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Comment: Re:How about healing spinal cord injuries first? (Score 1) 200

by barc0001 (#49146589) Attached to: Surgeon: First Human Head Transplant May Be Just Two Years Away

To be fair, the guy outlines a process to cleanly sever and then prepare the nerves for reattachment under a very controlled environment, which is an entirely different thing from a spinal cord being damaged in an accident out in the world.

That said, the whole idea is terrifying and if his end goal is literally making head swaps a somewhat common procedure nothing good will come of this. In order to make this possible you need bodies after all, and if this can extend the life of the transplant-ee by a significant margin we're going to see a huge amount of pressure brought to bear to create a supply of those bodies. Maybe something along the lines of Larry Niven's short story "The Jigsaw Man" where capital offense criminals were harvested to fill demand, and as demand grew over time the bar for a capital offense keeps dropping to keep up.

Comment: Re:Sweet F A (Score 1) 576

I don't wish to frighten you out of your happy place, but even if the hypothetical aliens never managed to invent gunpowder, a race that can move starships around interstellar space easily can absolutely bring a planet-bound species to their knees, or to extinction just by throwing (large) rocks at the planet using their propulsion systems. And there are a LOT of rocks in our solar system that could be easily harvested for the task.

Comment: Re: What I did when I was in your boat... (Score 1) 330

by barc0001 (#49040657) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Affordable Large HD/UHD/4K "Stupid" Screens?

Not always an option. Others have posted about the newer crop of TVs displaying warning/error messages for up to a minute on power up if they can't connect to the internet, and one guy mentioned a TV that won't work at all unless connected so you can accept the TOS.

Comment: Re:And is this a bad thing? (Score 3) 392

Exactly, I see this as a positive all around. Rather than them casting a country wide net and not even acting on what's in there (the French terrorists were known to the Americans and flagged for extra scrutiny who didn't bother doing anything with their info) this will force them to actually do their jobs intelligently.

Comment: Re:A Boom in Civilization (Score 4, Interesting) 227

by barc0001 (#48853633) Attached to: Sid Meier's New Game Is About Starships

> Don't ya think we would have already located some extraterrestrials if there were wars going on in space?

Why would you think that? Let's open with a quote from Douglas Adams:

“Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.”
  Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Our own galaxy is 200,000 LIGHT YEARS across. This means it takes light 200,000 years to cross from one side to the other. It's friggin' enormous. And what we can observe is only relatively large energy sources like stars. Let's presume for a minute that there are some ETs happily engaged in armed conflict with each other 500 light years from us, tossing around 20 megaton nukes all day long like they're NBA players at a strip club making it rain. Assume that they are using 10,000 of such warheads against each others ships every day engaged in action around a star system. That's a total energy output of 200 GT (Gigatons) per day. The STAR in that system if it's a star like Sol will be putting out 7890000000000 GT per day of energy. How are we even supposed to detect 200GT more on top of that load? That's like going into Giants stadium at night and staring at the light arrays from the pitchers mound and trying to pick out someone flicking a lighter for a half a second in the midst of one of the arrays.

Secondly, I mentioned the "space is big" thing, right? Suppose these races developed doomsday devices that could actually kill stars and are happily wiping out each others' systems with nova-bombs. But they're fighting 500 LY away from us and their war only got really going 200 years ago. It's still going to be 300 years before we start seeing evidence of their handiwork.

Comment: Re:Wonderful (Score 1) 496

by barc0001 (#48798353) Attached to: Ted Cruz To Oversee NASA and US Science Programs

Gotta be the guy to say it. So what? We don't live in the medieval age. We live now, and how are they making out pushing the knowledge frontier forward today? I find it difficult to give reflected credit to anyone for what their long dead ancestors did, especially if they are not making further progress or are engaged in hindering the same.

Comment: Re:No, not practically, no. (Score 1) 124

by barc0001 (#48746851) Attached to: Toyota Opens Patents On Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

Filling a car takes a minute? No.... more like 3-6 minutes depending on the vehicle.

>> A Supercharger station filling up in about 15 (or longer) means you have to have 15 times the number of "pumps"

You're forgetting one very important thing. I can't plug my car into a gas line at home and have it fill itself overnight, but an electric car owner can. I'm betting 99% of Telsa owners don't use a Supercharger station habitually.

Comment: Re:It's been tried (Score 1) 62

by barc0001 (#48741057) Attached to: Project Ryptide Drone Flies Life-Rings To Distressed Swimmers

I think this is meant as a support tech, not a replacement for lifeguards. Something to potentially buy the person time if they're able to use it while the lifeguard works their way there. In that role it might be useful. Still won't help the unconscious, but weak and panic swimmers could still benefit by something dropped within arm's reach. I'm guessing most of the ideas you saw come and go were far less accurate, like an apparatus that flung a ring out from the beach and the ring would hopefully land somewhere near-ish to the person and they could maybe swim to it, kinda? This can drop the device right into their panicking hands which is quite a difference.

Comment: And this is why there's traffic... (Score 4, Insightful) 611

by barc0001 (#48603317) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

"If they have, they've obviously failed. Killeen said her four-mile commute to UCLA, where she teaches a public relations class, can take two hours during rush hour."

It takes her 2 hours to go 4 miles. That's her driving a car at 2 mph for 2 miles. You know what else is faster than that? EVERYTHING. That's slower than walking speed, definitely slower than biking, jogging, rollerblading, skating, skateboarding and anything else I can think of. I would *love* to have only a 4 mile commute in LA's climate. I'd never drive my car to the office again.

Comment: Re:Why are medallions sold and not leased? (Score 1) 329

by barc0001 (#48487989) Attached to: Taxi Medallion Prices Plummet Under Pressure From Uber

No it wasn't. He's asking why tax medallions are sold between 3rd parties, instead of being an annual license/purchase from the city. If someone's willing to buy a medallion for half a million dollars, I am amazed the city hasn't figured out how to get their hands on most/all of that. Pass a law. All taxi medallions expire at the end of 2015, and you're welcome to put in a $10000 fee to apply for the 2016 medallions now. First come, first serve. Rinse, repeat every year.

An adequate bootstrap is a contradiction in terms.

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