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Comment: Re:No they don't (Score 1) 226

by Ranbot (#49374331) Attached to: Chinese Scientists Plan Solar Power Station In Space

...And microwave lasers (aka masers - a technology that predates lasers considerably) actually make incredible sense for beaming the power back to Earth, since the atmosphere is extremely transparent to microwaves. Of course even a tightly focused maser will spread out after 36,000km, so you'll need massive receiving antennas on Earth covering many square kilometers, especially if you want to avoid cooking everything in the airspace alive...

So, if beaming this energy back to the earth in microwaves will cook everything in the airspace between the transmitter and collector, how does this help combat global warming? There is water in the atmosphere afterall that I presume would be warmed by micro waves passing through it, much like a glass of water in a kitchen microwave. Has anyone calculated those residual heat effects of beaming lasers/microwaves through our atmosphere? My gut says there would be excess heat transmitted directly into our atmosphere derived from converted sun rays that would have normally bounced harmlessly off the Earth's atmosphere or even missed the planet entirely. I'd love for my gut to be proven wrong though if someone has that data.

Comment: Re:Breakthrough? (Score 1) 445

by Ranbot (#49190599) Attached to: Microsoft Convinced That Windows 10 Will Be Its Smartphone Breakthrough

Attracting users and app developers go hand-in-hand and clearly Microsoft's slow start in mobile markets has crippled their ability to compete in the current standard phone market. They need something that sets their product apart from iOS and Android, and I agree that HoloLens could be that something. Add a more seamless integration of Windows mobile units and desktop and some competitve pricing for units and Microsoft could become attractive again. In particular for businesses who are largely wedded to Windows already and only support iOS/Android/Blackberry mobile systems because they have to. I'm not ready to say this will usher in another Microsoft hey-day like the late 90's, but I agree it's very foolish to count them out.

Comment: It's not about your data cap... (Score 1) 71

by Ranbot (#49138933) Attached to: UK Scientists Claim 1Tbps Data Speed Via Experimental 5G Technology

That's a funny post, but it misses the real point, which is speeds like that over mobile networks can compete with traditional land-based ISP speeds. These are some of the first hints at a massive shift in how consumers will access the internet and ISPs will operate in the not-so-distant future. Last month Verizon quietly announced that they weren't going to lay any more fiber optic cable and are selling some fiber networks to third parties because their wireless networks were much more profitable, which is probably true, but it's only part of the story. If you consider various reports like this about the potential for 5G you can read between the lines of Verizon's statement; they know the future of home internet is very likely going to be wireless and want to be ready.
(Reference: )

Comment: Re:How does this compare to radio? (Score 1) 305

by Ranbot (#49122869) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

Most radio stations are paid to play songs not the other way around:

Which really is ironic, because over the past 5 years or so I have streamed many many more songs through Pandora [and Slacker/Milk Music] than I have listened to songs on standard radio. I'm 34 years old, so I'm sure younger demographics are streaming more than me. I've even attended some concerts and bought a couple old fashioned CDs because of new things I heard streaming. It would make more sense for artists and studios to pay Pandora.

That said, I wouldn't want to turn the tables here because I think it would just lead to the same old studios/artists with the biggest pockets controlling what music is available for streaming, just like standard radio.

Comment: Re:so... (Score 1) 271

by Ranbot (#49055299) Attached to: Peak Google: The Company's Time At the Top May Be Nearing Its End

Nothing, no creature in nature or multinational juggernaut stays at the top forever... talking to you dinosaurs, US Steel and General Motors.

If you look in the right places you'll find a few dinosaurs still walking around and competing at the top... Jim Beam (1795), Colgate (1806), DuPont (1802), Barclays bank (1690; and seventh largest bank in the world today), Caterpillar Inc. (1925, quite young really, but would have been hanging out with your GM example). Many of the major oil companies trace their roots back to or even before the Standard Oil monopoly was dissolved in 1911. Japan, Germany, and England have companies that are over over 1000 years old still running today in some form or another.

Comment: Re:so... (Score 4, Interesting) 271

by Ranbot (#49046681) Attached to: Peak Google: The Company's Time At the Top May Be Nearing Its End

That, and their search engine is still the best around. By a long shot. Many times you don't even have to visit the pages it links to, and Google will simply give you an answer with before having to look at any of the results. When Firefox went and switch my search engine to Yahoo, I noticed by the quality of the results, not by the look of the page, because they were very careful to try to make the results page look as similar as possible.

Agreed Google still has the best search engine. I hate when 3rd parties try to sneak their search engines onto my PC or phone. However, I don't mind Bing terribly as a search engine, but I seem to get more relevant results with Google.

FWIW, Bing's mapping is definitely better than Google's though. In particular the birdseye angled aerial images are awesome and allow you to see all four sides of structure, instead just a roof, with surprisingly good resolution too. I regularly inspect properties for work, and I use Bing's map tools to scope them out before I see them in person.

Comment: Re:Target audience? (Score 1) 84

by Ranbot (#48994009) Attached to: Smartphone Attachment Can Test For HIV In 15 Minutes

I'm guessing the target audience is medical workers in poorer countries with limited access to labratory equipment to test for these diseases.

Exactly. And even in poor rural countries mobile networks often have better coverage and are more reliable than land-based communications, so having this technology on a mobile device may increase the utility for doctors and aid workers in rural areas. They could easily transmit the data to nearby hospitals, to patient families, or safer cloud data storage options.

Comment: Re:its a tough subject (Score 1) 673

by Ranbot (#48886867) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

If a company faces a problem that could result in them losing customers and sales, then they have the right to create a corporate policy for their employees that protects the entire company and all of the other employees who work there. In Disney's case if the wider public thinks by going to a Disney park they risk getting seriously sick, beyond the typical cold or flu, it could result in lost customers and sales. If Disney has to lay other people off due to lost sales related to the choices of ignorant anti-vaxxers, then who is the victim?

There's no way around the fact that whether or not people vaccinate is a public health concern more than an individual rights concern. This issue has to stop being framed as an individual choice/freedom issue, because one person's bad choice can adversely effect too many other people's health and finances who did not make the same choice. Our disfunctional gov't is impotent against this fringe of ignorant anti-vaxxers, but if there's any hope, it's that private companies will apply common sense health policies to protect their employees, their customers, their image, and their bottom line profits, which will also benefit the greateer public good.

Comment: Re:sounds bad for Amazon's investment (Score 1) 92

by Ranbot (#48526057) Attached to: Valve Rolls Out Game Broadcasting Service For Steam

I think you vastly overestimate the theoretical viewerbase.

I disagree and I can prove my point with real numbers:

That shows over the course of one day approximately 4 to 7 millions users log into Steam ALONE. The actual number of worldwide gamers only goes up from there and it's a largely uptapped market. Current tournament viewership isn't even close.

Comment: Re:sounds bad for Amazon's investment (Score 1) 92

by Ranbot (#48522111) Attached to: Valve Rolls Out Game Broadcasting Service For Steam

Many of these viewers are casual gamers. That's what you have to understand

I get it, but what you don't seem to get is that tournament viewers are still a small sliver of the potential pie. 400k viewers for CSGO Dreamhack is great, amazing even, but there are many more millions of worldwide gamers. That's Valve's target market.

Comment: Re:sounds bad for Amazon's investment (Score 1) 92

by Ranbot (#48515779) Attached to: Valve Rolls Out Game Broadcasting Service For Steam

Those numbers would still pale in comparison to the millions of worldwide casual gamers that is a mostly untapped market.

I don't think tournament streaming is good analogue to Steam's streaming service either. Tournaments are big one-time events, which get a lot of attention, but the event and any revenues generated from it quickly come to an end. Valve integrating streaming into Steam is an attempt to have game streaming a regular part of casual gamers every day lives, which is how they could tap into previously unrealized markets. Those are very different business models.

Comment: Re:sounds bad for Amazon's investment (Score 1) 92

by Ranbot (#48514597) Attached to: Valve Rolls Out Game Broadcasting Service For Steam

I'm not so sure. Take GOTV/DotATV as examples. Tournaments can fund themselves by tickets(and many do) to watch the matches in-game(with commentators streamed in-game if you so choose)....

I'd like to see statistics for what percentage of all gamers watch tournaments, because my strong suspicion is tournament viewers are and probably always will be a niche market - a very profitable niche for some companies, but niche nonetheless. The much bigger piece of the pie will be getting the vast majority of casual or "average" gamers to get on board with streaming and I think streaming integration with Steam could potentionally open up that larger market.

Ma Bell is a mean mother!