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Comment: Re:Prepare Now (Score 1) 142

by 1369IC (#47388615) Attached to: Autonomous Trucking
I keep bringing this up to my "you can get a job if you want one" friends and their eyes glaze over. It's inevitable, and at the same time unthinkable. Even my more liberal friends respond with the more of the same of what they think we should be doing now. The only person who seems to understand is a brother of mine who believes the "elites are going to depopulate the world" theory. I think guaranteed income is a start, and cutting the hours in a work week is a good step. But in this climate (in the U.S.) that's a laughable pipe dream. I think we should go to a freemium concept. You get a 3D printed house and a certain amount of food grown by agricultural robots on federal land. And maybe basic TV and ubiquitous wifi. Anything above that and you have to get a job and pay for it. There are a certain number of people who will just spend their time lying about doing nothing, but I think the majority of people will want something enough to get a job. Also, people who don't have to slave away at something crappy will have the freedom to try something creative. I think a world full of boutique shops -- like etsy but on carts or store fronts -- would spring up.

Comment: Re:How many don't use the chrome part? (Score 2) 321

by 1369IC (#45814893) Attached to: Chromebooks Have a Lucrative Year; Should WinTel Be Worried?
I bought one of the 11.6" Samsungs last Christmas. It's the machine I take to work/on travel, etc. I also use it like my wife does her iPad -- downstairs in front of the TV, up in the bedroom before bed, etc. For me, it's small, decent to type on and has no fans. I had an iPad at work and a hand-me-down Kindle Fire, but tablets are useless without a keyboard, and then you've essentially got a chromebook. I have a desktop running Slackware 14.1, and until a few weeks ago a big ol' Dell Precision laptop running Crunchbang. I could put something else on the chromebook, but why? I'm all-in on the google services. At $250 it was a convenience I could afford.

Comment: Re:This isn't news; this is Fed end of year (Score 1) 286

by 1369IC (#45020743) Attached to: Pentagon Spent $5 Billion For Weapons On Day Before Shutdown
This is even more true this year, when the departments were trying to save every dollar to cut the summer furlough as short as possible. If you're in the war business, you want to save some until the end of the year in case you need to, I don't know, bomb Syria just before year's end. Full disclosure: I work for one of the commands in this business.

Comment: Re:No real details about these... (Score 3, Interesting) 74

by 1369IC (#43301271) Attached to: Building Better Body Armor With Nanofoams
These things tend to make their way into industry, but it'll take a while. ARO funding university work is usually a first step in the process, but at the end, if it works out, it gets transitioned to industry in one form or fashion. For example, flexible display research started out with Army funding and there was a consortium with universities and industry. Here's a story. You can see they started working on it in '04, the article is from '08 and they're not at Best Buy just yet. Full disclosure: The Army Research Office is part of the Army Research Lab, which is part of the command I work in, the Research, Development and Engineering Command. We taxpayers fund a lot of research.

Comment: Re:I say cut the F-35 (Score 1) 484

by 1369IC (#42990329) Attached to: There Is Plenty To Cut At the Pentagon
I know it might seem trifling, but we are still engaged in active combat operations halfway around the world. If we still had a draft I think you'd be acutely aware of that.
And if you look into technology that transitions from Defense into the civilian economy, you'll find quite a bit. Right now we have defense employees working on quantum teleportation, neural computing chips, all kinds of power and energy technologies and so on. Companies come in, or start up, and do good business making products and services off things the government paid for. ENIAC was an Army program to figure out artillery azimuths. GPS, the internet, etc. It still goes on all the time.

Comment: Re:I say cut the F-35 (Score 1) 484

by 1369IC (#42990111) Attached to: There Is Plenty To Cut At the Pentagon
" Though, even SS isn't so bad, since, in theory, it is already paid for."
Your largess is stunning.
On another note, social security becomes a de facto retirement plan because the economy needs people to spend pretty much all their damn money to fuel the ever-upward corporate spiral. Then government raids the social security pot to pay for the other side of the ever-upward spiral. The problem is we can't settle for a sustainable reality. If you owned a company employing 10, 20 or 30 thousand people turning $500 million in profits with a solid outlook for that to continue -- but not grow -- for the next 50 years, Wall Street would ignore you. It's all about potential for growth, not actual performance. Then they tie executive pay to stock performance and boom! Stupidity is mandatory.

Comment: Re:No problem with this (Score 2) 129

by 1369IC (#41345929) Attached to: Towards a 50% Efficient Solar Cell
Just because it's DARPA doesn't mean government employees don't do the work. I work at the Army's RD&E command, and we have people who do research for DARPA or run their projects. I'm not at work, so I can't be sure, but we have a CRADA (cooperative R&D agreement) with UDel, so I'm guessing we're involved in this. And our Communication-Electronics center does work in solar, as does our research lab. So don't bet that no government folks are working on this or responsible for it. It's not unusual for our CRADA partners to publish their results and neglect to mention the contributions of the Army folks involved. Again, not sure in this case, but I really wish I had a magic HTML stamp so I could mark every story done by a university or industry touting something they've done that relies on something that started with the Army.

Comment: Re:Couldn't agree more (Score 4, Interesting) 225

by 1369IC (#38535604) Attached to: What's Wrong With the US Defense R&D Budget?

As I've noted elsewhere, it's complicated, much more complicated than you're representing it here. Nobody else researches specific areas that the military has to. Elsewhere I used the under-body explosion example, but there are many others. Let's say, RPGs. They hit a vehicle in a very specific way. Who is going to research materials and construction methods to best defend occupants against RPG strikes? Who is going to have a person on staff with a doctorate who is a, if not the, world expert on uniforms and how they interact with the human body, equipment, vehicles, etc.? Only the Army (with benefit to the other services, of course).

I'm not saying earmarks don't happen. It's not my area (I do public affairs for the Army RD&E command, not budget), so I couldn't say without doing some research that I'm not going to do on a Thursday night while on vacation. However, we have several systems set up to respond to requests from the field, requests from doctrine writers (who write how the Army should work, hence what capabilities it will need), and others. We even take troop designs and get them manufactured. We now have a shop in Afghanistan where soldiers can pull up and get things made for a specific purpose. And we have guys researching things that might be needed 10 or 20 years from now.

Work continues in this area. -- DEC's SPR-Answering-Automaton