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Comment: Re:Technical progress, but unfortunately... (Score 1) 98

by franois-do (#27464171) Attached to: MIT Building Batteries Using Viruses
Standard sized batteries are already on their way out. Manufacturer-specific rechargeables are the new standards.

Maybe... or maybe not. Progress is seldom linear, and tomorrow is not specially supposed to me just "more of today". It may on the contrary be very different, and even opposite to some respect (think of the automobile or computer products from 1950 to 1970 and try to extrapolate that to 2010, you get very strange results ;-)

The key to many things is scale economy. If you can offer the same service at 30% less manufacturing and storing cost by having 10x longer series, you win. By the way, this is what ensured success of the Ford T and the VW Bug at a time. The Renault/Dacia Logan seems to be a success too in Europe with its "non-nonsense" approach, as well as Netbooks have been in 2008. Future is almost never "more of the same thing". That is incidentally why the Wii was such a sucess too. See aloso this :'s%20Semico06%20Keynote%20Speech_FINAL06Mar06.pdf

... and extrapolate that to any other movement, like batteries :-)

Comment: As long as it is a beta, it will stay free... (Score 1) 194

by franois-do (#27454177) Attached to: Gmail Marks Five Years In Beta
... so I am not in a hurry for them to go to the finished product state, because perhaps it will stay free, and perhaps not; and in the latter case it will be a chore to get one's 7 GB of mail back to one's PC, especially if 10 million people are trying to do the same with theirs !

Or they might also say : it is free to stay on Gmail, but you will have to pay to get out ! :-D

Comment: Technical progress, but unfortunately... (Score 2, Interesting) 98

by franois-do (#27453203) Attached to: MIT Building Batteries Using Viruses
"will allow batteries (...) to 'take the shape of their container' rather than creating containers for the batteries"

Wonderful ! Now, instead of having some standard battery sizes (AA, AAA and so on), we are going tu have as many different shapes of batteries as there are products, not only between manufacturers but within the line of the same manufacturer (for the same reason that Gillette has 10 different shapes of blades, or than portables PCs have 200+ type of batteries, or that we hare 20 or so different AC/DC transformers at home), so you will have to buy every time a given manufacturer's battery and throw it away rather than reuse it on a later apparatus.

I am afraid that while technically we have a progress here, our production organization wil make it a regression; it something that happens from time to time.

The Internet

+ - YouTube down

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Wanna watch your favorite 80s video? Not this morning, as you'll only get "Http/1.1 Service Unavailable," at least on the East Coast of the United States.

And I really needed to see Reggatta de Blanc. . . ."

+ - An EEG-controlled robotic arm

Submitted by
Roland Piquepaille
Roland Piquepaille writes "Many researchers around the world have tried to build robotic devices able to help people with paralysis. Now, European researchers have developed a robot control system based on electroencephalogram (EEG). The patients using the Brain2Robot system might regain some of their lost autonomy. The users will control the robotic arm with their thoughts. To control the robotic arm, the Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) developed at one Fraunhofer Institute in Germany is combined with an eye tracker. The signals are sent to a computer which performs the main learning task. According to the researchers, the robotic arm could become commercially available in a few years. But read more for and to see additional references and details about the Brain2Robot system."

"Mr. Watson, come here, I want you." -- Alexander Graham Bell