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Comment Re:Gamble? (Score 2) 137

Yeah, the key is to make planes fast and cheap. No system in existence can deal with a few tens of thousands of planes attacking a target at once. If military planes can be made to follow Moore's law of sorts then that is far better than stealth. The problem is we are taking the opposite track. Every next generation of planes is more fancy but also much more expensive than the previous one.

Comment Re:Is this some luddite anti-tech site? (Score 5, Informative) 91

These are no jetpacks, no matter what the media labels them as.
First, they are turboprops. There are no jets. In other words, it is a slightly shrunk down versions of a personal helicopter with all that implies for maneuverability and speed.
Second, they are not "...packs". These devices are huge. The cool thing about jetpacks is that they would be devices you could carry with you and they would be the size and weight of a normal bag but then you strap it to your back and you can fly. And when you fly, these devices would not stick out much from your back, thus allowing you to clear very narrow gaps between buildings and so on.
There is a reason why bicycles are not generally considered cool but skateboards are. You need to park one but not the other.
Finally, these devices are totally useless for their intended purpose. If the building is in trouble (e.g. on fire) then these will not help you put the fire out. To search, survey, or monitoring you are better off with much small drones. They can hang in the air much longer, they provide clear picture and they can navigate much tighter spaces than this monster, plus they have no operator to endanger. If the building is not in trouble but you have e,g, a medical emergency on the top floor then you are better off with an elevator. Part of the reason people are smirking is because this is clearly someone in Dubai buying himself a bunch of toys with public money. Corruption is not sexy.

Comment Re: She? (Score 1) 99

Yes, she

She, the brown-skinned, multi-racial, handicapped pansexual wiccan furry who was born with a penis.

I think I went to school with him/her

... and those 2, 3, or 4 years were the best or worst years of your life.

Comment Re:Oh... (Score 1) 129

Canadians can zipper just fine.

USA... biggest problem (besides irrational competition when it doesn't matter) is that the current "war on police" means no more traffic enforcement. Drivers have gone from thoughtful to senseless to hazardous.

Traffic enforcement in the USA means flashing blue and/or red lights. This causes "on-looker delays".

Comment Re:Maybe Scott just wasn't listening that hard... (Score 1) 163

I have seen a preview they did here locally. First, this is an awesome movie. It is not claustrophobic like Gravity. It moves fast and is fun. Imagine McGuyver in Space. It is just about as fun and certainly more realistic. Sure, there are things that rub you the wrong way after the movie but nothing that irked me instantly. When they say this movie is accurate, they mean that you do buy into the McGuyvering while it is going on. Even a PhD like me can enjoy this movie.
Unlike for instance the recent Maze Runner where the entire premise of some enzyme which cannot be made via biotech but can be made by the body is plain ridiculous. This movie may not be totally accurate but it is on another level.

Comment Re:How many coin toss heads in a row is natural? (Score 2) 191

I think the limiting factor is going to be financial. Nobody will be building single purpose science facilities at a cost which is a significant fraction of the GDP. My guess is that something on the scale of $10-20B is imaginable (i.e. something like the failed SSC) but much bigger is not. Now, couple this with the fact that CERN was only able to sell their expansion due to the hunt for Higgs. This was not some nebulous cancellation of perturbative corrections but a very real prize which could then for years validate the technical prowess of a entity like EU. So unless there is something truly fundamental, firmly expected and magically marketable to politicians beyond CERN LHC scale, then it is unlikely to happen.
Frankly, it is just as well. If I were a politician, I would allocate any new funding for identifying ways to reach higher energy scales cheaper. We need to shrink things like the ATLAS experiment down to lab-on-chip level. We need hard drives which can fit all data from CERN for a year on one platter. Give it a few hundred years of progress, shrink technology as much as possible, then scale up as need be.

"Survey says..." -- Richard Dawson, weenie, on "Family Feud"