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Comment: Re:As a Motorcyclist, I Declare "Meh" (Score 1) 345

by Thagg (#47280899) Attached to: Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

*sigh* that's a Suzuki DL-650 Vstrom, not a Honda. The new one does get about 60mpg, my 2009 only about 55.

I agree with those that say that, unfortunately, this is not going to be a successful bike. I really like the idea of an electric motorcycle, but it should come from a company that does exactly that. H-D fans aren't going to want it, and the insane high price that they will charge for the nameplate will keep others from buying it. I'd love a 60 mile-range electric bike that cost $10,000. I'd buy it tomorrow, but this isn't that.

Comment: Re:Can a company patent it? (Score 1) 207

by Thagg (#47256873) Attached to: Century-Old Drug Reverses Signs of Autism In Mice

Yes, one can often patent a drug for a new purpose. You probably can't charge $1,000/dose for a repurposing, but it can be done.

The absolutely shocking prevalence of autism today (currently estimated at 1 in 68 births, probably 1 in 40 boys) will make any drug that has a good effect profitable.

As the parent of an autistic teenager, I'm hoping for the best. It does appear that, like Tolstoy said, all autistic kids are autistic in their own way; so I'm not holding out a lot of hope. Some, though...

Comment: 180 satellites... (Score 3, Interesting) 170

by Thagg (#47146575) Attached to: Google To Spend $1 Billion On Fleet of Satellites

Kind of like a social network of satellites :)

Seriously, this makes a lot of sense. At the low altitudes that these will fly, the power necessary to reach the satellites will be much lower than geosynchronous or even Iridium satellites. Mass producing small satellites probably is cheaper than building a few big ones, as well.

Comment: Re:Auto switches (Score 5, Informative) 415

Just not true, or at least it wasn't a few months ago. My daughter switched to Android and I couldn't text her until she finally remembered her Apple ID and we could log into their servers and disable her account. We used the Samsung page for guidance, and it worked just fine. But by itself, my phone kept silently failing to send her messages.

Comment: Re:Bad syllogism (Score 5, Interesting) 426

by Thagg (#46953277) Attached to: Mathematical Model Suggests That Human Consciousness Is Noncomputable

In fact, it's pretty clear that 4. is incorrect. There was a fascinating recent study.

There is a drug that you can give somebody (or in this experiment, a rat) that will prevent it from creating new memories. They trained the rat to solve a maze, and it did it just fine. They gave the rat the drug, and it solved the maze perfectly. Once. After that, it couldn't do it again.

Implying that when you remember something, that very process of remembering removes the original memory,and it has to be created again. It will be different the second time; colored by your current experience. The more times you remember something, the more you are remembering the previous memory, not the original event.

A reference is

Comment: Headline exactly wrong (Score 5, Interesting) 477

by Thagg (#46924459) Attached to: Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

The FA says that Blu-ray disc sales are increasing, but overall disk sales are slowing because DVDs are contracting so quickly.

Quoting the article. "Last year, about 124 million Blu-ray discs were sold in the U.S., a 4.2% increase over 2012, according to IHS Technology. Even so, because of reduced pricing for the format, revenue only increased 2.6%. DVD sales, which have been plummeting for years, dropped 13.6% last year."

Blu-ray data rates are far higher than anything you can stream today, and people who care about that (not many of the commenters apparently :) ) apparently are still buying discs.

I do come from the movie business, so I surely have a different perspective; but to filmmakers quality is paramount.

Comment: Hard to imagine cluster holding together... (Score 3, Interesting) 133

by Thagg (#46899051) Attached to: Star Cluster Ejected From Galaxy At 2,000,000 MPH

For a three-body slingshot to work, the object would have to get pretty close to one or both of the black holes -- considerably closer than the size of a globular cluster. At that distance, the tidal forces around the black holes would rip the cluster apart. I just can't see this happening.

I suppose it's time to do some simulations :)

Comment: The "antenna array" is a McGuffin (Score 1) 342

by Thagg (#46825655) Attached to: Aereo To SCOTUS: Shut Us Down and You Shut Down Cloud Storage

The antenna array is a beautiful piece of marketing by Aereo. Who could object to renting an antenna?

And, in fact, if the output of that antenna -- that is, the radio-frequency signal -- was transmitted to the home (as CableVision was doing back in the day) I think that Aereo would have an slam dunk. But that's not what they are doing.

They are converting the microwatt signal coming out of these antennas a few times. First, they are separating out just the channel that the user wants to watch, then they are digitizing that signal and encoding it onto the internet. That's what I don't think they are allowed to do, and that's why I believe they'll be shut down.

Comment: Still hoping they make a movie camera (Score 4, Interesting) 129

by Thagg (#46817917) Attached to: Lytro Illum Light-Field Camera Lets You Refocus Pictures Later

For still photography, focus isn't a terribly hard problem to solve. Autofocus works, and DSLRs let you compose, focus, and shoot manually as well. Easy peasy.

On the other hand, for movies shot using large-format sensors, focus is a huge issue. The amount of work spent following focus on a movie is significant, and it fails more often than you might think. Modern lenses are incredibly sharp, but they have such a tiny range that is in perfect focus that they are hard to use. Admittedly, the people who use these cameras and lenses are professionals with years or decades of experience, and they do well... ...But -- if we could focus our shots after the fact, it would be a true game changer for movie making. We could chose just what part of the scene should be in focus, and change that throughout the shot easily. Yes, this moves yet another part of the movie making process into post, but that's not a bad thing. As other people have suggested at other fora, editing/coloring/framing and visual effects are all done in post, and it helps make better movies. This would help too. Having the depth maps automatically generated would make visual effects easier and better as well.

I recognize that the amount of processing that goes on to make these images makes a motion picture camera a challenge, and the number of high-end motion picture cameras is probably a tenth of a percent of the DSLRs that are made, at most. Still, we could just capture the 40 MRays and do the processing later; storage and networks are getting faster and larger all the time.

Come on, Lytro! Make it happen!

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll