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Comment Re:Blimey (Score 1) 225 225

For outer system stuff you'd use a nuke.

"Fuel" in terms of energy isn't the problem in a rocket. The problem is the requirement to haul around reaction mass: stuff to throw out the back. If you don't need to do that, the tyranny of the rocket equation goes away and space travel suddenly becomes a much different proposition.

Comment Re: What about the rest of it? And Firefox? (Score 1) 142 142

Hm... I took my six year old macbook pro in to an Apple Store the other day. They were happy to work on it. They ran a 24 hour diagnostic, free, after which I took it home and fixed the problem (they would have happily done so). My friend took in his 5 year old one, and they replaced the mainboard in it for free because it was one of the first lead free batches that had known faults.

Comment Re: What about the rest of it? And Firefox? (Score 1) 142 142

OS X is a unix-alike. Most of the software that runs on Linux will run on a Mac without a problem.

Your idea of open source seems to be of the double-click variety. There's a LOT of open source software that requires a ./configure; make to install. That works on Linux and Mac. If one of the developers is a masochist there might be a way to build it using Visual Studio on Windows, or more likely a way to build it under Cygwin.

Comment Re:shorts (Score 1) 450 450

While sweltering at an outdoor summer wedding wearing a jacket, pants and socks (!) I ended up in a conversation with a woman wearing some kind of sheer silk dress and sandals about how men don't understand the social pressure on women to appear a certain way. I told her I would love to wear what she was. She gave me this strange look and excused herself.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 2) 450 450

If you want to find someone who's going to climb the ladder and be successful, find one of the nicer dressed people. Not THE nicest dressed, he's trying to compensate for something. If you want to find someone who has skills that don't involve telling other people what to do, find the guy who is either not wearing clothes that are as nice, or looks like he doesn't quite belong in them.

Comment Re:Safety (Score 1) 63 63

MRI isn't the same thing as an inductive charger. The field is much stronger in an MRI scanner, and the main field is static. There are two dangers: having metal objects pulled by the strong static main field, and heating from the varying gradient fields during scanning. Non-ferrous metal generally isn't much of a problem, but if it's easy to remove you might as well. When I started doing MRI research we emptied our pockets but went into the scanner in our regular clothes, jean rivets, zippers, whatever. You'd suggest women might want to take off underwire bras, but it wasn't insisted upon. Regulation creep now means most centres insist on subjects being stripped down to scrubs. Most piercings, dental work, etc. are okay, unless they're near the area being imaged (they can distort the images).

Inductive chargers are lower field, oscillating, and tuned to match a specific receiver coil geometry. You're unlikely to get any significant power transfer to something random like a wedding ring. Especially since the receiver coil is likely much smaller than a finger; you wouldn't want to carry something that big attached to your cell phone.

Comment Re:When California wanted a lottery... (Score 1) 217 217

I didn't say you weren't a qualified teacher, I said you didn't include the costs for one. If you're happy working for free, I've got some stuff for you to do. If you don't need a qualified teacher to teach, you'd be happy with your kids going to a school and being taught by whatever homeless guy happened to be closest? There are quite a few of them, and they work cheap.

You're spectacularly failing to make your point then. You can't just say "hey, I bought $800 worth of books and taught my kids so public schools should be able to do the same!" Take that $800 and add the four hours a day of rent or mortgage/maintenance/taxes on your house, plus salary for yourself, plus insurance, plus a supplement for the extra costs to deal with special needs, and you'll start to get a more reasonable estimate. American public schools might be terribly inefficient, I don't know. But your accounting is pretty ridiculous.

We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge. -- John Naisbitt, Megatrends