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Comment I have my doubts. (Score 0) 386

I think in the end, the next iPhone will look very akin to the iPhone 6/6+ design, but will likely get rid of the physical home button altogether, thanks to new touchscreen technologies that will allow parts of the touchscreen to become a big Touch ID fingerprint sensor area. Given that Apple has demonstrated they can make a thinner device without sacrificing the 3.5 mm headphone jack with the current iPod touch and iPod nano models, they don't need to sacrifice the headphone jack in the name of "thinness."

Comment The MSR is the way to go. (Score 1) 349

I think in the end, what will happen is that we'll end up choosing molten-salt reactors fueled by thorium-232 dissolved in molten fluoride salts as fuel--the so-called liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR).

The advantages to LFTR's are numerous:

1. Thorium-232 is as common in the soil as elemental Lead--indeed, one of the huge problems with rare-Earth element mining is figuring out how to get rid of the thorium. Suddenly, all that thorium is in high demand for nuclear reactor fuel.
2. LFTR's can even use re-processed uranium-235 fuel rods and plutonium-239/241 from dismantled nuclear weapons dissolved in molten fluoride salts as fuel, making it a very viable way to get rid of a huge current nuclear waste problem.
3. You don't need expensive pressurized reactor vessels.
4. The reactor size can be scaled from 40 megawatts to over 1,000 megawatts power output. That means they could be used for powering installations as small as computer server farms all the way up to powering whole cities, and they can generate power 24 hours a day constantly.
5. Because the fuel is in liquid form in the reactor, there is no such thing as a reactor meltdown if the coolant is cut off for any reason.
6. A SCRAM emergency shutdown of the reactor is dumping the liquid fuel out of the reactor quickly, a lot easier to do than the complex safety systems found in today's uranium-fueled reactors.
7. Using closed-loop Brayton turbines to generate power, you eliminate the enormously expensive need for big cooling towers or locating the reactor near a large source of water.
8. The amount of radioactive waste generated is tiny compared to uranium-fueled reactors, and that waste has a radioactive half-life of under 320 years, which means really cheap nuclear waste disposal using disused salt mines or salt domes (if the nuclear medicine industry doesn't grab it first!).

Note that scientists think that the Moon and even Mars may have large quantities of thorium-232 that could be mined. As such, we may enough thorium-232 to power LFTR's for potentially _tens_ of thousands of years at current power consumption rates.

Comment I'm not surprised. (Score 2) 184

The problem with diesel engines is that to make them just as clean as gasoline engines, they require a combination of diesel particulate filters and a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system to make it easier to remove NOx gases--the combination of the two is NOT cheap, as anyone notes from a US-legal Mercedes-Benz or BMW turbodiesel car. And how well will those systems stand up to the type of demanding usage on a taxicab with its heavy stop and go driving.

I wonder why London Mayor Boris Johnson didn't announce a plan as far back as 2010 to phase out the use of diesel engines on London taxicabs and buses in favor of using compressed natural gas (CNG). Here in the USA, many cities are now mandating buses and taxicabs switch to CNG, and in Asia, CNG have been used for buses and taxicabs for many years.

Comment Not surprised at this. (Score 1) 424

I'm not surprised that Disney wanted to do something different with the Star Wars universe. After all, Disney saw the precedent of the many issues of the prequel trilogy and that's why in the new trilogy, Disney wants to get back the "feel" of the original trilogy. Indeed, I expect "The Force Awakens" to be essentially a self-contained movie, but with just enough plot points "open" to do the subsequent two sequels.

Comment Let's see how honest is Comcast's speeds. (Score 2) 113

I've stayed at my brother's place when his connection to Comcast High-Speed Internet (originally) had 50 mbps download speeds, now 100 mbps download speeds. Using Speedtest.net, I was getting around 44-47 mbps under the old setup and 90-92 mbps under the new setup.

But now, Comcast is preparing to roll out DOCSIS 3.1 service by 2017; they're converting all of their HD channels to MPEG-4 compression to free up bandwidth space to allow DOCSIS 3.1 service. In theory, DOCSIS 3.1 is capable of around 1 gigabit download speeds; just how fast Comcast will the new service be is still a major unknown, though I think at least 350-500 mbps download speeds is possible.

Comment I block ads with AdBlock Plus because.... (Score 1) 307

....the big problem with online ads is that they use Adobe Flash, Oracle Java, etc. to render the online ad--and that results in dramatic slowdowns in rendering web pages, not to mention ending up being a vector for malware attacks.

If we are to solve this problem, the following needs to be done:

1. All ads must be created using HTML 5.0.
2. No autoplay of any media file. Only with user interaction can any media file be played.
3. No animation in the ad.
4. Ads must be limited to a reasonable banner size.
5. Strict bans on cross-site scripting.

Comment Re:Genius or not (Score 1) 662

The sad part is that Westerners DO have justification for being cautious around Muslims, given the known history of some very heinous terrorist acts by Muslim terrorists at least since the middle 1960's.

The way Ahmed Mohamed acted when questioned by school authorities and the police didn't help matters, either.

Comment Once HTML 5.0 was finalized in October 2014.... (Score 1) 229

...It was only a matter of time before Adobe Flash heads to the ash heap of computer history.

Besides being a MAJOR user of system resources, Flash was also a major vector for malware attacks. That's why Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and Opera are all wishing that Flash goes away as soon as possible.

Comment Online ads causing too many problems. (Score 1) 519

Here's the reason why ad-blocking software is popular: it stops most ads created with Adobe Flash, Oracle (neé Sun) Java, and Microsoft Silverlight, which means way less system resource usage and eliminating a major vector for the loading of malware.

I think the solution is simple: set a date to BAN all online ads unless the ad was specifically created completely in HTML 5.0. Just that change would eliminate the vector of loading malware via plugins and might actually speed up system performance, too.

Comment Re:I'd like to see the environmental nightmare die (Score 1) 369

While I agree, the process of making a cup of coffee with a presspot, vacuum pot, Moka pot, or pour-over pot like a Chemex can be quite time-consuming, especially if you have to grind whole roasted coffee beans. The Keurig sold very well (until the Keurig 2.0 fiasco) because the process of getting a decent mug of coffee was very convenient and very fast.

Keurig has said they are working on a new type of K-cup that uses vegetable-based plastics for easier recycleability or easier breakdown in landfills--they hope to have them in production by 2017 or so.

Comment IBM contributed to Linux's success. (Score 1) 469

I think what made people stand up and take notice of Linux was IBM's decision to port Linux so it works on IBM's mainframe hardware. In short, having an open operating system work on IBM mainframes showed that Linux was viable even running highly mission-critical tasks.

Indeed, that success paved the way for the Linux kernel to be used on consumer devices--Google's Android for cellphones/tablet computers and Chorme OS for low-cost laptops both run on the Linux kernel.

Those who claim the dead never return to life haven't ever been around here at quitting time.