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Comment Re:If confirmed, does this make it realistic? (Score 5, Insightful) 477

Are you serious? If the EM drive works we are at the gates of a major revolution in Physics (as in 'our understanding of Physics'). First we should have to understand how it works, tinker with it till the smallest-lightest-efficientest designs emerge. In parallel, other people would be trying to determine WHY it works. That's a much bigger task, that requires a rewriting of most Physic's textbooks. When we have a new theory that explains the EM drive, then probably still better drives can be designed, perhaps using other kinds of radiation.

What I'm driving at, is that discussing how possibly adequate or inadequate this EM drive is to space travel is like discussing the usefulness of electricity when good old Thales started rubbing amber pieces against animal skins.

Comment First or second part? (Score 4, Insightful) 227

Stranger in a Strange Land is really like two novels. The first part is good, classical Heinlein. The second part is some kind of rambling political pamphlet that always manages to bore me. I read somewhere that they were written with several years difference, and it shows.

I hope they base it in the first part, really. Well, probably, if it's a typical TV product, they will take the basic idea and massacre all else, so why do I care?

Comment Another irrelevant study (Score 1) 143

Come on. This is supposed to be a nerds' site. You should know that this kind of studies are useless because there is no way to prove causation. Perhaps people who like soda are more prone to diabetes in the first place. Perhaps (oh! sudden insight) they don't only drink soda but also overeat and don't move their sorry asses, like, ever.

When somebody makes a study of a thousand vegetarians that run 5K every day, and take half and force them to drink a glass of soda every day for ten years, and then compare the results with the other half, then I'll be interested. Until then, extracting a variable like this from such an interdependent mess as is human health, is simply the embodiment of a strong desire for publication, nothing else.

Comment Some mental adjustment (Score 4, Insightful) 598

Some mental adjustment will be necessary at first.

That's the understatement of the year. I've rarely read a more nerd-centric, normal-human-ignorant proposal. I suppose some things have to be written to scare the spiders away from keyboards. But giving them attention and consideration is a step beyond reasonable.

If you haven't managed to convince people in the USA to switch to metric, which is in use in the rest of the world, easier and more convenient, good luck making them wake up at two p.m. Oops, sorry, there won't be any a.m. or p.m, of course.

Comment Re:mountains of diamonds (Score 3, Interesting) 365

I notice that you didn't include India as a former colony, or the African colonies. Here is another alternate hypothesis. British culture is racist and genocidal and in some countries it invaded, it managed to exterminate the natives, creating in the process a homogeneous society, that can develop easier. French or Spanish invaders stopped killing the locals when they surrendered, and mixed with them, creating less cohesive societies, with different backgrounds and ways. It's just an hypothesis. See how well it checks with reality as compared with yours.

Comment Just as a thought experiment... (Score 1, Insightful) 220

Imagine what would have happened if it was the iPhone 7 battery the one exploding here and there. The hit that iOS would have taken would have been brutal. However, while Samsung suffers, Android doesn't even register the Note 7 debacle. Samsung could disappear tomorrow and other companies would take its sales in a blink. Evolution at work. That's because Android is a platform, not a company. In the end, platforms, specially if they are somewhat open, always trump companies.

Some day Apple will make a bad mistake, like Samsung has done, and then its trademark will suffer. If the mistake is bad enough, they might never recover from it. If they don't make a big mistake, they might make lots of small ones, and also lose ground. If they don't make either a big or many small mistakes, then some innovative company with a better product will pop up somewhere and be the next cool thing. And the important thing is that this company will be forced to use Android because Apple does not license iOS.

So in the end Apple always loses, because they use a closed environment and that means that they don't allow evolution to work. That fact has been obscured by the real genius that Apple has shown these past years in creating a whole new category of devices. That gives you a nice head start, of course, but it's finished now. Their market share is starting to reflect the realities of the dead hand of markethistory :-)

Comment Re:Selling at a loss (Score 1) 220

Well, if your share of the market drops below a certain point (technically known as the Blackberry point) then you won't get the new apps developed for your platform. And then you die. Slowly at first, then all of a sudden.

Of course rich people has Apple so it cannot die, and bla, bla. Well, rich people has money to change their phone in seconds if the NewHipApp isn't available for iOS. It's not like they are married to their iPhones, or rather it is like they are married to them, seeing how easily everybody divorces nowadays.

Comment Re:No, Just No (Score 1) 305

Well, no necessarily. You see, when full autonomous vehicles ride, there is the question of who pays for an accident if it was the "fault" of the autonomous driver. In could be Tesla, possibly by law. If it is, they can certainly restrict the kind of uses of the car, to be covered by that insurance. That's a still-to-be-decided practicality of autonomous cars, and one that will provide us with hours of entertainment.

Comment This time is different (Score 2) 917

I suppose it's impossible to stop people from feeling that this time is different, but it's never different. According to Wikipedia:

In 1870, almost 50 percent of the US population was employed in agriculture.[16] As of 2008, less than 2 percent of the population is directly employed in agriculture.

The unemployment rate has shrugged off that "job disappearance", somehow. Now other swathes of jobs will also disappear, and people will find other things to do. There is nothing different about this new "technical revolution".

Comment Re:I want to buy Twitter. (Score 1) 316

In principle, if you buy a company, your risk exposure is limited to your investment (that's what the "limited" in the companies' names mean). That's why you don't lose your house when you own stock in a company, even if it goes bust with billions in debt (see Enron there).

Of course if the investment is big and/or you intend to use capital to prop up it, or you incorporate it in your own company, the risks are different. But for a private person, the $5 bill is all you are to lose there. And you could censor all the tweets you didn't like in the meantime!

Comment That would help logistics too (Score 5, Interesting) 159

The only part of a laptop that has to be changed for each country is the keyboard, hampering logistics. If you can have a software-configurable keyboard, that would help reduce costs for unsold laptops, stock breaks, etc. Even in no application ever uses the facility, just that advantage should be enough, once you get to the right price-durability-functionality combo.

Also the resale value would be increased, as you can now sell it in any country.

Comment I have always wondered... (Score 4, Interesting) 221

...why this wasn't more widely used, specially by the US. It's the logical development from the "big drone bomb". A swarm of small drones with cameras and explosives locate the enemy, approach it, stick to it, and explode. You don't need a big charge for that, as you are sticking to the enemy. The enemy can blow up a couple of the drones, but you have tens in each operation. No civilian casualties, no risk to your own troops. You force the enemy to get out of sight where it cannot maneuver. You make thousands of the things and they go always ahead of the troops, to minimize risk. It seems such a no-brainer that the only thing I can think of, is that the developed armies are waiting to have good counter-measures for them before deploying it.

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