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Comment Re:As Sen Dirksen said... (Score 1) 169

Nokia was already on the way out. They failed to adapt to the new phone market as defined by the iPhone. Perhaps if they had immediately switched to the Android OS and stuck to hardware only they could have kept pace and stayed relevant. Most people (myself included) have never even seen a Nokia phone without a physical keyboard. That shows the era in which they peaked and stagnated. Microsoft would have had to have saved Nokia, as opposed to just letting the Nokia status quo alone and Nokia magically being successful.

Comment Compiler optimizer bugs (Score 4, Interesting) 263

Some of the bugs I've beat my head against the wall over the most are compiler bugs. It's easy to have the mindset that the compiler is infallible, and so programmers don't usually debug in a way that tests whether fundamentals like operators are really working right. This was particularly bad developing for Windows CE back around 2000 when you had to build for 3 different processors (Arm, MIPS and SH3). I ran into a number of optimizer bugs usually related to binary operators. The usual solution was precompiler directives to disable the optimizer around a specific block of code.

Comment Re:Already been done in China for a while (Score 1) 239

That is not a DC air conditioner. Note that it comes with a 2kw inverter. It's just a regular 220V AC air conditioner. Also, that whole package is sketchy. The stated BTUs don't match throughout the page (title and description says one thing, specs say another). It comes with 4 solar panels, but there are absolutely no specs on them - not even the wattage. Anyway, that package is solar panels, batteries, huge inverter and a regular air conditioner. The efficiency would have to be very low.

Comment One Facebook... (Score 4, Insightful) 172

One Facebook to rule them all. At least Google gave it a try. I guess the end Facebook's dominance will have to be a long, slow process of attrition like with MySpace. It has a critical mass of users that cannot be overcome with money or other Web presence, as proven by Google. It may also take the young generation growing through it - most people under 20 do not have much interest in Facebook at all. They have accounts of course, but very few are very active.

Comment Avoidable? (Score 1) 549

It's good that Google's autonomous cars haven't caused any accidents, however the bigger question is if there was a human driver in those situations, would any of them have been avoidable? I try to keep an eye on vehicles coming to a stop behind me when I'm stopped, which is something the Google cars may not be programmed to do (or even have rear-facing sensors to detect that at all). I'm sure these vehicles are safer than a good many drivers on the road, but they can only react and respond in ways they were specifically designed for.

Comment Young surface (Score 5, Informative) 108

The detailed image showing Pluto's mountains is, according to one of the NASA scientists, one the youngest looking bodies in the solar system. The surface features appear to be less than 100 million years old. Very strange. Are there even any viable theories on what is providing the energy to resurface such an old, far-out, isolated body? A major impact of some kind is the only thing I can think of. Pluto is too small for the heat to be internally generated, and there is no massive nearby body to cause tidal forces and the like.

Comment Re:How do you define anything? (Score 1) 1083

There are African cultures (or were) where the males and females lived in separate huts. The males considered the female's genitalia unclean, because of menstruation and all that. The men would have the young boys (we're talking boys of all ages) perform fellatio on them, with the explanation that drinking the men's semen would make the boys grow up to be strong men as well.

Citing primitive cultures (Native American or otherwise) as some kind of model for our society is pointless.

Comment Consitution (Score 0) 1083

I don't have a problem with the judges appointed to the Supreme Court doing whatever they want because they have the power and have the final say ("It's good to be me!"), but to attempt to tie it in legally to the Constitution when that does not apply is going a little overboard. You're making arbitrary decisions and rewriting the text of law (ie the Obamacare ruling), so let's just at least not try and justify it Constitutionally (beyond the Constitution giving the Supreme Court the authority to make the decisions they are presented in the first place). A simple "We have the authority to make this decision and the majority have done so" would suffice.

Comment Orbital mechanics (Score 5, Insightful) 59

The huge problem is orbital mechanics. The delta-V difference between satellites is enormous. Polar orbit, geosynchronous orbit, low-earth orbit, etc, etc. The difference in velocity between them is more than any satellite or service vehicle could realistically overcome (assuming you want to visit more than one satellite every couple decades). Satellites in geostationary orbit might be doable, because they all have to orbit relative to the earth's rotation, so traversing from one to another might be reasonable. However they are so far up there that it would still require covering a lot of distance to get from one to another.

Comment Twofer (Score 4, Informative) 265

A quick search on converting photons to electrons turned this up:

A new discovery by researchers at the ICFO has revealed that graphene is even more efficient at converting light into electricity than previously known. Graphene is capable of converting a single photon of light into multiple electrons able to drive electric current.

So that could be where the extra electrons are coming from.

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly