I think the biggest issue with adopting the metric system in the USA is the HUGE cost of conversion of home appliances to metric to measure volume in millimeters, weight in grams, and temperature in degrees Celsius. And changing food packaging specifically to be metric oriented. We're talking costs that could eventually run in the hundreds of billions of US dollars to complete if done over a ten-year period.
Also, people forget you need experts when dismantling old buildings. You have to remove the plumbing and old electrical wiring first, and that requires specialized expertise.
This idea not go anywhere because people realize the cost of dismantling the dams and replacing the power generated and agricultural water supplies would be EXTREMELY exorbitant. That's why all the talk of dismantling O'Shaughnessy Dam in Yosemite National Park has not resulted in any action, because the economic cost of dismantling the dam, raising Don Pedro Reservoir to replace it, and restoring the habit of Tuolumne Canyon behind the dam would cost US$25 BILLION.
I'd almost agree, but today's cellphones have vastly better cellular radio/antenna systems that can accommodate multiple frequencies in GSM or CDMA rather easily. As such, selling something like an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S 4 or HTC One is actually viable for a change.
I really have to ask this question: I haven't heard a word from Microsoft about migration tools that takes web apps that work under IE 6.01 SP1 so to works in IE 8.0 and later. If MS did that, that would encourage companies to get away from IE 6.0 quickly.
I think what will happen is that the liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) will finally get the attention to be developed to commercial scale. The advantages of LFTR's are considerable:
1. The nuclear fuel is thorium-232, which is far more commonly available than uranium.
2. The thorium fuel is dissolved in molten sodium fluoride salts, a very cheap form of fuel to make compared to the expense of assembling solid rods of uranium-235 fuel.
3. Plutonium-239 from dismantled nuclear weapons and spent uranium-235 fuel rods can be reprocessed and dissolved with sodium fluoride salts to make fuel for the reactor, which means we can use LFTR's to eliminate a huge nuclear waste problem.
4. The reactor doesn't need expensive pressurized reactor vessels.
5. Shutting down the reactor quickly (SCRAM condition) only involves draining the liquid nuclear fuel from the reactor into a holding tank.
6. By using closed-loop Brayton turbines, we eliminate the need for expensive cooling towers or locating the reactor near a large body of water.
7. The amount of nuclear waste generated is very small, and thanks to its under-300 year half life, means very cheap nuclear waste disposal (just dump it into any salt dome or disused salt mine)--if the nuclear medicine industry doesn't grab it first!
So what are we waiting for?
Burning coal has a LOT of disadvantages, because the types of pollutants from coal burning are very long and very unhealthy. No wonder why the EPA has strict rules on coal-fired power plants, and why cleaner-burning coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming is in very high demand.
Longer term, the liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR), a highly-advanced nuclear reactor design that has very few of the disadvantages of solid-fuel uranium reactors, could become the main power source around the world within the next 25 years. Indeed, plutonium from dismantled nuclear warheads and spent uranium-235 fuel rods could be reprocessed and dissolved with molten sodium fluoride salts to make LFTR fuel, which means we eliminate a huge problem now with nuclear waste.
Up until recently, the biggest polluter in terms of producing electricity was coal-fired power plants, with a long list of really harmful emissions from such power plants. With the EPA now mandating strict controls on coal-fire power plant emissions (and most of the world doing the same), these pollutants are now vastly lower, especially sulfur dioxide emissions. China has yet to impose strict emission control rules on their coal-fired power plants, but after the major debacle of HORRIBLE air pollution in the Beijing area a few months ago, expect the Chinese authorities to mandate much stricter pollution controls for coal-fired power plants to significantly reduce air pollution problems.
I know that Comcast has tested--and publicly shown--gigabit Internet access recently. That tells me that if Google decides to seriously expand Google Fiber service across the USA, Comcast won't take it lying down--Comcast could crank up its cable modem service to over 100 mbps download speeds (which is way more than enough to stream Blu-ray quality 1080p video!) and prepare to roll out its own gigabit Internet service if necessary.
In fact, we should go away from uranium-fueled pressurized reactor vessel nuclear reactors in favor of the much safer liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR). See my comment earlier on all the advantages of LFTR's.
You are correct.
With an LFTR, you get these advantages:
1. It uses thorium-232 (plentiful supplies out there!) dissolved in molten sodium fluoride salts as fuel, something that is cheap to make.
2. You can reprocess spent uranium fuel rods and even plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons to be dissolved in molten sodium fluoride salts as reactor fuel, eliminating a major nuclear waste storage problem.
3. It doesn't require an expensive pressurized reactor vessel.
4. Shutting down the chain reaction is just dumping the liquid fuel out of the reactor into a holding tank.
5. By using closed-cycle Brayton turbines to generate power, you eliminate the need for expensive cooling towers or locate the reactor near a large body of water for cooling purposes.
6. The radioactive waste generated is very small, and only has a radioactive half-life of under 300 years. This means cheap waste disposal--if the nuclear medicine industry doesn't grab it first!
In short, the US Department of Energy should right now do an aggressive LFTR development program to commercialize the technology, which will make it possible to phase out many of the obsolete coal-fired power plants in the eastern USA.
It depends on how well they encode the broadcast. With modern desktop computers using quad-core CPU's and good encoding software,
Actually, the higher bit rates have the advantage that treble frequencies don't sound "harsh" like they do on a Compact Disc. As such, musical instruments with a lot of treble frequency energy like a piccolo or cymbals actually sound like the real thing.
The melting Arctic Ocean ice could actually cause a "mini Ice Age" because with much cooler ocean temperatures especially in the Atlantic, that may cause the Gulf Stream to be much less effective, which may affect the weather in the _entire_ Northern Hemisphere.
I think people are forgetting that while a newly-pressed vinyl album may _sound_ great on first playback, you're forgetting that being a mechanical storage medium, vinyl records suffer from the following problems:
1. The record and the needle will wear out from physical contact.
2. If the record center hole is not perfectly centered, you get unpleasant "wowing" effect.
3. The surface of a vinyl record scratches rather easily.
4. The signal-to-noise ratio of a vinyl record is about 55-60 db, far below the 90+ db of a Compact Disc.
5. Setting up the tone arm is very finicky, what with correct tonearm placement, proper tracking force and proper anti-skating force.
6. The preamp's phono inputs require a high-gain low-noise amplifier if you're using a moving-coil cartridge.
7. Vinyl records can "warp," which can cause serious tracking problems.
8. You have to deal with turntable rumble, unless the turntable is heavy and driven by a properly-engineered belt-drive system.
To get everything right, the cost of a quality turntable nowadays can run into the _thousands_ of dollars.
It's a pity that a the war between DVD Audio and Sony's Super Audio CD killed any chance of a second-generation optical disc based on DVD technology with vastly higher data sampling rates than Compact Discs. I've listened to a DVD Audio disc and the audio quality is _phenomenal_, especially the crystal-clear treble playing back high notes on a piano, a piccolo or cymbals. And unlike vinyl records, DVD Audio or SACD discs don't suffer from the mechanical playback issues that limit vinyl records.