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Comment: Re:speed is not really what they're lacking (Score 1) 202

but to a kid speed is all that matters. It is fast, are the explosions cool. The thing with a 3D printer is that the layers have to be laid accurately. I suspect any 3d printer can go fast if you leave accuracy. The same is true with inkjet, where my old $500 epson is not as fast as a $50 cannon, but it renders images better.

Comment: Re:Profit before subsidy? (Score 2) 245

by fermion (#47383981) Attached to: Tesla Aims For $30,000 Price, 2017 Launch For Model E
Many vehicles are subsidized. For instance, one reason there were so many Hummers on the road were because of the tax rules that applied to the purchase for business use. While passenger vehicles are depreciated at a normal rate, something like a Hummer can be depreciated much more quickly. And while something like and F350 is clearly a utilitarian vehicle, a Hummer is simply a loophole to have the taxpayer fund your luxury vehicle.

Comment: Re:First "OMG the common sense" post (Score 5, Insightful) 185

by fermion (#47377039) Attached to: Judge Frees "Cannibal Cop" Who Shared His Fantasies Online
It is because he was a cop. Recall that people have sent to jail for creating 'terrorist fantasies' because the FBI gave them the means and opportunity to carry out the fantasy. The courts do and have sent people to jail for fantasies. It is called conspiracy. In this case the fantasy targeted specific females, while the cop had means and opportunities to make those fantasies a reality. Remember that he went as far as using the police database to compile a list of real women he fantasized of eating, and was convicted for misuse of that database, so the fact this was moving out of fantasy has been proven. This is not a flight of reason. I am sure if a common person used a database to collect information on the judge or the judge's family and then wrote a detailed plan of how the family was to be murdered, we would not be getting of with a simple misuse of private information. This is clearly another case of no consequences for cops who break the law.

Comment: Re:Well, this sounds brilliant... (Score 1) 103

The advantage to the customer, I don't know. But it seems like a massive data leak waiting to happen. It would not seem difficult to transmit corporate information, in a way that the APP would just ignore, but so that someone standing outside of window could capture. Definitely, at this point, movie plot threat, but something to consider.

Comment: Re:And this surprises... who? (Score 1) 191

by fermion (#47364529) Attached to: 30% of Americans Aren't Ready For the Next Generation of Technology
Yes, most anyone over the age of 40. I know people in their mid 40s who can't figure out how to get a USB printer to work. OTOH, my mother who was born more than 20 years before the invention of the transistor had to learn to use to use a CRT terminal to look up information to help patrons, then a microcomputer, then had a computer in retirement for investments, email, and general web surfing. I think the difference is the expectation of education. If you just learn basic skills in high school, if you go to college just looking to get trained for a better job, then when new stuff comes around you aren't prepared to deal with it. There are people, however, who realize that during your high school years you can really learn general skills and processes, and in college you can use your core classes to learn to think deeply about things, and I think these people are the ones who can deal when something totally new comes along, with hardly blinking an eye. Of course some people have such skills more innately than others.

Comment: Worship at the Church of Wal-Mart! (Score 3, Funny) 1308

You can get 50% off all your groceries for a week! Faith holders earn points on every purchase that can be redeemed at any of our outlets in heaven! Switch your religion to Waltonism and start saving today!

(This offer does not apply to purchases of contraceptives.)

Comment: Re:They where acting like the cable co / CATV (Score 1) 93

by fermion (#47342097) Attached to: Bye Bye Aereo, For Now
So when you drive your car, you should have to pay for every toll road in the country, not just the toll roads you use?

Here is the difference between Aero and Cable, and the reason the so called loop hole is valid. Cable collects all the broadcasts signals and retransmitts all those signals along to all subscribers. The fee is the right to collect and retransmit en masse.

There is also and issue of the broadcasters use of the public airwaves. In exchange for this use, it is assumed that the tax payers of this country have access to free programing. Aero is a service that allows us to access that free content. Cable is a service where you buy access to content. Aero is a service where you specify a program to watch, or to record, and that one program is transmitted to you and only you. Cable is a service where all the programs are transmitted to you to be selected in immediate real time, even switch between channels, or channel in channel.

Here is an example, and everyone can decide if this is illegal. Tivo allows a broad range of remote capabilities. Suppose I opened a service in which I filled a warehouse with Tivos and antennas. End users would enter a contract where they would rent a Tivo and antenna. They would use the TIvo interface to control the content. I would have no control over what was being transmitted. Would that be illegal? What if I built a custom DVR and a custom interface? Would that be illegal? What if I used a Tivo and 'shared' each one so that six different users?

This is why the ruling is so bad. It reduces our rights to do as we wish with the content that we have given up bandwidth to receive. In excange for use of the the public airwaves, we have the right to free over the air content. That means content that we collect using an antenna and then consumer for personal use. We can record it to VCR, take that tape with us on a trip, and watch it elsewhere.

The only appropriate thing for the broadcasters to do in response to Aero, it they did not want aero to add a convince for users, is to stop using the public airwaves. Go 100% cable or stream over the internet. This is second major problem with the SCOTUS decision. If broadcasters cannot deal with Aero retransmitted a single show to a single user, and if they have become so dependent on cable, then clearly they are wasting bandwidth that could be used for other purposes. The best thing that could have happened to US, if the broadcasters are as inefficient as it seems, is that Aero put them out of business and then we would have all this bandwidth that can be sold to firms that can use it efficiently. All the SCOTUS has done is save the buggy whip industry.

+ - Watching All Three Transformers Films Simultaneously->

Submitted by bonch
bonch (38532) writes "Red Letter Media, home of the Plinkett Star Wars prequel reviews, sat down to watch the first three Transformers films at the same time. The films synced up several times (particularly the first two), from character introductions to action beats. However, the sheer chaos of the the third acts was like 'a noisy bar' that was impossible to process."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:waste of time (Score 4, Funny) 380

by MillionthMonkey (#47327273) Attached to: New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

Every car gets 0 miles to the gallon unnecessarily stopped at a light.

I'm wondering, instead of using red/green switches at intersections, maybe we can have the cars drive through diffraction plates set up around the intersection. Then the wavefunction of you and car can spread out into the intersection via diffraction and arrive randomly into one of several quantum states (outbound lanes) which head toward your destination. If we made cars and their drivers out of bosons instead of fermions, it might work. Only one fermion can occupy any given quantum state. So with fermionic cars, there's always a small probability of quantum entanglement within the intersection between you and some other guy trying to make a left.

Comment: Re:This means nothing without context (Score 0) 265

by fermion (#47324595) Attached to: Tech Workforce Diversity At Facebook Similar To Google And Yahoo
The skills argument is the traditional method used to segregate the workplace, college, whatever. When the pentagon said that women had to be allowed in combat, one thing that was stressed is they had to pass the tests. There was no admission that the tests were somewhat arbitrary, developed not on some absolute basis, but on a subjective set of requirements. It is like the old SAT. If the inner city kids were getting a question correct more than the northern prep school kids, then it probably was not a valid question, because who has the better education?

Really, what this boils down to is if diversity is, in itself, a benefit. Because of the way I was raised and educated, in a very diverse schools where actual skills, talent, and discipline were the primary method of selection, I think that diversity is a benefit. I understand that others do not. I understand that a private firm should be able to select the best workforce for it's situation, diverse or not.

But I also understand that for a long time, and sometimes even today, the white male is considered the bast choice if available. It is assumed that he will command respect, be at work everyday, and not get emotional or get in a fit because of 'oppression'. It could that this is best way to proceed. Or it could be that firms, if they had a employees with wider points of view, different experiences, they might be more successful.

One thing we have seen specifically with major firms like Google and MS is they tend to recruit from very specific schools. This is more a problem for me because this will invariable create an echo chamber and lead to problems we have seen at these firms in which consumer perception is often not considered because a distinct lack of diversity.

Comment: Re:apple homekit (Score 1) 88

Apple promotes Dropcam on it's website, the exact company that Google is going to buy. I don't know what homekit is going to be. Dropcam pretty much requires you to send your personal life to what soon will be Google. The lights require an hardware interface. Presumable Homekit will presumably intergrate the products, if the companies rewrite the software to Apple interfaces. Not to be cynical, but recall the number of Apple ideas that really have not panned out. For instance, I have almost no Apple ebooks.

The problem with google is that it makes most of it's money from advertising. It really has no hardware that is priced to sell, i.e. $1500 google glasses. Therefore one has to assume that at some point your personal home videos will be up for sale in some way. I am looking at y-cam and figuring out what their business model is. The only way to keep your private stuff private is to pay for it. Which is why dropcam was a good choice prior to the google purchase.

Comment: Re:Not a computing element (Score 1) 183

by fermion (#47307013) Attached to: How Vacuum Tubes, New Technology Might Save Moore's Law
So 25 years ago or so one of the researches in the lab I worked in was really into this. I think he came from ATT. Anyway, he wanted to put vacuum tubes on a substrate. He wanted to make microlevers and the like, the predecessor to what we now know as nano machines. The microlevers have happened, and we are getting some very tiny machines. The vacuum tubes are another story. From what I have seen recently, the Terahetz problem is solved or is pretty much solved. Labs across the country are working in the Terahertz range, and developing some interesting applications. Which is to say that vacuum tubes on a chip are possible, but it seems that it might a solution looking for a problem. As I said, researchers have been looking into this for a very long time. This could be the problem that it solves. The question is does it solve problems better than what is now conventional technology.

Comment: Re:"up to" $650 for a macbook air trade in? (Score 1) 365

This is they same kind of promotion that MS ran before. Give us your Apple, we will give you FMV for the product, and you can have a Surface. If you have a Macbook Air that is still running and is three years old, then this is not a bad deal. Otherwise it is FMV.

So this is a gimmick. The surface pro 3 i7 appears to be a $1500 machine, which is $100 more than the similiar Macbook Air. The cost of the MS license? In any case if they would give 30% of a Surface for any Mac Book Air, that would be a serious promotion. That would also get them converts. I am sure that are a lot of people out there who paid good money for a Macbook Air that died in less than two years(it has happened to me, but I expect it and just replace it with a new one). But others may be less tied to the product.

The thing about the surface is that is still where was where the Macbook was when it first came out. Relatively underpowered for the price. A very light laptop that runs Windows 8 well is $400. A Macbook Air that is going to run windows well is $900, unlike the $1000 Surface.

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