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Comment Re:No Apple (Score 1) 98

The question is why people should care about Apple being in the consortium.

Sure. And people shouldn't care - unless they are heavy Apple users. For the typical person (meaning the 85%+ case), Apple support is immaterial, because they don't have an Apple platform.

If you're a content provider (like Youtube, Hulu, Netflix) then you'll target the biggest segments first, and that often means Apple comes up short, and late.

Comment Re:No Apple (Score 1) 98

I didn't realize the plan was to sell the video codecs. I though the consortium was putting together an open-standard video codec and then including it - gratis - in a multitude of platforms. That would assist those who create content (videos, specifically - not apps) to appeal to a very wide user base. But I guess if you want to talk about app purchases - something not at all related to the whole article - be my guest!

Comment What About Nutrition? (Score 5, Insightful) 113

The article (or shall I say shameless advertisement) goes out of its way to talk about how much they shower the growing plants with "nutrients," but says not one iota about the nutritional content of the final product and how it compares to organic or conventionally grown produce.

Submission + - NASA to 'lasso' a comet to hitchhike across the solar system

evilviper writes: Traveling around space can be hard and require a lot of fuel, which is part of the reason NASA has a spacecraft concept that would hitch a free ride on one of the many comets and asteroids speeding around our solar system at 22,000 miles per hour (on the slow end). Comet Hitchhiker, developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, would feature a reusable tether system to replace the need for propellant for entering orbit and landing on objects.

The spacecraft would first cast an extendable tether toward the object and attach itself using a harpoon attached to the tether. Next, it would reel out the tether while applying a brake that harvests energy while the spacecraft accelerates. This allows Comet Hitchhiker to accelerate and slowly match the speed of its ride, and keeping that slight tension on the line harvests energy that is stored on-board for later use, reeling itself down to the surface of the comet or asteroid. A comet hitchhiker spacecraft can obtain up to ~10 km/s of delta-V by using a carbon nanotube (CNT) tether, reaching the current orbital distance of Pluto (32.6 AU) in just 5.6 years.

Unfortunately rocket scientists apparently don't read the opinions of Anonymous Cowards on the internet, or else they'd know from discussions last year that it simply won't work. It seems that the idea defies "basic orbital mechanics" and "makes no sense".
Earth

60,000 Antelope Died In 4 Days, and No One Knows Why 176

An anonymous reader writes: The Saiga antelope has been hunted to near extinction. They've been put on the endangered species list, and they play a vital role in the ecosystems around Russia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan, where their grazing helps get rid of fallen plant matter, which is prevented from decomposing by the cold temperatures. But earlier this year, a huge die-off hit the Saiga antelope herd in Kazakhstan, felling over 120,000 of them in a few short weeks. Scientists say an entire group of 60,000 died within a four-day span. The cause of this die-off is still a mystery. The researchers suspect some sort of bacteria, and early on pointed to Pasteurella strains. But those bacteria don't usually cause this much damage unless something else has weakened the antelope. "There is nothing so special about it. The question is why it developed so rapidly and spread to all the animals," one researcher said. They're looking into environmental factors, but nothing else seems too far out of the ordinary.

Comment Re:Programming (Score 3, Insightful) 584

Somehow people are messing up "knowing math" and "knowing enough about math for programming". She never claims that basic math wasn't a necessity, she also doesn't claim that knowing some calculus and linear algebra is superfluous.

But there is a whole world between being able to do the math necessary to rotate a 3D vector in a 4D space and the proof of the Poincaré-conjecture.

Also a plumber doesn't need to be able to do the math of the Chapman-Kolmogorov equation to find out when the laminar flow in a water tube turns chaotic. But he should know that changing one parameter (e.g. the length of the tube or the diameter or the flowing speed) will move the limit and can turn the actual flow back to laminar, even though he's not able to write down all the integrals.

So yes, knowing math is fine for programming, and there are many task in programming which require some special knowledge about some obscure math problem and its solutions, but it is not necessary to study the whole field of mathematics surrounding that math problem, nor is it necessary to be able to solve the math problem on your own.

Comment Re:Ideology not reality ... (Score 1) 151

Even the first ever described bubble does not fit your description: The Tulip mania of 1637. So your thesis seem to be somewhat flawed. Yes, in most economic conditions, you also find some governmental regulation. And most of them do not turn into bubbles. Some of them do. But even something out of the reach of governmental regulation can turn into a bubble (see Exhibit A). Thus your argument is similar to the argument that because you find water in about any carcinoma, water causes cancer.

Comment Re:No Apple (Score 1) 98

I have a MotoX, Moto360, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and a Chromecast. In fact I have never owned a iPhone or iPad. I am not an Apple fanboy but when you look at tablets Apple has a big lead.

The actual data says otherwise. Apple has about 27% market share for tablets - the rest is pretty much Android. Yes, Apple has a larger market share for tablets than it does for phones - but it's still a very small minority share in either case.

Comment Re:Upscaling is BS (Score 1) 114

>About Upscaling - This is the biggest load of crap ever. You can NOT create detail beyond that which you started with. An upscaled picture, displayed at 4k, that was captured with a 1080p camera can't possibly be any more accurate than the same picture displayed on a 1080p TV. Of course, the masses don't understand this. This seems to be the "MO" of most technology these days, since non-tech-savvy people are using a lot of tech gadgets - you can say meaningless things that sound "good", and people will accept them as "good" since they don't know what the hell they've really got.

Interesting thing about visuals and upsampling/interpolation. You can actually end up with a BETTER image (visually smoother, cleaner) when you upsample and interpolate. In fact, that's the standard approach in ultrasound - capture the raw data, use it to create an upsampled/interpolated set of data, and then do all displays and calculations in the new data. The only reason you use the original data is to give you something to upsample. And empirical, double-blind tests in medical situations proves that ultrasound technicians regularly prefer the upsampled data as well as are able to better diagnose issues.

Human perception is pretty interesting. Building in data between points (much like oversampling and interpolating DACs in audio) can have an actual measurable, repeatable improvement in the perceived results.

Comment Re: Short answer? (Score 1) 179

There are ways of rotating and polarizing the waves to get thousands of times more information out of every frequency range. Shannon's Law only applies to each specific modulation

There are two polarisations, horizontal and vertical, or RHCP (right hand circularly polarized) and LHCP (left hand...), that are orthogonal, i.e. they do not interfere with each other. So there are no "ways of rotating and polarizing the waves to get thousands of times more information". You may be confusing with MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output), in which transmitters and receivers have multiple -say N- antennas. The signals from these antennas interfere, but this interference can be untangled, leading to an equivalent of N orthogonal channels. This untangling is similar to the orthogonalisation of a matrix using an eigenvalue decomposition. A MIMO setup with "thousands" of antennas would come close to your claim. Note, however, that your neighbour would also be using tousands of antennas... the interference would be unimaginable.

The clear advantage of wireless over fibre is the low cost of installation and the flexibility. As far as throughtput is concerned, fibre wins, hands down.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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