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Comment It's the big problem with space games (Score 3, Interesting) 48

As you say, you want to feel like your economic choices have consequence, and not just for your pocketbook. If I buy all the fish in town, then not only should the price of fish go up, but the fishing industry should spend its money in predictable locations and boost other industries.

As my subject line alludes, the real place this crops up again and again is in space games. If I'm buying and selling the complete available product of a planet in some particular industry, that should have significant effects. Or, if I blow up a bunch of cargo ships carrying spaceship parts, then that should have significant and immediately noticeable effects. Instead, none of this is true at all in basically any game but EVE.

Comment Re:All That's Needed is One Stupid Rule (Score 1) 54

I don't think a modern city would be recognizable to the opponents of the automobile or even to some of those who championed it.

If you don't look up, the difference would be less shocking than you imagine... especially since the motorcar is so very much cleaner and quieter now than it was then.

I also don't think people can appreciate what a city of ubiquitous drones would be like.

This drone thing is a fad, it will come in waves. This is the "pretty cheap" wave, it is fairly annoying. The "practically free" wave will be even worse. Then it will settle down to a dull background murmur.

Comment Re:Not with a console they won't. (Score 1) 88

Titanfall? Never heard of it. Try CS:GO with a controller and I'm willing to bet you won't make it out of silver.

I've read and re-read your comment, and I still don't see how it makes sense as a reply to mine. Neither linked article contains the word "Titanfall", nor does my comment...

Comment Re:Do what people who live on boats do. (Score 1) 361

The latest crop have gotten really good, but tablets are even better -- especially when charged directly from 12V, vs. 120V w/ inverter .

And you can get a ~12VDC to 5VDC@3A with micro-usb or mini-usb for three bucks or so on eBay; I like the "CPT" brand in this price range. I use them for automotive GPS and phone charging. Much more slick to just have a little charging cable tail someplace than to dick around with lighter sockets.

Comment Re:Stone Age... (Score 1) 361

I've looked at an off grid cabin for weekend vacations. A few portable propane cylinders would cover the fridge (assuming a pound/liter of LP gas a day), and it would also cover a water heater.

Solar wouldn't be cheap, but for a few thousand, I could place a number of solar panels,

Instead, build yourself a nice peltier cooler. Start with an existing ice chest or cooler, then add even more insulation. Peltier junctions and heat sink/fan combos are readily available, but I scavenged my junctions and sinks from peltier-equipped ice chests with fan problems sourced from yard sales. The junctions run well on 12V and they're very simple. Thermostatic switches with a remote bulb are easy to come by. An extra couple of inches of styrofoam all around a cooler with a lid on the top and built into a counter, with some simple PC-style ventilation. There's just not much to it. Make it permanent with thermal epoxy or use high quality long-life thermal compound like you would use on a PC.

The trick with the well pump and an off-grid cabin, would be to run a generator so the pump can move water into an above ground storage tank 250-2500 gallons, then from there, a much smaller pump that runs from 12 volts can pump water from the tank into the cabin.

The best solution would probably be a windmill pump and an elevated water tank. You can get by with around 25 psi, which takes some fifty feet of rise. Obviously, this is most readily available in hill country. Make sure to get some appropriate exposure. Flat land is bad land anyway. It seems convenient while you're working on trucks or whatever...

Comment Re:Standard DC voltage? (Score 1) 361

It still need to be run at a pretty hefty voltage to keep the wire gauge reasonable

Most of the equipment in use, the wiring and the switches and so on, has insulation rated for up to 250V. So having a pretty hefty voltage isn't really a big problem, is it?

and you end up having to make a bunch of DC-DC converters (really DC-AC-DC) for each required supply voltage anyway.

The converters are pretty cheap when they only have to decrease voltage, though. It's only when they have to increase it that they become expensive.

Comment Re:Coal is losing the War On Coal (Score 1) 361

Coal dropped below 50% several years ago and is falling rapidly. Alpha Natural Resources -- one of the giants of the American coal industry -- has filed for bankruptcy. They're sitting on $3 billion in debt while coal prices have plummeted as a result of utilities switching over to natural gas.

Which still produces CO2, and which is based on fracking. We reached peak natgas some time ago, if you measure it by readily available sources.

Comment Re:There are far larger DC projects (Score 1) 361

I've heard of some 40% efficiency gains by avoiding the usual transformers per lamppost.

No, that's bollocks. But it might be 40% overall when you consider the ancient (passive) ballast, and redesign with reflectors to angle more of the light down to the street. There is very little efficiency difference between an arc lamp with a modern digital ballast, and an LED with its driver circuit. The difference between an old-school ballast and a modern one is not as big as you imagine; it's measurable, but it doesn't even begin to approach 40%.

Comment Re:check out recreational vehicle stores (Score 1) 361

Wood instead of propane, because I can go out and chop down a tree myself, whereas I can't refine propane by myself.

You can refine methane by yourself, though. You can refine it with just a membrane. The problem becomes compressing it so that it's useful for more than cooking. That's expensive, because it requires a fancy compressor.

Comment Re:Not with a console they won't. (Score 2) 88

I'm trying to think of what games people play competitively on consoles, and none come to mind. Keyboard and mouse flat out destroys controllers when it comes to competitive play.

That's OK, because 2015 (or perhaps 2016) is the year of the keyboard and mouse on consoles. (Sony is also licensing a kb/mouse peripheral, AFAIK this is a licensing first. Yes, I know that there were mice for prior platforms; I have them for SNES, PS, and DC. (That's all of them, right?)

Comment Games and Movies feeding one another (Score 3, Interesting) 153

Even though the new Star Trek movies depart from the original canon, they still feed the last official bastion thereof, the MMO. And the same developer does the D&D MMO (Neverwinter), in the same engine in fact. One drives demand for the other, and the same group with disposable income is the primary target for both. Expect some pretty horrible movies aimed at the lowest common denominator amongst the 14-35 set.

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer