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Businesses

Amazon's 3D Smartphone As a (Useful) Gimmick 68

Posted by timothy
from the will-it-play-holochess? dept.
Steve Patterson (2850575) writes It's rumored that Amazon will launch its own 3D smartphone on June 18. While it may be compelling, a sexy 3D feature won't catapult Amazon into the lead of the cut-throat smartphone category. If this were true, the EVO 3D, introduced two years ago by HTC and the W960, introduced by Samsung four years ago, would have been top sellers rather than niche products. However, a smartphone that renders 3D images does present an internet retailing opportunity for Amazon. It would be useful to Amazon in selling tangible consumer merchandise, just like Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet was designed to improve Amazon's merchandising of ebooks and video streaming products. What else would you like to use a 3D phone for?
Space

Civilians Try to Lure an Abandoned NASA Spacecraft Back to Earth 53

Posted by timothy
from the tractor-beams-are-the-missing-link dept.
A New York Times piece (as carried by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) outlines a fascinating project operating in unlikely circumstances for a quixotic goal. They want to control, and return to earth, the International Sun-Earth Explorer-3, launched in 1978 but which "appears to be in good working order." Engineer Dennis Wingo, along with like minded folks (of whom he says "We call ourselves techno-archaeologists") has established a business called Skycorp that "has its offices in the McDonald's that used to serve the Navy's Moffett air station, 15 minutes northwest of San Jose, Calif. After the base closed, NASA converted it to a research campus for small technology companies, academia and nonprofits. ... The race to revive the craft, ISEE-3, began in earnest in April. At the end of May, using the Arecibo Observatory radio telescope in Puerto Rico, the team succeeded in talking to the spacecraft, a moment Mr. Wingo described as "way cool." This made Skycorp the first private organization to command a spacecraft outside Earth orbit, he said. The most disheartening part: "No one has the full operating manual anymore, and the fragments are sometimes contradictory." The most exciting? "Despite the obstacles, progress has been steady, and Mr. Wingo said the team should be ready to fire the engines within weeks."

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 224

by Bruce Perens (#47232659) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions
It actually is a bit different for the Republicans, in that they are caught in an internal party schism of a scale we've not seen on either side since desegregation, if even then. It's difficult for the less right to look good to the more right, undirected pushing against the Democrats is one of the few ways they have to do it.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 224

by Bruce Perens (#47232465) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions

Do not forget that ObamaCare was rammed through without a single Republican vote in the House or Senate.

It's the unfortunate case that Republicans don't generally support Democratic bills. Witness the recent student loan bill. There is not much question that a better educated populance means a better economy and a stronger nation. It's a truism that we could just pay for college education in a number of fields and reap economic benefits of many times the spending. Indeed, we used to do more of that and the country was stronger when we did.

Comment: Re:I really dig the Obamacare comments Bruce made (Score 1) 224

by Bruce Perens (#47231747) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions

You meant "you wouldn't approve" rather than "you wouldn't understand".

Positioned correctly, it isn't all that socially reprehensible to state the sentiment that you don't believe you should pay for people who drive their motorcycle without helmets, people who self-administer addictive and destructive drugs, people who engage in unprotected sex with prostitutes or unprotected casual sex with strangers, and people who go climbing without using all of the safety equipment they could.

You don't really even need to get into whether you hold human life sacred, etc., to get that argument across. It's mostly just an economic argument, you believe yourself to be sensible and don't want to pay for people who aren't.

The ironic thing about this is that it translates to "I don't want to pay for the self-inflicted downfall of the people who exercise the libertarian rights I deeply believe they should have."

OK, not a bad position as far as it goes. Now, tell me how we should judge each case, once these people present themselves for medical care, and what we should do if they don't meet the standard.

Comment: Re:citation needed (Score 1) 224

by Bruce Perens (#47227663) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions

Citation needed.

I just looked for a minute and found This NIMH study. If you look at the percentages per year they are astonishingly high. 9% of people in any particular year just for mood disorders, and that's just the first on the list. Then they go down the list of other disorders. The implication is that everyone suffers some incident of mental illness in their lives. And given the number of psychiatrists, psychologists, and lay practitioners in practice, it seems like much of the population try to get help at times, if only from their priest or school guidance counselor.

You are not a rock. Can you honestly tell me that you haven't ever suffeed a moment of irrationality?

Comment: Re:I really dig the Obamacare comments Bruce made (Score 2) 224

by Bruce Perens (#47227629) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions

Yes, seeing a doctor really is a human right.

Does that mean we should bear the burden of your bad lifestyle choices? Well, we do today. Either those folks are in our emergency rooms, or they are lying on our streets. Either way, we all pay a cost.

It's not clear to me what you propose to do with them. Perhaps you should explain that a bit more clearly.

Comment: AC, please stop trumpeting fake studies (Score 1) 224

by Bruce Perens (#47227611) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions

Hi AC

One would hope that a real scientific study would shed light on the situation. Unfortunately, this isn't it. It's a paper published by a Harvard student club and written by a gun industry lobbyist and a gun enthusiast. No balanced perspective that could lead to a real scientific paper here. The first refutation I found of the paper is certainly not peer reviewed and published in a scientific journal either, but makes a pretty good case that the statistics are cooked. It's here.

Please find a real scientific paper from a researcher without bias and then we can discuss it. This one doesn't quite meet the standard.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 224

by Bruce Perens (#47227451) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions

Actually, we would have had a much less expensive plan, but we couldn't get it by the conservatives. It's called single-payer, and I've used it in Canada. It has also been available to me in a dozen other countries that I've worked in, but fortunately I never needed it there. It works pretty well. So well indeed that most civilized countries have it.

I'm sorry that you didn't understand my presentation. Or that you understood it and can't accept it. I've thought about it for a very long time and I'm pretty sure of it.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 2) 224

by Bruce Perens (#47224891) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions

I think you have to look at where the funding comes from for Republican and conservative causes. Don't just look at candidate funding, even election advertising has a lot of funding that isn't straight to the candidate.

Although there might be no shortage of self-employed Republicans, they don't really call the shots for the party. It's the very deep pockets who do.

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