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Comment Re:10% more transmittance for glass? (Score 3, Informative) 37

That is one of those Wikipedia articles which is a bit vague about what it means. It's doesn't make sense to intend to say that glass transmits 90% of incident light regardless of the thickness. The Wikipedia entry references a single optical "element", so I'd take "the transmissivity of one element (two surfaces) is about 90%," to mean that 10% is the lower limit of light loss for a single lens of arbitrary thinness.

Now if a very thin silica glass lens transmits 90% of the light falling on it, then clearly it'd be very difficult to conceive of a material that transmits 10% more light than that. However you can achieve whatever level of attenuation you wish by making your piece of glass sufficiently (possibly absurdly) thick. The three inch thick glass panes used in giant ocean tanks are noticeably more opaque than air. Clearly it's physically possible for a material to transmit 10% more light than the same thickness of glass -- for a sufficient thickness. Particularly if the index of refraction of that material is closer to air.

Of course that's where we get to the point that the summary is badly written too. Silica glass *is* very transparent; insufficient transparency isn't a problem in window applications, if there's a problem it's that the material is too transparent. That's why we have dark tinting and anti-IR coating. So it's not clear why we would care that the material can transmit 10% more light. Clearly the story got garbled somewhere along the way.

Comment Re:Get a feature phone, dumbass. (Score 1) 271

You know what's going to happen if you rely on a pager, don't you? Nobody will know how to contact you on that.

Which, indeed, is a feature -- not a bug. Anyone you want to reach you you give them the secret formula: call my pager's phone #, and when you hear the beep enter your phone number followed by #. Or if you need to send text, send an email to myPagerPhoneNumber@provider.com. If you can't handle that I don't want to hear from you.

Oh, and a feature phone is fine solution if it's OK that you can't be reached when you're in a tunnel or some other places the VHF phone band can't reach but typical pager frequencies can.

Comment Re:Landmines (Score 2) 211

Autonomous weapons have been around for about 70 years probably starting with the German T-4 torpedo that they could fire in the general direction of a convoy and it would seek out a ship to sink. If you count landmines it is at least 100 years.
This is just a chance to make news and get attention.

Comment Re:First Name Basis? Rude. (Score 1) 577

Grammer ignorami. Proper nouns should NEVER be preceded by articles.

Oh, the definite article is very commonly used before proper nouns, most often place names or geographical features (e.g. "The Mississippi (River)").

Sometimes "the" is used purely customarily (particularly in names translated from other languages like "The Ukraine" or "The Maghreb" ), but its primary function is to distinguish between nouns referring to specific things a speaker is expected to be aware of, and generic things that are just being introduced into the discourse: "a ball [which I haven't mentioned up until now] broke Mr. Smith's window; Mr. Smith kept the ball [which I just mentioned]."

In particular proper nouns which sound like they might be generic will sometimes customarily get a "the" tacked on to indicate the audience is expected to picture the well-known thing rather than some unknown one ("The United States", "The Great Lakes", "The Big Easy"). "The Donald" is a definite article usage of this type, with an bit of ironic deprecation mixed in.

By the way the plural of "ignoramus" is "ignoramuses", not "ignorami". That is because "ignoramus" was never a noun in Latin; rather it is a conjugation of the verb ignorare (to be unacquainted with, to ignore). "Ignoramus" entered English as a legal term to mean "we take no notice of" (e.g. a witness whose testimony is irrelevant because he has no firsthand knowledge).

Comment Re:Excess (Score 4, Informative) 288

"That space of land could feed over 6,000 people [farmlandlp.com] if properly arable, or house 2.8 million people. "
But it is not arable and no one lives on it.
I personally am pro nuclear and I am even getting optimistic about fusion thanks to the Lockheed High Beta reactor and the Pollywell.
BTW this is a thermal solar plant and not photovoltaic.

Comment Re:Excess (Score 3, Insightful) 288

Maybe the price of land. Maybe Morocco gets fewer cloudy days. being that close to one another does not mean they have the same conditions, Maybe the cost of labor to keep the mirrors clean. And just maybe Morocco had the will to build it while Spain did not.
I am very sceptical of the claims of solar but this is interesting. I hope it works out well.

Comment Re:I can understand small first batches (Score 4, Interesting) 111

I see the Zero a bit different. It is a full linux machine which the ESP8266 is not. It has HDMI out which the ESP8266 does not.
Put a USB wifi adaptor on it and you have a linux box that you can put on the back of a monitor have it work well for signage or other displays.
Very different devices for different uses. the ESP8266 is great for say a weather station, maybe a simple robot. The Zero is for projects that need full Linux and maybe a display.
Even combining an ESP8266 with a zero is an option as well using the ESP for IO and Wifi and the Zero for processing.

Comment Re:Bill Gates has a chance to step up here (Score 1) 182

Yea he is just paying all of those people to work on the project. Paying for lab space, equipment, paying for netting in 3rd world nations.
Making sure that those researchers feed their families and pay for housing....
And of course he saw a massive problem and put resources in place to try and solve it.
Next you will be saying MLK, and Gandhi did nothing but set up marches and give speeches.

Comment Re:$40K still a lot for most folks (Score 1) 37

The difference is what can be done about it.

If the market decides that it's not important for people to have this, then the only way to change that is for the people who need it to somehow become rich. If the regulators decide people shouldn't have this, then the voters can change that. And if you factor in the increased independence and productivity of the recipients, it might not cost that much.

Of course the way we do it now is we force employers to make accommodations. That's better than nothing, but statistically the public is still paying; the burden is just randomly concentrated on a few unlucky employers.

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