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Comment Re:Amazing (Score 1) 53

They still are a fringe technology. They are only used in industry to do simple prototypes. They are used by consumers to make.... toys? I've only seen them print giveaways and demos, not a whole lot useful.

I know some people using 3d printers to print and sell quadcopter parts, not for kiddie quads but ones that would hurt you if they fell on you. That's still pretty toylike, but it illustrates the point that you can build actual parts with them.

Comment Re:Regardless of longevity. (Score 1) 112

The only real concern would be potentially having the ISS break apart a little bit at a time, and those individual parts becoming separate pieces of debris in space.

But that is in fact a real concern, one that can't simply be waved away. The station is designed to be powered; I'd imagine that abandoning it will cause it to deteriorate even faster. One day when we have repulsor technology or whatever magical wand is waved, we can worry less about debris and then that sort of thing will be a viable option. Until then, burning it up is the most responsible thing to do.

Comment Re:Of course... (Score 3, Interesting) 43

Or the phone could diagnose the disease, or forward imagery on to some system which will do the same. That's why I got involved with infragram, in the hope that at some point I'll end up with a mobile device which can do the processing onboard. I had to say it, but this might actually be a decent excuse to use the Pi, with the camera module.

Comment Re:too much credit to Blackberry (Score 1) 120

Don't be too hard on RIM, going from selling professional products to consumer products is one of the toughest transitions companies goes through and one that's massively underestimated because people think you're going to sell "the same". You don't.

well, you do and you don't. They needed to sell the same sort of hardware (people who preferred blackberry did so because of the hardware in most cases) but with more user-focused software. They needed to change halfway, and they couldn't even manage that.

Comment Re:Indeed, it needs a bit more (Score 1) 65

Try running a car without maintenance for 5 years.

Automakers are now working on cars designed to run without maintenance for five years. As in, before the first maintenance. They contain extended life coolant and synthetic oil. So far, though, two years is about the practical limit, because coolant breaks down whether it's supposed to or not. That's not bad for a vehicle designed for terrestrial use by the untrained.

Comment Re:Beer bellies not related to beer (Score 1) 110

We're not talking about large strong beers, usually. Most people who are drinking a 12 pack are drinking Meister Brau or something. My dad put away a case of shitty beer like Brew 102 (it was on sale at the Food & Liquor^W^W^WCheaper! for a long time) nightly for years. Yes, that is as lame as it sounds. Alcohol is a hell of a drug. I am lucky enough to not be an alcoholic. My response to waking up and finding out I did something stupid is not to try to drink away the stupid.

Comment Re:Regardless of longevity. (Score 1) 112

In order to prevent it from becoming a hazard you'd have to cover the whole damned thing in shielding. The only viable way to do that with current technologies is probably to surround it in those inflatable modules that Bigelow wanted to build; anything else would be too heavy for basically no payoff. Good luck getting umpteen launches of those going

Comment Re:Beer bellies not related to beer (Score 2) 110

There is no causation between beer consumption and a "beer gut"

There is no relation between your comment and the truth. Beer guts ain't fat, that's not how your body works. Fat is added to your whole body when you get fat, and it's removed from your whole body when you lose weight. Beer guts are enlarged, hardened livers, or fluid seeping into the belly from a cirrhotic liver.

Comment Re:This is bullshit (Score 1) 278

When MS was any kind of notable player in the smartphone/smart device marketplace, it was an incredibly small marketplace. Honestly, other than perhaps acting as some sort of inspiration for Apple, I don't think it had substantial influence on what came later. And frankly, I think the Blackberry was probably a much larger inspiration.

Ultimately, Apple learned a lot of useful lessons from the monster success that was the original iPod, and then saw how those lessons could be applied to a smartphone. RIM and Microsoft released mobile offerings that were functional, could run a wide variety of software, and certainly had some penetration in the enterprise, but Apple made sure iOS wasn't just a business workhorse (in fact, I see little evidence that it gave a damn about the enterprise at all), but rather a very consumer friendly device and then marketed it with astonishing brilliance. But at the end of the day, Apple's success with iOS is down to the original iPod. It gained its killer product, and built the iPhone and the iPad on the same premise.

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