dsrtao

dsrtao

  • Commented on Empire Games
    All the trainophiles I know are comfortable with the term bogies instead of trucks. Discussion of problems on Boston's MBTA usually use the term bogies....
  • Commented on Evolver
    Over 50 MY, there's nothing preventing another industrial tool species from developing. It's a really long time: Humans/chimpanzees/bonobos have a common ancestor about 10MYA, so the Earth could reasonably have 2-6 complete cycles in that time. Think of the arms...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    (Not to mention how to construct a continuously operating gigawatt laser array in space) Not to mention the political implications of having built a continuous gigawatt laser array in space....
  • Commented on We'll all go together when we go
    Lack of oxygen? Pshaw. Let's try too much oxygen. We'll start with attempts to repopulate fishing areas by dumping iron sulfate in the ocean to induce phytoplankton blooms. At the same time, posit a bacterial engineering effort on the part...
  • Commented on A game of consequences
    Quick estimate: contact lens mass: 15mg cost to orbit on mature Falcon 9 as estimated by Musk in 2004: $1100/Kg So the cost of getting materials up to orbit is roughly 67 cents per contact lens. Retail prices for contact...
  • Commented on A game of consequences
    I wonder what social signals are going to develop. Here, of course, many signals are about access to luxuries: when the workers are out in the fields all day, pale skin means you don't work out there. When the workers...
  • Commented on A game of consequences
    If you take Dunbar's Number as, say, 128, and split it in half so that each node sees 64 peers that they are representing and 64 peers in the next level that they are working with, you can organize your...
  • Commented on A game of consequences
    John Barnes wrote a pretty good novel about this process, "Orbital Resonance". It takes place in an asteroid outfitted with engines to make the Earth-Mars loop, and is mostly about the ways that the adults try not to visit their...
  • Commented on Cytological Utopia and the rapture of the eukaryotes
    "Incidentally, someone who knows more about AI than I do can chime in about whether all these problems show up in the field of machine learning as well." Yes, but in reverse: whenever we figure out how to get a...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    [This entry is ineligible to win the prize; it's just for my own amusement.] NAME: Cuppa Builder's CLASSIFICATION: anti-fungal defence system DEPLOYMENT: Following the events of CASE NIGHTMARE RED, new cases of meningitis have been contracted at an alarming rate....
  • Commented on Three Unexpectedly Good Things VR Will Probably Cause
    Regarding physical fitness and the raft paddling... we've done this already. The prime selling point of the Nintendo Wii was that the motion-tracking controllers enabled games that required more activity than couch-puddling. So we bought that, and the Wii Sports...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    BRexit is a non-issue in the USA. To a first approximation, nobody knows and nobody cares, because all our attention is used up until January. On a second look, nobody cares because there are no obvious consequences to the USA...
  • Commented on Silence this week ...
    It seems consistent to suggest that the EoS is a large-scale predator occupying a niche like a python or alligator: long periods of stealth followed by a quick, devastating attack; uninterested in anything not worth the effort. Perhaps PHANGs look...
  • Commented on The paranoid style in 2016
    All that needs to happen is that Trump Junior or Juniorette changes their official domicile to New Hampshire. Buy an apartment, boom. (Why NH? No state income tax, shuttle flights from NYC. Other states fitting those criteria also plausible.)...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    Priority requirements for a primary military weapon, roughly: - it must be deadly to the enemy at expected fighting ranges - it must not be so heavy, including ammo, that it gets dropped - it must be reliable enough to...
  • Commented on How I learned to stop worrying and love the concept of punitive slating....
    You didn't give Zero World enough time (and of course, that's the author's fault: if you can't grab them on the first page, you may not catch them again) to get into the interesting parts, which start in chapter 5....
  • Commented on How I learned to stop worrying and love the concept of punitive slating....
    I bounced off of Jason Hough's first book and avoided the subsequent trilogy volumes, but I quite like his new Zero World, which is an espionage thriller in solar space before it gets nicely weird. Several times it looked like...
  • Commented on How I learned to stop worrying and love the concept of punitive slating....
    rhialto, you can't nominate "No Award". You can only vote for it. Under the current rules, a slate wields disproportionate influence over the nomination process, but not over voting. The threads over at Making Light in which they came up...
  • Commented on From the hemline index to the vampire/zombie ratio: SF/F by the numbers
    Done reasonably well in Richard Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs books. If you have a mind-backup device constantly running, then killing the body the normal way doesn't kill the person. You need to smash the device, too. If that happens to be,...
  • Commented on The Evil Business Plan of Evil (and misery for all)
    Let's do a physical product business model. Start out with an ordinary non-essential item, the sort of thing that people might have with them every day. Stratify it: the cheap model, the functional model, the professional model, the status model,...
  • Commented on The Evil Business Plan of Evil (and misery for all)
    You forgot the MAFIAA intervention: all this waste doesn't recycle itself! Pass an environmentally friendly law requiring that retailers collect a recycling fee for all products. Simple things like oranges carry a low fee - a chunk for the plastic...
  • Commented on Obligatory author shilling.
    There appear to be tentacles on the cover. Do any cephalopod-like creatures appear in the book, or is that just a whim of the illustrator?...
  • Commented on Every [ART] A Painting
    OK, I'm going to step up to the plate. Today's subject matter is the opening of Aristoi, by Walter Jon Williams. I'll comment interlinearly and in italics. This will be long. --- At Graduation, every five or seven or ten...
  • Commented on Let's Talk About Running A Successful Kickstarter Campaign
    _The Way Into Chaos_ was the most fun I've had in epic fantasy since Matthew Woodring Stover's Caine novels. I especially like the way you repeatedly get the characters into situations where there is a standard trope for how to...
  • Commented on In which I am crabby about viral archery videos.
    Current 3D printing is not known for high strength. What are you (ahem) aiming for? Archery as a war weapon? A bow is much quieter than a suppressed firearm, but the rate of fire is relatively low and energy transferred...
  • Commented on In which I am crabby about viral archery videos.
    They'd probably do better if they had the time to turn truck leaf springs into crossbows: http://crossbow.wikia.com/wiki/Stiffening_the_middle_of_a_leaf-spring_bow...
  • Commented on In which I am crabby about viral archery videos.
    Let's look for an apt analogy... many people here know something about computers. Suppose you see a video about a guy who says "Nobody knows anything about how programming should be done! I've rediscovered the secrets of the ancients and...
  • Commented on Ask the Author
    Being a USAn, I have no more right to comment on these matters than anyone else, but here it is anyway: all of these things are part and parcel of the same syndrome. The USA is geographically big and demographically...
  • Commented on Service announcement: upcoming outage(s)
    SSL taking up 10% of your CPU is a vastly outdated canard. http://serverfault.com/questions/570387/https-overhead-compared-to-http (Answer from Google engineer: less than 1% on modern machines. A few more packets -- and more importantly, round trips -- at the beginning of the connection.)...
  • Commented on Some news about the Hugo voters packet
    I assume the SF press will be picking up this story in about five, four, three... Does Orbit care about the press at all?...
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