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Comment Re:A Miscarriage of justice! (Score 1) 325

It's probably not actual canon, but in the role-playing game, the armor actually did what it was supposed to: protect the wearer from blaster fire, or specifically energy weapons. It could be argued that actually having armor work as designed in a movie setting would make every battle ridiculously tedious: In the RPG, combat lasted forever because you had to wear down the armor/do enough damage to get through. In a movie, people would get bored if actual combat meant several minutes for every single stormtrooper. The opening sequence would have had no stormtrooper casualties and a complete victory for the Empire. End of movie, right there. (I can't believe we even go to any of these lengths to discuss fictional settings, but eh, we're nerds)

Comment Re:The Russians won in the end (Score 1) 256

The biggest difference between that period of time in the 70s and this, is that they already had plans on the table for the Shuttle and were moving towards implementing. There originally wasn't going to be a gap between Saturn launches and the Shuttle, but the Apollo program got shelved early, thus creating the gap and resulting in no ability to boost Skylab. In fact the Shuttle was being proposed back in the late 60's and one of the initial designs included the Nerva engine as its main engine, instead of what it ended up being, the Hydroxide/Oxygen Engine we ended up with. Now NASA has no plans moving forward other than private industry and they have no budgets for anything other than robotics. It's kind of sad to go to the Kennedy Space Center, look at the launch complex, and hear what the tour guides have to say as you drive by the Constellation Launch pad. It's ready to be used and yet, due to change of direction and political will, won't be. I think we'll see the Dragon capsule replace a large part of NASA's functionality though. As much as I have lived my life loving what NASA has done, I think they're future may be very grim.

Comment Re:Yawn (Score 1) 91

I agree with you on that. Cloud this, cloud that. It's a little tiresome. I have accepted that this is just how its being referred to now, and it doesn't appear to be slowing down, in fact just the opposite. The funny thing is when people make reference to the cloud without really knowing what the cloud is. Like those commercials crying out "To the cloud" when the end user is just RDP'ing to their home desktop. What cloud are you using there? The internet? Oh right. The internet is always pictured as a cloud on network diagrams. :)


Submission + - Predator out does Kinect (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: A real breakthough in AI allows a simple video camera and almost any machine to track objects in its view. All you have to do is draw a box around the object you want to track and the software learns what it looks like at different angles and under different lighting conditions as it tracks it. This means no training phase — you show it the object and it tracks it. And it seems to work really well!
The really good news is that the software has been released as open source so we can all try it out! This is how AI should work.

Comment Re:Riders (Score 1) 461

Funny thing about rider bills: Bill Clinton actually outlawed their use, and for a few short years there were none. Of course, one of the first things GW changed was to allow their use again. So ever since, its been business as usual. Unfortunately. Because the biggest problem, is that all someone has to do is attach a rider bill for something like dumping toxic waste in the ocean to a bill for child welfare. That way if a politician votes against it, it will effectively be career suicide because at the next election, people will say, "this man voted against child welfare. Do you really want this man representing you." Which is exactly the reason Bill Clinton didn't want their use.

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