Obviously. But the LIMIT on the singularity is arbitrary control over matter, and access to all matter that you have the energy to process. That is, at the minimum (this is using what we know today, not what we would know if we were millions of times more intelligent) you would be able to put all of the solid matter in our solar system (all the planets, all the asteroids, jupiter, the moons, etc) to productive use. (as in, convert it to robots or more computronium or use the elements you don't have a use for as fission or fusion fuel).
We could use machines like these to take apart frozen human volunteers and steal the "software" of human intelligence straight from the molecular patterns of the human brain. This would give us strong AI, plus self replicating machinery...ALSO leading extremely rapidly to the singularity.
OK, I'd like to know how we'd mine all of, for instance, jupiter, with an escape velocity of 59.5 km/s
1. Fast enough to have time to make use of the materials before the sun goes "poof".
2. Using little enough energy that it is possible to do it.
3. Wouldn't it be more economical to, for instance, go to another solar system and use more readily available materials there? Spreading out the influence, diluting any signs of civilization?
Furthermore, there already exists factories, called "cells" using machines operating on single molecules called "enzymes". While I have to admit that these are sloppily evolved for the benefit of cells (and/or genes), rather than designed for the purposes of humans, they show little of the more spectacular features your argument seems to rely on. This might, naturally, change, but so far I haven't really heard anything except FUD and dreams (i.e. nothing factual) in that direction.
Members of one subspecies differ morphologically or by different coding sequences of a peptide from members of other subspecies of the species. Subspecies are defined in relation to species. If the two groups do not interbreed because of something intrinsic to their genetic make-up (perhaps green frogs do not find red frogs sexually attractive, or they breed at different times of year) then they are different species. If, on the other hand, the two groups would interbreed freely provided only that some external barrier were removed (perhaps there is a waterfall too high for frogs to scale, or the populations are far distant from one another) then they are subspecies. Other factors include differences in mating behavior or time and ecological preferences such as soil content. Note that the distinction between a species and a subspecies depends only on the likelihood that in the absence of external barriers the two populations would merge back into a single, genetically unified population. It has nothing to do with 'how different' the two groups appear to be to the human observer.
As humans can't survive sub-zero temperatures, and as increasing the winter temperature is impossible, it's obvious that humans will never be able to live year-round outside of the tropical and sub-tropical zones.
There, fixed that for you. Now, get off my Swedish lawn!
How many walk away because their product will not make a profit... based on how many in the past have failed, due to piracy? You have to have one before the other will happen. So, the question is: have any actually failed? If not, why would they walk away?
NO - the FEAR of piracy is enough; as long as the fear is great enough, you don't need a valid, logical reason to walk away.
There IS a benefit to using corn (for now). If we encourage ethanol use, then an infrastructure gets built up which can handle ethanol. When the cellulosic ethanol starts to become more widely available, that can replace the corn-based, and the infrastructure will be in place.
My personal conviction is that using any foodstuff, or anything that can be used as a reasonably efficient animal feed, for ethanol production for fuel (as opposed to e.g. beer) is a very bad idea, in the long run. In the short term, however, I think you're right: we need to get an infrastructure going. One additional concern about 100% ethanol as a fuel, is the energy density. IANAI, but from what I understand, ethanol has a much lower energy density than e.g. BioGas. I don't see much use in creating a dead-end half-assed infrastructure for mixed petrol-ethanol fuels, unless the goal is to transition into 100% ethanol. Also, it seems like in most countries here in Europe, the "green" fuel of choice is BioGas, not E85/E70. One exception is here in Sweden. This means that if you want to import a "green" car, you first need to check that it is compatible with the "green" fuel that is available in your country, and moving from one country to another might mean you need to consider rebuilding your car (a friend of mine is in this situation). We need to select a type of infrastructure that we want to end up with, and choose a path that gets us there.
The person who's taking you to lunch has no intention of paying.