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Comment Re:The technical problems with this are immense. (Score 1) 237

Turbines are better if you need steady thrust and can tolerate high rotational velocities. So they work fine for large airplanes, but are not that useful for VTOL aircraft (which is the goal here).

VTOL is not a must-have, it's a nice-to-have. It's not like we haven't room for airstrips. We have.

They are also extremely expensive.

Sure, but so are batteries. Money gets spent all over.

Comment Re:Cores Schmores (Score 1) 42

The Thunderbird was nice, but it was more of a price/performance winner than overall performance. A 1GHz Thunderbird ran stable at 1.3GHz and was similar performance to a 2GHz Pentium 4 at a fraction of the cost (particularly as the P4 required RAMBUS DRAM, so you could stick twice as much DDR in Athlon for the same money). It wasn't until the Opteron that AMD really started winning on performance. The integrated DRAM controller was a big win and being first to 64 bits (which, on x86, means more GPRs, sane floating point ISA, and PC-relative addressing) gave them a huge advantage. Unfortunately, they haven't really been competitive since the Core 2, except in market segments where Intel intentionally cripples their offerings (e.g. no more than 2 SATA ports on the Atom Mini-ITX boards to avoid competition with the i3 boards, making AMD the only viable option).

Comment Re:Establishment clause (Score 1) 213

f I wanted to place a 300 foot cross on my property in my neighborhood, I wouldn't be allowed. If I wanted to pan for gold, I wouldn't be allowed.

Generally, you can do both of those things on private property. You are restricted from doing them if you bought your property without mineral rights or if you bought property where there are CC&Rs or zoning restrictions.

Actually, you're only half right. You're right about the panning for gold, but absolutely not about the cross. Any structure that large will surely fall afoul of some kind of restriction. You will at minimum require a permit. You can't just go off half-cocked and do it. There will be meetings, and your community will decide if you can build something that big. If someone complains there will be more meetings.

Comment Re:Unhelpful Whining (Score 1) 213

as for the negative consequences, maybe they didn't want a large industrial installation on top of what the local community feels is a natural resource?

No. No, that is not at all possible. That is not possible because there is already a large industrial installation on top of what the local community used to use as a natural resource, also known as a rock quarry. The local community doesn't use the site at all now; it's actually set aside specifically for building telescopes.

Comment Re:The difference between abstraction and reality (Score 1) 213

That's my point. Ours tend to be the types that can keep to themselves. Theirs are the kind that can't.

What? No. There is no kind of religious type that can keep to itself once it gets the power to start forcing other people to live like them. There are some kinds of religious, though, whose beliefs inherently prevent them from amassing such power. You're not going to see the Amish forcing anyone to live like them any time soon because their religion forbids them taking up arms. They don't have the means, and their lifestyle forbids them acquiring them, so it's not going to happen.

The only thing that stops any particular Christian sect from going bad (they all have the same book more or less, so they all can justify any kind of bad behavior if they cross their eyes just right when they read it) is other competing sects, and the fact that their numbers are all dwindling. The only religion growing right now is Islam, and IMO that's only because they have a large captive audience to which they can sell their story. Depressed people are easy targets for religion. Bring up quality of life in the places they're making inroads and you'll see them falter rapidly. Nobody happy needs religion.

Comment Re: This is why we can't have nice things (Score 1) 213

In a city, sure. Rural land, not so much. Though it's changing as counties belly up to the bar.

Anywhere in Lake County, CA, it costs more in permits to build a single-bedroom dwelling than it does to buy the materials. There is some $30k in mandatory fees and permits involved. Lake County is rural by any definition. Welcome to America...

Comment Re:And for what? (Score 1) 213

Thanks for saying this, this is what I have said in basically every discussion on this subject so far. Why are we building bigger scopes on the planet when they belong on the far side of the moon, isolated from our light and radio noise? Yeah, it's a big project. Compared to going to Mars, landing the elements of a radio telescope array on the moon seems trivial... like a solved problem, really.

Comment Tying shoelaces requires more than squishy fingers (Score 1) 16

We are nowhere near making a robotic manipulator with even half the abilities of the human hand. Not only can it be moved in a fairly astounding range, but its sensor capabilities are phenomenal. When I am soldering or doing automotive repair, each hand often does two or three different things at once! e.g. hold this, twist that, pull on this other thing, hold that out of the way, sense which way this thing is pointed, feel out the place where the part goes... Lots of people are making soft robots, but nobody is even vaguely close to demonstrating a prototype of a sensor as versatile as your fingertip.

Comment Re: A machine... (Score 1) 348

Manga are drawings that don't even depict the likenesses of real people. They look completely cartoony and fake. That fact that you can't separate a cartoon caricature from real life shows that you have some real insecurities and mental problems.

To what do you attribute the rise of the "furry"? Me, I blame it on Bugs Bunny in drag. No, but seriously, my generation grew up watching anthropomorphized animals on TV, and came to associate with them. One of the first sources of that funny feeling in my pants was Cheetarah on Thundercats. No, I do not fuck in fursuits, nor do I own one, or wear one on TV... but even so, it would surprise me if the two phenomena weren't related. We learned to empathize with anthropomorphized animals as children.

Comment Re:A machine... (Score 1) 348

Would the cowards mod-bombing me please step forwards and state why you feel it's okay to use the moderation system this way.

No, they won't, because they're cowards. The only reason they haven't committed suicide is that death is scary. If they had the courage to come forwards and associate their name with their moderation, they'd also have the courage to do something other than mod you down.

Comment Re: Batteries just don't store enough energy... (Score 1) 237

Most people can't afford those big trucks, either. You may have seen "several" in your area, and so have I... but I've seen several Teslas, too. Hell, I finally saw one actually in Lake county, and there sure ain't no superchargers around here. Someone must have been going between Mendo and Napa. I don't see $65,000 trucks actually in Lake county either, though. I see those over in Napa too, or down in Santa Rosa. Up here in the sticks it's cheaper trucks all day.

Comment Re:Electrics Cargo Ships (Score 1) 237

Why don't we make electric cargo ships first?

Because they can't hold enough power to cross oceans. We would have to make them nuclear. This is actually one of the places where it might make sense to do so. Make them even larger, and make them nuclear. They would have to be larger for economies of scale to work out. The US claims to have never had a failure in a naval PWR...

Comment Re:Why vertically? (Score 1) 237

A plane takes off and lands horizontally because it's safer. They can glide to a landing if something goes wrong.

A [typical] plane takes off and lands horizontally because it is a plane. Literally by definition, what it does is plane its way through the air. It has no other mode of operation. However, it is not safe. Takeoff and landing are the most dangerous times for a plane by far. During the takeoff and landing period, aircraft are vulnerable to turbulence that would normally have no significant effect, and they have limited maneuvering options. If you can keep a craft inherently stable during VTOL, as they are required to be at every other time (all modern non-military aircraft are designed to be naturally stable, while the unstable military craft are computer-stabilized) then you can significantly increase landing safety by making it quicker and making it take up less space.

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