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Comment this already exists (Score 1) 96

Old eproms stored there data with a series of fuses. When first programming the chip fuses would be selectively burnt out to store the program data. A program that burnt out the remaining fuses would brick the chip. Modern eproms have limited read write cycles. A program that rewrote the chips over and over again could brick a chip in a matter of seconds.

Comment This is bulshit. (Score 1) 503

We have had combine harvesters for the last 70 years that can replace hundreds of farm laborers. We have automated factorys that can run at night after we turn the lights out. Despite all of these advances we work longer hours than peasants in the middle ages, and longer hours than hunter gatherers. Something tells me that a magic replicator will not create a leasured utopia. We have had the technology for a leasured utopia since the industrial revolution and probably since the birth of agraculture. If you think technology will bring about post scarcity your a fool, we have had the technology for post scarcity for the last 80 years.

Comment splashdown (Score 1) 113

Why don't they just use a splashdown? It seems that corrosion resistance is relativly easier to solve than landing a rocket on a platform thats swaying in the ocean. You could even have it splashdown in a freshwater lake or a barge half filled with fresh water. You would also save the weight penalty of landing gear.

Comment splashdown (Score 1) 81

I don't know why they just don't land the thing in the water. It seems like waterproofing and preventing corrosion is a lot easier to solve than the controll problem of landing on a barge. Unlike landing on the moon, landing on a barge you have to deal with wind gusts, currents, and waves. A splashdown would leave a larger margin of error and neglect the need for landing gear.

Comment Programming is all about abstraction (Score 1) 876

Richard Feynman: "Thinking is just like having a conversation with yourself." Friend: "Oh yeah(sarcasticly). Do you know what a crank shaft looks like?" RF: "Of course." Fr: "Than describe it's shape to me" RF: "..." Some concepts are better understood visually and some are better understood with text. Most textbooks have pictures and text. Can you emagine giving a contracter a set of plans written in text? One of the main obsticles to visual programming is it is currently used to teach coding. This is a terrible idea. In order to understand code you must have at least some basic concept of whats going on in the background. Visual programming abstracts this away. That being said, visual coding could be extremly usefull if you could use several paradigms at once, text and visual(s). For example you could start out your code with text, then insert picture that describes a controll loop. Inside one of the controll loop boxes there could be more text. Another box might contain a graph that in conventional programming would require a table or a seprate data file. Another box could contain a spreadsheet. Another box could contain a differential equation written in standard mathematical notation. Another box would be a visual layout of the GUI. etc... If you stick to one visual paradigm your going to make certain abstractions harder or impossible while making others easier.

Comment Use plugin hybrids (Score 1) 734

The main problem with purely electric vehicles is long recharge times, low battery energy density and lack of backward compatibility with current infrastructure. Plug in flex fuel hybrids seem like the way to go. The best option seems to be a Brayton cycle turbo-electric drive-train with a battery backup. The advantages of having the US car and truck fleet switch to this include: - It has a backward compatibility with current infrastructure. - Power to weight ratio of the drive-train is comparable to conventional cars. - Regenerative braking allows for better efficiency. - Brayton cycle engines run on just about any liquid or gaseous fuel without modification. This allows an easy transition to alternative fuels. - It is an established technology that is used on excavation dump trucks and locomotives. - There is an advantage over purely eclectic vehicles. Apartment dwellers who cannot run an extension cord to there car can still use it. It can still be used for long trips. - Regenerative breaking reduces fuel consumption - The drive-train has fewer moving parts and is much more reliable. Cars with a disabled turbine can still function as purely electric vehicles. - The turbine and battery pack can be made to be easily removable and upgradeable. - It increases elasticity in oil demand thereby reducing oil price spikes.

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