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Comment Re:Which supercomputer? (Score 4, Interesting) 79

Alnico magnets are awesome as pole pieces in pickups for electric guitars and basses. This year I started winding my own bass pickups, after testing many commercial pickups to get a sense of how the physical parameters affect tone. I can tell you that the kind of magnet you use makes an obvious difference to the sound of the instrument. It's not just about the net strength and geometry of the fields. Alnico magnets - but not ceramic, nor Nd - get eddy currents induced inside them from the vibrating strings, and this affects how they sound. I wonder whether Co2MnTi would also have these. I get the impression it's not a proper homogeneous alloy, so maybe not. Still, more info and a comparison field strengths would be useful. To a musician, a new type of magnet might be something like a newly discovered species of aromatic fruit: You immediately wonder what new aesthetic experiences it would allow for.

Comment Re:Alright then! (Score 2) 33

That plan is in motion and will not be affected by research at some Scottish genetics lab. What they're trying to do is to make sure that wild chickens don't truly go extinct no matter how much wildlife we destroy: They can always be unfrozen and their population can reboot at some unspecified future time when we decide to be better stewards of nature.

Comment Re:People like Musk need to do more homework (Score 1) 226

Yeah, this Musk guy sounds just like that idiot who was trying to push some online currency linked to your email - as if anyone would ever send money to other people online, just on the promise they mailed you something. And have you heard about that billionaire who thinks he can build a rocket that lands itself? What a fucking joke! He's probably watching too many geek movies, or trying to impress his geek friends. And then there's that rich dude who wanted to start a company that sells only electric cars, and actually make them in the US. Like, who's gonna make batteries for him? Geez! Oh well, if rich people want to throw away their money on geek-topia fantasy projects that could never work, I guess it's their right. Let's all just kick back and laugh at them as they inevitably fail.

Comment I see nothing but wins from automated food systems (Score 2) 414

One of the problems of this world is that half of all produce spoils before it's eaten. So in the cities of the future, why not have centralized, automated mega-kitchens which receive trucks of fresh raw ingredients and transform them into healthy, delicious and customized meals? Sure, they only make fast food now, but there is no reason why robots can't execute the instructions of Michelin-star chefs, and no reason why such excellent meals should cost more than fast food costs now. Together with some sort of automated delivery service, this is simply a much better way of feeding people than what we do now.

Just think of all the time we waste stocking shelves in stores, driving to them, parking, filling our carts... stocking our fridges, heating up an entire oven for the sake of a single meal, cooking, cleaning up, etc. etc. All that requires a great deal of total cognitive load for many humans, and much wasting of resources. The alternative is that a massive restaurant kitchen cooks up exactly the meal you want, with the freshest ingredients and flavoring details that you would simply not be able to accomplish in a home kitchen. Then the meal arrives through an automated delivery car network, which also picks up the dishes from the previous meal. The city could also have dining rooms with a direct pipeline to each of the city's various mega-kitchens, and these can host social or family groups who want to eat out.

A world like that is actually quite achievable with tech that's already in the prototype stage, and it's a much better world than the wasteful one we live in now.

Comment Re:A purpose for Google Glass? (Score 1) 80

You're absolutely right, but the two systems could work together to increase transcription accuracy. I can hear perfectly well, but it still helps me to watch a speaker's mouth when I'm trying to understand them in a noisy environment. And yes, this would be awesome as a tool for the deaf and for live language translation, but it would also be useful in auto closed-captioning of video.

Comment Re:Crop spraying by UAVs (drones) (Score 1) 278

Yes, exactly. It won't be long before we have cheap robots that can work 24/7 and recharge themselves like Roombas. They can be constantly measuring soil properties, pulling weeds, killing individual pests and constantly update a map of the individual state of ripeness of everything on the farm. This will allow some very intensive use of the land, including no-till agriculture, interspersing complementary crops to minimize soil damage, etc. Basically the robots will have the luxury of babying every square meter of land so that it is maximally productive. I can even imagine that with enough crop species growing together, farms of the future could start looking more like wilderness and might actually be nice to hike through.

Comment Re:Food supply for bats (Score 1) 470

I would love not having them around, however be aware that mosquitos are a staple for bats.

Oh yeah? What bats? What percentage of their calorie intake consists mosquitoes? I know you didn't actually look this up before you posted, because then you never would have said what you said. Just because you don't know the research doesn't mean you get to just make up facts. Get used to the fact that lots of science happens without your awareness. Maybe you should pay attention to more of it.

Comment Re: Law of unintended consequences, also frosty (Score 0) 470

Alright Dr. Smartypants, I think it's time you drop some of that "knowledge about nature" you claim the previous poster doesn't have. Just what did your condescending insightfulness discover will happen if we kill the disease-transmitting mosquito species? Are you also opposed to killing off the Guinea Worm for the same stupid reason? Polio? Just what animal relies on mosquitoes as its food supply? (I actually know the answer, which is why I know you're talking out of your ass, and you had better look it up before you make another moronic post.)

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