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Comment: Re:Poisoning fish? (Score 5, Informative) 247

by queazocotal (#49755623) Attached to: California Votes To Ban Microbeads

It gets stuck in some species guts, and some smaller invertebrates guts dramatically reducing their ability to feed.
It is an actual problem.
Another major issue is the beads attract pollutants onto their surfaces. These are then efficiently transferred into whatever ingests them.

There is very little reason to be using plastic microbeads, rather than - for example - wood.

Comment: The links are a lie. (Score 1) 116

by queazocotal (#49742373) Attached to: Hydrogen-Powered Drone Can Fly For 4 Hours at a Time

That is not - quite - true.
However, they nowhere I have found have an actual picture of this thing in flight, or a video.
Then there is the fact that if you actually follow the links, they say something problematic.

The vehicles weight is 4kg.
The hover power is 400W.

This is very low for the weight.
Low power isn't purely a good thing.
Lower power implies a much lower 'exhaust speed' for the fans, and consequentially, much worse handling in wind.
If you rip out the (say) 1.5kg of fuel cell and extra structure to do hydrogen storage, and replace it with batteries, you get - with the same hover power and assumptions - over an hours flight.

Quadcopter flying times are a trade between ability to handle crosswinds and power-weight ratio.

If your quad gets blown away in winds a little faster than walking pace, you have a problem.

Comment: Re:Sound Money (Score 1) 294

Gold and silver coins as money.
None of this electronic crap.

Taking the very simplest definition, and only replacing all cash with precious metal equivalents.
There is currently around 4 trillion dollars worth of currency in the world.

There is - just about - enough gold totally mined ever - to do this at current gold prices, but only by a factor of two.

But replacing pocket change and what's in wallets is the tiniest, tiniest fraction of the total global money.
If you required a 1:1 gold backing for every thing, then congratulations, you've just shifted a _shitload_ of money around, and made people with small jewlery collections quite wealthy.

The price of gold has gone up by 10-40 fold.
If the USA was the only country to do this, then you've just made mines elsewhere _ridiculously_ profitable, and smuggling is the new major industry. Forget drugs.

Comment: Re:Plumbing! (Score 2) 420

by queazocotal (#49655067) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Moving To an Offshore-Proof Career?

TV repair is quite possible - given the schematics.
I've worked on reworking mobile phones, with much more dense circuitry.

It became largely impractical because both of secrecy by the manufacturers making service manuals impossible to obtain, and the much larger issue that the reduction in price, combined with the improvement in available TVs a year or two out meant that the price a repairer could charge became uneconomic.

Comment: Re:Plumbing! (Score 3, Insightful) 420

by queazocotal (#49654991) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Moving To an Offshore-Proof Career?

Until it doesn't need to be hands on anymore.

For example, TV repairman diddn't go away because it became their jobs were offshored, they went away because TVs crashed in price so that by the time a failure occurred repair was no longer as clearly economic.
Leadwork - using sheets of lead soldered on roofs to waterproof - has largely gone away due to the introduction of fibreglass and membrane films which do the same job vastly more cheaply.
Leaded glasswork - piecing together large panes from small bits of glass went away when techniques for making larger glass came around.
Lath and plaster construction went away when wallboard came in. ...
While there may always be a need for some services to be provided locally - don't assume that the jobs required for that service will remain constant.

For someone beginning their career, and going into building, a clear risk is large scale 3d printing eliminating a large number of the people conventionally employed on a building site.

A large machine that takes a couple of guys a day to set it up on site, and then one babysitter to produce an insulated watertight structure with reinforcement and plumbing/electrical channels already there, eliminating most roofing, bricklaying, cement, ... guys seems entirely likely in the 20 year timescale.

Comment: Sort-of-worked. (Score 2, Informative) 54

by queazocotal (#49629295) Attached to: SpaceX Launch Abort Test Successful

Close examination of the video shows that one of the near thrusters shut off. Look carefully and you see a puff of smoke, and one of the thruster clusters dims as one of the two superdracos has stopped thrusting.
At the same moment, the vehicle begins to pitch.
The thrust was perhaps then terminated early - the vehicle did not quite get nominal total velocity.

Comment: Re:Laws that need to be made in secret (Score 1) 169

by queazocotal (#49628633) Attached to: Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership

I am very much against TPP without openness.
For example, if you say you're going to increase the duty on X 6 months out, then those with large amounts of capital simply buy and import a lot of X and store it, gaining a price advantage over those without large amounts of capital and depriving the government of revenue that means it may have to increase taxes or do other things that hit the poorer more.

TPP is rather different from this, as primarily those benefiting will not be small companies or individuals, but large companies and lawyers.

Comment: Re:How this could be awesome. (Score 1) 72

by queazocotal (#49597641) Attached to: How an Open Standard API Could Revolutionize Banking

I apologise for being unclear.
I was assuming that the API was sufficient to allow banking apps to do this.
So, for example, both existing banks apps could support other banks, and new providers, or open-source apps could be used.
In other words - a choice rather than 'pick bank, get app'.

My computer can beat up your computer. - Karl Lehenbauer