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Comment Re:Why would you want tech companies in the downto (Score 1) 222

As far as offices go, there is a great length along El Camino Real that they can have offices - or even on Oregon Expressway: I hardly see why it has to be in University Avenue

It's because all the startups want to be there (within walking distance of caltrain). The only other Palo Alto corridor available is probably California Ave (where they also have a restaurant row). I suspect too many rich property owners with multi-million dollar houses live along the Oregon expressway corridor for the politicians to even proposed that...

If you haven't been following, El Camino Real through Silicon Valley is slated to become apartment/express-bus row. Nearly all stripmalls tracks along El Camino Real are being purchased by large developers like Pegasus and torn down for apartment complexes. Pretty soon there won't be any small-business/retail/restaurants on El Camino Real and you'll have to go to the various downtowns along the Peninsula and suffer their overpriced concept restaurants (because they are the only ones that can afford enough rent to avoid becoming office space).

Comment Re:Lol (Score 1) 222

Increase the density allowed and allow building of mid and high rise appartments inside of SF and other bay area suburbs. Not an instant fix, but it would fix it over a decade.

They do build high-rise buildings in SF and SJC, but sometimes it does not all go as planned...

There are no "simple" solutions to this problem.

Comment Re:Case Backwards (Score 1) 636

You can never legally shoot down a drone.

You might think/wish that is true, but the legal precedence is a bit mixed in this department. Consider the case of William Merideth of Kentucky...
Perhaps eventually this will be decided (in this case or perhaps another), but it is currently a bit of legal grey area...

As for trespass, there are basically two types of criminal trespass. One type of criminal trespass is that if you have *intent* when you trespass to damage, occupy or interfere with business (even if there was no sign, nor a physical barrier), you can be charged with criminal trespass even if nobody tells you to leave. Of course if you inadvertently stumble on someone else's property w/o such intent and never actually caused damage, nor interference, you could not be charged with criminal trespass until someone actually asked you to leave. At that point, defying their order to leave, you will have committed the other type of criminal trespass: willfully entering or occupying a property w/o consent (which would of course also be true if you overcame a physical barrier to enter the property such as a locked gate).

On the other hand you could just lie and say you didn't see the sign (which is probably what your lawyer would have you say) and wait until someone tells you to leave. But if by your actions, the property owner could prove some sort of *intent* to damage, occupy or interfere, you will likely be standing on thin ice saying you simply didn't see a sign...

Comment Re:Next Phase (Score 2) 636

A thought occurs to me. Functionally, a desk fan with metal blades is an appropriate analog for a drone rotor if the housing is removed.

I may buy the appropriate testin supplies tonight. If silly string can work on something with way more torque force than a drone rotor, like a desk fan, it would be viable softkill material for most drones on the market.

FWIW, I think you would have more luck downing a drone with a super soaker (maybe filled with salt water for "extra-damage")...
The trajectory leaving a silly string spray can isn't the most stable thing to aim with.

Comment Re:FIFY (Score 1) 60

"Amazon and NVIDIA, the venture arms of the CIA"

Unsurpringly, Amazon is *the* cloud service supplier for the the CIA...

On the other hand, In-Q-Tel (the *actual* venture arm of the CIA) has partnered with companies like...

* Booz Allen (the actual employer of Edward Snowden during his short stint as an NSA contractor)
* Intelliseek (eventually purchased by Nielsen Online, the folks help decide what programs get air time)
* Keyhole (eventually purchased by Google to become google earth was also partially funded by NVIDIA)
* Safeweb (eventually purchased by Symantec, the same sellers of the popular Norton Anti-virus software)

As always, the truth is out there, and some of it is a little bit unnerving...

Comment Re: Inevitable (Score 1) 60

Are you planning to ... um, VACATE the presidency in 2017? Because there's no US presidential election next year. At least not yet.

Perhaps. If DT this Nov 2016, I'm sure he'll strongly consider how he can VACATE the presidency shortly after the inauguration in 2017 (still no indication he actually wants to be president for 4 years).

Or maybe DT will just keep the office and hold an apprentice contest for the "most powerful apprentice in history". Odds are that Pence probably won't stand a chance against an AI in such an apprentice contest...

Comment Re:Of course. . . (Score 1) 446

& torrential rains soon to hit the Left Coast again soon: see Wikipedia for "Pineapple Express."

The climated do-gooders are going to have a field day with the next mega-rain on the West Coast, but they happen about every 160 years.

Well, on the west coast we are still waiting for the repeat of the 1862 atmospheric river (aka pineapple express) they promised us last year to get us out of the drought. Of course as will all things, there can always be too much of a good thing.

http://www.scientificamerican....

Comment Re:Internet or hyper-linked documents (a.k.a. Web) (Score 1) 70

The write-up and TFA conflate the Internet and (what became known as web). Maybe, the slines don't know any better, but Slashdot users ought to... The hyperlinked documents weren't the first "killer application" — e-mail was. The first systems weren't even using the Internet, but, according to Wikipedia:

And Sir Lee's was not even the first system for linking documents/files across the networks — Gopher was. And Gopher was not merely proposed in 1991, that's when an actual system became available (though protocol was codified in an RFC only in 1993).

If you want to get "technical" the web (aka http/html) was first (1990 vs 1991 for gopher), but the graphical browser mosaic didn't appear until '93 and not to many folks were using the non-graphical web servers that were in existence at the time.

If email was the killer app, inter-domain mail (via unix mail via rmail/UUCP) was probably the real killer app, not ARPANET email as ARPANET was mostly restricted to non-commercial use. Gopher like the "web" didn't really pop up until '91 when the NSFNET (the modern "internet") was winding down and the commercial internet was ramping up (the various NAPs like MAE and CIX, etc were taking off). Prior to inter-domain unix mail, commercial email was generally *unconnected* (needed to be on the same proprietary system like compuserve to send/receive mail).

Comment Re:How durable? (Score 1) 160

What kind of Shingles do you use in the US that you have to replace them so often?

Replacing roofs in Germany is a rather rare activity. I doubt it happens more often than every 50 years.

Cheap crap in some cases, this being America.

In others, I will grant that windstorms in the US may be very common, and there is a greater degree of sun exposure from the lower latitudes.

Some parts of the USA are prone to get hail which causes recurring damage on roofs. Fortunately I no longer live in one of those areas. Insurance companies really don't like paying for hail damage on roofs.

Allegedly, modern solar panels are more resistant to hail damage than typical composite asphalt roofing material (and probably better than wood shingle/shake or spanish tile roofing too) so if over a few year period, it helps save a roof repair (or two), that might be a thing on the plus column for these new fangled solar roofs...

I'm interested in what this solar roof would be like, but if it is like a metal roof, I don't know if that would be any more problem free. Metal roofs can have quite a few problem in residential installations (e.g., condensation, noise, ice dams), so it isn't a panacea. Also the current generation of metal roofs are generally painted with IR reflective coatings, but current generation solar panels are generally transparent to IR. I don't know about solar roofs and there may be some attic heat issues that might be specific issues with a solar roof if they aren't much different than current generation solar panels.

Comment Re:Makes sense for Intel (Score 1) 81

I'd like intel to use their high-resolution fabrication facilities to make systems with new programmable opportunities, like part of the die set aside for FPGA...

Well, intel did buy altera last year and promised such a thing, but we haven't see anything real come of that yet...

Intel did announced that they would ship a multi-chip module with a Xeon server chip and an Arria fpga connected by QPI in the same package, but I haven't seen anything on their roadmap yet that actually has FPGA blocks on the same die as their CPU.

Comment Re:shortsightedness and quarterly investors (Score 1) 26

mystified by the reluctance of some portfolio companies to avoid a stock market flotation. "They would benefit from the rigor and discipline that the public market requires," he said.

Maybe an idea which needs a year to properly develop an idea is justifiably afraid of quarterly meddling at the beginning.
That's discipline to avoid that short term trap

I assume he's not talking about small companies, but GV portfolio companies like...

Uber, Slack, Cloudera, Blue Bottle Coffee, etc...

Which seem to be happy to continue to take new rounds of VC money leaving GV and early investors with no exit. W/o an IPO it is more challenging for GV to get their money back to invest in other companies which means their returns might look good on paper, but these companies are essentially holding GV's investment hostage and using the new VC money to invest in new projects w/o paying back the original investors for the risk they took on previous projects. Essentially these companies are effectively forcing GV to invest in their new projects (instead of taking that money and investing in another company).

If you want a car analogy, it's like Slack telling GV about a plan to drive from SF to LA to sell a car but Slack doesn't have any money for gas. GV gives Slack the gas money with the promise that Slack will pay GV back the gas money and some part of the money from the sale of the car as a bonus when they get to LA. Somewhere near Bakersfield, Slack decides he wants to go to Las Vegas instead because Slack could get even more for the car in Vegas, much more than the cost of gas to get there.

However, GV is starting to have second thoughts about Slack's Vegas plan and wants out of the car and Slack to pay back his gas money and suggests Slack crowdsource his trip to Vegas and use the money raised to payback GV (maybe use the money to fund someone else's trip to LA to sell a car). Instead, Slack decides to pick up a VC hitchhiker that willing to pay for the gas to go from Bakersfiled to Vegas, but not enough to pay back GV's gas money.

GV thinks Slack won't crowdsource because they would price in the risk of Slack's plan to go to Vegas instead of LA to sell the car and reduce Slack's expected return of going to Vegas vs LA and it was simply easier to find some VC hitchhiker to get some Vegas gas money and hold GV's gas money hostage instead. GV thinks Slack could use the discipline of the crowdsource wisdom to see the error in it's way.

Comment Re:Darkening the skies as well! (Score 1) 323

All that solar is making the sun dimmer! Oh and all that wind power is slowing the rotation of the earth! Senator Joe Bartan (R) said it was true!

On the other hand, the three-gorges dam in china apparently slowed the earth's rotation by about 0.06 microseconds, and shifted the pole position by about two centimeters.

Of course if we extrapolate this data and we continue building dams at the current rate, we will probably cause catastrophic damage to the earth in the next million years (unless we go extinct by then). Maybe we should stop building dams now before it is too late.

FWIW, what Mr. Barton said was actually this...

I am going to read a paragraph which is, if true, very ironic. And this is from Dr. Apt’s paper, and I quote: ‘Wind energy is a finite resource. At large scale, slowing down the wind by using its energy to turn turbines has environmental consequences. A group of researchers at Princeton University found that wind farms may change the mixing of air near the surface, drying the soil near the site. At planetary scales, David Keith, who was then at Carnegie Mellon, and coworkers found that if wind supplied 10 percent of expected global electricity demand in 2100 the resulting change in the earth’s atmospheric energy might cause some regions of the world to experience temperature change of approximately 1 degree Centigrade.’

This Dr. Apt's paper was poorly paraphrasing this 2013 Harvard report which quotes research that was partially funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (a country with major petroleum reserves and skin in the game)...

It's easy to blame politicians for ignoring science (as if many of them were scientists qualified to analyse data), but it is often the Universities that tend to confuse issues. Hey we've got researchers from Princeton, Haarvaard, and CMU saying something ironic *if-it-were-true*. Then confirmation bias sets in (happens on both sides of the aisle). The spin cycle kicks in to make your political enemies look like idiots to please your audience. Rinse, repeat (god forbid don't lather, think of the environment).

Comment Re:SLS? (Score 1) 81

NASA surely could have come up with a better acronym than SLS (OK, the SLA could have).

The way over-cost and doomed Space Shuttle Program bore the acronym STS.

Branding-wise, that is a little bit too close.

If you are attempting to "sell" a program to a funding strapped congress, the block-1 SLS being derived from the STS might imply you aren't reinventing the wheel and probably the same pork is involved. Funding a similar program carries the implication that nobody getting money/contracts the last time is likely to going to go home hungry on your new program. Assuming you got enough votes last time to get funded, that's an important selling point.

If you name your program something totally different, your lobbyists will have to waste part of their elevator pitch time on explaining the what it is and why they should vote for it to some uninformed congress-dweller's staff.

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