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Comment: Re:What a stupid piece. (Score 3, Insightful) 314

by popo (#49319191) Attached to: Costa Rica Goes 75 Days Powering Itself Using Only Renewable Energy

Well to be fair, there is a certain irony about calling the energy "renewable" when it couldn't be sustained.

Still, it's an impressive accomplishment that they pulled it off as long as they did. It should be noted though that:

1) It's not replicable everywhere at any time.
2) Costa Rica doesn't have particularly demanding energy needs (as the "stupid" guy above pointed out).

Comment: Read between the lines though. (Score 3, Insightful) 111

It's *extremely* telling that Google is running after luxury brands.


Because everyone at Apple and Google know the truth. And the truth is: This is not a product anyone needs.

How do you sell something nobody actually needs? Well... Nobody knows the answer to that question better than watch manufacturers.

The immediate flight to "luxury" speaks volumes about the actual utility value of these silly gadgets.

Comment: They mis-spelled NSA (Score 3, Funny) 85

by popo (#49268013) Attached to: NASA Wants Your Help Hunting For Asteroids

Please accept this home software which will communicate directly with our servers in Fort Meade. We assure you it's just helping us look for asteroids.

Also, if you have moved the location of your Photos directory, please enter it's current location in the install wizard. Thanks for your help ... looking for asteroids.

Comment: USB is exponentially faster than Wifi (Score 1) 450

by popo (#49231155) Attached to: Reactions to the New MacBook and Apple Watch

Apple made a pretty laptop at the cost of basic efficiency.

Even wireless-N has a top throughout of 300 megabits per second. Although that's *if* you're on a wireless-N router. And even then you may not achieve that for numerous secondary reasons.

USB-3 has a top throughput of 5 GIGABITS per second.

There's no comparison. If you need to regularly transfer (of backup) large quantities of data, wifi is not the optimal choice.

Comment: Just y'know... reconnect them spinal nerves (Score 4, Insightful) 210

by popo (#49145997) Attached to: Surgeon: First Human Head Transplant May Be Just Two Years Away

Just reconnect the spinal nerves? This is like saying interstellar spaceships are just two years away. Just connect the warp drive to the antimatter, and there you go.

Perhaps we should start by inventing a warp drive first? Or in this case, connecting severed spinal columns?

Comment: Re:Actually (Score 4, Interesting) 532

by popo (#49096247) Attached to: Stephen Hawking: Biggest Human Failing Is Aggression

Or what if testosterone levels in the developed world were reduced by almost 30% by using an insidious combination of phyto-estrogens, cholesterol-reducing statin drugs, plastic water bottles, ubiquitous soy, and birth control pills polluting recycled water.

Oh wait... We did that already.

Comment: No, But maybe the end of manned combat vehicles. (Score 3, Interesting) 439

by popo (#49058727) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?

The issue isn't "The End of War" or even MAD. The issue is that we are very quickly approaching the technological threshold where unmanned vehicles will outperform all manned vehicles at a fraction of the cost. (And needless to say, reduced risk to our military personnel).

To put a finer point on it: How well will the latest Virginia-class sub fare in a combat scenario against 150 different 2-meter long drone vessels?

Want to bet that the 150 drones can be produced for less than $1.8 billion?

Comment: Re:New research find's water wet (Score 5, Insightful) 411

by popo (#49031809) Attached to: Your Java Code Is Mostly Fluff, New Research Finds

Yes, but the point is silly anyway.

The notion that everything that isn't core functionality is "fluff", gives the impression that it is non-essential.

Let's say I have a weather application that reports meteorological data for a specific zipcode. Let's say that I have a super slick user interface, and I display animated weather graphics in HD.


Not at all. A spartan application which displayed a bunch of plaintext data might have zero downloads. Sexy, eye candy might equate to 20 million downloads.

Which raises the question: What is the actual point of this app? Is it to display weather information?

No. The point of this app is to get downloaded.

So what's "core" again?

Comment: Re:Fuck Google (Score 5, Interesting) 254

The really hilarious implication here is that young boys code because society portrays coding as "cool" for boys.

Really? What society is that?

Take a peek at the adolescent reality of pimply-faced, never-gonna-get-laid young geeks and the truth becomes clear: Young males code *despite* it's complete LACK of coolness ...because they like it.

And therein lies the truth of most gender-heavy careers: The issue was not, and has never been one of innate capacity. It is one if interest. And interest breeds capacity.

Men and women LIKE different things. To argue with this point is to push ideology in front of empiricism.

Young chess aficionados spend thousands and thousands of hours watching chess games. Why? Because they like it. That's why chess grandmasters are men. And it's why there are women's chess championships. To suggest that some patriarchy is at work is laughable. But feminists insist that this is the case.

We are expected to believe that 90 pound, bespectacled chess geeks who spend their days fantasizing about even having a conversation with a female are somehow intimidating women out of the field.

In software the same dynamic exists. But feminists ignore the thousands of hours that geeky teenage boys spent along staring at CRT's, look only at the hiring patterns of large firms, and cry "patriarchy".

Comment: Re:No elaboration? Is it a cubesat? (Score 2) 81

by popo (#48957851) Attached to: State Television Says Iran Launches New Satellite Into Space

You absolutely could.

But keep in mind that the principal expense is actually the "launch" part, not the satellite part. It's difficult to translate prices from what an orbital launch costs to achieve in the US vs. what it would cost for the government to achieve an orbital launch in Iran -- but using CubeSats as a metric, consider that the development cost of a CubeSat can be as low as $10k USD, with the remaining cost going to placing the satellite in orbit.

Comment: No elaboration? Is it a cubesat? (Score 1, Insightful) 81

by popo (#48957715) Attached to: State Television Says Iran Launches New Satellite Into Space

There's nothing particularly impressive anymore about launching a satellite into space.

Cubesats are 10cm x 10cm satellites that can be built using off-the-shelf components and cost as little as $50,000 to produce *and* launch into orbit. (Although launch costs are ramping).

If Iran state media isn't "elaborating" on the nature of the satellite then we have no reason to believe the Iranian government has done anything more impressive than launch a 10cm DIY satellite.

Comment: Isn't freedom itself a potential lawless zone? (Score 5, Insightful) 431

by popo (#48924269) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

The notion that liberties could be misused and potentially give way to lawbreaking behavior is never a justification for the repeal of liberty.

We are always and everywhere free to break the law. That our social contract with government grants government the ability to prosecute law breakers ex post facto, does not equate to a wholesale license to restrict a liberty prior to its potential abuse.

To jump to such a conclusion would equally justify a national curfew. After all, who knows what we might get up to after dark?

Liberty by definition, always carries with it the potential for individual abuse.

Comment: Here's my problem with this (Score 5, Interesting) 178

by popo (#48885681) Attached to: New Nicotine Vaccine May Succeed Where Others Have Failed

For one, Nicotine (when smoked) passes the blood-brain barrier within seconds.

The notion that a human antibody can intercept (and neutralize) a foreign substance that quickly is highly questionable. (If not silly).

However, the half-life of nicotine is 1-2 hours, and the metabolites have a half life of up to 20 hours. So let's assume for a minute that the vaccine does have an effect on systemic nicotine 'at some point' over the course of it's metabolization. Okay, fine. But the nicotine still went 'straight upstairs' after that first puff. Which means the only effect I can conceive of here is that the smoker will need another cigarette more quickly.

Is that a good thing?

Of course, IANAD so please correct me if I've got something wrong.

Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them.