Slashdot nerd: "The sex detection part is some fairly trivial signal processing. You need a band pass filter with a passband of about 0.5-3 Hz (at a guess; better numbers exist, but I haven't tried googling them). Then you need to detect extended signal within that band; there are a variety of options for this, any of which are likely to work."
Normal person: "obviously this is a big joke, since he doesn't have to prove to anyone that he's done anything more than set up a Twitter account."
Wrong end. When you're talking about something that needs to use a network to be useful, you've got to start at the network. The device is the LEAST important part. As long as the phone company gets to say what does or does not run on their network the devices will do what they need to meet those requirements.
It's kind of funny actually - Apple releases a closed phone but doesn't sick [sic] the lawyers on any of the hackers. Google releases an "open" phone but does sick [sic] the lawyers on the hackers.
First time I've ever been able to show the replacement word and the error notation in the same brackets.
Second, rectennas are stupidly efficient: 87%. We can barely get to 50% with solar. Furthermore, it's a lot cheaper to build a kilometer of rectenna than a kilometer of solar panels, and you can actually use the land underneath for something useful. And also unlike conventional solar, this thing would work all day and all night, every day of the year.
I think you might want to work your numbers some more. Even with all the amazing efficiency worked in, I'd imagine that a space launch of the solar panels, plus necessary systems for keeping them in stable orbit, will far outstrip the cost of doing earth-based solar PV panels.
From a political standpoint, I'd say the majority of Americans don't share that perspective, as we've elected a president and Congress who intend to invest in public goods like health care with your/my tax dollars.
From an informational standpoint, as a portion of GDP, total taxes in the U.S. are among the lowest of developed nations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_revenue_as_percentage_of_GDP
So, overall, I'd say you are on the losing side right now, and from the other side, I'd say it sounds a lot like whining.
Don't kid yourself that the interstate commerce clause is going to save you from sales taxes on Amazon.
In most of the electricity-consuming world, power usage peaks for just a few seconds on the hottest days, when air conditioners are running. It's so important to shave off just a small slice of demand at that time that utilities will pay you to participate in a program where they can switch off your A/C for up to 15 minutes. Xcel Energy's program in the U.S. is called Saver's Switch.
The reason behind these programs is that peaking electricity is so expensive, entire power plants are built just for those few seconds. A networked system of appliances would be a godsend to reducing total infrastructure costs.
Remember Darwin; building a better mousetrap merely results in smarter mice.