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Comment Re:Unsolvable problem (Score 2) 221

I imagine the main reason for the US liking nuclear power more is that the US is much larger than Germany. We have lots of very open spaces to store material. The Yucca Mountain project was an unfortunate failure (nearly from the start), but in America we have the area to put bad material in the middle of nowhere. To me at least it seems that will only be necessary for a few decades until we get new plants that can run on old waste. As long as the waste is dangerous it still has energy we can use. I am counting on the fact that new techniques will become available in 100 years or so to harvest the energy of the nuclear waste until it becomes something more manageable. Something that we can throw under another mountain in the middle of Arizona for 50 years and call it good.

But more importantly is we need nuclear energy. We are very dispersed around the country, wiki says Germany is at 234 people/km^2 while US is at 34 people/km^2. We can't use wind or hydroelectric for our baseline energy, it can surely supplement a good portion of what we need. But 315 million people need energy over almost every climate-zone possible. We need high localized energy that can be transmitted long distances.

I think to have taken nuclear energy so far and leave it with only one problem left to solve is not right. There's only one thing left to figure out, and we get awesome amounts of energy from right here in the US.

Comment Re:Xbox Subscription (Score 4, Insightful) 257

Microsoft pioneered online gaming for consoles. Before Xbox Live the Playstation network sucked. You had to hold down the square button, a face button, to talk in SOCOM 2-one of the extraordinarily few games to feature voice- and even then only one person could talk at a time. Playstation Online had no friends list, and required you to buy an extra harddrive (and hope you had the right ps2 to install it into).

Then along came Microsoft with Xbox Live. Voice chat in every game, cross games friend list, voice messages, game invites, it was crazy. For years Xbox had, basically, the only choice for online gaming. Ps2 online was crap compared to Xbox.

And you know the thing about all that is? It costs money. $50/year. If you can't pay that you probably should spend more time working and less time buying Xboxes.

As to Netflix, of course the system kicks you off for having different software than the servers. You can't wait a minute for a 20 mb download every few months?

If you own a console, Xbox Live is the best option. Speed, reliability, and even the updates are shorter than any other console. Playstation is getting pretty good (But Oh No! Playstation Plus isn't free either!), but they are always playing catchup.

Comment Re:Valve Handheld. (Score 1) 191

Ah, I hope that is true and the final Steambox is just one product.
So is the Xi3 just valve saying, 'This is the direction we want to go in'?

With the next gen sony and microsoft consoles coming out (most likely) this holiday season, do you think the steambox will come out a fair amount afterwards?

Comment Re:Apple is wide open compared to the consoles (Score 1) 191

On the consoles, you end up with the problem Robert Pelloni had when he tried to bring his RPG Bob's Game to the Nintendo DS: only developers with "relevant video game industry experience", "financial stability", and a "dedicated secure office" are allowed onto the consoles.

I can imagine it would be hard for the DS. But the Xbox 360 and PS3 have indie and arcade sections for just these people! I really only pay attention to the 360 ones, but some Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) games have really made it big. From 2D platformers, to puzzle games, to 3D shooters, there are tons of great high quality games there. And they are all made by regular people. Here's the steps to get a game on XBLA.

That does cost tens of thousands though. But there is also an indie section where all it costs is $100 to make your game (plus your time of course). There are similar things for the PS3.
It still costs quite a bit of money, like all business ventures, but Microsoft really hit a success with XBLA.

I don't know if this is the top selling game or anything, but Fez made $2 million dollars back in May on XBLA.

And Mr. Pelloni also ...threatened to get the game released on other distribution platforms including Xbox Live Arcade, Steam, the iPhone, and the PlayStation Network. So there are many ways for an indie developer to break into the market.

Comment Re:Valve Handheld. (Score 1) 191

The WiiU actually does this. You can play games on the 'iPad'-esque controller while some TV show (or whatever) plays on the TV.

But the WiiU is not scoring well with the 'core' gaming market. I am one of those young adults in a single apartment with a PS3, Xbox 360, and PS2 hooked up to my tv. I also have an old Xbox running XBMC in my bedroom. And there's a few reasons why the steambox/wiiU/appleplayer aren't appealing to me and quite a few of the other 'core' gamers I talk to.

The steambox (from the specs semi-released) are:
Between 4 and 8 gigabytes of DDR3 RAM
A quad-core 64-bit, x86-based 32nm processor running at up to 3.2GHz (with 4MB of Level2 Cache)
An integrated graphics card containing up to 384 programmable cores

That's just a computer. And a $999 one at that. There is a cheaper $499 option, but anyone who is interested in knowing the specs that they need to play (ie, tier 1 steambox vs tier 2) will just build a computer and hook it up to their tv with Steam's new 'Big Picture Mode.' There's no reason to buy a steambox; if you use Steam, you already have a computer.

The WiiU has the same problems as the Wii1. I know the Wii was the best selling console of the three big ones, but it didn't appeal to the 'core' segment for the simple reason that it had no good games. Sure it had a Zelda or two and a few Mario's, and a lot of people bought a Wii for those games. But that's it. After you play those games the Wii collects dust. Now that's not a problem for Nintendo because they didn't really sell the console at a loss (like most companies do). But if anyone else tried that it would be a bad idea.
But the WiiU does have your handheld idea. Which is actually really cool. But this comes at the cost of battery power (like you said), since even the tablet/controller can only last 4 hours without a charge. It also comes at a cost to graphics, since streaming content in real time to a tablet is rough. Most games already lag at 100 ms (fast action games are ~60 ms), and adding much more will kill the game, so they scale down the pixels. So for the 'core' market that buys all the $60 AAA titles, they want more, and the Wii can't deliver. When a game came out on all three systems (360, ps3, Wii), the Wii was by far the worst one. It had less power, worse controls, and a terrible online system. Obviously I cannot speak for the future of the WiiU, but I imagine something similar when the new Xbox and Playstations come around.

Now as for the biggest threat being Apple? I've never heard this before and it seems quite silly. But this really sticks out:

'Well, I could buy a console, which assumes I'll re-buy all my content, have a completely different video system, and, oh, I have a completely different group of friends, apparently. Or I can just extend everything I love about the PC and the internet into the living room.'

The people who will buy games and consoles don't think this. Or if they do it's as easy as plugging in a cord to your tv, with the added benefit of not having an iOS system. Which I assume would be heavily locked down similar to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. If Apple enters the market they will have all the people who play the $1 games. The so-called 'casual' players. And if that's what Gabe is after, more power to him. But he is the creator of Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress 2, and the most popular game delivery system on the PC (and linux!). The future of gaming does of course involve both types of players, and the 'casual' market is probably bigger than the 'core' market. But the 'casual' players don't buy $500+ machines made for the sole purpose of playing games.

Apple might overtake Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo in terms of dollars if they want to, but that doesn't at all mean any lost Xbox, Playstation (or Wii!) sales. So I don't think the future of gaming is in any risk.

Comment Re:Ryan is an Ayn Randroid! just like Greenspan! (Score 1) 757

What did Rand admire so much about Hickman? His sociopathic qualities: "Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should," she wrote, gushing that Hickman had "no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel 'other people.'"

This may be true I don't know, but I feel you're focusing on 'OMG CHILD KILLER' and missing the point. It's like praising Hitler, because of his charisma and ability to gather people so strongly behind him. Yea he did bad things, but he was a good speaker.

It's the same here, these sociopathic qualities brought such a different way of thinking it opened her eyes. It allowed her to see things from a different viewpoint, and base her characters around that. Hell, the whole Galt's Gulch idea could've come from this. It fits the "Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should," idea pretty well.

In fact her openly admitting this shows how she took this lesson to heart. It takes a pretty strong person to tell the truth openly and completely all the time, but the idea she gained from this man, and the idea she says in her books, is that you should do exactly this, live life like 'other people do not exist for you, and do not see why they should.' Now that's not to say go out and kill a 12-year-old, but just to be yourself, and not what you think society would want you to be.

Why do I care where she got her beliefs? I read the books and attained my own beliefs based on them.

Comment Re:If I had say in the matter. . . (Score 1) 147

That's right, not to mention everything they have on that thing does basically the same thing. They're just measuring the composition of everything they can find.
If the gas chromatograph breaks, they use the liquid one, if that breaks they shoot an x-ray at it, then a neutron beam, a frickin' laser, etc. It's a pretty fancy robot.

Comment Re:If they can do any property, then here's one. (Score 2) 85

It could probably figure it out eventually. I don't know if it could beat us though. But I imagine we would tell it everything we knew about superconductors vs temperature for various molecules, then it would learn what's important to make the superconducting temperature go up, then learn how to make the superconducting temperature go up, then figure out what molecules could exist, then run simulations to see what would happen in the real world. Alot of computing.

Comment Re:Cybercheat? (Score 1) 484

I'm guessing that swapping PDFs of textbook answers is what they're talking about in engineering.

I wouldn't even call that cheating, I'm a student in engineering (US) and knowing the final answer in a homework problem is no substitute for the page(s) of work that it takes to get there. Infact, many problems will tell you the final equation. It gives you something to shoot for, and figure out why.

Comment Re:Waterworld (Score 3, Insightful) 309

What happened to doing things because they're cool. Sure it doesn't make sense now, but imagination is a powerful thing, and what about building the world's tallest building? There's no point to have a 150 story building, but we learned alot in doing so and we have something cool to look at. Who cares if it's pie-in-the-sky, great engineering projects would always seem silly. What do you think the people thought when Stonehenge was first being planned?

Comment Why e-readers? (Score 5, Insightful) 106

If Kno (the company) has its way, students will be carrying around a Kno (the device) rather than a stack of textbooks

Speaking as a student I want to know why all these companies keep thinking we want e-readers and e-books instead of textbooks. I don't want my textbook to go dead 9 hours into studying, or not be able to have 3-4 books open to 3-4 different sections each. I would however, like one for pleasure reading, but not a $500/5.5 lb machine. What exactly is this for?

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