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Comment Re:Might be easier to fix bees (Score 1) 130

This is a case of the free market working correctly, though. Beekeepers who do as you say eventually go out of business because their hives die. There are enough beekeepers and they are all independent from each other that so long as some beekeepers do it correctly, they'll still be in business in 5 years. Those beekeepers would expand, since their competition would be out of business, and eventually we live in a world where the only beekeepers in business for long do it right. Business Darwinism in action.

This doesn't always work - monopolies, "too big to fail", and other effects prevent the system from working in many cases. I'm not a libertarian, but this is an example where the invisible hand works correctly.

Comment Re:Might be easier to fix bees (Score 3, Interesting) 130

If we can even figure out what they are, and if there are replacements, and if chemicals still in the environment don't keep killing bees or assholes breaking the laws don't keep using the chemicals after they are banned. Or if the government just refuses to ban the chemicals because the regulators are bribed by big business. Genetic engineering might just be easier.

Comment Might be easier to fix bees (Score 4, Interesting) 130

Sure would take a lot of drones. It might be easier to genetically engineer the bees to have genes to resist whatever is killing them - insecticide or parasites - by splicing in genes from bee species that are resistant but suboptimal for pollination. Bees are basically self replicating drones that can refuel and rebuild themselves from products supplied by the very flowers they are pollinating.

But worst case scenario - if the bees all become extinct - we could use drones instead.

Comment Re:Radiation wrecks robots? (Score 1) 307

Huh. Never thought of it that way (regarding renewables). Basically, if you can pay for a solar farm and the cost of the energy generated is enough to pay for the monthly payments on the bond to build it, there's minimal risk. The panels and inverters are warrantied by the manufacturer. As long as licensed electricians put together the wiring, an electrical fire is unlikely and even if it happens, the metal boxes and metal conduit sheaths will contain it. Maybe some years you'll get a little less solar than you expected and some years a little more, but it'll average out. A sure thing.

Comment Re:real information, burried in audio (Score 2) 113

You can get another order of magnitude by moving those algorithms to ASICs and FPGAs. 300 watts is within reasonable bounds for a vehicle electrical bus. I would be willing to bet that the prototype algorithms are running on less power efficient but more programmer friendly GPUs and CPUs mainly.

The 100k figure is mostly driven by the LIDAR. There are cheap LIDARS for this.

A $10k price tag plus a $1k a year license fee is achievable, and this would make self driving taxis readily feasible. Most people probably won't own the first self driving cars in widespread use.

Comment Re:"jaw dropping" downplaying - more fuked news (Score 1) 307

Well, look at it another way. Every human action carries risk. Standing up from your chair after reading this, and you might get a brain aneurism and die right there. No countermeasure against a risk is perfect. So to be fair, with nuclear it's not about trying to make the risks zero, but to make the risks (translated to dollars) significantly less than the value of the energy created. Now, a 100 billion clean kind of ruins the value proposition for nuclear. In fact this one accident might push the net balance of value (compared to alternatives) for nuclear in Japan all the way into the negative. Or not.

As for "slimy PR stunt", I guess. I'm not going to dispute that the nuclear industry in japan has the same problem that the oil industry in the USA has. The wealthy companies have too much power compared to the regulators who are supposed to oversee them.

Remember, nobody has been killed directly from Fukushima, and probably only a handful of people who were wading in that dirty water in the basement picked up enough of a dose that they have a noticeably higher chance of eventual cancer. Oil industry gets people killed all the time. And the net effect of decades of the oil industry operating is devaluing real estate all over the planet. Fukushima only really contaminated the nearby town and some of the water right off the coast.

All I'm saying is, it doesn't mean nuclear was a bad decision. Remember, just now, 40 years later, are solar panels starting to not suck.

Comment Re:"jaw dropping" downplaying - more fuked news (Score 2) 307

This isn't a surprise to anyone. What do you think is contaminating all that water they pump out of the basement? Why do you think you can measure a dose outside near the plant? The evidence overwhelmingly showed it was a meltdown and the fuel escaped the reactor and some has even escaped containment. The latter is the real problem - a better containment design, and they wouldn't have all this contaminated water because it wouldn't leak like it does. Nor would it have contaminated the surrounding town.

Comment Re:Money to be made... (Score 3, Interesting) 307

Agree. You could have individual air lines or hydraulic lines to each wheel actuator. Send the fluid one way for that wheel to spin forward, the other way for reverse. Then a minimum robot is just 2 drive cogs, then a fiber optic line for vision and a second fiber optic line for light. No reason it couldn't sit directly next to the molten fuel and work indefinitely. Have an internal chamber and a scintillator tube with a fiber optic line that can relay an image back. From the light intensity - how often the tube is getting stimulated - you'd be able to measure the radiation level. Probably have to use special tubes made just for this.

Comment Re:If that were so, you could never install a beta (Score 1) 236

We're talking about default behavior here. Obviously if the user wants to override that and install any (signed) driver they want, they can do it. If they want install an unsigned driver, these days they are forced to reboot into safe mode, which I don't disagree with, since drivers have the privileges to do almost anything and the user has no way to know what a driver will do from the binary.

Comment Re:Wrong Priority (Score 5, Interesting) 236

Yeah that's what I don't get. Why doesn't version number take precedence over time stamp? Why isn't the time stamp the date the manufacturer driver got Windows Certified? If you think about it, the last windows certified driver is going to be the one you want, from the perspective of an OS updater you want the latest version from the most stable branch.

Comment Re:Programming the Windows Driver Model (Score 4, Interesting) 236

I'm doing embedded work. I've noticed (and done myself) that there is a way to dodge this issue. What you do is, you stick an FTDI chip at the front end. USB to serial is the easiest, but if you need more bandwidth, you can do USB to SPI. So FTDI manages the drivers, and most windows (and Linux) PCs are going to have valid FTDI drivers in them from OS install. You then either access the chip by having it map to a comm port or there is a way to link to FTDI's drivers.

Either way, you export the problem - FTDI worries about writing and maintaining the driver, which hundreds of millions of devices depend on, and you just piggy back on that driver for your gadget. Works great and you can be up and running in under a day. (just use their USB to serial one, and connect RX and TX, and use the scanf/printf which most any microcontroller has support for)

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