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Comment Re:Well (Score 1) 570

IC engines are not limited to petroleum oil based fuels, they can run on methane, alcohol and vegetable oil to name a few options. I don't see any reason why this engine couldn't use a carbon neutral fuel like biogas or alcohol, its not some radical new tech that is completely alien, it is a refinement of existing tech.

The reason most modern cars use petrol is because that was the cheapest back in the day and the infrastructure developed to exclusively handle it. In the early days of automobiles there where a mix of gas and electric vehicles, even some hybrids, that ran on a variety of fuels.

There is no single answer, we are entering a transitional period where fossil fuels are going to be phased out but it doesn't look like there is going to be a magic bullet that will solve everything, at least not yet.

Even fusion will have its issues. Sure electricity may end up being "too cheap to meter" (we've heard that before) but for cars your going to need batteries, really good ones for long trips in some cases, and a completely rebuilt rail system to use electricity instead of diesel. Add in transporting it all, the current electric grid is already hitting its max, those rolling blackouts on the West coast awhile back where not caused by a lack of available generating capacity it was the inability to get the power to where it was needed.

There is a great deal more work that needs to be done to completely move away from combustion, of any fuel, and this engine is another step in the right direction.

Conservation is not always about replacing a technology completely, its about using what is available in an efficient and sustainable method.

Comment Applies to iPad as well (Score 1) 217

The iPad uses the same pin outs and has serial port support as well.

Cool hack for an iPhone, but you could do the same thing with an iPad to USB adapter and a USB=>RS232 adapter in a smaller form factor.

Two thumbs up for the hack though. I'm going to have to get a few of those breakout boards, my Sansa e200 has the same connector, just different pin outs.

Comment Re:I find this not hard to understand (Score 2, Interesting) 359

I would challenge your view that the only "real usage" of moding a game console is to play illegally copied games.

Of course I can only speak for myself but my intent when I modded my Xbox was so I could copy the games I already owned onto its hard drive and no longer need the easily damaged disks, that in some cases cost me $70+, to play the game. The originals are now stored in a safe location and will only be used to reload the hard disk should it fail at a later date.

My action also allowed me to extend the life of my console since I no longer needed to use the optical disk drive, which was already starting to fail, and maximize my investment in the games. If I had to keep switching the disks, risking damage to them every time and causing wear on the optical disk drive, I would buy far fewer games than I have. From that view the modding actually led to the sale of more games by the distributors.

If Microsoft chooses to ban me from using my modded console on their network I do not have a problem with that, they own the servers, but I own the Xbox and will do with it as I please with it.

And I still fail to see how jail breaking a game console is any different than jail breaking an iPhone, in both cases it allows the owner to do what they want with device they own. If anything I see more of an argument against jail breaking a phone that was discounted pursuant to a service contract and therefor not fully owned by the purchaser until the terms of the contract are fulfilled, than a game console which was purchased outright.

Comment Re:Maybe some help for Asthmatics (Score 3, Interesting) 223

No, a naive man would believe the advertising by the Pharmacorps that they only have the best interests of the public at heart.

I would call your observation accurate and realistic. If they can they will profit from this as much as possible, if they can not they will do everything they can to bury this or ensure that only they can control the distribution channels, which they will then manipulate to either make it impossible to get or cost so much that no one can afford it. Then they will stop distributing it "because there is no demand".


Comment Re:Bitter scents from the natural environemnt (Score 1) 223

If I had the points I would mod you up. I really hope some researcher follows up on your idea.

Since we taste bitter, not smell it, we wouldn't detect even a trace of "bitter" unless we breathed through our mouths. I doubt it would take much to trigger the receptors in the lungs so the other scent compounds would overpower the bitter signal from the tongue, so the brain gets an "Ooooo, Earthy, loamy goodness" signal while the lungs get "Open wide!".

Comment Re:Maybe some help for Asthmatics (Score 1) 223

You are so right. My first draft included some not very polite references to Pharmacorps and their practices. But since those always seem to incite a flame war I opted for less fuel.

And getting it by the FDA is going to be as much a pain as you indicated, not to mention that there will likely be some "incentives" to the FDA director/testers to ignore, delay, lose the testing protocols for any product based on this discovery that did make it that far.

Likely it will be other countries that move forward with making this available to their people, and in the US it will get stopped at the boarder as an illegal pharmaceutical.


Comment Re:Watch the polarity guys (Score 1) 140

Just finished watching it. Fun to see the old non CGI model effects again.

At 1:26:00 Ross and the Director are talking about sending another ship to the Phoenix and the Director does ask about the electrical polarity but they don't say what they end up doing.

At 1:33:00 when the "Doppelganger" docks with Phoenix there is some kind of spark/arcing in the coupler between the two ships. It knocks out the Doppelgangers radio, vertical thrusters needed to land, and some other systems not specified. The spark/arc also causes the retros on the Phoenix to fire and de-orbit it. No details as to the cause of the arc are ever given.

At 1:35:00 Ross says that he does not know what happened but that the instruments show that "... negative is still negative, positive is still positive." but since his radio is out no one on the ground hears him.

Ross is able to make a controlled exit from the Phoenix but ground control has activated the auto approach system for the Doppelganger which apparently has no local manual override. During the approach Ross is trying to radio ground control telling them to release auto systems. When they finally do, because they think he is already dead, it is too late for Ross to do anything. The Doppelganger smashes into a building and then crashes into a big rocket which blows up everything, including all the evidence of the mirrored Earth.

Cool side note, the last part of the movie is reversed from the first half, so the audience sees the world the way Ross does. When it was first released some film tech thought it was a mistake and "fixed it", but when they remastered it for the DVD they put it back the way it was meant to be.

Hope you get a chance to watch it again for yourself. Regards, PGB


"Survey says..." -- Richard Dawson, weenie, on "Family Feud"