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Comment Re:wine? (Score 1) 131

Not really. From what I understand, the plan was to make it easy for developers to port over apps they wrote for Android without having to re-write it for Windows (an automated conversion), not to provide a compatibility layer. Basically to re-compile the code in such a way that it becomes a native Windows app.

Comment Re:He's Right (Score 1) 378

Yep. Artificial life is the future. It's only the sentimental notion that humans are 'special' that causes people to undergo severe mental gymnastics in order to justify the thought of humans colonizing the stars.

One day, we will create artificial life that will be as intelligent as we are (moreso, likely). It will not need to breathe or eat food and it will not grow old. It doesn't have to carry an entire environment along with it. It doesn't need gravity. It could soar through space for a thousand years, stopping to collect resources along the way - energy and raw materials. It could change itself to adapt to all conditions. It could replicate itself 'asexually' and terraform and colonize entire planets by itself.

And the first alien life it meets will almost certainly be another artificial being from another world not unlike itself.

This is the only thing that really makes sense, long-term.

People will object to this because they hold onto the notion that humans are special and the end-all, be-all pinnacle of what Earth has to offer to the universe. But there is no shame in the notion of humans staying put on Earth while ushering in the development of our successors.

These artificial beings will be our children. And while they won't be 'human', they will be *Earthlings*, and they will be our creation. They will carry on our legacy to the stars.

Some may argue that humans could change themselves through genetic engineering, cyberization, etc enough to be able to survive the journey, but why bother? Why is it important that an actual human brain makes the trip? Sending intelligent life throughout the universe in any form that can actually make the journey and thrive is preferable than shooting hairless monkeys into space.

Like Australopithecus, Homo Erectus, or the Neanderthal, I believe Homo Sapiens is just another intermediate stage on the path of progression toward a more perfect life form, whether it's part of a genetic lineage or a creation.

Comment Re:Efence (Score 1) 156

Radar will be tricky because of, you know, birds. You'd have to be able to distinguish.

Perhaps radar combined with wide-band frequency sniffers to see if any 'birds' are putting out radio signals. Then you could triangulate the drone's operator using sniffers placed in a network covering a few miles around the prison, and send the police after him quickly. Assuming the drone isn't autonomous of course. But I think you could identify a drone, what frequencies it's operating on, and find the pilot hanging out in his van nearby pretty quickly if you set it up right.

Submission + - Mysterious piece of space junk to hit Earth

schwit1 writes: A piece of unidentified space junk, discovered in a long elliptical orbit going out far beyond the Moon, has been calculated to hit the Earth over the Indian Ocean on November 13.

WT1190F was detected by the Catalina Sky Survey, a program aimed at discovering asteroids and comets that swing close to Earth. At first scientists didn’t know what to make of this weird body. But they quickly computed its trajectory, after collecting more observations and unearthing 2012 and 2013 sightings from telescope archives, says independent astronomy software developer Bill Gray, who has been working to track the debris with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

WT1190F travels a highly elliptical orbit, swinging out twice as far as the Earth-Moon distance, Gray says. Gray’s calculations show that it will hit the Earth at 6:20 UTC, falling about 65 kilometres off the southern tip of Sri Lanka. Much if not all of it will burn up in the atmosphere, but “I would not necessarily want to be going fishing directly underneath it,” Gray says.

What makes the object interesting is that they don’t know when it was launched or how it got in the orbit it is in. It could even be something from the Apollo lunar missions.

Submission + - Machine turns dirt into durable, fireproof building bricks (

An anonymous reader writes: A Chicago-based company has developed an amazing machine that transforms dirt into durable building bricks. The Liberator is a large compressed earth brick press that makes it possible for almost anyone create building materials wherever they are needed. This technology would enable anyone to build a house that is essentially bulletproof, fireproof, and soundproof.

Comment Re:billionaire is a hard set of shoes to fill (Score 2) 842

'Notch' is an exceedingly average-looking person, not a celebrity, and isn't even popularly known by his real name. If he dropped a few pounds (and he could stand to) and shaved his beard he'd be near-unrecognizable. Hair plugs wouldn't be out of order either. His own mother wouldn't recognize him, much less the average person on the street.

And, it's not required that you state your real name and wealth status to everyone you meet.

All that is required is that he remain low-key and doesn't flaunt his wealth and identity. If he walked into a restaurant in Grenoble I guarantee you nobody would even blink.

Comment Re:It's all a matter of perspective (Score 4, Insightful) 842

I agree. He bought a bunch of shit and found out that it doesn't bring happiness.

Personally, I'd own less 'stuff' than I do now, and live out of a suitcase. With 1.5 billion dollars, I'd travel the world and probably never stop. Buy an unassuming-looking car in Europe or the UK and drive all over, meeting new and interesting people and exploring new places. Hike the West Highland Trail in Scotland; ski the Alps in Switzerland; explore the catacombs of France, rent a speedboat and putter around on Lake Como in Italy, etc.

That, to me, is being rich - it means being free to go anywhere and do anything. I don't need a lavish life of luxury; I just want to be free of the shackles that keep me from seeing the world.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato