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Comment: Re:Money well spent? (Score 3, Insightful) 167

by homunq (#30990092) Attached to: Military's Robotic Pack Mule Gets $32M Boost

Mules run on partly celulosic biofuels, which they convert directly into mechanical energy at the point it's needed. They include advanced elastic shock-absorbers which actually return energy for the power stroke. They have autonomous capabilities and vision systems that put any robot to shame.

Robotics is trying to imitate all of these aspects, and is probably making great strides. But if I want to carry something over a mountain pass, give me today's mule over the 8-years-from-now robotic mule any day. Wheels, propellors, jet engines, are a way to beat nature, because evolution isn't very good at those things. But four-legged travel has been optimized by nature (and slightly reoptimized by human breeding to carry burdens). You won't beat it with any foreseeable technology, and you won't make the unforeseeable come any faster with research in this area.

Comment: What about offline gmail? (Score 1) 139

by homunq (#30296992) Attached to: Google Abandoning Gears

Abandoning gears has been obvious for some time - for instance, there's no support in the linux version of Chrome. However, the question is, when willl existing google services based on Gears move to HTML5? The most important one of these being, of course, offline gmail. Google has demonstrated a mobile offline gmail prototype using HTML5 around the beginning of 2009, so the delay is hard to justify on a technical basis.

One wonders if they haven't made a policy decision not to support offline gmail - to force you to use the online, ad-containing version. If that is true, it would be yet another straw on the back of the "don't be evil" camel.

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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