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Comment Re:Yes, yes, bring us back the workaround. (Score 1) 75

What about those of us with prosthetic hands who can't use touch screens for lack of capacitive coupling?

You know they have gloves with capacitive fingertips now so you can use such devices, right? They don't depend on your fingertip's capacitance. That's a solved problem.

Actually, it's a problem I solved for Bochs when I worked at Google. Because I had the need to solve the same problem for a robot that needed to be able to capacitively couple with touch devices. The gloves only work because they are conductively connected to a great big meat antenna (you), such that the cpacitive coupling works.

If you have an artificial limb, there's generally no electrical coupling to the meat antenna. So people with artificial limbs do not get to use touch devices.

The fix is to place a conductive film in the plasticine coating, and to hook it up to an antenna. It's a relatively simple hack, and you can pretty much use any WiFi or Cellular modem antenna from a laptop to do the trick.

And then, voila! Magically able to use touch screen devices. The prototype allowed a man in Germany to use the touchpad on his Lenovo Thinkpad for the first time in his life. Which meant he didn't have to carry a mouse around, since both his arms were prosthetic.

Yes, I am a genius. I'll even let you hire me if you have something interesting to work on. You probably don't.

Comment These guys are morons. (Score 3, Insightful) 88

These guys are morons.

We pushed crypto development to South Africa for FreeBSD back in the early 1990's to get around ITAR restrictions: "you can import, but you can't export".

We will happily route around this brain damage, too.

P.S.: The way to get better cryptographers in other countries is to make cryptographers criminals in the U.S.; obviously, it will not do fuck all to actually stop cryptography from happening, it'll just be that our people end up being shit at it compared to their people.

Comment Yes, yes, bring us back the workaround. (Score 1) 75

Yes, yes, bring us back the workaround.

The underlying problem doesn't have to be resolved, because we can just ignore it by installing a bolder font than the one that uncovered the underlying problem in the first place by making it more obvious.

Does anyone else see this as a crap solution to the problem?

Does anyone else see the actual problem is people with bad vision trying to use eReaders?

What about those of us with prosthetic hands who can't use touch screens for lack of capacitive coupling? We should dumb down all of our devices so that the most handicapped among us can use them all. You know, instead of working to fix the handicaps or anything.

Comment Re:Why not support the top of the booster (Score 1) 42


However, if I am designing an experiment, I try to limit any simultaneous changes to dependent variables.

That's not to say that I *won't* (I have) vary multiple independent variables at the same time, but if I do, I usually have at least a "hunch" that the direction I'm moving them both (all) is toward a saddle point.

Perhaps the person deciding this has already concluded the independence of the variables and the probable location of the saddle point. If so, good on them; from outside, I really haven't reached the same conclusion, but, alas, I do not have all of the data they have.

Which is why I stated my comment the way I did, rather than accusing them of bad judgement.

Comment Re:On paper, this is a good decision (Score 2) 133

But I can't help but wonder in practice if it won't leave a lot of poor people with no internet access at all.

Sure, it's nice to have an even playing field. But when you're starving, do you really want the government telling McDonalds that they can't give you free food because that wouldn't be fair to Burger King?

This is the intent.

You didn't think that all the poor people with no internet access at all were the ones posting online about the lack of neutrality in the offering, did you? The people posting already have Internet access, and so the only impact on them would be:

(1) If they were one of the companies that refused to partner with Facebook, which means that they were unable to successfully compete in markets (e.g. job sites, etc.) where they were already underdogs, or

(2) They were ordinary Indians, more well off than the poor, who were suddenly forced to compete with well educated poor, who had the ability to apply for jobs which they coveted

(3) They were people who had to pay for their service, felt that if poor people received free service, they should too, and were upset that the free service was not as extensive as their current paid service

So it's basically a strategy to keep the target market segmentation of startup sites focussed on "not the poor", anti-competitive for labor, against the currently disenfranchised (keeping them that way), and people wanting their existing something for nothing, rather than a new thing that is a lesser something for nothing.

Welcome to India.

Comment Re:Some "facts" (Score 1) 42

- 100% of the Falcon 9 Full Thrust landings have been successful.
- 0% of the Falcon 9 v1.1 landings have been successful.
- There has been one F9 FT flight so far.
- The F9 FT has (among others) improved thrust (and thus more reserves for the return flight) and improved landing gear.
- After the successful return of the F9 FT some things were noted about the FT drives and launches were pushed back 4-6 weeks as it looks right now.

Or the ground landing was a "Oops! We accidentally landed successfully! Let's blame the equipment! Back to the barge! Arrrrrr, maties!".

Multiple successful ground landings would have been good. But they aren't planning to refly the thing even if it's a successful landing at this point. But that does move us 3 launches to reuse from first landing to probably 6 launches to reuse. If they have money to burn on it because they are rolling it into launch costs, it makes sense to roll as much of it as you can into the costs before you end up being forced to drop the prices.

And yes, I know: being cheapest, they aren't "forced", but visible reuse would encourage others more, if it had corresponding visible cost reductions.

Comment Re:Why not support the top of the booster (Score 1) 42

Why not use some sort of collar made of cables on some masts around the deck to support the top of the booster? When the booster come in, the hoop is wide open so as not to obstruct. As it passes though, the loop tightens and the booster is kept upright even if it tips. By the time it lands, the loops is snug against the top of the rocket and the booster is secure, even if the platform rocks.

That was actually my first reaction: "Oh, obviously it'll be something like 'this' that they'll be using...", the first time I heard they'd be landing them at all.

Then I got really annoyed at them not having something like that, and trying to land on a pitching platform.

The platform landings themselves make sense, particularly if you locate the launch and landing facilities out in international waters so that the world really has no say in whether or not you are allowed to launch and/or land, but really: there's a lot simpler tech that would work to avoid losing the things over and over again.

That said, once they get it right (assuming they ever do), and assuming the weather cooperates all the time, having solved the problem, the per launch additional equipment costs will be marginally lower than they would have been, had they gone with a "hug truss" system in the first place.

Personally, I was thinking they were going to do a least three dirt landings to give them a confidence interval and more data, since that data may change what they decide to do in the process of landing, which in turn might add complications to the water landings that they had not yet considered.

Comment Re:The reasons are far from unknown. (Score 1) 286

You know that they lifted the ban on second children last year, right? And that it never applied to everyone, just certain areas where there was overpopulation. Obviously many in the west would condemn their methods, but it isn't true to say that they have a problem with the rate that their population is expanding. They have it under control, at the rate they desire.

I'm well aware of the ban. It primary served to cause a rash of "SIDS" cases that left odd strangulation marks on female children. Ironically, given that there will be massive shortage of wives, and the families with daughters will pretty much be able to dowry for whatever they want. You would think that there would be a lot of efforts in the other direction, as a monetary investment.

As far as "at the rate they desire" ... that rate being non-zero, that assumes that they are able to manufacture territory (which is what the comment was about) and support infrastructure (which was also what the comment was about).

Comment Re:The reasons are far from unknown. (Score 1) 286

I typed some of it, and pasted others, and manually formatted. I went to 5 sources.

A lot of countries have a lot of disputes; Taiwan is about as bad a China, actually, and there are areas of the Middle East that are pretty fired up, currently (particularly if you consider ISIS a state actor, rather than a marauding horde).

Comment The reasons are far from unknown. (Score 5, Informative) 286

China needs to do more to keep NK under control, unless NK's games are tolerated by China for reasons unknown.

The reasons are far from unknown. China is currently grabbing as much territory as they can, anywhere they can:

Baekdu Mountain (North Korea)
Bhutanese enclaves in Tibet (Bhutan)
Demchok, Chumar, Kaurik, Shipki Pass, Jadh, and Lapthal (Taiwan, India)
Hong Kong (Taiwan)
Jiandao (North Korea, South Korea)
Kula Kangri and points West, Haa District (Bhutan)
Macclesfield Bank (Taiwan, Vietnam)
Paracel Islands (Taiwan, Vietnam)
Scarborough Shoal (Taiwan, Philippines)
Senkaku Islands (Taiwan, Japan)
Shaksgam Valley (India)
Arunachal Pradesh (Taiwan, India)
Spratly Islands (Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei)
Taiwan (Taiwan)
Eastern Bhutan (Taiwan, Bhutan)
Mainland China, Hainan (Taiwan -- but the PRC has a pretty good claim here 8^) ...)
Western Heixiazi / Bolshoy Ussuriysky Island (Taiwan)
Penghu, Jinmen,Matsu Islands, Pratas Islands (Taiwan)
Songling District, Jiagedaqi District (Mongolia)
Pamir Mountains (Tajikistan)
Yalu River islands (North Korea, South Korea)
Shaksgam Valley (India)

Anything that keeps peoples attention focussed elsewhere is all to the good, as far as China is concerned. The territorial waters claims in the South China Sea, in particular, are important to them in terms of extending their range of control, in order to control fishing rights, since their population is still rising, despite sterilizations after the second child, and similar measures.

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