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Comment An inefficient design? (Score 1) 86

This aircraft (which is hard to find an actual picture of) seems like a really inefficient design.

Each engine introduces substantially more weight and drag than does simply increasing the propeller diameter, so usually designers choose to minimize the number of nacelles and engines to what is required to accommodate an engine failure in flight.

This prototype seems to be taking the opposite approach. While it looks interesting, it also seems like it would have a lot of drag when it transitions into horizontal flight mode. This is probably what TFA means when they say "The biggest challenge yet to be overcome will be whether the full-scale model can meet the performance objectives DARPA initially set for the project."

Comment Re:Why Not On Release Day And For A Regular Price? (Score 1) 128

What's the point of keeping people who like to see films @home waiting for 20 - 90 days anyway?

Obviously, it is to pressure you to go to the cinema and spend more money.

And I think it works. I know a lot of people who feel that they have to be the first to see a movie when it comes out. They will go to the cinema to do it.

Comment Re:The mass of batteries never changes (Score 1) 90

The problem with all battery operated vehicles is that as the batteries get depleted, their mass never changes. With Jet fuel, gasoline, etc, as the fuel gets depleted, the mass is reduced, and thus the energy required to move the vehicle is reduced.

Yeah, that's a small factor for air-breathing vehicles.

But you missed the big point, which is that the oxidizer is not being carried at all.

This is good because you usually need a lot (of moles) of oxidizer for each mole of fuel.

Comment Re:Why is Amazon/Alexa even saving recordings? (Score 1) 117

The heart of Amazon’s claim is that Alexa devices could provide insights into a person’s entire life, and having two days worth of audio would be an unreasonable invasion of that privacy. Knowing that law enforcement has the ability to request data from these devices and peruse them at will would have a chilling effect on people using the services—which clearly would be bad news for Amazon’s business.

Yes, it's bad for business, but it's also just not fundamentally right, correct?

I know that doesn't seem to matter to anyone anymore, but we have things like wiretap warrants for a reason. It keeps the US from turning into the countries that we complain about.

Otherwise it is literally like 1984. And we decided this was a bad idea in 1967.

Comment Re:Natural selection at play (Score 1) 74

The lesson here is that returning beached whales to sea just returns them to the gene pool, harming the whale population at large.

If you want to save the whales, you must let the beach-weak whales die. If we keep returning them to the sea, we'll simply have a whale population that's dependent on humans to survive!

Your hypothesis assumes implicitly assumes that a survivable portion of the whale population can evolve to handle beaching events or not beach themselves.

This may not be possible. Especially when you factor in that humans may be causing them to beach themselves.

Some people believe that the whales are beaching themselves in response to human-induced stimulus (sonar, etc) that is literally driving them from the ocean because remaining in the water is causing them sufficient pain that they do not believe they can survive there.

So what you really may end up with is no remaining whale population.

Comment Re:Who would sink a nuclear ship? (Score 1) 203

You have to admit... what army/navy/etc. would sink a nuclear ship in their own waters during war? You'd have to think twice about that - it could be a good deterrent to being attacked. If sunk, it could be a major issue in your region for generations to come.

You sink the ship, then accuse the country that owned the ship of attacking you with a nuclear capability.

There you go, you now have given yourself approval for a nuclear retaliation.

Seems like crazy logic, but let's see if it happens in the South China Sea soon.

Comment Re:Verizon is going to get in trouble (Score 4, Insightful) 139

I have a coworker who's holding on to his Note 7. He's been staying on top of all of this. It appears that after a recall, a company cannot require nor continue requiring payment for a recalled device. Some may argue that he has a loan he still owes Verizon, but it appears also that Samsung bought out all those loans.

Verizon doesn't want the liability of your coworker suing them after his house burns down. Or to be sued by someone else after he burns someone elses house down, or a bus, or a plane.

If they completely discontinue service to the phones, they have a justifiable legal basis for saying that they did all that they could to prevent the phone fmor being used. They have likely decided that alienating a small portion of their customer base is worth avoiding such liability.

Also, your colleague sounds a bit daft.

Comment Re:Threshold (Score 1) 409

What is the unemployment threshold going to be?
When unemployment caused by automation, robotics, etc reaches 10%?

In the coming decades more and more people worldwide will become unemployable, and they will have nothing to do or any way to make a living?

How are governments and communities going to respond?

The unemployment threshold will be quite low and people will not really respond at all.

Haven't you see the Matrix?

Comment Re:Conclusion: (Score 1) 375

Let's see - I have gigabit internet, satellite TV, 4G cell service, acres of land and a house that would cost you millions, and no traffic or crime in this rural American lifestyle as you call it.

I actually know my neighbors, the mayor of the town, the sheriff, and I participate in my community. My kids go to decent schools with normal people and not the psychotics that live in major cities. Despite the article above we have good health care and actually know our doctors who even make house calls. We grow a lot of our own food and have easy access to hunting. When the shit hits the fan you will be starving.

So no thanks. Keep your city lifestyle.

Keep in mind that if everyone in the city decided to move to the country, your rural house would indeed cost millions, traffic and crime would increase, school quality would decrease, and hunting would go away.

So maybe the rural/urban populations are more symbiotic than you realize.

Comment Re:Sorely needed in the US (Score 1) 234

I'm in IT and not a teacher and I work K-12 and in my (red) state the legislature completely gutted the teacher's unions but people think they're amazing and that teachers barely work get summers off and have hot tubs in the lounge; couldn't be further from the truth.

The benefits get worse every year and it's standard operating procedure to keep people in fear for their jobs and to expect plenty of unpaid OT.

Teachers get shit on and everyone who supports them gets shit on worse (except managers, of course). The only thing their union does at this point that's worth anything at all is maintains legal counsel and usually they're toothless since the laws are.

Keep your eye on the ball:
Lower teacher salary = worse teaching = less well educated students = a less-intelligent population = an easier future constituency to manipulate

With that logic, why WOULD any legislature invest in teaching?

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Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky