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Comment: Re:It is Oettinger now. What did you expect? (Score 1) 44

by TheRaven64 (#49194929) Attached to: EU Free Data Roaming, Net Neutrality Plans In Jeopardy

There have been a few proposals recently to abolish SIMs. They were created back in the days of rented carphones so that people could move their phone number and contacts between phones easily. Now, they basically serve the same purpose as a WiFi password. It wouldn't be too difficult to provide the keying material in a QR code or similar so that when you get a new phone you just photograph it and have an app provide it to the baseband processor.

Carriers are very hostile to this, because if the SIM isn't a physical device there's no constraint on the number that can exist in one phone - you could easily have an app that would select the best rate from a dozen or so pre-pay virtual sims for whatever country you happened to be in.

Comment: Re:Simple Solution (Score 1) 71

by MightyMartian (#49193899) Attached to: Apple, Google, Bringing Low-Pay Support Employees In-House

I'm going to to be terribly pedantic here, but GST, like all VATs, does not work like that. It is not an expense (as in it does not effect profit and loss). Like all VATs, GST collected on sales is subtracted from GST spent on purchases, and if the remainder is positive, then you pay that to the government, and if it is negative the government sends you the difference. The point is to make a fairer sales tax, where goods and services are not taxed at multiple points. All these financial operations happen on the balance sheet as changes to assets and liabilities, and have nothing to do with expenses at all.

Comment: Oh Come On, it's a Press Release (Score 4, Insightful) 70

OK, no real technical data and some absurd claims here.

First all-digital transceiver? No. There have been others. Especially if you allow them to have a DAC and an ADC and no other components in the analog domain, but even without that, there are lots of IoT-class radios with direct-to-digital detectors and digital outputs directly to the antenna. You might have one in your car remote (mine is two-way).

And they have to use patented algorithms? Everybody else can get along with well-known technology old enough that any applicable patents are long expired.

It would be nicer if there was some information about what they are actually doing. If they really have patented it, there's no reason to hold back.

Comment: Re:I have said it before (Score 1) 358

by TheRaven64 (#49187757) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

Nuclear is expensive. Look at page 11.

Page 11 is talking about capital cost. The figure for nuclear is $7,591/kW, which is a lot more than some (although not the highest). But how does that work out over the lifetime of the plant? Assuming 100% uptime, that's 8,760kWh in the first year, so that's less than $0.90/kWh. If the plant is operating for 20 years, then that's around 4/kWh. Most nuclear plants are built with a 40-60 year expected lifespan, which makes the capital cost negligible over the lifetime of the plant.

The correct page to look at is Page 2, which gives the unsubsidised cost of electricity from all of the generating mechanisms. Nuclear is $124/MWh - that's lower than all of the other fuel sources in their 'conventional' bucket that have a little representative diamond listed (coal doesn't, and has a range that extends both above and below nuclear). Only Gas Combined Cycle is cheaper on average, and that's only when excluding most of the costs. Only utility-scale PV comes out cheaper overall, and you also need to add in storage costs if you want to use PV for a significant amount of grid supply.

Comment: Re:I have said it before (Score 1) 358

by TheRaven64 (#49187713) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

You're better off building a containment wall against flooding and keeping the reactor not too far above the water level.

That's fine too. The problem is building neither. The other problem is not fixing the design that was known to cause hydrogen build-up and explosions that breach containment in any problem scenario.

Comment: Re:Really? Come on now, you should know better. (Score 1) 343

by TheRaven64 (#49186783) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?
For every anecdote of a human taking over and saving the day, you can find a similar one of the human taking over and crashing. It mostly boils down to the amount of training that the pilot has had - and even the ones that end up crashing in situations where the automatic systems would probably have managed have had vastly more training than almost any driver on the road...

Comment: Re:If "yes," then it's not self-driving (Score 2) 343

by TheRaven64 (#49186769) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?
It's worth noting that there is one piece of automation in cars already that does give a different kind of driving license in a lot of places: automatic gear change. If you get a driving license in a car that has an automatic transmission then you can't drive manual cars with it, though the converse is allowed.

Comment: Re: Lots of weird crap coming out of Congress lat (Score 1) 453

by ShieldW0lf (#49185477) Attached to: White House Threatens Veto Over EPA "Secret Science" Bills

Sorry, you don't get to redefine science as "Something a scientist told me."

There is no shortage of people willing to make statements in the authoritative tone, and the stupid and undisciplined accept that as a way to avoid that uncomfortable feeling of uncertainty. I'm not among them, are you?

Comment: Re: Lots of weird crap coming out of Congress late (Score 1) 453

by ShieldW0lf (#49185381) Attached to: White House Threatens Veto Over EPA "Secret Science" Bills

If it's not transparent and reproducible, it's not a proposal based on science, but authority. It holds as much weight as a statement by the Flying Spagetti Monster.

If you want a faith based approach to law making, just be forthright about it. It's not like you're alone. But, please don't denigrate the scientific process by claiming that's not what's happening. People are thick enough already...

Comment: Re:But realistically... (Score 2) 424

What choice does Microsoft have at this point? If they simple cede the mobile market, they risk Google marching right up the middle with a series of devices that come to resemble a full computing platform. And that most certainly is Google's intent. That's why they're putting considerable resources into Google Docs; they want it to be good enough, and once it is good enough, then suddenly that Chromebook looks like a pretty decent competitor to a more expensive Windows laptop.

At the end of the day, Microsoft has to at least gain some market share or it will begin to see its most valuable market; Exchange-Office, begin to leak away.

How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 3: 1 to screw it in and 2 to say "I told you so" when it doesn't work.