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Comment Re:Duh (Score 1) 235

FTA: ... and the researchers believe they would be blasted outward in a cone directly in front of the ship. Anyone or anything waiting for you at the other end of your trip would be destroyed. ... The researchers are beginning a new round of number crunching to see how bad the problem is. It’s possible the deadly particle beam could be projected in all directions, making Alcubierre drives unworkable.

If I read the article right, they don't know if it is directional or not, or how bad the discharge could get.

Comment Re:As someone who lives in the NYC tri-state... (Score 1) 469

I agree with your sentiment. Where do companies, like Apple, go to raise cash to build the next big thing? There are many people on Wall Street who go to work everyday and just do their job. They buy and sell stocks for our IRA's, and balance the books for the bank so our pay checks will post to our accounts. Yes, there are some who game the system, but is that any different from a spammer who uses his knowledge to rip people off?

Comment Re:From TFA (Score 1) 179

When do you decide that you are throwing good money after bad? I believe the DoE's role should be to help fund and develop new ideas. They should stick with the research until they can show the potential (or lack there of). 20 years is a long time, and the conclusions seem to show that there is no value. If some private organization wants to pick it up, so be it, but the public money could be put to better use developing other alternative energy sources.

Comment Re:From TFA (Score 1) 179

I think this should have been included in the summary. The study does not rule out this technology. I concludes stating that more R&D is necessary if it has a chance to become a viable technology. However TFA also notes that the DOE invested in this for 20 years, concluding that "... algal biofuels were unlikely to be cost-competitive with petroleum...". I am not sure I would be excited about putting more public money behind this.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 178

Some companies are getting wise to this. Yes, this will take you to a real person, but that person is often nothing more than a switchboard operator. Many times they have routed me back to the same prompt queue I just escaped from.

Comment Re:redundant ? redundant? (Score 1) 289

You are correct, the QR code can be copied, but this becomes one more thing for the forger to be concerned with. The individual security features on a bill don't make it hard to reproduce. It is the combination of dozens of them that (hopefully) makes it too costly for them to reproduce. Some of the features are there to make it easy for the public to spot a fake, such as the water mark, or color shifting ink. There are other secret features that are put there by the government to help them identify, or fingerprint a specific forger. I suspect that the QR code would be more useful to law enforcement that the public.

Comment Re:redundant ? redundant? (Score 2) 289

As other posters have pointed out, what if the QR code contained a hash of the serial number and a few other identifying marks visible on the bill? Now you can use the infrared QR and OCR to validate a given bill. In general I think the mints have given up on creating a forge-proof bills. They just keep updating the design with forge resistant features to stay one step ahead. The only problem I have with this is that there are so many different designs in circulation that a lay person cannot easily spot a fake, and may be more likely to accept one.

Comment Re:Romney waived a red flag (Score 1) 836

Academic records have been a hot button issue for the last few presidential cycles? Kerry, Bush had similar grades at Yale, Comparing the academic record of Al Gore, John Kerry and George W. Bush, John McCain's academic record, Gore's Dubious School Record. I personally am not asking, I really don't care to be honest. But it is a fair comparison. Neither candidate is required to provide any such documentation, precedent or not. If you feel you have not been given enough info about a candidate, then vote for the other guy.

Comment Re:I had the exact opposite experience (Score 1) 285

I agree with the cautions on trusting an instructor, yet at the same time a student is not a good judge either. If I am learning something for the first time, how am I to know that what I've been taught is good until I have a chance to put it to use?

This is why most universities have an accrediting body. That body audits the school to be sure they are offering a sensible curriculum, and that the faculty are qualified to teach the material. I think it is safe to assume that some of these online schools will eventually submit for some form of accreditation (if they haven't already). That process will flesh out the kinds of problems identified in this particular online class.

Comment Re:Companies don't live forever. (Score 1) 127

When I first read the headline, I thought they were encoding an obituary of some kind, rather than just a web link. As other posters have pointed out, real data would likely stand the test of time, rather than a link to a server that may not exist in 5 years, let alone 500. This all got me thinking though, a QR code is nice, but I have seen many headstones with faded/eroded text, and some were only a 150 years old. For how long is the engraved granite or etched metal going to be readable? Should this info also be buried with the body, or just under the headstone?

Comment Re:Romney waived a red flag (Score 1) 836

I know this is not the same a court of law, but I regard this issue in the same way as a person pleading the Fifth at trial. Silence, from either candidate could mean anything. Something as simple as embarrassment over poor performance on a final exam, to outright fraud on a tax return. It is easy to let your imagination run wild. In the absence of some other information you have to just accept what you have been given, then choose to believe (or not) what you have been told. If you feel the candidate has not given you enough information about them to make a choice, then vote for the other person. To run around for months or years demanding the same info, while making wild speculation about what it contains, just seems silly to me.

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