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Comment: Re:They're called trees. (Score 2) 128

by Dan East (#49494245) Attached to: Breakthrough In Artificial Photosynthesis Captures CO2 In Acetate

So, on that wiki article it says the percent of forested land area, by country is:
Canada: 3,101,340 km2 forested which is 31.06%
USA: 3,030,890 km2 forested which is 30.84%

But then Canada and USA combined is: 4,680,000 km2 or 26.00%

Obviously something is quite wrong with that article.

Comment: Larger landing area (Score 4, Interesting) 342

It sure seems that if a larger landing area was available, so that the rocket didn't have to lean so far to adjust to a very small target and thus could prioritize staying vertical, it would be able to land successfully. What's it going to take for NASA or the FAA or whatever to give them permission to land on, um, land.

Comment: Consummate politician (Score 2) 538

I would expect nothing less of a true politician. Whether it's the small town politician slapping down even more stop signs after an accident occurred, a school board politician enacting rule after rule that parents and students must jump through in order to protect the school board from litigation, or a senator talking about "removing" a 40+ year old book from the internet, they all have one thing in common: doing things for the sake of being seen doing things, as if they have solutions or actual control over things they do not. It's all about the image. Smoke and mirrors.

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 1) 53

by Dan East (#49388133) Attached to: Madman: Proximity To Black Hole "Not a Big Deal"

I really enjoyed this movie as a kid. Quite frankly, Maximilian was, and is to me still, one of the scariest robots ever created. Given the era, it's very surprising DIsney produced a movie as dark as The Black Hole. In addition to Maximilian there were the zombie-like laser-lobotomized humans running the ship. And no, there was no happy ending for any of them - the best they got was to eventually die. Yeah, it tried to go right by the checklist of what made Star Wars a huge success (lasers, robots, and even a "force"-like ESP thing), but it was still quite original in a number of ways. They even had a fairly decent go of zero-gravity behavior in the space ship at the beginning.

Comment: Re:No real mystery here (Score 1) 48

by Dan East (#49379385) Attached to: X-37B To Fly Again

I'm sure it's doing more than that. It has a payload bay like the space shuttle. Certainly it is doing spying, but it's very likely that it is actively testing new technology that has to make up for the loss of capability that the Space Shuttle provided. More than likely it launches micro satellites, then locates and tracks them, and finally recaptures them. It could also be launching a larger payload of some kind, then manipulating the payload with a robotic arm, etc.

Comment: Exiting (Score 4, Interesting) 308

by Dan East (#49372993) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead

According to a CNN article, they were leaving the secure area, not entering. A quote from an official said they failed to follow proper safe EXITING procedures. Another major news site said that a gun and cocaine were found in the vehicle. It's a large complex and a lot of people live in it. Sounds like drugs were being ferried in or out, and it didn't have anything to do with the NSA or secrets.

Comment: Makes sense (Score 5, Insightful) 193

This makes sense for a number of reasons. First, it will keep scalpers from buying up so many devices and selling on eBay. Makes it much easier for Apple to keep track of these people. Second, it will reduce the number of impulse buys for people that don't really understand what the device can, and more importantly, can't do, thus reducing the number of returns and increasing overall customer satisfaction. Sure, it has downsides, but I think the upsides probably win out in this case.

Comment: Re:Putin's getting desperate... (Score 2, Informative) 83

by Dan East (#49367849) Attached to: NASA Denies New Space Station Partnership With Russia

space exploration is probably one of their strongest points both historically and currently

Russia has heavy lift capability, and that's basically it. I tried to find the last time they actually did exploration (as in probes, rovers, etc) and didn't see much of anything since the Soviet Union. Right now NASA, ESA, Japan, China and even India are all ahead of Russia as far as exploration goes, as all those organizations have active probes in space doing science. Russia is basically just hauling stuff into orbit.

Comment: Fake, not practical (Score 5, Insightful) 40

by Dan East (#49315317) Attached to: Magic Leap's AR Demo Video

First of all, of course it's fake.

The biggest flaw is the interface itself. A full 20 years ago, when Johnny Mnemonic (the movie, not the short story) came out, and I saw Keanu Reeves using that VR internet type access, I knew that those interfaces would never work in the real world. I'm sitting here browsing the internet, typing this message, etc, by moving my fingers maybe an inch most. We are currently stuck having to do physical interactions to interface with a digital world. As long as we are stuck using this kind of interfacing (IE it's not plugged directly into our mind), then the less physical effort is required to interface, the more efficient, faster, accessible, and convenient computers will be to access.

Really, I'm going to lift my arm up to head level, and make a huge gesture like I'm pulling laundry out of the washing machine, to look at a message? LOL Suuuuuure. Anyway, you can spot it in a minute when these interfaces are generated by animators / artists / movie effects people, because they could never gain widespread usage when the majority of people would be fatigued after a mere 10 minutes using such a system. Kind of like every movie with a computer makes beeps and blips every time you interact with any widget, which in reality would drive the average human out of their mind in exactly 20 minutes. Yeah, looks cool as a prop, but annoying in real life.

Oh, and I like the way that gun somehow turns into an actual prop in that guy's hands. They've invented a transporter and holodeck to go along with their VR headset apparently.

Comment: ActiveX (Score 5, Informative) 95

by Dan East (#49308361) Attached to: South Korea Begins To Deprecate ActiveX

In case anyone is wondering what ActiveX is, it's essentially a Windows program you download that runs natively on your computer. It gets to draw to the specified element in the browser, which makes it look like it's part of a webpage. There isn't (or wasn't) any kind of sandboxing or security once the ActiveX component was installed - it could do anything it wanted on your computer like any other Windows program, because that's essentially what it was. The only security was whether or not you installed the ActiveX component in the first place. If I remember correctly they are really just DLLs, and used Component Object Model for the standard in which the DLL exposes methods, etc.

A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"