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Comment Re:Automation and Unemployment (Score 1) 602

But there is a hypothetical case where everything we need can be made by robots, even the robots. In that case we would need a new economic system to distribute wealth.

Agreed, full-heartedly.
In addition to this, some adjustments to the legal system will be necessary as well.

As the French writer Anatole France put it in 1894, in a pretty cynical way:
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."

The alternative to these adjustments (in fact, a lot more than just that, of course), to quote from a posting above, by Mr. Tom Guycot:

The only other option is the one we're currently going down, which is that of some kind of sci fi dystopian corporate future with massive slums/even greater prison population (maybe they'll just start merging them)

Comment Re:a thing of beauty? (Score 1) 438

But that thing looks like the Staten Island Ferry. A nice one, but a ferry none the less.

I just went to Google, typed in yachts and hit image. There were some truly beautiful boats; sail and powered. Steve Jobs was NO boat designer.

Philippe Starck isn't, either.

The stern of the vessel has obviously been designed with later alternative purpose use in mind.

So she might end up as a luxury ferry boat delivering services exclusively for owners of eight and twelve cylinder cars (Bugattis, Porsches, Bentleys, Lamborghinis, you name it) between some of the most fashionable sea side locations of the world, such as Hyannis Port and Biarritz were in their days.

Maybe one of the princes in the Persian Gulf area wants to run a ferry between Dubai and Kuwait, who knows? Just cut a wide enough opening into the stern of the hull, Philippe Starck will again be pleased to help with the aestetics, I am sure.

The thing is dead ugly.

Comment Re:Size matters... (Score 3, Informative) 81

For a number of scientific considerations, one can treat elementary particles (like the electron) as point-like objects, and legitimately so.

But the Planck length is a unit that is about 18 magnitudes (i.e., 18 powers of 10) smaller than anything one might define as the "size" of an electron.

If you imagine a ruler with a dozen Planck lenghts as units printed on it instead of inches, then in comparison an electron would be an enormous object, much bigger than the size of a planet.

Comment "Rep Wade stated that evolution is just a theory" (Score 1) 1218

"Representative Ben Wade stated that evolution is just a theory"

Just another politician who doesn't know anything about the essential terms and methodologies science is supposed to be based on.

This would still not be anything of a big deal - if these people just could keep themselves away from talking publicly about science and, even more important, about science education as part of their political agenda.

P.S. Whenever I hear this "... is just a theory" statement, in the first moment I should like to learn an example for something that is *not* "just a theory" according to people like Mr. Wade and others of his kind. But then, thinking again, I am not sure if I really want that at all. It might perfectly well turn out to be a ridiculous, boring experience, along the lines of "heavens", "hell", "eternal punishment" etc...

Comment When Jobs was still alive, (Score 2) 291

I read another possible answer to the "Why Tennessee?" question.

That article back then said, that, unlike most states in the U.S., Tennessee doesn't require a patient to be a resident of the state in order to be entered to the recipients' list.

It was required that when a trasplant organ was available and person X was on top of the list, this person should be at the TN transplant centre in 24 24 hours or even much less (don't remember the exact period of time that was stated). Otherwise (when nor showing up in time) the patient would be re-scheduled back to the bottom of the list.

In Jobs' case, this latter requirement was easily met by means of a nice private Gulfstream business jet, of course.

Also referring to Jobs, a transplant surgeon said in an interview that in his area all patients with a medical history of cancer would be generally excluded from getting a donor liver at all, due to the fact that there weren't enough livers available for all the patients without any cancer history.

Comment Yuin G-Series (G2A matches price limit) (Score 1) 448

On-ear (left and right parts have their separate ear-clip), pretty linear characteristics (no particular "bass boosting"), with an analytical, somehow "cool" (as opposed to "warm") output.

In my opinion, the Yuin G1A and G2A are excellent for classical and voice music, including solo instruments and quartets.
Enthusiasts of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal would be disappointed, though. They'd rather look elsewhere.

If your mobile audio device will not drive high impedance earphones, the G2A (low ohm) will do fine.
Last time I checked, the G2A was $49 in the U.S., around £45 in the U.K.
One can get Yuins from Hong Kong as well, see the offerings of your preferred auction house on the internet.

(Most portable devices will need a portable amp to drive the G1A, due to its high impedance. And it is way above the price limit)

Note: Both the G1A and G2A do *not* isolate the user acoustically, they let pass a good portion of environmental sound (and noise).

Comment The summary needs editing. If this (Score 1) 170

'every integer can be expressed as the sum of two primes'

were correct, Goldbach's conjecture would be a very simple way to find a huge number of primes.

If so, any given odd integer would be the sum of an even prime (with a very limited choice, namely the number 2) and another prime, one of the odd ones.
If so, any given odd integer would lead to a prime, the ultra-easy way.

But it doesn't. You don't necessarily get a prime as a result by just taking an arbitrary odd integer and subtracting 2 from it. In most cases, you'll get another odd integer and that's it.

So 'every even integer can be expressed as the sum of two primes' is a more precise way to put Goldbach's conjecture.

Comment Use of these nomad planets as "stepping stones"? (Score 1) 244

Or even as "vehicles"? How's that supposed to work?

There will be certainly be one of these "nomad planets" available in our vicinity with earth-like gravity plus a not-too-toxic atmosphere plus a magnetic field protecting against cosmic radiation, even such a planet heading in the desired direction like, say, Alpha Centauri.

Fine, so far.

But then, do what? Just sit comfortably on the surface of such a "nomad planet" and wait a million years or two until this "raft to the stars" arrives anywhere near Alpha Centauri?

Comment Bob Shaw (Score 1) 1244

"Orbitsville" (1975)

The crew of a spaceship discovers an object that turns out to be a huge Dyson sphere around a star built artificially by an unknown old civilization. The inner surface of the sphere is inhabitable, has a breathable atmosphere and calls for exploration, exploration big time. ;-)

Later there were two sequels, "Orbitsville Departure" (1983) and "Orbitsville Judgment" (1990).

I liked these novels - at least - as much as Larry Niven's "Ringworld" series.

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