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Comment: Re:Dumb (Score 1) 382

by afidel (#48933471) Attached to: FCC Officially Approves Change In the Definition of Broadband

You can't stream HD video on 4Mbps, you can't get large patches is a reasonable time with 4Mbps, you can't Skype in HD with 1Mbps of upload, it takes forever to seed a cloud backup with 1Mbps (I put a few hundred GB in Crashplan and it took a month, I have more data than that but I had to pick the important data because my upload was so limited), etc.

Comment: Re:inflation embiggens numbers (Score 4, Informative) 514

by afidel (#48922029) Attached to: Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever

No, this is really an absurd profit, Standard Oil's net profit from 1882 to 1906 was $838,783,800 equal to roughly $22B today, so on an inflation adjusted basis Apple's quarterly profit was nearly equal to the majority of the lifetime profits of one of the classic robber baron trusts.

Comment: Re:Change for change's sake (Score 5, Interesting) 207

by afidel (#48921581) Attached to: Latest Windows 10 Preview Build Brings Slew of Enhancements

The problem is the previous build was visually different while being MORE functional, this build is less functional if you have 19+ years of Windows experience. The previous build had the Windows 7 Start Menu with the addition of a live tiles dock area to the right, it added new useful functionality to the familiar and functional paradigm, the new build is basically a shrunk version of the Start Screen with all the crap that entails and which the majority of users have derided as being less functional on desktops (still the VAST, VAST majority of Windows machines). We had actually started plans for a Windows 10 rollout to our enterprise based on earlier tech preview builds, but those are now on hold and will be cancelled if they don't reverse the insanity. We can just keep using Windows 7 for the next 5 years.

Comment: Electrically-coupled counterweight (Score 1) 243

by Aardpig (#48920837) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Many posts suggest doing away with the cable by putting the motor on the elevator car; but this overlooks the fact that the elevator needs to be connected to a counterweight for efficiency reasons.

However, here's a thought: you put motors on the elevator *and* the counterweight. As the elevator goes up, the counterweight goes down and uses its motors as generators to partly power the elevator's motors. And vice versa.

Sure, you're not going to break even due to electrical losses; but it'll be a damn sight better than no counterweight.

Comment: Re:Lagrange points? (Score 1) 124

by afidel (#48916297) Attached to: Proposed Space Telescope Uses Huge Opaque Disk To Surpass Hubble

The other major problem I see is that this thing will have so many holes in it within months that there will be significant distortion to the image. Perhaps they'll use a self-healing material? In fact a quick google shows these students are working on testing such a material on a micro-sattelite.

Comment: Re:Trial run: Nuke that thing (Score 1) 59

by afidel (#48914363) Attached to: "Once In a Lifetime" Asteroid Sighting Monday Night

According to this study reentry speeds are up to 9.5km/s so keeping relative speed to something in that range should not be hard at all.

A 2km spherical asteroid of average composition will have a mass of ~1.3 x 10^13kg, the energy of the B53 is ~3.8 × 10^16 Joules which for maths purposes we can assume is delivered in 1 second so an an imparted energy of 3.8*10^6N which gives an acceleration away from the blast site of ~2.9m/s^2 which should be easily sufficient to avoid impact if it's delivered with any time lead.

Comment: Re:Trial run: Nuke that thing (Score 3, Informative) 59

by afidel (#48908231) Attached to: "Once In a Lifetime" Asteroid Sighting Monday Night

Delta IV Heavy + deep impact targeting system + B53 = 9MT wherever you want it on the asteroid. The B53 is already hardened for use as a bunker buster so as long as you can keep relative velocity at impact similar to the reentry speed it was designed for you don't have to worry too much about where you land it on the asteroid.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"