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Comment: Sci-Fi is a good place to start (Score 1) 888

by depressedrobot (#46247529) Attached to: Star Trek Economics
I would not agree with everything he has said but I do think its a better way of looking at things that some of the recent discussions (recent as in the last 150 years or so). I wholeheartedly agree that looking to literature as a source for outside the box thinking with regards to economic models is a point worth studying. Being freed from the social conventions that we have grown up in and some of the historic context. For example I had never heard of gift economies or zero growth theories until I read the Red Mars Trilogy (wonderful books but so long and dense, that man can be a bit .... something, ever read The Years of Rice and Salt you know what I mean)

Comment: Solution for a non-problem (Score 1) 452

by depressedrobot (#44961329) Attached to: Undiscovered Country of HFT: FPGA JIT Ethernet Packet Assembly
Ok I can see it having implications in high speed control applications now that I think of it. Something like CERN, NIF or any space agency could use it. But we wont have any money to build anything because its more profitable to build shit like this to skim parts of pennies out of the jar than to actually build cool shit that needs FPGA controlled switches.

Comment: Really you need our money (Score 1) 60

Look at the people who are behind planetary resources: Chris Lewicki: President & Chief Engineer, Tom Jones: Advisor, Sara Seager, Larry Page , Eric Schmidt , James Cameron, Charles Simonyi, K. Ram Shriram , Ross Perot, Jr. I have a hard time giving money to millionaires and billionaires. Also I think that they are connected to Intellectual Ventures, one of the biggest IP trolls out there. Also if it finds a sold platinum asteroid for them to mine do we all get a share? Oh right that's just for the rich people. I totally approve of the idea, but I don't like the people doing it. Also some of these people don't have the best track record with open access.

Comment: Over automation causes stupid (Score 1) 397

by depressedrobot (#43814343) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Is the User Experience Too Good?
I worked making industrial control software for years. The system that we controlled was large and complex, lots of moving parts, hydraulics, pneumatics, tonnes of moving aluminum and steel tens of thousands of electrical connections and hundreds of sensors. We found that if we automated the process of setting up and running a test with this system the operators would ignore mechanical problems (worn break pads, low hydraulic fluid, bent aluminium) because they just saw the system as static and never changing, like a dvd player. Push button, make go. But if you prompted them for input that required looking at data and assessing how the system was performing they became more aware of problems, so they could be tweaked before things got so out of hand that parts started breaking.

Comment: Upgrades hurt small developers (Score 1) 953

by depressedrobot (#43520907) Attached to: Some Windows XP Users Can't Afford To Upgrade
This type of thing is not just a problem for Medical companies, but also Industrial control companies have issues with this too. Have you ever tried to find a ISA daq card and a Siemens motion controller from the late 80's or early 90s. Finding a P1 is hard, and the P1 is more expansive than an i3 (or even a i7 if you really need it now or want a new one) Updating the software to the latest hardware and software can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Usually requiring an on site visit to rural China or Germany's industrial heartland (or even worse Detroit) to install the new hardware and wire it in (some control cabinets require more than 10,000 terminations into the daq board). Who bears the cost of supporting the hardware? Is a small industrial automation firm supposed to tell customers that the software is only supported for 2-3 years, but the machine parts can last for 50? Who pays for a new 20 or 30 k software package every two years? Hell I know that my old employer probably pirated a million or more dollars in software just so that we had the ability to continue to support new hardware. If we had paid for both we would never have made it. Forcing people to upgrade on this timescale and with these prices will result in piracy. Big firms forget what its like to not have piles of cash.

"The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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