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Comment Re:Very apt name for Portuguese speakers (Score 3, Informative) 42

"Shifu" isn't the Japanese word for "thief", it's just the romanized word "thief". It's about as intelligent as saying that the Japanese word for "basketball" is "basukettobooru."

IBM's X-Force either thinks they're being funny or clever, and it's really neither.

Comment Sour grapes idiot (Score 1) 258

One click is brilliant. Amazon has changed the face of finding stuff you want, seeing what its popularity and rep is and buying it and getting it delivered to your door. Anyone that thinks they can do better is very welcome to try. I love Amazon and am very glad they are there.

Comment Give me a break (Score 1) 688

It says you have the right to bear arms, period. What did you think it only meant the cap and ball muskets, pistols and swords and knives of the era it was written in? The right to self defense grows out the the fundamental right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. How do you have the right to your own life if you have no right to defend it.

Comment no lobotomy (Score 1) 227

Increasingly with current not to mention future technological advances our devices are extensions and augmentations of our brain more and more directly. So expecting a person to not have those devices or have them turned off is effectively asking them to do a partial lobotomy and to decrease their effectiveness. This is increasingly going to be seen as an old fashioned and quite short sighted affront and rightly so.

Comment wrong question (Score 1) 654

If you work almost all day at a computer and have little more desired/needed interaction with people than you could comfortably do by phone or online then why the hell are you being required to commute in the first place? That is the most important question.

Next, the price of public transit is not the issue. Not being able to get around on my own schedule is an issue. And in my case I have a handicap which while not quite bad enough to put me in a wheelchair does preclude standing around waiting for transport or walking much at all at the endpoints.

Third, public transit is only per passenger/mile economical when nearly full. To satisfy more flexible schedule it has to run a great deal of the time at far less than its environment and $$ cost break even point.

So no, I wouldn't take it, generally speaking, even if it was free.

Now if we had self driving little pods that would optionally join/leave trains of such when optimal for the journey then I could see the point modulo the first and most important question of whether the trip makes any real sense in the first place.

Comment Re:Scarcity (Score 1) 503

The needs are actually rather bounded. It is desires that are unbounded. We can meet all the former as a matter of course without too much trouble as far as technology goes. Resources are not scarce, especially when we are not bound to this one rock and continuously invent/find new resources even upon it. Most resources we use today outside of things like fossil fuels are not destroyed but cycled to freaking landfill. There is are many fortunes to be made if we can figure out how to take advantage of that. We are not yeast mold in a sugar solution. Yeast most does not think and innovate. Open your mind.

Comment Re:Trekonomy works on the Enterprise. Nowhere else (Score 1) 503

What for if we can meet everyone's needs and many of their desires with a trivial fraction of total productive capacity? The question of whether we have a job for all these people will or at least can become completely irrelevant. The notion that you can only receive if you contribute is a notion rather mired in scarcity thinking. Yes, it will be a HUGE challenge to get beyond scarcity thinking from the individual level and throughout society. But the problem of eliminating scarcity is quite solvable at the technological level. The social and psychological and institutional level is something else again.

Comment Re:Trekonomy works on the Enterprise. Nowhere else (Score 1) 503

Actually you are missing something huge. There is no need to stay in the cities for work and so on increasingly due to the tech making remote work more and more possible. Land out away from the current hubs and houses there are very very cheap compared to those hubs. Also contour printed houses are coming fast along with much better and faster prefabs. Add in gigabit internet everywhere which is in the cards. We will spread out to much cheaper digs.

Comment we can have this in 50 years max (Score 1) 503

What would it take?

1) Atomically Precise Manufacturing - read "Radical Abundance" by Eric Drexler. Basically the cost of almost all produced goods drops by orders of magitude. Think of super 3D printing at the atomic level and and cheaper than subtractive manufacturing.

2) Abundant cheap energy - We need roughly 2x - 3x more energy than we use now to bring everyone up to the level of say the EU now. How do we get it? In about 2-3 decades according to major solar components we will have large scale cheap energy storage and other advances essential to making solar fully as cheap as the cheapest 24x7 grid wide electricity generation today. In the mean time modern nuclear plant designs are failsafe even in Fukushima level once in 300 years style disasters and produce only 5% of the nuclear waste of most current designs which are totally out of date. Also we have enough thorium for thorium based nuclear plants to last 20,000 years. We need to overcome nuclear hysteria to license and built such plant and to remove extraneous legal costs that are far beyond what is reasonable and needed for safety.

3) Access to knowledge/computation - Moore's Law is doing a fine job of spreading this across the globe and rapidly. We also need to fix the very broke IP laws that balkanize the global mind into petty fiefdoms.

All of these could quite easily be done within 50 years producing more than enough physical abundance and delivery to meet all the needs and many of the desires of everyone on earth whether they are working or not. IF WE HAVE THE VISION AND THE WILL.

Comment Something this reminds me off (Score 1) 50

Back in the 80s I built a persistent OO systems with sophisticated ACL. We implemented it by finagling the message dispatch mechanism to make select methods on guarded classes error out instead of doing what they normally did. That was on Objective C so it was fairly easy to get to the dispatch table. Some equivalent of that plus a filter on what objects were returned pretty well did it.


'Warm Neptune' Exoplanets May Have Lots of Helium 20

An anonymous reader writes: Phil Plait reports on new research into exoplanets that came to an unexpected and non-obvious conclusion. Throughout the galaxy, astronomers have been finding exoplanets they call "warm Neptunes" — bodies about the size of Neptune, but which orbit their parent star more closely than Mercury orbits the Sun. When astronomers looked at spectra for these planets, they found something surprising: no methane signature (PDF). Methane is made of carbon and hydrogen, and it's generally assumed that most large, gaseous planets will have a lot of hydrogen. But this class of exoplanet, being significantly smaller than, say, Jupiter, may not have the mass (and thus the gravity) to hold on to its hydrogen when it's heated by the close proximity to the star. The result is that the atmosphere may be largely made up of helium instead. If so, the planet would look oddly colorless to our eyes, very unlike the planets in our solar system.

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