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Comment: Damn (Score 2) 63

by pushing-robot (#48627055) Attached to: After 40 Years As a Double Amputee, Man Gains Two Bionic Arms

Nothing like a reminder that you live in the future.

I know we've been talking about biomechatronics for decades, but Moore's Law and developments in nanomaterials are making things possible that were the stuff of science fiction just a few years ago. Simply put, we're starting to build amazingly large numbers of amazingly complex structures at amazingly small scales out of amazing materials, amazingly cheap.

Mind you, that's not new either; biology has been doing that for eons. Yet being able to manufacture it, to mass-produce biological or biocompatible materials like BCIs and prosthetic organs, is a remarkable and wholly new development. I fully expect the next half century will see a medical revolution that rivals the computer revolution of the last.

Comment: Blah blah DRM blah blah (Score 4, Insightful) 146

by pushing-robot (#48625405) Attached to: To Fight Currency Mismatches, Steam Adding Region Locking to PC Games

You can still buy a game in one location and play it in another, you just can't gift it to someone else's account in another region.

I'm okay with that; despite what some people here will argue (free market blah blah) I'd sooner see purchase restrictions like this than expect people in poor countries to pay a week's wages for a game or movie or album.

As long as they don't start making content only available in certain regions, they're making the best of a bad situation.

Comment: Re:Long story short (ad-less) (Score 1) 165

by MightyYar (#48620519) Attached to: Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

I'm thinking (hoping?) that normal disk caching would take care of stuff like that. Honestly, I'd just use the supported method unless your SSD was very, very tiny. I use the junction point method because I wipe out the C: drive from time to time to avoid Windows cruft. Every so often I apply Windows updates and re-baseline.

Comment: Fixed capacity (Score 1) 81

by pavon (#48619357) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

One important point that others above have alluded to but haven't outright stated:

While the exponential scaling of rocket equation is an important limiting issue when building larger and larger rockets, for any given rocket (or rocket configuration) the payload capacity is fixed. If you have a payload that is too large for a Falcon 1Pegasus, but doesn't need the full capacity of a Falcon 9, all that extra capacity goes to waste. It costs essentially the same amount to launch a Falcon 9 at 60% capacity as it does to launch it at 90% capacity. You can share payload with multiple customers, but that limits which orbits they can use.

Space X can calculate how much weight the recovery system and fuel requires and how much money they can save by reusing the first stage, and give a discount to customers who give up that additional payload capacity. If there is a market for those lower cost launches, then great. If not, then keep treating the 1st stage as disposable.

Comment: Re:Long story short (ad-less) (Score 2) 165

by MightyYar (#48619169) Attached to: Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

Windows is a pain in the ass, but with some determination you can set everything up on the SSD and then use "junction points" from the rescue disk to connect to a Users directory on a big spinning drive. If you are willing to get about 90% of the way there with just conventional tools, you can just move the "My Documents, My Music, etc." type directories by right-clicking on them, selecting Properties, and then going to the Location tab. From there you can move them to the spinning disk. This is fine if you only have a few users on the PC, but can get very tedious with multiple users.

Comment: Re:Hmm (Score 2) 81

by pavon (#48618231) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

Running a business like this takes a lot of work, and for it to succeed well enough to actually get working rockets off the ground you need to attract top-notch engineers who believe that working for you isn't just a waste of their time (more than a billionaire's plaything), and management that can create the right environment for them to succeed without blowing through your money for nothing. It is much less expensive, less risky and less time consuming to just pay Russia for a thrill ride than to create your own rocket company. So I can understand why most would choose to go that route, and leave the latter for those who genuinely want to shake up the market.

Comment: Re:it can be air filled (Score 2) 195

by pavon (#48617897) Attached to: NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

That said, the total payload mass that the ship could support is roughly the same whether it is inside the airship or outside in a gondola, and the more space you want to make available for use, the more mass you would have to dedicate to structure rather than payload. So it would be less cramped than a tiny capsule, but you would still need large expanses of mostly empty space to provide the needed buoyancy.

In practice, it might be better to have a balloon filled with a less dense gas to decrease the total volume needed to support the desired payload, and then have an attached air-filled "gondola" that is nearly as large as the balloon.

Comment: Re:Frustration over being public? (Score 1) 593

by MightyYar (#48606743) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

Um, you have it backwards. Assad was the first Arab to sign a peace deal with Israel, and he was such a reliable ally of the US that he was allowed to build M1A1 tanks domestically. Gaddafi was a state sponsor of terrorism who was a total belligerent until Reagan ordered a bombing run.

But it matters not. When the revolution comes, we shall flee to the safe haven of Russia. Brother Putin will let us stay at his airport. I plan on taking a nuclear sub with me. It will be awkward to store at the airport, but the plan must be held.

Comment: Re:That's what's happening around DC. (Score 1) 593

by MightyYar (#48604523) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

Ethics is an interesting discussion. The road is a finite resource for which demand exceeds supply. As a result, there is already rationing taking place - in the form of waits times to use the road: congestion. This is, on the surface, very "fair" and "egalitarian", but also very wasteful of time, gasoline, pollution, and wear-and-tear on equipment.

On the other hand, a system that lets poor people get where they want to go, albeit by bus, faster and more cheaply than before also could be deemed "fair". You'd have only affluent people driving, so that would create a societal divide.

I guess my answer is: I don't know.

Sentient plasmoids are a gas.