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Comment I disagree (Score 2, Insightful) 432

If you immediately try to go renewable 100%, you'll run into the problem that wind is intermittent, the sun doesn't shine at night and solar cells provide less power in bad weather, etc. But in the summertime, solar provides the most power just when you need the most A/C to power air conditioning. If you have to burn fossil fuel to cover the gaps, that's OK; you're covered and you don't need to import nearly so much from unstable or hostile regimes. In the long term, there are a number of possible mechanisms for energy storage to handle uneven availability of wind or solar. In addtion to batteries, you can pump water uphill to store both water and energy, use flywheels, reward people for using energy when it's highly available, etc. We'll end up using a mix of technologies, and that's a good thing, just like it's a good idea to diversify your investments.

Comment Re:Copyright laws. (Score 1) 436

If the transmission is done with the permission of the copyright holder (either explicitly or because of a license), it's not infringement. And in some circumstances fair use (some countries call it "fair dealing") applies. But clearly most BT traffic is copyright infringement.

Comment Re:Only Apple (Score 1) 624

If you get a developer's license, you have to sign the confidentiality agreement from hell, and you can't even tell anyone what you signed. Apple gets 30% off the top, they get complete veto power over your apps, and they aren't just restricting their review to malware. If your app competes with something they want to do, they can just block it. There is no appeal. With phones, maybe you can justify the lockdown. And the economy sucks so bad that many developers will figure that indentured servitude is OK.

Comment Re:Bad move.... (Score 1) 412

How is that relevant? Those dozens of users can use the proprietary Linux nVidia driver, which is not being discontinued, and has a lot of the same code in it as the Windows driver. The discontinued driver is an obsolete 2-D only hack; free software purists can use Nouveau, so who cares?

Comment Re:Look at this from a liability standpoint (Score 1) 750

If you don't get the update, and your car electronics surge your speed to 100 mph but you refused the update that makes the brake pedal unconditionally override the acceleration, your heirs can blame the software, because you won't be around to do so. Take the freaking update. Oh, and the problem wasn't the floor mats.

Comment Re:This is Dumb (Score 1) 965

Yes, you can buy a developer's license and hack away. But if you want to share your work with others, you are forced to go through an arbitrary review process before you can distribute it (the "app store"). Apple actually forbade people to distribute an e-book reader app that would download public-domain books from the Gutenburg Project because the Kama Sutra wasn't blocked.

Comment Re:The appliance (Score 1) 965

Certainly there's a role for appliances, but the iPad appears to be aimed to compete with netbooks. I'd rather see completely programmable platforms with elegantly designed hardware and multitouch capability, and without a central authority approving of each program (or "app") before it can be distributed.

Comment Re:Free Software may help... (Score 2, Informative) 965

Don't give your kids Tcl; of the scripting languages, Python will be a lot easier, and the fact that it has "advanced concepts" is a plus, not a minus, as they don't get in the way and solve problems that the programmer would otherwise have to deal with. Basic is good if you want to teach kids to write rats' nests of GOTO statements.

Comment Round numbers are not barriers (Score 1) 347

"Even though the 1 TeV barrier per beam was first broken a week ago ..."

Um, no. There's nothing magic about 1 TeV. It's not a barrier.

Mach 1 was a barrier, because the aerodynamics is very different for a plane flying faster than the speed of sound. This means that new design principles had to be worked out. But nothing magic happens when you ramp up from 0.999 TeV to 1 TeV other than the flying champagne corks.

Likewise, new principles (optical proximity correction and phase shift masking) had to be invented so that we can manufacture ICs whose feature size is smaller than the wavelength of light (UV actually) used to expose the masks. That's an example of a barrier being broken.

But Slashdot should disallow the use of the word "barrier" just because a round performance number has been bettered. Alternatively, we can all just mock the editors every time they do it; you decide.

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