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Comment: An infinite number of possible answers (Score 1) 470

by sbaker (#49748259) Attached to: The Brainteaser Elon Musk Asks New SpaceX Engineers

Consider this...suppose you are just over a mile from the SOUTH pole. You walk a mile south - and now you're maybe a hundred feet from the South pole. Then you turn west and start walking...around and around in a tiny 100 foot radius circle centered on the pole. When you've finally clocked up a mile - you turn and head North again...where do you end up?

Well, the answer depends on the exact circumference of the circle that you walked around. Generally, you'll end up someplace very different from your starting point...BUT if that circle is an EXACT sub-multiple of a mile - then you'll end up precisely where you started.

So...the North pole is clearly NOT a unique answer.

Furthermore - the north pole is only ONE answer. My approach reveals an infinite number of possible answers:

1) You could have started ANYWHERE that's at the exact right distance from the pole - so anywhere on that circle will infinite number of starting points will work.

2) Note that ANY exact sub-multiple of a mile will do - so with mathematical precision, there are an infinite number of sub-multiples of a mile - and hence an infinite number of distances from the pole where you could have started.

Truly - the "North Pole" example exhibits very little lateral thinking... if that was your answer then you **FAILED** the Musk test...which (I'm pretty sure) is the whole point here.

The original version of the story is that a hunter walk a mile south, a mile west, shoots a bear, then walks a mile north to return to his starting point. What color was the bear?

Since there are no bears at the south pole - and only polar bears live anywhere near the north pole - then the north pole is the right place and the correct answer is "WHITE!"....but Musk isn't asking *that* question...he's trying to trick people into jumping to a false conclusion without stopping to think about it.

    -- Steve Baker


Hydrogen-Powered Drone Can Fly For 4 Hours at a Time 112

Posted by samzenpus
from the different-way-to-fly dept.
stowie writes: The Hycopter uses its frame to store energy in the form of hydrogen instead of air. With less lift power required, its fuel cell turns the hydrogen in its frame into electricity to power its rotors. The drone can fly for four hours at a time and 2.5 hours when carrying a 2.2-pound payload. “By removing the design silos that typically separate the energy storage component from UAV frame development - we opened up a whole new category in the drone market, in-between battery and combustion engine systems,” says CEO Taras Wankewycz.

Comment: Re:Prior art (Score 2) 219

Many of the microwave towers in my area have been taken down in the last 5 years.

Not really surprising. My guess is the microwave towers (expensive, subject to failures from windstorms blowing radio heads out of alignment or crazy tinfoil hat people who think all RF emissions are evil, etc.) have been replaced by buried fiber optic backhaul, as fiber has become more widely available. I don't think there's any net reduction in bandwidth there.

Comment: Re:And OP is retarded. (Score 1) 335

by schnell (#49721189) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

You are absolutely correct. I think the thing that people who dislike "fiat currency" or advocate a return to the Gold Standard tend to forget is the single core principle that, since Adam Smith's days and before, has always defined market-based economies: "A thing is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it."

And the same holds true for gold, silver, salt or Beanie Babies: whatever you think it's worth means nothing if you can't find someone to sell it to for that price. "Inherent value" of a commodity is a lie in the sense that it is never truly fixed and an unalterably safe store of value. Today, most people in the developed world think that a small piece of paper with a dead white American politician on it is worth something, and they agree on what that value is. You could say to them, "but I have gold!" but to most people that is actually worth nothing to them except for what they could turn around and convert it back into currency for. The only thing that has inherent worth is whatever you are trying to buy or sell from someone thinks has inherent worth.

Comment: self-interest bullshit configurator (Score 1) 616

by epine (#49711527) Attached to: Editor-in-Chief of the Next Web: Adblockers Are Immoral

This is the same asshole who buys a pretty little property out in the countryside, and then after a year or two launches a farm practices complaint to shut down the neighbouring farms (which have only been there for two hundred years) because they smell like farms.

Then he shows up in town council explaining that only sociopaths raise farm animals.

What an incredible self-interest bullshit configurator this man possesses.

Get the fuck off my moral lawn.

Some of my readers ask me what a "Serial Port" is. The answer is: I don't know. Is it some kind of wine you have with breakfast?