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Comment I agree, but people (and their abilities) evolve (Score 1) 180

I used to be all about the tech, but as I age I'm finding not only that I can't keep up, but that I don't want to keep up.

Discussions like this remind me of a documentary I saw once about the building of the Erie Canal. It was reported that people along the route hated it when it first opened because it made their lives "too hectic." Barges along the canal averaged at a blistering 3 mph. :)

Comment Re:That is just really cool. (Score 1) 691

I doubt the Chinese will be borrowing money to build these rails...by all accounts, they are awash with far too much cash they've siphoned from the West (via Wal-mart and others). They're desperately looking for ways to use some of that money to quiet the demands that they re-balance their currency against the world markets.

Large container ships are only viable as long as there is cheap fuel to run them. There have been a lot of reports that we have reached, or even passed, peak oil, which means fuel will only get more expensive as we go on. By building rail lines now China is opening up its options for the future. Today's trains are essentially electric vehicles powered by on-board diesel generators; if worse comes to worst those diesel generators can be replaced with wood fired steam versions.

I've read comments here that say high speed rail is too expensive for freight. Keep in mind that just because the rail lines are designed for high speed doesn't mean the trains have to run that fast

Comment Re:Money (Score 1) 317

"...The population (or its politicians) are much less willing to fund if there is no fear factor. Fear does not drive the moon mission development like it does for military expenditure..."

The solution is to somehow paint a moonbase as essential to planetary defense, as in from a "global extinction" event asteroid that just happens to have been recently discovered (wink, wink). Fortunately, its expected impact is just far enough in the future to allow us to build and stock the base....

Yeah, that might work. :D

Comment Re:Troubleshooting skills. (Score 1) 829

Nope, I'm not thinking myself in circles, just pointing out a plot device that I see as a plot hole. It's obviously not the first Ancient ship to travel through that part of space because it connected to a local stargate at the end of the pilot. It was even commented on that ships had been sent ahead to scout good planets and manufacture/place said stargates. Maybe they're trying to imply that the Ancients were so arrogant as to assume their stuff never breaks (possible), but I think it was just a case of Hollywood writers reaching into a bag to pull out ideas that they haven't thought through properly. Kind of like the "...one shot stuns, two shots kill and three shots disintegrate..." bit with the zat guns. They even made fun of themselves over that one in a later episode.

"...Having a ship full of ancient repair robots would be weird since I don't think we've ever seen anything similar..."

By your reasoning there should have been no Kenos either because something that useful should have been all over Atlantis. :D

I found the pilot interesting and will definitely give the show a chance, but I saw too little Stargate and far too much BSG in it for my liking.

Comment Re:Troubleshooting skills. (Score 3, Informative) 829

They made a big deal out of the ship "waking up" during the opening credits. My guess is that things like life support were shut down until the ship detected someone trying to connect to the gate.

My big complaint about the plot is that any race planning to send an automated ship on a multi-thousand year trip with no crew would surely have built some kind of automated repair system. Where are the little R2D2-equivalents that should be running around patching stuff? Maybe something similar to replicators, but carrying containers of goo that can be turned into spare parts as needed.

Comment Rule of thumb, always check more than one source (Score 2, Insightful) 454

I've come across sites that seem to post only good reviews (which always makes me suspicious), and sites that choose to sort owner comments by number of "stars" given so that the good comments bubble to the top. It's always best to check product reviews from multiple sources before buying.

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