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Comment Re:Earthquakes (Score 1) 58


Just how long do you think the vacuum in the tube will last once an earthquake breaks the tube?

Depending where the break is, the car could either stop abruptly, reverse abruptly or even speed up depending where the break is in relation to the car. If the occupants are very lucky, they could just be left somewhere random inside a powerless tube. If not lucky, they could be mashed flat or even plough into the break at 700 mph.

Comment Re:Question (Score 2) 92

Now that smartphones are ubiquitous, what's the point of SMS? Everyone has fast, easy, mobile access to email, which has none of the limitations of SMS (message size, tied to a device and not a person, etc.). Email, you can access on your phone, your PC, your tablet, or even a public web terminal in many cases. It even lets you communicate to someone without a phone!

Email requires you to have an email server, which either you or someone else (read: google) must host.

All you need for SMS is a phone number. No middle man.

Comment Re:Who the fuck cares? (Score 2) 118

Because a modern phone isn't really a phone any more.

It is what used to be called a Personal Digital Assistant, a handheld computer that might just occasionally be used for making voice phone calls.

It is a web browser, diary, ebook reader and everything else. Most people use them on wifi and avoid the phone companies whenever they can.

Comment Re:How long has Podesta's email been compromised? (Score 1) 269

I get invoices on my personal domain by email in .pdf format. Every one of them instructs me to print out a copy for my records. I'm sure that most people do exactly that because they can't get their heads around the idea that keeping a copy of the file is just as good and takes up much less physical space.

That works right up until the moment that your backing storage suffers a head crash.

Good luck showing those invoices to the taxman six months down the line.

If it is important, print it out. If it isn't, don't. Important here implies "These documents hold tax information or other details I am legally obliged to retain."

Comment Re:Not used here (Score 1) 279

I still have to understand why people need to control everything from their smartphone, when there are simpler solutions that require much less of your precious free time to be implemented and used.

IoT means more than just "control everything from your smartphone".

The only IoT device that I knowingly have is an IP camera in the room where our grandchildren sleep whenever they come over to stay. It is only switched on when they are with us.

It isn't controlled from a smartphone. It is accessed from one or more tablets. It is blocked from accessing the internet at my firewall. If there are firmware updates, I will download them and apply them manually, not that I expect that to happen before the sun grows cold.

The point is, IoT can mean any device connected to your local network, not just the shiny things people automatically think of. If you have such a network, then you are responsible for everything that is connected to it.

Comment Re:Goodbye Windows. (Score 1) 585

AFAIK this is only about Microsoft choosing to support chip features in Win 10 only, not that the chip manufacturers are barring other OSes. If that assumption is right then I don't understand why such a misleading submission was posted without correction on Slashdot.

Because it means that even if you use another OS, you'll need a Windows 10 system in order to update the processor firmware.

Some of the older Intel processors required booting from DOS floppies (or a USB lookalike) to update firmware; been there, done that. This looks like an attempt to remove that limitation. Hey, if it just happens to make difficulties for the opposition at the same time, who's complaining?

Comment Re:Radiation (Score 1) 412


The whole purpose behind developing the ability to land Falcon 9s on Earth is to eventually take them to Mars and land them.

You would need a lot less fuel to land on Mars and you wouldn't have to worry about water landings.

Once they get the techniques for producing fuel from Martian resources sorted out, that reuseable Falcon 9 is handy for getting stuff back into Martian orbit... and landing back on Mars again.

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