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Comment Re:Obviously Chinese Espionage (Score 1) 17 17

Look, why does everyone think China is involved? Just because the IP addresses point in that direction? Weak sauce. Here is a much more nuanced way to look at things. Yeah, they use China IP addresses. But much of the high tech part of China is on the eastern coast. This is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a whole bunch of active and extinct volcanoes ringing the Pacific Ocean.

Now, there aren't a whole lot of fiber optic cables that run directly to volcanoes. The business case really isn't there. So, if you are an evil villain bent on world domination, holed up in said geologic structure, where would you get Internet access from? AT&T? Comcast? Nope. You're neighbors in friendly, capitalistic China. You can even pull some plausible deniability out of it.

Come on guys, think harder. What kind of world do you want to see? Millions of plastic knick knacks at Wal-Mart.

Or sharks with lasers.

Comment Re:My sympathy (Score 1) 34 34

If I keel over, please don't resuscitate unless there is at least a 50% chance of long-term success, and less than a 50% chance of causing long-term damage. It's just a life.

Just tattoo that requisition on to your chest along with the relevant link for inputting your clinical parameters to determine the likelihood of resuscitation and we'll be happy to oblige.

Signed, your local EMS team.

Comment Re:This just in (Score 2) 61 61

Look, here are some pictures of an older carrier's machine shop. No, you won't find this on a small cruiser - but you also don't find the poor little cruiser out in the middle of the ocean by itself. So if gizmo A breaks on the little boat, the big boat's machine shop can likely fix it.

Having some 3D printers isn't going to materially change things. It will change things a little - those pictures are from a post WW 2 carrier, I imagine newer boats have full on CNC machines. And I imagine that, sooner or later, there will be 3D printers. But they won't be game changers, they will simply be evolutionary changes.

3D printers are NOT generic replacement devices. They can only make a narrow range of 'things'. A decent CNC mill is quite a bit more versatile, even if you have to go to school to learn how to use it.

Comment Re:Uncontrollable? (Score 1) 61 61

Because when you have the preformed parts, you just go over and snap them together. When you have to print the parts, you warm up the printer, download the files, print the parts, fiddle with the printer, print the parts again and snap them together.

Perhaps as an R&D setup, this makes sense - if you are trying to develop different frames / gizmos / attachments to the UAVs to fit various mission requirements. In a shooting war, not so much.

"Sailor, we want an attack drone."
"But sir, if I just adjust this part some more we can make it go faster"
"Sailor, print out the goddamned drone."
"But sir, I can make it so it has LED lights!"

Comment Re:i haven't bought a car in a while... (Score 4, Insightful) 252 252

park assist and auto lane changing

Admittedly I haven't bought a car in 8 years, but ... are those tasks somehow considered "difficult" such that it makes any degree of sense whatsoever to add expense to the vehicle to perform them automatically?

I should think anyone competent to be operating the vehicle to start with should find them trivial by definition, and anyone not finding them trivial should not be operating the vehicle.

Wait until you're 75. Or have a stroke. Or lose your peripheral vision. Or something.

Yes, 18 year olds should be able to parallel park despite an enormous amount of practical information to the contrary, but the real promise of automated vehicles is that it will allow people that cannot (or should not, a much large category) drive 'manually' have access to individual transportation.

That said, I think the premise of TFA is ridiculous. Most people are not going to be sharing vehicles nearly as much as he thinks. Even if they do, fleet vehicles tend to need more maintenance than driveway queens.

Comment Re:Slow Response? (Score 1) 157 157

I realize this exploit is a concern. However, is Chrysler sure they haven't introduced a bug with far worse consequences by implementing this change?

Of course not, but they are Doing Something. That counts for quite a bit in our strobed-goldfish attention span media. If they waited six months to fix it, they would just have a bunch of bad publicity. They would look like bad guys. Hopefully, they realize this is a stopgap and will actually go through the motions to fix the the problem.


Comment Re:Rent-a-pilot? (Score 1) 272 272

Not a bad business plan. Offer Drone Tours of New Zealand - precepted tours in places selected for appropriateness and beauty. Either BYO Drone or rent one. Maybe even learn some things.

The analogy would be photographic tours where you go with a guide that knows the area, knows what to view and when, has access to places you would not normally be allowed to go. A bit of a niche, but an idea...

Comment Re:Lots of Luddites this morning (Score 1) 238 238

We certainly haven't seen huge leaps in fuel efficiency of aircraft in the last 50 years.

That is not true. Modern airlines are 20-30% more fuel efficient than the original 707. While not an orders-of-magnitude change, it's significant. Physics is a bitch.

The 747, introduced way back then, is still produced.

Because there is a business case for the plane. It has little to do with technologic improvements. Other planes have come and gone mostly because of economic issues.

We had rockets that went to the moon, but no longer have the technology.

We have the technology, just not the political will to spend the money on this particular endevour.

We had reusable shuttles 40 years ago, but no longer have them.

A combination of money and the fact that the Shuttle was a hare brained design, even if it was really cool.

We had Concorde, and only now someone is trying to recreate a smaller version of it, and who knows if it will even get to market.

And again, it's the money, honey. Not the technology.

We had bombers that whose lifespan was, well, 60 years and still counting, while more modern bombers have come and gone


Blame that one on the idiots in the Air Force and in Congress who couldn't get a hammer built in a cost efficient manner. The physics, and therefore the basic design, of planes has been well understood for some time. Materials, electronics and engines have all improved drastically. And guess what. The B52 has all sorts of new materials, computers, engines.

Let's face it, as far as transportation goes, we have de-innovated. Yes, computers have gotten faster, and the gadgets in cars, trucks and planes have improved, but the transportation systems themselves? Stagnant at best and losing ground in many ways.

Not really, it's all about the economics (and the greed and stupidity of the military-industrial complex). We aren't 'de innovating'. If anything, we're getting smarter (except the military). We aren't pretending that the world is a Jetson's TV show.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.