The Bush II administration took advantage of a crisis, inflated it's danger, and got a panicked congress to vote for the patriot act. All of the renewals are on the congress critters so look up what your representative has done. A lot of Dems have voted to keep that act.
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Let us point out that one of the more difficult of the sciences, chemistry, does not have a diversity problem. There are as many women as men in chemistry at all levels of education and employment. So for the rest of the technology and science groups, what is YOUR problem with gender? It's not that girls can't do math, or science, or get steered in kindergarten, it is something else. Figure that out and solve the problem.
But how well would it work for people with prescription eye glasses? Nobody in the demo is wearing eye-glasses - 60% of Americans have to wear glasses and only about 13% of Americans wear contacts. So that leaves over a hundred million Americans having to cram this thing over their glasses just to use it or not buy it at all. It seems that this suffers from the same issue that Google Glass had - prescription eye care. 3D movies are ruined for folks with glasses - try stuffing two sets of glasses on your head for a couple of hours - it flat out sucks. The selection of headphones is limited by how comfortable they are with glasses on for an hour or more. So why would this technology be any better?
The article focuses on how cool it is without addressing the actual practicality of having one - how heavy is it? How likely is it to survive five hundred or more impacts with the floor? What happens when the cat sit in it while it is lying on the desk? Besides a couple of gimmicky things, who cares? How is holography on the inside of my helmet better than a computer screen? I keep hearing about how much cooler it is, but not how much better it is than what I have now. Why is it better? A holographic display is not going to be any more enlightening than a regular display. Besides we already see the world in 3D. I really just don't get why this is anything but "cool" like 3D movies were in the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, 2000's, etc. It's a gimmick.
"That's an illogical reaction. Gas stations won't charge you less for using the same amount of gas. "
My gas usage is roughly unchanged from week to week. The price of gas goes up - max was about $3.97/gallon.. The price of gas goes down- currently $2.17/gallon. So you are VERY wrong about energy price fluctuations. The amount of gas required to move me and my vehicle to work and back is very much the same. So it is not an illogical reaction. Demand for oil dropped, but not in proportion to the drop in price. The oil producing countries are mostly in OPEC which is a cartel that tries to control the supply of oil to meet their price goals. The price of energy has long been somewhat divorced from demand.
Cable used to be a la carte. The cable company created bundles because they could charge for things you're not going to use - you could only watch one channel at a time. HBO or SHO used to be 15/month alone. Then HBO got bundled with SHO for $25/month, so you saved $5 if you got the bundle. The cable company is paying based upon number of subscribers with a volume discount - so the more subscribers to a channel the better the rate is for the cable company. So they get a better deal on their end whether you use the SHO or not and you are paying more for HBO than you would if you got it alone - but it's a great deal, amiright? IT just got worse and worse as time went on. Basic cable was priced at about 20/month which was CBS, NBC,ABC, PBS, the local college station if you had one, and TBS when it got started. The premium channels were HBO, SHO, Cinnemax, and The movie Channel each priced at about $15/month. So cable was a pretty good deal. You could get a movie channel and basic cable for $35/month. Now, there are hundreds of channels and mostly they are not any better than the stuff that was on forty years ago and the cost is WAY higher - but not when you figure price per channel. LAst time I had cable TV the price was $120/month for 140 channels of TV which included all the premium channels. That works out to $0.85/channel per month. Basic+ HBO was $35/month and that works out to about $6/channel per month. So the cost per channel per month is much less, and the price is much higher due to the volume of channels provided. But as the man said: "100 channels and nothing on." Mostly we look at TV and see two or three things we want embedded in a large pile of stuff we don't want for a large price and don't buy the value of each channel. Sadly, the option to just by the channel we want is not an option the cable company is willing to provide anymore, I think, because of all the deals they made with all of the channels. So wanting to buy only the thing I want and not pay for things I am NEVER going to use, is not the moral equivalent of "use less electricity." It is a value based reaction to the product being offered. It is the same reaction that music lovers had to the one good song but you have to buy the whole album issue. Really, bundling is good only when all of the items in the bundle are desired or useful.
They have this thing called a switch. You can plug your appliances into the switch and when you leave for work you can turn all the switches off - except of course for the refrigerator and the freezer. I don't know about San Jose, but everywhere I've lived the AC/Heater unit has a switch that turns it off. So you can drastically remove your electric usage without giving control and access to some company. If they are paying you on top of that for participating in a program, then they are using that information to make money.
So really, electric bill maintenance is something your parent's figured out long ago without the need for corporate micromanagement and an "internet of things."
The limited viewing angle, which, like progressive bifocal lenses, makes the whole thing rather useless.
The 3D technology doesn't work very well with eye glasses either. Lots and lots of people can't see very well or well enough to enjoy a movie without their current glasses. Add those clunky glasses on top of current set and the whole experience sucks, not to mention it gives a lot of people a headache.
The whole point that we process visuals in 3D. No need for extra 3D.
Unfortunately, the visual processing software to recognize objects is not a good as a toddler so it's pretty darn useless, and why do I need my phone to recognize something? I've already seen it, processed it, and recognized it. Oh! Yeah! It might be good for that "what kind of bug is that?" that happens every decade or so - but you can already do that in 2D photos. Not much of a feature, really.
Better batteries would be useful.
The practical effect would be to turn the power off. Do that around the time most people are busy at home and watch the fun as evenings are ruined! People do this now which is why there are locks on the breakers outside of most apartment complexes.
The meter will reside on the utility company's side of the connection and won't be owned by you. The smart meter probably won't even let you look at what it collects. The utility may or may not allow you to view your moment by moment usage, but they don't have to.
The meters are designed to allow the utility company to remotely manage your electrical usage. Don't pay your bill on time? - no need to send someone out to your house to shut off the power, the meter will do that automatically. The utility company didn't apply the payment on time? Power shut off until Monday afternoon when the sole remaining human in customer service can fix the issue. The other effect is to remove the actual person reading the meter. With remote management, the meter is read by software, thus eliminating two jobs with a software/hardware installation. This is certainly not about renewable energy. The coal and natural gas based utilities have zero interest in renewable energy - it reduces consumption of the electricity they generate.
The ancillary data is that they will know rather precisely when everyone is home and when everyone is out. Since the data may or may not be very well secured (and how is the homeowner or occupant going to know?) -this data can be used by criminals to facilitate burglary. Not to mention the fun that other people can have by hacking into the system and turning power off at random.
I was steered towards progressive lenses and found the same irritating issues. I switched to regular bi-focals and have little to no problems. I did move my monitors to allow me to have the correct distance from me, but other than that the bifocals serve me well.
I've always had the lowest memory size in my iphone - never noticed a problem with upgrades. Computer and device upgrades have ALWAYS taken up more space and been slower in performance since the first computer I owned back in the 1980's. Suing apple over this is just stupid. They should sue EVERY device maker because every upgrade consumes more memory and works slower on the old hardware. This is a case of lawyers wanting to get rich off of a profitable company for doing something everyone in the industry has been doing for decades.
"Throughout most of history, wandering beyond the horizon would have been suicidally insane and very few to attempted it were ever heard from again."
Not from the tracks our ancestors laid down. We left tools. We traded with other humans far from our homes as far back as we can find records. Humans have wandered over the horizon for as long as we have been on this planet. The archeological record demonstrates our many migrations from place to place as does our complicated genetic heritage. We are wanders by nature and our settling down into cities is recent, though with as much as we move around, we've not really stopped wandering. (I have lived in twelve cities and five states in less than 50 years.) Wandering over the horizon is suicide? Hardly. There is no land on this planet that we have not figured out how to live upon from the Inuit of the North, to the bases in Antarctica and every island and continent in between.
I really have a hard time understanding where you get the idea that US is so weak and irrelevant. We spend 1.7 trilliion dollars on defense on this planet and 36.6% (640 billion) of that is done in the US. China is the next most prolific spender on defense and they spend around a third of what the US spends (188 billion).
The comment about legacy yet relevant weapons really doesn't make sense to me.
The value of NASA has never been commercial. It is a pure research area. WE are learning how to live and work in space, which is an environment so alien to us that our bodies don't even function properly. That knowledge flows into the private commerce section of our economy and slowly brings benefits that we have yet to imagine.
I don't know where you get your 1/6th figure. US military spending for fiscal 2014 according to the wikipedia page is 43% of the total amount budgeted. Only 1.4% goes to NASA and 0.6% for the National Science Foundation.