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Comment Re:I remember the good old days of the motorola 68 (Score 1) 236

I'd certainly be possible to get a modern 68060 to run at 4GHz if it ran with the memory that was used for those systems back then. To run it that fast, you'd need all of the RAM to be on the die, and it'd need to be the static, cache-style, blazing fast RAM. A 68060 isn't really a 68060 anymore if you'd add three levels of cache to it.

Comment Re:Confused. (Score 1) 752

I'd say that the machine is only "complex" because there are some modern CPUs in the devices carried by the passengers. The aircraft itself, without the payload, is an order of magnitude simpler, at least, than a modern multicore Intel CPU. Seriously. Even if you count the complexity of the legacy CPUs on board in the avionics and such. What I basically claim is that if you add up all the discrete parts in such a plane, and add the transistors in all of the on-board electronics, it's probably still beaten by what's in a modern PC.

Most complex machines built and operated by man go on sale, repeatedly, at a local Walmart. That's the world we live in.

Comment Re:Solution! (Score 1) 151

When the Yellowstone caldera blows, then everyone will have a problem. You'll have temperate temperatures around the tropics, and subtropical temperatures on the equator. Glaciers will be covering the Alps and Rockies (yes, the whole thing). And so on. Central and Northern Europe will be uninhabitable, and so will be Canada and a lot of North America. And so forth.

Comment Re:In defense of NASA (Score 1) 112

I don't think there's anything flimsy about the SpaceX design. Structurally, it is perhaps one of the best if not the best designed system in my opinion. The tanks are stir-welded and there's simply no better welding technique out there. It's all state-of-the-art as far as I'm concerned. I highly doubt, though, that any changes would need to be made to the material thickness away from the stress concentration points. The design, as far as I can tell from public documents, has some degree of tweakability. Since it's the first stage that is subject to reusal, initially, one doesn't have to worry about interstage and such. If there'll be problems, I'd expect them at tank penetration points; in the intertank structure, and in the engine sub-structure. One really has to fly a first stage back-and-fro a couple of times to see where the problems might be, though.

Remember that in real life, a lot of their costs are non-recurring, so there's no economical reason to make anything flimsy by cutting on material costs. They are cutting costs by integrating manufacturing of everything in-house, so that they don't have to sponsor profits of a hundred subcontractors. They also have very little corporate inertia at this point and must stay focused on their R&D and production, not in bloating up their bureaucracy. The legacy corporate structures are sometimes worse when it comes to wasting money than the governments that buy from them.

Comment Re:Wow... Definitely not hunters (Score 1) 333

Reading the comments here, I almost think that there are two classes of people: those of think, and those who don't. I don't quite know what boredom is. Yes, I agree that it takes some mental discipline to keep going on with mental work. I don't disagree that it's easier sometimes not to think than to think. I also don't disagree that all people simply get tired of thinking after a while - after all, we all need a break; mental work is still work. But if most people who, given 15 minutes to themselves, are unable to think and use that productively - that's quite telling. Are they all so seriously tired and worn out that they are all ready to go for a vacation or something? Or can't they think? Perhaps both?

Comment Re:How is this different from sensory deprivation? (Score 1) 333

Maybe I'm just skewed by my analytical approach to things, but can't you, you know, solve some problems or something? Don't you have anything to plan for etc.? Myself, I've got a backlog of things I wish to learn, so if you asked me to sit and think for 15 minutes right now, I'd be going through some structural induction proofs I meant to dig through I didn't have time. Or I'd be doing some design work for my home automation system. Or cleaning up some code. I've done a lot of my best programming just laying in bed, in the early morning hours before the alarm sounds. It really helps when you focus on something and keep relevant information immediately available for recall. Or I could be planning the hikes I want to take with the family. Etc.

Comment Re:Sad, sad times... (Score 1) 333

Environment you're not familiar with? Shit, do they use some cool nanotech on their walls, or is that thing done in a blimp gondola, or in the Himalayas? I'd have thought that most university buildings are like most other university buildings. If you claim lack of familiarity with a room with a desk, what else must you be unfamiliar with?

Comment Re:How fitting (Score 1) 333

If you have normal blood sugar levels, then the amount of sugar you consume is irrelevant to your mental performance, unless you posit that somehow the brain itself has a sugar intake integrator and goes hyper when the leaky integrator is past a threshold. Nothing like that has been observed AFAIK. As for caffeine, if I don't get it in the morning, I go right back to sleeping. If I consume it in the evening, nobody cares. I can fall asleep right after going through a 2 liter bottle of cola - not that I do it often, of course.

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