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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.

Comment: Fad diets based on new "science" (Score 1) 166

by Spy Handler (#47239571) Attached to: "Eskimo Diet" Lacks Support For Better Cardiovascular Health

after so much BS over the years, I think we should disregard any further studies proclaiming great health benefits of (____) and just rely on common sense.

Common sense tells me that the best things to eat for an animal species is what it's evolved to eat in its natural habitat. Pomegranates might be awesome food but not for lions.

For humans, that would be 2 million years of eating nuts and fruits and clams and fish and some red meat on occasion.

Comment: Wow nerds with heads buried in their rectums (Score 0) 236

by Spy Handler (#47230667) Attached to: Are the Glory Days of Analog Engineering Over?

Yes computers and internet are important but let's not get ahead of ourselves. The most important engineering currently being done is still analog, like reusable rockets and fusion reactors. These rank slightly higher on the scale of importance to humanity than the guys making internet-connected refrigerators and targeted website ads.

Reminds me a few years ago when some dudes running websites voted "the internet" the most important invention in human history. It's as if they never heard of agriculture, or fire, or electricity, or indoor plumbing, or any number of things that are keeping these idiots alive.

Comment: Re:Regardless (Score 1) 387

by Spy Handler (#47215911) Attached to: Geothermal Heat Contributing To West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting

It's funny, I was watching Nat Geo and they were showing a program about dinosaurs. They described the Cretaceous world that dinosaurs lived in, and explained how life forms (both plant and animal) were able to reach such gigantic size. Highlights: higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere (higher than today even with all the man-made carbon emissions) which led to gigantic forests. Higher oxygen levels which enabled animals to grow bigger. Hotter temperatures (than today), higher humidity and rainfall.

The narrator described it as a "hot and steamy jungle paradise thriving with life". Which was ended by a gigantic asteroid strike.

An hour later the same channel (Nat Geo) showed a program on climate change and how increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere will lead to irreversible runaway global warming which will doom everyone and everything and turn the earth into a barren wasteland.

Comment: Re:but that's the problem with the turing test... (Score 4, Interesting) 309

by Spy Handler (#47205455) Attached to: Was Turing Test Legitimately Beaten, Or Just Cleverly Tricked?

The test as specified by Alan Turing involves a human judge sitting in front of two terminals. One is a computer and the other is human-operated. The judge asks both terminals questions and tries to figure out which one is computer and which is human. It's quite specific.

It does not involve unsuspecting normal people in everyday situations who are duped into thinking they're interacting with a human... that would be quite easy. For instance if somebody asked the TigerDirect customer service chat window questions they have about a product and receive a good answer, they might not suspect it's a bot. Doesn't mean the TigerDirect bot passed the Turing test.

Turing also didn't say anything about crippling the test by making it a child who doesn't speak fluent English.

"Can you program?" "Well, I'm literate, if that's what you mean!"