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Comment: Re:Skateboard comparison = fail (Score 2) 35

In space, 'just use rockets' is not the answer people want to hear, because mass is precious.

In an atmosphere, though, all you need is a little extra battery power to shove air in whatever direction you prefer, which works just fine for modifying your path. It wouldn't be much like skateboarding; but I suspect that if you threw some accelerometers, clever math, and a mixture of control surfaces and glorified model airplane thrusters at the problem you could have a system that can be 'steered' by shifting your body weight, as people are accustomed to, with the actual work being handled by the aerodynamic components, since you don't have solid objects to push off of.

Doesn't solve the 'make hoverboard hover' problem; but if you ignore that...

Comment: Re:Woudln't carbon nanotubes themselves be worthwh (Score 2) 35

The things have more uses than space elevators. A thinner stronger cable is always going to have uses even if it's only a few metres.

If we could fab them cheaply (and they don't turn out to be as carcinogenic as irradiated super-death-asbestos or anything), we'd probably use carbon nanotubes in everything. All sorts of neat thermal and electrical properties, strong as hell, just replace fiberglass with engineered carbon and feel the strength!

However, (aside from the pure sci-fi value) I think the reason that space elevators get the attention is that, unlike many other things that are entirely doable with lesser carbon fiber, fiberglass, aramid, etc. but would be X% better with nanotubes; the going consensus seems to be "If you want to stretch a rope from earth to orbit, it has to be This Strong, and that really narrows the options down to carbon nanotubes and, um, um...

The question of whether what we build with carbon fiber composites today will be better tomorrow is interesting; but its a 'difference of degree not of kind' sort of thing. 'Space elevator' vs. 'Haha, huddle in your gravity well like pitiful ants!' is a much more dramatic matter.

Comment: Re:City within a Building (Score 2) 35

There's a big difference between 'cautionary tale' and 'impossible' (indeed, 'cautionary tale' is one of the valuable tools that designers can use to make things possible and not fuck them up...); but anytime somebody proposes some arcology-style megastructure, I immediately think of all those (relatively modern, relatively upscale in terms of rent/unit area and clientele, office buildings that can't even maintain comfortable temperatures in many of their rooms, despite being built, by a single entity in the position to dictate the solution used, at a point in history where networked, digital, temperature sensors are nearly free compared to the price of putting up a decent, code-compliant, office building...

That's obviously exactly the sort of problem that 'big data' people probably love, just throw a few more sensors in there, let us crunch the numbers and build an expert system to control the heating ducts, etc; but it's also an example of how even people who should know better, and who can afford to buy what they need to do better, fuck up so often it isn't even a surprise anymore. On an arcology scale, that sort of incompetence starts to edge into 'life-support failure' territory.

Comment: Re:Zontar: "Rinse, Lather, & Repeat" (lol) (Score 1) 373

How does linking to the top of the same thread help your case? Why do you keep doing that?

Hyperlinks are not magic. There needs to be some meaningful content at the other end for them to be of any use.

ProTip: Making a false claim which merely links to a repetition of the false claim does not make the false claim true.

Comment: Re:Zontar = sockpuppeteer & lying libelous tro (Score 1) 373

I don't HAVE to say that your Hosts File Engine is crap, Spanky. Half the freaking Internet has already said it for me.

Your app doesn't do anything that any text editor with basic regular expression support can't do better already, and do so WITHOUT pegging a 4-core CPU.

And there is NO WAY IN HELL that I'm EVER going to let such an abomination override the OS task scheduler on any system I administer. That's just insane.

Comment: Re:You clicked on it stupid (lol) (Score 1) 373

Your demonstrated chronic inability to appreciate any kind of humour whatsoever has absolutely no bearing on my qualifications or credentials as a writer. (And just because I don't normally bold every other word that I post does not mean that I don't know how to use bold tags.)

BTW, if you look far enough back in my posting history, you'll see where I responded to comments about a book that I co-authored, and that was reviewed right here on Slashdot. This would have been late 2004 or early 2005, IIRC. I'm happy to wait while you go find the review and comments. I'm sure with your mighty sleuthing skills (*eyeroll*) it won't take you long.

Comment: The older I get, the better I once was. (Score 1) 61

by TapeCutter (#46764527) Attached to: Your <em>StarCraft II</em> Potential Peaked At Age 24
I'm 55, I played my first video game of arcade Pong in 1970 and still play video games regularly today. It's not injury that reduces performance, it's age. My 25yr old self had less fat, more muscle, faster reflexes, a steadier hand, sharper eyesight, better hearing, etc, etc. Consequently my younger me was faster (but not nesissarily better) at just about everything. Age related injury is responsible for things like the fact I'm no longer able to kneel on a hard floor.

Comment: Re:No, what you said is lies Zontar (Score 1) 373

You DO realise that I can't post and moderate in the same discussion, don't you? In any case...

APK, I absolutely do not now, and I am not *ever* going to be convinced you've ever worked anywhere except maybe Burger King.

However, I AM convinced that you are a lying, bullying, spamming, crapflooding troll.

You make increasingly grandiose and decreasingly believable claims about yourself. Whenever you're questioned about these, your lies get even bigger. When you're called out on them, you start attacking people.

When you make idiotic claims about programming, and get called out on those... That's right, you start attacking people.

You also apparently think that linking to any old thing proves your lies and mischaracterisations. Like when you linked to a joke you plainly didn't understand, claiming it was proof that I have MPD. Or when you linked to ANOTHER joke of mine that you ALSO plainly did not "get", and claimed this was "proof" that I'm not a writer.

When your attempts at intimidation and mischaracterisation don't work, you just start repeating them... well, MINDLESSLY... in an attempt to turn up the volume and drown out dissenting voices.

You have been doing this again and again and again and again for over a decade. It's all over the WWW. I'm not even going to bother to link to anything, because anyone with one good finger and half a clue can type "Alexander Peter Kowalski" into Google and read for themselves all about your little escapades.

Comment: Re:When will they gentrify the Tenderloin? (Score 2) 226

by Animats (#46764379) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

It's happening. First, take a look at a map of the Tenderloin, from "Areas to Avoid, San Francisco." Twitter HQ is in that area, between 9th and 10th on Market, and the long-standing "mid-Market area" around there is rapidly being rebuilt. In fact, just about everything south of McAlliister has been gentrified, except for parts of 6th St and a small section around 7th and the north side of Market. Rebuilding is underway along the Van Ness corridor too, and has more or less chopped a block off the Tenderloin on the west side. That's the old "Polk Gulch" area, once a gay rent-boy hangout.

So the SF Tenderloin is about half the size it was a few years ago. Progress continues.

"If John Madden steps outside on February 2, looks down, and doesn't see his feet, we'll have 6 more weeks of Pro football." -- Chuck Newcombe