we? For what values of "we all" does that hold? I.e.,how much beyond Europe and the US? Is it much found in, for example, China and India?...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    That's perturbation theory. It works surprisingly well in many cases and, unsurprisingly, not so well in others. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perturbation_theory...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    If (as it seems likely) the multiple level gene and protein productions/interactions which make a human being are complex to the point of being classified as "chaotic", then we can no more understand or trace these interactions than we can...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    That's "unregulated-because-Texas fertilizer plant goes boom; cause unknown". Nigh-certainly not directly the anhydrous ammonia. Yes, it apparently was yet another ammonium nitrate explosion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Fertilizer_Company_explosion Note that it happened in West, Texas which neither is nor is in West Texas. Commas...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    As in, how does one do this cheaply? Well, that`s obvious - you grow your kids in the wombs of highly modified mares. I think Frederik Pohl had it as cows, but yes, that might be a possibility. Use what...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    "All reproduction is done ex utero" In 2117? NO chance! We aren't even close to having a clue of how to start. Er, we are talking about a hundred years in the future, right? Leaving aside the "all", is talking...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Well, UStatian isn't generally understood, and American includes Canada, Mexico, and points south. So USian seems reasonable to me, a Californian Yes, folks south of the Rio Grande/Bravo can get a bit annoyed about USAians using "American" and tend to...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Then there is the medical side of things - with a proper understanding of neurology and development - which seems like a very likely consequence of the biotech revolution within the next century - it is going to be possible...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    "What Church do you attend?" disappeared before I hit adulthood over thirty years ago - but still appears (from my seat, at least) to be a necessary feature of "respectable" US social existence. Er, after some 50 + years of...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Remember, education is the deadly enemy of any "revealed" religion, same as education is the enemy of women's slavery ( And, obviously the two are connected ). I note the enthusiasm for school voucher programs in the US among people...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    because flying west means flying straight into the teeth a jet stream that varies between 60 and 150mph; coming back in the opposite direction, the airliner is surfing the same jet stream in the opposite direction. Past #300, so, Back...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Those humans still working on the factory floor will need to know how to program computer languages and perform college level statistical analysis for quality control. In the Year of Grace 2117, I don't think the few (if any)...
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