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Comment: What else is new? (Score 1) 99

by pushing-robot (#48667661) Attached to: How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us To Greater Harm

Because we're on an irreversible trajectory toward integrating technology with our cars and houses, bodies and brains. If we don't control the software, then at some point, we won't control parts of our homes and our selves.

Last time I checked, humans today can't easily tinker with their own bodies and brains, they have plenty of known bugs and vulnerabilities, and many methods of altering their function are heavily regulated if not illegal.

While I support the author's idealism, what do you think will happen in this cyborg future when software can be physically addictive or kill you or change your personality? People have always been willing to give up a certain amount of freedom for a certain amount of security, and they will continue to do so.

Comment: Re:At a guess . . . (Score 1) 168

by pushing-robot (#48658139) Attached to: Study: Light-Emitting Screens Before Bedtime Disrupt Sleep

Good luck finding devices that get dim enough, though; manufacturers have focused on making screens brighter for daytime use at the expense of nighttime usability.

About the only devices I have that dim enough to tolerably use in a dark room are my Retina MBP and iPad, and even then I must use f.lux or light-on-dark color schemes to make it comfortable. I've tried screen filtering apps for Android, but they never seem to dim the soft keys and can cause unexpected battery drain.

Oh, and don't get me started on backlit keyboards.

Comment: Damn (Score 2) 66

by pushing-robot (#48627055) Attached to: After 40 Years As a Double Amputee, Man Gains Two Bionic Arms

Nothing like a reminder that you live in the future.

I know we've been talking about biomechatronics for decades, but Moore's Law and developments in nanomaterials are making things possible that were the stuff of science fiction just a few years ago. Simply put, we're starting to build amazingly large numbers of amazingly complex structures at amazingly small scales out of amazing materials, amazingly cheap.

Mind you, that's not new either; biology has been doing that for eons. Yet being able to manufacture it, to mass-produce biological or biocompatible materials like BCIs and prosthetic organs, is a remarkable and wholly new development. I fully expect the next half century will see a medical revolution that rivals the computer revolution of the last.

Comment: Blah blah DRM blah blah (Score 4, Insightful) 159

by pushing-robot (#48625405) Attached to: To Fight Currency Mismatches, Steam Adding Region Locking to PC Games

You can still buy a game in one location and play it in another, you just can't gift it to someone else's account in another region.

I'm okay with that; despite what some people here will argue (free market blah blah) I'd sooner see purchase restrictions like this than expect people in poor countries to pay a week's wages for a game or movie or album.

As long as they don't start making content only available in certain regions, they're making the best of a bad situation.

Comment: Re:for all this talk... where is it? (Score 5, Insightful) 129

by pushing-robot (#48489273) Attached to: Graphene May Top Kevlar As a Bullet-Stopping Material

Yes, but airplanes were no more than experiments until more than a decade after the first powered flight, when WWI spurred refinement and mass production. Graphene has also been displayed and demonstrated, but not mass produced.

2D structures like Graphene are a new class of materials, and that takes time. Plastics were discovered decades before any practical product was made. Petroleum was known for millenia before we had a clue what it was capable of. Metals too. Spend some time on Wikipedia and learn how long it took to bring any material or technology to widespread use.

Yes, I know: We live in the Internet age now, and you can become a YouTube celebrity overnight, so come on already. Alas, you can't expect science to keep pace with 21st century ADHD.

I have a very small mind and must live with it. -- E. Dijkstra