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Comment: Re:Range? (Score 1) 52

by dr.newton (#47786833) Attached to: Google Testing Drone Delivery System: 'Project Wing'

A 5-foot wingspan on a quad allows for huge props. That can lead to very long flight times with a well-engineered drone.

My 3DRobotics Y6 can do 90km/h, even if only for 8 minutes on one battery. That's a range of 6km, including return flight. Range would be higher at a lower speed, as it's more efficient, although I haven't had the balls to send the drone that far away from me in flight to test it. I'd guess I could do 10km out and 10km back on a $75 battery if I had the nerve to lose sight of my baby for that long.

See http://diydrones.com/profiles/... . These guys hope for a 1-hour flight time out of a quad with 27"-29" props on a 12kg (26lb.) drone. That's a range of 25km out and 25km back at a speed of 50km/h, which is not that fast. They've done some math that leads me to believe they are at least in the ballpark. And these guys are hobbyists.

Not such a stretch to think a company like Google could cover some good distance with a quadcopter of 9kg (19lbs.). 16km (10mi), as you say, is definitely achievable with current technology, and battery technology is due for a drastic improvement, with all the resources being put into it by different universities and companies.

Comment: Mechanical muscles vs. mechanical minds (Score 1) 304

by dr.newton (#47679549) Attached to: Humans Need Not Apply: a Video About the Robot Revolution and Jobs

That distinction reminded me of the Butlerian Jihad from Dune. The backlash against thinking machines caused humanity to destroy them and forbid their creation.

I always wondered how you draw the line between the two. Seems like the video is no advocating drawing a line at all, but instead just accepting that this will happen and planning for it, because "economics always wins".

Hard to argue with the prediction that most humans will be unemployable at some point in the future.


+ - Android 4.0 confirmed for Gingerbread devices->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google's own Gabe Cohen and Matias Duarte have both confirmed that Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is coming to the Nexus S, Nexus One, and most Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) devices. It's now a question of when that will happen. As many Android device owners know, Google releasing a new version of the OS doesn't mean you'll get it soon on your device. It can takes weeks or even months to filter down."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:This judge mostly gets it (Score 2) 173

by dr.newton (#36845038) Attached to: Google: Sun Offered To License Java For $100M

Agreed! I was surprised to see that the judge used those words, as I thought the question to be answered by a Sun employee not on Oracle's payroll was not "is fragmentation bad?", but rather "did Android fragment Java?"

From earlier in TFA:

Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's former CEO...testified that Android did not fragment the Java platform.

Comment: Re:Build a mouse brain first. (Score 1) 116

by dr.newton (#36684136) Attached to: A Million Node Supercomputer

Even if they fail to produce anything interesting, that in itself will be an interesting result.

There are likely a number of assumptions about intelligence as an emergent behaviour of non-quantum physical phenomena that could be invalidated by the failure of this experiment.

"Brains can't work according to such-and-such a principle, because if that were true, Furber would've succeeded."

Comment: Re:Evil overlord's minions demand more evil. (Score 1) 580

by dr.newton (#36388266) Attached to: Silverlight Developers Rally Against Windows 8

Built-in adaptive bitrate streaming probably made their lives a lot easier when developing a client. That's why so much video delivery is done through Silverlight - it's either that, HLS, or WebM.

However, it looks like HLS is the way of the future. Used (and developed?) mostly by Apple until recently, it's got some advantages (uses HTTP, so benefits from existing caching solutions and is accessible through firewalls), and Google supports it in Android 3.0 and later. Other companies that need to do over-the-top video delivery are also jumping on the bandwagon.

It looks like MS sees the writing on the wall.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.