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Comment They should also try Jedi helmet technology (Score 1) 536

Basically the idea is, people are driving fast because the windshield is transparent and allows them to see the road, giving them a false sense of security. This Jedi helmet technology was first demonstrated by the famous scientist Dr Obi Wan Kenobi and his graduate student Luke Skywalker back in the 1970s. Once your eyes are covered and stop overloading the brain with useless visual information, the brain will start becoming more sensitive to extra sensory perception from the Force. Further replacing glass windshields with steel will also improve the crash worthiness and improve the strength.

So pretty soon road safety engineers will be advocating for opaque windshields, probably made of steel.

Comment Old technology. (Score 2) 49

Till about the 1990s, all over Indian even in very small towns there were "Typewriting and Shorthand Institutes" . In those institutes pupils have been typing since 1900s. .

They started morphing into programmer mills churning out dBase III, COBOL, coders and now they teach everything from Java to Ansys Fluid Mechanics R17.1 (Register for two courses and AutoCAD is free!)

Comment I think the influence is mild (Score 3, Interesting) 110

I have always enjoyed sleeping in late and had trouble staying awake in the 8am classes. But finished college and had trouble showing up for work at 8 am. When the daughter came along, I had to get up early so that I could return early and take care of her. That sort of set the habit and now I am up at 5am weekdays even when I stay up watch the election debate till 11:30. And can't stay in bed after 7 on weekends.

I don't think I got it through DNA. Mainly circumstances and habit. If at all there was influence from DNA it is quite mild.

Comment No way it is getting certified in 10 years (Score 1) 150

If everything has already been developed, tested, proved cost effective and if they are ready to deploy it today and apply for FAA certificate, it would take 10 years before they get it. Plain documentation of what the system is, and FAA failure mode review and the maintenance and certification requirements, additional independent testing by FAA... no way they can get a hydrogen fuel cell into a passenger plane in less than 10 years.

Comment Is it calculus? Or extrapolation? (Score 1) 153

These orbits are all elliptic curves, second order curves basically. With enough observations one could construct some kind of regression, extrapolation based predictions. So what the clay tablets contain could be simple prediction tables. Can one tell the difference between extrapolation or regression prediction and trapezoidal quadrature?

Comment Was sleeping, in Bangalore. (Score 1) 320

Woke up in the morning, and walked to the front door. Milkman dispensed half a liter of fresh milk from a can, groggily picked up The Indian Express, (Bangalore edition) and it was front page news with the iconic contrail picture. I was an aerospace engg grad, working for a Dept of Defense in unmanned aircraft, and was following space news well, so it was a big shock to me. Indian English newspapers do a pretty good job of covering the world and was quite to up to date. Sadly the newspapers in America proved to be a big disappointment. Nothing compared to the Science, Engg, Technology section of The Hindu (Madras edition). Even now I find Indian newspapers cover the world and America better than American papers.

Comment Electric delivery trucks have a great future (Score 3, Insightful) 223

There are a whole range of vehicles that can switch to electric if the price is not an issue. These are not range limited vehicles.

Most school buses, mail trucks, parcel delivery trucks, can go electric. Most of them stay close to their base station and can be charged over night. Further they are suitable for "swap-the-battery and continue" mode of operations. Deliver fleets could build battery swap stations for their trucks to swap batteries when needed.

Currently these options are not being pursued because the price is too high for the cost savings. As gas prices fall they become even more unviable. But these are the first ones that will be peeled off when the battery price break through comes along.

Comment OK for chopper but for fixed wing airplane? (Score 1) 26

1 cm thick coating of ice happens only on ground for aircraft. While flying they can not tolerate 1 cm change in the air foil shape. Especially choppers with thinner rotor cross sections. But if the parked aircraft picks up that much of an ice coating, heating the contact layer will melt that layer and debond the ice from the wings. As the chopper spins up the rotor, the airflow and other flexings will throw the ice off. Very good for choppers.

For fixed wing aircraft they can't take off hoping airflow will shake the ice off. Most likely they might still use high pressure water hose to shake the ice loose once it has been debonded from the wings. But plain water would freeze again. So it is back to glycol? May be heating the layer of ice right next to the wing will reduce the amount of antifreeze needed to de ice the wings.

Comment Wasted ooportunity! (Score 2) 187

When the atomic clocks in GPS satellites have a discrepancy, you don't report a discrepancy. You report you have done some experiments that suggest faster than light travel across some 30 km apart in the Swiss Alps. By the time they track it down and attributed to some discrepancy in some atomic clock, you got your headlines, the 15 minutes of fame.

Comment Stop giving Goldmann Sachs ideasRe:By their logic (Score 2) 171

By their own logic I should have just as easy of a time to be able to set up my own cell towers and siphon in all the location data that comes into it, and the government can't say boo about it

Surely you jest. Even if you were serious, you probably don't have the resources to pull it off nor you may have any ideas of how to make money off this. But all it takes is someone to plant this idea in the head of some pointy haired boss in Goldman Sachs or JPMC. There are sitting on two trillion dollars of excess capital and don't know what to do with it. They might decide to do it. Atleast with the government you might get a chance to vote against it or legislate against it. But once Goldman does it, that is the end. There is nothing anyone, including Goldman can do about it.

So stop giving them ideas.

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