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Comment The rise of the good-enough tablet (Score 1) 428

Tablets have pulled away from the PC market all those users who primarily do mail, browsing and Scrabble-class games. The way forward for desktops is to upscale into the professional market. When you want to run Autocad or Photoshop, nothing will substitute for a fast desktop.

There are also changes taking place in the way people work. In my consulting days I used a large laptop for everything; now that all my heavy software is being run in the home office only, I run a desktop there and a tablet on the road.

Comment Re:Well, duh. Mass transportation is a slush fund. (Score 2) 377

31.4 miles as the tunnel flies. The tunnel was one of the world's long-dreamed-up "impossible" projects that everyone thought would never be built. The only tunnel that was more "impossible" was the one between Honshu and Hokkaido. I've been through that one, too.

Comment Re:Well, duh. Mass transportation is a slush fund. (Score 4, Insightful) 377

"London and Paris are about 200 miles apart. The distance between San Francisco and Los Angeles is about 350 miles."

That's 200 miles with a stormy ocean channel in the middle vs 350 miles on land with some mountain passes. Every route has "interesting" construction problems, but the Swiss just completed a bullet train tunnel that passes under the Alps north-south in a straight line ("base tunnel") as if the range wasn't there. That dwarfs the largely political problems that are inflating California's HSR budget.

Commercial air travel is optimized for long distances. We will always use it to go from Los Angeles to Seattle, Chicago or New York. But trains in busy corridors can replace the fleet of planes it takes to shuttle people over Europe-sized distances within the US, just as they do successfully in, you know, Europe.

This is not new and unexplored tech. The cost overruns are not because it's a train, but because it's California.

Comment Re:Awesome (Score 5, Informative) 125

SpaceX is launching for Iridium, a private corporation, and making lease payments to the Air Force for use of SLC-4B at Vandenberg. At the Cape, SpaceX sells launch services to NASA as a replacement for the more expensive Russian launches of its Progress space sattion supply missions. Eventually, it will take over NASA's other Russian operation, ferrying ISS crews.

Comment Re:India = a bad place for vacations (Score 1, Funny) 278

"India is still a filthy third world country, with raw sewage flowing in the streams and rivers."

Then again if you were born in India, and grow up with your immune system warding off the bugs, you will probably be able to leap tall buildings and shoot webs with your fingertips. Why waste your time giving Americans bad customer service from call centers?

Comment Re:Well, duh. Mass transportation is a slush fund. (Score 2, Insightful) 377

It may work eventually, but it's a boondoggle for construction companies and mayors/governors.

So I must have been just dreaming when I thought I remembered zipping from London to Paris in just over two hours and sending emails from under the Atlantic seabed.

Submission + - SpaceX Returns to flight, nails manding (

Applehu Akbar writes: SpaceX successfully launched a 10-satellite Iridium Next package, and then landed on a drone ship — this time from Vandenburg AFB in California. The launch had been delayed several days by this week's record rainfall and flooding.

Comment Re: terror alert (Score 1) 136

Except that it's Samsung with the exploding batteries. But any chance to act like a shitknob and bash Apple because you lack any real intelligence or character, right?

The article did specifically cite an iPad and an iPhone 6S as being stowed in the spot where the fire started, as well as bottles of perfume. If the perfume had a high enough alcohol content, a shattered bottle could feed the fire from an exploding battery.

Although Apple device explosions are rare, they have happened, especially in reduced atmospheric pressure:

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