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Comment: Re:See it before (Score 4, Insightful) 276

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#49666245) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Future of Desktop Applications?

Sure, most folks just want their facebook and online shopping... most of the time. However, there is still a not-insubstantial percentage of folks who want to have a means of using their computer while it is off the network.

And there are some people for whom that is not a want but a NEED.


The computer of a programmer working on the design of a new piece of classified military hardware isn't going to be able to connect to the open Internet. If the security of the system is sufficiently important, the machine may not be allowed to connect to any network at all.

Comment: Re:Surface? (Score 1) 156

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#49633553) Attached to: NASA Will Award You $5,000 For Your Finest Mars City Idea

Develop a drilling or excavation machine that can operate mostly autonomously (ideally, using something like industrial lasers to avoid mechanical wear on the drilling apparatus) and send one or more to Mars several years/decades ahead of when you want to send the humans. Have them drill at a downward angle into the side of a crater, and once you've gone sufficiently far then start having them dig or drill to the side. Ideally, by the time the colonists reach Mars all they need to do is install airlocks at the entrances, pump in breathable air, and maybe knock down the (hopefully thin, by this point) walls between the side tunnels so you don't have to go outside to visit the neighbors. There may be some leaks but hopefully the colonists can make some sort of cement out of the Martian dirt to plug them.

Comment: Re:hmmmm (Score 2) 328

Or it may have been contamination from the fracking process. Emphasis on the "may". It would be nice to do a little more investigation to determine where the contaminants actually came from. If it was a one-time accident (the leak in the storage tank) then the levels of the contaminants are unlikely to rise (assuming the accident doesn't recur) and the further investigation should show that. In that case, there doesn't seem to be any further action required (other than making sure the accident doesn't recur.) If it was a result of the ongoing fracking process, and an investigation of the process shows "bugs" that caused the contamination, the company should be required to fix those bugs in the process or otherwise improve the process to avoid or reduce further contamination.

This investigation detected the odor of smoke in the air. It may be from a birthday candle or it may be from a house burning down. We probably should figure out which of those is happening.

Comment: Re:With the best will in the world... (Score 1) 486

We have a lot of diesel vehicles in the world. Finding a fuel that can replace diesel created by processing oil from the ground will allow those vehicles to remain in service, instead of being junked and replaced by hybrids or electric vehicles. [Eventually, they will break down and need to be replaced, but that can be a gradual process.] I'm pretty sure it's easier to convince someone "the stuff coming out of the diesel pump looks and smells different, but it still works" than "you need to replace your existing vehicle."

Comment: Some possibilities (Score 1) 63

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#49560687) Attached to: The World of 3D Portraiture

Send a likeness of your kids to your parents so the grandparents can see what their grandchildren look like in 3D. Yes, a photograph would do just as well, but there will be some who prefer the 3D representation.

Grandparents can send their likeness to their grandchildren so that even if the grandkids don't see their grandparents often, they'll still know what they look like.

Cosmetic surgeons can print out a "before" statue, make some changes to the model, and print out an "after" statue to give clients a chance to see what their new faces or bodies will look like in 3D rather than just on a monitor.

Related to the above, "save state" for your physical appearance. If you scan in your face and body and then suffer a disfiguring accident you can use the scanned data as a template for the cosmetic surgeon to put you back together. This would probably be limited, at first, to people like actors and actresses, models, athletes in sports where there's a high risk of facial injury (boxing, hockey, American football), or the military who either have a lot invested in their looks or are more likely to suffer disfigurement due to the nature of their work.

Grave markers that look like the person whose grave they mark, or hollowed-out 3D portraits to hold cremated remains as urns.

On a more whimsical note:

Custom awards. 3D print out an Oscar with an actor's face in place of the blank face. Or a sports team where each player poses for their own custom trophy.

A family with many children could turn them into a set of nesting dolls with each child's doll nesting inside their immediately older sibling's doll.

Comment: Redirect from the military budget (Score 1) 198

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#49538973) Attached to: House Bill Slashes Research Critical To Cybersecurity

How about we redirect some of the defense budget into this social sciences research (in the name of "being able to better detect suspicious behavior on the part of a potential terrorist at an airport" if we need to motivate it to the "Won't someone please think of the terrorists" crowd?)

By one set of measurements on the Wikipedia page, we spend about 4 and a half times what China does in military spending. We outspend China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the UK, France, Japan, India, Germany, and South Korea COMBINED. If we redirected or cut 10% from the military budget, we would "only" outspend China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the UK, France, Japan, and India. I wouldn't think Germany and South Korea are huge threats to the US.

By the other list on that page, we only outspend China 2.8 to 1, we outspend China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, the UK, and India combined and cutting our spending by 10% would cause us to outspend China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, and the UK.

Comment: Re:As if SMTP were ever secure... (Score 1) 609

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#49234383) Attached to: Clinton Regrets, But Defends, Use of Family Email Server

And even if she didn't want to risk allowing a virus sent to her personal email account to infect her secure phone via the other email client, you don't need to check your personal email every other minute. If there's a critical or time-sensitive personal issue about which Secretary Clinton needs to know, phones have this wonderful capability. You can send it a voice message; in fact, people now may not know or remember this but phones even allow two-way verbal communication!

Comment: Re:Comment Subject: (Score 1) 113

by Hotawa Hawk-eye (#49227915) Attached to: UK ISPs Quietly Block Sites That List Pirate Bay Proxies

Why not find some way to get them onto the sites of the ISPs' websites themselves? Or even better, the copyright holders' sites -- do they look at the lists closely enough to avoid smacking themselves upside the head? If they're using a "spray and pray" style of takedown, perhaps they will miss one or two of their own URLs.

Comment: Re:Right, but does it correctly model... (Score 4, Insightful) 247

I think the best solution is to head to a harbor. I don't know how fast or how well a zombie can swim, but I'd bet it's slower than and not as well as a ship can sail. A decent sized ship with fishing gear could fish for food and send out "landing parties" (where absolutely no one wears red) to raid the coast for supplies as needed. If it's large enough (think yacht) those landing parties could even rescue survivors and keep them in quarantine (separate locked cabin, trailing the ship in a lifeboat, etc.) for a time to ensure they're not infected before letting them join the normal complement.

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