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Comment Build colonies on Earth (Score 1) 256 256

It always struck me as kind of crazy that anybody talks about building colonies on Mars, the moon, Venus, or anywhere off-world. I like sci-fi as much as the next guy, but the fact of the matter is that we already have a planet with suitable gravity, and breathable air.

We're not even close to using up all of the available space on this planet. Why would we build on Mars when we have Antarctica? Why build on Venus when we have giant empty deserts in Nevada?

On Earth, a cracked window doesn't mean that everybody will suffocate or be pulled apart by a vacuum. Plus, it comes with plenty of raw materials and suitable gravity.

No matter how bad Earth gets pollution-wise, I just can't see off-world colonies as realistic until we use up the land we already have.

leak in your bio-dome doesn't

Comment Re: Lifestyle (Score 1) 332 332

Citations? Here're mine:

USA uses about 1500 m3/capita/year, which is similar to New Zealand (1200 m3/capita/year) and Canada (1400 m3/capita/year). Compare with California alone, we're at 178 gallons/capita/day which is 245 m3/capita/year. That's lower than most countries.

I'm (reasonably) sure that number the 178 gallons/person/day figure is the "urban" per-capita, not the per-capita of the entire state.

The state's per-capita water use is more like 1390 gallons/person/day.

Comment Re:Are you patenting software? (Score 2) 224 224

So you disagree with the patent system, but yet you have some software patents and you want to try to wield them to extract extra money from a potential employer.

It doesn't actually sound like you disagree with the patent system at all.

If you want to do the ethically right thing, don't buy yourself in any deeper. Don't bring them up to your employer, and don't try to charge them extra money when you write code for them that uses the math concepts that you've hoarded for yourself.

Comment Re:Does Minix have much real-time capability? (Score 4, Informative) 93 93

VxWorks?

VxWorks is a great product. It's also waaaayyy outside of the price range of a hobbyist developer. Getting up and running with the VxWorks suite of tools can easily cost 20k (USD), and the recurring license fees are pretty significant as well. I would also bet that auditing the VxWorks source code (or trying to get custom patches in) would cost significantly more.

Comment Does Minix have much real-time capability? (Score 5, Insightful) 93 93

As an embedded-systems guy, I'd _love_ to have a Unix-like where I could schedule events that were guaranteed-by-design to fire within some deadline of when they were scheduled. Then I could host my once-per-kHz hardware service routines on the same processor that was also running my device's web-server.

Minix's microkernel architecture seems like an ideal fit for that kind of use case. If there are any Minix devs reading this thread, how easy would it be for me to make a system like that using Minix?

Comment How broad the results must be (Score 1) 69 69

Assuming an average child-bearing age of 20, 1000 years back would span 50 generations. 50 generations of parentage is well over 1 billion people. How could anybody in the modern world's lineage possibly be traced back to one (or even 4) location?

Comment Only under the right circumstances (Score 1) 192 192

I would completely support Google Glass on police if (and only if) there are penalties to the participating police departments for 'accidentally' losing the footage or having a 'malfunction'. These two things both sem to happen at a shocking rate whenever a policeman is accused of misconduct.

Comment Jefferson (Score 3, Interesting) 489 489

No comment on whether or not the state of Jefferson would ever be able to support itself without the rest of California, but Tim Draper didn't pull that particular state out of the ether. I have some parents that used to live up in North State, and the hill folk there love the idea of Jefferson.

They even have a website: http://www.jeffersonstate.com/

Comment Water (Score 2) 92 92

The moon is pretty dry. If if this is supposed to be some proof-of-concept for growing food in a lunar base/colony, don't they need to address the larger issue of where such a garden would get its water?

If we have to transport the water to the moon as well as all of the raw materials (dirt, plant nutrients), what possible savings could there be against just stocking a base with MREs?

Comment re: I'm ready to replace Make (Score 1) 179 179

I'm not sure what to use to replace Make though. I'm a Python guy so I would probably want Scons or something like that, but Ruby fans probably want Rake, Java fans probably want Ant, and in general I don't think there is any consensus on what might be the best replacement for Make

I went back and forth on different Pythonic build tools for awhile. Scons is pretty great if you're doing 'standard' sorts of builds, but I found it a little heavy for my tastes and really hard to customize to my tool flow (in FPGA land, there are all kinds of nonstandard vendor tools that all need to play together).

I've been using doit more and more over the past few months, and I'm continually impressed by the tool (aside from the goofy name). It works amazingly well for automating tricky/exotic build processes.

Check it out! http://pydoit.org/index.html/

Comment Only some of the story (Score 1) 91 91

Why is it that whenever people talk about how this-or-that stock market action has "cost investors millions"? It's not like the money was lit on fire. It either never existed in the first place, or somebody won big off of somebody else's poor decisions. Isn't stock trading a zero-sum game by definition?

"Pok pok pok, P'kok!" -- Superchicken

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