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Comment: Hindenburg? (Score 1) 124

by sound+vision (#49383987) Attached to: World's Largest Aircraft Seeks Investors To Begin Operation
The Hindenburg always gets brought up here - I'm sure it was a big thing half a century ago. Now, much of the general public probably doesn't know what "Hindenburg" is, and the ones who are scared of airships are the same group who are scared of normal aircraft. I think the bigger thing here, in terms of travel, is that it only goes 80 knots. You can do 80 knots easily in an economy car. Legally too, in many places. 747s cruise at several hundred knots, around 250 IIRC. There's no reason to take this airship for long distance travel unless your goal is chillin' on the ship and looking out the window.

Comment: Good. (Score 2) 198

Usually I'm against nanny-stating, but in this case there is a clear and immediate problem, and there is a quick way to mitigate it. What I hope will happen is that this will (1) put more focus on pollution in France, and (2) teach the people there alternate ways to go about their day that won't pump gobs of pollution into the air.

Comment: Re:Unfortunately (Score 1) 143

by sound+vision (#49311035) Attached to: Excess Time Indoors May Explain Rising Myopia Rates
I know that I personally avoid interacting with, looking at, or even being near children due to the pedo hysteria. I'm not even your stereotypical pedobear (people think I'm under 20 by appearance all the time). I'll go to the other side of the street when I see a kid coming. I'll keep towards the other side of the park if there's kids there. Parent or no parent.
I wonder what this kind of treatment is doing to the kids. Do kids growing up these days feel more excluded from society?

Comment: Re:45% turnover rate IS the problem (Score 1) 127

by sound+vision (#49279937) Attached to: Analysis: People Who Use Firefox Or Chrome Make Better Employees
Judging by your UID you probably graduated college 15 years ago. Things have changed since then, especially since 2008. College doesn't guarantee a reasonable job. I got a degree in computer networking in 2012, and haven't been able to advance past a call center yet. Those who have, from my observation, have been the well-connected (which is a privilege), and to a lesser extent the ass-kissers and the bullshitters. Or, they already have 5 -10 years of experience in the relevant field, so they get considered for jobs that are off-limits to recent graduate - or even non-recent graduates who haven't been able to land a relevant job.

Comment: Re:Why terraform? (Score 1) 228

Terraforming serves the same purpose in KSR's books as it would in real life, in that it fulfills the dream of having a second Earth. A family or group can go out into the Martian landscape, find a pretty spot, and set up a homestead there with a minimal amount of skills, technology, or outside help (beyond what is needed for agriculture). That angle was a big part of Green Mars - I haven't actually read the other books in the series and I hear they differ quite a bit in focus. You can see the dream of terraforming Mars as a petty or vain thing, and I won't argue with that. But take a step back and look at the reasons people give for why we need any manned spaceflight program. It's always something like, "We need to colonize space for the future of the species." Putting humans in space is, at its core, about propagating the human experience out as far as possible. Terraforming works to that end. The goal is to make a new home, and people will prefer it to be as comfortable as the old one, and as similar as possible.

Speaking practically, any real Mars program will start small with the people living in a pressurized, heated chamber. Either that, or you'd need to start the terraforming a century before anyone arrives. Another thing to consider, since we are discussing KSR's books, is the safety aspect. Killing off an entire colony is as easy as ripping a hole in the tent covering it, or attacking the equivalent weak point of an underground structure. When you're dealing with humans, conflict is always a possibility. Especially as the colonization advances and you have thousands of people aligned with different groups. Having a breathable atmosphere is a godsend when war turns you into a refugee, or your colony has some technical or natural disaster that puts it out of commission.

Comment: Re:Rock and Roll wouldn't EXIST without "stealing" (Score 1) 386

Congratulations on discovering sampling. It's a common technique in electronic music, which rap is a derivative of. And yes, you will get sued if you don't license the sample (and your track is popular enough for the record label to care). With the popular stuff you hear on the radio, the samples are always cleared, either that or a lawsuit is pending. Un-popular artists can get away with it. Some people use more obscure samples that are either not copyrighted, or the copyright in the country of origin has expired, to avoid the issue.

Comment: Re:History Repeats itself (Score 1) 392

Firewire gained more widespread use in applications that favored it, like video hardware in the early 2000s. I bought a Panasonic camcorder around that time that came with nothing but Firewire, and I remember several video capture devices that also used it, even though I never went looking for it specifically. Things that didn't actually benefit from Firewire - human input devices, slow I/O (floppies and early flash storage) - were of course using USB. Later on when USB 3 and eSATA came out, is when you really started seeing the disappearance of Firewire devices.

Comment: Re:there's a dongle for that. (Score 1) 392

"Apple knows my needs better than I do" says more about the Apple apologist than it does about the company's clairvoyance.

My counter-anecdote involves the puck mouse-era iMac from 1998 or 99. It shipped without a floppy drive. Floppies were still the primary way to move data from one box to another. CD burners were still a few hundred dollars, and unreliable, not to mention the cost of -RW discs. (Not that the iMac had a burner anyway.) Home networking wasn't a thing yet, beyond 1 computer connecting to dialup. So, that computer needed an external floppy drive for me to do my homework on it. The hard disk ended up dying after less than a year, probably due to the high temps inside the case - apparently they thought it was a good idea to leave out the case fan, even though you had G3-era hardware and a CRT packed inside. Apple has a long history of making that particular design mistake, going way back to the Apple III and as recently as a few years ago in the Macbook Air. Maybe they should have tried to "Think Different"?

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.

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