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Comment Re:Vigorous debate? Surely you jest (Score 5, Interesting) 521

Seconded.

I've been on this site since about 2001. The 'This site has gone to shit' arguments have been around that long too. However, in the past 2 years (since around the /. Beta fiasco it seems) most of the quality comments have all but left. 'Conservative echo chamber' kinda hits the nail on the head. The libertarian dog whistle / talking points get trotted out so often it's just boring now to read. Arm-chair economists with such deep insights as 'Don't like your job, move and get another one, dummy!' seem to be about the best the site has to offer now.

Why am I still here then? Habit mostly, I gave it up (and read Soylent) for a good while, and now I come back, thought not as often as before. As for reading comments, I guess I still do out of some hope that they might get better again...though my tolerance is lower I spend only a fraction of the time trying to sift through the Randian garbage.

Comment Test Static Fire (Score 1) 338

Isn't this pretty much WHY they do static fires in the first place?

I'm sure they didn't expect the whole damn thing to explode though. Either way, the data they got from this is incredibly valuable. Whatever happened I'm willing to be won't happen again.

Android

Amazon Prime Will Knock $50 Off an Android Phone If You Watch Amazon's Lock-Screen Ads (recode.net) 153

It's no secret that Amazon's Fire Phone tanked on the market. But while the e-commerce giant is keeping a distance from smartphone manufacturing business for some time, it is not ignoring the platform. The company is now willing to offer its Prime members a $50 discount on two unlocked phone models should they agree to see ads on the lock-screen of their smartphone. Recode reports:Unlike the Fire Phone, which used Amazon services in place of Google, these two phones (the fourth-generation Moto G and Blu R1 HD) will include all the standard Google apps (Play Store, YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, etc.) along with Amazon apps for shopping, watching video and playing music. With the discount, the Blu phone will sell for just $49, while the price of the Moto G drops to $149. The move is clearly a modest one but could at some point become more significant, particularly if Amazon is willing to strike deals with other hardware makers to include its apps and services.The bigger news is Amazon finding its way into Google Mobile Services-powered Android smartphones. Most of the Amazon-branded devices don't have Google Mobile Services (Google Play, Google Play Services, Gmail etc).

Comment Velocopter (Score 4, Interesting) 152

The article briefly mentioned a few of the competitors.

My favorite of this whole new 'class' of flying machines is the Velocopter.

It has 16 outrunner brushless DC electric motors on fixed prop blades. All flying is done essentially through the software and a single joystick (no rudder pedals or separate throttle).

The fact that it has no actuated flight surfaces, and the blades are in a fixed position, the build complexity of this machine is waaay simpler and to lower tolerances than just about any other flying machine out there.

Of course, right now on battery alone the range is pretty poor (prob like 15-20 min of flying time, tops), but with a gas turbine generator it should be extended quite significantly.

While it isn't exactly the most efficient at flying compared to even helicopters, I think its simplicity, safety (very redundant), and relative quietness makes up for that.

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