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Comment: Re:The US slides back to the caves (Score 1) 528

by bn557 (#47768971) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

The reason I've always heard is pure cost to convert. All the signs, all the cars, everything that uses distances (all the laws would have to be 'amended' to the new units), etc, etc. There is a LOT of infrastructure in the US. It's a physically large country. Even 'phasing' it in is a HUGE undertaking and would take years if not decades to complete.

I am 100% in support of us converting, but I'm glad I don't have to be one of the people that's going to coordinate the madhouse it's going to be when it's finally decided upon and started.

Comment: Re:Unsafe at any speed (above 100 MPH)... (Score 1) 443

by bn557 (#47436635) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

the difference is, it doesn't take the same energy. In the kinetic energy equation, look at the V^2 term. If you start at velocity X, and increase your speed A, your resultant velocity component will be (X + A)^2. Multiplying that out, you get X^2 +2AX + A^2. To go from 0 to 10 mph, you have to add 2 * 10 * 0 + 10 ^ 2 = 100 units (I don't remember the American unit applicable here). To go from 90 to 100, you have to add 2 * 10 * 90 + 10 ^ 2 = 1900 energy units. It takes 19x as much energy to increase speed 10 mph at 90mph IGNORING DRAG.

The X^2 gets ignored because we're only considering the amount of energy we have to ADD to go from X to X + A, and the KE at Vx will end up canceling out the X^2 in the resulting equation subtractions.

Comment: it is new... in a way. (Score 2, Informative) 111

by jhfry (#44569527) Attached to: Wireless Devices Go Battery-Free With New Communication Technique

Sure backscatter has been done... But it always used known frequencies as the signal source. This will pick up any ambient ref noise and use it to generate a new signal.

Essentially, you could embed a transmitter anywhere without concern for a power source (assuming there are other transmitters around).

Comment: Re:Hemos Says: "So Long, and Thanks For All The Fi (Score 1) 1521

by bn557 (#37222146) Attached to: Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot

Same happened to me :-/ I created an account in either late 98 or early 99 (too much happened in the last dozen years to be sure), forgot what my login/pwd were, so I recreated this one with my massive UID. It was still fun at the anniversary party to have a 'low uid' though. Lots of 7 digit UIDs in the Ann Arbor area.

Comment: Re:If I were to guess (Score 2, Insightful) 257

by bn557 (#33733114) Attached to: Seven Words You Can't Say On Google Instant

I'm guessing they have some algorithm that has blacklisted terms that the highest use patterns involve offensive material searches, regardless of the non offensive implications. Because they don't control their result ordering, these terms could provide offensive material in the future (or rather, are more likely to).

All said and done, put me down in the `meh, doesn't bother me` camp though. I still hit enter with this due to the momentary lag between when I finish typing and the results showing up (slow internet connection).

Comment: This is the definition of progress. (Score 1) 140

by jhfry (#32908868) Attached to: Sonic Skydive's Real Aim Is To Help Astronauts Survive

Just a few decades ago, and for thousands of years previous, there were very few great advancements that did not put someone's life in jeopardy. In my mind, that is where NASA went wrong.

I would wager we could build a space shuttle replacement for 1/10th the cost but with double of the failure rate and still have the best and brightest clamoring to get aboard!

Today, there are billions wasted and many opportunities to learn missed in an effort to prevent catastrophe. Though I understand the logic, I think that risk avoidance is what has brought so many exciting government, and private sector, programs to a slow crawl.

It wouldn't be difficult to find someone willing to travel to Mars on a low budget/high risk mission. Sure they may not come home, but they would go anyway. I'd bet you could find someone to take a one way flight to the outer solar system, just for the sake of exploration. A few hundred years ago, humanity had great respect for explorers and scientists who were willing to put their lives on the line for the sake of progress. How many discoveries were made when men and women risked, and often lost, their lives exploring uncharted territory, or trying risky experiments.

I applaud this effort and hope that people start realizing that there are 6 Billion people on this planet, one or two lives for the sake of progress is a small price... and one that would likely be paid willingly just to go down in history as "the first".

Any given program, when running, is obsolete.