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Comment: Think about manufacturing (Score 1) 544

I'm speculating here, but think about ruggedness and costs of manufacturing associated with a moving keyboard.

  • Testing a moving part
  • Competing with thinner phones (keyboards add thickness)
  • Layout of phone given the need for a hinge, PCB, battery in the package
  • Relatively unique design; I imagine the assembly line for slate phones are very simlar
  • Finding a supplier for the keyboard


  • Phones are quite water resistant now, a hinge gives more opportunities for leaks
  • Moving parts break
  • Individual keys break

I think the only hope is for a nerd targeted phone, as people who need to type commands with weird symbols really benefit the most from a physical keyboard. But I am not holding my breath, and a bluetooth keyboard can cover the instances where I need to type in that fashion.

Comment: Does Slashdot count? (Score 1) 152

by richtopia (#47533277) Attached to: What percentage of your media consumption is streamed?
So many definitions are needed to answer this question. Assuming that written text is considered media, how do you define a unit? Is it time spent with the media? Is it the number of distinct topics viewed (each episode of a show count as one)? Or is it the storage required for the media?


Comment: Re:Wow. (Score 1) 204

by richtopia (#47443227) Attached to: Rocket Scientist Designs "Flare" Pot That Cooks Food 40% Faster
I admit that when I saw his design the first thought was backpacking only. Imagine washing something burnt off the bottom of that; I would only want to boil water in it.

The issue with this pot in backpacking is that it looks heavier, and people get crazy when it comes to losing a couple grams. I imagine that you will save fuel in the long run but you also will have trouble storing stuff in your pot (my 1L pot is the perfect diameter for butane canisters to slide in).

Props for the invention, and honestly if you want to make something expensive and marginally better than the rest of the products on the market backpackers are a decent choice.

Comment: Re:Now I'm confused ... (Score 4, Interesting) 380

by richtopia (#47326939) Attached to: New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel
It is a density issue. Hydrogen is difficult to transport and store. One solution would be to truck ammonia to the service station, where you can dump it into below ground storage and generate/compress H2 on demand. The other option would be to perform the H2 generation onboard of the car, but the issues of the toxicity of ammonia would still require fancy fuel tanks so I think the local generation model would be superior.

Comment: Re:Where are they going to fab the chips? (Score 1) 340

by richtopia (#47289551) Attached to: Russia Wants To Replace US Computer Chips With Local Processors
No, but I don't know of any Chinese companies producing steppers or any other of the multi-million dollar tools required to fab a processor. You may be able to get away with used equipment but then you are giving yourself a handicap and won't get any support from the parent companies.

Comment: I want the hitch hikers guide (Score 1) 321

by richtopia (#47109001) Attached to: I Want a Kindle Killer
It isn't that far off. An eink reader designed for travel, with lonely planet or wikisherpa included. It is also one of the few proper applications of a colour eink screen, as maps do not need to be vibrant but colours are vital to a map.

I could go on, but I know this is a fantasy. I hope one day a colour eink android or linux tablet arrives so I can install applications similar to this use case, but I am not holding my breath.

Comment: Re:Seems somewhat predictable ... (Score 3, Insightful) 209

by richtopia (#47014653) Attached to: How Predictable Is Evolution?
Convergent evolution also depends on how you define two features similar. For example, the convergent evolution of oxygen carrying blood in Cephalopods could be a counter example to the prediction argument, as their blood has oxygen bind to copper.

So both bloods were evolved to perform the same task of moving oxygen, however they use two different mechanisms to perform the task.

Air pollution is really making us pay through the nose.