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Comment Only if the price is significantly cheaper (Score 1) 129

I can't see people going for ARM in a laptop unless the laptop is significantly cheaper. Giving up the ability to run x86 software is a big problem for something as expensive as a laptop. Plus, most people expect a lot more from a laptop than they do from a tablet. Does ARM support USB 3 at full speed? Can you hook up an SSD and have it run at full speed? Can you get gigabit ethernet running at full speed. Can the RAM be upgraded using standard DDR 3 or 4 memory sticks?

Comment Re:We are screwed. (Score 1) 54

My cable ISP has caps too. I really don't mind caps, provided they aren't too low. They have to find some way to give people high speeds and somehow restrict people from saturating the connection 24 hours a day.

For me, a faster connection isn't just about more throughput, but more about having individual pages load faster, not waiting for videos to buffer, and being able to play a game on release day, rather than have to wait until the next day for the game to finish downloading.

For a mobile connection, I want the data I'm looking up to come in fast. But I know I'm not going to be downloading 4K movies on the bus. It would be nice, but I realize there are limits to what we can get.

I don't really think we need a 3.6 Gb/s connection on mobile, as most of the connections will be closed before the TCP window reaches that speed, but I guess it really can't hurt to have the capacity available when you need it. I guess it just realistically means they'll be able to have more customers downloading at reasonable speeds.

Comment Reason why it's cheaper (Score 1) 415

I personally think the reason that solar and wind have gotten so cheap so fast is that they've found a way to manufacture small power plants than can be easily deployed. The more traditional forms of power generation such as nuclear, coal, gas, and hydro-electric seem to always focus on building huge generating stations, and building everything from the ground each time. With solar and wind power, the design problem is already solved, and you can (relatively) easily deploy a small power plant and build on as demand grows.

Nuclear power plants cost in the billions and take many years to get up and running. If they found a smaller, more standardized reactor that could be more easily deployed, it would be a lot cheaper to do, and they could build out capacity as they need it instead of having to plan 20 years in the future.

Comment Re:9 women can't make baby in 1 month (Score 1) 281

Management must be pretty stupid then. I read the book after a year or so of being out of university and working in the industry, and just about everything in the book seemed pretty obvious. I guess if you come from a manufacturing or construction background, there might be some ability to add people later in the game to bring a late project back on time, but I imagine there's limits even in those fields. Anybody who thinks you can just throw more people at a problem in a field like software development doesn't have much experience in the industry.

Also, I always thought the baby analogy was kind of odd. Of course you can't use 9 women to make a baby in 9 months, but you can get 9 babies in 9 months.

Comment Re:Nerdgasm (Score 1) 240

Did you even read the article you linked to? The headline of the article is:

Americans keen on space exploration, less so on paying for it

And here's a quote

Despite these positive opinions of the space program, just a two-in-ten Americans in the 2012 GSS survey said that the U.S. spends too little on space exploration. Four-in-ten believed the current spending was adequate, while three-in-ten believed further cuts should be made to the program. Instead, Americans strongly preferred increased spending on programs closer to home, including education (76%), public health (59%), and developing alternative energy sources (59%).

Comment Re:Nerdgasm (Score 2) 240

Are you really sure the general populous cares about NASA? People on this site may care, but that's a tiny fraction of the population. I would say that the average person really doesn't care that much about space travel.

Even people interested in the idea of going to Mars probably don't understand how astronomically (pun intended) difficult it would be to send people there. Apollo 11, the first Lunar mission was only in space for under 9 days, And the longest lunar stay was Apollo 17 with a 3 day stay on the moon.

A trip to mars would take more than 9 months just to get there. If you wanted to come back, you'd have to stay there for 3 months for the planets to line up right again, and then spend another 9 months coming home. Total mission time would probably be close to 2 years. Not to mention the lead up time as you send supplies ahead so they are already in place when the astronauts get to Mars.

Comment Re:Adapt GitHub To Other Uses (Score 1) 145

Last time I looked, Google Docs left a lot to be desired. Many features were missing that have been part of Microsoft Word for over a decade. Last I checked, you couldn't even create your own custom styles. You can redefine what Heading 1-6 can do, but you can't even rename them which would be nice if you wanted to remember what the different styles are being used for.

Comment Re:Adapt GitHub To Other Uses (Score 1) 145

Yeah, there's definitely some work to do, especially considering a lot of word processors use binary or complicated xml formatting to store documents. I think that it would be a lot easier to build a system if it used something like HTML and CSS to store the document. Maybe that's what we need to get people to stop using MS Word. A word processor that actually makes collaboration easier.

People aren't going to move over to OpenOffice if the only selling points are "it's open source/open standards" and "it's free". People have no problem paying for MS Word, because they need it for business. You have the give them a real productivity reason to switch. Making collaboration easier might be what sways people.

Comment Re:GPLv3 - the kiss of death (Score 3, Insightful) 310

The GPL says nothing about users of the software. It only has restrictions as far as how the source must be handled when distributing the software. If you're just using the software, there's nothing in the GPL that has any effect on you. If you make modifications to the source code, and want to distribute those modifications (as compiled binaries or as source code) then you need to start adhering to the GPL. This means it doesn't really apply to most users, because most of them lack the skills necessary to make any modifications to the source code. The best they could do is pay somebody else to make the modifications they need.

Comment Adapt GitHub To Other Uses (Score 4, Insightful) 145

I think the next logical step is to adapt GitHub to do change management on other kinds of documents, not just source code files. It would probably help out a lot of students for them to learn how to manage all their essays and other assignments with a change management system. Working on group projects would be a lot easier if it was easier to share files and merge changes with people working on the same project.

Working with a big MS Word document with a group of people using the "track changes" feature is a lot more painful than sharing a software project between a bunch of developers. But it shouldn't be. There is a huge need for people in other fields to be able to collaborate on a document, and see how it has changed over time.

Just imagine if all the bills that were written were entered into a source control system with hourly commits before they were voted for in Congress. I would be much nicer if people were able to easily see what changed as the bill approached the floor for voting. It would be a lot harder to slip things in at the last moment.

Comment Re:OK, what's with this ridiculous meme? (Score 1) 147

But transmitting power over long distances incurs power losses. Part of the big push towards renewable power is that you can make generation more localized, because individual generators are easier to set up. If you have to start transmitting that power over long distances, you're going to end up with huge inefficiencies.

I think we could help out of power generation system a lot by building standardized nuclear generators. Much the way we link up a lot of solar panels or wind turbines to generate power, we should use similar methods to build standardized nuclear generators. It would be much easier to ensure safety if they were all using the same design, and it would be much cheaper to deploy. Areas could buy generators that fit the capacity they require.

The reason that wind and solar generation is becoming so popular is because we have the generators pretty much figured out. Installation is pretty simple. If you want to build a nuclear plant, coal plant, gas plant, or hydroelectric dam, it's going to be 10+ years before you pass all the regulatory hurtles and get the thing built. And it never costs what you originally estimated, because you design a new plant every time and run into unexpected problems. If you could just order a bunch of standardized generators, link them up to the grid, you could increase capacity much better. I realize it would be a little more complicated in practice, but there has to be a more efficient way of building power stations than our current methods.

Comment 3D printing is like photo printing (Score 4, Insightful) 101

To me, 3D printing is very similar to photo printing. Most people don't print enough that it makes sense to have their own printer at home. Just like there are some people who are really into photography, and own their own photo printers, or even their own dark room, there are enthusiasts who really want to build their own stuff that would really get a use out of a 3D printer. But the majority of people who just want to print off a new battery cover for their remote control, or knob for the clothes dryer would be much better off just going down to the local Walmart or Costco and getting them to print out the object, just like they currently do with photos.

I'm not going to spend $200+ on a photo printer when I could easily get better prints by going down to Walmart and getting pictures for 10 cents a piece. Similarly, I'm not going to spend $500 on a 3D printer when I could go down to Staples, Home Depot, Walmart, Costco, or whoever is providing the service and get access to a much higher quality 3D printer. Even my local library has a 3D printer I can use for the cost of the consumables.

"One Architecture, One OS" also translates as "One Egg, One Basket".