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White House Must Answer Petition To 'Build Death Star' 384

EdIII writes "The White House petition to secure funding for building the Death Star has garnered over 25,000 signatures, which means the White House must officially respond. I can't wait to see it. My question to Slashdot readers: what modifications would you add to the proposed Death Star? Obviously, as one journalist put it, 'guardrails around any of the facility's seemingly endless number of bridges, spans, shafts and pits.' What other changes would you ask your representatives to make?"
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White House Must Answer Petition To 'Build Death Star'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:00PM (#42295633)

    Clearly, we should make sure there is adequate shielding around all thermal exhaust ports. They may only be 1.5m wide, but you never know when some womp-rat bulls-eyeing farm kid in a snub fighter will show up.

  • This (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:01PM (#42295657)

    is why we have the Electoral College.

  • Sad; (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:02PM (#42295699)

    It just helps the White House trivialize other petitions. We are fast becoming a nation of idiots, who don't value our rights. There are so many good petitions and then we have this. Should it even be on Slashdot? It should get a curt, "No Comment" from the White House. 25,000 idiots.

  • by hectorh ( 113198 ) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:10PM (#42295843) Homepage

    For the same reason smoke stacks and ventilation ducts have the least number of turns and bends: any obstruction creates back-pressure ... and back pressure is something you don't want when you are trying to dissipate excess heat during a SCRAM.

    Then again ... whoever thought they could hit a 1.5 meter target while travelling at 250+ meters / second ....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:14PM (#42295931)

    Only with the force...

  • Re:Sad; (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TFAFalcon ( 1839122 ) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:20PM (#42296053)

    Why shouldn't the people show the government what they think of them? If our government insists on treating the electorate like they were a bunch of morons, why bother asking questions that you know will just be answered by a bunch of political platitudes. At least in this case the answer might be funny.

  • Re:HALOPERIDOL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SomePgmr ( 2021234 ) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:21PM (#42296059) Homepage

    Right. People like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk. They're just dummies that haven't thought about it enough, or maybe they're just not good with numbers or technology. Why would we even consider the possibility of leaving this rock if we can't manage more than a year or so off-planet right now? Obviously you're right, it's impossible, and everyone else is wrong.

    Or just maybe petitioning for a Death Star has absolutely nothing to do with seriously considering the possibility of living somewhere other than earth, and it might be possible. If you listen to some people much smarter than you or me, possibly even in our lifetime.

    Beyond that, why so angry about people having dreams of space? Take a deep breath.

  • Re:This (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xebikr ( 591462 ) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:27PM (#42296193)
    No. It just shows that Americans are taking Obama's online petitions just as seriously as he does.
  • Re:Sad; (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:32PM (#42296313) Journal

    The white house needs no help trivializing those petitions. The entire site provides nothing but an illusion of having a voice. They were completely ignoring petitions with 75,000 signatures long before the jokes began.

  • by bartoku ( 922448 ) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:34PM (#42296335)
    Imagine if we had a true democracy where everyone had a vote on everything.

    We would not have universal healthcare, we would have universal Lamborghini Aventadors.

    Of course we would have no roads to drive them on since that funding would go towards universal ice cream.

    Good thing corporations and rich people set our policies and not Occupy Wall Street dead beats.
  • Re:HALOPERIDOL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:57PM (#42296675)

    No, the short version of nanorobotics is that nanorobot power supplies are constrained by the laws of physics, like power supplies (ever notice how many bacteria thrive by eating metal and rocks for their primary energy source? yeah, me neither. i can't even get my laptop to last all day on one battery) or communications problems (how can a nanorobot know where it is relative to what it's building? deduced reckoning? how can it talk to its controller and accomplish its task without getting drowned out by trillions of other nanorobots in the communications cross-talk?) or basic materials science (what materials can have atoms gingerly placed next to each other by robots for assembly and still hold up even under the stresses of a death star's own gravity field, to say nothing of travel) or any one of a number of obstacles. Not that these problems can't be ameliorated or worked around in a variety of contexts to achieve a variety of interesting goals eventually (e.g. arbitrary lifespans for carbon-based lifeforms such as ourselves), but "ordering a Death Star as easily as ordering a happy meal" being permanently impossible *is* something I can comfortably argue.

    Besides, "omnipresent crime prevention" is pretty dystopian when you get down to it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @08:01PM (#42296731)

    Excuse me. I don't mean to interrupt, but what were you talking about?

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Friday December 14, 2012 @08:05PM (#42296779)

    That will be the real exciting fight to see in Congress. I propose that the Congress folks duke it out in a no-rules laser sword iron death cage rumble, to decide which state can add to their license plate, "The Death Star State!"

  • by Anaerin ( 905998 ) on Friday December 14, 2012 @08:06PM (#42296783)

    Let's take these in order.

    Access shafts smaller than 2 meters

    Given that the average person is 2 meters tall (give or take), and adding the bulk of hard-vacuum capable work gear, making maintenance access shafts smaller than 2 meters would cause a lot more problems. I'd recommend, instead, putting a locking/securable cover or grate over entrances and exits of access shafts.

    No straight runs on access shafts that are for core ventilation

    I presume you're talking about the "Thermal exhaust port" here. Twists and turns in shafts like that can cause backpressure, causing problems and leading to overheating and thermal runaway (read: big explosion).

    Tractor Beam generator disables requiring multi-person authorization

    I'd say multi-person and multi-point authorization.

    Cameras on the prison levels

    Actually, there were multiple cameras on the detention level - they were the second thing shot (after the stormtroopers) when Han and co. arrived there. Hence, also, the "Weapons malfunction" call.

    Better training of security staff

    Unfortunately, they were stormtrooper clones with only a genetic imprint for education and no actual field experience.

    A 5 fold increase in garbage compactor speed and no main airlock opening until the garbage has been vented into space.

    The speed of the garbage compactor wasn't the issue, it was the ease with which the system could be disabled from a single point. The main access door was locked while the compactor was cycling, but the locks were lifted (and the door opened) when the compactor was overridden. This is an entirely sensible system to have in place - if something goes wrong with the compactor, you will need to get access to it, and having the only access door permanently sealed mid-cycle (which is where 99% of problems will occur) makes a maintenance access door like the one in the movie pointless.

    Defense turrets around the power core

    Given the rebels' ability to easily hack into and alter computer systems at will (with the cost of a only simple, easily replaceable astromech in the case of doing massive damage and causing an overload), would it really be a good idea to have computer-controlled autocannons around the power core? Then all the rebels would need to do is send in an rogue astromech, which would interface with the ship's computer and direct the "defense turrets" to open fire on the core. Oh, and given the history of accuracy of those turrets, would you really want them in a place where a miss would do the rebel's job for you?

    Decentralized power generators

    Yay! Lots of targets to hit! In lots of places, which makes it exceedingly difficult to guard and protect them all, and even with the system decentralized, you would still have the issue of a massive power surge from one generator (from, say, it's destruction) feeding back into another generator and causing a chain-reaction. And if you don't have the generators linked you still have the issue of maintenance and lack of redundancy. Oh, and that huge weapon that destroys planets requires a HUGE amount of power - chances are it's difficult (if not impossible) to co-ordinate that much power production with a group of parallel power plants, hence the huge single core.

  • by pwizard2 ( 920421 ) on Friday December 14, 2012 @08:55PM (#42297269)
    Why even have a central core at all? A distributed power system (hundreds of smaller reactors throughout the structure instead of one big reactor at the core) would completely eliminate that vulnerability and improve power uptime through sheer redundancy. An attacking force would have to destroy the Death Star piece by piece instead of blowing up the main core all at once.
  • by pwizard2 ( 920421 ) on Friday December 14, 2012 @09:33PM (#42297615)
    Something that always bothered me was the fact that they put the Emperor's Throne Room on top of a spindly little tower. IIRC that tower room used to be the command center before the emperor showed up! Sure it had a great view and lots of ambiance but such critical facilities should have been far deeper in the structure. If a pilot could hit a small exhaust port, then (if not for the shield) surely one of the Rebel capital ships could destroy that tower and get rid of the emperor AND the command center in one shot.

    Their entire line of defense was ONE shield (with no redundancy/backup) controlled from a poorly defended bunker staffed by incompetent soldiers. What could possibly go wrong?
  • by WrecklessSandwich ( 1000139 ) on Friday December 14, 2012 @10:52PM (#42298153)
    Serious petitions happen on there all the time. The administration doesn't take them seriously. The responses generally amount to "explain what we're already doing and going to continue doing".
  • by MacGyver2210 ( 1053110 ) on Friday December 14, 2012 @11:42PM (#42298437)

    I don't think logic plays a large role here. The Emperor could shoot friggin' lightning bolts from his hand, but couldn't save himself from falling down a shaft?

    Come on...consistency.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.