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Comment Re:So? (Score 1) 100

I personally like that they did this using components that are easily available to you average nerd. Barring some mysterious process that isn't evident, for me personally, the most difficult part of re-creating the project would be writing the code for the image recognition (only because it's something I've never done before.) Building the models for 3D print, solving the algorithm, and controlling the stepper motors with Arduino seems pretty straightfoward.

Comment Re:Metric Conversions? (Score 2) 123

I don't know what you mean by "a single instance" in this case. If you mean "instant", then that would be an infinitesemal unit of time during which you could cover in an infinitesemal distance in space (ds/dt). What you suggest is that if you plot position over time, you can't ever identify the slope of the tangent line at a given point, but of course you can do that with calculus using limits. There is no rate of change between a point and itself, but the instantaneous velocity at that point does represent an actual physical quantity, kinetic energy, with respect to the object's mass.

In a physical sense, you can't really look at "zero" time because of the continuous "analog" nature of the universe. You can look at smaller and smaller units of time, but you actually can't get to zero. On a subatomic scale, you end up hitting a fundamental limit of being able to know both position and momentum (mass*velocity) of a particle simultaneously. That's the kind of weirdness that gives you cats that are both dead and alive.

Comment What implications does this have for TMS therapy? (Score 1) 123

I always thought Transcranial magnetic stimulation was something of a quacky gimmick. I've been to a clinic where they offer this kind of treatment, for unrelated reasons. It makes the clinic much less credible in my opinion, but maybe there is something to it after all.

Comment Re:Mythical man month (Score 1) 729

Why worker relocation instead of work relocation? Move the work to where the people are that need jobs, rather than moving the people. The location of a workplace can be governed purely by logistics. There are no sentimental reasons for it to be in one place rather than another. The same is not true of workers.

Comment Re:What could go wrong? (Score 1) 168

I understand what you're saying, but then I wonder: is a drone really going to accomplish this any better than a "traditional" method? Whenever a new technology comes out that can be used nefariously, I have to remind myself that our entire civil society is based on an honor system. People don't commit crimes simply because most people are not inclined to do so, and because crimes are punished.

This is really about people the fear someone could commit an old-fashioned crimes with fancy new technology. I don't really think there is any more risk criminal activity. Hypothetically, if I wanted to kill you, I could fly a drone into your office and try to explode it on you. Or I could just wait until you get off work bash you in the head with a rock. Both accomplish the same result, one method has been around since there were humans.

What I see as a potential new risk, however, is the possibility that one person (rather than an organized group of people), could activate numerous drones simultaneously and coordinate some kind of mischief in a way that was hitherto impossible. One guy with one drone and bad intentions is not much worse than one guy with zero drones and bad intentions. But if that guy has fifty drones, and he's programmed them to do something naughty, that's a lot more like fifty guys with zero drones and bad intentions -- and that could be quite bad! Even so, discussions have already pointed out while this may be effective against pilot-controlled drones, it is much less so for the kind of fully-automated drones that seem, at least to me, see more menacing. It's really not even a discussion about drones at that point, though, it's (in the most general sense) about the effect of automation on human productivity.

Comment Re:Firefox will continue to lose market share. (Score 1) 239

I actually like their android browser. I think it's better than Chrome, and I especially like that you can write addons for it.

That said I use Opera on android, because it still does text reflow. Firefox used to, but it's a feature they broke. In theory, I could not be a lazy schmuck and write an addon myself for Firefox to do text reflow. Just the fact that it has the extensibility to add that "killer feature" gives me a lot of respect for the browser.

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