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Comment: Wrong reason ... (Score 1) 536

I am no fan of Perl, but if you have an application that is mission critical, has lots of legacy code, and just works, then you do not go about rewriting it just because there is some dislike for the language.

If it was something related, such as difficulty of finding suitable candidates for developer positions, then I would understand. But just because "perl is ossifying" does not cut it as a valid reason.

Comment: Re:Awesome! (Score 1) 276

by MrNaz (#47314403) Attached to: Federal Judge Rules US No-fly List Violates Constitution

Actually, this is also incorrect. They do not decide what the law means, there is no decision involved. They attempt, to the most exactingly precise level possible, to determine what congress intended when the law was enacted. It is rare indeed that a law is so vague that it's intent cannot be determined with a reasonable amount of clarity.

Or, should I say, it used to be rare...

Comment: Re:Deja vu (Score 1) 311

by MrNaz (#47135925) Attached to: Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production

Glass (and obsidian for that matter) are crystalline in structure, making them hard and brittle. Exactly what you do not want in a road surface. Rock on the other hand is usually an amalgam of several materials, meaning that it can be scraped and chipped, but is less likely to develop cracks that propagate. Using regular ordinary gravel in asphalt also means that the rock pieces are not subject to localized large forces, as the exposed surfaces of the gravel stones flex away thanks to the bitumen. The twin properties of flexibility and a hard wearing surface are what make asphalt able to stand up to being hit with tonnes of force hundreds of thousands of times a year and still last decades between having to be relaid.

I agree that it's probably not the case that we can't do better, but the question is about current materials technology and economic viability. Could we do better if we spent $1m per square meter of road surface? Possibly, with those newly emerging exotic resins and fibers. Would a $1m/sqm price tag mean that the project has any chance of success? No.

Comment: Re:Deja vu (Score 1) 311

by MrNaz (#47135739) Attached to: Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production

When I said "solid bitumen", I was referring to traditional road materials, and not a bitumen only tarpit. Sorry for not being specific.

Also, "durable" is a relative term. We're talking about roads. Solar panels are durable when compared to, say, laptop screens. They are not durable in the context of road surfaces. Yes, there are amazing glass types around today, but once again, in the context of road surfaces, I don't think glass is, or could ever be, an appropriate material.

Bitumen+gravel is used because the stone gravel provides excellent wear resistance while the bitumen holds it in a flexible and self-healing suspension. It is still the best road surface material we have by a country mile.

Comment: Re:Deja vu (Score 4, Insightful) 311

by MrNaz (#47135687) Attached to: Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production

You missed the whole point of durability that I mentioned.

In Thailand, many of the roads in the southern areas use glass balls as lane markers. They don't get driven over unless a wheel is in on the lane marker, hence, only a small fraction of the actual traffic. Nonetheless, it is plainly obvious that they just don't last. They are chipped and damaged to the point that they don't fulfill their function.

Roads are possibly the most abused surface mankind makes. No type of glass that we have access to could ever stand up to long term road wear. It's just not possible with today's tech. I really think that this is a grant scam, which is unfortunate, because the politicians being scammed will be less favourable to green projects the next time a real idea comes around.

Comment: Re:Internet of Things isn't (Score 1) 76

by MrNaz (#47135579) Attached to: Tiniest Linux COM Yet?

What if the toaster was free, so long as you had to deal with a screen on the side with speakers that played ads with sound while it toasted your bread? Sure, *you* wouldn't willingly buy it, and *I* wouldn't willingly buy it, but if enough of the market did, we may end up with that being the business model for toasters and nothing else being available.

Google, Facebook and and their ilk are doing that exact thing. Their services are all free* (as in getting raped at the train station after dark).

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys