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Comment: Re:Not For Me (Score 1) 194

by Teancum (#48410713) Attached to: Toyota Names Upcoming Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

If battery replacement was so easy, why hasn't Tesla set up a network of battery replacement stations in Silicon Valley (much less anywhere else)? And to note that the Model S was even designed with the idea in mind that it could be replaced at such a station, but the company has pushed away from the concept in favor of high voltage recharging stations instead. I'm suggesting that such replacement stations are not economical even when you have a relatively high density of such vehicles in the area.

Comment: Re:How do I refill it? (Score 1) 194

by Teancum (#48410579) Attached to: Toyota Names Upcoming Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

Why do you think Hydrogen is not safe? In terms of a similar quantity of energy stored as gasoline, Hydrogen is even safer than petroleum distillates in terms of a fuel, not to mention that tanks full of Hydrogen are usually better engineered as well.

Don't let the scare tactics of people who cite the Hindenberg zepplin disaster as justification for why Hydrogen is bad. You need to treat it with care, but you need to do that with all high density energy storage technologies of any kind and Hydrogen is pretty reasonable on the whole for that purpose.

Comment: Re:Sci Fi Really Ages Quickly (Score 1) 186

by Teancum (#48404825) Attached to: Battlestar Galactica Creator Glen A. Larson Dead At 77

But even back then I felt the show started to fizzle out after the Pegasus episodes.

On this I completely agree. The "Terra" episodes really started to push credibility, as did Count Iblis. I liked the series finale as it sort of suggested perhaps they might be going back to their roots again and hinted at some much better episodes in the future... that never came.

Comment: Re:Sci Fi Really Ages Quickly (Score 1) 186

by Teancum (#48404247) Attached to: Battlestar Galactica Creator Glen A. Larson Dead At 77

The reason season two was retooled is mainly because the show was cancelled but at the last minute one of the network executives changed their mind. The only actor they could get to come back on a regular contract was Loren Green, but they needed to recast pretty much the rest of the show. That of course gave the disaster which was Galactica 1980, where the only episode worth watching was the one where Dirk Benedict came back as a guest star for one episode.

Not all shows go through this, but it does happen when networks get sort of schizophrenic about what they want and push their agenda on the series producers. The rural purge is an extreme example of what can happen in that situation to trash the entire schedule including otherwise successful and popular shows. Sometimes merely the threat that the series will be next is enough to force this retooling you are talking about.

Comment: Re:Sci Fi Really Ages Quickly (Score 2) 186

by Teancum (#48404065) Attached to: Battlestar Galactica Creator Glen A. Larson Dead At 77

Worst Sci Fi series ever? I can name several candidates for that, including "Logan's Run" (the TV series) or some of the really awful stuff pushed onto Saturday morning kids programming (is Scooby Doo considered SF?) Ever hear of "Land of the Lost"? Heck, what about Doctor Who from the 1970's?

At the time it was made, there was little you could point to as episodic series that were any better. If you can name more than five shows that were of superior quality.... far superior quality that almost anybody would agree with you... please feel free to name them. They must have been made before 1980 though. I don't think you can. After 1980 there have been many shows that were better, but you are looking at it from the wrong perspective if you make that comparison.

Comment: Re:Sci Fi Really Ages Quickly (Score 1) 186

by Teancum (#48403939) Attached to: Battlestar Galactica Creator Glen A. Larson Dead At 77

I have to admit, it did suck pretty badly, even considering the state of s.f. television back then.

I don't think you remember the state of sci fi television in the late 1970's. It was mainly Star Trek reruns and really horrible stuff like Lost in Space, I Dream of Jeanie (fitting a very loose description of science fiction) or real classics like "It came from Outer Space" or "The Attack of the 50' Woman" and even "The Absent Minded Professor" on late-night television. This is when the Herbie movies were being made. Other TV series contemporary with this include "Electro Woman and DynaGirl" and "Jason of Star Command".

Compared to most of the other stuff, Battlestar Galactica was in comparison pretty hardcore SF. It was done in a style rather similar to Star Wars, but with its own mythos. If you are saying this was cheesy and comical, so was Star Wars by nearly every one of the same metrics. They took some liberties due to the episodic nature of the series, but it wasn't nearly as bad as you or your friends thought.... or your memories are fading quite a bit from what other stuff during that era was like. It certainly is unfair to compare this to Firefly or Farscape.

Comment: Re:"Computer" (Score 2) 81

by Teancum (#48394853) Attached to: Real Steampunk Computer Brought Back To Life

While partially true, there were a great many mechanical analog computers which did a great many things and were widespread in the early 20th Century... including when this particular machine was made.

A good video that shows how some of those mechanical computers were made can be found in this U.S. Navy training film:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1i-dnAH9Y4

Computers like this were used as early as the Spanish-American War and the Crimean War. A much older computer was found in the form of the Antikythera mechanism.

Yes, there were also people who were called computers as a job title as well, but the mechanical variety existed as well before ENIAC, and were commonly used as well.

Comment: Re:100 Year old (Score 1) 81

by Teancum (#48394801) Attached to: Real Steampunk Computer Brought Back To Life

Far more relevant in the 1880s is the United States Census for 1880 that took over 12 years to compile. The U.S. Census Bureau realized they would continue to fall behind unless they made some substantive changes to how they compiled the statistics which Congress insisted upon, not to mention plotting out the data needed for making district maps for Congress as required by the Constitution.

That is how you got Herman Hollerith who made the punch card through a system that census workers would input data about each person in America in a digital format that could be mechanically tabulated. He also started up a tiny little company that became known as IBM. The 1890 census was far more successful, and each census since then has been done more efficiently.

Comment: Re:Lamest One (Score 1) 21

Ever hear of nanosats? Mere mortals can buy them even and put them into orbit (certainly a modest kickstarter campaign can get one built).

There is also the OSCAR series of amateur radio satellites that are generally available if you have qualifications as a ham radio operator.

Or for that matter, perhaps you want to watch the X-37B that the U.S. Air Force has sent up to try and figure out what they are doing?

In other words, there are plenty of applications for this kind of technology, especially if it was cheap enough to build that small "hacker" teams could pool resources and make it happen.

Comment: Re:Don't Understand the Complaint (Score 1) 138

by Teancum (#48375191) Attached to: Google's Lease of NASA Airfield Criticized By Consumer Group

So your complaint is about NASA allowing Google to base their air fleet at Moffett in the first place? That is a valid complaint. Your complaint about the jet fuel is groundless though. Yes, the fuel trucks could drive across the bay instead (on the toll bridges, etc. for multiple additional charges) but this isn't otherwise hindering private enterprise.

What you are suggesting is that these pilots are going to be casually flying around for the hell of it where flying to another airport in the Bay Area first before taking their clients (aka the Google executive staff) to their final destination. I'm not freaking clueless about these things, just pointing out that Moffett Field has minimal services oriented towards servicing government flights instead of commercial ones, hence the reason why Google was using the same system when at that air field.

Comment: Re:Don't Understand the Complaint (Score 1) 138

by Teancum (#48373515) Attached to: Google's Lease of NASA Airfield Criticized By Consumer Group

That is companies who sold fuel at other airports, perhaps in that region, potentially lost money because Google executives didn't buy their fuel at those other airports first and then flew the planes into Moffett Field. That sounds like a major inconvenience and a waste of time as well. It isn't as if there were other fuel providers at this particular airfield.

It really is a baseless complaint.

Comment: Re:It's not about taking a loss... (Score 2) 138

by Teancum (#48373199) Attached to: Google's Lease of NASA Airfield Criticized By Consumer Group

How much should they have paid for the property in your opinion? How did you arrive at that figure?

Keep in mind Google needs to maintain the capacity of the field as an air strip, maintain Hanger One as a historical building, and other factors that make this more than just ordinary commercial real estate. In the end, Google still doesn't own the property and when that lease comes up in 60 years a whole lot of things could change with regards to Silicon Valley and the state of industry there. Either it will turn into the next armpit of America and resemble Detroit or perhaps the land will become even more valuable.

Anybody else could have also put a bid for the air field, even though you can legitimately argue perhaps that notification of such a lease opportunity may not have been as widely advertised as you might like. If it really was such a steal of a deal, it sounds more like you missed a golden opportunity yourself by not starting a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds and flip the property to make some money or make a huge windfall to a charity of your choice. I really doubt you could have made much money by trying to outbid Google and in turn offering the land to other companies instead.

Comment: Re:Amazing... BUT (Score 1) 89

by Teancum (#48364145) Attached to: Google To Lease and Refurbish Naval Air Base For Space Exploration

Sort of true. More than 50% of the value of the company has been distributed to public shareholders, but the founders and a small group of people have voting rights on almost anything that matters where the other investors only get profits and little say in public governance.

Why you would bother investing in such a company is sort of beyond me, but then again it is something you should know when investing in Google stock. Those shares with voting rights, however, are very valuable indeed.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.

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