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Comment: Re:Hilarious! (Score 1) 97

by ShanghaiBill (#49799347) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

the SAT has a large essay portion that does gauge how well students are able to communicate their knowledge

Many colleges ignore the essay portion of the SAT, because it has not been shown to indicate much of anything. Scores on the multiple choice portion of the test, on the other hand, are more highly correlated with academic success in college, and financial success after college, than any other measurement. So, of course, they are the biggest factor in the admissions process at most universities.

Comment: Re:other people's money (Score 1) 272

There is no way the government should be paying full retail to the telcos for this. Most of the cost of an Internet connection is paying for infrastructure, which is a sunk cost. The marginal cost of delivering Internet in urban areas to people who would not otherwise subscribe, is very low.

Comment: Re: Scientists are generally trusted (Score 1) 230

They also charge more than most weekly magazines.

The Economist charges more per magazine, but if you consider the amount of news you get, it is actually cheaper. The Economist is mostly actual news and analysis. Time, Newsweek, and most other "news" magazines contain a huge amount of photo spreads, celebrity gossip, ads, and other fluff.

Comment: Re:Just wondering (Score 1) 206

by ShanghaiBill (#49794989) Attached to: Why Detecting Drones Is a Tough Gig

They use a set of well known frequencies, usually 2.4Ghz WiFi

In a dense urban area, there would be dozens or hundreds of 2.4Ghz transmitters close enough to be a threat. A good drone can move fast. It could be over the fence and into the rose garden in seconds, and could carry enough of an exposive payload to kill someone. There would be insufficient time for a human to react, so any defense would need to be automated. Maybe the president should permanently relocate to Camp David. Is there any reason he (or she) needs to be in downtown DC?

Comment: Re:Not sure why this article was written (Score 1) 88

by ShanghaiBill (#49793917) Attached to: Cloud Boom Drives Sales Boom For Physical Servers

While the cloud provider might have better bandwidth, the non-techie may not.

If I share photos via the cloud (e.g. Dropbox), I upload them once, and then family, friends, etc. can view them dozens of times, using Dropbox's bandwidth, not mine.

I store customer facing content in "the cloud". This includes webpages, images, databases, etc. I only need to upload this content once. Then it is downloaded by others thousands of times. So my cloud vendor needs to have far more bandwidth that I need to have.

Comment: Re:Scientists are generally trusted (Score 1) 230

But that is counter balanced by owing it to their editors and share holders to skip those few minutes and facts to publish an article that will catch more readers eyes.

They can still do that, while reporting accurately. They just need to include a disclaimer in the article that there was no peer review, and it likely total nonsense. Responsible publications have articles about unconfirmed preliminary research all the time, they are just careful to label it as such.

Comment: Re:Not sure why this article was written (Score 2) 88

by ShanghaiBill (#49793249) Attached to: Cloud Boom Drives Sales Boom For Physical Servers

A lot of nontechnical people don't understand that "moving services to the cloud" is sometimes precisely moving services to someone else's servers in someone else's rack in someone else's datacenter(s).

I think everyone understands that. How else could it possibly work? The cloud vendors may not be perfect, but they likely have better reliability, better bandwidth, better backups, and better security than a "nontechnical" person could provide for themselves.

Comment: Re:And who's going to pay for it? (Score 4, Insightful) 243

How much longer do you think this planet will be able to support the exponential growth of the human population?

If present population trends continue, including both the first and second derivatives, the population will peak at about 9.5 billion between 2050 or 2060, and then begin to decline.

Clean water, land, food, they are all going to start costing more soon

In nominal terms, they will, but not as a proportion of people's total income. So they will cost more, but be more affordable. Resource consumption has increasingly become decoupled from economic growth, as technology improves efficiency.

If we could stop starting wars and cut the military we could easily afford it.

A more realistic option would be to fund space travel by selling ice cream made from unicorn milk.

Comment: Re:instead of space race (Score 1) 243

How about collaboration, a team can do more than single entity

How about we focus on different goals? The Chinese are focused on establishing a human presence on the moon. America is focused on robotic exploration of Mars, the outer solar system, and asteroids. That seems like a good division of resources.

Close collaboration can be a victim of political friction caused by, say, your partner invading one of your allies.

The moon race is not a good model for success. It squandered huge amounts of resources, while having few long term goals beyond "winning". The glory of the Apollo landings was followed by decades of aimlessness.

Comment: Re:Tesla enables Edison to win the endgame? (Score 0) 520

by ShanghaiBill (#49791321) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

AC is still the only way to send electricity any distance.

No, most modern long distance transmission uses high voltage direct current. The main advantage of AC, is that it was easier to step from one voltage to another using transformers, a technology from the 1800s. With modern solid state DC to DC converters, that is no longer an issue.

Comment: Re:Clean room implementation? (Score 2) 211

I am bothered by technical capabilities being copyrighted instead of patented

Interfaces, including APIs, should be neither copyrightable nor patentable. There is precedent for this in prior supreme court decisions concerning the interface for printer cartridges. In principle, this is no different.

Make it right before you make it faster.

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