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Comment Re:Hydrogen is indeed quite dangerous... (Score 1) 479

If solar energy were dirt cheap but batteries were still for shit, then yeah, using H2 as a storage medium wouldn't be so bad. However, both PVCs and batteries are getting better all the time. The latest lithium-air batteries actually have the same energy density as gasoline. H2's density is still better of course, but has a host of storage problems that make even a lesser storage system more appealing.

Comment Space Activity Suit (Score 1) 37

Space suits in general and the SAS in particular are why I no longer give a rat's ass what happens to NASA. Cut their funding, Congress orders them to start launching their rockets upside-down, I couldn't care less. NASA had a working prototype of a replacement for those injurious, exhausting, and dangerous inflatable suits 40 goddamn years ago, and they flushed it down the toilet and haven't looked back since.

The future of the human race is in outer space, but NASA will have zero role in it. Giving them money would be no better than throwing it away.

Comment Re:Perfect analogy for NASA (Score 4, Interesting) 184

Not really. The tools are impressive, but mostly in how they try to overcome the crippling need to run remotely from umpteen million miles away.

Let's have a look:

Lists 14 instruments. But 5 of them are just cameras, strategically placed because they can't be moved. My friend the amateur photographer could do much better with her DSLR. The "environmental monitoring station" measures humidity, pressure, temperatures, wind speeds, and ultraviolet radiation; not exactly groundbreaking stuff here. Same with radiation assessment. There's a robotic arm capable of drilling holes a whopping 2" deep and a dust removal tool, commonly known as a 'broom'. The "Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons" sounds sexy as hell, but then you realize a person with a trowel could do the same job.

The other instruments are all spectrometers and a chromatograph. The means by which they work are novel, due to the aforementioned remote requirements, but the end result is not really different from what could be done in any decent lab 50 years ago. Honestly, a decent scientist with a shovel and a few thousand dollars in high school lab gear could do better than all the rovers ever sent. God help us if we ever needed a probe to do something _really_ difficult.

So by all means, send what probes are needed to figure out how to get people there, but anything beyond that will just provide minimal information at enormous cost.

Comment Re:Was it EA..... (Score 1) 386

> Wake me up when every single AI agent is simulated in detail with urges, wants, needs, desires, disgust, hatred, genetics, a simulated lifespan from birth to death....

I did like that part of the Total War series. The lifespan of your family members is a real concern. Train a son up into a terrifyingly competent commander, then he goes dies of old age? Fuck! Definitely a good start, though.

How about a massively multiplayer civ game? Run it at or nearly at realtime, so no tech tree. BUt every city, every army, everyone in any sort of position of power is controlled by a real person, all jockeying for MORE.

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