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Comment: Re:How is this remarkable? (Score 1) 453

by jonsmirl (#46772663) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

How do you get 200 years? Money in the stock market makes returns.

Use this calculator

Put in $5,000 payment
Nothing at start.
43 years (65 - 22), 6.3%
Do this in an IRA so there are no taxes involved.
You will have $1,018,527 at the end.

6.3% is reasonable. I have been averaging over 8% for last 20 years including the big meltdowns.

Comment: Re:Skateboard comparison = fail (Score 1) 98

by TeknoHog (#46767241) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

In space, 'just use rockets' is not the answer people want to hear, because mass is precious. In an atmosphere, though, all you need is a little extra battery power to shove air in whatever direction you prefer, which works just fine for modifying your path. It wouldn't be much like skateboarding; but I suspect that if you threw some accelerometers, clever math, and a mixture of control surfaces and glorified model airplane thrusters at the problem you could have a system that can be 'steered' by shifting your body weight, as people are accustomed to, with the actual work being handled by the aerodynamic components, since you don't have solid objects to push off of. Doesn't solve the 'make hoverboard hover' problem; but if you ignore that...

True, so it would basically take fans/propellers. Ideally, though, the hover mechanism itself would automatically enable some level of steering via weight shifting. Imagine a regular hovercraft modified for extra ground clearance. If you tilt it, it's pushing more air to one side than the other. It should also work this way in the plasma levitation systems envisioned in the paper I linked above. But in practice you'd probably want some additional control.

Comment: Skateboard comparison = fail (Score 1) 98

by TeknoHog (#46765383) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

How would you steer this imaginary hoverboard? A skateboard will continue rolling in one direction only, as long as you do nothing. The various ways of controlling a skateboard rely on high friction in other directions. Turn it sideways quickly and you can stop it, if you know what you're doing. A hoverboard would simply continue hovering sideways, and you'd have no way to turn it without a wall or something. Similarly, there would be much less room for tricks that rely on hitting the deck against something solid, as the hover mechanism would repel any direct contact. You'd need spacewalk-style thrusters to get where you want to.

(Disclaimer: a little something from my days of physics studies

Comment: Re:That drawing was a joke, but (Score 1) 275

We genuinely are bad at predicting the future of tech, but it's usually not because we're too fanciful. It's usually the opposite. Tech predictions usually fail because we're way too conservative. That's partly the reason behind this joke drawing in 1981. Now predictions about almost everything else - society, politics, and social adoption of tech - are usually way too optimistic. But tech predictions are way too pessimistic.

More precisely, futurists like Osmo A. Wiio have stated that people don't understand exponential growth -- they overestimate short-term progress, but underestimate long-term. There are lots of almost unnoticeable advances that make people cry "where's my flying car" and yet over time those advances add up, amplifying each other, and we suddenly find ourselves beyond the need to fly.

Technology advances because techies remember the past and build on it, learning from past mistakes -- politics, on the other hand...


Leben = life; lieben = to love :P I think I'll start using that term in place of "get a room".

Comment: Re:8 out of 10 for cool. 1 out of 10 for interesti (Score 1) 165

by TeknoHog (#46756077) Attached to: Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi

Like Bash?

They say if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day... in the beginning, Linux was like teaching him to fish. Self-reliance and knowledge and skill are good things, but if you're just hungry and don't enjoy fishing, you just want the fish. Most people who use computers these days don't want to program - they just want to be given a fish.

I'm afraid you forgot the link:

Comment: Re:8 out of 10 for cool. 1 out of 10 for interesti (Score 1, Interesting) 165

by TeknoHog (#46751251) Attached to: Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi

Boot into a system which allows you immediate programming

Like Bash? For me, Linux is what made computing interesting and fun again. It has easy access to programming tools, and none of this forced separation of users and developers.

(preferably with a modern OO syntax) and access to video, sound and peripherals. If there's anything that has suffered over the past three decades, it's easy access to I/O.

I admit it gets a little complex here, but for example Python (a key element in my "fun computing" experience) has nice libraries for these. For example, some of my electronics/FPGA work owe a lot to Python's serial port module. Not because the serial port is hard to program otherwise, but for making it easy to write all kinds of code around it.

I have no experience in modern graphics programming. However, I have the feeling that the bar for awesome graphics is a tad higher today than it was in "the year 64". Today's awesome is rather nontrivial at the direct low level we associate with C64 programming, so even professionals use higher level tools. (I think my background in physics and math helps appreciate 3D graphics, for example coordinate transformations using matrices are a basic (pun inteded) skill but I imagine there are lots of programmers with no need to do it.)

Nevertheless, I understand the point about recreating an environment in the '64 spirit. There are several projects around, the two I can think of at the moment being and .

Comment: Re:Not True (Score 1) 245

by ponos (#46739351) Attached to: PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

What bothers me most are endless DLCs required to get the "full experience". I can understand the difference between a "basic version" and a "deluxe" at +10$. But the fragmentation occuring with N DLCs and "season passes" is frustrating to say the least. I just want a clear pricing structure and a complete game.

Comment: Re:Protests are a display of effort (Score 1) 76

by ponos (#46738509) Attached to: Can Web-Based Protests Be a Force for Change?

I agree with your post. People physically walking in the street are much more impressive than 120000 clicks. Have you seen 100000 people in the street recently? Nevertheless, I would like to add that if the web campaign results in monetary losses, as in people cancelling orders or boycotting companies, it could result in significant distress.

As you say, in the end it has to be much more concrete than virtual "downthumbs".

Comment: Re:Medical doctor (Score 5, Insightful) 730

by ponos (#46738487) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

I am an MD, PhD. For many, many situations the diagnostic performance of an expert clinician with basic tools (stethoscope, diapason etc) is up to 80-90% with all the rest of the technology bringing this up to 95-99% (diminishing returns). Furthermore, in an apocalyptic scenario, the very hard, very complex medical conditions would not be a priority: people dying from cancer at age 78 or from complications of diabetes at age 68 would not require the huge resources we can afford to give them in modern society. We would probably be much more preoccupied with helping women give birth, protecting neonates from infections and hypothermia and doing all that stuff that could save millions of lives in the third world today (like hydrating infants with rotavirus infection).

Obviously, modern doctors are not perfectly prepared for such a scenario, but the basic training is there. So, yes, I think a significant part of medical knowledge would be useful in a post-apocalyptic world, even if the infrastructure is not there.