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Comment: (Score 1) 168

by rasmusbr (#47944155) Attached to: Netropolitan Is a Facebook For the Affluent, and It's Only $9000 To Join

$6,000 to join $3,000 pa and they only have a .info domain? Nothing says "exclusive" and "accomplished" like a .info domain...

I can't think of a single TLD other than .com for Facebook that I've ever heard of anyone using, and yet 1.3 billion people still manage to find the website every damn day.

With a list as long as my arm of things to tease and nitpick this site over, this ain't one of them. Let's not act like morons and pretend every search engine suddenly disappeared.

TLDs stopped meaning anything more than a bullshit marketing ploy when we found a "need" for more than com/net/org.

As long as URL:s are visible to viewers .com and .org will remain as status markers. The fact that these people couldn't afford to acquire the .com is evidence that there isn't a lot of financial muscle behind the project.

Another piece of evidence is that the site is now down. I'm going to go ahead and guess that they are on this plan: with "unlimited bandwidth" for $29 a month, laws of physics be damned.

Comment: Re:Africa (Score 1) 311

by rasmusbr (#47941337) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

Most of the anticipated growth is in Africa, where population is projected to quadruple from around 1 billion today to 4 billion by the end of the century.

You mean, the continent that can barely feed itself and is the source of deadly plagues (Ebola, etc.) is somehow going to support four times it's current population? I'd like to see how that is feasible...

Artificial fertilizer, tractors, better crop varieties. Maybe some GMO.

Africa is huge and has a lot of good soil waiting to be turned into efficient industrial farms. What it lacks is peaces, stability and institutions. But they're working on it.

It is sometimes said that Africa would eventually end up feeding the world, but if these new figures turn out to be true then it will perhaps merely end up feeding itself.

Comment: Re:well, duh? (Score 1) 323

by rasmusbr (#47935347) Attached to: FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

in urban europe 24mbps is considered subpar; what you yanks have, is frightenly slow.

24 Mb/s is pretty good for most any everyday household use, assuming it has consistently low latency and no packet loss.

The real question you should ask your ISP is: what's the network like when the weekend Netflix streaming surges kick in? Or: is my friday night deathmatch going to lag terribly? Of course if you ask that of their sales people you'll get blank stares and answers along the lines of "Netflix and games work great".

Comment: Re:Oregon... (Score 2) 190

by rasmusbr (#47930399) Attached to: Wave Power Fails To Live Up To Promise

Hmm, I don't know.

Suppose you build a tube (radius = 100 m) out of concrete where the water is 200 m deep. If I'm not mistaken you could then store up to this much energy in watt-hours. That's not a lot in the big scheme of things. To store one terrawatt-hour you would need a tube that's 2.5 km in radius, or lots and lots of smaller tubes.

Unless I messed up my high school level physics calculation there.

Comment: Re:Why math? (Score 1) 949

by rasmusbr (#47927931) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

I could understand (from radical fundamentalist point of view) other bans, but why math? Even Koran (I think?) has writings on commerce (math), tithe (math) and so on.

Some possible explanations in order of highest likelihood:

The media got it wrong and they're not banning math.

The media got it wrong and they're only banning math for girls.

The great leader... or.. uh.. caliph? Well, the guy in charge doesn't like math.

It's not possible for practical reasons. Maybe the math teachers have all fled the country or something.

Comment: Re:Cheap and available (Score 2) 110

by rasmusbr (#47925795) Attached to: A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect At Fighting Wildfires

I think these planes have used up their allowed number of pressurization cycles anyway, before they are converted.

At some point in the future someone will probably make good money converting old airliners into drones, which will make them cheaper to fly and solve the problem of pilots dying if the airframe gives in during flight.

Comment: Re:Why does business exist? (Score 1) 321

by rasmusbr (#47922049) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

In highly competitive markets the competition will eventually force you to use every tax avoidance trick that your competitors use in order for you to stay in business, unless the corporate tax rate is something negligible.

One solution would be to not have a corporate tax and instead try to go after the owners themselves with capital gains taxes and inheritance taxes and what not.

Comment: Re:Ads (Score 1) 327

by rasmusbr (#47908935) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

Yeah, but how long can they keep growing? How long can they even sustain the revenue that they have now?

Game purchases are one-time payments. I'm not going to buy a second copy of Minecraft for PC, nor am I buying a second copy of Pocked Edition and I'm not in the market for console games.

Long-term revenue has to come from recurring payments (subscriptions), or maybe from selling Creeper plush toys and t-shirts as some have suggested.

Comment: Re:Ads (Score 5, Insightful) 327

by rasmusbr (#47908233) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

It's no secret that Mojang is developing a pay to play kind of add-on called Realms. The idea is that people who want to have a Minecraft server for themselves and their friends can pay Mojang to host the server and take care of the technical details.

There are probably somewhere between 10 and 100 million Minecraft players. Suppose that 1% will subscribe to Realms at $4.99 a month (currently €10). That would yield between 500k and 5M in monthly revenue, or about 6M to 60M in yearly revenue.

Minecraft would probably be worth a few hundred million dollars in a sane market.

Comment: Re:Evolution is hard to stop (Score 1) 195

by rasmusbr (#47901295) Attached to: The Future According To Stanislaw Lem

Selection does not necessarily select the strong and the intelligent, selection selects the ones that pass on their genes.

For example, there is still considerable selection pressure for any genetic expression that helps us produce plentiful sperm and ova. There is also strong selection pressure for having functioning penises, vaginas, uteruses. These pressures could ease in the future with sufficiently advanced medicine.

Comment: Re:Evolution is hard to stop (Score 2) 195

by rasmusbr (#47898769) Attached to: The Future According To Stanislaw Lem

Evolutionary selection pressures never stop. Even within a dominant species, if there is any level of genetic difference, there will be both genetic drift and evolution. Other species also apply selection pressures (think of evolving viruses, for instance).

Evolution never stops permanently at least.

It is conceivable that the selection pressure on humans could go away temporarily if we achieve something like perfect medicine, or a world where any person would be equally likely to have biological children and grandchildren. The effect of that would be to radically increase diversity among humans both in terms of genes and in terms of traits. This would then lay the groundwork for potentially rapid evolution once the selection pressure reappears due to some systemic failure, or catastrophe, or what have you. The diversity would give natural selection more options to select from.

The only thing cheaper than hardware is talk.