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Comment Comprehensible User Interface (Score 1) 491

The user interface on computers, tablets and phones have continued to "evolve" beyond comprehensibility. Constantly changing the interface does not make it better only different and in many ways worse. Hiding menus and requiring several different ways to access settings makes for a very poor user experience. The Apple clean look, Androids and windows attempt to replicate it just shows that the programmers know nothing about human factors and interface design. It should be obvious how to do something not hidden. Searching for how to open a menu is not fun its a pain in the ass. It should be easy to turn off annoying garbage functions not take 15 minutes of internet searching to learn the secret handshake of the month.

Comment Fuel cost is not the issue its the rocket (Score 2) 151

Fuel is a small cost of a space launch. Only about $250,000 per low earth orbit launch is fuel. The big cost of space flight is the throw away rockets. Going to extreme measures to save fuel is not a wise use of resources. With the boost capability of the Falcon 9 it would take maybe 100 flights to carry the amount of fuel and resources needed for a flight to Mars and back. Assuming 100% reusability the cost to carry the fuel to orbit is only $25million. Developing and building a refueling station on the moon and manning it would probably cost many billions of dollars. Spending billions to save millions does not make much sense. The thing that will make space travel cost reasonable is getting to that 100% reusability and long operating life. A rocket with 120 flights to orbit would only have 40 hours of run time on it. Current Jet engines can run for thousands of hours between rebuilds. The Air frame can go much longer than that. Once we get rockets and engines with those same types of run times and perfect vertical return landings flying to space will not cost much more than the fuel and it is cheap.

Comment Body Armor and Fire only after fired upon (Score 1) 712

2 Simple rule changes. All officers must wear body armor. No officer may initiate force greater than used against them. In other words. You may not touch someone until touched. You may not hit someone unless hit. You may not fire on someone unless fired upon. There were 126 officers killed in 2014 and police killed 1107 people. So who is really at risk here. We the people suffer much more harm from the cops than the cops do from us. A significant number of the police deaths could have been prevented if they had worn body armor. Proper armor would reduce the need to "protect themselves" by killing a kid with a pellet gun. Yes these rules would make policing more difficult. Instead of killing people shoot/spray/dust them with tracking aids. Then chase them slowly relentlessly until they give up or become aggressive and force must be used. The idea is to train the cops to talk people into giving up peacefully instead of needing to resort to violence. If the cops knew they could not push people around the job would not appeal to the wrong kind of people. Probably not a workable idea but it would be nice to try.

Comment Remarkable Number? How many is a remarkable number (Score 1) 367

It's not remarkable at all. People believe professional wrestling is real, homeopathy is real, ghosts, devils and gods are real. So what makes belief in a well made movie depicting mostly good science less believable than all that other hogwash. People are programmed to believe. Being skeptical is hard and a vastly smaller number of people ever question anything they are told or shown even if it not presented as the truth.

Comment Strength of tape and plastic sheet (Score 3, Interesting) 242

Spoilers below: I agree liked the movie. Good science on the orbital mechanics and many of the issues. The ending was far fetched. The small amount of mass expelled by blowing the hatch would have little effect on the speed of the ship.The risk of unintended irreparable damage would be massive. Why not use attitude thrusters or just turn the ship around and use the main engine sounded like they had plenty of fuel. I would think they would have considered needing to make course adjustments before hand and stopped the habitat rotation so attitude control was easy. I was disappointed when he used plastic sheet and duct tape to replace the airlock that blew off the habitat. No way a thin sheet of plastic is going to hold 12psi needed to make the habitat habitable over that 8 ft diameter hole. Similar issue with the bubble taped to the rover for storing supplies. Might be possible with some kevlar fiber reinforced material but not the clear poly sheet he appears to use. Sealing the plastic to the habitat and rover adequately would be just about impossible. Still liked the movie and may read the book.

Comment An Ice dome 5cm thick would explode at 12psi (Score 1) 63

This design has a problem. The tensile strength of ice is not high enough to contain the required 12psi in a dome of the size described. I suppose you could run it at a lower pressure but then going EVA suite less would not be possible. The interior would have to be maintained below freezing to ensure structural integrity. Building it would provide shielding but not a comfortable environment for working. A better solution would be a frozen water dome about 25 ft thick.Then 12psi pressure could be maintained by the weight and strength of the ice which is much higher in compression. The low range for tensile strength of ice is only about 100 psi the low end of compressive strength is about 725psi. By using some bubble pack type internal insulation inside the dome the entire dome could be heated making for a nice place to grow crops etc.

Comment Change the world (Score 1) 842

I would start a Manhattan like project aimed at developing a programmable self replicating machine. Imagine an atomic level 3D printer. A flat panel one side is a digester the other side is an extruder assembler. Folded out from the edges would be solar panels. It would be able to replicate using sunlight and consuming trash, basic raw materials and have the ability to transmute elements when needed. As the number of machines continues to grow they would switch from building duplicate machines to homes, cars, roads, dams, water purification plants, power plants, farms schools or whatever mankind needs here on earth. Once everyone's needs are satisfied it would switch to building rockets to send itself into space where it would build human habitats on the moon. Then on to Mars to terraform the planet. Next out to the asteroid belt where it would consume asteroids to build seed ships for the trip to other solar systems. Even if the project failed it would likely result in some amazing technology.

Comment My printers (Score 1) 266

What printer to get depends on what you want to do. If you believe you are going to do high quality figurines, jewelry models for investment casting and other art pieces then a printer like the Form1+ would be good. If you plan on doing mostly mechanical and less resolution demanding work an FDM printer would be a good choice. I have a form1+ as well as a Robo3D and a Delta Maker delta style printer. The Robo3D is a good value. It has a big work envelope reasonable resolution and a heated bed. The Delta Maker looks good however I have found the Bowden Tube feed system to not perform that well (strings). The auto bed leveling sounds good but does not do what it should (I have to shim the build plate after auto leveling) The Form1 can and has done amazing prints and they are adding to the resin types so there are some new ones that give better mechanical properties. It is much more messy and expensive to operate than either of the FDM printers. Print failures are also higher.

Comment Toys, Tools, Art, Prototypes (Score 1) 266

Most of the stuff I have made would fall in the Art/Toy categories. Model Train parts for my grandson, Lighted pumpkins for all my grandchildren. Ornaments for the christmas tree. More practical/useful things Humming bird feeders. Cup holders for a friends boat dock. Gun stock. Knobs for tools in my workshop. Brackets for a friends outdoor lighting. Battery case for LED work lights. Wine Rack. Olive Oil stopper for oil bottle by the stove. I have the tools to make things out of wood, metal and plastic however I find that I can design and print things and get a better quality and more complex part than fabbing it from raw materials. If its something that will take a lot of heat or mechanical abuse or needs real high strength I will make it from metal by cutting and welding, however, there are many things that just don't need that. The real advantage of 3D printing is complexity is nearly free. Making a part with complex shape and lots of holes is easy with 3D printing. Doing that on a manual milling machine and drill press takes lots of time. One wrong setup and you start over. Your 3D print is the wrong size you change the design (minutes) and start a new print. Go watch a movie, eat dinner surf the internet and get your new part. If you are a creative person you need a 3D printer to unlock your potential. If not just stick to buying your stuff from the store.

Comment Developers explain why apps need access (Score 1) 96

My biggest complaint about Google's play store is that they do not require each app developer to explain in the app description why their app needs access to a particular data element or service on the device and what it is going to do with the access. A flash light does not need internet access or access to my contact list etc. If the app is asking for more access than I believe is necessary then I do not install it. I believe a lot of people would not install apps if they actually knew what they were doing with their information.

Comment Re:No Organizations (Score 1) 268

Wow parasitic investor class? Exactly what is that? Investers risk their money giving people jobs and providing products and services with no guarentee of a return. Many of them WORK THEIR ASSES OFF trying to make the world a better place for everyone. The "pan handler" catagory mostly are just takers. Looking for an easy buck for the next fix or drunk. I say invest your money in someone who is starting a company that is providing a good service or product that makes peoples lives better. If you invest and your money comes back do it again and help twice as many people. If thats what a Patreon does then great do that. Allowing people to live idle wasted lives by feeding their habits is not good for them or the rest of us even though you may feel good doing it.

Comment No space elevator on earth EVER (Score 1) 275

When reuseable space craft by SpaceX are a reality (likely later this year) there will be no economic need for a space elevator. Its the same reason we will probably never build super high speed rail systems over most of the US. The cost benifit just is not there. When the cost of going to space is reduced to mostly a matter of fule space is very accessable very cheeply. Not much more expensive than a flight in the concord was. The real cost is throwing away the rocket everytime you use it. Build rockets with the reuseability of jet airplanes and presto cost to space is no big deal. No one talks much about building high speed rail across the ocean because an airplan can get you accross very fast for a tiny fraction of the cost of the rail system. Same with space. Build a 30,000 mile elevator to space at $1,000,000,000,000 or a $50,000,000 space ship that burns $300,000 worth of fuel per flight.

Comment We Will Live Longer Better Lives (Score 1) 692

I reject your premise that the world cannot support more people in a healthy way. Just look at history. The earth’s population has grown dramatically yet people live longer, healthier and freer lives today than ever before. People have predicted the world would fall into starvation war biological devastation and finally the zombie apocalypse. It just will not happen unless we get hit by an asteroid or some other cosmic random event. Not enough food - New tech - mechanized farming - fertilizer - genetic engineered food. Running out of energy - New tech Fracking - More oil and gas than we can use. Solar power on the verge of unsubsidized cost competitiveness. Clean Fission systems based on thorium, and even Fusion systems will be ready when we eventually need them. SpaceX is about to crack the Space cost problem with reusable rockets so soon we can build on the Moon and Mars and protect the Earth from that rock with our name on it. Other resources recycling and 3D printer technology gets better and faster eventually everything will be recyclable back into everything we need. Bioengineering gets better so diseases will continue to be more curable. The more I watch presentations like this TED talk The more I am convinced the Human race has a great future more like the world of Star Trek than Mad Max.

Comment Re:Very high accident rates (Score 1) 408

Google has 23 of the 48 cars on the road. Each with about 150,000 total miles or 3,450,000 total car miles. The article said 150,000 miles however based on Wikipedia Google cars had a total of 700,000 miles on cars in april of 2014. Assuming they have more cars on the road now the 150,000 miles is probably a per car number. If that is true then the expected accident rate is 3,450,000 * .3/100000 or 10 accidents. Google has had 3, only 1 under computer control, that looks like a rate only 10% that of human drivers. So they could rightfully claim the robot cars are 10 times as safe as human drivers. To me this looks very Very good.

Comment Self Driving Cars will make it obsolete (Score 1) 515

Why would anyone pay for the train when they will be able to ride in their self driving car with greater convenience, lower cost and almost as quick. 14 years is a long time in hardware and software development. Robotic cars (busses?) will be widely available by then. When you eliminate the idiots driving on the roads traffic will flow much better than today so travel should be faster. You will still need local transport when you get to destination city. You can rent a car or pay for a taxi both up the cost or bring your own.

"I've seen the forgeries I've sent out." -- John F. Haugh II (jfh@rpp386.Dallas.TX.US), about forging net news articles