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Comment: Re:I'm Gonna Say "Yes" (Score 3, Insightful) 232

by Samantha Wright (#48668621) Attached to: Should Video Games Be In the Olympics?
It may not happen; the modern Olympics, quite unlike the ancient Olympics, have not always been purely about physical sports. Competitions like poetry and painting were removed in part because the same entrants won year after year—this has not, so far, been an issue for e-sports.

Comment: Re: Why does this need a sequel? (Score 1) 299

by Samantha Wright (#48593013) Attached to: Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

...Not having any particular stake in this argument, are we quite sure that's Tyrell's intended meaning, something so mundane? I think Tyrell is more taking about stuff like this:

I have seen things you people wouldn't believe Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like [small cough] tears in rain. Time to die

...i.e., Roy's greatness and accomplishment as a person. At that point, Tyrell wants to sooth Roy and make him accept his place by calling him amazing. Simply saying "well, that's the cost of bein' so darn strong" conflicts with his next line: "And you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy."

Comment: Re:what about air? (Score 1) 85

by Muad'Dave (#48457281) Attached to: Bidding In Government Auction of Airwaves Reaches $34 Billion

To a point it exists, but there is still separate and competing infrastructure out there. Until every tower has generic transceivers for each allocated band on it and no cellular provider owns their own infrastructure, the big companies still have a huge 'leg up' over the virtual ones that have to lease from one of the biggies.

Comment: Re:what about air? (Score 1) 85

by Muad'Dave (#48456925) Attached to: Bidding In Government Auction of Airwaves Reaches $34 Billion

I never once mentioned the government running the infrastructure COMPANY. My local power company, Dominion, has two separate sides - a power generation side and a power distribution side. Both are heavily regulated by the Va State Corp Commission, and both have to apply for rate increases that are not always approved. The distribution company has strict performance requirements and fixed profit caps in exchange for being the only power distribution company that gets to run lines to your house. You can buy your power from any number of generation providers (including the generation side of Dominion) that all use the same distribution provider. Their rates are separate on my bill.

I could start "Dave's Power and Light" and provide my 'Green power from horse turds' over the same distribution network for not a whole lot of up-front cash. I propose the same structure for all utilities, including cellular.

I can think of lots of things that I'd like to socialize long before telco.

You realize that the same distribution company/provider company situation already exists in the landline telco industry, right? I can get my dialtone from anyone over my local telco's wires to my house.

Comment: Re:what about air? (Score 3, Interesting) 85

by Muad'Dave (#48448257) Attached to: Bidding In Government Auction of Airwaves Reaches $34 Billion

I suggest we regulate it like most power/water/sewage companies are regulated - there's a single (very profit- and performance-regulated) company that is responsible for the infrastructure - towers, transceivers, and backhaul in this case. Carriers would then be able to lease access to spectrum from that company with little/no barrier to entry.

Just because you can't see most of the infrastructure it doesn't mean that you shouldn't manage it wisely like any other infrastructure, be it water/sewer pipes or power distribution lines.

I'd love to see this model applied to telephone/fiber/CATV and cellular towers - imagine being able to actually select an internet provider from a wide array of competing companies instead of being locked in to the one that your municipality made the best $$$ deal with.

Comment: Reminds me of Tuvan throat singing (Score 3, Informative) 51

by Muad'Dave (#48410231) Attached to: Polyphonic Overtone Singing Explained Visually With Spectrograms

If you're not familiar with Tuvan throat singing, check out the documentary Genghis Blues that follows blind blues musician Paul Pena on his trip to Tuva to compete in their throat singing competition.

From his bio:

Paul first heard a fragment of harmonic singing on a shortwave Radio Moscow broadcast on December 29, 1984 and he was so struck by it, he spent almost eight years trying to track down its source. In 1991 he was finally able to locate a recording of Tuvan music and taught himself the vocal techniques known as 'Khoomei, Sygyt, and Kargyraa'. In addition, he learned a good bit of the Tuvan language using English-Russian and Russian-Tuvan dictionaries and an obsolete 'Opticon' scanning device which translates text into sensations. In 1993, Paul attended a concert sponsored by the Friends of Tuva organization and met Kongar-ol Ondar after the performance. Paul gave Kongar-ol an impromptu demonstration--and astonished him with his talent and mastery of traditional Tuvan singing. The two men formed a strong friendship along with their musical collaboration.

In 1995, Kongar-ol invited Paul to sing at the second international Khoomei Symposium and contest, held in Tuva's capital city, Kyzyl. Ralph Leighton and the "Friends of Tuva" sponsored his trip.


Robots Put To Work On E-Waste 39

Posted by Soulskill
from the robots-disassembling-robots dept.
aesoteric writes: Australian researchers have programmed industrial robots to tackle the vast array of e-waste thrown out every year. The research shows robots can learn and memorize how various electronic products — such as LCD screens — are designed, enabling those products to be disassembled for recycling faster and faster. The end goal is less than five minutes to dismantle a product.

Comment: Re:the dire equations (Score 1) 88

by Muad'Dave (#48403035) Attached to: After Four Days, Philae Team Gets to Rest

I know everyone hates armchair rocket scientists, but I'd like to leave this here:

A ~0.2 kg block of pure Gd148 (~1 inch^3) initially yields ~120 watts, sufficient in theory to meet the complete basal power needs of an entire human body for ~1 century ...

They could've had 120W of heat free for the asking with 200g of Gd148 (a pure alpha emitter). Use 50W of that to keep the wee beastie warm, and the other 50-ish Watts might've been enough to power the lander.

United States

The Disgruntled Guys Who Babysit Our Aging Nuclear Missiles 176

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-an-eye-on-things dept.
Lasrick writes This is a rather disturbing read about the troops who guard our nuclear weapons."'The Air Force has not kept its ICBMs manned or maintained properly,' says Bruce Blair, a former missileer and cofounder of the anti-nuclear group Global Zero. Nuclear bases that were once the military's crown jewels are now 'little orphanages that get scraps for dinner,' he says. And morale is abysmal. Blair's organization wants to eliminate nukes, but he argues that while we still have them, it's imperative that we invest in maintenance, training, and personnel to avoid catastrophe: An accident resulting from human error, he says, may be actually more likely today because the weapons are so unlikely to be used. Without the urgent sense of purpose the Cold War provided, the young men (and a handful of women) who work with the world's most dangerous weapons are left logging their 24-hour shifts under subpar conditions—with all the dangers that follow."

"I've seen it. It's rubbish." -- Marvin the Paranoid Android