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Comment: Re:Oh for fucks sake (Score 1) 615 615

Except you aren't describing Socialism. Socialism is about the collectivization of the economy, functionally amounting to nationalizing virtually every sector. It's a welfare state you're talking about, and this is a distinction that we really need to make a lot more clear. A welfare state is perfectly compatible with a capitalist economy and free enterprise, socialism is an alternative to this. As much as the word welfare has itself become something of an epithet, the whole thing is still a hell of a lot more palatable to most people than true socialism.

Comment: Re:Markets, not people (Score 1) 615 615

Consider the degree to which railroads have moved to remote control engines in major yards. The harbour pilot like truck driver doesn't even really need a cab, the sort of driving s/he's needed for is if anything easier done from outside the vehicle, especially since the "driving" can quite easily be much more instructing the computer on where to put the truck than physically handling the controls.

Comment: Re:Goodbye (Score 1) 668 668

"What? That is a lie." No. It isn't. There's some subtleties to it, but the essence of stop loss is in fact extending enlistment terms unilaterally. Legally speaking it's a matter of involuntarily converting time in the ready reserve to active duty. No, it isn't illegal or technically a change to the contract, but for essentially all intents and purposes it's an extension of the enlistment.

Comment: Re:I use Windows at home, Linux at work (Score 1) 182 182

Meh. Assuming you AREN'T using the command line to install it's a mostly fair comment. Yes, the various GUIs for package managers WORK, but I have never seen one I would call polished. Ultimately UI feel matter a lot to non technical users and doesn't have a whole lot to do with how well, or not, the system may work underneath the graphics.

Comment: Re:Interesting fact (Score 3, Interesting) 85 85

Can anyone confirm or deny if the supply of them is limited? I've heard a couple times that there's no real possibility of Orbital Sciences getting more. How many Antares launches can we actually get? As much as Orbital Sciences has done some impressive things I have some real doubts about the usefulness of this system.

Comment: Re:Why mock cargo? (Score 2) 85 85

Basically because they wouldn't allow the ship anywhere near the space station as is, and the Antares/Cygnus stack just isn't useful for much other than station resupply. If there's anything like the confidence that there was in SpaceX they might be allowed to dock on the next launch, and almost certainly on the third. Whether they deserve that confidence could be argued both ways, but I tend to think they'll get it.

Comment: Re:Streetcars (Score 1) 352 352

For that matter, automating main line railways has some real potential, and doing it without requiring the equivalent of total grade separation and full in cab signalling makes it a lot more practical for the kinds of place, like the northeast corridor, that it could do the most good in).

Comment: Streetcars (Score 1) 352 352

Streetcars. In all seriousness, the technology that we are very close to being able to realistically automate is rail in less than fully separated environments. The nature of operating on rails eliminates the sort of unpredictable ad-hoc problem solving that is going to be a problem for truly autonomous vehicles, and while the application is fairly specialized it is significant enough that there could be real money on it. Realistically the two use cases boil down to being able to get all the sort of operational cost benefits that go with light metro like systems (think Vancouver, or what's being built in Honolulu) that are automated and as such very frequent but have the kind of capacity more associated with light rail without the cost of full grade separation, and being able to automate more typical transit routes with less than full grade seperated routes (i.e. streetcar systems like in Seattle or Portland suddenly have a big advantage over buses beyond capacity and aesthetics - they can be driverless, a change that eliminates upwards of 60% of operating cost). For that matter trolleybuses might even be close enough to fixed guideway to solve a lot of the sort of problems that full automated cars would encounter, though this is more complicated and possibly introduces some more liability (there are legal advantages to being a train rather than a motor vehicle in most jurisdictions).

Comment: Re:Not just a giant iPhone (Score 1) 433 433

I quite like this evaluation actually. The smaller devices may well end up more common, and potentially more useful, but remember when the iPad launched? As is the thing was seen by a lot of people as an oversized iPad. For creating the market bigger was probably the sensible way to go, and it's not as if the large size has proven to have a small market.

Comment: Re:Like 3D movies (Score 1) 94 94

Honestly this is more perceptive than you might think. IMO full VR doesn't make much sense for games, but consider how much real world difference there is between a head tracking system combined traditional 3D glasses, and maybe a second or third screen. Simpler to implement, more flexible in terms of what the system can do and the only real loss is the retention of peripheral vision and the head tracking not having 1:1 ratio of head to camera movement (and lets face it, in a gaming environment 1:1 is going to cause more problems than it solves).

Unix: Some say the learning curve is steep, but you only have to climb it once. -- Karl Lehenbauer

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