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Comment Modules (Score 1) 149

You could decide to build modules to a standard that people in your state or country use. Use google to find the most appropriate standard for your geographical location and get in contact with people who modules to that standard for guidance on how to get started and what the pitfalls are.

There are meetups where people bring modules and assemble them into temporary model railroads. These meetups often allow visitors and the model railroaders tend to be happy to talk about their hobby with interested visitors. Maybe there's a meetup near you that you could visit?

Comment Re:I could choose to not install Flash. But HTML5 (Score 1) 221

In 2000, you just ran IE 5 or Netscape with no big need to care about shit..

Stuff changes.

I don't know, here is how I remember the web browsing experience of 2000:


Click... Click... Clickety click... Click. Clickclickclick. What? Aw, crap.


Hey, good thing I'm using a download manager.

Comment Re:There have been 4 "Silicon Valleys". (Score 1) 129

This is interesting, but I don't think that hipsters are the culprits.

Let's look back at some history. I would argue that from the time that Hitler came into power in Germany to the failure of the Soviet economy in the 1980's, there was a strong and steady demand for technologies that did awesome stuff with matter (and with information to some extent). The demand for better weapons created a steady stream of spin-offs into the civilian sector. For example, we got satellites because Hitler wanted supersonic revenge weapons and Eisenhower and Khrushchev wanted ICBM:s to point at one another. These spin-offs stopped coming when the Soviet economy failed, because then the US no longer had a technologically advanced enemy.

There have been some mildly impressive weapons programs since the cold war, the F-35 and the Russian PAK-FA come to mind. The F-22 was a formidable plane when it went into service, but the mechanical design was mostly done by the time the Soviet Union dissolved.

Now, this is basically a good thing, of course. The only drawback is that the spin-off effects into the civilian sector have stopped coming and it has taken a long time for the private sector to pick up the slack.

I think this is the reason why the time between 1990 and 2015 has been relatively boring in terms of doing mechanical things, except for a few companies like SpaceX and Tesla that have begun to appear recently. I think there is more to come in the next few decades, and not just From Elon Musk.

Comment Re:Umm forgive but (Score 1) 108

It's a rock made of water ice, with ice mountains as high as the Alps and an ice canyon that is possibly as deep as Mount Everest is high.

I don't know, but I don't think anyone was expecting that. And those are just observations made in the first detailed picture of one small region of Pluto. There will be new discoveries before the end of the week and more to come after that.

Comment Re:Yes, it could (Score 1) 238

The redistribution of wealth in the US and Europe from the middle class to the super rich has perhaps made this sort of jet viable again, but with a passenger capacity of something like 20.

I remember reading about supersonic air travel as a kid 25 years ago when it was thought that the middle class would one day afford to (occasionally) fly supersonic and the planes would have to have 250 seats.

Comment Re:400V and different plug (Score 1) 674

That would cost a lot of money over time. Imagine having to procure equipment that works with nonstandard voltage and has nonstandard plugs.

The smart thing would be to cover the socket with a metal cover that has "not for public use" etched into it and add that as a rule to your list of rules that passengers implicitly agree to by entering your premises. If someone uses that socket to charge their phone, your security guards can fine them the standard fee for breaking the rules. Then there is no need to involve the police or the justice system, unless the passenger accuses you of lying.

It may also help to have a designated power socket with controlled phase and voltage at each seat that the passengers can use.

Comment Re:What good is this for me, a Linux user? (Score 1) 77

Apple has thousands of developers, artists and other experts that get paid to work on OSX.

When do you think a Linux desktop company will be come close to matching that?

Granted, most of the work that they do at Apple is thrown away before it reaches the consumer, but that is often the nature of product development, when you don't know which features the users will need or want. The same would be true for a Linux desktop OS company.

Comment Re: Gender Distribution? (Score 1) 90

Yeah, the more different one is, the more potential partners one has to sift through to find a match. I imagine transsexual women have to use online dating services to have a chance at sifting through enough profiles to have a decent chance at finding someone.

Lowering your standards works great up until the point where you end up with someone who simply isn't right for you. If you're even considering going out with someone who is "really creepy" you need to seriously unlower your standards.

Might also help if the rest of us make fewer jokes about transsexual people and other people who are different.

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income. -- Errol Flynn Any man who has $10,000 left when he dies is a failure. -- Errol Flynn