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Comment: Re: wimpy talk (Score 2) 187

by vivian (#48607183) Attached to: Graphene: Fast, Strong, Cheap, and Impossible To Use

Honestly, reading the synopsis of the plot of 20,000 Leagues, it seems he contributed more to Star Trek than he did to reality.

I don't remember Captain Nemo ever losing his shirt and making out with every mermaid, daugters of Neptune or any other female denizens of the deep that get in range of his tentacles... I guess they got Kirk's predilections from elsewhere.

Comment: Re:SiwftKey? (Score 2) 56

by vivian (#48510355) Attached to: Stephen Hawking's New Speech System Is Free and Open-source

A week later the app went "Free" and by free I meant, all the features I paid for were now free to everyone

Look at it this way - it's not like buying stocks or something where you only buy it as an investment to sell later.

At the time you purchased it, the software offered you enough utiity to be worth was worth what you paid to get it - and as an added bonus, your purchasing it helped feed the developers and enable them to be able to afford to release it for free for the betterment of mankind - so by proxy, your payment has also helped benefit mankind. You should get a warm fuzzy feeling about that instead of feeling bitter!

Comment: Re:Helmets with Sensors (Score 4, Insightful) 233

by vivian (#48493495) Attached to: Football Concussion Lawsuits Start To Hit High Schools

How about poay a psort that doesn't require heavy physical contact?
nearly all athletics events, swimming, baseball, basketball,as well as numerous other field games exist that manage to be entertaining without having to put players at huge physical risk like (American) football does. Same deal with rugby and league, but even those games have rules that avoid the worst of the heavy impacts - and lack of body armor in those sports means the players are required to play more within limits that will tend to have less impact on the brain.

Comment: Re:That's the point! (Score 1) 293

Better yet, in the case of shopping centres, you can have solar panels providing shade in the car park to provide the power while also keeping cars shaded and cool. It wouldn't have to be a guaranteed supply - just whatever the sun gives out while you are parked. That might not be much of a draw for customers in Buffalo with all that snow right now, but here It's already hitting 35 to 40 degrees Celsius every day, and it's not even summer yet.

Comment: Re:Let's do the math (Score 1) 307

by vivian (#48452937) Attached to: Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

How about inventing a planetary wide gamma ray shield instead?
Surely in a gamma ray prone galaxy there would have to be at least a few systems that had an atmosphere or oceans that would shield from gamma rays? In as little as 100 to 200 years I think we would easily have the technology to sustain a colony deep in the ocean, if it were necessary.

Comment: Re:Not sure if it adds up (Score 4, Interesting) 85

by vivian (#48447953) Attached to: Bidding In Government Auction of Airwaves Reaches $34 Billion

Either way you cut it, it's just another tax that gets paid by the end consumer, a big fat windfall for consolidated revenue.

I think a much better way would be for companies to bid based on the value they bring to the end consumer public, with the company that promises the best value winning.
If that company fails to deliver within some reasonable time frame, the spectrum should be passed on to the next best offer.
Value wound be measured based on dollars per GBit that they agree to offer the end service for. (voice calls really should be priced this way too, these days - now everything is digital)

if it really isn't practicable to implement something like the above, lt'd be nice to at least see the money spent on a fibre roll-out or other physical media based infrastructure.

Comment: Re:Solar Panels (Score 1) 250

by vivian (#48329699) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Minimizing Oil and Gas Dependency In a Central European City?

The gravitational potential energy in a ton of water - a cubic meter (ie. 1000 litres) elevated 3 meters, the typical 1 storey roof height, is about 8.1 watt hours. you would need a 1200000 litre tank to store the typical household load of 20 kWh., even assuming 100% efficiency in energy conversion to electricity.

Comment: Re:Six Missoins Each (Score -1) 188

I think that while it is iportant that the greatest nation on earth should have it['s own spaceflight capacity, it really just isn't worth the return on investment for Australia - we are better off spending the money on bbq's and beer.

Good idea for the US though.

Comment: Re:Asian-only team? (Score 5, Insightful) 90

by vivian (#47915563) Attached to: MIT's Cheetah Robot Runs Untethered

One of the things that makes US reasearch strong is the ability of it's universities to attract te best and brightest from all around the world. This is nothing new - it has always been thus - though perhals this is incresingly so as the state of secondary education seems to be in decline compared to opter parts of the world.

When researchers stop coming to the US, the state of
research there will go into rapid decline.The US isn't alone though - it's the same story in Australia too.

Given the already established centres for excellence in the US, it's a favoured destination for smart and motivated people from India and Asia, as well as other parts of the world to further their education and opportunities.

Half the world's population is Asian or India/Bangadesh/Pakistan, so naturally you are going to see many from those regions. Be glad for it - or they would be busy innovationg wherever they came from instead of the US.

Comment: Re:Another huge battery market, Robots (Score 1) 245

by vivian (#47803217) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

Wy not just have a simple "remote control" type bot and offload al the computing power via wifi? Systems like ROS easily support having your expensive processing nodes running remotely, and you can even run ROS on a very low powered raspberry PI for on-bot computing for your drive controllers.

Running GPUs is certainly going to eat your power fast, so all image processing, planing, task scheduling and control should be offloaded to a mains powered computer or an off-bot stationary computer powered by solar panels for something like an agri-bot.

Science and religion are in full accord but science and faith are in complete discord.