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Comment Good move Nokia (Score 3, Interesting) 53 53

The maps business is useless now. Even mighty Apple could not dislodge the king of the hill of the map Google maps. So it was facing an 8.1 billion write off. Somehow managed to dress it up to be sold to the auto giants for 3.2 billion.

The auto giants are in their typical auto giant mentality. "Ha, ha, haa, this chump has plunked down 25, 35 or 45 K to buy our car right? Now we can squeeze him dry. Want a nicely integrated map/system with the car audio and built in screen? That is special-nav package 3200$ for you. And we will stick you up for 200$ a year for map upgrades".

Google on the other hand gives me traffic update that is so granular and so up to date it boggles ones mind how they do it. Google paints the highways yellow, green or red, each section between exits gets independent updates. Last week, there was an accident in a non freeway some three lights ahead of us. The google map clearly showed the backup exactly up to the point, told us there is an accident ahead. It seems to be using some real time data about the number of cell phones passing in and out cell towers to determine the backup. Against this, goes our European wonders who bought Chrysler for 36 billion dollars and then sold it to Fiat for 6 billion dollars!

Google/Android is working towards an integrated auto-infotainment system standard. Apple is muscling in. Once the standards are published by SAE it is curtains for the auto industry selling GPS system at 2000% markup.

Comment Soon. Very soon. (Score 3, Insightful) 413 413

A plan for an epic bridge connecting Russia's easternmost border with Alaska's westernmost border could soon be a reality,

When asked to explain what is meant by, "soon", the Sijutech spokesman clarified, soon, for very large values of soon.

Comment This is logical next step (Score 5, Informative) 239 239

People in USA and Europe with excellent grid connections are not aware of it. But in places like India with unreliable grid, people have been using backup electricity storage for quite some time. Typically truck lead-acid batteries are used to store enough energy to power a couple of ceiling fans, a few lamps and the TV, never forget the TV, for a few hours. They put up with power outages using these contraptions.

They use inverters to convert the DC to some square wave and approximate it to A/C using electronic gimmicks. Not a pure sine wave A/C, but close enough to run fans and the lamps. Energy conversion efficiency is not bad, the inverters do hot heat up too much. But they play havoc with the motors. So the Japanese A/C makers have been selling ruggadized air conditioners that can run on the inverter electricity.

The logical next step is to create A/C to run purely on DC. Probably it would use AC to DC converters to use grid electricity. Again this DC would be poor in quality compared to battery DC. So this Aircon also would need to be ruggadized.

All these calculations about when residential solar will become viable compared to coal or natural gas are completely different between G8 and rest of the world. Places like India will pay well over the current grid price for steady electricity supply. Not all of them. But the affluent population of India is about the size of Japan, some 120 million people. They have been making do with truck-battery-inverter contraptions, small gasoline generator sets etc. They would probably form the wave of early adopters who pay for the early fixed costs of solar panel factories.

Comment Caps Lock used to power a huge lever. (Score 4, Informative) 687 687

The Capslock key inherited the position occupied by the Shift-Lock key. Some keyboards still mark it as shift-lock. In the old mechanical typewriters, the shift lock actually moved the entire framework holding the rack of all the levers that held the letters. It required considerable force to push.

Comment Problem will go away soon (Score 1) 318 318

Once these idiotic teens who post embarrassing things on the net reach the age and station where they are the hiring managers they would be more forgiving of the applicants with embarrassing on line history.

It is only in the interregnum it is an issue.

Comment Re:Wonder what else is buried in the recording (Score 1) 57 57

CE is NOT Christian Era, it is Common Era. BCE is Before Common Era.

Of course it did not make sense to be proud of adding AD to the text, if you are seriously sending a message to be read by the aliens, who could not exist if Bible is literally true, then whats the logic? But it makes sense if you are charlatan trying to burnish your credentials in front of people who are not thinking logically.

Comment Wonder what else is buried in the recording (Score 1) 57 57

William Safire was a political hack in Nixon administration, working as his speech writer. Later he wrote a NYT column in word origins and etymology. In one of those columns he was crowing about how he slipped a reference to God past the watchful eyes of the secular materialistic scientists of NASA. He basically got the year 1970 AD mentioned in the text. He was all agog that these NASA scientists did not realize AD stood for Anna Domini, the Year of the Lord, and he was proud of his little contribution in carrying the name of his God to the aliens who might encounter this spacecraft.

Wondering how much more these political hacks have slipped into the message and the recordings.

Submission + - SPAM: Dr APJ Kalam passes away 1 1

140Mandak262Jamuna writes: Dr Abdul Kalam, former President of India, passed away due to sudden heart failure while delivering a speech in a college on 27th July 2015.

He was one of the geeks who made it to the top. Was instrumental in establishing India's space research agency in the early 60s. He was a FORTRAN guy. He interviewed me in the campus interview and asked me the difference between the COMMON statement and the EQUIVALENCE statement. I am sure I answered it wrong, but he hired me anyway.

He headed five missile programs for India and then became the Chief Coordinator of the nuclear weapons program. He served as the scientific adviser to the Defense Minister and then to the Prime Minister. Normal trajectory for a career scientist bureaucrat up to this point.

Then he was tapped to be the Presidential candidate for the Hindu Nationalistic Party BJP. Kalam was an apolitical vegetarian Muslim and could not be countered by the usual political strategies by the other parties. He won the election handsomely and went on to win the hearts of the people of India. Unlike any previous President, he inspired the people with visionary speeches.

He lived a very simple life. India was stunned to see him walk out of the Presidential mansion with just a couple of suitcases at the end of his term. (Very rarely Indian politicians leave offices with so few possessions. There were quite a few scandals of politicians stripping their official residences of air conditioners and such when they leave office.)

After leaving office he collected a large number of honorary degrees and awards, wrote books, worked on low cost tablets and heart stents. Sadly he died of a heart attack.

Link to Original Source

Comment Is it like Romney's 2$ gasoline? (Score 5, Interesting) 571 571

Romney in 2012 made dramatic and what he thought would create shock value by promising 2$ a gallon gasoline. Obama actually saw 2$ gasoline for a brief period! Free market has a way of doing things no one predicted.

The current trend is 500 million new solar panels without any special action by any legislator/executive. Simple market forces and trend lines. Residential solar is becoming competitive with subsidies and net metering. Utility scale solar is on track to become competitive with natural gas in a few years. It is already competitive with coal for fresh installations. No new coal plant has come on line this year and last. The pipeline is dry too. Number of coal plants have fallen from 633 to 518 in the last decade. Coal has lost 20 GW of capacity in that time, and is on track to lose another 40 GW. Natural gas providing base load and solar meeting the peak load is going to become the norm in the next 10 years. No new breakthrough in energy storage, no battery wall made by Elon Musk, no widespread investment by home owners needed. Simple existing technologies, free market forces, interest rates and world flush with 2 trillion in capital not knowing where to invest for good returns.

So half billion new solar panels might happen no matter who wins, Hilary or Jeb! or Walker or Trump or Bernie. We might even look back and see Hilary's half a billion solar panels the same way we look at Romney's 2$ gasoline.

Comment Re:Export of contacts is their prodict (Score 2) 42 42

... But isn't that the whole point of LinkedIn? To give recruiters your contact info so they can spam you?

/quote> The point of LinkedIn is to give them your contact info so that Linked can spam all your friends, family, acquaintances, their dogs and cats. If random third party affiliates, channel partners and other assorted anonymous entities that are always pitching "new and exciting" (exciting to them) products muscle in on to their game, Linked in would be upset. No?

Comment Coming up with a joke is hard (Score 4, Interesting) 141 141

Creating a joke is truly a very creative innovative activity and jokes deserve full measure of copyright protection. Anecdotes are not data, but still: I have so far created less than 20 jokes in total in my life (if you don't count joining the threads like "Nate Silver is so geeky, when his code throws an exception, he catches it before the debugger").

Having said that, most people would like their jokes to be told again, if possible with attribution. So unless the creator has gone through the process of copyrighting the joke and enforcing it, it seems to be an overkill to enforce it suo motu.

Comment It would start like this... (Score 0) 132 132

We all know how this will end. It starts with noble intentions, and fancy presentations with large numbers like "500 million first world citizens" blah blah blah.

Then Germany and UK will claim Greece and Spain are free loading on the great programming created by their virtuous tax payers and demand that they too pay the wireless receiver license fees. Greek population will be limited to half an hour of TV per day and people will line up with their thumb drives in front of TV stations to download their daily quota of programs. Old pensioners without the stamina to stand at all those lines will break down and bawl like babies in front of the world TV cameras. CEOs of apparel hawking companies in USA will ship emergency supplies of programs....

Wonder why they insist on creating a fiscal/mercantile union without creating a political union. They envy the USA with its large market, but they don't seem to take the lessons of urban population putting up with the antics of Ted Cruz or the rural folks putting up with SCOTUS ruling on same sex marriages.

Yeah, we have a large unbroken market. And we paid for it in blood at places like Chancellorsville, the sunken road, the stone bridge, the corn field, multiple times at Manassas, Shiloh, Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg...

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears