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Comment: Re:How much does the device weigh? (Score 1) 163

by R3d M3rcury (#48420591) Attached to: Bicycle Bottle System Condenses Humidity From Air Into Drinkable Water

Just in case you're not up on this, I believe he's talking about a Camelbak. It's basically a backpack with a bladder for holding water and a hose that you can drink from. They're handy for bicyclists and runners who want to keep moving and not fiddle with bottles.

Comment: Re:Missing Option (Score 1) 122

by R3d M3rcury (#48408323) Attached to: Electric Shock Study Suggests We'd Rather Hurt Ourselves Than Others

I assume (RTFA? Pfft!) that the idea was that I was offered the choice of zapping someone else or zapping myself and getting money (ie, if I chose to zap someone else, I merely got the satisfaction/revulsion of zapping them but if I zapped myself, cha-ching!)

So it now becomes a question of how much money does it take for me to not inflict pain on another person. Did they actually know who the other person was? I don't necessarily mean names, but could they see the other person and see them getting shocked? Because that introduces a bunch of biases and how much money would it take to overcome them? That might be a neat study...

It'd also be interesting to see what happens over time. Would the amount of money change? "I didn't zap that person for $5, but after zapping a few people, you're gonna have to pay me more to stop..."

Comment: Re:Meanwhile in America.... (Score 1) 418

by R3d M3rcury (#48394305) Attached to: Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

Personally, all else being fairly equal, I would prefer a train.

Why would people rather travel by airplane? Because it's faster. And I don't blame them one bit. I'd rather fly across the country in five hours than take a train for five days. Who wouldn't?

But trains have a number of advantages. There isn't necessarily the case for "let's see how many people we can jam into a given space." Cars can be added or removed based on demand. Luggage is another example--want to travel with a bicycle, wheelchair, or something kind of large? You're going to paying a heck of a lot more and it's going to be really inconvenient.

Consider California's High-Speed Rail project--or at least the concept (we can argue over the implementation, but that's not the point I'm making). This would have trains that would go between LA and San Francisco in three hours. It takes about an hour to fly between LA and San Francisco--where I'm jammed into a tiny seat and have to pay extra just to bring along more than an overnight bag. Compare that to a three hour train ride where I have actual leg-room and could bring along clothes for a week stay without paying extra. Heck, I might even be able to bring a bicycle without packing it up!

I know which I'd prefer.

Now, I could sort-of take a regular train from LA to San Francisco (it actually ends up in Oakland). It takes about 12--count 'em--12 hours! Yeah, given a choice between an hour of misery or 12 hours of comfort, I think I'd put up with the hour.

Comment: Re:Perhaps the answer is taxes (Score 3, Informative) 161

by R3d M3rcury (#48338749) Attached to: Florida-Based Magic Leap Builds Its Team With Bay Area Hires

Oh, it's certainly happening. As you point out, in 2011, 234 companies left California.

What's entertaining is about 132,000 new businesses were started--tied with Texas. And California leads the nation in job creation, which is why these other states are trying to steal businesses from California.

Comment: Re:And you get to live in Florida!!! (Score 3, Insightful) 161

by R3d M3rcury (#48338709) Attached to: Florida-Based Magic Leap Builds Its Team With Bay Area Hires

Well, I looked for a location for the company and it said Dania Beach, which is along the Atlantic Ocean side probably about 20 miles north of Miami. While Florida may be "red" state, the Miami area is pretty "blue."

That said, a company I used to work for got bought and we all ended up moving down to Miami. I was in my mid-20s and Miami was a pretty fun place. Lots of fun bars in Coconut Grove and South Beach (which stay open until 4AM!). You have a warm ocean, so you don't need to put on wetsuit if you're spending more than 10 minutes in the water.

The heat and humidity? Yeah, it can be bad. Make sure you live someplace with a pool. That solved the problem for me. Also, it's one of those cases where pretty much every place you live has central A/C. If they don't, you don't want to live there.

About the only issue I had was that after a year or so in Miami, I felt like I'd been everywhere and done everything. And once you get out of Miami/Dade, you're in The South which definitely was grating.

Comment: Re:Why Hasn't Anyone Thought Of This Before (Score 1) 221

It has been thought of. The issue here is "How do you look for something as general as 'life'?"

Consider the various probes we have launched to Mars that are looking for signs of life currently or formerly existing. When we say that, though, we're looking for signs of life kind of like what we know on Earth. Which is great. But if we don't find any, it's tough to say definitively that life doesn't exist on Mars because what if it's a different form of life that we don't understand?

Comment: Re:Selfish? (Score 1) 209

by R3d M3rcury (#48314809) Attached to: What People Want From Smart Homes

So, in other words, the smart home is a self-indulgent thing, then?

Yes, frankly. Welcome to the human race.

I'm old enough to remember when TVs had dials on them to change the channel and it was only the invalid who had remotes for the TV. Show a person a TV with a remote and the first thing they'd say is, "I'm not so lazy that I can't get up and change the channel." A remote for the TV was an indulgence. Nowadays? It's a requirement.

So, yeah, first priority for me would be convenience. But much of that convenience would be in the realm of saving energy--which could be considered "environmentally friendly" if I'm using less electricity and gas in my house. Imagine the house that turns off the lights when I leave a room. That adjusts the air conditioning/heating in the room based upon occupancy history. I don't need the living room to be a comfortable temperature when I'm sleeping at night. It's certainly more efficient to heat/cool just one room of the house at night than the whole thing. But I'm not going to run around the house and open and close vents before bed.

Felson's Law: To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.