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Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 247

The problem with the serialized series is that many arcs simply do not contain enough plot to be sustained over 10-13 shows. Often by the end of the series, one is feeling that the ending is long overdue - and I've often stopped watching these series at show five or six simply because their plot pacing was so glacial.

If Netflix wants to really produce great programs, they also need to drop the standard 10 or 13 program package. Sometimes a story does take a long time to tell. Other times it's just filling out contractual obligations.

Comment Re:Why the focus on communication tech? (Score 1) 348

Masood supposedly sent a message just before the attack. It's hard to imagine how it could be anything other than some emotional venting. "Goodbye" "Alahu Akbar" "Now you'll take me seriously"....

The politicians imagine that he could be sending a final message to his "controller" or some other jihadist. But that seems pretty unlikely. He was almost certainly self-radicalised and acting on impulse.

And if he had, even having a copy of it would be undoubtedly a dead end -- the jihadis can read the newspapers, they know GCHQ and NSA are bugging everything everywhere. Osama gave up using the phone or email and had couriers carrying messages by hand. ISIS obviously has a bunch of tech guys for the web presence. Modern cryptography is not hard to understand and easy to implement.

The thing to take away from this attack is that in the UK, it's very hard to buy a gun and this loser used his car and a knife, killed four. If he'd liven in Birmingham Alabama instead of Birmingham, Midlands, he'd have been able to gear up at his friendly neighbourhood gun store and scored like the Orlando nutter who killed 49 people.

Comment Re:Incoming (Score 1) 264

None of this is significant in terms of being any kind of a showstopper, in my estimation as an engineer. Yes, there are lots of things to cover in such an undertaking. No, none of the ones you mention are expected to pose significant problems.

Adequate power systems (power to weight, and charge issues) and the highest level management software are the only two hurdles really still a distance away. The former looks like it's going to fall within a year or two, the latter I give ten years, max.

Comment Re:Incoming (Score 1) 264

I didn't say a word about drones, if by drones, you mean quadcopters and the like.

As for robots, your thinking is too constrained. There are lots of design options that will handle snow just fine (and every other kind of terrain) that don't involve tires. Spider legs, for instance.

Vandalism: easily vandalized robots are counter indicated, obviously. Likewise robots that don't record what's happening to them. These are trivial engineering issues in the sense that solutions are readily available. They're no significant impediment to robot deliveries.

Fraud: One obvious solution is payment before delivery. Another, for payment on-site, is the same tech, or related tech, to that which lets a soda machine know you actually fed it dollar bills, before allowing access to the cargo. This isn't even a problem requiring solution before proceeding -- otherwise there would be no delivery now, and that's obviously not the case.

The only tech that really needs to happen that we don't quite have yet is the smarts to run the robot, and we're a little short on power systems, too. But we're very, very close. Solve those, get the cost down to where it needs to be, integrate available tech, and done.

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