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Comment Re:Wouldn't apply to Netflix (Score 1) 85 85

For some time I've been wondering if we should create some sort of "Internet Broadcast Protocol" (IBP). It could be based on the fact that there are usually a lot of network-node-computers in-between the source of a broadcast, and the recipients. The broadcaster would only output single streams of data to its nearest nodes, and each node would duplicate the data as many times as needed to pass on the data to some farther-away nodes, and so on, until each ISP duplicates the data for all its own customers that happen to be receiving the broadcast. The overall effect is a huge savings of bandwidth usage, because the broadcaster doesn't have to send out ten million separate streams for ten million recipients. There are only single streams between nodes, until the ISPs are reached.
Of course that wouldn't directly apply to Netflix, either, because it receives feedback from its subscribers, to pause streams. and different customers are going to pause streams at different moments in the overall flow. Perhaps an IBP can distinguish between a live feed and a recording, such that at the ISP-level of recipients, the ISP server would store the whole stream of recordings only, and it would respond to pause/resume requests. The ISP server retains the stored stream only as long as there are overlapping requests from its customers, for that recording/stream. A fair number of details for an IBP would still need to be worked out, such as ensuring one node doesn't receive the same stream from a multiplicity of other nodes, and places like Netflix get informed when an ISP is responding "in lieu of" Netflix, because some customer requested a stream that is currently being stored on an ISP server because other customers of both the ISP and Neflix are also receiving that stream. Netflix would need to know in order to properly deal with copyright royalties.

Comment Re: Wow (Score 2) 143 143

Either on Earth or Mars you need an evacuated tunnel for the train. That's because the plan on Earth is to remove 99.9% of atmospheric pressure, while in mars the pressure is only 99.4% less than that of Earth. So you still need to remove some of Mars' natural air pressure to let the hyperloop run as fast as they want it to run on Earth. Meanwhile there is a problem that might have a solution, in either case. That is the pressure build-up in front of the hyperloop vehicle. It defines a maximum speed --but note that because it is a pressure build-up, it should be possible for the vehicle to partly evacuate that pressure, and store it on-board ---and then dump it to the exterior of the tunnel when the vehicle docks at the passenger boarding/disembarking station. After enough vehicles in the tunnel have done that simple thing, pressure should no longer be a barrier to speed in the tunnel, either on Earth or Mars.

Comment Re:Lies, I say ,,, won't win in the end (Score 1) 339 339

Just because all humans are animals, and some humans are also persons, that doesn't mean all humans are persons. Stories about Artificial Intelligence researchers trying to create persons prove that the English language allows personhood to be entirely independent of animal-ness. So we must make distinctions here for the sake of accuracy, if nothing else. Here is a little table (could be expanded enormously when thinking about the whole Universe):
Entity . . . . . . . . . . | animal | person
typical human. . . . . . . | . .x. .| . x
True A.I. (when perfected) | . . . .| . x
. . . . dolphin. . . . . . | . .x. .| . ?
human hydatidiform mole . .| . . . .|
brain-dead human . . . . . | . .x. .|
. . . . . . dog. . . . . . | . .x. .|
human womb-occupant. . . . | . .x. .|

(Note, while each cell in a hydatidiform mole is a human animal organism, the mole as a whole is as disorganized as a "bacterial mat"; it is not an animal.) The concepts are "human" and "person", are proved to be independent of each other when the language allows non-humans to be called persons (even if, so far, only in terms of religion or mythology or fiction) --and when we know of cases where humans most certainly are not persons. Like brain-dead adult humans on full life-support. The whole reason the legal system allows the "plug" to be pulled is because the person-aspect of the human is dead. Only a living human animal body remains, with no essence-of-personhood present. And with one example, others become possible, too. Like unborn human womb-occupants, whiare also totally animal, and even just before birth have measurably far less of personhood than adult dogs, to say nothing of the personhood of adult dolphins (which in turn is a magnitude still being debated; on what basis could womb-occupants qualify as persons if dogs can't possibly qualify?).

Comment Re:Data can lie too ! (Score 3, Interesting) 339 339

"The permanent confrontation with a verifiable truth will turn us into overly cautious, calculating, and suspicious people." Maybe this is the answer to the Fermi Paradox. It makes cultures too cautious to go explore the Universe. Christopher Columbus, for example did not lie when he told Isabella that the Earth was 18,000 miles in circumference; he simply had bad data. But the ancient Greeks had good data that could have been replicated in the time of Columbus. If it had been suspected that the distance to India, sailing west from Spain, was an extra 7000 miles, the mission would have been "no go".

Comment Write Once Run Anywhere Can Work (Score 1) 78 78

If the code is written in JavaScript, and if "anywhere" involves a compiler, not just an interpreter, then the performance of the software should be nearly optimal anywhere. And, somewhere along the years, I got the impression that JavaScript compilers were becoming rather popular. I might be mistaken about that, but the notion should still be true, that if every platform included a JavaScript compiler, write-once/run-anywhere could work.

Comment Definition, please (Score 2) 219 219

The word "terrorism!" can be mis-used, much like the word "treason!", if it is not formally defined in Law. So, if such a definition has not been codified, the politicians have no business requesting powers to do such things as "punish those who praise or do not readily condemn terrorism" --after all, the person you want to punish might be using a different definition than YOU used (the one YOU used was specifically intended to help you steal political power, see?).

Comment In the US they picked the wrong chimp (Score 4, Interesting) 187 187

Look up "Washoe". Being able to communicate, even if only by sign language, is important. The average chimp doesn't communicate much better than other ordinary animals, like dogs. And humans can fail to be communicative, look up "feral child". The point here is that humans are naturally prejudiced in favor of themselves, thinking that characteristics associated with personhood (like communicative-ness) are automatically/naturally associated with biological growth. But the fact is (at least here on Earth), communicative-ness at the person-class level is a result of Nurture, not Nature. As a result, if certain other organisms also receive appropriate Nurture (like Washoe did), then those organisms are as likely as a human to qualify for personhood. So now look up Koko the Gorilla and Chantek the Orangutan. Equally logically, any organisms that don't receive appropriate Nurture, including humans, are going to qualify more as ordinary animals than as persons. (The default Natural condition, per biological development only, for a human is to be just a clever animal.)

Comment duh, it doesn't have to be complicated (Score 1) 191 191

Just draw lines from the North Pole to places where countries border each other, and each country gets that slice of the Arctic. For example, in-between the Bering Strait one line would be drawn between USA and Russia, toward the Pole. Where Alaska borders Canada. another line is drawn toward the Pole. That slice becomes claimable by the USA. Another line between Canada and Greenland would yield the Canadian slice. And so on.

In these matters the only certainty is that there is nothing certain. -- Pliny the Elder