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Comment: Re:Is it new youth or longer old age. (Score 1) 685

by Mal-2 (#49805413) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

I think you're underestimating your own shelf life there. I know from personal experience that most people in their 60s are capable drivers (provided they were capable drivers to start with -- age doesn't imply competence). What they have lost in reaction time and processing ability (which is not as much as previous generations at the same age), they are able to compensate with experience. Just by handling less information through better front-end filters, they solve the problem just fine. At some point the two curves will cross, at which point it does become time to hand over the keys, but for healthy people this is probably going to be north of 70, and possibly even north of 80. By then, you might not even need to do the driving.

Even in my grandmother's generation (I'm about the same age you are), she didn't actually become a rolling hazard until she was pushing 80, and that was largely because she made navigation errors and then did stupid things to attempt to correct for them. The basic mechanics of driving and not hitting things still operated passably, although she really had no business being on the road. Fortunately, her circle of travel shrunk with her abilities.

Comment: Re:Why have children? (Score 1) 685

by Mal-2 (#49805341) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

The rich having extra children is not a problem. In fact, it's part of the solution to wealth inequality.

First, more kids means cutting the pie into more pieces. If that means more education costs, that's fine: we get more educated people, and through much of history, people from the privileged classes were the only ones getting higher education at all. We still managed to make some headway then, so this isn't a show stopper. It's far from ideal, but it's not going to destroy society, especially if it just means the proportions remain skewed toward the upper class rather than being entirely made up of them.

Second, when the parents finally do die, the fortune will be distributed among more children. This has historically been shown to break up empires.

Third, even if the top 1% has ten kids apiece (which they won't), while everyone else has just two, that results in them becoming the top 5%. This will increase the population far less than the other 99% finding ways to cheat, even if the 99% cheats less often per capita.

Fourth, this is a treatment of aging, which could arguably be classified as a disease in its own right. It is not immortality. If that means productive and high-quality life span is greatly increased, but total lifespan is still limited by other factors, then all we have to lose is the concept of societally funded retirement -- a notion some of us already see as impossible for ourselves, and that in many places never caught on in the first place.

Comment: Re:faster than light never violates Relativity (Score 2) 226

by Mal-2 (#49795085) Attached to: Ways To Travel Faster Than Light Without Violating Relativity

Even simpler, you point a laser pointer at the sky, and sweep it manually over a very distant target (bigger than the moon, but further away as well). Clearly your hand is not going to move faster than light, but the point where the beam finally hits something very well might. Again, this intersection is not a "thing", and cannot be used to communicate faster than the speed of light.

Comment: Re:VPNs and proxies (Score 4, Informative) 138

by Mal-2 (#49789371) Attached to: High Court Orders UK ISPs To Block EBook Sites

Using outside DNS doesn't help if the carrier is blocking access to an IP address.

BTW another alternate DNS you can add to your list: Velocity Networks (Los Angeles): 206.126.128.2 - it's not as easy to remember as 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4 for sure, but some people don't want to be bound to Google.

Comment: Wrong question. (Score 1) 111

by Mal-2 (#49771047) Attached to: Favorite musical scale, by number of pitch classes?

31-ET, applied correctly, goes a long way to fix the problems 12-ET has rendering pre-20th century music correctly. When this is not a viable option (as with most keyboard instruments), that's what unequal well temperaments are for. Meantone can be very nice for Renaissance and some Baroque but gets to be pretty rancid for Bach and his contemporaries.

If you deny enharmonicity, meaning E-sharp isn't equivalent to F-natural or any other note, and F-sharp is a different pitch from G-flat, then there are essentially an arbitrary number of notes per octave depending on how you want to generate your scale. There are seven uniquely named pitch classes no matter what kind of scale you're working in, meaning diminished scales and other octatonic scales must have a cross-relation in them somewhere (a F-natural and an F-sharp, for example).

So, I'd have to vote for microtonal, the only option that encompasses all of these possibilities simultaneously.

Comment: Still a hack, but way better than nothing. (Score 4, Interesting) 53

by Mal-2 (#49762241) Attached to: Software Patch Fixes Mars Curiosity Rover's Auto-focus Glitch

This fix still requires much of the resources of the previous method, essentially bracketing the shot and picking the best one. This means it will still take just as long to obtain each image, but apparently that wasn't a huge problem. What this saves is something precious though: bandwidth. Now the rover is picking the best shot, instead of sending a bunch of blind guesses and making us sort it out. I suspect that if the bandwidth wasn't precious, they wouldn't have bothered improving on the existing workaround, so it must have been worth all the trouble.

Comment: Amazon exerting pressure? Bullshit. (Score 2) 243

by Mal-2 (#49762007) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

Each company will do exactly the same calculation Amazon has done, and figure out which method of accounting allows them to keep the most money while remaining able to operate in the jurisdictions they care about. If the others come to the same conclusion, it's not because Amazon said so, it's because the numbers and the lawyers said so.

Comment: It's an accidentally-on-purpose. (Score 5, Insightful) 208

by Mal-2 (#49733999) Attached to: Australian Law Could Criminalize the Teaching of Encryption

Governments worldwide that are marching to fascism want encryption banned. God forbid (and you bet they'll invoke God in what they're doing) you should be able to talk to someone in a manner they can't easily listen in on! This is not an unintended effect of sloppy legalese, it's a fully intentional consequence of obfuscated legalese.

Will they nail you for communicating with your bank? No. Will they nail you for communicating with someone they consider "undesirable"? You bet your arse they will.

Comment: Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 289

by Mal-2 (#49721497) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

Not only that, but the Internet doesn't even respect international boundaries, let alone state boundaries. The FCC is absolutely within its rights to play the "interstate commerce" card here. You can argue the merits of the FCC position, but it's disingenuous to argue that this isn't under Federal jurisdiction.

Comment: Re:Piracy to become a problem (Score 1) 287

by Mal-2 (#49718149) Attached to: The Auto Industry May Mimic the 1980s PC Industry

Piracy is less of a problem when the platform is "free" to start with. Most people will accept slightly annoying/intrusive advertising to get their OS for free. A few will jailbreak and clean it, but most won't.

If those ads are for relevant things (like "you have less than a quarter tank of fuel, why not try Chevron with Techron?", "You are nearing 50,000 miles, here's a coupon for a free tire inspection", etc.) they may not even be perceived as intrusive so much as helpful.

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