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Comment Maybe VR would work better? (Score 1) 74

I hate to be the guy who suggests that the US military spend yet more taxpayer dollars on the "next new thing", but perhaps some of their problems could be addresses by replacing their current simulators with VR headsets and PCs?

Their current approach seems to be largely the "cave" approach, where the trainee sits inside a room by himself and images are projected on the walls around him. That's fine as far as it goes, but doing it that is by its nature expensive and takes a lot of space, which means not very many people can be using the simulator at once, which limits the military's ability to train groups of trainees how to co-ordinate their behavior with each other.

Replace that with a networked gaming PC and an Oculus Rift (or similar) for each trainee, and I think you could provide a similarly immersive experience to a lot more people simultaneously, for about the same price.

Comment Re:So much for Apple's "better design" (Score 1) 196

Well, I'll be the counter-anecdote, then. When I bought my iPhone6+, after about two weeks it started to compulsively touch itself. For example, I could be looking at a Google Map (not doing anything, just looking at the phone while it sat on the table), and suddenly the map would spontaneously scroll from my location in LA to somewhere in Utah, all on its own; as if it had received a touch event somewhere way off the edge of the screen. Similar strange spontaneous behaviors would occur in all other apps (and even on the "Desktop") at random times, every few minutes, and it was enough to drive anyone crazy.

I took the onanistic iPhone6+ back to the Apple store back for a replacement, and so far the replacement has had no problems (knock on wood).

Comment Re:Good luck (Score 1) 180

Politicians are always the same. All they do is appeal to whatever they see as the current mentality that will get them (re)elected.

There's a name for politicians that don't do that -- they are called "non-politicians". You don't get to govern if you can't get into (or stay in) office.

There's a clear Darwinian-style process at work there.

Comment Re:I love DSL (Score 1) 141

I think it depends on whose DSL you are using. My mom was paying $95/month for phone+DSL that was slow when it worked, and often didn't work at all. When she complained, AT&T reduced her monthly bill to make up for the poor performance, but even then she was paying $75/month for phone+Internet service that was inadequate and painful to use.

Eventually we switched her Internet and phone lines over to cable (Comcast), and now she is much happier, can stream video reliably, doesn't call me up regularly to ask why her computer "isn't working" today.... and is paying less than before.

TL;DR: service quality depends a lot on which neighborhood you live in.

Comment Re:In other words (Score 1) 224

I use Mozilla and was mostly happy with it until they dropped the "decide on the expiry date of cookies at runtime" option a couple of months ago. Now I use ESR and am hoping an alternative - or add-on - turns up. Experimenting with Chrome shows me where the more idiotic of the recent changes arose, at least Firefox has about:config to turn most of them off again.
Who cares about logos? The whole discussion indicates that their priorities have gone south.

Comment Its all about me! (Score 1) 407

Last year - in particular the start of July and August - we had the highest temperatures ever recorded here.
This year has been a few degrees cooler, the thunderstorms in May and June stopped the temperatures running away.

Elsewhere? No idea.

I glanced at a forum recently which claimed to have found proof that global warming is really fiction. It was some community site in Oregon. The crazy thing was, the posters to that forum were serious.

Comment Re:Incomplete title... (Score 4, Informative) 399

>No one wants Trump or Hilary,

This is demonstrably wrong.

... plus even if it was true, most people would still vote for one of those two candidates, because the anti-Trump people really don't want to see Trump in office, and the anti-Hillary people really don't want to see Hillary in office. In those circumstances, very few of them will be willing to effectively annul their influence on the election by throwing their vote away on a third-party candidate who isn't going to win anyway.

Now if we had a third-party candidate who was polling competitively with the two first-party candidates, or if we had a voting system that didn't suffer significantly from the spoiler effect, things might be different. But we don't, so they aren't.

Comment Re:What a joke... (Score 1) 113

I can get in my 8000lb truck and drive 600+ miles before needing to refuel... and I can stop at nearly any fuel station to fill her up with 30+ gallons in 2-3 minutes(diesel pumps tend to be MUCH faster than gas pumps).

All very true, and a definite advantage for fuel-powered cars over battery-powered cars, in scenarios involving long-distance travel.

However, most people do not drive 600 miles at a stretch, so for them, there is not much advantage in being theoretically able to do so.

Just like with cell phones, as long as the car's battery can reliably last you until you're ready to plug in for the night and go to sleep, that's good enough. It will be fully charged again in the morning; any capacity above that is gravy.

Comment Re:how much is needed? (Score 1) 254

They could be properly maintained during this part of the life cycle, but does anybody seriously think they will be? The cost/benefit for these batteries implies keeping costs low. There will be scrap batteries over the place being squeezed into use until they are completely depleted, meaning there will be lots of batteries not being properly maintained.

If battery maintenance turns out to be a problem (and it's not clear that it actually will be; what sort of maintenance, exactly, would these batteries require?), it seems like it would be easy enough to deal with: Add a $X deposit to the batteries' purchase price, and pay the deposit out when they are recycled. Et voila, now there's an economic incentive to properly recycle any battery old enough to be worth less than $X, rather than just letting it sit until it's worthless junk.

We've dealt with this problem before (e.g. for 12V lead-acid automobile-starter batteries); solutions are known.

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Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley