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Comment Re:Well, duh. Mass transportation is a slush fund. (Score 1) 392

The Channel Tunnel goes under the English Channel / La Manche not the Atlantic.
(A tunnel from the British Isles to America under the Atlantic, now THAT would be impressive)

The "Chunnel" is indeed a fine thing, but....

"At £5.5 billion (1985 prices), it was at the time the most expensive construction project ever proposed and the cost finally came in at £9 billion ($21 billion); way over its predicted budget."

Comment Re:In this economy? (Score 2) 562

I mostly agree, but back in the day both my (high-end admittedly) home and car cassette players had a "skip track" function.
They searched for the silences between tracks, (so useless for some classical music pr jazz etc. arrangements), but otherwise worked, albeit slowly.
I listened to stuff recorded from records using high-quality tapes and Dolby B. In a noisy environment like a car, was fine.
In the home studio, not so much...

Comment Too bad most will never be used (Score 3, Informative) 94

I'm guessing most will serve to pad the team's pay packet and IBMs "defensive" patent portfolio that all tech (and other) companies seem to need today.
It's all just a giant bullshit bluff many, if seriously challenged, would really turn out to be genuinely innovative, non-obvious, no prior art etc.?
IBM used to patent real stuff that went on to be built into real products - hard drives today all use discoveries made by IBM researchers, for example. Hell, when I was working there we had people who had won Nobel prizes working in R&D...
Nowadays? Not so much...sad.

Comment Think laterally; buy an RV or do a sun-house (Score 1) 303

I've tried both, and both can be made to work.
Building a sun-house adds value to your home, and with glass everywhere and fitted out with a few plants you blur the boundaries between "inside" and "outside".
Problem is lighting and heating/cooling - things heat up and cool down fast, so spend on good double or triple glazing, and even then you'll need shades in summer.
Advantage is that you can tap into the services already in the house so no worries about cables (lightening!) etc. Plus if you need the's right there.
I put a few extra bucks into the budget and made enough room for a meeting table which doubles as a dining area and is also perfect for Sunday brunch.
Buy dual-use wooden furniture, and make the tables into work surfaces by throwing leather hides onto them; cheap, easy to clean, decorative when reversed.
Someone else mentioned pets; yes, the cats love coming into the sun-house, but then of course insist on lying on the keyboard....ah, first world problems.

The RV can pick them up for peanuts, then optimise for your use. Probably cost you less than a building a new office.
It's amazing how much space you get in even a small vehicle if you rip out the stuff you don't need; plus you can keep the can if you want...
Plug into your house power and you've even got ac and heating.
As a bonus, you can even drive it!

Comment Doctors and patients are more risk (& pain) av (Score 4, Interesting) 277

Medical liability cases are increasing around the world, and the cost of insurance is driving many people from the profession. (See articles)
My wife wanted to give birth at home, it was both very difficult to organise and extremely costly.
All her friends said she was mad; plan the date with your Dr. for a C-section, fast, painless and no stress waiting for contractions to start.
It's as much a matter of convenience for both sides as a question of baby size IMHO.

Comment Meh. Smart guys will avoid. (Score 0) 98

Back in the day, when i travelled regularly to Russia, I would take a handful of blackberrys activated with western SIMS and secure emails; sold them as a nice sideline. Not to organised crime, but to middle-class friends who were active in pro-democracy groups or were just concerned about their privacy. Was "tribal knowledge" (I thought it paranoid at the time, but turns out was true, there but also in Saudi and India) that BB - who had built their reputation on security - had sold out to the Govt. Foreign devices were reputed still secure.
So, avoid anything "Govt. approved" like the plague: these days I hear the privacy tool of choice is a rooted android device with cyanogen, secure messenger and (still) a foreign sim. Expensive, but hey, what price freedom?

Comment Re: A nice contrast to all the AI doom-mongering (Score 1) 80

Please read the fine article; it's a better hit rate than a human.
Sure, as a BSD neckbeard I don't like Google or Apple and their "Siri is always listening" (spying) bullshit.
But you know what? If my Gran could have continued to interact with her family in a comfortable way, I guess she'd have signed that Faustian pact happily.

Comment A nice contrast to all the AI doom-mongering (Score 4, Interesting) 80

My beloved grand-mother went deaf after years working in a factory; (in those days - especially during WW2; she helped build tanks - HSE did not exists).
It was really painful to see how it penalised her in daily life, family gatherings etc.
She ended up talking all the time, and then getting paranoid about "what people were saying about her".
So, if this can be used with some kind of (better-resolved implementation) of Google glass to help the hard of hearing then, great!

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