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Comment Re:Oh my god (Score 3, Interesting) 403

It will cost more to supervise someone who does not want to work than it will to automate the job or hire someone productive.

No it doesn't. If their job is to do an automated task, the task can have a built in quality control. If they don't meet a minimum standard, then they don't get paid.

Example: My wife runs a educational website where teachers/parents can upload content. But before kids can access the content, it must be reviewed for inappropriate content (porn, profanity, etc). She uses Amazon's Mechanical Turk to hire workers to screen the content. 90% of the content is new, but 10% is randomly inserted content that has already been screened, and is known to be either be either appropriate or inappropriate. If the Turkers don't handle these tests properly, then their work is discarded, and they don't get paid .

The workers she hires are from India, Pakistan, Philippines, Indonesia, etc. But never from America. I see no reason that welfare recipients shouldn't be put to work on tasks like this instead of munching potato chips in front of the TV.

Comment Re:GMA 600? Last years Atom? $200?!? (Score 4, Informative) 214

yeah it certainly isn't a raspberry pi competitor. why buy this when you can buy a netbook for almost the same price??

Also, this thing is huge. Several times the size of a Raspberry Pi. It appears to require a wall wart, whereas a RPI can be powered from USB.

and check this out, 8 gpio pins. whee... no idea if any da/ad pins.

... and none of the GPIO pins can do hardware PWM. So this board is not much use for robotics.

Comment Re:Broken on first day (Score 3, Insightful) 148

How long does it take to etch a PCB (mould) and how long does it take for gelatine to cool down (finger cast)? (The method that Mythbusters used)

The Mythbusters episode was from 2006, and was done on a sensor that was even older. Technology improves. In a decade, it can improve a lot. Their technique would almost certainly not work today. Apple's sensor requires a pulse, and detects deep skin layers that do not show up on a lifted fingerprint.

Comment Re:Googlers? Really? (Score 2) 53

Solar powered aircraft will never be a viable means of transportation

Transportation is not the only use for aircraft. Solar powered planes would be ideal for surveillance, and as communications relays. For these applications speed is not important, but long loiter time and low maintenance are big benefits.

Comment Re:Why are nuclear fission systems too heavy? (Score 4, Informative) 268

But I should think the minimum safe distance from an unshielded reactor would preclude anybody actually getting near enough the spacecraft to prep it for launch.

A fission reactor that has been assembled, but never operated, does not produce much radiation. Enriched uranium and/or pure plutonium are not particularly dangerous (unless inhaled or ingested). It is the fission byproducts from actually operating the reactor that are dangerous. Even this minimal radiation could be avoided by using temporary shielding that is removed (possibly by a robot) immediately before the launch.

Comment Re:Why are nuclear fission systems too heavy? (Score 1) 268

And as far as I recall, you essentially need lead to block the radiation.

Not necessarily. Instead of shielding, you can use distance. Fission reactors produce little radiation until they start operating. So you launch into space, then separate your main payload from the reactor using a long conductive tether. Then fire up the reactor.

Comment Re:Enough is Never Enough (Score 1) 112

Enough is never enough with these kind of people.

Several tools are being developed that can look inside your brain while you are being interrogated. These include EEG to measure your brains electrical activity, and fMRI to measure metabolism. So far these are too bulky to be used surreptitiously, but "they" are working on that. Invest in tinfoil.

Comment Re:autopilot for cars so like all the cost of the (Score 1) 287

Like something falling off the truck in front of you?

It is funny that people bring up examples where split second response, and accurate steering control are crucial. These are exactly the situations where autonomous systems are the strongest, and will do better than a human 99% of the time.

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