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Comment: Re:Why stop there? (Score 1) 496

by Derling Whirvish (#46645877) Attached to: Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

When the power drops, and I need to get across X lanes of traffic to the breakdown lane, I'll be glad to have a mirror.

A driver certainly would want to be encased inside a protective shell if the windshield were replaced with a monitor blocking the view and bringing a whole new meaning to BSOD.

Of course once self-driving cars hit the successive generations/versions, all bets are off.

The Apollo space capsule didn't have a glass windshield up front and the astronauts managed to get all the way to the moon and back without a BSOD killing them. I think I can handle a trip to my local Piggly Wiggly without one.

Comment: Re:Why stop there? (Score 1) 496

by Derling Whirvish (#46645859) Attached to: Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

What about ditching the windshield and replacing it with a 4k HD screen? Then you can embed the driver lower-down and deep inside a protective hardened shell. A no-glass car all around.

Then how about ditching the wheels, and just simulate movement on the 4K screen. You could drive as fast you want in perfect safety.

That's more or less what I already do with Amazon. I have ditched the car altogether for most shopping trips and replaced it with a virtual shopping center that has almost everything I need right there on my 24" computer monitor.

Comment: Submarines (Score 0) 496

by Derling Whirvish (#46645139) Attached to: Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?
I assume submarines have replaced the captain looking thru the periscope with his eyes to a camera mounted there and a Star-Trek-style viewscreen viewable to everyone in the control room. If they haven't they should. You can add infrared sensors and stuff to the video. And no more red light so as to not damage the captain's night vision.

Comment: What about aircraft? (Score 4, Interesting) 496

by Derling Whirvish (#46645103) Attached to: Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?
I always wondered why aircraft don't have embedded cameras all around. One to observe the landing gear, one pointed at the tail rudder, one for each engine, one for the ailerons/flaps etc. No more guessing what is going on based on instrumentation and sending a crewman to look out the window to see if he can spot the problem. Easier to detect icing, snow load on the wing while on the runway, etc.

Comment: Don't confuse cosmetology with cosmology either (Score 1) 326

If you go to college and pick cosmology classes expecting cosmetology classes, you will be in for a big surprise first day of class. And if you pick them vice-versa as well. I don't know which situation would be more interesting -- maybe there's a TV sitcom in the concept somewhere. A young Howard Wolowitz-type mistakenly goes to cosmetology class, decides to stay with it what with all the girls there and all, and is vastly rewarded for doing so.

Comment: Re:Are we doomed? (Score 3, Interesting) 102

Does anyone get the impression that our civilization is doomed? Short of finding a way of making practical nuclear fusion reactors work, something that has been always "30 years from now" since the time I was in middle school forty years ago, there seems to be no solution to our future energy needs that don't do evil things to our planet's climate that eventually will doom our civilization.

You are 100% correct no matter what the source of energy. The course we are on is unsustainable at our current rate of energy consumption. Tom Murphy's excellent essay "Galactic-Scale Energy" made the case rather well (and it deserves its own Slashdot entry if it hasn't already had one -- I'm too lazy too look it up). About 1400 years from now (which is less time into the future than we are from the fall of the Roman Empire) we will be using more energy than is currently produced by the entirety of the sun if we don't back off on the growth of our energy consumption, which is showing no signs of easing up. It doesn't matter if the source of the energy is fossil fuels, nuclear fusion, or some future magic, the earth cannot host that amount of energy consumption. The planet will have reached its thermodynamic limit long before then.

Comment: Native peoples of the New World rallying together (Score 3, Interesting) 284

by Derling Whirvish (#46078357) Attached to: Chinese Moon Rover Says an Early Goodnight
Hmm, we have a sort of precedent for that. Did the native peoples of the New World put aside their petty differences, rally together and be on the same side for once when the Europeans came over or did they split apart, some siding with them, some siding against them, some forming temporary alliances for quick gain, some shifting with the wind depending on which side was winning, fighting each other etc? Same for the native peoples of Africa.

Comment: Delete, delete, delete (Score 3, Insightful) 326

by Derling Whirvish (#40951363) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best On-Site Backup Plan?
I see this all the time with photographers. Bottom line: your photographs are not all that valuable. Some are, yes. Most are not. Pare them down. Delete the bad ones, the failures, the misfocussed, the bad exposures. The greatest photographers the world has ever known are only known for a few dozen photos at best. Do you really need an 8 TB photographic archive? Who's going to ever look at them all? Save the best. Delete the rest.

+ - Why We Need Big, Bold Science Fiction-> 1

Submitted by Derling Whirvish
Derling Whirvish (636322) writes "Sci-Fi used to be about bold engineering, and so was America. Popular Mechanics Resident Contrarian Glenn Harlan Reynolds says that's the spirit we need to recapture. No more depressing dystopias (we're looking at you, The Hunger Games)—give us sci-fi that inspires people to dream big."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Used Android (Score 1) 294

by Derling Whirvish (#39144849) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Mobile Phone Solution With No Data Plan?
Let me second this. I have an old LG Versa which is not a smart phone but does have HTML browsing. Activating it on PagePlus costs $10 for four months access for 100 minutes and 5 cents per text. You can top it up whenever you run up against the $10 limitt. And if your are very frugal, that $10 can last the whole four months. That's $2.50 a month. And it's on Verizon's network, so the service is rock-solid. Beat that.

Going the speed of light is bad for your age.