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Comment Re:Because they can rather than because its needed (Score 1) 100

A lift just goes up and down in its own exclusive shaft. In terms of automation its a trivial task that can be implemented with simple relays and solenoids, never mind computers. Driving is not a trivial task and humans still outperform any kind of self driving AI in an unknown crowded enviroment. The only reason to roll this out is to say "Look who cutting edge we are! We've got our finger on the pulse of technology!". Its marketing BS for suckers.

Comment Re:Because they can rather than because its needed (Score 1) 100

"t could also allow more people to use a vehicle, and will likely create more uses like overnight driving (while sleeping in the car) instead of taking a plane, using a car as an office"

How does that differ in any way from using a human driven taxi?

"having cars run errands (pick up) "

Yeah sure, and they'll do your washing and make you dinner when they get back home too.

Comment Re:So our background-RF powered chips need BGP? (Score 1) 70

And not only will you have the CPU overhead of a routing protocol to manage the mesh, now you also need a security structure to handle joining the mesh, validating routing updates, validating the inevitable certificate hierarchy involve in securing everything and so on.

Comment Because they can rather than because its needed (Score 0) 100

That pretty much sums up the whole self driving car/bus/whatever market right now. There is zero gain not using a driver, in fact because of the reduced speeds and limited operational areas there is a lot to lose not having a human at the controls. Also I doubt not having to pay the miserable salary a bus driver pulls in any way offsets the huge upfront cost of these vehicles which will be out of date within a few years anyway.

But hey, self driving, AI, shiny shiny!

Comment You must be joking (Score 3, Insightful) 255

I'm really not convinced by these arguments that our ancestors were somehow multi marathon fit and could run down anything on the plain. No native peoples today do that - they wound first with spears or arrows then follow it until it dies, they don't wear it down physically!

As for running down a horse, you must be joking. Horses can gallop then trot for hours, long after even the fittest marathon runner would be in a sweaty heap on the ground panting like dog. And unless you're a first class tracker you're never going to find that horse that has probably put 10 miles between you and him in the first hour.

Comment Re:Apple's getting to Intel's/Microsoft's problem (Score 4, Insightful) 135

If anything, the loss of the home button will be a bummer:

They've reached the point where they're just making "courageous" changes which benefit their own assembly & engineering but lack significant user value and don't solve obvious consumer problems with the device. Case in point, the headphone jack.

My guess is they are on the cusp of a "Windows 8 Start Menu" kind of change where the fuck up the design enough to seriously damage their user base.

Comment How does scarcity not work in their favor? (Score 2) 135

If Apple is releasing both a 7S model in incremental fashion and a higher-end model, how does scarcity of parts become a problem for Apple?

They can probably already jack up the price of the 7S and get away with it, and presumably the 8 (or whatever it will be called) can be priced wherever their economists/MBAs/wonks think it needs to be priced to limit demand to what their suppliers can provide.

IMHO, their larger challenge is create an "8" that has enough appeal to attract enough buyers at this price point without creating "Apple iPhone 8 FAIL" headlines through weak demand. Haven't upgrade purchases already slowed, as even 2-3 revision behind models are still good performers? It's hard to see too many people thinking they need a $1500 phone when the $900 one is already a marginal upgrade.

Comment Re:What do they expect? (Score 1) 71

It makes you wonder just what the business model was to begin with and whether it was ever anything more than a feint to goad incumbent ISPs to enhance their service offerings, especially in light of all the public speculation they around "who's city is next?"

"Focusing" on wireless may be just another attempt to re-create the same situation with wireless, although this seems harder as anyone can lay fiber, but not everyone has spectrum and arbitrarily building out wireless networks is more difficult because of this.

I wonder if Google fiber had other service tiers or was more friendly to business use/small-scale hosting if it would have had more uptake, but this still asks where's the business in providing the service and it tends to run counter to Google's general mission of getting everything in one of their cloud offerings.

Comment Re:Fat people can't help it? (Score 3, Interesting) 372

One problem with the energy balance argument is the balance part. 10 kcal per day surplus over 10 years is 36,500 kcal -- does that result in someone morbidly obese? Would the same amount as a deficit result in famine-like thinness?

If it did, then maintaining any body weight would be extremely difficult and diets would either be extremely trivial (a 100 kcal deficit over 2 years should result in extreme weight loss) *and* extremely difficult, since we would need extremely accurate measures of energy consumption to regulate energy intake correctly.

The more likely explanation is that the body has a regulation mechanism where both deficits and surpluses are regulated in a way that requires either sustained, major energy consumption, major energy intake reductions, or both, to affect weight. And experience suggests that the regulation system works so well that even doing this seldom results in significant weight reduction (or results in side effects of lack of vigor that it is abandoned).

Comment Re:He seems to have let off a number.... (Score 2) 506

While I don't disagree with you, that link is entirely garbage. It spends 90% of the article talking about how coal also takes energy to be useful (no duh) and finally in the last paragraph or so it gets around to stating that solar does indeed generate more (lifetime) energy than is used to manufacture it.

Basically, they could have left out about 90% of the article and have something short and relevant instead of a huge irrelevant rant about coal that you have to skim over to get to the important part. Writing it in that manner just makes the article feel more zealotry-based than fact-based, and that's just not going to appeal much to skeptics.

I definitely see your point (I was in a hurry; I could have found a more concise article), but the article also makes a very valid point. Claims that solar panels take more energy to manufacture than they produce, these days, are themselves zealotry-based, and the article tries to balance that out. People don't seem to understand that the energy required to produce a solar panel could itself be supplied entirely from existing solar panels.

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