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Comment Re:Too much weight (Score 1) 89

Humans need a pressurised environment and a continuous supply of oxygen/food/water, and generally prefer to be returned to earth at some point.
Robots need none of this so can be sent with a lot less mass (cost) and dont need resupply or recovery. So even if they are less capable than humans, you can send more of them for the same cost and they can stay a lot longer.

Comment Pointless in Vegas (Score 5, Insightful) 597

Las Vegas has made card-counting a non-factor. Between high deck-count shoes, variant games with unfavorable rules ("Super Fun 21"), and early shuffle thresholds, even a player keeping a perfect count cannot create a significant edge. And the million people who show up to try their hand at it and fail far make up for the cost of the few who can eek something out anyway.

Comment Re:Presumably (Score 1) 250

Of course, Linux is not free either, unless the only cost you consider his original purchase price.

That's pretty much what I'm considering, here.

If your time is truly valuable, so that you can do other things besides futzing with your computer, get yourself a Mac.

I spent far more time futzing with my Mac to get it working the way I like than I do with KDE. And it still wasn't anywhere close to what I'm used to.

On the other hand, if you enjoy surfing the web for hours, trying to find that driver that will work under Linux, for that new really nice scanner with all those bells and whistles, then that is another story isn't it?

Where to begin?

  • I can't remember the last time I've used a scanner.
  • Digital cameras work fine. "Out-of-the-box" fine.
  • I've had exactly one Linux driver issue with this computer, and easily ten or more Windows driver issues.

Your stereotype isn't entirely unfounded, but it's getting a bit old and often dead wrong.

Regardless, I think the point stands. If I had a Linux computer -- or BSD, or Solaris, or Plan9, or Haiku, or OS 9, or Win2k, or anything except OS X or Windows XP+ -- then iTunes is not free, it's an expensive upgrade.

So, where'd your "it's free" argument go? You instead dropped to, "Oh, well, nothing's free." I think you've made my point for me.

Comment What else can we put in the tank? (Score 1) 188

Seems every week we have a new fuel to run our cars on that do 3x-5x better MPG than standard gasoline. Hmm...Seems this has been a long time coming and it will still be a long time coming because I do not see big oil stepping down anytime soon. These articles are a nice "pie in the sky" to think about how great it would be if we could really get 150 MPG and have to fill up once a month, but if you do the math, that means a gallon of whatever we run our cars on would be about $10 a gallon. Sure it's green, but green's gotta turn a profit too.

Comment The bottom of a well is no place to start a farm (Score 3, Insightful) 917

1. Professor Stephen Hawking is probably right, we do need to get off this rock, sooner rather than later. "It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species"

2. We evolved to survive on an unguided mudball, third rock out from a slightly variable star; we haven't found the thermostat yet. Sooner or later, our luck will run out, one natural extinction level event and it's game over.

3. It's worth boldly going somewhere that will probably kill you, if and only if, there is a damn good reason to be bold.

4. Our current space drive technology consists of throwing stuff as hard as we can in one direction so we get a bit of usable thrust in another. It's a losing game, a pathetically inadequate method, compared to our needs and dreams.

5. Mars has a deep gravity well, with an unbreathable, and (worse) unflyable atmosphere. We have no known scientific or commercial reason to go there, or means of survival if we did.

6. Robots are expendable, cheap to make, specialized, and inexpensive to remotely control, even in space. Humans, are expendable, cheap to make, generally useful, but ridiculously expensive to operate, especially in space.

7. Robot probes in space, historically have produced vastly more science per dollar expended, than humans. We should boldly go somewhere when we intend to colonize, not to send back wish you were here postcards... 8. To colonize, there must exist usable resources, in vast and accessible quantities, easy pickings. At minimum we will need Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen (CHON), plus metals, trace elements and usable energy. There must be shielding from radiation and the other obvious space hazards. Such resources do in fact exist in limitless abundance, in open space, as the larger comets and asteroids. The orbital vectors and masses (that we know about) are currently a little inconvenient.


a. We (Humans) need to invest heavily in science and engineering that may lead to much better space propulsion, techniques for mining and commercial and civic use of such open space accessible resources.

b. We need to develop much better remote probe and manipulation technology, so the robots can investigate anywhere we want, and possibly alter the orbits of low mass, high value objects, as cheaply as possible.

c. We need to develop space habitats, on comets and asteroids, to exploit their resources as a long term (effectively infinite) space habitat.

d. Our most likely cause of extinction as a species is our non-existent space colonization strategy. We are led by a clueless collection of dumbass politicians who cannot see beyond Buck Rogers pointy spaceship sci-fi and (much more importantly) their own short term military and pork barrel political aims. There is no coherent, international, long term, human survival and colonization oriented strategy.

e. When some damn big rock arrives at 5 miles per second, we are all going to look equally stupid and just as extinct; fossilized human politicians will look almost identical, as the "intelligent" humans remains.

Comment Re:Ridiculous (Score 1) 370

One nice thing about short term profit is that it's relatively low risk. You have enough data to reliably predict what will profit you short term.

Let's say you make a 5-10 year plan for your business that involves securing extra amounts of resource X. Next year the market changes, making resource X worthless and obviating your need. Investment wasted.

There is such a thing as overthinking. Assuming a properly freed market: any company in business has survived the environment, putting it's past decisions beyond the critique of armchair quarterbacks. Companies that think too short term or too long term get splatted against the windshield of change. However, unfortunately the market is not entirely free and we wind up with system abusers, monopolies, oligopolies which shelter many stockholders from the consequences of their own decisions.

In short, it's no more meaningful to scowl at the thought process of a generalized CEO or corporation than it is to be annoyed with the thought process of a wild animal. If you feel like you and they don't get along, work to craft the environment to foster cooperation instead.

Comment Re:Stay Away. (Score 1) 95

The controls weren't really that much of a problem for Goldeneye because the pace of the game was such that you didn't need the kind of responsiveness that a mouse/keyboard offered. e.g. sniping - you could still pick off a sizable bunch of guards from miles away (with indecent haste)

The other weakness as compared to pc lan offerings was that you could see what the opponent was up to, on their half of the screen - but this was never too much of an advantage - and using it was very much a part of the game

Imho it would be pretty hard to overestimate the significance of the game. everything was so balanced and well thought out that the player had scope to be as fiendish or clever as they like.

For the joy of proximity mines alone it deserves to be remembered.

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