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Comment Re:Cost savings? (Score 1) 37

How much are they really saving? Wouldn't it be a similar cost to just launch a new satellite than it would be to launch a larger servicing/refueling craft?

As someone mentioned if the launch vehicles can be reused then probably costs would be cheaper.

I think you also have to weigh the risks of launches. If a gov't or private company launches a replacement satellite and it blows up at launch or fails to reach orbit that could be very costly. If the satellite in orbit is working fine, then just launching some fuel or spare parts could be much less risky financially than launching a full replacement satellite. Along those lines, reducing the potential financial risk of launches can reduce launch costs throughout the industry. If a launch fails someone does pay for it somehow (e.g. a private reimbursement/guarantee, insurance policy, gov't backing, etc.) and one way or another that cost will be reflected in the larger costs of the satellite launching industry, so reducing financial risk of some launches should reduce costs everywhere.

Keep in mind too the article states this robot could potentially be used to gather or redirect space junk or asteroids, which despite sounding like long-shots could be very useful, and even an incremental step towards those goals could be valuable.

Comment Re:Lovely but. (Score 1) 121

Good questions and I'll add to them..

How do they apply coupons?
How does the store manage returns?
What happens when a customer puts an item back on the shelf in the wrong place?
What digital security measures are they taking? (not just on the database side, but criminals with RFID scanners would surely target a place like this)

I'm not against the idea, but I'm skeptical.

Comment Re:Facebook still sucks (Score 1) 22

It keeps current users engaged and interacting with Facebook-sponsored items; and if they are sticking longer to play a game they might be more likely to click one of Facebook's advertisers. In particular, this is well-aimed at the nostalgia of 30-45 year old demographic which tend to be very heavy consumers. As usual, follow the money and you'll find your answer.

Comment Re:It helps the economy too (Score 1) 351

Do you really think they haven't thought of that? Also, how is this magical air getting into the tanks? They are sealed, AND gasoline has a vapor pressure higher than atmospheric, so it will always want to evaporate before air wants to sneak in.

Your ignorance is showing. Tanks are not as sealed as you might think. All modern tanks have vent pipes, fill ports, ports for monitoring level probes, and a 3-foot wide manhole for workers to enter the tank. Of course tank manufacturers have various gaskets, fittings, and threaded connections at these points, but they are not perfect and tank systems need regular maintenance. Anyone who owns or works around tanks will tell you that tank systems need more maintenance now because of the corrosiveness and hydroscopic abilities of ethanol.

FWIW, I am an environmental consultant of ~16 years experience and have worked around many tank systems. I'm done arguing after this post.

Stepping back some I am not saying concerns about tanks are the only reason we should be against ethanol blended gas. It's just one of many, but most people are not aware of the tank issues.

Comment Re:It helps the economy too (Score 1) 351

You're right about the double-wall tanks and I glossed over some details in my post above. The problem isn't so much the tank but the parts connected to the tank. Leaks will most likely occur in places like fuel pumps connections or fill ports/spill buckets (which you also point out); and ethanol exacerbates those problem points requiring different parts and maintenance than non-ethanol gas. Ethanol can also cause in-tank fuel inventory monitoring systems to corrode and give bad readings that might not be immediately obvious to the operator, which is important, because fuel monitoring is one way tank owners indirectly detect potential leaks. I'm not making this up... Even the US EPA says tank systems are being corroded by ethanol and low-sulfur diesel : https://www.epa.gov/ust/altern... (ironically, while they mandate more ethanol be added to gasoline)

And yes... ethanol's hydroscopic properties (i.e. pulls water our of the air) is another problem tank owners wrestle with.

Comment Re:It helps the economy too (Score 3, Interesting) 351

Outboard boat motors, Chainsaws, String trimmers, Lawn Mowers, ATVs, Jet Skis, Snowmobiles, Motorcycles, etc.... None of them were designed to run on ethanol.

You can also add storage tanks the list.... like those big underground tanks at your local gas station that can leak gas into soils and groundwater when a seal corrodes from the high ethanol content. To be fair, today's tank systems have leak detection systems that usually identify a leak quickly, so they get fixed/remediated quickly, but since new ethanol [and low-sulfur diesel] requirements the number of incidents with tanks has gone up dramatically nation-wide. Tank owners have been too slow to adapt to the new maintenance requirements, seals, filters, etc. needed to safely hold ethanol blended gas in tanks.

Comment Re: Dear Apple fans: (Score 1) 471

The electronics industry has established a complete manufacturing infrastructure and supply chain in Asia that is not going to uproot itself just because Trump gives one US company, Apple, tax incentives and unspecified deregulation. Even if US policy could change this reality, China, Korea, Vietnam and other countries will counter with their own incentives in a race to the bottom the US cannot win. The reality is the US lost the electronics industry ~20 years ago, and it's not it's not coming back overnight or in a 4-year presidential term. If you [or Trump] need a second opinion just ask the US's last TV manufacturer, Zenith, who sold to Korea's LG in 1995! http://www.nytimes.com/1995/07...

Comment Re:1000 years is a very long time (Score 1) 522

Our capability to understand our entire planet is FAR greater today than it was in 1016 A.D....yes, I do believe we can have meaningful predictions.....

Every generation thinks they are much smarter and more enlightened than their ancestors and in a snapshot in time they are; but time and science marches on eventually revealing their ignorance. To believe that today we have advanced beyond our ignorance is the incredibly foolish. The further out you try to predict the more variables and unknowns are introduced and at some point [much less than 1000 years in my humble opinion] predictions become irrelevant. FWIW, for my original post I considered asking if anyone in 1816 could foresee today's world and decided to stick with Hawking's 1000 year period, but 1016 or 1816 I think the answer would be same and shows how foolish predictions over even a century, much less a millennium.

Comment Re:Interesting use of the word "indiscreet" (Score 1) 182

Actually 40ms is terrible for fast-paced games (Mortal Kombat, racing games, FPS)...

You missed the context and examples in the summary/article. What the article is describing is more like "the internet of things" gaming potential particularly for the casual gamer market, for which 40ms latency is plenty fast to integrate game mechanics into people's daily lives.

FWIW, I am a gamer and agree that for PC/console gaming 40ms is slow, but that's a very different type of gaming than what the article is talking about. I doubt we'll be playing a life-integrated Mortal Kombat game where we walk down street and suddenly [in less than 40ms] need to yell "C'mere!" and hit someone [hopefully virtually] with a grappling hook...but maybe I'm wrong?

Comment Re:Twitter is a for-profit company, not a megaphon (Score 2) 427

This AC's angry hyperbolic reply misses the point completely. When a company thinks their product or brand is being damaged they can act to protect it. Individual right to free speech is secondary. If individuals think the company overreacted, it's a free market and they are free to take their activities elsewhere to avoid that product/service. It's a two-way street.

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