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Comment Re:welcome to python (Score 1) 148

Honestly the changes in Python 3 should not be any obstacle to porting code. Most of it winds up being a find and replace. The major difference is the use of unicode, and if your package really depends heavily on strings not being unicode, you probably did it wrong. The problem is that if one package that lots of people depend on has devs that just say, "I don't wanna," everything breaks down. And more than one package has devs like that.

At this point, if the Python community could make "porting" as simple as adding a header to a .py file, there would still be people that would refuse to do it.

The problem with Python 3 "unicode" is not that text is not Unicode. The problem is that *random binary data* is not Unicode, but when you read data from an unknown source, you MUST assume it is "random binary data". Trusting it to follow some pattern is by far the stupidest thing you can do.

In Python 2 you could put random binary data into a "string" and then write it to disk without any change, and no errors would be produced. Only if you tried to *display* the string would you get an exception. In Python 3 it will immediately throw an exception, at a completely useless point in your program (ie when you are reading data in, not when you are processing it). Changing every "string" to a "bytes" will "fix" it, but then you have to change the type of every single function that is called from "string" to "bytes", and so on, eventually replacing every single "string" in your program with "bytes". And you are out of luck if one of those api's is from a library that you don't control.

Python 3 will NEVER get accepted unless you can put totally arbitrary patterns of 8-bit data into a "string" and get them back out unchanged. All exceptions must be deferred until something actually tries to split the data into Unicode code points. Even then they should be providing a more useful iterator based api that returns an object that says "the code point is this" or "there is a UTF-8 parsing error here and the first byte is this".

Comment Re:An earthquake is an accident waiting to happen (Score 1) 130

I don't know if you are trying to make a joke, but global warming is not going to do too much to the earthquakes. Greenland is already rising steadily due to the loss of the glaciers from the last ice age. It is really slow and will still happen for tens of thousands of years. Even if all the current ice cap disappeared tomorrow it would, at best, speed this up a tiny amount (the current ice cap is a fraction of the ice age ice cap so the amount of lost mass is only a small change). The weight of the new ice added to the ocean is insignificant (if it raised the ocean 30 feet that would still only be a tiny fraction of mass increase, think about how deep the ocean is).

Comment I saw a rig like this in 2005 (Score 1) 25

When I was shooting Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift in Tokyo, in winter of 2005, I saw a rig a lot like this. I was walking down a street, and saw a van with four cameras, four LIDARs, and two GPS sensors on the top. I asked a man working on it what it was, and he said "Oh! Are you engineer?" and I confessed that I was just a movie-maker. But, nevertheless, they showed me everything in the van, and said that the point was developing 3D models of all the streets in Tokyo. At the time, it wasn't for self-driving cars though -- they wanted to build 3D in-car maps for navigation. The team of engineers was from a university in Tokyo; although I don't recall which one.

Comment Government? Is that really the issue? (Score 2) 55

While in the past, I agree that people were correct to hold the government accountable for this kind of surveillance, it isn't the biggest issue today. Huge amounts of information are gathered by companies about everybody on the 'net, and shared between them without any limitations. You don't want the government to see your email? Ok, fine -- but Google's incredibly powerful AI team doesn't just see your email -- it *understands* your email. Google can, and does, use that knowledge in any number of ways; and ways that will get more diverse (and perverse?) in the future.

In the not too distant future, I believe that companies like Google and Facebook will become more politically powerful than 99% of the governments in the world. Facebook was going to launch a satellite today to allow everybody in Africa to use Facebook; although somehow the rocket that was going to launch that satellite blew up. My belief is that Facebook wants to get information about everybody on the planet, and will do whatever it takes to do that.

Governments? Come on, that's not the threat.

Comment Re:I really don't understand this drone applicatio (Score 3, Insightful) 43

My believe is that they intend to fly hundreds of these. If you have 100 tethers from 0 to 60,000 ft or so, I believe that you would have many aircraft accidents. Recall that the British used tethered balloons to protect themselves from German air raids. There is no way that you could see those tethers while flying, until you were very close to them -- then it would be too late to avoid.

There are a dozen or so tethered balloons around the border of the US now, so far there have been no incidents that I know of -- but the border is a place where pilots are very observant. Also, the balloons are only at about 10,000 ft or so, so most planes are far higher.

Comment Re:That doesn't work because... (Score 1) 159

You can't change the angle at which the scene is rendered by interpolating between frames.

It's not the raw framerate. It's that the scene your viewing has to match where you're looking that quickly or you get motion sick.

While the parent is Anonymous coward, please rate him up, as that is correct.

Comment This is why Zuckerberg is covering all earth (Score 1) 202

Facebook is either going to fly a few thousand WiFi drones or thousands of WiFi satellites to cover the entire planet. Why would they be doing that?

While I think that Pirate Bay guys suck hard (I spent my life creating content that they pirated), I don't think in this particular case he's wrong.

Comment Re:This guy couldn't be more wrong (Score 1) 630

OTEC has been "coming" forever, I went to a presentation that reads astonishingly like that Wikipedia article 40 years ago when I started college. The mechanisms were the same, the idea of using the energy to generate chemicals rather than send electricity through long cables was the same (back then they were suggested ammonia rather than hydrogen, but that's in the Wikipedia article too.)

Curious that the efficiency could be up to 6% -- now, granted, we're not using that temperature difference at all now, but still -- 6%? Solar panels can be up to 30% or more now.

If we were going to use OTEC for hydrogen to power, say, 10% of the cars in the world -- wouldn't we need tens of thousands of plants, each costing millions of dollars?

Comment Re:Banking in Space (Score 1) 131

If nothing is holding them up (ie in free fall if they turn off their engines) then the proper bank would be at 90 degrees, not some smaller angle. Also (more importantly) the engines need to fire exactly outward from the turn (basically it will make a circle around some point the engines are pointing toward and cannot do anything else).

Best design for a ship would have the engine firing straight down when the humans are in a comfortable position. A highly maneuverable ship would fly "sideways" during maneuvers, the engine firing crosswise to maximize it's ability to change direction as it approaches an enemy. It would only fly parallel to the engine when accelerating. And it would have to spend an equal amount of time decelerating, and that is what it would likely be doing when approaching an enemy. This also points the engine at the enemy, and considering how fast the exhaust must be (seeing as these ships seem to contain very little reaction mass) that engine is much more powerful and destructive than any other weapon they have.

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