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Comment: Re:Obviously (Score 1) 140

by fyngyrz (#49819479) Attached to: Fuel Free Spacecrafts Using Graphene

I wonder if they've weighed the sponges. One possibility is that the sponges are deteriorating in a particular direction, thus engaging in conventional "stuff out one end makes you go the other way" propulsion. And also becoming traditional "will get used up" style fuel in the process. :)

Though it'd be all kinds of awesome if it was creating coherent motion out of energy delivered by photons without wearing out. Now *that* could be a space drive.

Comment: Re:Subscription or no? (Score 1) 308

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#49815271) Attached to: Windows 10 Release Date: July 29th

That link doesn't say anything about the inevitable updates for Windows 10 being free.

In some ways, I wish Microsoft would charge for ongoing security and compatibility updates after a reasonable period, but in a transparent way.

Useful lifetimes for PCs are increasing (forced obsolescence aside) and it's not a viable business model to expect MS to sell a copy of an OS one day and then support the same OS indefinitely with no extra revenues. However, clearly a lot of people are happy with what they've got and don't feel the newer versions of the OS getting pumped out to try to increase those revenues are actually an improvement, so that model is unsatisfying for all concerned.

In contrast, charging a modest and honestly advertised fee for long term support after a reasonable initial period of free updates included in the original purchase seems like an everybody-wins proposition. Customers who want to stick with, say, Windows 7 for as long as their home computer works/it's their corporate standard/someone in IT likes it have the option to do so, without giving up on useful updates for things like security or compatibility with new hardware or networking standards. Customers who are interested in more radical change can buy newer software instead. Microsoft gets enough money to run a viable business model either way. As long as everyone knows what the deal is up-front and the update/fees are optional (so if you don't pay then you don't get the updates but you also don't get your existing software artificially nerfed) I don't see any huge downside here.

Comment: Just ignore all non-security Windows updates... (Score 1) 308

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#49815179) Attached to: Windows 10 Release Date: July 29th

Interesting, thanks.

It turns out that I don't have several of those patches installed anyway. Some time ago, I switched my default policy to only applying security updates, ignoring anything else in Windows Update even if Microsoft marks it "important". They have abused that mechanism so many times now to try to install junk that is in no way necessary or in my interests that I simply don't trust them any more and only install non-security updates if I have a specific reason for doing so. So far, this has caused me zero problems (unlike a couple of "important" but non-security updates that originally motivated my change in policy).

Comment: WARNING: WOT still flags SF as "Trusted" (Score 2) 343

by FreeUser (#49815011) Attached to: SourceForge and GIMP [Updated]

This behavior should get SourceForge blacklisted as both cyber-squatters and adware, possibly malware vendor.

I agree 100%. 10 years ago sourceforge was a great site. Now it's basically a malware haven. Unfortunately, plugins like Web of Trust (WoT) seem to have been slow to catch up ... WoT is still marking sourceforge as green ("trusted"). Perhaps blackholing the site in DNS really is the best answer...


Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs To Computerization? 323

Posted by timothy
from the ask-an-elevator-operator-or-a-pin-boy dept.
turkeydance writes: What job is hardest for a robot to do? Mental health and substance abuse social workers (found under community and social services). This job has a 0.3 percent chance of being automated. That's because it's ranked high in cleverness, negotiation, and helping others. The job most likely to be done by a robot? Telemarketers. No surprise; it's already happening. The researchers admit that these estimates are rough and likely to be wrong. But consider this a snapshot of what some smart people think the future might look like. If it says your job will likely be replaced by a machine, you've been warned.

How Elon Musk's Growing Empire is Fueled By Government Subsidies 345

Posted by timothy
from the damned-if-you-don't dept.
theodp writes: By the Los Angeles Times' reckoning, Elon Musk's Tesla Motors, SolarCity, and SpaceX together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support. The figure compiled by The Times, explains reporter Jerry Hirsch, comprises a variety of government incentives, including grants, tax breaks, factory construction, discounted loans and environmental credits that Tesla can sell. It also includes tax credits and rebates to buyers of solar panels and electric cars. "He definitely goes where there is government money," said an equity research analyst. "Musk and his companies' investors enjoy most of the financial upside of the government support, while taxpayers shoulder the cost," Hirsch adds. "The payoff for the public would come in the form of major pollution reductions, but only if solar panels and electric cars break through as viable mass-market products. For now, both remain niche products for mostly well-heeled customers." And as Musk moves into a new industry — battery-based home energy storage — Hirsch notes Tesla has already secured a commitment of $126 million in California subsidies to companies developing energy storage technology.

Comment: 20% to 40% ??? No. Just no. (Score 5, Insightful) 582

by fyngyrz (#49793209) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

To avoid the 20% to 40% power loss when converting from DC to AC

...they're doing it wrong. DC to AC conversion is easily achieved in the high 90% range. For instance, a typical solar inverter is around 95% efficient. And you can do better, it just gets more expensive (although that's a one-time cost, whereas energy loss is a constant concern.)

Someone is pushing some other agenda here.

Comment: Still awesome (Score 1) 416

by fyngyrz (#49793145) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI

Sure. Did it to myself decades ago. Offspring of my genetic line aren't of the least bit of interest to me; perfectly happy raising kids of other birth who needed parents (5 so far, mostly excellent results.) Plus that whole "all the bareback sex with my SO we want, any time" thing is awesome.

Which, again, is just how I approach feline guardianship. Don't need new kittens from them. Plenty of kittens out there that need to own their own human.

Comment: Re:Russian rocket motors (Score 1) 62

by Bruce Perens (#49787045) Attached to: SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches

Russia would like for us to continue gifting them with cash for 40-year-old missle motors, it's our own government that doesn't want them any longer. For good reason. That did not cause SpaceX to enter the competitive process, they want the U.S. military as a customer. But it probably did make it go faster.

Also, ULA is flying 1960 technology, stuff that Mercury astronauts used, and only recently came up with concept drawings for something new due to competitive pressure from SpaceX. So, I am sure that folks within the Air Force wished for a better vendor but had no choice.

Don't panic.