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Comment Reversion to the Mean - Any Therapy Will Work (Score 1) 430

There's something else going on here - reversion to the mean. Think of your health as a curve that goes up and down. On average, you're probably pretty healthy. Sometimes less and sometimes more. When you're sick, no matter what you do, you'll probably get better. So as long as whatever treatment you do or don't do doesn't make you a lot worse, you will probably get better. Drilling a hole in your skull might seem to cure depression, the common cold, or hemorrhoids, as long as you don't drill too deep or get a bad infection that kills you. Rubbing your ear, walking in a circle, drinking infused water -- almost anything, including eating sugar pills, or just waiting, will seem to cure you most of the time.

Yellowstone Supervolcano Larger Than First Thought 451

drewtheman writes "New studies of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park shows the plume and the magma chamber under the volcano are larger than first thought and contradicts claims that only shallow hot rock exists. University of Utah research professor of geophysics Robert Smith led four separate studies that verify a plume of hot and molten rock at least 410 miles deep that rises at an angle from the northwest."

Comment Start a New Business Whiners (Score 3, Interesting) 738

This is really simple. You don't like the product, don't buy it. Microsoft hasn't misrepresented a thing here. It's kind of the same thing as the hackintosh, actually. Is Apple evil too? If so you have a real simple remedy -- don't buy it. These companies are within their rights entirely. If someone wants to sell a different kind of game console and a different kind of game network where games are cheaper and mods are allowed, then fine. Maybe there's a business there. Maybe this is your big chance. Go start that business and stop whining.

Submission + - Wind powered factories (

An anonymous reader writes: In the 1930s and 1940s, decades after steam engines had made wind power obsolete, Dutch researchers obstinately kept improving the (already very sophisticated) traditional windmill. The results were spectacular, and there is no doubt that today an army of ecogeeks could improve them even further. Would it make sense to revive the industrial windmill and again convert kinetic energy directly into mechanical energy? Any suggestions, aside from a wind powered knitting machine?

Comment Remote driving (Score 1) 609

This kind of approach makes me think about the drone pilots in Nevada. If the car is entirely drive-by-wire, maybe I could hire someone else to drive me to work, or better yet, home from the pub when I'm drunk. The real driver would never have to leave their office in Bangalore or Nevada or wherever! Just put a couple of cameras and proximity sensors on the bumpers and connect it up with 3G wireless and voilla!

Submission + - Energy Generating Clothing Hits Couture Status (

MikeChino writes: With all of the gadgets we tote around these days, a plug-free charging solution would make a lot of sense — which is why designers are flocking to integrate energy-generating technology into a new wave of functional clothing. From awkward solar power neckties to Zegna's slick solar jacket the field has come a long way, and the latest foray of clean tech into fashion is a series of space-age kinetic-energy harvesting dresses developed by XS labs. Instead of camouflaging the power-generating mechanisms, these "Captain Electric" dresses integrate those features in a visible way.

Comment Re:Same Old Apple - 1980s Over Again (Score 1) 495

Open isn't enough - you're right. And Apple has brought in partners in an astute way to make iPhone successful - AT&T and their hardware partners for example. Also the App Store is a controlled way to open up the platform to build an ecosystem. But it may not be enough. Time will tell but one lesson from the past is that open can be a powerful differentiator, even in the face of better usability or features. Apple lost this gamble last time.

Comment Same Old Apple - 1980s Over Again (Score 4, Interesting) 495

Apple doesn't learn. This very same strategy is what gave Microsoft such a big opening in the 80s. If Apple sticks to the closed system approach they will have higher price points in the short term, but long term will lose out to more open platforms like Android where the incentives for a more diverse network of partners will be greater. In the early 80s Apple outsold IBM and everybody else in PCs. They took their Apple II win and moved up-market with the Mac. Sure the technology and user experience were radically better than the competition, but they further closed down the platform to partners and end users. Pretty quickly the open platform, multi-vendor combination promoted by IBM, Microsoft, and Intel won the day - even though it didn't work as well.

Comment Re:More bullshit (Score 1) 505

Do you own shares in the company or something? It's awfully hard for me to believe that a boutique car company selling 50k+ vehicles is somehow going to transform the economy and have more impact than the interstate highway system. There is no new technology required to build electric cars. Even the batteries are good enough to provide enough power for most commuters today. If you want electric cars to be delivered next year you just have to do one thing -- increase the price of fuel dramatically. Until that happens none of this matters and no efforts short of that to move to electric cars will work.

Comment Re:Green Car on a Budget - Innovation Not Required (Score 0, Troll) 505

I just don't know why we have to keep on waiting for an electric car we can buy off in the future. Electric cars aren't new. This isn't about innovation. There is no new technology required to deliver electric cars. Just retool the factories and get started. Now that the government owns a big part of GM why not have a cheap electric car for 2010?

Comment Circuit City Back in the Day (Score 2, Informative) 417

16 years ago when I worked for Circuit City they had a similar procedure. Sales counselors (as we were called) weren't explicitly instructed to deny the product to customers who didn't want the "cheese" (aka extended service plan or ESP) - but we too were subject to management scolding and eventual firing if we didn't meet our quotas. So there was a significant incentive to tell customers who didn't want the ESP, especially on a promotional item with a low spiff (aka commission) that they should either buy something else or maybe wait around awhile while the sales person ignores you until you leave. From the sales person's perspective, why bother selling a laptop that pays the sales person a dollar or 2 (if it's on sale) and reduces his or her ESP percentage? The only way out is to lie about stock, sell lots of overpriced accessories, or upsell to a higher margin unit with a higher spiff.

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