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Comment Re:Dilemma Solution (Score 1) 345

So it will run at reduced efficiency and productivity compared to a robot-staffed company because hiring three shifts of workers plus spares for each position is less capital-intensive than buying a robot for each position? Keeping in mind, of course, that robot-built-robots will theoretically be as inexpensive as everything else robot-built (ie cost of raw materials plus whatever margin the bot owners can eke out as profit), plus the added overhead of having to outfit your place of work for human occupation eg lights, bathrooms, potable water, etc.

As for "processes", at this point, just about any assembly process is well understood and well automated. The ones that aren't are waiting for computer vision to finish baking. Which, like everything else, will remain 5-10 years in the future until one day it isn't.

Comment Re:If I owned it (Score 1) 42

I install qBittorrent about once every six months, then uninstall it again because it just doesn't do what I want it to do (specifically in terms of the interface and its handling of RSS feeds). I actually kept it installed for a while before what.cd died, specifically because it was whitelisted there.

May I ask what you feel is missing? It got an RSS feed reader, you can set up automatic download filters - simple and regex, pick what feeds each rule applies to, you can set quite a few other options for your RSS downloads than your regular downloads. I see it doesn't really have a smart filter to prevent multiple versions of the same episode from getting downloaded, but usually I just amend the filter until there's only one version in practice.

Comment Re:Flight Simulators and Computerized Calculation (Score 1) 307

Well, I certainly hope you [Fast Ben] are a better pilot than I was (which wouldn't be difficult), but you didn't consider the width. If the runway is reasonably wide and you control your approach properly, then you would be landing straight and slowing down to a safe taxi speed well before you need to start following the curve.

If your approach is bad, then you're supposed to go around anyway. From that perspective it might actually increase the safety if there is a clear buffer zone around the airport. I still remember the time I was on final and a sudden crosswind lined me up over the parked planes... However, the "sudden crosswind" is a case that this design would still be vulnerable to, so you still need planes and pilots that can handle such situations. (No mention of "sudden" in the comments, but that doesn't much surprise me on Slashdot these days. Maybe I should be surprised to see another pilot here at all? A lot of today's comments are from people who know little whereof they speak... (Though I still miss the "funny" more.))

I think the instrument landing part is where you earned the "insightful" mod, though I doubt the moderator knows why. However, I think it is basically a software problem. Yes, you'd need more beacons, but mostly you'd need to be able to interpret their data from more orientations. I think you'd have to calculate every instrument approach for the current conditions, and probably for the individual plane.

Comment Re:More =/= better (Score 1) 307

Again, I have to wonder about the moderation as "insightful". At least you [MrLogic17] posed your comment in the form of a question.

The obvious answer, though it doesn't appear in any of the visible replies (and I basically don't read ACs) is that you don't have to keep all of it clear, but only the parts that are actually in use under the current wind conditions, as well as selected taxiways.

This part is more speculative, but I think it would actually be easier to keep the "active" runways clear since the wind would always be blowing directly down the runway. From a mathematical perspective, the "entry point" of fresh snow would only be at one small point at the end of each active runway.

As regards the last part of your comment, pretty sure you've never flown a plane. I was a lousy pilot, but I'm pretty sure the wording refers to two landing and two taking off, but they aren't counting one of the taking off planes because it is waiting for the turbulence to settle down. Another possibility is that one side is being used for landings and they are counting the takeoff as one plane because that takes roughly twice as long per plane.

Comment Re:Conflict? (Score 1) 307

...they wouldn't have to fight against crosswinds. And three planes would be able to take off or land at the same time...

If three are landing at the same time, I'd say that at least one is fighting cross-winds.

Rather than blaming the author, I'd rather say that whoever moderated that comment as insightful doesn't read too well. As regards the author, it's merely obvious that he or she has no experience actually flying planes.

Oh well. Moot insofar as the article is on the edge of Slashdot death (at the bottom of the page). The largest disappointment is the lack of funny comments on such a rich target.

Comment Re:Too Late? (Score 2) 42

What is going to make the next version of uTorrent preferable to what's already there? I'm thinking that uTorrent's best days are behind it, and as long as 2.2.1 lives on Oldversion or OldApps, that is its legacy.

That's what I'm thinking too, I switched to qBittorrent that is open source and... it's done? Or well I see there's lots of tiny little enhancements and bugfixes in the release notes but honestly I can't think of a single noticeable change in the last couple years... nor any that I'd want, really. They'd have to pull off some entirely new non-torrent downloading functionality out of the hat to make me go back to uTorrent, which then begs the question.... why is it mixed up with uTorrent in the first place? Then again, looking at my peer logs a lot of other people use it (and by far most use 3.4.9), so I guess they have an audience. Whether they have one that'll let itself be monetized, well... whatever. There's plenty good alternatives if they get intrusive or obnoxious.

Submission + - DJI proposes remote drone ID requirement

linuxwrangler writes: Chinese drone maker DJI proposed today that drones be required to transmit a unique identifier to assist law enforcement to identify operators where necessary. Anyone with an appropriate receiver could receive the ID number but the database linking the ID with the registered owner would only be available to government agencies. DJI likens this to a license plate on a car and offers it as a solution to a congressional mandate that the FAA develop methods to remotely identify drone operators.

Comment Re:What will happen to humans? (Score 1) 345

What will happen to humans displaced by these robots? We live in a society that expects everyone to work, but what will happen when there are no jobs? Crime? Extreme poverty? Mass protests? Political or religious extremism?

Probably all of the above, to some degree... but there's still huge differences between Russia 1917 and Greece 2017. Maybe Venezuela is getting close to the "fuck it, I got nothing to lose" level but as long as society is keeping people from really hitting rock bottom I think most poor people will simply be poor. Absolute poverty is in strong decline, the "third world" isn't nearly as primitive as it once was, even if the US middle class has been stagnant since the 70s the world hasn't moved backwards. Just like if global warming kills the Gulf Stream some places can get colder, not warmer - it's the big picture that counts.

Consider it this way, even if you're really poor the OSHA won't let companies kill you at work. The FDA won't accept dangerous food, you probably have clean hot and cold water, decent sanitation and so on. Medical science moves forward, people live longer and longer. Building codes keep getting stricter, cars safer and my impression is that people throw more and more away because they don't like it anymore or it looks a bit shabby, not because it's broken or useless. If you just accept being a bum and collect cheap or free second hand stuff from thrift stores and flea markets and eat Ramen noodles you might not be living it up by today's standards, but it's nothing like being genuinely poor 100 or 200 years ago. Or the worst hellholes today.

So 43 million Americans are on food stamps today, if we get (more) robotic tractors, robotic delivery vans, robotic shelf stockers, robotic checkout counters, robotic this, that... people go out of a job, some get new work others go on welfare. And if you think that's a problem, you can always replace one bulldozer with 1000 people with a spoon... it's not worth creating jobs just to have jobs. Expect it to be just barely enough to calm the masses though, it won't be given freely or easily. But I doubt they'll let it slide so far that people take to the streets with "give me UBI or give me death" slogans, there's always the "viva la revolution" or "Soylent Green" endings. But I think "bread and circus" is more likely.

Comment Re:Where's the news? (Score 4, Informative) 244

Seriously though, how can a golf ball have 11 patents on it?

Read Costco's reply to the court, in which each patent is listed along with Acushnet's claims and Costco's rebuttal. You can look the patents up online at the USPTO web site. Let's look at a few, shall we?

Patent# 6,994,638 - Golf balls comprising highly-neutralized acid polymers.
Abstract
A golf ball comprising a core comprised of a polymer containing an acid group fully-neutralized by an organic acid or a salt, a cation source, or a suitable base thereof, the core having a first Shore D hardness, a compression of no greater than about 90, and a diameter of between about 1.00 inches and about 1.64 inches; and a cover layer comprising ionomeric copolymers and terpolymers, ionomer precursors, thermoplastics, thermoplastic elastomers, polybutadiene rubber, balata, grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, non-grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, single-site polymers, high-crystalline acid polymers and their ionomers, or cationic ionomers.

What is claimed is:

1. A golf ball comprising: a core comprising a center and an outer core layer, the center comprising a thermoset polybutadiene rubber composition having a first hardness; and the outer core layer comprising a polymer comprised of an acid group fully-neutralized by an organic acid or a salt of the organic acid, and a cation source or a suitable base of the cation source; and having a second hardness; and an inner cover layer and an outer cover layer comprising ionomeric copolymers and terpolymers, ionomer precursors, thermoplastics, thermoplastic elastomers, polybutadiene rubber, balata, grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, non-grafted metallocene-catalyzed polymers, single-site polymers, high-crystalline acid polymers and their ionomers, polyurethnnes, polyureas, polyurethane-ureas; polyurea-urethanes; or cationic ionomers; wherein the first hardness is from about 50 Shore A to about 55 Shore D and first hardness is less than the second Shore D hardness by at least about 10 points.

Here's Costco's rebuttal:

11. Costco is not infringing any valid claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,994,638 (“the ’638patent”). Acushnet has accused Costco of infringing claim 1 of the 638 patent. Costco’s sales of the KS golf ball do not constitute infringement of claim 1 of the 638 patent, however, because, among other things, the Shore D hardness of the center core of the KS ball is not “at least about 10 points” less than the Shore D hardness of the outer core.
12. The 638 patent is invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102, 103 and/or 112. The claims are invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102 and/or 103, for example, in light of U.S. Patent No. 6,468,169 and other prior art publications and activities

Clearly, a lot of chemistry work went into this patent to make the balls have a certain elasticity. Costco says that their balls do not have the same properties, therefore they did not infringe upon this claim.

Here's another:

Patent# 8,123,632 - Multi-layer golf ball
Abstract
Golf balls consisting of a dual core and a dual cover are disclosed. The dual core consists of an inner core layer formed from a rubber composition and an outer core layer formed from a highly neutralized polymer composition.

Here's the claim in question:

"17. A golf ball consisting essentially of: an inner core layer formed from a rubber composition and having a diameter of from 1.100 inches to 1.400 inches, a center hardness (H.sub.center) of 50 Shore C or greater, and an outer surface hardness of 65 Shore C or greater; an outer core layer formed from a highly neutralized polymer composition and having an outer surface hardness (H.sub.outer core) of 75 Shore C or greater; an inner cover layer formed from a thermoplastic composition and having a material hardness (H.sub.inner cover) of from 80 Shore C to 95 Shore C; and an outer cover layer formed from a composition selected from the group consisting of polyurethanes, polyureas, and copolymers and blends thereof. "

While a multi-layer golf ball is nothing new, this patent builds on an older patent for a multi-layer ball. Acushnet claims this is a new innovation that Costco violated. Costco claims otherwise:

15. Costco is not infringing any valid claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,123,632 (“the ’632 patent”). Acushnet has accused Costco of infringing claim 17 of the ’632 patent. Costco’s sales of the KS ball do not constitute infringement of claim 17, however, because, at the least, the surface hardness of the outer core of the KS ball is not 75 Shore C or greater.
16. The 632 patent is invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102, 103 and/or 112. The claims are invalid under 35 U.S.C. 102 and/or 103, for example, in light of U.S. Publication No. 2007/0281802 and other prior art publications and activities.

So Costco again says that because their balls don't have the same properties, they aren't violating this patent. This is all pretty standard legal wrangling.

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