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Comment: Re:Yeah, basil is nice (Score 1) 130 130

Well look at it this way, if the growing of food crops migrated inward, you would still be reducing the load on rural land even if animal based production were kept where it was. I recall reading a few years back that Japan was experimented with vertical farming of cattle. I don't think even large animals production in an urban environment is entirely far fetched. Vertical farming whether plant, animal, or both has the potential to create a huge reduction in the footprint of agriculture. Waste, runoff, etc. can be capture and re-purposed/recycled. These massive dead zones at the foot of waterways would be a thing of the past, as would the need for things such as pesticides and herbicides.

Comment: Re:So does this qualify as 'organic'? (Score 2) 130 130

I don't know what all the inputs are, such as fertilizer, nor how they'd match up to prevailing organic specifications. However, "organic" isn't a baseless marketing concept. The goal is to produce wholesome, nutritious, food without destroying the environment. Adherents believe that modern agriculture--with Monsanto style pesticides/herbicides, GMOs, petroleum derived fertilizers, etc.--is destructive, unsustainable, and ultimately produces lower quality food. On face value this project sounds like it's in keeping with the goals of organic farming even if certain details would need to be modified to be pedantically adherent.

BTW: there is such a thing as organic hydroponics

Comment: Re:just let it go (Score 1) 833 833

Crazy thought. If the project is risky and requires a higher bid then would that not capture the inevitable rise in development cost we are currently experiencing with these projects? Perhaps different decisions would be made in light of more realistic bids? Bidding $100 on a job that you know full well is unlikely to come in under $1000 when completed would never be accepted in the private sector. Why do we allow it for these government contracts?

Comment: Commercial Crew Program (Score 1) 141 141

NASA doesn't have the funds to human-rate it, and even if they get those funds, human-rating it will likely cause SLS's schedule to slip even more, something NASA fears because they expect the commercial manned ships to be flying sooner and with increasing capability. The contrast — a delayed and unflown and very expensive SLS vs a flying and inexpensive commercial effort — will not do SLS good politically.

This is the real reason why CCP had it's funding reduced.

Comment: Re:Bullshit? (Score 4, Insightful) 195 195

The difference is that a fighter pilot has been selected for their skills, esp. with multi-tasking and processing a rapidly evolving environment. Few candidates actually make it past the starting gate. Drivers on the other hand are only weeded down to those that can stay in a lane, use a turn signal, and apply the brakes at an intersection. You can be an almost entirely incompetent driver and pass your exam. If you fail you can generally can continue to retake the test until you pass. Eventually the dice will land just right.

Comment: Re:If you can't keep your eyes on the ROAD (Score 1) 195 195

HUD who cares about the HUD. I want a robotic arm that slaps the damn mobile phone out of the drivers hand then comes back across their face for good measure. I don't get it. Most of the cars whose driver's have a hand glued to their ear have bluetooth hands free integrated into them. Yet nobody uses it. Even if the car is old/cheap, nobody seems to have heard of "speakerphone".

Comment: Re:Wrong headline.. (Score 2) 214 214

I appreciate cynicism as much as the next person but in this case given present demand, Elon Musk, as well as China's willingness to undercut others that's actually highly unlikely. Within the next few years I think it very likely that we'll see a considerable expansion of manufacturing capacity for batteries.

Elon is managing to change the climate within the auto industry by a sufficient degree that EVs are going to enter the mainstream in the west. China's polution problems mean it has no other choice but to adopt EVs. If the establishment doesn't supply them, then they'll make them themselves--which they're already doing.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 4, Insightful) 939 939

Yes, that cool thing called quantitative easing. That is, printing money so as to facilitate increased government debt. The citizens get to go along for the ride. The purchasing power of incomes tends to look like an upside down logarithmic curve whereby the poorest lost the most and the wealthiest the least. Don't worry though, it's all going according to plan.

Comment: Re:The most underrated misconception of economics (Score 4, Insightful) 939 939

I think the incompetent wordsmith was trying to communicate the problem embodied in San Francisco real estate. That is, us geeks whom command higher pay squeeze out the demographic currently residing in a given location.

Comment: Re:Nuclear? (Score 4, Insightful) 308 308

Thanks to Tesla among others we're getting closer. There are a number of strategies under active development including battery, flywheel, thermal, and hydro conversion storage. It's an engineering problem. We simply need sufficient economic motivation to solve it.

We were so poor that we thought new clothes meant someone had died.