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Comment Meaning (Score 1) 239

If words meant things, we wouldn't have this argument twice a week. Unfortunately, it's an unenforceable suggestion - people use words as they please.

I prefer to think of this as storing something in three geometric dimensions and two buzzword/marketing dimensions.

As to the time-as-a-dimension thing, was there ever anything so completely wrong? Do things change over time in the second or fourth geometric dimensions? Whoops.

I have to learn to admit to myself that the dimension discussion, like the "what's a planet" discussion, has become political and therefore entered the realm of the perpetually insoluble.

Comment Pedestrians... oy (Score 1) 253

1) The vehicle code says pedestrians have the right of way. Physics says the 3000lb vehicle has the right of way. One of those rules may override the other.

2) I see more and more idiot pedestians walking or riding bikes out in front of cars, and kids playing in the street. You can try to protect everyone from stupidity, but you're going to fail, because nothing is more ingenious than an idiot.

3) Yes, drivers need to be more careful. But pedestrians, carrying around the short end of the momentum stick, need to be even more more careful.

Comment Well... most of the 'fail' has been covered... (Score 1) 1385

... so let me just say, do you remember that guy down the street who was always talking about building a helicopter hat, or having brushes under all the cars to keep the street clean, or making self-zipping pants?

Aren't you glad he didn't run for office and get into a position of political power?

He what?


Seriously, folks, it's a dunderheaded idea - I'm not saying all rail is, but we've got too much ground to cover and too many people spread out too far. As much as some people would like to, we're not going to move everybody around so they fit the needs of a rail system. And we aren't going to build a rail system big and complex enough to serve enough people.

I don't want people to give up their dreams, I just don't want to pay for them - especially for the really silly ones.

Comment Ambition (Score 1) 307

While I complained about the coverage, I don't have a problem with the ambition behind the project. I don't know how it will end, but I don't have a problem with building something to last 10,000 years to prove it can be done, or because you want your name up in lights or whatever. It will probably require renovations (like Jens Olsen's 25ky clock linked elsewhere here), but it's still an audacious concept, and admirable for that.

Comment Re:Kind of useless pictures... (Score 1) 307

Sorry I wasn't specific enough. The pictures (in the article) are largely small parts disassociated from their function or other parts they may be attached to. It's like the photographer was obsessed with the gears themselves and didn't care about the machine.

It seemed kind of more-artsy and less-informative.

Comment Re:First sector fails (Score 1) 357

No, wear-leveling just delays the inevitable. Eventually, the last "spare" block is written to, and after that you have a write failure. One more failed block and you could have catastrophic failure, exactly as described (depending on which block failed).

Comment Re:In my case (Score 1) 357

To go even more sideways on the topic, I have a Viper 550 alarm on my car (older model). The remote went through the washer and dryer twice. Still works fine.

Also, my dollar-store 10-pack "Clip Click" pens seem to be able to survive washing without staining anything, and still work afterward.

Somehow, modern technology started becoming reliable and durable when I wasn't looking.

Comment Doing too many things at once (Score 1) 281

Even if this worked, I don't want shock absorbers trying to keep the tires on the road (with springs), control weight transfer, aid in ride quality AND trying to make power.

It's not as bad as regenerative braking, of course. Brakes are a safety system, I don't want them to worry about anything but stopping.

And, of course, there's the weight, which is a substantial drain on fuel economy (depending on how much weight, of course).

You could probably save more fuel making something lighter and less complicated - at a materials cost, of course, for crashworthiness - nothing's free.

Comment Uncertainty (Score 1) 774

We just don't have the information to answer the question.

About the only thing I can state with any certainty is that the question isn't going to be answered by a bunch of academics sitting on their duffs making up all-variable equations into which they plug wild assumptions.

Either they're going to come here (or have), or we're going to go there. I love good speculation, but this one's tiresome. It's just grinding gears. I mean, Schodinger's Cat is an interesting thought-experiment, but if thousands or millions of people spent decades going over and over the details I'd consider it a sign of mass insanity.

Maybe SETI isn't a question of good or bad science, maybe it's a question of OCD.

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