It's quite the wonderful dystopia we're barreling towards, isn't it?
I can already see the day someone says, "Dude what are you doing!? I can't afford to listen to that!"; and it won't be a joke.
It's quite the wonderful dystopia we're barreling towards, isn't it?
We have more than two political parties in Canada. The choice isn't limited to "Conservatives or Liberals". You can vote for NDP, Green Party, etc.
Good joke, I laughed.
The policies of the NDP, Greens, and Liberals are very similar - so much so that the last election which granted a conservative majority in parliament was drummed up to the liberal vote being split between three parties, where the conservative voting bloc had one. The conservatives won a parliamentary majority with a minority of the popular vote.
So when you say "You can vote NDP, Green, Liberal..." all I see is: "You can vote liberal, liberal, liberal..."; it's honestly not a lot different from a 2-party system. If we wanted a better system, we'd use proportional representation, but we don't and probably never will until, and probably well after, our current government collapses at whatever nebulous point in the future. (As government's are wont to do - call it entropy)
If you asked an average Canadian to explain the difference between those three liberal parties you'd get:
NDP - ???
Green - They're environmentalists who want to legalize pot!
Liberal - ???
Or to get to the point: If you think the Canadian version of democracy was an improvement over the American version (or any other) you are sorely mistaken. It's the same thing with different window dressing. I honestly think only the Swiss have an actual functional democratic system of government in today's world, the rest of us are just faking it.
Maury, the problems with your math are mostly in your base assumptions - that you presume solar cells in space produces the same amount of power as solar cells on Earth. That is not, in fact, correct. Also incorrect is your Ts value, ("Ts is the loss between the two antennas") for which you give 50% efficiency, but the paper you cite gives 89-96.5%; I looked for other sources and they corroborate ~90%+ transmission+conversion efficiency for rectennas.
Sunlight from the sun has to get through the atmosphere around earth, and the earth has rotation that puts it out of direct sunlight every so many hours. Peak solar energy production is for just a few hours per day. Where you place a transmission loss on a space-based solar array, you do not put a transmission loss on the ground-based solar array. This is essentially the crux of the mistake.
The sun is the transmitter, and the earth's atmosphere is pretty good at deflecting a certain amount of that, especially if water gets involved (clouds, storms). This is a problem that radio/microwave-based transmission avoids, as the atmosphere is more transparent to the beamed radiation than the sunlight reaching the surface of the Earth. A solar cell in orbit will be in sunlight almost permanently, and with nothing between it and the energy source (the sun), there is essentially zero transmission loss.
Actually, force fields that can hold back air from vacuum (or another atmosphere) while letting spacecraft (or other things, including light) fly out, are a real thing known as plasma windows: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
They take a lot of energy to produce, however.
Link to Original Source
We just don't have an actual established science of economics yet.
Today's study of economics is like Astrology and its connections with Astronomy 8,000 years ago. You've got a bunch of old men who noticed patterns in the stars and the seasons and could predict things like full moons or eclipses or when to plant crops and when to harvest - it looked like magic to those who didn't understand, and even those who caught the patterns and exploited them never truly understood what they were observing and predicting; and they would create stories and fables and gods and divinity to explain and control. You had to become a priest to learn their secrets, you had to join their secret societies and open brotherhoods and worship their gods to learn, and then you too could profit from the knowledge.
And when someone comes along and says, "Hey, I figured it out! This is how it all actually works!" they are persecuted, because they upset a certain ignorance amongst the population that a select few were able to exploit for their own personal gain.
This is exactly what economics is like today. There are people out there gaming the system because they've noticed or figured out something the rest of us haven't. They've created entire economic ideologies to waylay anyone looking to bring forth actual knowledge, because the pervasive ignorance of economics is profitable for them, and common understanding and knowledge of how it all really works isn't.
Inevitably the control will slip, as it did with astronomy. Whether thanks to technology, or something else. And ten thousand, or twenty thousand, or a hundred thousand years from now there will be people looking back at our economic policies today, chuckling quietly to themselves about how silly, superstitious and primitive we were about a science that's so easy to understand.
I have also paid for beta access.
The game is NOT fun. It's a fucking disaster.
First of all, what's good: The visuals, audio, UI, graphics, etc. Everything related to how the game looks and feels is top-notch. It suckers you in that way.
What's bad: The gameplay.
Oh lord the gameplay. In one word: Shallow. It's like a pile of disjointed minigames. Everything is "there" in the sense of a checkmark on a list, but it is not there in the sense of "I actually want to play this."
And the game is monetized out the ass.
For the longwinded bits, read below:
Combat: Like your typical "spacesim", AI is easy to kill, and between players - whoever has the biggest most expensive ship is the winner. Skill doesn't enter the picture because ships are not sidegrades, they are direct upgrades. The incompetent player with 1 million credits will always beat the skilled noob in his sidewinder, no exception. The combat brings nothing new to the genre and lacks serious complexity. (They have a good idea with their stealth system, but it's tacked on rather than a core concept in dogfighting like it needs to be) In spite of all these problems, the combat is probably the best/most fleshed out portion of gameplay and the one that can be legitimately fun for awhile.
Mining: In every game I have ever played, mining has been an exercise in tedium. This game is no different. You shoot an asteroid with a laser until it pops out a rock that you scoop up. Repeat ad nauseum.
Money: Get this out of the way quickly, everything you do - mining, combat, missions, trading - earns you next to nothing. To put it into perspective, the most expensive ship in the game was the Anaconda at 150 million credits (after every stage of beta they increased its price, who knows what it'll be post-launch). Your average mission earns you 15,000cr and takes about 5-30 minutes to complete. If you are extremely dedicated you could probably earn ~100,000cr/hr (more is possible with a good traderoute and a lot of cargospace, but this is hard to find now). It'll take a good year of playing multiple hours per day, to afford the most expensive ship. Then the upgrades to that ship will double or triple its cost, at the least. There were comments by Braben (co-creator) [archive link in case reddit deletes the post as they are known to do with touchy subjects] that the game is going to come with a cash shop. Considering the grind and the comment about the cash shop for credits, I can understand why they wanted to get rid of the offline singleplayer: They don't want people modding the game to get what they paid for.
Trading: It's really just hauling goods, and it's rather boring. There is a 15 minute video here which shows almost the entirety of trading gameplay. (Not including hours spent trying to find a decent traderoute) You fly back and forth, earn a few thousand credits for the trouble and that's that. There used to be a trading calculator available on the forums - you downloaded it, it would check the trade good prices wherever you docked and give you a centralized database from everyone else's information which allowed you to pick the best trade routes. People were using it to make boatloads of cash and Frontier, failing to think of a way to counter this tool by making trade interesting, instead banned it.
Exploration: You literally jump into a system and hold down a button for 5 seconds. Your ship "pings" everything nearby and if its newly discovered, it gets added to the exploration catalog and earns you 1,000-10,000cr (depending on number of planets/stars you found and only after returning to a space station). You can also fly close to the stellar object to do a detailed scan - but it takes a long time to fly around a system and the reward is peanuts. Maybe 500cr per planet. It's faster to jump to the next system (of which there are billions) and ping again to discover whatever is close to the star.
Travel/Supercruise: As cool as it is to fly around a star system, it's too time consuming. Moving between space stations in adjacent systems - or even within the same system is a minimum of 5 minutes. See the trading video above. You do it enough times, it rapidly loses its appeal.
Missions: Just basic fetch quests. There's a mission BBS, you either move goods from A to B, or kill something. Payout is, once again, crap. There are no objective markers to point you to where you need to go, either. Get a mission to kill some guy (AI) in your system? You're stuck wandering around for hours to find him. Semi-related to missions are wanted warrants - players and AI can be wanted for crimes, if you kill them you get to collect the bounty. However, you need to dock at a station and turn in the bounty to earn it. It's very common in the bigger battles to have a dozen bounties, only to get killed by some AI (Friendly or not) accidentally ramming you. When that happens you lose every bounty you collected and all that time you spent fighting to earn credits is completely wasted.
Multiplayer: It's primary existence is always-online DRM. For a game that's supposed to be focused around multiplayer it's shocking how piss poor it is. It's difficult to send friend requests, the organization of your friends list is obtuse compared to the slick UI everywhere else. You cannot speak to more than one person at a time (if you have a group of friends, you're best using third-party sofware like mumble), and the text is shoved into a corner where it's often ignored as it shares space with random AI chatter. Should someone you try to talk to actually see your message, it is not made clear to the player how they can actually even respond. There is no efficient way to trade between players (dropping/picking up cargo, time consuming, and it has to be done away from the station). Each solar system is instanced to 32 players max, and the instances are built up in a peer-to-peer network, so your connection is always shaky. It's common for people trying to play together to get put into different instances all the time. Player interaction is essentially non-existent, there is literally no reason to ever work together with someone as nothing offers equal rewards to BOTH players, and finally - due to the size of the player space, you will essentially never run into another player outside the noob systems. (A few tens of thousands of players spread out across billions of stars in the galaxy)
It has become increasingly obvious as time has gone on that Frontier intends to rip off their customers and treat them like glorified money pumps than actual people or players. Everything about this game feels like it was designed with the freemium "skinnerbox" design in mind. There's always that everpresent desire to upgrade your ship for bigger numbers, and the illusion that doing so will make the game more fun than it is right now.
Obviously the normal gameplay has to be almost fun, so it leaves the player wanting just that little bit more to make it fun - and that little bit more will come from the cash shop. Already there is talk of new DLC ships, there are DLC skins that were released for sale while in the beta (at $3-$5 each, one skin applies only to one ship type - so you have to buy multiple times for all your ships to have that one skin. Insane), and it was recently announced that beta players/backers will get a special "pass" to visit sol. There will apparently be other solar systems that are "restricted" this way, and you'll either have to grind for access, or presumably, buy a pass in the cash shop.
Oh and if that isn't enough, there's a stipulation in the EULA that the customer agrees to in-game advertisement, as if the rest of it wasn't enough. There are billboards that fold up/down every time you take off and you have to sit and wait for them for 5-15 seconds every time. No advertisements as yet, but it's obvious where they're planning to put them.
Stay the fuck away from this game.
I predict that if they have free servers that they will be shit, and that you will have to pay a monthly fee for access to a server that doesn't lag you into oblivion. As my internet connection is crap, an online-only game is simply not an option for me at all, so I would be livid if I had backed this kickstarter.
The game uses mostly peer-to-peer hosting. The server likely just does routing for players.
I bought the game; not through the kickstarter either. I made a mistake of buying the game when it was "early access", and I want a refund, but I have no customer rights so that will never happen.
You're kidding me right?
A woman working under biohazard 4 conditions, wearing a hermetically sealed suit, working with a patient she KNOWS has ebola and is infectious; gets Ebola herself, and you are seriously trying to play it off like it's no worse than HIV? Acting like a know-it-all expert on infectious diseases and trying to reassure everyone that this isn't going anywhere and isn't dangerous?
Look, I'm not trying to fear-monger here for the sake of it, and I'm certainly no ebola-expert, but trying to reassure everyone that this is just going to blow over with this idiocy about how safe Ebola is and how nobody can catch it unless they fucking lick infected blood when that is increasingly not the case just sets me right off. Even the media has done a complete 180 on their usual fear-mongering. Let's suppose for a moment that this woman did something out of procedure - she didn't clean her suit or something, and she touched it, then rubbed her eyes.
That's not HIV-level infectious. That's influenza/cold-level infectious, and that is extremely worrying, because the CDC seems to be grossly incompetent in this entire situation and I'm beginning to wonder if the corporations involved who have the potential to make literal billions to trillions off Ebola vaccines aren't giving little nudges here and there to maintain a certain level of incompetence in the matter. We aren't even quarantining Africa - the CDC says that wouldn't do anything. Like hell it wouldn't. The first thing we did when SARS was worrying people was to quarantine and shut down air travel, but apparently we're finding out only just now that this didn't work and won't work for Ebola, so let's just spend millions trying to screen for it ineffectively at the airports into our countries? I'm sorry, I'm not buying this. I'm not buying anything the mass media are telling us about this disease anymore. How many times does the mass media have to lie to people before they stop actually trusting them?
Did you know that one of the Ebola strains quite possibly moved through an air gap to cause infection?
We also know that the Filovirus family can easily become airborne:
This virus is spreading into the tens of thousands range in West Africa. That's an immense breeding ground for it to adapt to a new host. We know that Ebola strains can become airborne, and we keep having doctors getting sick with the virus in spite of hefty precautions against it. So why are we assuming it can't be airborne and can't be transmitted during its incubation period? Why are we assuming it has low infectivity when doctors in full protective gear are getting it? When people are literally getting this virus from just touching things that ebola victims have touched? Why is nobody taking precautions in case it IS highly infectious? This isn't some joke of a virus that kills 2% of the people it infects; almost everyone who gets it dies. This isn't something to be jovial and careless around, yet we took more precautions around SARS than anything we're doing with Ebola. It's fucking madness, and I keep seeing people parrot this bullshit that we shouldn't be worried, have nothing to fear if we aren't literally bathing in Ebola-blood like West Africans obviously are, and so on.
No, we DO have something to fear from this - you'd be foolish not to be worried - and I am not satisfied in the least with the way our governments are treating this whole thing. It's almost flippant. I think some serious discussion about this virus getting into western countries uncontrollably needs to seriously start happening. What are you going to do if Ebola ends up in your town? Have you even considered talking about it with your family? With your local community? Is the effort involved in being prepared really worth the risk of not being prepared and having to deal with it by the seat of your pants? Hell, that kind of communication in our communities is something that can help dramatically even if Ebola goes nowhere.
I think these are things people need to start doing. Don't sit back and leave it to the government to take care of it for you. Figure out what you should do, talk to your neighbours and discuss what you think the best way of handling this stuff is. Argue with people online about it and get informed. You don't have to go out buying full-body hazard suits and masks blindly, but having some networks to rely on and work with, having plans to deal with failing services, or losing loved ones, is important. This is a dangerous disease, an infectious disease and something that should quite frankly, be taken more seriously than it is right now.
Not that this will go anywhere but deaf ears, in part because there is a systemic pro-US push on every western website you care to name:
Early 1990's US suffers economic collapse
Texas and several other states secede from the union
Texas produces over half of the US military equipment, a good portion of the food, and can make nuclear weapons
The US keeps these states, especially Texas, within their sphere of influence through economic deals, US Oil pipelines run to South America through Texas
Texas has economic troubles, the US offers no-strings attached bailouts to keep Texas within its sphere of influence
The Soviet Union offers bailouts if Texas implement austerity measures, with the possibility of joining the South American Union and Warsaw Pact at a later date
There is talk in the media that the Soviet Union needs to put a missile defense shield in Texas once it's in the Warsaw Pact to protect itself and South America from Canadian aggression (They have the ability to make nukes, after all)
The US balks at all of this
Texan government takes the US deal, there are small protests in Texas where people argue they're better off with the Soviet Union, they want to split away from the US
These protestors are mostly left-leaning
The Soviet Union funds these protests and they go from small to large: Eventually the protestors perform a coup, replacing the Texan government; evidence (actual recorded phone calls) surface of false flag shootings being used to instigate tensions and violence
The right-leaning people in Texas are appalled, they start a separatist movement in several counties
The Texan government sends in its military to crush the separatist movement
The US begins funding and supplying the separatists with weapons and volunteers to help them
The Soviet Union paints the US as the aggressor, trying to threaten the world and annex countries like Hitler
As someone who has been looking at BOTH sides of this issue I'm fucking amazed that anyone paints Russia with such broad strokes as literal "Bad Guys". Everything they are doing makes sense geopolitically and nationally. Ukraine in NATO with a 'missile defense' in place against 'Iran'. Who are we kidding?
Once you look at the situation as it could apply to the US, it makes it easier to see through the utter bullshit propaganda. This entire thing is nothing more than NATO and the US encroaching on Russia's sphere of influence and territory. Russia ABSOLUTELY will go WW3 over Ukraine. The possibility of US/NATO nuclear weapons sitting in Ukraine is something Russia will not allow to happen, the loss of half of Russia's arms manufacturing cannot be allowed to happen. Ukraine is the first step to a first strike nuclear war scenario that could actually work.
I feel like I'm living in bizarro world where everyone has lost their marbles. I'm Canadian and even I don't support what the US has attempted to do in Ukraine. I'm sure some people will think I'm just eating up russian propaganda that I can't even read, but the truth is that I'm just not blindly siding with America. What the US is doing in Europe is pushing us towards thermonuclear war.
The American and European people need to find our marbles again. This is fucking crazy.
"Nuclear is a stopgap" and "not poisoning the world for future generations"?
You know how many people have died over the past 60-odd years from radiation poisoning? Direct deaths, including incidents like assassinations and laboratory accidents? 10,000, maybe? Nope. 5000? Nigga we ain't even close yet. 1000? Keep going. 500? Hahaha, get real buddy.
Over 60 years of nuclear power and widespread use of radioactive material and there are less than 400 (estimate 200-300) deaths from direct radiation exposure. You can bump it up to ~10,000-20,000 when you include estimates on cancer related deaths. But you know what? If we're going to count cancer related deaths for nuclear, then how about we count pollution related deaths for coal, oil and gas?
Think you can guess? Maybe 100,000 per year?
Try 7 million: http://www.who.int/mediacentre...
Even if you went batshit crazy with estimating nuclear's impact - with crazy greenpeace numbers like a million deaths that they pull out of their collective asses. You still come NOWHERE NEAR coal, oil or gas. In fact, by metrics like amount of power produced per death, Nuclear is the safest we have available. Nothing else beats it, including Solar, Wind and Hydro.
Enough with your bullshit FUD. There is nothing wrong with, and there has never been anything wrong with Nuclear. All the facts are stacked against you and all you've brought against it are lies and bullshit fearmongering to convince people who are ignorant of what the nuclear statistics actually look like. I'm fucking sick and tired of you anti-nuclear liars. All you do is help ensure we keep guzzling oil, coal and gas. I don't think the oil industries could've gotten better shills if they paid for them.
Who knows - maybe one's already headed for Earth. It's not like we have been hiding our radio transmissions or anything. Sure would be naive of us to assume aliens are all sunshine and rainbows and want nothing more than to love and hug us. Now granted, I think if relativistic weapons flying about were a real issue, we'd probably have seen evidence for it in the universe by now, but anyone who ascribes benevolence to aliens is just a fool ignoring every lesson nature has taught us on this planet.
Personally, I'm against alien contact unless it's US doing the contacting. The kind of power-play dynamic where we're met by aliens only puts us at a serious disadvantage. We're basically blind right now. We need to stay silent, open our eyes and ears, and see what happens around us a little before we go shouting to the galaxy at large "Hey! Over here!"
I think the only comforting fact about it all is that our biodiversity is probably the rarest thing about our planet - so if there is any value in that, any conquerors will at least leave our biosphere intact.
Let me try and recap some of the most prominent against them:
>The RFID transmitter to unlock the gun requires batteries and has a limited range
>The RFID signal to unlock the gun can be jammed by a strong/close enough jammer
>The RFID receiver in the gun may require a battery if it has to move any mechanical parts
>The electronics are significantly less resilient than the metal construction of the rest of the gun - I've heard claims of replacement/repair of the firearm after just 2000 rounds fired
>The RFID receiver could be engineered with a 'back door' (Either mandated through legislation or not) which the government could use to lock up your gun (For example: A 'gun free' zone could have transmitters that tell all guns to lock up within range.)
>Depending on how integrated the 'smart' systems are with the mechanics of the gun, an exploited system could allow for things like intentional slamfires/rapidfire, feeding issues or other hazardous effects to the owner - remotely.
>Mechanical or electronic locks can be easily 'jailbroken' by the owner. If the safety of the firearm works by putting something between the firing pin and the cartridge, removing that piece of metal would make the gun less safe, but capable of working even if it is 'locked'. It's also a pretty trivial modification that could be done almost literally by anyone with a room temperature IQ or greater.
>Water could damage the circuitry and prevent the weapon from operating properly.
>Legislation can be introduced mandating that all firearms must be 'smart' guns. (In fact, this has already happened in New Jersey.)
>Smart guns cost significantly more than current firearms (A $500 pistol is now a $1500+ pistol), making it that much harder for the common person to purchase a firearm, especially if legislation makes the sale of non-smart guns illegal.
And what do gun owners gain from any of this? A firearm that - if someone grabbed it off you - wouldn't work? Look, let's not just ignore the elephant in the room here: This isn't about making guns safer. There's no added value in this for your common gun owner. No, this is simply an end run around the Constitution's second amendment - especially if, as in New Jersey - you start forcing people to buy smart guns and make normal firearms illegal. If widespread adoption happened, I guarantee you this type of legislation would be pushed everywhere.
Only the naive are buying into these things. Especially considering the growing distrust and discontent for our Government amongst the NSA/Snowden revelations, worsening 'war on drugs', loss of civil rights from the 'war on terror', bailouts of banks and corporations, and multiple seemingly pointless wars in the middle east.
People are really starting to get antsy about all of this stuff. The idea that the US is turning into a police state used to be laughed at. Today, the US has the largest prison population on the planet - exceeding China and Russia, it spies on its own citizens, tortures 'enemy combatants' and conducts extra-judicial targeted murders on American citizens abroad without due process of law - let alone citizens of other nations, such as the Australian citizen that was murdered this way just a few months ago. The first amendment is a joke when reasonable people can't get any airtime on ANY of the news networks and 'political correctness' groupthink is stamping out valid criticism or opposing viewpoints - even amongst those people who have made such comments in their own privacy. The right to peacefully assemble is a joke when you can only peacefully assemble where you're 'allowed' (and can be peacefully ignored). The two-party system is fundamentally flawed from the get-go, but especially so with the massive amount of corporate bribery and lack of any real investigation or punishment regarding corruption amongst our 'representatives'.
Quite honestly, America is headed for disaster, and these 'smart' guns are literally just one more tiptoe in that direction. The only people who honestly believe these guns are a good idea, are the people who want to take away the right to own firearms completely, and the people who support increasing state control over the population. The rest of us can see how ineffective and pointless these things are in reality.
Fucking christ, watching what is happening to America today is maddening. I feel like I'm watching the Titanic barrel towards the not-so-proverbial iceberg and instead of slowing down or turning, the people in charge are speeding up. I can't change the course, none of the passengers can change the course, and there's so many captains at the helm - most of them utterly daft - that they can't change the course either.
You don't see robots engaging in a My Lai-type massacre.
They also wouldn't commit atrocities against civilians, wonton destruction, killing livestock, rape, beatings, etc. Robots won't rape and pillage.
Well... You won't see them independently decide to do something like that. But orders are literally orders to a robot. You tell them to burn a city to the ground, shoot anyone who tries to flee, and they will burn that city to the ground and shoot everyone who flees. Without remorse, without second guessing orders, without a moment of any hesitation.
Which frankly, worries me a bit more. Because the upper levels of command in just about every model of human hierarchy always seems to have worrying numbers of psychopaths/sociopaths beyond what you'd expect in a normal pool of the population. On top of that - they're physically removed from the carnage. It's a lot easier to order the leveling of a rebel-occupied village when you will never personally see the slaughter of innocents that result.
That's not to say humans never do these things. Just that, humans are capable of refusing to do these things. Robots aren't.
Today, the PC market isn't really about pushing hardware. Remember Crysis? It sold nothing,
In the first couple weeks, Crysis sold ~90,000 copies. The developers were vocally disappointed by this, and immediately blamed the large amount of piracy of the game for poor sales, Crysis then went on and sold ~1 million copies in the following two months, and is presently sitting somewhere around 3 million copies sold.
Which means Crysis is now #33 in the list of "best selling PC games of all time".
That is not "selling nothing".