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Comment Re:Worse than the space station? No. (Score 1) 684

Historically, colonists/settlers/pioneers have had pretty appalling mortality rates.

Early settlers to the Americas had a very high chance of dying, with many settlements dying out entirely within the first year.

The high probability of death wasn't a secret; the colonists knew they had a high chance of being dead within a few months of arrival.

Yet they came by the boatload. Repeatedly, even after entire colonies collapsed, even after selling themselves to a near lifetime of indentured servitude to pay for the cost of their emigration.

It's a mistake to underestimate the horrors humans continue to undertake to live in a new place - whether it be immigration through deserts and war zones, stifling rides locked in cargo containers in deserts for weeks, refugees drowning on overcrowded, sinking ships, all the while risking criminal prosecution or racial or ethnic persecution... people go through situations with very poor chances of survival right here on Earth, right now.

Culturally, all of humanity is already used to accepting shockingly large number of people gambling their lives with slim chances of survival to live someplace new.

Lots of people will die trying, as we always have. It's difficult to see that aspect of humanity suddenly changing.

Comment Re:AYFKM? (Score 3, Informative) 904

The important question is: How often do you actually drive far enough in one day to drain the battery and need to recharge away from home.

I know in my own life & commute, the answer is "not at all" - being able to gas up on a long trip just isn't a use case. On the other hand, with an Electric, never having to stop at a gas station is a big advantage/selling point.

Batteries are becoming cheaper very quickly with cost parity expected in less than a decade. The ability to charge faster is also improving dramatically, so those disadvantages of electric cars are rapidly vanishing. It's already a lower cost per mile to drive electric, and maintenance costs are lower on electric cars compared to cars powered by ICE's.

I suspect for an increasing number of people (especially those living in cities or suburbia), the advantages of electric cars will soon be more than sufficiently compelling to warrant a switch to electric.

"Green" has little to do with it. Convenience and cost per mile are big advantages of electric vehicles.

Comment Re:WindOwS X (Score 4, Informative) 154

Your history is incomplete.

You're aware there were hordes of Apple II clones, right? I started my computing life on a Franklin ACE 1000 - a superior clone of the Apple II. After it died, I got another Apple II clone (A "Laser 128" as I recall). There were Apple clones for over ten years with the Apple II, and several more years with the Macintosh.

Apple II clones died for two reasons: The Apple II was a very old architecture, only capable of 64k of memory. Also, most of the cloners illegally copied Apple's BIOS. Even then, Apple vs. Franklin was in 1987 - ten years after the Apple II was released.

IBM did sue clone makers into oblivion. In fact, after Apple vs. Franklin, IBM sued a number of early cloners out of existence for the because they also illegally copied from IBM's BIOS.

The difference is that nobody saw the point in writing a clean-room Apple II ROM in 1987. The world had moved beyond 64k, and there was no point in denying reality. Even Apple was pounding nails in the Apple II's coffin.

In contrast, Phoenix and AMI both had clean-room IBM BIOS clones written in 1984 and '85 - years before Apple vs. Franklin. IBM couldn't touch Phoenix or AMI.

So IBM tried to destroy cloners by creating the backwards (but not forwards) compatible PS/2, complete with their backwards (but not forwards) compatible OS/2.

In the end, it came down to price: A clone was more capable than IBM's PS/2 disaster, and had a cost far less than the PS/2 or a Macintosh.

IBM tried its best to kill the PC clone. The difference is that unlike the Apple II, the PC clone could handily beat the PS/2 that was supposed to replace it.

Never forget: The PC clone didn't just beat the Apple Mac - it beat IBM's replacement for the PC as well.

And it did so for the same reason Timex has far more market share than Rolex or Tag Heuer: It does the same job for a lot less money.

Comment Re:LOL LOL OMG.. HAHAHAHA (Score 1) 553

Get real.

Not even North Korea has an economy that is completely what its politicians designed.

Even the (East) Germans, models of efficiency and planning they are, didn't have an economy that was completely planned by its politicians.

The US economy is one step away from anarchy compared to either North Korea or East Germany

Comment Re:Pigments block light. News at 11! (Score 1) 403

Green LED's provide more accurate heart rate monitoring.

The watch already has infrared LED's and IR sensors in addition to green; the "extra $0.45 per watch" is baked in.

Every engineer has to make a decision about where the point of diminishing returns lies for their design.

For every additional LED and sensor they use, more power is consumed. Does it make sense to shorten battery life by x hours for everyone just so it functions better for y% more users?

Comment Re:BTUs? (Score 1) 280

The thing is average Americans don't use BTU's either. MegaJoules are every bit as abstract and unfamiliar.

The only things I see in "everyday" use for the BTU: Cooking stoves and window air conditioners -- things you don't buy or compare often. . In both cases, it's not "meaningful" other than a higher number is more powerful.

Comment Re:So what about law? (Score 1) 703

Your strawman is unimaginative.

Law is a human idea, and is by definition mutable. It's a whim and nothing more.

The reality is the bullet, bludgeons, bars, and bindings. They don't care what you believe. Law is just an idea of when it's acceptable to inflict those pieces of reality.

In the same way, the climate doesn't care what anybody thinks. It just reacts to the physical realities of energy flux.

Comment Re:Science... Yah! (Score 1) 958

One big problem is that the "nutritional" industry, which amount to well-spoken charlatans. They make outlandish, unprovable claims, and people swallow it (literally) by the billions.

They masquerade marketing as science in order feign legitimacy, and the fact is they aren't providing anything with a provable benefit.

The only regulatory bar they have to cross is that it's not obviously harmful. There's no requirement that the 'supplement' be beneficial.

It's bad enough to claim that some herb or vitamin supplement provides health benefits that are nonexistent. It's another thing entirely to sell a product that doesn't even have what is on the label. This morning, ABC news had a story about a number of nutritional companies were forced to pull their 'supplements' after testing proved they didn't contain anything they claimed to have.

I wish I could say I'm surprised, but after working for such a company, I have few doubts: the entire industry is rotten to the core, and is only interested in fooling their customers into buying snake oil. It's not like it's an insular thing; you're have to be aware of what the competition is doing, and I saw the same BS everywhere.

Life. Don't talk to me about life. - Marvin the Paranoid Anroid