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Comment Re:"Super-Efficient"? (Score 1) 119

You assume humans are not and and human activity is not 'natural' or 'normal' or that the planet does not already have sufficient feedback measures in place we are not yet aware of to compensate for human activity without harmful/dangerous rates/amounts of climate change. We, ourselves, are a product of nature, after all. How many times in the past has nature created species that upset the global climate? Are we so arrogant as to think that just because we've developed a higher intelligence and self-awareness that we are somehow beyond/above nature and nature's ability to mitigate changes caused by life that is nature's own product?

Sure. Just google "Oxygen Holocaust". Great for us, but kinda sucked for the planet-wide biosphere of anaerobes, who now survive only as a few reviled and persecuted minorities. (There may well be people talking about protecting them, but I don't see many people volunteering to host them in the form of botulism and gangrene.)

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for advancing both our knowledge in this area and for finding *pragmatic & economically viable/practical* ways to pollute less and impact the environment less overall. I don't believe it warrants extreme measures bordering on emergency status that will harm people by destroying economies and lowering standards of living while empowering authoritarianism to enforce those measures.


You know what destroys economies and lowers standards of living? Human extinction. But it's a totally pragmatic and viable way for the biosphere to reach a new stable state.

Comment The summary says nothing about actual damage. (Score 2) 116

If the anonymous reader or the msmash had done more than copy-pasting the first three paragraphs of the article, adding a link -- if they'd even read what they copy-pasted -- they might have realized this. If they lived in this fairy-tale land where editors edited, they might have gone so far as to summarize the bit about "pops" which appear to damage the speakers over time.

Comment Tell me more about your X-ray antennas. (Score 1) 58

Moreover, X-rays can penetrate obstacles that impede radio communication.

As well as the ones that facilitate it -- otherwise known as reflectors and collimators. As long as X-rays are so very difficult to collimate, they're going to be hard to use for long-range communication. And as long as it's difficult to make emitters or detectors with very high bandwidth, they aren't going to be worth a lot for any high-speed communication.

Plus there's the whole radiation hazard thing. Not so relevant in space, but kind of a big deal here on DNA-factory-infested Earth.

Comment Re:Can't wait to get one in my watch. (Score 2) 156

From a bit of googling, they'd use Radium-226, which is an alpha-emitter. Thinking a bit of crystal covering the dial, and a metal frame, and you're sorta safe, no?

Yes, you, the wearer of the intact watch, were completely safe; its housing would stop alpha radiation at effectively 100%.

The people who drew up the radioactive paint using mouth-operated pipettes, and the people who scavenged through the trash containing the smashed watch bits, not so much.

Comment Re:This is BIG news - If you want to know more.. (Score 1) 477

Also, you leave out an interesting tangent, which is that rockets' maximum achievable speed is related to exhaust velocity. At this point, the rocket is accelerating the fuel away such that the fuel is at a standstill relative to an observer. To go faster with the same exhaust velocity, the fuel would end up chasing the rocket, which is a physical impossibility according to currently accepted laws of physics.

I don't see why. All the rocket's remaining fuel has already been accelerated to the rocket's velocity. If the rocket pushes some of that fuel out the back, the fuel will be moving more slowly than the rocket and fuel were moving before, and the rocket will be moving more quickly than the rocket and fuel were moving before.

Saying that a rocket's velocity can't exceed its exhaust velocity sounds a lot like saying that a rocket can't work in space because there's nothing for it to push against.

Comment Re:Next step... (Score 1) 478

"Your" software? You're speaking as though the machine had software on it that you own, as opposed to a bunch of rental agreements. Or maybe you think you've produced content that should remain under your control, instead of being wafted into the cloud. Clearly you're living in the past, and irrelevant to Apple's interests.

I've been using Macs since 1985. Lately, though, every year's "progress" makes me feel less like a happy repeat customer and more like a stubborn fool.

Comment Re:Wait.... what? (Score 1) 361

NHTSA estimates the odds of a hybrid vehicle being involved in a pedestrian crash are 19 percent higher compared with a traditional gas-powered vehicle

"Estimates"???? Wtf, are they trying to suggest this would be a good idea without even having any actual hard statistics backed by actual research to support the notion that it would actually result in fewer pedestrian injuries?

Yes, "estimates". You know, that thing you use statistics to do.

Comment Re:Hey idiots (Score 1) 61

Ah, QA, I didn't recognize you without the space/3D-printing hat. Tell me, do you maintain a list of everyone who's ever criticized one of your posts? Because, while I get tired of your shtick pretty frequently, I don't think I've posted in response to you (or anyone else) that frequently.

In any event, the presentation you linked does show considerably better technology than I was aware of. (For anyone who couldn't already tell, no, this isn't my field.) And yet -- look at the performance graphs scattered throughout the deck. They seem to show a pretty messy 5-15db lobe being steered. Compare that to 50+db gain of a 1-meter parabolic antenna at 50GHz. Facebook is pushing 100W through that transmitter (although admittedly there's no indication how much of that makes it to the radiator). How do you suppose the steerable array system would fare if you fed it a megawatt?

(BTW, snark aside, if you are an antenna engineer, I'd love to see some actual analysis around this.)

Comment Re:Can you see me now? (Score 2) 61

Still not as fast as an IR free-space link, and I'm struggling to see what other advantage it has. It's still blocked by atmospheric water or precipitation. It might be harder for a bird to block it by flying through the beam, but if you expand a laser beam's diameter to 1 m, no one bird's going to block that, either. And I can't imagine you'd need anywhere near 100 watts to get IR across that distance.

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