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Comment: Re:Imagine That... (Score 5, Interesting) 97

by Savage-Rabbit (#47917071) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

Long-time government contractor with a history of blowing budgets and under-delivering gets new, lucrative NASA contract. Newsflash: SpaceX was never going to get that contract.

You mean like Boeing bid for the KC-X deal, lost to EADS/Northrop-Grumman, then successfully lobbied for a restart of the bidding process and submitted a bid that secured them the contract leading to EADS deciding not to pursue the deal any further because they thought Boeing's winning bid was so low that Boeing would probably lose money on it? But fret not, I'm sure Uncle Sam will see to it that any losses suffered by Boeing will be made good through some form of kickback and I'm sure that John and Jane Q, Taxpayer will be only too happy to foot the bill. What is interesting about this story is that even US companies are now suffering the same fate as EADS did and falling victim to the Boeing lobby. I sincerely hope that Space X humiliates Boeing and their Washington cronies by somehow outdoing them in cost effectiveness with their private ventures. If there is any single player in the US Aerospace industry that seriously needs to be taught a lesson it's Boeing.

Comment: Re:Car Dealers should ask why they're being bypass (Score 1) 133

by Savage-Rabbit (#47916323) Attached to: Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

I do not want to buy my expensive Tesla from a smelly "genius" walking around with a corporate-logo polo shirt snug around the belly that hangs over his belt, which sports an iPhone holster. I'd rather just order the damn thing on-line and have USPS deliver it to my front door.

Same. Though assuming you were Musk and were putting some stores out there for people to look around... how would you structure it?

One thing that might be a reasonable compromise is if the Tesla franchise had to be exclusive. Consider fast food franchises... they're exclusive. You can't sell subway sandwiches and Quiznos sandwiches in the same restaurant.

What is more, the corporate office can set policy, set prices, etc. Do that and you can let dealerships sell the cars while at the same time controlling how it is done.

Putting the condescension aside that is positively dripping off of the GP post, why should there have to be a compromise? Where the hell do car dealers get off whining about this? As far as I can tell Tesla went for these Tesla stores because the good hard working folks of the car dealing industry put very little effort into selling their cars so it's the car dealers own bloody fault Tesla went for this solution in the first place and as far as I can tell Tesla is well within it's rights to do so. I don't see anybody legislating against Apple for selling their stuff directly in Apple stores owned by Apple, and the same goes for Sony and their Sony centers, I distinctly remember reading that Microsoft has Microsoft stores and now Samsung is starting to set up Samsung centers in Europe where this manufacturer owned or franchised retail store model is just as well known as in the US. You don't see electronics retailers whining about Apple, Sony and Samsung having their own retail stores, perhaps because they, unlike US car dealers, don't have any hangups about selling Apple, Sony and Samsung products with as much vigor as the rest of their inventory. Why can't there be a chain of Tesla centers without every car dealer in the USA whining about it like petulant child? We all know what the answer is, the car dealers are hopelessly corrupt and are into the bargain in the pockets of certain companies who feel threatened by Tesla.

Comment: Re:NSA probably already has this technology (Score 1) 119

by plover (#47900169) Attached to: The Challenges and Threats of Automated Lip Reading

Not at all useless. Simply decode all possible sequences and rank them, ranking the most self-consistent interpretation highest. You may also have other sources of data to help correlate the interpretation (there was an article earlier this year about measuring sound using the video footage of a mylar potato chip bag's vibrations.) Even if the room is crowded, it might be possible to identify a few isolated words from the audio recording of the conversation.

The next thing you do is throw away those conversations that you're not interested in. Regardless of whether the conversation resulted in "You punched a fish" or "You munched a dish", neither is going to have value when you're searching for criminal activity. But if your streams could be "I bought the ammo so we can rob the bank" or "I mopped the jam up sorry can you mop the tank?" one of those could be valuable.

99.999% of conversations are inane drivel. If this technology is applied, the number of false positives is going to rapidly overwhelm a system. More discrimination and correlation is going to be needed to actually produce intelligence from this data. But never think that data is worthless or unusable.

Comment: I will tolerate man for 120 years. (Score 1) 74

by hackus (#47899097) Attached to: Medical Milestone: Scientists Reset Human Stem Cells

There is a reason why we die.

It is the very fact, human beings are essentially evil if left to their own devices.

The worst possible outcome is human beings living longer for no other reason except to continue our evil ways.

Something has to change, and it isn't found in simply changing our DNA.


The Future According To Stanislaw Lem 192

Posted by Soulskill
from the drugs-and-nanotech dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Paris Review has an article about SF author Stanislaw Lem, explaining Lem's outlook on the future and his expectations for technological advancement. Lem tended toward a view that technology would infect and eventually supplant biological evolution. But he also suggested an interesting explanation for why we haven't detected alien civilizations: "Perhaps ... they are so taken up with perfecting their own organisms that they've abandoned space exploration entirely. According to a similar hypothesis, such beings are invisible because technological ease has resulted in a 'Second Stone Age' of 'universal illiteracy and idleness.' When everyone's needs are perfectly met, it 'would be hard, indeed, to find one individual who would choose as his life's work the signaling, on a cosmic scale, of how he was getting along.' Rather than constructing Dyson Spheres, Lem suggests, advanced civilizations are more likely to spend their time getting high.""

Comment: Re:The most important features... (Score 2) 205

by Savage-Rabbit (#47897359) Attached to: Early iPhone 6 Benchmark Results Show Only Modest Gains For A8

Sounds like what you want is a Nexus 5, or wait a bit and get a Nexus 6. Consider this:

The PIN code weakness seems odd, as most phones have some kind of rate limit that makes it basically impractical to do before you notice someone has stolen your phone. As for everything else, the Nexus 5 does it pretty well, and costs less than half the price. In fact the 32GB model is 1/3rd the price of an equivalent iPhone 6+. With the massive saving you can easily replace any apps you paid for on iOS. Updates should keep coming for years, although realistically 5 years is a stretch. Apple tend to release crippling updates after a couple of years so that you either get stuck on an old version or are "encouraged" to upgrade your device.

Unless you are absolutely set on an iOS device it's hard to justify an iPhone 6.

My friend does it as a party trick, he checks where the fingerprints or slide marks are and surprisingly often he manages to guess the the pin or symbol on Android phones.

Comment: The most important features... (Score 3, Interesting) 205

by Savage-Rabbit (#47896091) Attached to: Early iPhone 6 Benchmark Results Show Only Modest Gains For A8

What they're focussing on now is different. CPU is obviously almost good enough, battery is more important.

This... I want a longer battery, lighter weight, etc...

It is already fast enough and it will be awhile before apps catch up.

They will, but not for a few years, then we'll need another jump.

Yes, longer battery life would be nice but it's the bigger screen size and the fingerprint sensor that are motivating me to trade my iPhone 4S in for an iPhone 6+, I've decided that I want a phablet. It takes more effort to crack the fingerprint sensor than it takes to just sitting in your couch and punching in four digit pin-codes until you unlock the phone. I could put a password on my phone but punching in a password every time I get an e-mail is way too bothersome and I can't read Google maps in landscape mode on my iPhone 4S anymore because the display is just too small. As long as the device has adequate processing power to run the latest apps and games for the next 5 years and gets OS updates (which previous experience with Apple devices tells me it will) I don't really care that much about whether it has benchmarks and a processing speed that trumps those of the latest offering from Samsung, LG, HTC et al. In fact the majority of the features that I really value the most are software features ranging from the 'Continuity' OS X integration, 'HealthKit', App services and Universal Touch ID authorization for all apps to the little stuff you almost don't notice like, the revamped keyboard, built in phone calls over wifi, an overview over which app is using the most power, reply notification for especially important messages, ... the list goes on. Now if they'd only get around to putting a folding bookmarks menu in the little wizard you use when you add a bookmark in Mobile Safari... this is iOS version 8 for Christ's sake and Apple still hasn't gotten around to fixing it.

Comment: Re:Not just Reno (Score 3, Interesting) 437

Climate change and the benefits of using renewables in place of fossil fuels are observable, measurable and given the volume of data we now have it is an irrefutable fact that renewables are preferable to fossil fuels.

Totally agree, but when people cite Germany as being well on their way to using 100% renewables they are missing the facts that Germany has increased its CO2 emissions in the last several years with its shift away from nuclear and they are increasing use of cheap dirty coal to balance the higher costs of renewables.

That is a much repeated statistic and in the short term ... yes, that is true. What is less often pointed out, probably because it does not serve the propaganda purpose of the fossil fuel industry as well as the previous fact, is that their long term goal is 80% renewables by 2050.

Renewables alone are going to be insufficient for the world's energy needs. And industrial scale renewables have their own very negative effects on habitats and the environment. Just as shifting food production to biofuels caused food shortages and food riots, there are going to be negative effects if we have to blanket large areas of the planet with solar panels and wind "farms". Just as we found that the downstream effects of hydro-electric dams are often very negative to fisheries, estuaries and sometimes to agriculture.

And I've said it once and I will say it a million times, nuclear is a far better option with far less negative consequences and with even far less risk than even renewables.

I keep hearing people say this and never backing it up with facts. I know renewables have their own environmental issues but why should they be a show stopper? .... soooo: [Citation needed]

Comment: Re:Why is this legal in the U.S.? (Score 2) 149

by plover (#47889677) Attached to: Direct Sales OK Baked Into Nevada's $1.3 Billion Incentive Deal With Tesla

Don't forget we used several trillion dollars to prop up our banks and financial firms when, through their own incompetence, our financial system went into meltdown. These folks then used the taxpayer money to give themselves bonuses for the great job they did AND have told us taxpayers to go pound sand any time it is mentioned they should thank us for protecting them.

The only thing I would disagree with in this statement is the word "incompetence." It seems to me that any banker who could walk away with millions in bonuses after all that theft is an extremely competent criminal.

Comment: Re:What spam calls? (Score 1) 208

by YrWrstNtmr (#47889427) Attached to: Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers
You've been lucky. DNC or not, they do not care. They just cycle through every possible number in an area code, and when someone answers, the spiel starts.

A few years ago, it was the car warranty scam. Landline, cell, DNC list....does not matter. Recently, home security scams. I got 2 yesterday. 1 on the landline DNC'd number, one on the cell.

I'm just waiting for one of these virus calls, so I can screw with him.

Comment: Re:Not just Reno (Score 4, Informative) 437

In environmentalist lala-land neither the end nor the means matters as long as your ideology is sitting in the drivers seat.

And how does that make them different from lala-landers of the politically incorrect christian conservative and occasionally coal rolling variety?

The environmentalists are incorrectly lauded for their beliefs while the other groups are dismissed off hand?

Climate change is not a belief, there is no faith involved, it is not an opinion that claim that ejecting vast amounts of sequestered carbon into the atmosphere is going to have very bad effects on the lives of our descendants and that using renewable energy sources is preferable to that. Climate change and the benefits of using renewables in place of fossil fuels are observable, measurable and given the volume of data we now have it is an irrefutable fact that renewables are preferable to fossil fuels.

I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken