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Comment: Re:The good news is (Score 1) 130

As will most cars from before roughly 2000. I could easily switch my 94 Miata to carbs, though I'm not sure how I'd cope with the ignition... I do have access to mechanical timing that may be able to be hacked to put a mechanical distributor and old school coil on though....

The Case For a Federal Robotics Commission 70

Posted by Soulskill
from the heading-up-the-anti-singularity-committee dept.
New submitter hmcd31 writes: In a new paper for Brookings' series on the future of civilian robotics, University of Washington Law Professor Ryan Calo argues the need for a Federal Robotics Commission. With advancements such as driverless cars and drones taking to the roads and skies, Calo sees a need for a government agency to monitor these changes. His paper details many benefits a robotics commission could bring, from funding to assisting in law and policy issues. The policies developed by this FRC are argued to be particularly important, as their impact in creating an early infrastructure for robotics could create an environment that lets the technology grow even more.

Software Patents Are Crumbling, Thanks To the Supreme Court 118

Posted by Soulskill
from the system-and-method-for-smacking-trolls dept.
walterbyrd writes: In June, when the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a software patent, many in the tech industry hoped it would be the beginning of sweeping changes to how the patent system handles software. Just a few months later, lower courts are making it happen. Quoting Vox: "By my count there have been 10 court rulings on the patentability of software since the Supreme Court's decision — including six that were decided this month. Every single one of them has led to the patent being invalidated. This doesn't necessarily mean that all software patents are in danger — these are mostly patents that are particularly vulnerable to challenge under the new Alice precedent. But it does mean that the pendulum of patent law is now clearly swinging in an anti-patent direction. Every time a patent gets invalidated, it strengthens the bargaining position of every defendant facing a lawsuit from a patent troll." Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports on alleged corruption in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others? 444

Posted by timothy
from the situations-vary dept.
Lucas123 writes Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said his company's Gigafactory battery plant, the world's largest, will be "self contained" and run on solar, wind and geothermal energy. The obvious problem with renewable sources is that they're intermittent at any given location, but on a larger scale they're quite predictable and reliable, according to Tom Lombardo, a professor of engineering and technology. Lombardo points out that Tesla isn't necessarily going off-grid, but using a strategy of "net metering" where the factory will produce more renewable energy than it needs, and receive credits in return from its utility when renewables aren't available. So why can't other manufacturing facilities do the same? Is what Tesla is doing not necessarily transferable to other industries? Sam Jaffe, principal research analyst with Navigant Research, believes Tesla's choice of locations — Reno — and its product is optimal for using renewable and not something that can be reproduced by every industry.

Comment: Re:Can someone explain to me (Score 1) 123

by CaptSlaq (#47880931) Attached to: SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

OK, I'll state my position on the species, since you asked, albeit not very politely.

Currently, we know of exactly one place that houses sentient life. That's the dirtball we're all on right now. While the odds are there's another dirtball similar to this one that has some sort of sentient life, we haven't found it yet (weather we want to or not is a question that is outside this context). It's not like we haven't been trying either.

With this in mind, I would consider it a travesty if we got wiped out by a handful of idiots with a gene sequencer, a handful of idiots with a centrifuge, or a cosmic event like a gigantic rock smacking our beloved dirtball. We're smarter than that. I don't know that we're the end-all be-all of knowledge with certainty, but we're the only ones we know of for now. Even though we are evolving and won't the be same thing in $BIGNUM years (perhaps not even recognizable to a member of the species today), I still think that we, as a species, have risen to the point to where we can ensure that something more than a fossil record is left, if we do the work. I believe we have the intelligence, we just need to keep grinding away until we get the full body (or at least a large enough body) of knowledge to get it done. Some people state that we already have this, we just need an investment.

As for my 'concern about the species': Being a member of it, I have a vested interest in it. I would think this would be a universal truth, but I could be wrong. The divisions we create among ourselves are merely theater when considered in the larger context, despite the fact that they often drive us to do horrific things to each other.

Space nutter indeed... There's no need to sink to insults. Of course, this is the internet...

Comment: Re:Can someone explain to me (Score 1) 123

by CaptSlaq (#47874851) Attached to: SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts
Perhaps the likelyhood of an asteroid/comet/meteor strike sounds small to you, but the fact that one buzzed Russia last year(?) without any warning gives me a LITTLE bit of pause.

We need to get off this rock. Smarter people than I (Hawking, Musk) have been saying this for years.

I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.