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Comment Re:smart tvs are not smart (Score 3, Insightful) 148

Well there's also the other problem that the software works fine for a while. But often they get few updates if any. So the features, UI, etc remain stuck for years. Take Netflix, for example, which has changed their interface and added more features. Most likely a smart TV's Netflix app will never see them. Little changes like changing the search alphabet layout, prominently displaying what you were watching last when it opens, etc. make a big difference.

Comment Re:Complete video stream pre-rolling (Score 1) 505

1. "Customer preference"? By saying this, you are implying that having video pre-roll before playing, AS AN OPTION, is somehow impinging on the preferences of others with the ability to stream from start to finish. However, there is absolutely nothing preventing someone to open the video player, immediately press play, and watch the video with no delay.

Sigh. How many would choose this option? Very few. Yet you call it stupid when they don't offer an option that few people would choose. I see.

The specific functionality I'm looking for is for the video to keep downloading the stream while the video playback is paused. So to say that the customer prefers to watch the video instantly is to completely bypass the fact that I'm a customer, too, and I want this feature that does not in any way intrude on people who don't want it.

How is that not the same thing as simple buffering? The problem is that you want control over a feature that very few people want but it's stupid that programmers didn't offer it to you. But to answer your very specific feature set, YouTube offers it from select studios.

2. I would actually prefer the ability to download the videos instead of streaming them. But we live in a society where access to legally purchased video content (movies and TV) is almost completely locked down by the "Content Cartels". The Content Cartels are a bunch of large enterprises with huge budgets that dictate terms to content providers like Amazon, Netflix, etc. by telling them how they can and can't use their content. They often specify explicitly certain features to be allowed or disallowed.

Content Cartels meaning the legal copyright holders? Yes, they have control over content they own. But that's what copyright means.

3. Referring to driving out to a Redbox or buying the DVD/BluRay is fallacious, because you are referring to antiquated physical media distribution as a solution to an online services problem that can be resolved by software alone. Why should you encourage society to spend a tremendous amount of fuel on physical distribution of goods that can be delivered at a fraction of the economic and environmental cost as electrons over a wire (or indeed, over the air, if you have LTE)? "Just buy the BluRay" is about as stupid of an excuse as I've ever heard for not supporting video streaming pre-rolling.

Your argument is fallacious because you are imposing a solution of yours that only you want. If people are streaming, they want it now. If they can't get it now, there are other options. That's like saying I want high speed fiber but I don't want to pay anything to install it. You have to pick and choose between two options; you don't get to create a third option then complain that it's not unfair when it doesn't exist.

Comment Re:Complete video stream pre-rolling (Score 1) 505

Yet streaming video players are deliberately coded to be as stupid as possible, and not allow the user to "pre-roll" the entire video, basically meaning that they open up the video player, then leave it paused for half an hour or an hour while the video downloads, then come back and watch the whole thing at full quality with no "graceful downgrades" due to their connection being slow.

Did you ever think that it's not "stupid" but more related to customer preference? I would venture to guess that most people don't want to wait for the full video to download as soon as they've purchased/rented/clicked on it. First, the customer wanted "streaming" not "downloading to play later" videos. Second if they could/wanted to wait for as little as half an hour, the customer would have gone outside and headed to their nearest Redbox or even (gasp!) brick and mortar store to get the DVD/Bluray themselves. Thirdly, you think that most people really care whether it's 4K vs 1080p vs 720p. Most people don't care that it's pixelated for part of it as long as it isn't for the entire thing.

Comment Re:Looking forwards (Score 1) 181

Swimmers aren't required to don industry-standard street-wear.

Well not industry standard but some of the suits that swimmers used years ago are now considered banned as it gave too much an advantage to some swimmers. After 20 new world records were set in the 2009 World Championships, a serious discussion had to occur. Eventually FINA banned the suits for competition.

Comment Re:Is there a reason to pay more attention to NASA (Score 1) 387

There are enough resources on earth to build a nuclear power plant for ever 4 million or so people. And enough fuel to power them also.

Again, you're ignoring real, logistical problems with your "only" thinking. If "only" we could build enough nuclear reactors to supply7 billion people. If "only" we could lay down the infrastructure of power lines efficiently and neatly without any problems whatsoever. If "only" all the nuclear powers gave up their nuclear weapons and converted the material into fuel instead. If "only" . . . .

Comment Re:Is there a reason to pay more attention to NASA (Score 1) 387

I pointed out and provided a link that the continent of Africa is sufficient space to sustain that population.

You are conflating two things as equal. It "only" takes a quarter of the US to fit 7 billion people. And it "only" takes the entire continent of Africa (if it were properly converted into farmland) to feed the world's population. Which "only" is it? By your own argument, it "only" takes an entire continent and a quarter of one to feed and house the whole world's population. At the same time, you've disregarded things like power, heat, cooling, sewage, water, sanitation, etc. Those things are somewhat vital to sustain a population. It's not just about 2 things that sustain a population: Space and food. So I wouldn't say that Africa is enough to "sustain" the population.

Comment Re:Is there a reason to pay more attention to NASA (Score 1) 387

Also, there is a lot of unused space on Earth.

Technically true but meaningless as you neglected to factor in the amount of space to sustain a population. In your example how much land is required to sustain 7 billion. How much infrastructure do you need for that populaton?

Your article also explains why it doesn't happen today: Politics, corruption, legal matters. It also does not state what happens if they world's population continues to grow. Can Africa sustain the world at 14 billion, 21 billion? What about the toil of environmental problems? Larger and bigger questions that the amount of physical space a person can take.

Comment Re:"environmentally correct technology" (Score 1) 387

After Apollo, they stop receiving the massive funding for a single project that they did before. They also did not have a directed, singular purpose. But they still did other important work.

In manned flight, they built a space station (Skylab), the Space Shuttles, and then assisted with another space station (ISS). In unmanned flight, NASA continued with the exploration of the solar system continued while sending probes to study the outer planets (Voyager) and the inner planets (Mariner, Pioneer, Viking, MERS, Curiosity, Opportunity, Spirit).

In terms of other scientific study, NASA has been rather important in launching multiple satellites that have changed our understanding of the universe: COBE, WMAP, etc. Also they built what some may argue is the most important scientific instrument we have known: the Hubble Space Telescope.

Many of those projects involved technology we did not before.

Comment Re:Bill Nye PR Fail (Score 1) 387

NASCAR teams would LOVE to run a race on one tank of gas or less.

There is no penalty other than time for refueling. There are no rules for minimum fuel economy.

Power and speed AND fuel economy are all important.

It's not fuel economy really that they are concerned about but rather fuel consumption. Power is more the problem.

Pitting kills position. It sucks. If you actually watched races, you'd see that many racers lose because they ran out of gas trying to stretch their tank to the finish line. They are not working to see how much fuel they can dump through their engines.

Yes I have seen the races and it's a bold assumption of yours that I have not. And if there was a fuel cap on top of other conditions, how different would the races be? Then engineering wise, the teams have to worry that as an aspect too.


Comment Re:"environmentally correct technology" (Score 1) 387

Forgot to mention that NASA never uses the latest tech. Ever.

[sarcasm] Yes I mean when they sent men to the moon, they used decades old technology they borrowed from the Russians when the USSR sent cosmonauts to the moon. Also the Space Shuttle was just a hodge-podge of components they had lying around for years.[sarcasm]

They're always more than a decade behind state of the art (that's what "latest tech" means, after all).

For some technology like computers, NASA is not the most advanced as they have requirements that those on Earth don't have. Specifically the CPUs that NASA has to use have to be hardened for radiation which means they have to be specifically designed and made for this purpose which may take a decade. For other technology, there really isn't any equal because it doesn't exist. The toilet on ISS doesn't exist anywhere else because no one would spend that much money on a zero G toilet (because they don't need one).

NASA needs people who can write the assembly language of the chips on the Voyager craft...

I doubt NASA or anyone has the power to change the programming language of a spacecraft they sent out 30 years ago. We can barely do that with computers from 30 years ago here on Earth. I doubt you could code in Java on an Apple ][ if you wanted to do so.

Comment Re:Bill Nye PR Fail (Score 1) 387

This is what Bill Nye actually said in his book.

"I get it. I understand the appeal of a stock car race. It’s just exciting, and I’m all for it,” he writes. “I just want NASCAR to adapt to the new mainstream. I want the circuit to produce vehicles that could compete in races anywhere int eh world, and win. I want the racing series to spin off new tech that will do more with less. For me, as an American mechanical engineer, I hope NASCAR decides to look forward rather than backward.”

He's not against NASCAR. He just laments that the goals of NASCAR are about power and speed only and less about efficiency and economy. For example, the limit of fuel in a NASCAR race is not the amount of fuel but the time it takes to fuel a car. If there was some tweaking so that racing teams had to take fuel economy into account, it would be more interesting to him. I think currently the cars get maybe 3 mpg.

Comment Re:Is there a reason to pay more attention to NASA (Score 1) 387

NASA research brought us a lot of things in the past. Not so much any more. We get excited now about putting a camera with a transmitter out at absurd distances, to find out things about our solar system that will (possibly) affect our lives 50-100 years from now.

NASA is about hard science as it always has been. It may not be as exciting as in the past because now that humans have done it, it isn't exciting. Humans have been to space now. They have been to the moon. They have a space station. The next step is a mission to Mars. Sometimes the science does not pay off dividends immediately. But can you say that about NASCAR technology? From what I can tell very little of it makes it into cars that we use every day. Part of the reason is in NASCAR a car is generally built to win one race and not to last. Also part of NASA's current mission is studying weather and climate of the Earth. To put into perspective, climate is one area of current science that is affected by NASA's previous explorations. The understanding of greenhouses today began with the exploration of Venus in the 1970s.

Would it improve if we took some or all of the money spent on NASCAR and funneled it into NASA? Maybe a little... but would the result be more exploration, or simply more expensive exploration? Money's really the only thing that could be repurposed, because there is certainly a limit on how many people can participate in NASA.

As the human population grows, there may come a time in the future where the Earth simply cannot sustain too many. What will humans do at that point? Relocating to other planets in this solar system is not a viable option today with the technology that we have. Someone has to do the initial work of developing this basic technology. NASA happens to be one of the few agencies that is doing it although they get less and less funding every year.

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.