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Comment Quality sliders (Score 1) 264

Scorpio sounds like the PC-ification of the XBox console world. The price point, the 'last console' hints.

They are selling you a PC with some modular components to switch out easily, that looks good next to your TV. You will upgrade it like a PC.

Perhaps they will offer simplified multi-functional module packs (i.e. CPU + GPU module, separate RAM module) .. but all this amounts to is enabling quality sliders in console games and having some annual update/version. I bet they want cute code names like Android uses. Or they will just use the year .. "2015+ Certified Game" .. the quality slider will just be set automatically based on the components.

The point of all of this is that they are burning through TONS of cash playing the hardware game against Sony. They like the licensing portion. It's cheap to manage and run. Project Scorpio is likely a hardware certification where partners can manufacture devices. It's "many" devices. Slow devices, fast devices, portable devices. They really are all just repackaged PCs. The question is if they can leverage their existing XBox user base to make the leap and how broad their nod toward the smartphone industry is. It sounds to me like they want to be the Google-to-Android of the Scorpio world, with ~$700 in upgrades every two years if you stay with the latest and greatest. Maybe Project Scorpio is just a glorified dock.

Comment Re:LOL (Score 1) 184

Correct. Clinical depression does not give a crap about how much money you have in the bank, though not having to worry about being homeless is a plus.

Except for when the money runs out and you are covering payroll out-of-pocket and taking on debt until the money is far beyond spent because you are responsible, and it just may come together next week or next month.. again.. and again. Then add depression.

Comment A123 was top for batteries IMO (Score 2) 196

I'm sure someone will correct me:

I believe A123 had an exclusive with GM/Chevrolet for some time that precluded them from selling to competitors, or to the public. The enthusiast community in the US (electric car, bike, etc kits) then had to rely on re-importing A123 batteries from China/black market that had potentially been exported from the US into the grey market. This made them tough to get, but they had an ideal form factor, power density and draw rate.

If this play by Apple can change that scenario at all, it would be a big move.

Comment Re:Origin of *Species* (Score 1) 249

A full 66% of our genes are shared with corn (Maize). Those genes are probably the "winners" in terms of evolution of species to date because they played some part in the evolution of a number of relatively successful species and from a selfish perspective eventually lead to our existence today.

Playing audience to a snapshot in time of a species in action is then to witness a battle of relatively new and up-and-coming genes in a highly dramatic and chaotic environment. Some of those new genes may eventually nullify any advantage or even cause attacks on part of that 66%, reducing its relevance further over millennia, and some may allow that species to adapt and further split into new species.

The survival of a species or its ability to procreate is not the end game, but instead one of many potential moves a gene can (randomly?) make to further its ultimate cause. If we refer to those 66% of genes simply as "corn," then who is to say that the remaining 33% of our genes aren't primarily dedicated to simply increasing the population of the "corn" gene pool as a whole, regardless of which species those genes currently reside within? The species has always been a temporary home -- more so a vehicle to navigate environments that are extremely dynamic over a great period of time -- again, time being our naive perspective.

Genes that have been around for a billion years have little concern for the extravagant mutations that allow that vehicle to navigate day-to-day, and if that vehicle fails, they have a million other variants working on their own story. If "corn" has been around for a billion years, then the rest of us is just a short-lived experiment, and perhaps one way to prove ourselves a worthy successor is to bring "corn" with us to the stars in as many ways as possible.

Comment Clarification (Score 4, Interesting) 135

There seems to be a lot of confusion and conjecture in the comments about the grandiosity of the claim. This does not necessarily rule out all comets. Maybe an attempt at a better summary of the article would be helpful:


- Not all water is the same. Some water is heavier due to a presence of a certain amount of deuterium.

The general consensus is:

- When the solar system formed, the components for water were created.
- These components eventually formed with the early Earth and a water cycle was created.
- Yes, the early Earth was hot, but heat and elements were plentiful and Earth managed to hold onto some of these elements and would have had water evaporating and raining back down again.
- The planet Theia *collided* into the Earth. A certain amount of the debris coalesced into the moon. Imagine Pluto smashing into your house.
- The heat from the collision would have evaporated/released all elements lighter than X, which includes water. (ed: perhaps water on the moon is more closely related to early earth water coalesced and re-condensed?)
- Sometime later, the Earth received much more water than would have been sustained from such an impact.
- The weight (deuterium ppm) of this "new" water is different (much lighter) than the weight of "old" water, and generally any other water in the solar system.

So where did this "new" water come from?

This article suggests:

"We have light water in some comets and very heavy water in other comets. We have to assume the mixture of all these comets is something that is heavier than what we have on Earth, so this probably rules out Kuiper Belt comets as the source of terrestrial water."

And I believe this means:

It would have taken many of these Kuiper Belt comets to contribute a great deal of water to the Earth. If we use probe measurements to confirm other measurements and calculate the *average* weight of water on a number of Kuiper Belt comets (along the order of magnitude necessary be a main source of "new" water for the Earth), then we see that the amount of deuterium in Earth's water would have been much greater -- i.e. the water would contain an average weight of all impacts needed to saturate.

Thus this rules out Kuiper Belt comets being the main source of "new" water for Earth. Their water in general is simply too heavy on average. As soon as enough Kuiper Belt comets impact the Earth to come close to the amount of water needed, the calculations show that the level of deuterium would be much, much higher than what we see.

And the article itself turns to conjecture with:

So where do we look for lighter water? Maybe asteroids?

Comment Minecraft perfect intro for children. Parent++ (Score 1) 144

My nephew has been into Minecraft since he was 3/4 .. and now a few years later, he is modding, watching HOWTOs on YouTube and loving the Minecraft music videos (he even wants to produce his own) and has gotten a fantastic amount of experience with basic programming logic through pistons and redstone. The social aspect has even been positive--he enjoys joining servers and helping others.

As someone that learned to program at the age of 4/5 in C64 BASIC (copying games out of magazines line-by-line), I feel that Minecraft is the perfect avenue for empowering the developing mind in a way that will allow them to step back and consider a program's architecture/structure. Something that I feel is much more important than shoving syntax down someone's throat. (i.e. no kid likes cursive)

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