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Comment The asteroids (Score 1) 352

The asteroid belt, with robots. There's roughly a planet worth of raw materials, 24/7 solar energy. We just need to supply the labor force. We can collect, manufacture and deliver whatever we need to earth, or earth orbit in the case of spaceships, space stations and immense solar power arrays feeding clean power to those of us down here in the gravity well.

We need to perfect robotic exploration, mining, and manufacturing. We can use the moon as a first step. I say let's go back to the moon when there's a fully functional and pressurized moon base and fuel depot waiting for us on the surface. Heck, we can build and launch a craft to deliver most of the fuel for the trip from there and have it waiting for us in Earth orbit.

Comment Re:Canned Ape (Score 1) 285

The fact that humans are stronger, smarter, more flexible, etc is the reason to do robotics missions -- robotics is the field which needs the scientific development. Robotics is the field where we need a new Manhattan Project. Robotic space exploration, mining, and manufacturing. The moon, and moreso the asteroid belt contains all the raw materials we will ever need (not to mention enough precious metals to completely crash the market for them). The sun provides 24 hour solar energy in space, not to mention there are probably uranium bearing asteroids, and the nuclear waste can be dropped into the sun or safely dumped on a cold rock in the middle of nowhere. Sufficiently advanced robotics which could mine the materials and build the fabs to replicate more smart robots, you've got unlimited labor. So what could we accomplish with unlimited labor, energy and raw materials? What couldn't we accomplish?

Anyway, all that is not going to happen overnight, but I say we develop advanced robotic missions to the moon, and go back in person once we have a fully functional robot-built moon base with life support systems and a big tank of rocket fuel standing by for the return trip. Everything we need to make that happen is up there, some assembly required.

Comment Re:Any experts out there? (Score 4, Funny) 54

It looks to me that we could use this technology to produce artificial gravity for say, a person. There are some minor limitations -- since the tech only works on very small particles, you'd have to use a very high energy Bessel beam or possibly a conventional laser to completely vaporize the person, and then the Bessel beam would be able to act on them, pulling their individual particles in the direction of the floor.

Comment Re:Best of Luck (Score 2) 500

Vision has a way of making huge financial windfalls. If you can get to the point where you've got robot miners mining, smelting and manufacturing (more robots among other things) in space, using abundant solar power and the asteroids as raw materials... Well, lets just say that opens up some horizons.Robotics are improving, as are computer vision, environment modelling and AI, or at least the processing power to run it is getting cheaper. There's still a ways to go, but these guys are capturing the first mover advantage. They're doing the first step towards what I described above. It may be that in taking the first step, the next step will present itself to them. At the very least, you probably want to consider that the value of the metal they mine will be more competitive with the prices of metals found on earth if you include the delivery fee to earth orbit or the moon for space ship/space station/moon base construction. It's probably cheaper to ship bulk quantities from the asteroid belt than it is from Houston, If you can build an asteroid belt branch office.

Comment Re:Any set top boxes with CableCard? (Score 1) 199

The best solution is a Windows 7 HTPC with a cablecard tuner. Look down on Windows all you like, but WMC is light years ahead of the proprietary cable company DVR software. You can use the 4 tuner Ceton tuner card to keep everything in one box, but I prefer the 3 tuner SiliconDust networked cablecard unit, which has the advantage of letting any PC on your network access the streams (unprotected streams on almost anything, encrypted only on Windows 7 Media Centers). While the SD tuner is another box, it lives in the basement where my cable comes in, and where my network switch also lives. Also, the SD card lets your HTPC box be smaller.

Anyway, the result is a 3 tuner DVR/HTPC with probably the slickest remote driven interface on the market, records protected high def content 3 channels at a time, has no monthly subscription fee, connects to my theater system with a single HDMI cable, plays Netflix (though I do this in the browser -- the WMC Netflix plugin has annoying frame judder), has full web browsing, runs Steam, etc. It works great, and is better in every way than my Comcast box ever was. It really wasn't even that difficult to set up, had I purchased a premade PC with Windows 7 it would have been almost trivial.

Comment Streamline yourself out of a job (Score 2) 848

"since all of my goals outlined since my hire date have been met and exceeded, I have a lot of down time" + "The application would streamline a lot of processes and take a lot of the burden off my team" = they have more hands than work already and you're trying to make it more lopsided. At some point they're going to look at chopping some heads.

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