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Comment: Re:Even More Thrust (Score 1) 240

by PPalmgren (#49822643) Attached to: Fuel Free Spacecrafts Using Graphene

Understood, thanks for the clarification. The way you explain it, it sounds as if there would be a massive charge difference...could you use this difference as a sort of battery or solar panel then? Obviously, there isn't enough information to determine practical use of said application, I'm just curious if it would be possible.

Comment: Re:Even More Thrust (Score 1) 240

by PPalmgren (#49821201) Attached to: Fuel Free Spacecrafts Using Graphene

But this might have higher fuel efficiency, for example, how combustion engines don't have to carry oxygen because they grab it from the air intake. In this case, we're grabbing electrons from sunlight and using them for propulsion. Yes, you still have to carry something to neutralize the charge, but that payload can *also* be used as a propellant. Double bang for your buck.

Comment: Re:Same performance different Memory Capacity (Score 4, Informative) 147

All outputs are not created equal. First, most consoles target 30 FPS. Second, like the old consoles at 1080p, this output is likely just an upscale. They simply do not have the horsepower to render content at that resolution. Equivalent GPUs can be had for $100 or less in computers.

Comment: Re: Coding: Language Skills (Score 1) 306

I hadn't thought of that, its a really good point. Calculus for me was very engaging because real world examples were used of its application when it was taught to me. I don't think skipping a year of math for programming is worth it though, I think they would be better taught side by side. Maybe name the class 'Applied Logic' instead of math or programming, and merge pre-algebra and beginners coding into one class?

Comment: Re:Coding: Language Skills (Score 1) 306

While it may be like learning a second language, I personally feel learning to code in elementary school would be like learning a second language without understanding the concept of punctuation. Now, before getting all flustered, hear me out.

Using a programming language successfully means using math concepts that elementary school students usually haven't been introduced to yet and requires strict formatting control, something they're still working on in elementary school with their primary language. Assigning values to an abstract variable is first introduced in algebra, and order of operations arrives late in grade school and weeks are spent on its mastery. Requiring specific words for a program to work when kids may still be struggling with spelling is another thing that comes to mind. If there is a language suited specifically for the youngins, great, but teaching a programming language to grade schoolers to me is like taking physics before algebra.

The only thing I can think is a cultural barrier here, how far does Australia's elementary school go? Where I'm from, elementary school is up to grade 5, or 10/11 years old.

Comment: Re:Science is Anti-Family (Score 1) 295

by PPalmgren (#49775169) Attached to: Study: Science Still Seen As a Male Profession

It all boils down to one thing: money. As a short-sighted capital-driven economy, R&D has been relegated to a governmental and academic endeavor. The only way to change the cutthroat hard resarch environment would be to increase demand, either via government/taxation or via private investment. The latter will only really work if someone creates something like a R&D corp that shows clear long-term ROI, so for now we only have science industries like the chem/pharm companies providing those types of positions.

Personally, I think hard sciences being so heavily coupled to the academic framework harms the opportunities in the hard sciences. The university funding system and their internal positions/rewards systems are a perverse divorce from reality. While it is important to expose young minds to these innovators, the grant politicking and nonsense really bright people get bogged down with limit their real research and progress. On the flip side, separating hard science funding from education would make it an easy target for politicians, possibly making the situation worse.

I wish there was an easy answer, but like all things in life...

Comment: Re:flat as a pancake: invasion pending (Score 1) 236

by PPalmgren (#49774429) Attached to: Microsoft Tries Another Icon Theme For Windows 10

Everyone is doing flat for one reason: touch. Look at a beveled button vs a flat button of the same size. To the layman, and you'll notice this if you ever have to help a PHB with a computer problem, they don't realize they can click the bevel and think only the center of the button is pressable. This is a natural reaction to something that looks that way. Something flat, on the other hand, gives the impression that pressing the corner will have the same effect as pressing the center.

If you look at the evolution of touchscreen keyboards on smartphones, you'll notice the bevels started wide with gaps on keys, and the bevels slowly faded away with the gaps getting smaller / non-existent to more accurately portray the acceptable key-press area to the user. This isn't done because of some industry-wide UI conspiracy, its done because they tried several options and users liked the flat style more. Apple and Google pay big money to study what people like more, as does Microsoft. The flat UI is just the logical extension of these previously discovered preferences.

Comment: Re:So basically (Score 1) 837

by PPalmgren (#49737385) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Passenger cars don't effect road maintenance much, but they are one of the big drivers for capacity. Higher capcity needs greatly impact the road budgets, and higher capacity needs increase maintenance costs regardless of vehicle-induced damage (weathering is a significant factor in road degradation).

Comment: Re: Anecdotal evidence (Score 1) 241

by PPalmgren (#49720319) Attached to: How Windows 10 Performs On a 12-inch MacBook

Gas station war, what a great analogy. I find it rediculous but its impossible to look away from, just like a trainwreck.

The thing that perplexes me most, as someone who dislikes the apple ecosystem, is usually discussions about purchases after an apple product review. I'll read the comments about how apple A in review doesn't meet the person's need, nor does the apple B they were considering, but they'll choose apple B. I mean, when I make a purchase decision for let's say tablets, I look at the iPads and look at the alternatives. Some people are so far into the Apple garden that they don't even realize there's a fence and consider other options, their only options being iPad A, iPad B, or iPad C. I always try my best to think in another person's shoes, but I simply can't comprehend that kind of behavior.

What it really comes down to is those fanatic-types are unbearable to discuss merits/downsides with, because they don't consider anything outside the apple ecosystem as an option. I guess there are the opposite of that camp as well. Tribalism at its worst.

Comment: Re:Maybe people are not desperate (Score 1) 294

by PPalmgren (#49718475) Attached to: The Solution To Argentina's Banking Problems Is To Go Cashless

Large companies are currently afraid to do business in Argentina because of the political climate. Its viewed in a similar fashion to Venezeula - you can invest there and make a good return, but your assets might vanish tomorrow. Sadly, this may become a self-fulfilling prophecy - economic pain by the fear results in the seizures companies fear so much.

Comment: Re:Won't save most of the 4000 lives (Score 1) 615

by PPalmgren (#49717685) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

Sorry, but that's like saying a 10 story apartment building and a 100 story skyscraper require the same engineering. They dont, and the reason we dont have 500 story skyscrapers runs up against physical limitations of materials.

Truck stopping distance has to do with brake and tire technology. A 10% reduction in stopping distance can mean a 50-100% increase in cost and maintenance. Cold hard economics is making the decisions until tech improves more.

Comment: Re:You assume the "professionals" really are.... (Score 1) 615

by PPalmgren (#49717585) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

Cars tend to be the 'ass' in assume with regards to truck. I say that because cars tend to expect trucks to accelerate, decelerate, and react at the same speed all the time. Well, there's one big problem, and that big problem is mass. If you see a 53' truck on the road or a 40' truck on the road, it could have 5-10,000 lbs cargo (empty container) or 60,000 pounds of cargo. Most of the time when that dragass truck is accelerating slowly at a light, its not because they're milking their working hours, its because the petal is on the floor and the thing is having a hard time moving. This, unfortunately, applies when stopping as well.

There's no easy way to tell where on the weight gradient a truck falls from an onlooker's point of view. I think this is why we have so many accidents around them. If there were more advanced turn/brake signals, like varying light intensity for brake pressure or something, maybe it'd help, but the critical mass required for such a change is almost impossible to acheive.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional driver, but I work in the transportation industry, so I've seen their struggles.

The biggest difference between time and space is that you can't reuse time. -- Merrick Furst