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Comment Re:Recreational drug use versus harm to others (Score 2) 560

Not that simple. Sometimes drug abuse is just a medical condition. But often drug abuse causes people to hurt others which is (and should be) a crime. See the difference?

I would argue that the drug prohibition (or rather, its totally predictable side effects) has hurt far, far more "other people" than drug users ever have. Hell, it's come damn close to destroying entire countries.

Comment I think this would be a major challenge (Score 1) 230

One of the things I do for a living is write firewall policy. We use Palo Alto gear, which seems to be some of the best available at automatically identifying what stuff is.

Even with a company like that behind the gear spending a lot of time and money keeping things up to date, it doesn't know about every little thing it sees.

Another challenge is that this device would need to be able to do SSL forward proxy for everything, or all it will know is there's an ssl connection to somewhere (although you can use information in the server cert to make further guesses). That means somehow getting a signing cert onto the device that all of the IoT things trust. Good luck.

Comment Re:If confirmed, does this make it realistic? (Score 1) 477

What's the usual format of an EM drive? Does it go on a satellite for maintaining orbit instead of a chemical thruster that'll one day run out of fuel?

IMO, one of the exciting things about this is that even if we eventually discover it only works due to interaction with the Earth's magnetic field, or gravity well, or whatever, it could still be a very useful technology for that application.

Comment Re:I'll wait for a third party review... (Score 1) 428

Agreed, I still want to find out how this product works in places like Warren Ohio, Joplin, Missouri, Greensburg Kanasas (Most Damaging Tornadoes I can think of off the top of my head) Where tornadoes while not "common" also aren't "rare" and as such roofs need to be able to sustain pre-tornado weather (including hail) at least a few times a year. (to be reliable)

It doesn't matter how it performs in a Joplin or Moore-class tornado, when the house it was attached to has been blown into the next county. The only exception would be that a glass shingle going 200mph is more dangerous than a shred of composition going the same speed.

Traditional composition shingles are flexible. I live in north Texas where we get plenty of nasty weather. You can see comp shingles lifting a bit in high wind (think petting a cat or dog the wrong way). Once that happens, it gives the wind something to grab, and can start a feedback loop. A rigid material wouldn't have that problem.

Likewise, we had a bad hail storm last May. My roof had to be replaced, but the glass in all of the cars on the street was fine. Insurance companies around here give pretty good discounts for hail resistant roofing, so you might actually save money there, too, especially if it really ends up being cheaper to install (in my case, going from the normal shingles that were on the house when I bought it to class 4 impact ones saves about $1k every three years on insurance for a fairly small roof, so it's not insignificant).

Comment Re:No beeping please (Score 1) 361

Hissing or fake engine noise.

No, it should be a recording repeating, "This annoying noise is required by the government because of the )(*$%s that won't get their nose out of their phones and pay attention while they're walking. We hope you enjoy your new environmentally friendly, quiet city" at high volume.

Comment Re:no end to the cheating (Score 2) 157

This just keeps on getting better and better. VW Group have simply not owned up to the depth of their cheating and been forthright with their cooperation.

Our regulators should slap increasing penalties on each successive cheat they find, to penalize for the hiding of evidence over and above the violation itself.

I'm not sure this is nearly as bad as you make it sound. I have an Audi S5, and it has several shift programs you can choose. One is "Auto," where it looks at your driving style, and adjusts shift points and throttle response accordingly. If you're driving gently, it goes towards comfort/eco mode, which uses less fuel. If you drive aggressively, it goes toward sports mode, which keeps revs higher and uses more fuel. So, no shit, if you use that mode (which I think might be the default), and the test is gentle (or explicitly put it in Comfort mode), it's going to be more efficient, no funny business involved.

I couldn't find anywhere in TFAs that said Audi was intentionally looking for test conditions and modifying the program, only that the shift program was adapting to test conditions. This might just be a case of automotive tech outpacing the testing methods.

Comment Re:What we need (Score 1) 174

Getting all games on all platforms is not feasible, no.

But why the flying hell can't the SAME GAME on PS4, XB1, Windows Store and Steam just ... just play TOGETHER?

FF14 has managed to do it, although I'm told Sony really didn't like the idea - but they have PS3, PS4 and PC players on the same servers. They then have OTHER problems if you want to, say, migrate your standalone PC account to Steam, but that's a whole other can of worms.

Well, aside from the input device inequality that others have mentioned. Keeping multiplayer games in sync requires the clients to be pretty deterministic. Not just deterministic, but in exactly the same way. It's bad enough between Windows, MacOS and Linux all on relatively similar x86-based hardware. Adding in a bunch of console OSes and hardware just makes it worse. Segregating the consoles is the simple way to simplify things.

Comment Re:Neat that it's possible, but insignificant (Score 1) 181

The USA burned through 7000 million barrels of crude oil in 2015, so 32 million from sewage conversion is just a rounding error. Also, since the sewage comes out at many disparate locations across the country, building one of these plants at every sewer plant might not even be worth the hassle.

I don't think this is particularly new. I read about something similar probably 10-15 years ago already.

Thing is, the same process should work on a lot more than just sewage. Certain types of trash, butcher scraps, yard trimmings, maybe even pureed plastics could probably all be used as raw material. Really depends on how much a plant has to be "tuned" for a certain feed stock.

It would be really cool if it could get to a point where the entire waste stream is ground up, the sewage is added to liquefy it so it can be pumped through the plant, and then whatever can be turned into oil is, and the rest (probably mostly metals to be recycled, and sand) can be filtered off.

Comment Re: Suspicious (Score 1) 280

I recently moved from New England to Houston, and let me tell you, it's a hell of a lot cheaper to air condition a house in the summer here than it is to heat a house in the winter there.

Really? The houses here in TX tend to have absolutely shit insulation, whereas the ones in the midwest and Wisconsin where my grandparents and sister live are very well insulated (because it actually gets cold there). Their houses are always warmer in the winter than mine in N. TX, because it just costs too much to keep up with crappy insulation. (and that goes for every place I've lived here in the last 40 years, not just my current place)

Also, welcome to TX, the land of occasionally running the A/C and heat on the same day. :D

Comment Re:Different measuring stick (Score 1) 144

One person's poor decision is another person's awesome decision. Let's use a different car company - Ferrari. Nobody buys a Ferrari because of the reliability ratings in Consumer Reports. They buy it because of the looks, the performance, the badge, or other reasons. The decision tree and evaluation of satisfaction about the purchase simply won't be based on whether it is as reliable as a Toyota Camry. Tesla is somewhat in the same boat. Reliability is pretty far down the list of reasons why someone buys a Tesla in most cases.

Plus, in my mind, there's two categories of reliability:
1. How likely is something major going wrong that's going to leave you stranded and incur massive repair costs
2. How many mostly unnecessary widgets are there that will inevitably break at some point

Teslas (and any other purely electric car) should be really good on the first category due to the far simpler electric drive train.
Any late-model luxury vehicle (and, increasingly, mid-range ones) will core poorly on the second category, due to the sheer weight of silly gadgetry they come with.

Comment Re:Acronym collisions! (Score 1) 134

Have you actually been to an iPic theater? I don't generally go see many movies in a theater (maybe once a year), but I ONLY go to iPic when I do. Precisely because they don't suffer from most of the problems you mention. Reserved seats when you purchase your ticket. No one else sitting within 6ft or so of me and my GF. Generally, by 10 minutes in, I've forgotten we're not the only ones there. Of course the tickets are more expensive, and the food/drinks are overpriced, but at least the tickets include popcorn.

Comment Re:Why do you have to be prepared for it? (Score 3, Insightful) 474

What is the difference if you are not prepared? Will you fail at it?

Quite possibly...

Imagine this scenario: You're halfway there, and part of the life support system break down, and can't be fixed en route. The vessel can now only support half of the people on board. If the passengers aren't prepared to calmly figure out who stays and who goes, and half the people aren't prepared to go quietly, the resulting riot will probably doom the entire mission.

Unpleasant contingency plans for that sort of thing have to be made, and the passengers must be prepared to follow them. There won't be any lifeboats.

Comment Re:Oh dear, poor SpaceX. (Score 1) 55

the huge amount of forest destroyed

C"mon, we're talking 10000 acres here. 4000 hectares for those who can't be bothered to learn more than one way to measure things. The USA, currently, has something like 750 million acres of forest (300M hectares). So this 10K acres amounts to 0.00133% of the US forest land. Assuming the entire 10K acres is/was forest.

Not to mention that wildfires are a natural occurrence, and part of the forest life cycle. If they didn't threaten human stuff, the best thing to do would be to let them (the naturally caused ones, anyway) burn themselves out.

Comment Re:Just an onion on my belt! (Score 1) 327

There are very good reasons we don't allow Doctor Mom to build her own x-ray machine to save a buck. Just because this medical device is simple doesn't mean it isn't a medical grade device that should be constructed in your Maker lab.

Except that if you're highly allergic to something, you risk a good chance of death by NOT having an EpiPen or similar around. If you simply don't have the obscene amount of money they're asking for them, your choices are:
1. Risk death by not having an EpiPen(cil)
2. Risk death (but probably much less so) by constructing your own.

Which would you pick?

Unfortunately, with our idiotic healthcare system here in the US, that logic applies to more than just epinephrine.

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