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Comment Re:breakaway science/civilizaiton (Score 2) 191

There are collisions happening at energies MUCH higher than any man-made collider will ever achieve right above our heads, in the upper atmosphere, every second. It's just still much cheaper to build giant colliders than a reasonable detection system to gain new information from those collisions.

Once we've milked the LHC for all it can give, if it doesn't provide clues to it's successor, then we can start trying to catch cosmic rays in a controlled manner.

Comment Re:Hostile governments... (Score 2) 124

I could be on board with adding to this, Heinlein's suggestion in the original (book) version of Starship Troopers. To be eligible to vote or serve in an elected government position means you have to have volunteered to serve in a non-elected position. And when you volunteer, you have no way of knowing where you might be assigned. You could be assigned as cannon fodder, if that's what is needed, or as an administrative aide to an elected official, or as a bus boy in a prison cafeteria. If you want a shot at a higher level, you can go to college to become a civil engineer, a doctor, even a lawyer, which will give you a better chance at any of those positions if the need is there, but you're still not guaranteed to not end up cleaning latrines on a submarine. Whatever your service, afterwards, you get the right to determine the course of society and laws.

Comment Re: Flying Car (Score 2) 158

Yeah, this article is almost complete bollocks and the author is a complete idiot.

First, there are fewer than 35,000 traffic related deaths per year in the U.S. and that number, while still way too high, is dropping. Yes, self driving cars will dramatically reduce this number, even if we manage to implement them in a way where perfect doesn't get in the way of good enough.

NHTSA reports traffic fatalities fell 3.1 percent in 2013 to 32,719 people from 33,782 in 2012. An estimated 2.31 million people were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2013, down 2.1 percent from 2.36 in 2012.

New findings from the Insurance Research Council's (IRC) Auto Injury Insurance Claims Study shows that medical expenses reported by auto injury claimants continue to increase faster than the rate of inflation, in spite of the fact that the severity of the injuries themselves remain on a downward trend. From 2007 to 2012, average claimed economic losses (which include expenses for medical care, lost wages and other out-of-pocket expenditures) grew 8 percent annualized among personal injury protection (PIP) claimants. Among bodily injury (BI) claimants, average claimed losses grew 4 percent. Over the same period, measures such as the percentage of claimants who had no visible injuries at the accident scene or who had fewer than 10 days in which they were unable to perform their usual daily activities provided evidence of a continuing decline in the severity of injuries.

In 2013, the average auto liability claim for property damage was $3,231; the average auto liability claim for bodily injury was $15,443 (ISO, a Verisk Analytics company).

In 2013, the average collision claim was $3,144; the average comprehensive claim was $1,621 (ISO, a Verisk Analytics company).

In addition, there is no reason that self driving cars will need 5G to operate. In fact, almost all of the manufacturers working on driverless vehicles are explicitly targeting full, on-board self sufficiency, because if your external communication fails, for whatever reason, the vehicle still needs to function.

The water issue is stupid. It's NOT that much data. The only reason we have the leaks that we do is (most minor) the lack of sensors on existing water infrastructure, and (most important) the extreme cost of replacing the oldest, and most leaky of the pipes. I work in the office right next to our municipal water department operators. They know where our biggest losses are, (it's easy to see the flow through upstream and downstream pumps and compare them, you don't need centimeter accuracy) but to replace the, in some places 80 year old pipes (much worse in older cities) would cost around a billion dollars. In some places like NYC or LA, you can bet that replacing some of the oldest existing infrastructure would require the demolition of skyscrapers to get to it

Finally, to get higher data transmission, you MUST go to higher frequencies. Higher frequencies degrade faster over distance and are far more affected by interference and line-of-sight issues, requiring a much larger number of base stations connected to the wired grid. There are still vast swathes of the US without even basic 2G service. 10-100 Gb wireless may become available in some very high density locations, or eventually be an option for devices within a private home, but unless we discover new physics, I can't see it ever being deployed for large scale coverage, especially in sparsely populated or poor regions.

Comment Re:Why do you need this stuff on the internet at l (Score 2) 85

I'm at work. The plumber shows up at my house at 10 a.m. I verify his identity and arrival with my front of house cameras. I talk to him remotely via the door intercom, disable the security alarm, and unlock the front door for him. I monitor his work and actions with my internal cameras and watch him leave. I remotely lock the door behind him and re-arm the security system. All the video is watched in a small window in the corner of one of my monitors, while I still get real work done. All without having to take time off from work.

Doesn't everybody do this kind of thing? Or do you still actually wait for the Comcast guy between the hours 8 and 2?

BTW, the reported vulnerability has already been fixed.

Comment Re:It's not so easy (Score 2) 217

Easy enough for a Trust fund to retrieve the payout, deposited into an account in the Cayman's.

Then all your stooge has to do is, when asked, agree that he was the original purchaser of the ticket. The trust fund manager is the one who will receive the money and manage any payouts from the trust. He's the one you have to rely on not to screw things up, so you should go with a good, experienced trust manager, most of whom would find $14M (payout probably only $6-8M) as small potatoes.

If you're really paranoid, use a double blind trust, where the manager of the first trust creates the second trust, so the trust manager retrieving the payout doesn't know who the original trust has behind it, and the trust manager of the original trust doesn't know where the money from the second trust came from.

Comment Re:Can we maybe fix the memory leaks? (Score 3, Insightful) 67

Well, that's just because you don't use Firefox any more. I just switched to Chrome from Firefox because it had become absolutely unusable due to memory leaks.

Opening Firefox in the morning, it loads into ~250,000 K (!) on open. After a day of browsing, and closing back to my single home tab (, it would be using ~350,000 K. Leave it overnight, with just that home tab open, in the morning it would be using 800,000 K - 1,200,000 K and the entire OS would be at a crawl until I closed the process.

BTW, Chrome always seems to use about 200,000 K - 250,000 K no matter what I'm doing.

Comment Re:What an idea (Score 1) 114

BINGO. That will be the trick. Although, supposedly, they have made great progress dealing with fog and heavy rain in the Oakland / SF Bay area, which I was skeptical about. Of course, guessing where the curbs and pavement markings are under the snow may need a lot more processing power.

Google is still keeping things very quiet, but from the couple of presentations I've been to, it also still looks like the driverless cars need always on access to the cloud. In Oakland and Austin that's not necessarily a big deal, but I'd like to hear how the car does driving Oakland to San Diego or Austin to Houston.

Comment Re:Question (Score 1) 114

Having driven extensively in both states, I'll say the drivers in Texas are more clueless and likely to do stupid things by mistake. The drivers in California aren't necessarily bad, but they are much more aggressive and more likely to do something stupid out of impatience.

As always, YMMV on any particular drive in either state, this is just my general impression over several hundred thousand miles of driving.