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Comment: Appears elsewhere? (Score 1) 349

by Chuckstar (#47384501) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

I don't know enough to comment on the validity of the claimed copyrights in general. But I do know one thing: The fact that material appears elsewhere online is not evidence that it is not copyrighted.

The important question is not whether the stuff appears elsewhere. The important question is only whether Oracle's claimed copyright is real/valid.

Comment: Re: Exactly (Score 1) 128

by Chuckstar (#47372401) Attached to: FAA's Ruling On Smartphones During Takeoff Has Had Little Impact

The study only observed how many people used devices some time during the flight. It didn't particularly focus on during take-of/landing/taxi. So all it means is that allowing use during those extra times doesn't encourage the 65% who weren't using their devices to suddenly start using their devices. In other words, not a lot of people were saying "if I can't use it during takeoff, the I won't use it at all."

Comment: Point? (Score 5, Informative) 128

by Chuckstar (#47372321) Attached to: FAA's Ruling On Smartphones During Takeoff Has Had Little Impact

I'm not sure I understand the point. I don't remember anyone claiming that more people would use mobile devices on planes if they could use them during taxi and takeoff. It seemed it was always just that the people who were already using devices on planes wanted to also be able to use them during taxi and takeoff.

Comment: Re: Can they make a 3D shade? (Score 2) 92

Gods thinking. But two potential problems that spring to mind:

The petal profile seems to matter, although I admit to not knowing why. You'd have to have your sphere replicate that outline from the various appropriate angles.

Controlling reflection of stray light back into the telescope is already identified as a potential technology problem. A sphere may make that even more of an issue.

Comment: Re: Aperture Science (Score 1) 92

You are correct that there is not an orbital alignment that would passively keep the telescope and shade in alignment with a star. They plan to put the system in a solar orbit (so that the speed at which alignment shifts will be slower than if it were in Earth orbit) and also they will have to actively guide the telescope using ion thrusters in order to maintain the correct alignment during an observation. Because of this, observation windows will be relatively short. This requirement for active guidance during observation is one of the technology risks identified in one of the links above.

Comment: Re:Make a good mobile site (Score 1) 244

by Chuckstar (#46851729) Attached to: Amazon Turns Off In-App Purchases In iOS Comixology

Agreed. I wasn't trying to imply that making a mobile site work that way was hard. Frankly, was trying to imply it was relatively straightforward. It's always possible a big company borks something easy, but I fully expect that the need to switch to the web to purchase a comic book will be only very marginally less convenient than in the app. (I admit that in the app would always be the more elegant system, but it really doesn't have to be a big deal if Amazon is smart about it.)

Comment: Make a good mobile site (Score 1) 244

by Chuckstar (#46851381) Attached to: Amazon Turns Off In-App Purchases In iOS Comixology

Just make the mobile web site work well, and it's hardly jumping through hoops. Someone mentioned how easy it used to be to buy the next issue in-app. Just make is so when you go on the web site, the next issue is right there waiting for you to buy it (the app can report back which issues you've finished). It would add all of 15 seconds to the purchase process.

I understand there's still a hoop there, but they don't have to be holding it very far off the ground, and it's certainly not on fire. They could easily make it a little hop, not a huge jump.

Comment: Re:Loses credibility with this statement (Score 1) 292

by Chuckstar (#46548011) Attached to: Back To the Moon — In Four Years

Falcon Heavy will have significantly smaller payload capacity than NASAs SLS. Perhaps you mean Falcon X (or maybe they call it Falcon X Heavy, hard to keep straight), which is planned to have similar capacity to SLS. NASA is way ahead of SpaceX in development, but has all of the baggage of being NASA, so we'll see who finally gets a vehicle with such capability done first. Don't bet against Musk.

Comment: Re:What's the storage density? (Score 2) 131

by Chuckstar (#45914493) Attached to: Metal-Free 'Rhubarb' Battery Could Store Renewable Grid Energy

Storage density is only a problem for portable systems. For fixed storage installations, the important question is "what does it cost per ampere-hour of storage?" Inefficient storage that is cheap can beat highly efficient storage that is expensive.

Of course, to correctly calculate costs one needs to include things that are the result of storage density, like land acquisition and construction of holding tanks. But if the storage medium is cheap, it could come out ahead of some higher density system that has a more expensive storage medium.

Even conversion losses become less of an issue if the storage is cheap enough.

Comment: Re:Efficiency. (Score 1) 937

by Chuckstar (#45914281) Attached to: Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

In an emergency brake, you [i]do[/i] slam on the brakes 100%. And communications doesn't matter. For two reasons. First, communication can fail. There's no such thing as a 100% failsafe wireless communication system, so you should not be driving in a configuration that requires 100% perfect communication to be safe. Second, the system you describe requires that the lead car(s) not brake as quickly as possible. So you could easily end up with a situation in which the lead car could have stopped in time to avoid a fatality, but couldn't because of the choice to operate in a train. That's a decidedly idiotic result.

Furthermore, braking isn't the only potential scenario. If the lead car swerves, and the car behind is two feet behind, it may not have enough time to swerve. And, similarly to braking, wireless communication cannot be relied on as a solution to that scenario.

The situation you describe is simply unsafe. No amount of futurist handwaving will change that.

Comment: Re:Efficiency. (Score 1) 937

by Chuckstar (#45911665) Attached to: Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

This is a nonsense dream of self-driving car afficionados. It will always be dangerous to drive that close, even if the computer is doing the driving. Different cars have different stopping distances, even the same make/model/year will vary simply because of variable tire/brake wear. In an emergency stop situation, the "couple feet" distance between cars is simply unsafe.

Air pollution is really making us pay through the nose.

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