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Comment Re:There is no reason for any drought to continue (Score 1) 390

It's amazing how much the politicians push the common people to "do their part", which amounts to saving a minuscule fraction of the water when the real problem is agriculture/environmental usages of the water. So you have a large percentage of the population wasting their time killing their lawn, spending $10k on drought resistant landscaping, etc. People feel good they have a dead front lawn but in the end, they are not really contributing anything meaningful to the solution, but the politicians did a good job making them feel like they did their part. Meanwhile, actual solutions to the problems are left unexplored.

Comment Re:No surprise... (Score 1) 390

Where I live (California) the base cost is about $2.50 USD per 100 cubic feet (748 gallons). There are then additional "tiers" that increase the cost over your baseline quantity. If you live in an apartment and don't have a lawn/yard/garden I can understand only 31 gallons/day, but I have a few fruit trees and such that I like to keep watered. One thing I'll admit is that if they want people to conserve, they need to raise water rates (and then use that money to acquire more water resources).

Comment Trucking around reclaimed water (Score 1) 390

Is one way we are NOT winning the drought. I tried doing the math on this and it doesn't make sense to me, yet I see big F250 pickup trucks with 275 gallon tanks everywhere around here. How is driving 20 miles round trip to pick up 275 gallons of reclaimed water worth your time, wear/tear on vehicle, tank and pump, and fuel? According to my water bill that 275 gallons costs maybe $1.28. Even at higher tiers I don't see how it would add up. You'd have to make a trip to the water plant almost every day to even get enough water for even a very small lawn.

Comment Re: Electric cars work great in an urban landscape (Score 1) 215

Have you looked into any of the plug in hybrids like the Volt? The new model will get 50 miles of EV range. For winter driving, the gas engine will act as a heater and a back up to the battery range. Another nice thing about a PHEV is you can pre-heat it electrically before heading out, saving on gas and EV range.

Comment Re:Not quite comparable (Score 1) 215

It takes me about 15 seconds to plug in my car at home. If I'm using a public station it takes maybe 30 seconds (some time to activate). As long as I'm doing something else useful while it's charging I'm spending less time than I would be staring at the price total on a pump at a gas station.

Comment Just advanced level of detail rendering? (Score 1) 291

So did they just essentially develop a super intelligent LOD loading system that uses procedural instancing? I'm pretty sure you could put together similarly impressive demos using the latest tricks from Nvidia and ATI using standard polygon rendering. The fact they are using points vs. polygons isn't that interesting to me.

What is fundamentally missing here? Animation, lighting and shadows. Those are going to be really hard problems to solve and I'm curious how they will go about it.

Also, it's not "infinite" detail. There is going to be a fundamental limit in regards to CPU memory or GPU memory. You can only store so much "detail" at the various detail levels in the different stages of memory. As soon as it has to dynamically load an entire detailed world that doesn't include just 20 instanced models, but more like 10,000, than I'm sure it will run a lot slower.

However... I am excited for this. DDR3 is getting dirt cheap, if they could make a game that actually used all 8GB of my memory I'd be impressed.

Comment Three displays (Score 1) 628

I'm surprised not very many people use 3 monitors. Maybe the barrier of having to install a 2nd video card is too difficult? I personally have a 3 monitor config at work and home. They really aren't too expensive anymore. It really does help with software development to have one monitor for administration (e-mail, web, calender), one for your IDE of choice, and another for the application your debugging.

Comment Usability? (Score 1) 106

Yeah, that's cool you can say "it has 1,600,000 books" but how are they categorized? Is the interface for selecting and searching for books intuitive? If the laptops are targeted to a younger audience are the selected books at an appropriate reading level for the age? I mean, this is really only useful if they can create a really, really, good front end.

Of course you can't flap your arms and fly to the moon. After a while you'd run out of air to push against.