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Comment: No need for physical barriers (Score 1) 593

by craighansen (#48604141) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

Software could rate limit side-road detours, giving priority to (1) law-abiding drivers who follow speed limit regulations and come to a full-stop at stop signs or (2) drivers who pay a premium for the application or (3) click on high-value advertising. They could (4) abstain from sending drivers onto side-road detours during the specific times and areas that children are travelling to/from school (even (5) detecting this by use of commonly available cellphones for school-age children). Traffic that's at a complete standstill might be (6) targeted for high-value advertising, or even (7) offer a detour for a fee. Detours could be prioritized based on carbon or other pollution emissions - depending on whether one prefers (8) to incentivize low-carbon vehicles or (9) temporarily reduce emissions on those "spare the air days" by getting high-pollution vehicles to their destination more quickly.

If Google/Waze failed to create these modifications, they could be imposed by local or state legislation, and/or agreed to by a standards working group to encourage universal compliance. Legislators could even use "virtual HOT lanes" as funding sources, raising "sorely needed funding for high speed rail" or "community improvement projects."

Now who's being evil?

Comment: Re:Printing Bone (Score 1) 55

by craighansen (#48591837) Attached to: Doctors Replace Patient's Thoracic Vertebrae With 3D-Printed Replica

Think it will ever be possible to 3D print bone that has a genetic match for the person it was printed for? Kinda like in 5th Element, where the fluorescent green ooze made the bones of the supreme being.

It might be feasible to use bone granules as already used in bone grafts, along with some kind of glue matrix to hold it in place. What's not obvious is the choice of material for the glue matrix that is biocompatible with bone healing and providing sufficient material strength until replaced wih new bone growth. My understanding of the current state of the art involves splinting until the bone granules heal together, or, for example, using these bone granules in jawbone to build up bone prior to installing dental implants after the bone graft heals - in these cases, the bone isn't structurally sound until it heals. I personally had a surgeon graft bone material from my hip into my knee to repair a tibia plateau fracture, but that also included two three-inch screws to hold everything in place - and it took quite some time before the bone was full strength.

It'll be a long time before 3D printers place individual atoms/molecules in place to build material that's a genetic match while printing bone structure.

Comment: Re:Congress (Score 1) 116

This isn't the problem - detecting these asteriods is a pretty well-understood problem, and the B612 / Sentinel project has a good plan to complete it - but it's not being funded by the Government - it's being run by a non-profit organization. The law is essentially an "unfunded mandate," and I'd guess that there's no particular penalty for not complying with it. However, the Sentinel project likely needs about $30M/year, not $300k/year, but that's still much less than the $200M/year that this chap suggests that NASA would have to spend. I find the disparity pretty credible, as NASA has all the typical government red-tape and home-district stuff to deal with, where the Sentinel project is tightly focused on the objective.

Comment: Sentinel private program at fraction of NASA cost (Score 1) 116

The B612 / Sentinel program (see proposes to complete the asteroid survey mission at a total cost of under $500 million, and is currently collecting private donations to launch and complete the misson. This proposed cost is a tiny fraction of the $200 million per year that this MIT prof is suggesting is required.

So here's a no-brainer proposal - divert a fraction of the NASA mission cost so that the Sentinel mission can be completed without blowing a giant hole in NASA's bloated budget. The Sentinel mission isn't completely independent of NASA in any case, as it depends on usage of the NASA deep space communication network.

Unfortunately, NASA money would come with giant strings attached to it, and those strings would likely make the Sentinel mission get bloated up toward the NASA mission cost. The Sentinel program is proposing to control costs by for example, having a private company, Ball Aerospace, built the satellite in a manner that they already have expertise to complete. This isn't the way public programs get run - such as making sure it gets built in some powerful politician's home district or include some sexy new technology that will bloat the cost.

Economists state their GNP growth projections to the nearest tenth of a percentage point to prove they have a sense of humor. -- Edgar R. Fiedler