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Comment Does this pass the smell test? (Score 3, Insightful) 147

Unmanned ships could save money, weight, and space...

Seriously? The crew and crew quarters take up a significant fraction of the operating budget, weight and volume of a modern cargo ship? I'm not buying it.

Take a look at some of these ships:

Comment Re:Imagineers? (Score 1) 568

Steam engines? Engineers were around long before those were in vogue. Take this famous quote from William Shakespeare's Hamlet: "For tis the sport to haue the enginer / Hoist with his owne petar." It's normally rendered as "the engineer, hoist by his own petard" and really means 'a sapper/military engineer blown up by his own grenade'. Hamlet was written in about 1600 and steam engines post date it by a century.

Engineers originally built siege engines, i.e. military contraptions. See good old Wikipedia for more information:

Comment Re:Why now? (Score 4, Insightful) 234

I haven't followed Pao's case so I have no informed opinion on it.

However, I do believe that jury selection processes are so tainted that it's tough to get a fair trial. The process is supposed to be about finding jurors without biases that would affect their decision, but it's actually about putting people on the jury that can be swayed by the prosecution and defense.

I had jury duty a few months ago and, during the selection process, the prosecutor asked who all the scientists and engineers were. It turned out to be about a third of the jury pool, and none of us was selected except a single one who worked for a government lab. Did the case involve any scientific or engineering matters? Not really. It was a drunk driving/hit and run/leaving the scene of an accident thing. My hypothesis is that the police botched the investigation and there was no real physical evidence of guilt, and that the case was based on he said/she said.

The prosecutor deliberately removed people from the jury pool because they could think critically and would not blindly swallow assertions. And it worked: I checked the court records and the defendant was convicted.

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