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Comment In car navitagion is done better elsewhere (Score 1) 417

Like everyone else, I think the in-car navigation is done better by anyone else. Tom-toms, Garmins, or in my case, Waze on my phone.

What if the in-car entertainment system had a set of APIs that could be controlled by an external device like a phone? That external device could then have a variety of different apps that could use the APIs, even set up several competing apps to take advantage of them. If car companies write off the tiny incremental income from the people who use the services, or even offset it by having their own branded apps cost money, perhaps they could concentrate on making those APIs secure and decrease the impact of successful hacks?

A car company that was able to do that successfully would have quite a selling point to people who were in BYOD and security.

Comment Re:As much as possible (Score 1) 350

In windows multiple desktops was always a nuisance

If you're referring to what I think you are, have you checked out VirtuaWin? It's not perfect (specifically with PowerPoint -- don't leave it open in one desktop and open an existing document in another -- all other apps I've used have worked well), but it's a fine product with excellent utility.

Comment Distributed environment? (Score 1) 76

Every now and again, we read about some average Joe who discovers a new object. If I could cough up $300 and have my computer watch my telescope every night, all night, and compare objects to known objects, I'd do it. If there were 1,000 systems throughout the US, 10,000 throughout the world with cheap $300 telescopes, I would think there would be some progress toward making sure big objects were seen.

I understand that big, fancy telescopes with top of the line imaging is where all the deep space science is done, and I know that cheap $300 telescopes won't see any new planets, stars or exoplanets. I'm just thinking that a distributed network wouldn't have cloudy nights and could classify the night sky in near real time.

Comment Re:Cell (Score 1) 338

That core was basically the Intel Atom of PowerPC architectures.

I agree with all of your sentiment, and most of your statements, but this one I have trouble with. Atom is basically an original Pentium, slightly modernized. To get that out of PowerPC, you'd need to start with a 603 or so, and bring it into a 2005 age. 603 migrated to 750 and 7400. But since the 7400 was essentially a 750 with a vector unit taped to the side, the 750 would suffice as an Atom-esque core. The die size of the 750 class machines in 90nm supports this.

The PowerPC core in the PS3 and 360 was derived from Power4, a server class processor, with bunches of stuff taken out and re-pipelined. The core was made in-order, the pipeline was brought down to allow the frequency to be amped up. The area of the PowerPC core in the Cell is about the same as the entire die (core and cache) of a 750 in the same 90nm technology.

Comment Re:Honestly, rifles are not the problem (Score 4, Insightful) 651

Pistols are also the best self-defence weapon

Dogs are the best self-defence weapon. Their barking scares away countless intruders. They're armed even when you're not home. THEY GO AROUND CORNERS. They can be recalled, do not kill instantly, and can quickly recognize friends by smell.

20 years ago, my dad and I came home from a camping trip a day early, but late at night. If my mom had been armed, she would have shot at both of us. Instead, the dog woofed to wake her up and then went to go greet us.

Comment Re:the joker in the formula (Score 1) 686

You are ignoring the fact that it seems like one highly intelligent and technology-developing species could probably not evolve in coexistence with another one on the same planet, at some point one would win and kill off the other one.

I'm sure it's been proposed/discussed many times before, but I don't know if this concept has an "official" name or not.

Comment Re:Progenitors? (Score 4, Interesting) 686

Directionality is a mostly irrelevant consideration.

The fact that an antenna is 9db or 30db higher in one direction quickly becomes irrelevant with the vast distances of space. Antennas don't work like flashlights. They are more like a light bulb with a two-way mirror on one side that reflects 50% of the light and lets 50% of it through out the back. At VHF and above, things like mountains act like mirrors that reflect signals straight up (among other directions), as well.

You are somewhat wrong about AM... at least broadcast band AM is mostly only directional in the sense that there's dead zones straight off the ends of the dipole. They are shooting quite a bit of signal upward. Our ionosphere does strongly reflect and attenuate what would make it out to space in those bands though.

This goes toward your comment about the 50s and 60s... we have far more powerful transmitters in operation now (some VHF TV the better part of 1 megawatt!), and in bands that aren't reflected by the ionosphere. If anything we are getting louder and louder.

Unfortunately the first thing they might see of humanity is free-to-air broadcast TV, and just assume that we are all complete idiots.

You've been Berkeley'ed!