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Comment: Re:Frosty pasta! (Score 1) 47

by Hadlock (#48024413) Attached to: Microsoft Revives Its Hardware Conference

You must have been born before the advent of the original iMac. Of course the color matters. Which would you rather eat, a raw potato or a fresh apple? People aren't robots, their brains are wired in a particular manner. Marketing is a huge industry that makes a ton of money capitalizing on that fact. Technology isn't a game of min/maxing for most consumers. Do you want to claim that World of Warcraft isn't addictive to a particular type of person? Marketing research went in to developing that product too.

Comment: Re:Fine. Legislate for externalities. (Score 1) 419

by Hadlock (#48024195) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

That's how my bill in Texas works with Green Mountain Energy; I pay an X base fee for infrastructure etc and then Y rate per KWh, which is broken in to three rate tiers,
below 450KWh/mo (second cheapest),
451-900KWh/mo (the cheapest)
  and 900+KWh/mo (most expensive)
I'm not on any special solar plan (nor do I have the generating capability), that's just how they've broken down my bill for the last Z years.

Comment: Re:Frosty pasta! (Score 3, Insightful) 47

by Hadlock (#48023155) Attached to: Microsoft Revives Its Hardware Conference

Microsoft's 2001 era tablets were also almost 2" thick and wrapped in 1990's era gray plastic you might find on an old HP desktop. 2001-era touchscreen displays were thicker than an entire iPad or android tablet is today. Not to mention pixel density in the 640x480 range, and battery life left a lot to be desired.
Enter the high PPI display, Gorilla Glass, modern Li-Ion battery technology and modern CPU (ARM) designs and now you can produce a tablet that's lighter and smaller than most text books.

Comment: Re:One's dreams may be superseded (Score 1) 91

by Hadlock (#47975293) Attached to: Elon Musk Hints 1st Person To Mars May Go Via New Brownsville Spaceport

We've had the capability to put a man on Mars since the mid-1970's.... Just not the political will. Now that spaceflight is in the commercial realm, it's no long political willpower + taxpayer cost, it's just private cost and selling that dream to the right person.

Comment: Re:They're not astronauts, they're ballast. (Score 2) 77

by Hadlock (#47961513) Attached to: Trouble In Branson-Land, As Would-Be Space Tourists Get Antsy Over Delays

You're "weightless" in a parabolic arc, just like on on NASA's DC-9 "vomit comet", and you get more "zero g time" on the Vomit Comet than you will in Branson's carnival ride.
Second, Branson is redefining "space". The generally accepted edge of space is 62.x miles. Virgin Galactic is having trouble meeting 60.0 miles and is looking at switching fuels at the last minute to meet that more limited 60.0 goal. If 2.x miles doesn't sound like much, Mt. Everest is 5.5 miles high. This is like getting a 68% and calling it a C grade average.
Probably best to wait 10 years and hitch a ride on a Dragon v2 to a Bigelow inflatable Space Hotel for a night for a cool half-million.

Comment: Re:Why is this legal in the U.S.? (Score 1) 149

by Hadlock (#47890711) Attached to: Direct Sales OK Baked Into Nevada's $1.3 Billion Incentive Deal With Tesla

In particular, Reno/Nevada offered this because it was beneficial to the state over the long term. Other states were also competing for this long term heavy industry by offering similar deals. The factory would have gone to another state if they had not offered this deal and then they would not be the national leader in battery manufacturing + all of it's cottage industries. The building the road part is genuinely a good idea as it adds value to their industrial park and is a good long term investment.

Comment: Re:Decisions, Decisions... (Score 2) 123

by Hadlock (#47873403) Attached to: SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

In the case of the "Exciting Choice", Astronauts will be riding in the same basic design as what Commercial Passengers will use, which means more flights and (theoretically) higher reliability due to a continuously refined manufacturing process, plus the loss of commercial passenger dollars. Going with the "Safe Choice" means you're riding in one of perhaps only four or five of a series that will ever be produced. The loss of commercial dollars is a big deal to SpaceX as it represents a much larger market than Government spaceflight will in the next five decades.

Comment: Re:HALO (Score 1) 368

by Hadlock (#47867603) Attached to: Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

EA tried to buy them for $100 million a couple years ago, they let the CEO in to the office and shortly after showed him out. At that point they'd already made enough to all comfortably retire and it's not surprising that they would turn down a billion dollars (that's what, $100 mil each per employee?) before caving at the $2 billion mark? It's hard to turn down that kind of money.

Comment: Replacable batteries? (Score 1) 491

by Hadlock (#47867555) Attached to: To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

The battery on the Model S is replaceable by robots, surely you could put a rooftop battery on there, and then just swap them out at large bus stations near neighborhood substations for charging? Who on earth builds an industrial grade public bus without swappable batteries in this day and age?
Propane and natural gas powered buses have had their fuel tanks on the roof for decades now. With hooks and simple optics it wouldn't be hard to lift an old battery pack off and swap it for a fresh one in under 5 minutes.

Comment: Re:Umm... WHY??? (Score 4, Interesting) 368

by Hadlock (#47867349) Attached to: Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

Imagine you can leverage off of their existing user base, your minecraft character becomes your xbox equivilent of a "Mii", and now you have a 3D avatar in a 3D world you can legitimately interact with. Did you not read Snowcrash? This is Snowcrash. Someone bootstrapped the 3D virtual world we've been promised since the 1980's (and failed at with Second Life) and now Microsoft will own it. And will integrate it in to your living room and cell phone.
P.S. Go read Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson

In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.