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+ - Hyperloop Construction Starts Next Year With the First Full-Scale Track->

neanderslob writes: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies plans to start construction on an actual hyperloop next year. The idea is to build this to serve the proposed Quay Valley (A 150K resident solar power city in Kings County California, developed by Kings County Ventures). The project will be paid for with $100 million that Hyperloop Transportation Technologies expects to raise through a direct public offering in the third quarter of this year. The track itself will be a 5 mile loop and won't reach anywhere close to the 800mph that Musk proposed in his white paper but it's a good start!
Link to Original Source

+ - White House won't back Tesla's Direct Sales Initiative->

neanderslob writes: Last Friday, the whitehouse rejected a whitehouse.gov petition to "allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states." The rejection, written by Dan Utech, stated: "as you know, laws regulating auto sales are issues that have traditionally sat with lawmakers at the state level." The letter went on to defend the administration by citing their initiatives "in promoting vehicle efficiency."

In response, Tesla is firing back, blasting the whitehouse for a lack of leadership on the issue and stating:

"138,469 people signed the petition asking the White House to allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states. More than a year later, at 7.30pm EST on Friday as most of America prepared for the weekend, the White House released its disappointing response to those people. Rather than seize an opportunity to promote innovation and support the first successful American car company to be started in more than a century, the White House issued a response that was even more timid than its rejection of a petition to begin construction of a Death Star,"O’Connell said. "Instead of showing the sort of leadership exhibited by senior officials at the Federal Trade Commission who declared their support for consumer freedom of choice, the White House merely passed the buck to Congress and trumpeted its advances in promoting vehicle efficiency. Given the economic and environmental principles at stake, we would have hoped for stronger leadership and more action."


Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft, Google Say They're Moving Forward With NSA Lawsuit->

neanderslob writes: Microsoft and Google say that they're pushing forward with a lawsuit against the US government in the interest of making information about surveillance requests public. The lawsuit, originally filed earlier this summer, was delayed in hopes that resolution could be reached with negotiations. These negotiations, however, failed and the two companies say they will be taking action.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Awesome! (Score 1) 221 221

I suspect it will be a tradeoff in which the act of making an image will become much more processor-heavy. But the act of rendering and storing it will be much lighter. At the risk of going over the top, I'd say that this new technology might be a decent parable of caution to the true-believers in the predictive abilities of mathematical instruments: just because you can trace a set of data with a Fourier Series, doesn't necessarily mean you understand anything about the governing dynamics responsible for the phenomenon in the first place... but maybe I'm overextending myself. ;)

Comment: Re:Are you a human being? (Score 1) 527 527

Usually I would be on the side of "Damn police state, wtf" but I have a hard time getting worked up about this. Because, you know, whenever I buy 5000 rounds of waterproof ammunition, night vision goggles and a gas mask, it's always for something positive.

Comment: Re:No, the US has too much freedom for Apple. (Score 1) 1303 1303

I'm reading Steve Jobs' biography right now and the man's legacy seems to be one of perfectionism and profound hypocrisy, especially in light of the article above. Steve Jobs was an orphan whose biological parents demanded that he be adopted by a college educated family. When the educated family backed out on him, he was picked up by a blue collar machinist with only a high school education; but he had a steady job and was involved in a working community where jobs received the stability he needed to work hard and make something of himself. The man was an orphan, used the social safety net of 1950s America to its full capacity, did his early work at Atari (not manufacturing overseas) with only a high school diploma, got Atari to pay part of his way to "find himself" in India, and now his multi-billion dollar company says it doesn't owe the United States employment? Disgraceful but what do you expect from a man who got into computers by playing around with hardware, only to create a computer company that forbids the user from customizing the hardware on their machine. Steve Jobs was remarkable in many good ways...but his legacy is very mixed.

Comment: Re:Still think Wikileaks knows what they're doing? (Score 1) 632 632

Exactly. We will never know how many people were figured out and executed or worse. Worse yet is the impact to our ability to gather human intelligence. People on Slashdot live in basements. The real world isn't all about free information. Secrets won World War II for the Allies.

The real world is about information. Secrets may have won World War II for the Allies but propaganda made Germany such a menace in the first place. Are you really implying that an abundance of whistle blowers would have helped Germany further their cause? Really??? Das wirklich passt nicht.

Comment: Re:Still think Wikileaks knows what they're doing? (Score 1) 632 632

From what I'd heard on a recent documentary about wiki leaks that they approached the state department to say "Hey, if you have any tips on which ones to keep secret, we'd be more than willing to sit down with you" and the state department issued a blanket statement to them saying "none of them should be released because they're classified." It's a reason sure, but not a good one. Is this the one to which you're referring?

Comment: Re:If Zero down time is boring... (Score 1) 87 87

Dude, seriously. The "quirkiness" comes from whatever's cutting edge. Want quirkiness? Create something new! You can't just hang around debugging quirky software and expect it NOT to get better, unless you're a terrible programmer. I don't understand complaints like this. Linux is a solid operating system! What did they want for their work? If they want to work on something more edgy, they should build something more edgy.

Comment: Missing the point (Score 1) 171 171

It strikes me that the notion of promising a prize for a miracle invention ignores the process involved in research. Prizes are fun and all, but this is rather tawdry when one thinks of how much work and risk goes into developing an invention or solution to a problem of this magnitude. Researchers who pursue this goal take on substantial financial burdens in doing so, as the project requires both time and resources. This organization seems to keep itself a safe arms length away from the real blood sweat and tears of the undertaking by planting itself safely at the finish-line with a big check to congratulate a lucky few. It is unscientific to ignore the fact that invention requires highly competent people to fail who must be funded as well. Providing a prize for the winner has all the glamor of big-bucks but lacks the courage required for legitimate research.

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