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Comment Nope (Score 1) 40

Keep your $50 dumbphone turned off or in Airplane Mode when you're not actively using it, and the ability to track you dwindles to essentially zero.

No. The only way to absolutely stop a tracking system from following you via your phone is to take the battery out. When it's "off", that doesn't mean it can't listen or use the radio. That "off" button is a softkey. Not a power switch. You think "I'm turning it off", it's going "hey, user pressed a button... now, what shall I do in response..."

However, no electrons available is a complete show-stopper.

Comment Re:paying customers, beta testing (Score 1) 108

Yep, Apple doesn't sufficiently test an EXTREMELY limited number of combinations prior to releasing the product. Typically that is considered "beta testing by user". Which is what appears to be here. And you still haven't said anything back to bmimatt about your erroneous statements made on false data.

Comment Star Trek has a lot to recommend it (Score 1) 43

Just because shit looks good on TV doesn't mean it will work in real life.

Doesn't mean it won't, either. Because, you know, it's TV. But it does mean there's an interest in it when it's pervasive and repeated. As those things are. And if there's a way, and there's interest...

And the holodeck, at least, doesn't have any particular physics laws standing in the way.

Warp drive, well, there's that whole Alcubierre thing. It looks not actually impossible, so there's that.

Comment Re:Maintenance? (Score 1) 117

You cannot have people inside the tube at the same time as vehicles are in the tube regardless, so there's no point to conducting maintenance in a vacuum; you would simply repressurize it (aka, open valves at the pumping stations, or the emergency exits). But there's also no point to ever having people inside. There's nothing except for an accident to damage the inside of the tube; the vehicles do not touch the walls, and it's a very rarified atmosphere, so it's not going to rust from the inside. If there's any need from maintenance, it'd be a need from the outside.

There is one thing that I fault the initial design for, which is the proposal of a two-tube system. This means that if one tube has to go down for maintenance, you have to alternate the other tube between directions, and each time you switch it, wait for it to clear. This would be a big throughput loss. With a three-tube system, you can have the third tube follow whichever direction has the highest demand at whatever point in time, and when one tube goes out you can still keep bidirectional traffic going. Maybe have the third tube be a "stop halfway then continue" design so it can offer service to the valley, at lower speeds.

The other thing I fault the initial design for was for setting it up as a competitor to HSR, which was obviously going to invite a lot of anger against them, and while most of it is just by idiots who never bothered to read the design document, some is legitimate - in particular, that Hyperloop doesn't serve as many cities, or city centers (which they really should have done), like HSR does. I feel that they should have proposed LA to Vegas as the initial leg, so as not to stand in competition to HSR, and so there would be few cities in-between. It's also raise the concept of Vegas magnates funding it; the ability of LA residents to hop to Vegas in half an hour for cheap would be hugely beneficial to them.

As for going into cities: I know they wanted to give a very impressive price figure, and going into cities would have raised that, but as it stands, their price figure was so low that a lot of people refused to believe it (without ever looking at why it was low). A higher price figure because of going into cities would have both made people more credulous, as well as being a more useful, likely-to-be-funded system.

Comment Re:Designed initially by Elon Musk. Really? (Score 1) 117

... which did not involve anything remotely similar to Hyperloop.

Please learn how Hyperloop actually works before insisting that something else is the same. (hint: google "Hyperloop Alpha" and read the design document; it won't take all day). Hyperloop Alpha is neither maglev nor a vactrain; it's basically an extreme version of a ground-effect aircraft flying through a rarified atmosphere, using a compressor to prevent the buildup of a column of air ahead of it by shunting it to the air bearings and behind it - thus allowing it to operate at far-easier-to-maintain pressures and with much easier construction / lighter vehicle mass than maglev.

Comment Re:Hornby set? Maglev is "new"? (Score 1) 117

This is the standard way people complain about Hyperloop.

Step 1) Don't ever bother actually reading the design document, despite the fact that it's not that long and addressess the vast majority of arguments

Step 2) Compare Hyperloop to something not even remotely comparable to it, like the costs of building viaducts for an order of magnitude higher peak loadings, building tunnels with an order of magnitude or more greater cross section, acquiring orders of magnitude more private land, and comparing costs for building through cities with the costs of building through the countryside.

I'd have a lot more respect for its opponents if they'd actually read the design document and actually make comparisons to remotely comparable things. As it stands these threads usually just make me want to hit my head on the wall. At least you recognized the absurdity of the comparison being made.

Train tunnels have to be big. Not only because trains are big to begin with, but because the tunnel walls can't be anywhere the train, or the train will push a big column of air ahead of it, eating energy and slowing it down. Hyperloop tunnels are like aquaduct tunnels - no larger than that of the pipe. Which is sized for capsules, in the non-vehicle version, of two people side by side in First Class-style, semireclined seats.

Comment Re:Distances (Score 1) 117

Peak loadings from the tube are significantly lower than from the cars (I've done the math, feel free to double check for yourself). And a Hyperloop car weighs about an order of magnitude less than a train. The peak loadings are vastly lower.

The amount of track steel per unit length isn't that great; if you were just buying raw steel the cost would be something like a fifth of what's being budgeted for buying the pipe segments for the tube. Rail isn't expensive because steel is expensive; it's way, way down on the list of costs.

Maglev cannot be faster, as it has to plow large amounts of air out of the way (particularly problematic in tunnels - which means that they have to significantly increase tunnel diameters, which significantly increases tunnel costs). The only limitation to Hyperloop speed is the speed of sound in the tube - which can be increased if needed, as discussed elsewhere in this comments section. The amount of vacuum needed is many orders of magnitude less stringent than what you'd normally consider a "vacuum"; it's about a thousandth of atmospheric pressure, versus the millionths or billionths of atmospheric pressure in hard vacuum systems - and thus thousands to millions of times easier to maintain.

Hyperloop is relying on being able to exceed the normal speed of sound without a sonic boom due to the lower air pressure,

The speed of sound does not work that way.

Comment Re:Distances (Score 1) 117

It's not "picking numbers". For god's sake, why does everyone see fit to argue about a system without having read the design document for said system? All of the cost breakdowns are there. It's not that long of a read. It's fine to disagree with something when you know what it actually is you're disagreeing with, but it's ridiculous to assert that something is wrong when you don't even know what that thing is.

Comment Re:Distances (Score 1) 117

The length of the tube expands and contracts dumbass.

Why are you writing that, "dumbass", as if I didn't write precisely that, and explain precisely how it's accounted for as per the document?

The tube expands and contracts. This is accounted for by changing bend radii and changes in length of the tube as a whole at the endpoints.

Also, why are you of the impression that inserting words like "dumbass" into your posts makes you sound more intelligent?

Comment Better: NO cloud (Score 1) 40

This is google.
Their AI offering don't have any installable component, not even on clusters.
They only provide APIs.

Keep your eye on the open efforts for TTS and STT. Those are where our best hopes lie.

Not in fixing ourselves to the rear bumper of some corporation with a bloody chain made of links of extracted personal information.

C'mon, people. If we're smart (I know, I know) we will wrest back control of our own destinies.

(Oh, and BTW, Google, that survey was incredibly lame. Who wrote that? A fourth grader?)

Comment Re:While I'm not exactly one of his biggest fans.. (Score 1) 40

I'd argue that while there's not compelling arguments for "because we can" programmes, there's a very compelling argument for having lofty goals in mind and properly funding those goals. And if those goals include a long-term presence offworld, then that funding means both a robust robotic exploration program, a large systems engineering programme, and most importantly a very sizeable launch cost reductions programme, both the conventional, short term (getting rocket costs down) and unconventional, long-term (exotic forms of launch).

0,5% of the US federal budget plus pittiances from the rest of the world, combined with ever-shifting congressional make-work mandates, does not cut it. 1% plus plan buy-in from congress (particularly those on important committee seats and those in stable seats that are likely to be around for the next 10-20 years), would probably do it. And the rest of the world needs to get off its arse on the space front. Roscosmos's budgets are a shadow of what they used to be. China's space industry is booming, but still relatively small. JAXA's could use to be better. ESA's is tiny compared to the size of the EU economy. But I guess people don't see it as a priority - even though the public thinks we're spending vastly more on space than we actually are and are by and large okay with that.

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