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Comment Some Solar, with a gravity battery? (Score 5, Insightful) 270

Going off the grid always sounds so complete and final, but couldn't they set up _some_ amount of solar panels that pump into raised storage tanks during the day, then irrigate with that water during the night? Seems like any power saved is good for the wallet (and, vs. diesel, good for the planet).

Comment Switching platforms is real work. (Score 3, Insightful) 191

Changing your phone OS is the same as changing that on your computer: you have to replace software, reconfigure stuff, re-train yourself. It's a real effort, and so it's not surprising it takes more than one bum phone to make people go through it.

You could apply the same logic to the missing headphone jack on the iPhone 7. Many would argue it's a limitation rather than a feature, but not, apparently, a big enough limitation to make people switch.

Comment How will DeepMind interface? (Score 1) 75

A lot of Starcraft is how fast you can do things that don't require you to be particularly clever (clever is a large part of it, too, but time to execution is key, as is the ability to physically deal with multiple areas on the board). It seems very unfair if DeepMind can do things like see more of the board than its opponent's monitor and move/select faster than someone could with a keyboard and mouse.

Submission + - Man Says Tesla Autopilot Saved His Life By Driving Him To The Hospital (

An anonymous reader writes: Last month a man sent an email to Elon Musk explaining how his Tesla Model S with Autopilot activated may have saved a pedestrian's life. Now, it appears Autopilot may have saved the life of a Tesla Model X driver. CNBC reports: "A Missouri man says his Tesla helped saved his life by driving him to the hospital during a life-threatening emergency. Joshua Neally is a lawyer and Tesla owner from Springfield, Missouri, who often uses the semi-autonomous driving system called Autopilot on his Tesla Model X. The system has come under fire after it was involved in a fatal Florida crash in May, but Neally told online magazine Slate that Autopilot drove him 20 miles down a freeway to a hospital, while Neally suffered a potentially fatal blood vessel blockage in his lung, known as a pulmonary embolism. The hospital was right off the freeway exit, and Neally was able to steer the car the last few meters and check himself into the emergency room, the report said."

Comment Where do you _really_ get your news? (Score 1) 293

Before we fall into minority hysteria over Facebook mind control, it's important to note that the control of news has been in upheaval since the rise of the internet. And if social media is bias, its biggest competitor--whoever's flashy headline reaches the top of search engine results--is even more so. The internet has given us the means to insulate our selves from detracting opinions at a level that rivals--or perhaps mirrors--the days of isolated, like-minded communities. It has also given us unprecedented ability to seek out news from a reliable, (reasonably) unbiased source.

If there to be any indignancy about the way that Facebook presents news, it should be directed at those who choose to use it for news, and hopefully take the form of encouraging them to do better.

Comment The differences are the effect, not the cause. (Score 5, Insightful) 359

Episodes of Star Trek were quite often, if not always, morality tales, and a relatively peaceful, morally advanced society provided a good backdrop for those tales. Star Wars was a tale of high adventure, and those sorts of stories are best served by heroes dealing with unseemly characters and places, by power-mad leaders, and by huge imbalances of power.

Comment What we really need is a speed watchdog. (Score 3, Insightful) 43

Doing a quick test of speed is fine, but what about ongoing records, automatically recorded? It's a very common story for actual internet speeds not to match advertised speeds (be that truth or exaggeration). While a single speed test might reveal underperformance, charting performance over time would be far more revealing.

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