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Comment Re:It's in New Zealand and not in the USA (Score 5, Informative) 303

The Hiller Flying Platform was designed in 1955. It was originally an ONR (Office of Naval Research) project to develop a platform capable of carrying one man for short hops.
ok, the video's choppy but we speak 1950's goddammit

1997: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vI-4ygOrgJ4

2005: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2007/11/anderson-based/

Comment stupidity at its best (Score 1) 492

If politically correct DOJ was designing Olimpics games today, they would have to make sure obese people have the same chance of winning gymnastics or marathon competition as fit people.
  And Mensa would be an illegal organization.
And passing US citizenship test would require no knowledge of English... oh wait...

Comment Re:year of *nix (Score 2, Insightful) 48

2009 was the first year of linux dominating on TVs and STBs since 2009, and probably the year of *nix on smartphones as well.

If it was the "year of linux dominating on TVs and STBs", who cares...? How many of these devices have any accessible method of replacing or modifying the software? My TV has a USB port that can play pictures and music and upgrade the firmware, but there's no documentation on how to do so and hasn't been a firmware upgrade. And I have my doubts about any mass-market STB hardware being open enough to change the software unless you're the provider or some extremely skilled hacker (at least for US mass-market hardware).

It's not like simply using Linux (or any open source software) will make bad TV programming better, or will enhance picture quality.

the year of *nix on smartphones as well.

The important of a smartphone running *nix seems minimal to me - smartphones are much more than a kernel or unixlike environment. It's the software users interact with and the phone/messaging functionality that matters. If that software happens to run on top of Linux or some other open source kernel, it means the software creator didn't want to create their own or pay to use somebody else's kernel.

My iPhone runs Darwin, but most of the important software that runs on it is closed-source (with the notable exception being WebKit).

Comment Re:Market Research using Google... (Score 1) 329

Hi, you blockquoted that text from my blog. The "extra" 500 minutes is call forwarding minutes. In theory, you could setup your phone to forward all your calls to your home phone (or other unmetered phone) when you run low on minutes. That would work. All that string of numbers does is forward the call to google voice after 4 rings (before tmobile VM kicks in). The call forwarding minutes are almost free for tmobile to provide, so you get 500 free, in a "use it, don't abuse it" type charge plan. I think you pay $0.10/min after the first 500 min, but if you're getting 500+ minutes of voicemail a month you probably already have a receptionist and personal assistant working for you.

Comment Re:about you, but not --by-- you (Score 2, Interesting) 234

My first thought on this whole line of question is that protecting our privacy is the short term goal, but shouldn't the long term goal be to, well, be able to be free?

Personally, expressing myself to the world is quite important, and I willfully show everything to everyone on facebook, because I feel the most confident about myself that way. I smoke pot once or twice a year and I'm a computer programmer at Bioware, and if they want to fire me because I shared some personal information online, then that's their loss. (N.B. - I don't share this information with my parents, because I still prefer some privacy.)

So I interpret this whole thing positively. If everyone just damn well admits that they smoke pot, they can't ostracize the one who does it openly. There will always be some sense of privacy required (anything you aren't comfortable sharing) but my opinion is that the first concern is protecting your right to share information without the fear of reprisal.


Comment Re:Looking for god's finger prints? Here it is. (Score 3, Insightful) 191

This is not a 'high form of symmetry' but very basic one; a solution to a very rudimentary quadratic equation. I, for one am surprised we're not seeing such solutions more often around us.
Here's why: every semi-dynamic system tends to find a local energy minimum, which needs to be stable. A quadratic equation has always a stable minimum or it doesn't have a minimum. Well... that's all, nothing more to see here for me.

Comment Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 320

But are they making these decisions for YOU, or for a class of people your age/etc? From what I've seen these panels will choose a level of support that will be provided, instead of promising support (like an HMO) and then removing it later based on technicalities in your paperwork or circumstances.

While that does leave it open to a GWB changing it all at least he should have a hard time targeting anyone specifically. He'd just deny all care by throwing you into Guantanamo, HMO or otherwise.

I think government spending like this should be outsourced, even the administration of it, but not with long-term contracts. Whenever we reward a long-term contract or sell a public resource the company that gets it immediately becomes a cesspool of inefficiency (as if they know the easy money will never dry up) and does a crappy job at what they were hired to do. If they had to keep winning the customer-satisfaction survey or the other businesses in the field would get their slice of the market they'd stay (more) responsive.

Comment Re:What if...? (Score 1) 173

Is it a great idea? Are people really that lazy that they would buy specialized devices just so they don't have to hit a button? Does that make it easier? I realize that developing new technologies is a good thing, but you're really trying to sell me earphones I have to take out of my ears and then reinsert (but only one!) in order to answer a call? I wonder if you can change the volume based on the pressure that you shove them into your ears with...

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