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Comment: Re:One Era Ends To Make Way For Another (Score 2) 365

by Chairboy (#36649516) Attached to: Can the US Still Lead In Space Despite Shuttle's End?

Sorry, friend, but you're mistaken. The wings gave the shuttle the crossrange needed to launch, release a payload, then de-orbit back at the launch spot (which has at this point rotated a thousand plus miles away from where the orbit ended.

The wings were needed so they could re-enter, then glide back to Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Comment: Obviously, the test was flawed (Score 4, Insightful) 567

by Chairboy (#29796255) Attached to: 1/3 of People Can't Tell 48Kbps Audio From 160Kbps

If the higher compression audio had simply used this $500 Denon ethernet cable, the results would have been different:

http://www.usa.denon.com/ProductDetails/3429.asp

But seriously, can you make a sweeping statement like "People can't tell 48k audio from 160k" if you're also switching compression technologies? OGG vs. AAC is a whole article on it's own, you just muddy the waters by making this about the compression rate.

This is just a new version of the old megahertz myth of the CPU wars. Two different 2GHZ processors from different manufacturers are not equal, we all finally figured that out for the most part, right? Now we've moved onwards... to the Kbps myth?

Comment: Bad science (Score -1, Flamebait) 198

by Chairboy (#29268011) Attached to: British Company Takes Lead To Stop Asteroids

The concept behind a 'gravity tractor' is fatally flawed. Gravity is the weakest force in the universe, the only reason it matters to us is that there's enough mass making up Earth to make it worth paying attention to.

Instead of sitting next to asteroid, it'd be far more effective to dock the probe and push directly using the vaunted ion thrusters.

TANSTAAFL, folks.

Comment: The cost of freedom (Score 5, Insightful) 457

by Chairboy (#28076583) Attached to: Google Earth Raises Discrimination Issue In Japan

History is ugly. It's full of all the crappy things we did, and exists in part as a document to study so we can try and improve. "Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it", but if the ugly parts are expunged, then we are erasing exactly what's needed to avoid recurrence.

Also, all oppression begins with "We must do this to protect the innocent". Whether the darkest part of the oppression comes a month later at the hands of the current controlling authority or a century later as a result of ignorance, it still exists and is the inevitable result of censorship.

Science

Scientists Discover Common Ancestor of Monkeys, Apes, and Humans 391

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-n-mother-had-a-lengthy-tail dept.
reporter writes "According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, scientists have discovered the common ancestor of monkeys, apes, and Slashdotters. The 47 million year old fossils were discovered in Germany. The ancestor physically resembles today's lemur. Quoting: 'The skeleton will be unveiled at New York City's American Museum of Natural History next Tuesday by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and an international team involved in the discovery. According to Prof. Gingerich, the fossilized remains are of a young female adapid. The skeleton was unearthed by collectors about two years ago and has been kept tightly under wraps since then, in an unusual feat of scientific secrecy. Prof. Gingerich said he had twice examined the adapid skeleton, which was "a complete, spectacular fossil." The completeness of the preserved skeleton is crucial, because most previously found fossils of ancient primates were small finds, such as teeth and jawbones.'"

Comment: Suggestion: Customer experience (Score 3, Insightful) 302

by Chairboy (#27592381) Attached to: NYC Wants Ideas For "Taxi Technology 2.0"

Technically, the cabs are already great at what they do. They quickly and reasonably cheaply (considering) get you from point A to B. But the biggest problems I've had with cabs have had less to do with tech than human factors.

For example: Advertisements. Someone thought it would be a good idea to fill cabs with loudspeakers and screens that subject the passenger to one-way advertisements. I'm annoyed by this because A: It's unpleasant to be so aggressively marketed to and B: I didn't think of it first. If there was a way to equip cabs w/ a basic data terminal that used GPS to bring up relevant data regarding where I was (or services near my destination), that would be brilliant.

Also, the credit-card issue is slowly being addressed. It's gotten much better, but everyone still runs into some cabbie who makes a big show about pulling a manual card-swipe out of the trunk. Give me a debit-style terminal in the back seat like a freakin' grocery store.

Instead of political issues like electric cabs, let's see an improvement on the end-user experience. The rest will happen on their own as business owners start seeing a financial advantage.

Handhelds

iPhone Jailbreaking Still Going Strong 166

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-touch-the-apples dept.
snydeq writes "Despite the productivity promises of Apple's forthcoming 3.0 firmware update, jailbreaking should continue to push the iPhone's productivity envelope, as users increasingly demand the Holy Grail of smartphone power use: applications that run in the background, InfoWorld reports. Copy and paste, video recording and streaming, Internet tethering, and content search are just a few of the features over which iPhone users have sought to jailbreak their devices — a practice Apple itself has done little to crack down on. Jailbreak apps circumvent hardware and software restrictions that Apple says ensure a consistent, responsive user interface and optimal battery endurance. In particular, jailbroken phones can run apps in the background, a capability Apple reserves for its own apps but prohibits in third-party programs. Jay Freeman, creator of the Cydia iPhone installer and Cydia Store, however, believes a free-market approach is the best way to satisfy power users' demands for features without compromising the performance of their iPhones. And given Apple's App Store overcrowding, it seems likely that jailbroken phones and app venues like Cydia Store will continue to be popular with iPhone customers and developers, even after the 3.0 firmware ships."

Comment: End justifies the means (Score 2, Interesting) 440

by Chairboy (#27285003) Attached to: Did the Netbook Improve Windows 7's Performance?

It doesn't matter if I have a netbook or not, if this is true, then everyone benefits. Even the guy with a multimedia powerhouse machine will see an improvement if performance is the bottom line.

Microsoft's fascination with taking advantage of new hardware and technologies has led to a consistent decrease in performance over the years, with Vista perhaps being the most obvious and poorly received example. The tide seems to be turning, though. Symantec pulled all the stops on making the newest releases dramatically lower in memory & faster, everyone's re-writing pages so they scale properly for mobile devices, now Microsoft is paying attention too?

This is a good trend. I hope it continues.

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