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Comment: Creativity is certainly future-proof (Score 1) 508

by Spy Handler (#47459589) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Would it be better if my niece took a course in the Arts, since creativity is looking to be one of humanity's final frontiers against the inevitable Rise of the Machines?

Unfortunately taking art classes does nothing to actually increase your creativity -- it's an innate characteristic of the human soul (or brain, depending on your religious views).

Tell her to go into medicine. There is no way doctors are gonna be replaced by robots, ever.

On the off chance that some tremendous breakthroughs do lead to medical robots like in Star Wars, NOBODY will have to worry about getting a job. I'm not holding my breath though.

Comment: Huh what? (Score 1) 77

by Spy Handler (#47436945) Attached to: Mars (One) Needs Payloads

A Mars landing will cost hundreds of millions, even if these experiment payloads are small. How exactly are they gonna come up with that kind of money? Skimming through TFA didn't reveal any details.

Is this like, put out a bunch of press releases to get publicity, then hope Paul Allen or some other billionaire will fund it? Because the kind of budget they will need is a wee bit out of Kickstarter territory.

Comment: A real fundamental jump would be (Score 3, Insightful) 36

a power source that isn't crappy. That would enable exoskeletons and robots that are useful.

If you watch the demo videos, they all either have a power cord dangling off the exoskeleton/robot (presumably plugged into A/C mains) or an annoyingly loud and smoky 2-stroke generator running onboard. That's because current batteries provide nowhere near enough juice to power these suits/robots to any degree of usefulness.

We aren't lacking in servo/microcontroller/robotics tech, we're lacking a decent battery tech.

Comment: Re:Prelude to Mars? (Score 1) 105

by Spy Handler (#47277563) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9R Vertical Take-Off and Landing Test Flight

little engineering justification, sure. But there's a whole lot of financial justification.

It's all about operational costs. To retrieve something like an Apollo capsule that pops a parachute and lands in the ocean, they have to deploy fleet of ships and bunch of personnel, which all costs money even though it has nothing to do with rocket engineering. Also landing in salt water will mean extensive refurbishing and/or making the rocket marine-resistant, which leads to even more downtime and money.

Like in the airliner business, time is money. The faster you can relaunch, more money you save. Elon's goal is to have both stages land in the same place they launched from, clean em up a bit, refuel, and relaunch in a matter of days (or hours). Like an airliner.

It's a poor workman who blames his tools.