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Comment: Re:Stomp Feet (Score 4, Informative) 389

by smaddox (#49152529) Attached to: Verizon Posts Message In Morse Code To Mock FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling

(the oft discussed "fast lane" has yet to actually happen)

I get about 5x lower bandwidth streaming movies from Amazon than from Netflix. I've stopped renting HD movies from Amazon because the buffering kills it. Netflix happens to have paid to AT&T (my ISP) to get preferred service [1].

Hmm... That sounds an awful lot like a "fast lane" to me.


Comment: Re:What if you move your eyes (Score 1) 25

by smaddox (#49099221) Attached to: Smart Rendering For Virtual Reality

Which is why the current crop of displays won't last long, if VR really catches on. Magic Leap is already well on the way to developing consumer-level retinal displays. I'm pretty sure Oculus and Apple are working on their own; other companies likely are, as well. There are some significant challenges, particularly with making it economical, but nothing insurmountable. Advances in MEMS and fiber-coupled diode lasers will play a critical role. I expect to see consumer-ready, variable-focus retinal displays in ten years at the latest. The question in my mind, is whether the other peripherals will be able to match the level of immersion provided by the displays. Convincing haptics may end up being more difficult than direct neural interfaces; I hope that's not the case, though, because the latter seems to be quite far off.

Of course then there's the question of how much society will be able to adapt to immersive VR. If the second or third generation consumes all the brightest minds, there will be no one left to develop the subsequent generation.

Comment: Re:Whenever you want something other people have.. (Score 1) 145

by smaddox (#49083275) Attached to: The Burden of Intellectual Property Rights On Clean Energy Technologies

Your analogy has an issue: traditional drilling can only extract a small fraction ( 5%) of the oil from a field, and only from a specific, relatively rare type of field. The combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing makes extracting oil from shale (a porous but low permeability rock) both economical and extremely effective. I'm not a petroleum engineer, but my understanding is that the perfection of these techniques has started a revolution in oil and gas production, and that traditional oil reserve figures are now nearly meaningless.

Comment: Re:Landing Pad (Score 3, Insightful) 69

by smaddox (#49034641) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches, Rocket Recovery Attempt Scrapped

I think this demonstrates that the disadvantages likely outweigh the advantages, on average. If launches require optimal weather in two distant locations, it's going to be a lot harder to get rockets off the pad. Once stage recovery is working, I suspect it will be a lot cheaper to increase the fuel by 15-30% than to scrap a sizable fraction of launches.

Of course they don't necessarily have to pick one. They could default to using an ocean landing when weather in the atlantic is optimal (and thus load less fuel), or a land landing when weather in the atlantic is less ideal. Whether or not such a last-minute decision could realistic work is beyond my knowledge.

Comment: Re:Attractive proposition (Score 1) 288

by smaddox (#49027285) Attached to: Quantum Equation Suggests Universe Had No Beginning

Yes, I've no problem with the universe not being measurable, but then, we're still in the dark about measurements anyway, as it's been proven that "red shift" has a lot more to do with the youthfullness of a star as opposed to it's motion (or lack of) through the universe.

Uhh, no... it hasn't... The redshift is determined by the shift of spectral signatures such as the double sodium line. Only relativistic effects can cause such a shift.

Comment: Re: Okay, so... (Score 2) 378

by smaddox (#49006515) Attached to: Woman Suffers Significant Weight Gain After Fecal Transplant

If he's drinking multiple non-diet sodas a day, he's practically guaranteed to be above a 2000 cal diet.

This article is not science. A single uncontrolled data point is far from convincing. There appears to be some legitimate evidence from studies in mice that gut bacteria transplants can have an significant effect on weight (on phone so no ref), but it's not definitively proven.

This particular case could be explained in a thousand other ways.

Comment: Re:Why is blowing up everything helpful? (Score 1) 208

by smaddox (#48975427) Attached to: Art Project Causes Atlanta Police To Close Highway and Call Bomb Squad

[citation needed]

With how obsessed the media is with anything terrorism related, you think we would have actually heard of some of these supposed "one a day" IED attacks in the US. Or maybe IED attacks are far, far more rare than "suspicious items".

It's difficult to blame the police officers and bomb squad for doing their job, but this is pretty good example of how broken the system is. I don't have a great solution to suggest other than STOP FREAKING OUT ABOUT TERRORISM! It's not a significant threat to your life if you live in the continental US. Yes, I know 9/11 and the Boston bombings are scary, but more people died in car accidents in the last two years on Texas roads than have died in the full history of the US due to terrorist acts in the continental US.

If at first you don't succeed, you must be a programmer.