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Comment: Re:Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More R (Score 1) 78

by Dutch Gun (#49157671) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

Naturally there's going to be a limit with the current silicon-based technology. At that point, we'll probably see attempts to work in other directions, such as moving into the realm of 3D, using new materials like graphene, silicon-germanian, or even pure germaniam (which could allow for lower voltages, and thus less consumption, tunneling, and leakage), or other techniques that no one has even contemplated yet.

It should be interesting to see whether they'll succeed or not, and what that will mean for the tech industry either way.

Comment: Re:Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More R (Score 1) 78

by Dutch Gun (#49157467) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

However, they are slow to name specifics. The few they could name are also ripe for offshoring.

That's because it's nearly impossible to predict specific future technologies with any accuracy. A century ago, no one could have even dreamed of the job I currently have. A decade ago, "mobile app developers" didn't even exist, at least not in any real quantity.

Regarding the demise of Moore's Law. I'd like to share with you a quote from a year 2000 paper entitled "The End of Moore's Law?"

The industry’s newest chips have “pitches” as small as 180 nanometers (billionths of a meter). To accommodate Moore’s Law, according to the biennial “road map” prepared last year for the Semiconductor Industry Association, the pitches need to shrink to 150 nanometers by 2001 and to 100 nanometers by 2005. Alas, the road map admitted, to get there the industry will have to beat fundamental problems to which there are “no known solutions.” If solutions are not discovered quickly, Paul A. Packan, a respected researcher at Intel, argued last September in the journal Science, Moore’s Law will “be in serious danger.”

Most new chips are at 22-28 nanometers now, 14nm chips are gearing up, and 10nm is in the pipeline. It's always amusing to read those types of papers with the benefit of hindsight. Even now you can find 2014 papers saying that 28nm is the last node in Moore's Law.

Most people suck at predicting the future.

Comment: Re: I hope (Score 1) 121

by kenh (#49157289) Attached to: As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

A municipal Internet service, funded with tax-payer dollars, what could go wrong?

Gee, there isn't any chance some activist groups would file suits forcing the government to filter out hate speech, pornography, extreme violence, gun sales, etc on their "tax-payer-funded Internet"? No, that would never happen...

Oh wait, we already do that on taxpayer-funded Internet in our schools and libraries!

Comment: Re: Republicans are totally out to lunch on this i (Score 1) 121

by kenh (#49157273) Attached to: As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

Because wired Internet service so often is a natural monopoly, there are all kinds of situations in which towns or villages or even small neighborhoods find themselves cut off from any service by a company that simply does not feel it worthwhile to extend service to that market.

Really, because the "company simply does not feel it worthwhile to extend service to that market"?

They decline to extend services to areas that they don't think will be profitable, see they are a profit-driven enterprise in most cases.

Now, what we'll see is taxpayers absorb the losses extending services to areas that were otherwise unprofitable to service - that's a great step forward, I can just see your local taxpayer having no problem running fiber cable for miles down a rural road to offer high-speed internet service to the seven farms over 20 miles of county road...

Comment: Re: Hilarious (Score 1) 121

by kenh (#49157257) Attached to: As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

How so, deductions are a part of the tax code, put there for a reason. It is the government saying you owe us X% of your income above a certain amount, but if you have a mortgage you don't owe taxes on the money you spent on interest, if you have children we know they can be very expensive, so keep some of that money you were going to pay in taxes to cover the expense of your children, etc.

Deductions is the government telling you what money it is not entitled to, not 'taking money from the government'...

Comment: Re: Authority (Score 1) 121

by kenh (#49157241) Attached to: As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

Because Democrats really, really want it (whatever it is - have yet to actually know what's in the 300+pages), no laws can stand in their way.

Obamacare was so good, they had to pass it in the dead of night in a rushed manner because Republicans had a chance to stop it.

The Loans to Solyndra were so important that they ignored repeated warning of the company's flawed business model and right before it finally imploded (exactly when it was predicted to, BTW), the administration had to put private investors ahead of the American taxpayers for recovery after bankruptcy, violating federal law - but they really, really wanted solar panels made in a half-billion dollar factory in Silicon Valkey to succed!

They were so sure that straw gun sales were happening along the southern border that they had to force gun shops to make the sales, so they could record them on video tape and then, inspector Clousseu-like, sit by and watch the guns slip across the border I to Mexico, with no one on the other side of the border knowing what was going on - they just really, really wanted to stop the gun sales!

The President really, really wanted to fill some vacancies I the NLRB with friends of big labor, but darn it, the Congress wouldn't go on recess - so he just decided they were in recess and made his appointments. Then the Supreme Court told him he couldn't do that, but it was too late.

See, a deeply-rooted belief that something is needed trumps all laws.

Comment: Re: One Word ... (Score 1) 121

by kenh (#49157201) Attached to: As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

UPS and FedEx are bared from competing with the post office for mail delivery.

While the USPS is structured like a business, Congress often prevents it from actually operating like a private company, such as taking actions to reduce costs, improve efficiency, or innovate in other ways. The agency is also obligated by statute to provide mail services to all Americans, irrespective of where they live and the cost of serving them. Furthermore, it is required to deliver first-class mail at a uniform price throughout the nation.

While Congress imposes various costs and obligations on the USPS, it also protects it from competition. The USPS has a legal monopoly over first-class mail and standard mail (formerly called third-class mail). Thus, we have a postal system that encourages high costs and inefficiency, while preventing entrepreneurs from trying to improve postal services for Americans.

See the Postal Code of 1872 for further information on the USPS monopoly on mail delivery.

Comment: Re: One Word ... (Score 1) 121

by kenh (#49157183) Attached to: As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

Don't you understand this decision? It's not about 'self-control' of the Internet backbone, it's about allowing municipalities or utility companies to offer services outside their service area, the locals don't want to run their own Internet backbone, they want someone else to come into their territory and offer service.

Comment: Re:It's almost like the Concord verses the 747 aga (Score 1) 139

by Rei (#49157171) Attached to: Hyperloop Testing Starts Next Year

What sort of claim is that? Since when do oxygen masks need 20kPa to function? And secondly, if there's "problematic loading on the capsules" from too much pressure on the pressure-compromised capsule, then your pressure is also way too high inside. Which means that you've repressurized the tube way too much. So the solution is: Don't do that!

Comment: I don't get it... (Score 1) 121

by kenh (#49157167) Attached to: As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

I can't quite reconcile this:

On Thursday, before it voted in favor of "net neutrality," the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to override state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina that have barred local governments and public utilities from offering broadband outside the areas where they have traditionally sold electricity.

With this:

"allowing communities to be the owners and stewards of their own broadband networks is a watershed moment that will serve as a check against the worst abuses of the cable monopoly for decades to come."

How does allowing the neighboring municipality or neighboring utility somehow allow "communities to be the owners and stewards of their own broadband networks"?

Think about it, don't react emotionally.

If I live in a community that is served electricity by power company A, and power company B in the neighboring community offers internet access that I want, allowing power company B to sell Internet access in the territory served by Power company A isn't 'self-ownership'... If the county next to me offers Internet access and now they can offer Internet service in my county, does my county now control the Internet backbone in our county or does the neighboring community?

Communities and public utilities can already offer service in thief own areas, this change would allow them to offer service in other communities, exchanging their old provider for another, neither owned or controlled by them.

I guess you have to believe that it will be better when the big power utility companies displace the big cable companies...

Comment: Re:It's almost like the Concord verses the 747 aga (Score 1) 139

by Rei (#49157159) Attached to: Hyperloop Testing Starts Next Year

Branching at full speed is probably not possible with the Hyperloop as designed; the skis are curved to match the diameter of the tube, with a ~1mm clearance with the tube surface, so there is no passive tube design that could accommodate a "switch". In order to continue from Section A to either Section B or Section C, you'd have to make an intermediate length of tube several hundred meters long that could be physically moved at one end from B to C, with sub-millimeter precision

Wait, meaning that while it's technically possible, but it'd be really tricky to accomplish? Gee, I wish I had written something like "Branching would be really tricky, but there's no physical barriers" at the top of my post ;)

The reason is threefold: drag continues to increase at higher speeds regardless of the speed of sound

Drag is reduced in the first place by using hydrogen even at a given pressure. And you can use 1/4th the pressure and still maintain lift because you're moving four times as fast. And given how few reboosts are needed from LA to SF in the base case, a few more per unit distance hardly seems limiting.

If you consider that the steel Hyperloop pipe draped across 30m-spaced pylons will approximate a vertical sine wave, then at 700mph the allowable sag is only about 5cm

Irrelevant because earthquakes impose far more deflection that you have to be able to counter (and that the proposal calls for countering) than a craft moving past.

Mechanical braking from 1500mph in the event of an emergency is also a non-starter

What, you're picturing drum brakes or something? You're moving at high speeds in a giant steel tube. Magnetic braking couldn't possibly be easier.

a 700mph capsule will incur about 2g's of aerobraking deceleration

Where are you getting this from? Even if the tube was instantly full pressure (which it wouldn't be), a streamlined shape will not experience 2Gs at 700mph, any more than a passenger jet losing full engine power does. And anyway, 10g horizontal is not fatal even if that was the case. The average untrained individual, properly restrained, can tolerate 10g for a minute without even loss of cognitive function.

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984

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