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Comment: High Priced Meh. (Score 1) 9 9

Sorry but these are going to be USB 3.0 monitors, so they will not be 1920X1080 or higher and not impressive. They need to be displayport to leverage 2 displays at full high resolution. THEN be a high quality enough panel to not have defects.

I'll stick with the ASUS usb panel I carry with my laptop for when I actually need an extra screen. It's very low res (1366X768) but it's useful for having a PDF up or other very low framerate app up while I am at a customers site.

Comment: Re:Turn it on them (Score 1) 155 155

What we should be doing is filing FOIAs [] for all data collected on our elected officials.

I think it would better drive home the point if elected officials have to file an "FOIA" with the citizens for *their* data and plead their case, humbly, with hat in hand.


Comment: Dick versus total dick (Score 1) 1 1

Geeks are just like the others - we have nice geeks, nasty geeks, geeks who like to be part-time dick and then, there are geeks who are totally 100% pure every second of their lives

Since I've been around the block quite a few times I got the pleasure to know both Ballmer and Jobs

One of them a 100% totally unadulterated dick, and still is

The other? Sometimes he played the part of the dick, but other times, totally normal

Comment: Re:Build colonies on Earth (Score 1) 173 173

There are pretty good reasons for believing that a key to the improved environment on Earth will be the migration of many processes off the planet. I'm not a particular fan of Space Solar Power, but it's definitely in the running. According to experts in the field, SSP could eliminate all of the power plants on Earth (both fire-based and nuclear) and provide easy cheap power everywhere for less. (IMHO it would be cheaper in the short run to just build big solar facilities in the Sahara, 30 feet off the ground. This would generate plenty of power and provide a new resource underneath - shade where things could be grown.)

Comment: Re:Build colonies on Earth (Score 3) 173 173

As someone who is involved (peripherally) in the "New Space" movement, IMHO the first purpose of space development will be the availability of new resources and technologies. An economist a couple of years ago predicted that space development would have the potential to increase the standard of living of everyone on Earth by a factor of 10. That seems optimistic to me, but a reasonable goal. One popular example (see Planetary Resources, Inc.) regards the availability of Platinum, which is a very useful industrial metal, but is unfortunately $1300 per ounce. Platinum mining is expensive, dangerous, and disastrous both ecologically and socially. This greatly restricts is usefulness although it is used in those expensive catalytic converters in your car - that's why they're expensive. The best astronomical physicists believe that some of the Near Earth Asteroids contain single-digit percentages of Platinum. If this is true, then a 100 meter asteroid would contain a dozen times as much Platinum as has ever been mined. Retrieving this material to Earth could drop the price to between $10 and $100 per ounce, and this would still be economically viable for the company to process in space and ship it down to Earth.

There are many other examples. Technologically, the range of industrial processes that are presently either expensive or impossible on Earth due to gravity and air, that could be done in the high vacuum and microgravity of space is broad but it is likely that an order of magnitude more new processes that have not even been envisioned yet will be discovered or invented. Orbital production of high quality integrated circuits might well be one - one of the most expensive aspects of IC manufacturing is the requirement to build a huge facility and maintain a high level clean room environment. In space that could be done with not much more than a bit of Mylar.

Comment: Re:Incredibly farfetched (Score 1) 173 173

Well the nice thing is that there would be plenty of open space. I'm not sure why one-inch steel - steel doesn't seem to be an ideal material for this. I don't know what the effects of all that sulfide would have on carbon, but if it can be made resistant I would think seriously about starting small with a probe that can produce a carbon-based skin and build a bigger balloon for itself.

Comment: Re:Incredibly farfetched (Score 2) 173 173

Just to be clear - size is not largely irrelevant. The whole key to buoyancy is that the volume of a sphere goes up as the cube of the diameter while the surface area goes up as the square - for a non-sphere it's based on the three linear dimensions of course. So a very small craft can barely carry the skin, while a large one can carry much more in addition to the skin. There are other factors, but that's the primary one.

For example, a one-foot box made with one inch steel would not float well.

Comment: Re:Huge waste of Resourses (Score 1) 173 173

I recall not that many years ago when the prospect of a teraflop processor was science fiction. That was about 1992. A year or two before that I worked on some photometrically-correct ray tracing code, porting it to the Cray X/MP. That code took a month to make one 1024x1024 frame on the top-end Apollo workstation, and a few minutes to run on the Cray. It could probably run at close to 30Hz on my phone today, and today's supercomputers are in the 30+ petaflop range, i.e. 3x10^16.

So we're getting close - theoretically, if all of the top 100 supercomputers got together, the group performance would be in the 10^19 range. :) Actually that's not a bad idea - the powers that be could work a deal for all of them to work together for one week per year on the same problem, and the research time could be allocated the way that telescope time is allocated according to accepted/agreed value of a particular project.

Comment: Re: Atomospheric toxins. (Score 2) 173 173

I had an idea a while back, that actually relates to TFA. Genetically engineered bacteria or simple organisms that could float and live in the Venusian atmosphere and gradually begin to 'fix' the sulfides and whatever - maybe pooping out metallic sulfur. For the first long while, they would be working at the top of the atmosphere. Their poop would drift down and re-vaporize (absorbing energy and lowering the temperature). When they died, they would drift down into deeper layers and get to the point where their bodies would be heated back up to the point where the materials would be turned back into gas. But as they became more populous, gradually they would reduce the amount of solar energy (especially if their bodies were reflective), and the temperature. Eventually the might be able to reduce the temperature to the point where their poop, or that of their successors, would fall to the surface, permanently eliminating the sulfides from the air.

Comment: Fallacy (Score 3, Interesting) 96 96

Privilege white people committing suicide? I'm playing my smallest violin in sympathy

1. Not all startup founders are 'white people' and not all of them are 'privileged' either

2. Most of the startup founders do not commit suicide

3. Stress level for startup founders - no matter what kind of startup - is high, but this is natural, as the journey of starting up a new company (in any industry) is a rocky road filled with a mix of excitement / trepidation / frustration

As for the percentage of the excitement versus that of trepidation versus that of frustration largely depends on

A. The regional / global industrial environment in which the startup is involved with

B. The structure of the startup

C. The corporate culture of the startup, ie, the attitude of the close-knit of people working in the startup

D. The personality type of the founder himself or herself

I personally have involved in quite a number of startups and every single one has their own perculiar 'pain of labor' - and for each of the 'pain of labor', if the founder sees it as a 'challenge' it would be tackled with zeal. However, if the same 'pain of labor' is seen as 'trouble' then the thing could become a protracted problem for the company

The above is based on my own experience


Comment: Re:who tha fu.. (Score 1) 302 302

The 'feature' occurred on Windows Phone first, not sure exactly what version. I assume that it made a great pitch to prospective carriers, since they all love offloading customers onto anything that isn't their data network as often as possible, and typing passwords into your phone is a pain, so automating it likely increases network offload considerably.

The rate at which a disease spreads through a corn field is a precise measurement of the speed of blight.