This is the real problem. We have no knowledge of who and what are on these lists, nor do we have any way of obtaining that knowledge. Every single person on them could be someone who trained in Pakistan with known terrorists or every single one of them could be regular people who have done absolutely nothing to warrant surveillance (which is what a "watch" list is, if you didn't gather by the name). We don't know, we can't know. The system is entirely and completely opaque to anyone outside it (and probably the vast majority of those tasked with updating it).
What was the quote from the Vietnam war era? "In order to save the village we had to destroy it"... something along those lines anyway. Except this time round the "village" is the "freedom" that so many claim to champion.
I don't know why this is marked troll. We may not be there yet, but all it's going to take is one guy in a position of power with the will to use it the way McCarthy did. That's a pretty damn small barrier between "freedom" and "blacklists".
Mirrors are cheap. Water to wash a few hundred acres worth of mirrors is relatively expensive. Especially in the middle of the desert where we like to park solar installations.
Which is probably why they put the Iron Dome installations on the border, no? So that rockets they shoot down fall far short of the major population centers?
Even after the propulsion stage you're going to cause the rocket to tumble, ruin the aerodynamics, and considerably change/shorten the trajectory.
If people like Kurzweil are right is the fact that planning for them is worthless. Kurzweil's predictions are, by definition, that the future is unpredictable due to rapid technological development. What on earth makes you think construction workers will have a job if Kurzweil's predictions were to come to fruition? Or Plumbers? Or even painters, actors, poets for that matter? In Kurzweil's future, you could have software that understands the human brain far, far better than we do today and could apply that knowledge to generate works of art of such sublime beauty that we'll look at Michelangelo's works like a toddler's scribbles (beautiful for what they are but ultimately primitive).
There's no point in planning for that future because that future is so far removed from where we are today that it's not yet imaginable how we, as fleshy, living, breathing human beings, will fit into it.
You could say the same thing about any early adopter tech: first generations are worthless, over-expensive gimmicks that don't actually deliver what the promise. But hey, they do finance R&D for the next generation so the rest of us get the actual worthwhile, cost effective product.
Doesn't do you a damned thing if the lightning hits the power line a block down the street.
Instead, they would have to laboriously spend hours thinking about every single german word, and eventually teach themselves german, from the memories they had installed.
This could still result in learning German in a matter of days vs months. Perfect is the enemy of good, even if everything you say is 100% accurate (and I doubt there's any convincing evidence that the brain works like an indexed database) you could still see orders of magnitude improvement in the time it takes to learn new things.
It's a dream that can focus and revitalize the space program, whereas the asteroid visitation is simply aiming too low as the overarching goal for NASA.
I never understood this. An asteroid visit is the first and most necessary step to asteroid mining which is arguably the only way to open up the solar system with chemical rockets for propulsion. Go out and grab a water rich asteroid, ship up a few hundred square meters of solar panels and start cracking the water into fuel. Obviously there are challenges involved, but not having to haul all the fuel for your interplanetary burns from the Earth's surface would cut the difficulty of a Mars mission significantly.
[...] until those guys did it a few years ago in the Hudson, no commercial plane had ever done it and remained intact.
Your friends in the aviation industry were mistaken. If you come in flat and level on a decent glide slope and decent weather, the vast majority of the passengers are likely to survive. Some of the ditches in the linked article went terribly, with the plane breaking into multiple pieces on impact, and still had the majority of the passengers surviving. Floatation devices on airplanes are not a joke, despite what some would have you believe.
That story bugs me, not the technology or anything. Just the fact that he spends the first 40% of it lamenting how bad things are and how the wealthy just want to live their life of leisure and leave everyone else to rot in the slums. Then the main character suddenly becomes fabulously wealthy and... leaves everyone else to rot in the slums while he farms... I guess... No one, not even the "good guys" with essentially limitless resources actually tries to change the system that is leaving 99% of humanity living in abject poverty with no hope of escape.
Yes, because it'd be impossible to modify a batter so that 5% is functional (at least, functional enough to turn on the device for a few seconds) and the rest is... whatever.
Why don't thy have wireless charging on these things? It wouldn't be so bad if I took off my watch, threw it on the dresser, and went to bed. Having to stop and fiddle with a charger for multiple devices is a bit of a no go IMO.