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+ - Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer with analysis->

An anonymous reader writes: The second trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) has been released, but one writer feels it's less effective than J.J. Abrams' Star Trek trailers:

“The teaser for Into Darkness [2013] builds suspense, hanging us from Benedict Cumberbatch's every word. It shows a wonderful array of action, gives us more than a glimpse at its jaw dropping visuals and teases us with a moreish plot, one that we automatically want to invest into. Star Wars, on the other hand, plays it safe. It bases the trailer's underlining plot on something we know all too well — the Force — and gives me little reason to be excited. It's missing that spark, that chill of excitement that Star Trek delivered.”

Link to Original Source

+ - Boeing granted patent for 'Star Wars' Force Fields like technology->

frustratedmac writes: Boeing Company; an aircraft, defense and security company took inspiration from the science fiction movie 'Star Wars' to get a patent on a system known as "Method and system for shock wave attenuation via electromagnetic arc " which means that energy is used to divert potential damage.

In the Star Wars and Star Trek science fiction movies we have seen the glowing energy shields that protect the troops, machines, spacecraft and sometimes even the entire planet from potential damages.

As per the patent "Method and system for shock wave attenuation via electromagnetic arc " this system will not prevent direct damage from explosives or armaments in the war front; however the system can be used to protect fixed structures such as buildings, aircrafts, marine ships or even vehicles from the harmful effects of the shock waves produced by some nearby explosives.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Automated manufacturing (Score 2) 327 327

And there just isn't much economic demand for lots of engineers and scientists and artists....Wages are going to crash, then what?

Maybe humanity will finally be motivated to figure out that mass economic stability and security comes from serving each other instead of rigidly serving the self, because serving others is enlightened self interest.

One can hope.

Comment: Look to the Official Fear-o-Meter (Score 1) 478 478

Pardon my ire, but what the fuck should I or anyone else care about how much fear the government thinks we should feel? Are people really that stupid that they'll entrust their emotional response to the advice of government and media? Maybe they should be advising us on the facts and not trying to control our reactions. "Trust us, little children, everything's under control, no need to panic -- until we tell you otherwise."

Tired of that bullshit.

Comment: Re:So what exactly is the market here. (Score 1) 730 730

Your point is well taken, although I can see that the watch has value with regard to the fitness apps. Since the watch can monitor your heartbeat, it can give you stats and make recommendations that a phone can't. The fitness apps Apple is providing look very impressive. Also, little features like tapping your wrist to tell you when to make a right or left turn while walking are nice to have. Over time other uses for the watch will likely appear that can't be replicated on a phone. Not to mention it is still something of a convenience to glance at your wrist rather than pull a phone out of your pocket.

Clearly this device is for people with the disposable income to afford it, it's certainly not a must-have technology for most people. But it seems reasonable to expect it'll be popular with the rich and Apple faithful.

A gigantic set of the population is no longer even used to the concept of wearing a watch, because they have their phone.

Apple took away the people's need for watches -- and now is giving it back again.

Comment: Re:5.5k for a Marimba? (Score 1) 137 137

A professional marimba is typically made of Rosewood, which is a very expensive wood (due to restrictions on its export). It also requires a high degree of craftsmanship to build. The sound of a marimba is very different from a xylophone, with long, rich sustained notes.

Check it out for yourself.

Comment: Ars Review is Cosmetic (Score 1) 165 165

The linked Ars Technica review pretty much only looks at surface level details, like icons, window buttons, menus, etc. Doesn't say anything about functionality, speed, or lower level concerns.

And this line is misleading:

It's a very Microsoft-esque way to roll out an OS: you give enthusiasts a chance to work with an early-but-reasonably-stable build in exchange for valuable bug-squashing feedback.

Microsoft got the idea from Apple, who started their public beta program with the first version of OS X back in 2001.

Comment: Re:There's belief, there's facts and there's polit (Score 2) 725 725

Ignorance is a choice, just like belief. The real problem is to get people to reject ignorance. The difficulty in that is that ignorance, like belief, is easy. Rejecting ignorance requires effort. That is why there are so many people who choose ignorance and belief over reason and fact.

Interesting belief you have there.

I believe that belief is inherent to the human mind, necessary for operation in the world. I see belief in two general categories: rigid and fluid. When rigid, a belief is maintained even in the face of evidence to its contrary. When fluid, a belief can change in nuance and substance based on life experience and information.

We all have beliefs and operate from biases that do not agree with others. I see this as natural and as it should be. Each person is their own subjective lens on reality, and no one person nor committee can determine what objective reality ultimately is. Once we think we have it, something comes along and blows away our vaunted conceptions. Life will never fully give away its secrets, we will always be left guessing. To me that's the beauty of the mystery. What we each make of it is our own journey, and we should not try too hard to fit our personal beliefs to any consensus.

+ - New sensors will scoop up 'big data' on Chicago

Graculus writes: From the Chicago Tribune — Chicago plans to install sensors in light poles to observe air quality, light intensity, sound volume, heat, precipitation, and wind. The sensors will also count people by observing cell phone traffic. The curled metal fixtures set to go up on a handful of Michigan Avenue light poles later this summer may look like delicate pieces of sculpture, but researchers say they'll provide a big step forward in the way Chicago understands itself by observing the city's people and surroundings. Some experts caution that efforts like the one launching here to collect data from people and their surroundings pose concerns of a Big Brother intrusion into personal privacy. In particular, sensors collecting cell phone data make privacy proponents nervous. But computer scientist Charlie Catlett said the planners have taken precautions to design their sensors to observe mobile devices and count contact with the signal rather than record the digital address of every device.

"Experience has proved that some people indeed know everything." -- Russell Baker