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Comment Re:How large?!? (Score 1) 92

Living on Mars is certainly not impossible, we have the technology. We just need to deal with risk, accidents and deaths, health issues, the incredible expense of getting a colony set up, and the idea of going without iPhones, health care, toilet paper and any form of luxury so we can pay for the ongoing resupply missions. So sure, it's a little impractical at the moment. But not impossible.

Comment Re:What complete nonsense (Score 1) 92

It's actually not a bad idea if you want a little inflation, and there are cases where you'd want it. This is Friedman's "helicopter money", where a central bank increases the money supply by giving every person a bit of cash, instead of the usual quantitive easing where they buy government securities. The idea behind this method is that it turns out that money generated through QE doesn't make its way into the real economy all that quickly, where it is expected that a one-off payment to citizens will (even if they decide to save or invest most of it). It was actually briefly considered in Europe, but naturally the banks oppose it since it means the helicopter will not be flying over their lawn anymore,and thus Draghi (president of the ECB and former Goldman Sachs exec) is never going to allow it.

Of course it wouldn't be a million but perhaps $1000 or a $300 Tricky Dick Fun Bill.

Comment Re: What complete nonsense (Score 1) 92

You can't realistically adjust minimum wage for productivity. Productivity measures the output of a system vs. its operational cost. The productivity of a person isn't simply the productivity of that system divided by the nr. of employees in it. Else they'd have to pay the one janitor left in Amazon's fully automatic warehouse a couple of million a year, probably.

Comment You can stop funding the people that harm you. (Score 1) 97

A perfect example of the point I made earlier and previously when talking about Star Wars under Disney versus under Lucas. Not funding your own oppression is hardly radical, it's quite sensible to recognize that politics are very much a part of the matter involved in dealing with corporate media (such as Hollywood movies and TV shows). This also isn't a matter of seeking perfection -- if /.ers stop paying to see Star Trek we don't take down Paramount -- that argument puts more power in your hands than you have (flattery) and then tries to argue how you shouldn't use that power to get what you (presumably) want: more Star Trek-related works and the option of being a participant in that, not just a consumer. It's a matter of recognizing whether you want your money to go toward organizations that needlessly restrict their biggest fans from celebrating the work or organizations that show they're not jerks by letting the derivative works coexist and even considering them a challenge to come up with better plots, interesting characters, and another innovative series.

Comment Re:what the fuck's a lorry? (Score 1) 180

As for "lorry", I have no problem with the BBC using "lorry" in place "tractor trailer", given that the BBC serves a primarily British audience. But Slashdot serves an international audience of decently educated people who are familiar with both British and American English, so it makes sense to use the original terminology wherever possible. In this particular case, the coverage is for a report authored by the US government, so using the term "tractor trailer" would make far more sense.

The BBC is a UK organisation, it will communicate using UK English. The term "tractor trailer" would be meaningless to most of us in the UK, if the BBC quoted it from an original US report they would have to provide an explanation.

Most British people would see "tractor trailer" and assume it was something to do with a farm tractor on or with a trailer. "Lorry" is a generic UK term for a big truck, a quick Google suggests that "articulated lorry" is a closer equivalent.

Comment Re:Autopolit, should have been called Assistpilot! (Score 1) 180

Autopilot is an automated pilot, not an Autonomous pilot. It automates part of the flying of the aircraft. It is not a replacement pilot. It can't make decisions.

This has been discussed endlessly on slashdot. The fact that some aviation company has used a highly misleading term to describe its product does not justify Tesla doing the same for cars.

Comment Re:Dramatic contemporary issues (Score 1) 148

I've never been a Star Trek fan, it's an ok (collection of) series and I enjoyed most of the movies but it never really grabbed me to the point where I'd make sure to watch every episode. But for some reason I really got into Enterprise. Until the time travel story line, yes. Time travel is just the next level of flashbacks and foreshadowing; a device that can tremendously enrich a story and even be a central part of it, but it is very hard to do this well, and in most cases it ends up getting botched or serves as a crutch for weak uninspired writers. Especially in case of the obligatory "Back to present day Earth" episode or even season that so many SF series seem to require.

As for Star Trek:SJW: that has the potential of being unintentionally hilarious. But hasn't the franchise always dealt with "dramatic contemporary themes", as TFA suggests?

Comment Re:Sad end to a great operating system (Score 1) 112

Focusing on the Alpha was also a mistake. People learned UNIX by running it on cheap machines. Even during the heyday of proprietary UNIX systems, people were learning BSD on the Amiga and then going to work on SunOS, AIX, or whatever. In the i386, Intel added the 4-ring protection model to x86 because DEC said that they needed it for VMS. Instead of porting from VAX to i386, they ported to Alpha (which only had two rings). If they'd made a cheaper uniprocessor VMS (maybe missing some of the clustering features), they'd have had an entry-level system for people to learn about the system. Instead, you had 100 people who knew UNIX for every one who knew VMS and this made it a no brainer to use UNIX.

Comment Re:Sad end to a great operating system (Score 1) 112

No, but more importantly it was never ported to the PDP-11. The Multics process and library model required a lot more from the memory management unit than most modern commodity hardware provides, whereas UNIX ran on systems with no MMU at all. You could run UNIX on a toy computer, even if you couldn't afford something that could run Multics. That's a key lesson for tech companies: watch out for competitors eating the low end of your market because economies of scale matter.

Comment Re:HBO needs to get its head back in the game (Score 1) 145

I found that once I stopped having a TV, I also stopped being bombarded with adverts for TV shows and movies, and I stopped caring about whether I was watching something new or something 5-10 years after release. I wonder how much this will become the norm as more people switch from broadcast TV to other media.

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