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Comment Re:Topsoil-based fuels are wrongheaded in every wa (Score 1) 238

We've been "using up the topsoil" for hundreds of years, thousands in Europe... I question what will happen when cheap phosphate is gone, but there will be "dirt farming" for some time to come, whether or not some of the output is used for fuel.

Personally, I thought the time to get off fossil fuel was when tar-sands became economically feasible, whether that's transition to sugar beets, rapeseed oils, or algae... We'd probably be best off developing a mix, instead of a single dominant tech selected based on current economics.

Comment Re:Topsoil-based fuels are wrongheaded in every wa (Score 3, Informative) 238

Well, what I read that I like is over 1000 gallons of ethanol produced per acre-year. Since my family ethanol/gasoline needs are approximately 1000 gallons per year, that means that even evil energy beet fuel production only needs one acre of farm land to produce our energy needs, half that if we update our vehicles to higher efficiency ones. This is, of course, ignoring the cost of production issues.

Now, with nearly 100 million families of four (equivalent, also consider that we might be below average in our fuel consumption) in the U.S. - 100 million acres is a lot of farmland - a bit over 10%, but it wouldn't be a bad transition from oil.

Maybe algae energy is better, certainly is if it can be done on marginal lands, but either way, I'm liking the biofuel implications here.

Comment About time... (Score 4, Insightful) 124

These places aren't about internet access at all, they are plain and simple gambling establishments.

If you want to legalize gambling, fine, do it. But, letting it happen this way just leads to sad little strip-mall locations where poor people gather to lose what little money they have in the name of "entertainment."

Comment Re:Clean water is going to become a huge problem. (Score 1) 116

I've always though that plastics were a by-product of petroleum fuel - all this cheap plastic furniture is basically cast-off from the fractioning process, sure it could be used as fuel, but why not just sell it cheap to Little Tykes to make disposable backyard junk?

Comment Re:Holy moly (Score 1) 116

Ummmm.... the ocean is big, really big, and whatever water a major city needs is a small consideration compared to evaporation. You could tap a supply for all of south Florida from a single point and still dilute it to harmless levels just by mixing your 200% brine solution with 10 parts of straight seawater before discharge. I suspect industrial scale desalination would discharge much more dilute brine than 200%, unless they were attempting to also harvest sea salts, anyway...

Comment Re:Eh, that's it? (Score 2) 619

When phones do cook and make your bed, you'll definitely want that too...

All I want is a decent smartphone with a battery life comparable to my "dumbphones" that I have been carrying for the last 7 years - I can charge on Sunday and go until Thursday with heavy (3 hours a day talktime) usage without needing a charge - they will go over a week with light talktime - and these "dumbphones" have video recorders, voice recognition, bluetooth, etc.

Comment Re:recycling (Score 3, Interesting) 154

Normally, I would agree with the one good device trumps four pieces of junk approach, but in the case of 7" tablets, there's a great deal of power in junk. There are a lot of dedicated use scenarios (such as OP's music station) where a junker tablet will do that job quite well, and with the cash you saved from buying a "great" tablet, you can get a Kindle Fire HD for handheld media consumption - still not the ultimate tablet, but great at what it does, and I thought it was a pretty good buy at $249...

Comment Re:It's like running a small business (Score 3, Informative) 257

Totally concur with this... when you freelance, you're not just coding, you're the whole business, including marketing, sales, accounting, collections, spec capture, coding, testing, customer service, etc.

If you make $x/hr coding at your day job, you'll probably need to make $2x/hr for your coding time to cover all the other stuff doing little freelance jobs - if you're looking to make a similar overall hourly rate.

It can be a lot of fun, it can also help you appreciate all the stuff your day job does for you.

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