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Comment: Re:well, duh? (Score 1) 269

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) 184

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) 897

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) 105

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) 316

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) 325

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) 325

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.

Comment: Re:Fahrenheit? WTHolyF? (Score 1) 210

by rasmusbr (#47894597) Attached to: SanDisk Releases 512GB SD Card

All Imperial units are great for real world human-scale measurements. That's what they were designed for. Metric units are obviously much better for scientific use, but the units are mostly too big for day to day stuff.

The metric units were originally based on preexisting units units. If they hadn't been similar to the imperial units they would probably never have caught on.

One meter ~= one yard. One liter ~= 2 pints. One kilogram ~= 2 pounds. A decimeter happens by chance to be about the width of a hand and a centimeter about the width of a finger.

Comment: Re:Double-edged sword (Score 4, Insightful) 115

by rasmusbr (#47892727) Attached to: Software Patents Are Crumbling, Thanks To the Supreme Court


The intellectually hard work of software isn't the idea. It's almost entirely within the coding.

When it comes to really ground-breaking stuff it is often the idea, but in those cases the idea belongs (and usually comes from) a paper published in a math or computer science journal or a journal from an adjacent field. It would probably not be a good idea to allow people to patents mathematical truths.

Comment: Re:Nature (Score 2) 113

by rasmusbr (#47892417) Attached to: Liquid Sponges Extract Hydrogen From Water

Call me a cynic, but wouldn't nature of done this long ago as a primary source of energy for oceanic life? Take Hydrogen and combine with oxygen. Lots-o-energy with a simple path of ingestion. It's like, inhaling food!

First of all hydrogen production does not generate energy, it consumes energy.

Scientists are interested in hydrogen as an energy storage medium. It is unlikely that life forms would use hydrogen as an energy storage medium since hydrogen gas can practically only be stored inside a metal tank, or at least a tank lined with an internal layer of metal. Metal requires smelting which is highly incompatible with how life forms develop, so you're not going to find plants or animals with metal parts.

Comment: Re:Deprecating the telephone system (Score 2) 162

by rasmusbr (#47875535) Attached to: Google Hangouts Gets Google Voice Integration And Free VoIP Calls

They're probably hoping that we will finally start using video conversations. And we sort of are.

Once video is the norm they can go on to push for 4k video, then perhaps stereoscopic 4k. This is sure to keep the data flowing and your data plan costs growing or at least remaining stagnant.

The funny part is that video conversations were technically possible in the 1970's, but it didn't catch on for whatever reason. It only really caught on about 5 years ago. I can't think of a consumer product that has taken longer to gain traction.

We are not a loved organization, but we are a respected one. -- John Fisher