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Comment Re:Sad in a philosophical sense (Score 1) 84

For having so many small experiments and projects to maintain, a human presence is really not that much more effort compared to building robotic versions of each experiment. The human is also far more adaptable, able to repair and rebuild systems as needed.

Well, except that humans are pretty much stuck at the landing site. Mars has half the circumference of earth or about 20000 km, you can get the equivalent of the lunar rover and cover maybe 20 km before you have to turn back. Sure, the rovers are a snooze feast but we got several of them in different places. For the same reason it's not practical to repair them or return samples to base either, even if we had a man on Mars.

Comment Re:Meaningless stats (Score 1) 93

Yes, but... what users are complaining about isn't really how "fair" it is from a CS perspective. What they really want to know is how they can say my video streaming is a lot more important than my bittorrent client and if there's CPU contention or IO contention or network contention just let the video take priority. Because usually somebody with a server has optimized the IO quite well for the use case with 100 streams and they're all equally important. That's usually not the case on the client, some things matter much, much more than others.

Comment Re: A Porsche Self-Drive? (Score 1) 207

This is a silly fallacy. It's a statistical manipulation to hide information by mashing disparate groups together, like saying half the world's population has ovaries.

The most egregious one I've seen was someone trying to explain technology didn't cut down the amount of time we spend collecting food because some 20% of the earth's population are farmers. In developed countries where agriculture uses advanced farm management techniques and powered machinery, we expend under 2% of our labor time producing food, including the cost of all that machinery and the fuel for it; low-development countries with subsistence farming tend to expend 18% or more. Taken as a whole, the statistic of how many farmers are working to feed 100% of the earth's population drastically weakens my argument; examined as developed vs developing, we see the countries using developed technology expend *much* less labor per unit food, which firmly supports my argument.

Your argument paints the world as one socio-economic unit. It's the kind of argument people use for pulling away from China, citing low pay and poor working conditions, while ignoring the low cost-of-living and the bare fact that a loss of jobs means more starving, homeless Chinese people. Treating Burkina Faso as if it's America with some people's rights getting infringed is a grand delusion.

Comment Re:APorsche Self-Drive? (Score 1) 207

Ridiculously inflated? I've looked at buying myself a Porsche. It's a little more than my standard fare, but nowhere near the nuttery of Ferrari's barely-functional, glass-construction shit boxes. Not only does a Porsche only cost a few tens of thousands instead of a few hundreds of thousands, but you can hit potholes without incurring maintenance costs exceeding the MSRP of a brand new Porsche.

Comment Re:What year is this? (Score 3, Informative) 153

It all depends on how far you are from the nearest central, 3-5 km out on basic ADSL is pretty crap. If you live close to the exchange or they've pulled fiber "close" and you get ADSL2 or VDSL you can get decent 10-50 Mbit. No doubt the growth is fiber though, here in Norway it's now 28% (+6%) fiber, 22% (-5%) DSL since last year.

Comment Re:Porsche != 'Luddite' (Score 1) 207

The only problem is that insurance is based on risk pools. This means that as people switch to self driving cars the risk pool for cars that people drive shrinks and by definition they are the most unsafe drivers compared to the autodrive cars. This will mean insurance will go up and move people will stop driving their cars for money reasons and the insurance will keep going up.

No, insurance goes up as risk goes up. Unless driving a car becomes much riskier due to the interaction with self-driving cars or there's a selection bias where the above average safe drivers switch to self-driving and the below average stay the cost should remain constant. There would be a cheaper alternative and many people would surely prefer it but it's not like a wooden house in the countryside becomes more or less flammable because they build concrete condos in the city. Personally I suspect it would be the opposite, the people who know they probably ought not be driving but need a practical way to get from A to B go self-driving and the people who drive are those who want to, when they want to. And you're driving in a world where most cars actually follow the rules and behave nicely, I believe accident rates will go down on both sides. Whether competition works and the rates come down is another matter.

Comment Re:The gun is pointing at the foot (Score 1) 364

Something of a biased set. I've been using Firefox on Android for over a year, and I am very happy with it. I wasn't aware until your post that Mozilla was collecting satisfaction stats, and even now I can't really be bothered to post there - but I probably would if I were unhappy with it. Firefox with the self-destructing cookies add-on is the only mobile browser that I've found that gives me the cookie management policy that I want.

Comment Re:Firefox 44 (Score 1) 364

Perhaps they're expecting people to install add-ons? Fine-grained cookie management was why I switched to Firefox on Android, but I actually ended up using the self-destructing cookies add-on, which has exactly the policy that I want: any site can set a cookie, but unless I explicitly opt in (which I can do retroactively with the undelete button) to keeping it, then it's deleted when I navigate away from the site. Everything works as if I had cookies set to automatically accept, but doesn't get to persist any state for me across visits unless I permit it to.

Comment Re:Add-ons? (Score 1) 364

You guys just can't be satisfied. "This or that feature should be a plugin!" Mozilla removes features and suggests they are better handled by plugins "No! Not that feature!"

There's a huge gap between "You can have the car painted any color you want as long as it's black" and "We've stripped it down to the chassis, pick the parts that are right for you". I always thought extensions were going to cover niche functionality and act as a test bed so you could slowly pull in core shortcomings into the main browser at a leisurely and well structured pace because there's an overhead to extensions when you have many installed and your browser runs like shit because of some bad plug-ins and bad interactions. Depending on what glasses you look at it seems that Mozilla first pushes you to extensions, then blames the extensions, then breaks the extension. The user don't care why it's broken or whose fault it is, they just want it to work. And if you have to turn Firefox into Chrome to do that, well we already have Chrome. And it's a lot better at it...

Comment Re:Cats & dogs living together (Score 1) 163

Google's core business is delivering targeted advertising and marketing data, give it away "free" then monetize the hell out of it. They're only opposed to malware and deceptive ads because it hurts their much bigger business of ordinary ads. What on earth made you think Google likes ad blockers? They're all cloud and web apps and put your data online so we can analyze it. And praise Jeebus they didn't get anywhere with G+, if they had Facebook's data too you'd almost have them shoulder surfing with you. Apple? It's the iSphere and you're paying for it but as long as they get a cut they're happy. And they got all sorts of stores like iTunes to sell things themselves, don't need to remind people of the world outside the iSphere. Maybe you're thinking about the part where Google uses open source, but that's just on the client side to break monopolies and get users hooked up to Google services. It's a tool and sometimes there's a common enemy but they're not your friend.

Comment Re:Oh good, a reason (Score 1) 327

I hadn't read or heard much about this guy, but since he seems like he'll be the #3 between Cruz and Trump (who are both so unelectable it hurts)

US politics reminds me of the reality shows where everybody is looking to knock out the dangerous contenders, only to have the joke/outsider option run off with the prize in the final. From what I understand, Sanders is fairly far off the US political center too, at least more than Clinton. But from what I can tell Bush senior is the only one to win a third time from the same party after WWII, after eight years the grass usually looks greener on the other side. So if I was a bookkeeper, I wouldn't count any of them out.

Comment Re:Mars is impossible (Score 1) 304

Don't forget how many people would pay a handsome sum to take a vacation on the Moon.

Look, NASA is looking to pay something like $20 million/seat for a ride to the ISS with SpaceX. Not only is it much shorter, from there gravity does pretty much all the work of getting home. An Apollo-style mission would take two Falcon Heavys for $200 million launch cost to carry two people to the surface. Considering that you also need the command module, landing module and all that I think $500 million or $250 million/seat would be extremely optimistic. And I'm already projecting into the future about a low cost rocket that hasn't flown yet. But assuming it does and SpaceX works out reusable rockets and you get economics of scale both in rockets and people I'm thinking you'd still have a hard time getting down to $20 million/seat. And no, the market for that is pretty limited. It's easy to lose perspective when Musk says the fuel is 3% of a Falcon 9 launch it costs $60-70 million so like $200,000. I'm guessing Blue Origin will take the tourist market, you get to (barely) be in space and zero-g for the cool effect, a cramped moon base in a rock desert that you can only experience through a space suit sounds like it could get old real quick. Most billionaires are not Musk, if they're not single you can multiply those prices and if they are they're probably going to a place with more babes.

Comment Re:Mars is impossible (Score 1) 304

Nobody knows if gravity will actually be a significant problem for Mars or even the moon. We know it's an issue for micro-gravity (though we've got people living in it over a year anyway), we don't know about 1/3 or 1/6 gravity.

Well, even 1/6th should have the cardiovascular system working much more normally with fluids flowing in the right direction and things hanging like they normally do. And since you got gravity you could add weight vests/bracelets/anklets to add another 80 + 2x20 (wrist and ankles) lbs = 55 kg, if you're normally say 85 kg you're now effectively (85+55)/3 = 47 kg on Mars and you still got 140 kg of momentum to counteract. Maybe more if NASA designs a special suit for you. When we know the enormous differences between couch potatoes and athletes here at home, a good training regiment should keep the body in pretty okay shape unless some of your internal organs take long term damage from sleeping at 1/3rd gravity.

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