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Comment Re:Going to become more common. (Score 1) 130

I have a few exercises I give my students in which they have to make a guess at a quantity and then make a calculation to back it up. My favorite: If you marked off a tract of land in a 3x3 foot grid, and one person stood at each intersection, how many square miles would accommodate the entire world population, and what would be a country of comparable size?


Meet the Soft, Cuddly Robots of the Future ( 22

turkeydance writes with a link to an article at Nature exploring the squishier side of robots research. Rather than conventional (and rigid) materials and architectures for robots, soft robot researchers are building bots that employ materials that fluidly bend, stretch, roll, and squeeze, more along the lines of an octopus than an industrial claw; some of the ones featured in the article (and shown in an accompanying video) are explicitly based on octopus movement. "Think about how hard it is to tie shoelaces," says Daniela Rus, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. "That's the kind of capability we'd like to have in robotics."

Comment Re:won't work. (Score 1) 220

Cell phones don't even have any moving parts..

My Galaxie 4 has three exterior buttons, one of which is a rocker switch. I have a Vibrate Mode, indicating the existence of a moving part inside. Yes, even piezos move.
I have a microphone and a speaker, both of which have moving parts.


Price Dispute Means 800k Customers Lose TV Channels In Sweden ( 164

Z00L00K writes: Due to a conflict between the cable operators and the channel providers, 800,000 to 900,000 customers will lose some of the most-viewed TV channels in Sweden, among them Eurosport, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. Additional customers in Norway will also lose channels. This is caused by a considerable hike in price for the channels from the provider Discovery Networks. However the amount of money involved is still kept secret for negotiation and business reasons. "Telenor Broadcast arm Canal Digital said Discovery Networks has told it that it will withdraw its channels from Canal Digital Sweden and sister company Bredbandsbolaget from 01 February. This follows Discovery's attempts to raise prices and pay for a number of channels that viewers had not chosen. This will affect their approximately 800,000 customers while a new contract is negotiated. Telenor Sweden customers will not able to watch Kanal 5 or the other Discovery channels until a deal is reached." Considering that Sweden has a population of almost 10 million the impact is noticeable.

Comment vacation (Score 1) 320

We were on a touring yacht around Antigua. As a result, we only got sporadic radio reports for the first few hours. Bit of a downer in the middle of an otherwise idyllic setting.

Once I found out the contract was "wired" (i.e. internal nepotistic corruption) for Morton Thiokol and they refused to build onsite, and that that was the only reason the damn two-piece body was chosen over a single structure, I was thoroughly pissed off.

Comment Re:Mdsolar strikes again with unrealistic FUD (Score 1) 346

Pfft, I like my artisanal coal fired steam turbine generated electricity. The nuclear steam turbine stuff is alright for an everyday fix though. I'll even indulge in that bottom shelf hydro-electric stuff once in a while when money is tight.

The photovoltaic and wind turbine stuff though is rot-gut, nobody should have to suffer with that. The just don't bulbs don't glow right.

It's not the source of your electrons, it's the cable. Have you tried this ethernet connection or these these audio cables

Comment Vonnegut's take (Score 1) 223

I think it's in schlachthof fünf that Vonnegut describes a superduper spaceship drive which gets energy from nowhere, except that it turns out to be grabbing all the energy from stars in a different universe. When the last star is exhausted, all spaceships come to a screeching halt^H^H^H^H nonacceleration.

Comment Re:Oh noes! (Score 1) 60

all of that will be inserted from the network HQ in New York City, from a satellite feed from a dish on a truck outside the stadium. Probably more than one, for redundancy.

No fiber will be used to get the television signal out of that place. It's all done via satellite

Hmmm..., well, not naming any names but our asset inside the Kremlin referred to as "Cardinal" thinks that method might not work either.

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