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Comment Re:maybe robots can fly the drones (Score 1) 298 298

I was in Bravo Company in 2008, the largest OCS summer (up to that time). We were in the container barracks out past the PT field, not in the permanent buildings where Charlie company was. The containers had off-white floors. Two platoons to a building, with the squad bays running parallel to each other.

Comment Re:maybe robots can fly the drones (Score 1) 298 298

Newsflash: the Army and Marine Corps in particular rarely place people in career fields that match their educational backgrounds/civilian skillsets.

Newly-commissioned Junior Officer: "I have a CS degree! You should put me in a research lab!"
Monitor: "Whatever. I have a quota to meet for Logistics Officers. Go drive convoys in Afghanistan."

^That's closer to the reality of it.

I'm former Army enlisted --> Marine Corps officer, so I've seen this first-hand.

Comment Re:Won't someone think of the birds. (Score 1) 256 256

This get's me thinking........what about having high-altitude turbines, suspended under giant balloons that are anchored to the surface? Instead of harnessing wind power on the ground, harness it at 30,000 ft and run a giant power cable down to a base station. Just make sure you pick an area away from civilian airline routes.

Any major cost/feasibility issues I'm overlooking?

Comment Neglected the Rule of Cool (Score 2) 90 90

Didn't read TFA but I can assume he neglected one key point:

Most authors pick their class names because they sound cool, not because they feel it accurately describes the tactical/operational role of the ship design in question. Which they probably wouldn't get correct anyway. It's not like these authors commonly employ professional military consultants to harden up the details of their in-universe militaries. And in most cases scrutinizing how a ship should be employed would also lead to scrutinizing the weapons complement/layout/fire arcs/etc.....leading to most "sexy" space warships needing a complete redesign to make any sense. And the creative types don't want fictional space engineering (naval architecture?) intruding on their storytelling.

Submission + - Cancer researcher vanishes with tens of millions of dollars->

jd writes: Steven Curley, MD, who ran the Akesogenx corporation (and may indeed have been the sole employee after the dismissal of Robert Zavala) had been working on a radio-frequency cure for cancer with an engineer by the name of John Kanzius.

Kanzius died, Steven Curley set up the aforementioned parallel company that bought all the rights and patents to the technology before shuttering the John Kanzius Foundation. So far, so very uncool.

Last year, just as the company started aproaching the FDA about clinical trials, Dr Curley got blasted with lawsuits accusing him of loading his shortly-to-be ex-wife's computer with spyware.

Two weeks ago, there was to be a major announcement "within two weeks". Shortly after, the company dropped off the Internet and Dr Curley dropped off the face of the planet.

Robert Zavala is the only name mentioned that could be a fit for the company's DNS record owner. The company does not appear to have any employees other than Dr Curley, making it very unlikely he could have ever run a complex engineering project well enough to get to trial stage. His wife doubtless has a few scores to settle. Donors, some providing several millions, were getting frustrated — and as we know from McAfee, not all in IT are terribly sane. There are many people who might want the money and have no confidence any results were forthcoming.

So, what precisely was the device? Simple enough. Every molecule has an absorption line. It can absorb energy on any other frequency. A technique widely exploited in physics, chemistry and astronomy. People have looked into various ways of using it in medicine for a long time.

The idea was to inject patients with nanoparticles on an absorption line well clear of anything the human body cares about. These particles would be preferentially picked up by cancer cells because they're greedy. Once that's done, you blast the body at the specified frequency. The cancer cells are charbroiled and healthy cells remain intact.

It's an idea that's so obvious I was posting about it here and elsewhere in 1998. The difference is, they had a prototype that seemed to work.

But now there is nothing but the sound of Silence, a suspect list of thousands and a list of things they could be suspected of stretching off to infinity. Most likely, there's a doctor sipping champaign on some island with no extradition treaty. Or a future next-door neighbour to Hans Reiser. Regardless, this will set back cancer research. Money is limited and so is trust. It was, in effect, crowdsource funded and that, too, will feel a blow if theft was involved.

Or it could just be the usual absent-minded scientist discovering he hasn't the skills or awesomeness needed, but has got too much pride to admit it, as has happened in so many science fraud cases.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:It won't be long (Score 1) 325 325

Not more likely than a bird doing the same. In fact less likely, as the bird has no clue what is going on, but the drone operator wants the vehicle back and hence will try to avoid the collision. This is really a non-issue.

Unless the drone operator is trying to fly kamikaze drones into a landing aircraft's engines....

Comment Re:The difference between boys and girls (Score 1) 608 608

The first two lines of your observations point out that women are likely to:
-work less overtime
-work fewer weekends
-drop out of the labor force due to pregnancy (diminishing the ROI of education/corporate training investments)

Let's assume that all those points are backed up by statistics.
Then in your next line you seem to criticize managers for displaying a preference towards young single male employees.

But isn't that an entirely rational decision on management's part, to maximize the expected utility it derives from its employees? Assuming all other credentials between a male and female are equal, if the stats backup the assertion that the female employee, say over a timeframe of 5 or 10 years, will deliver fewer hours of productivity compared to the young single male, how can you expect management to take such a risk?

The constant agenda we see is "management styles need to change to accommodate women". Are there any studies or stats demonstrating a net productivity gain from doing so, and what kind of metrics did they use?

I think you make a good point about how women don't respond to the sorts of management techniques that maybe work well on men. But men who find an institution's practices unsatisfactory (whatever that institution is, a workplace, a religion, etc.) often tend to break out on their own, and craft a new organization in their image. Women seem more inclined to complain about the existing institution until it is changed to accommodate them.

So why is it wrong to tell women "Your entire approach to social problem-solving is neither valued nor tolerated in this environment. If you have a issue with that....feel free to go forge your own destiny elsewhere" ? If I said that to a male employee no one would bat an eye. But if I say it to a female employee I'm "poorly emotionally developed"?

Comment Re:/. is getting more and more unbelievable !! (Score 5, Funny) 217 217

I haven't used Mandarin since I studied it for two years....5 years ago. However, I've been living in Japan for 3+ years now, and I find Japanese *FAR* worse to learn than Mandarin. Yes, the katakana/hiragana makes reading easier, and yes the range of phonetics is simple for a Westerner. However.... the grammar is just totally bonkers IMO. Chinese and English are at least both Subject-Verb-Object languages, and Mandarin's lack of verb conjugation is a godsend. You can build simplistic English sentences in your mind and translate them piece-by-piece (like shifting data into a memory buffer and multiplexing it ....with Mandarin). The result will usually be "close enough". You can't do this with Japanese. I think the best Asian language solution would employ the Korean alphabet, Japanese phonetics, and Mandarin grammar. Too bad they all hate each other and would never agree to it. :-/

Comment Re:$3500 fine? (Score 2) 286 286

"Yes yes prices may go up, but as minimum wage advocates say, if you have to pay people more, they have more to spend." Or companies would increase their R&D/capital spending on robotics/automation, and make even more aggressive moves to eliminate their minimum wage positions than they are already doing..... Population growth + automation will eventually make the economic model of "everyone must work to earn their own way" unnecessary and obsolete. I think we are fast approaching the point where we need to essentially put 3-4 billion people on welfare, with the other 3 billion workers we actually need to support civilization collecting upper-middle class incomes. Then the existing crony-capitalists can stay as our feudal overlords, using some of their billions for something other than driving up the prices of NY real estate and rare Ferraris.

Comment Re: a quick search (Score 1) 334 334

1. Run a firing pin, trigger spring, or any other small part through a 3D scanner. 2. Send the scans to a Chinese fabricator with good Quality Control (they do exist). 3. Order 100,000 of everything. That should keep them supplied for the foreseeable future and still cost less than adopting a more modern (and potentially less reliable) weapon. Or just switch to the equally old Mosin Nagant. Should be plenty of those lying around with internal parts to cannibalize for decades.

Comment Re:Mad Men (Score 1) 160 160

Interesting observation on the "IBM Bureacracy era" metastasizing across government agencies. I've had similar thoughts about the inefficiencies inherent in the Department of Defense. Procedures were introduced in the mid-1940's to manage a globe-spanning total war effort coordinating tens of millions of men. The war went away, the gigantic military (partially) went away.....but the bureaucracy didn't. And now, in the 21st century, it's a hindrance rather than a help.

It is much easier to suggest solutions when you know nothing about the problem.