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Comment What? (Score 3, Insightful) 298

"A passenger pod is not heavy because it does not contain fuel, engines, avionics, etc., so in case of an accident it can be ejected and land on parachutes."

It contains the passengers (the payload) and is one of the major structural components of the plane, so it is heavy anyway. And if it has to be structurally sound enough to be ejected and land it will be even heavier. Big parachutes for heavy loads are not easy or lightweight too.

Besides, air travel is very safe already and this wouldn't change anything about crashes during take-off and landings.

I mean, yes, do designs and try to sell them. I doubt someone will buy this though.

Comment This is a bit thin on details... (Score 1) 156

If this is about recognizing and deleting already banned video even if recoded and/or edited, it's basically de-duplicating. If this is about actually recognizing extremist speech it must be miracle code...

But I'm pretty sure that the copyright thing just works by recognizing music/video that already has been taken down in other clips.

Comment Re: Why are messaging app companies "a thing?" (Score 1) 109

Because people don't want to bother with all that. They want a one-stop solution with all contacts in one place. Like Facebook or WhatsApp, with no need to look for contacts. It's laziness, yes. But it's powerful.

Also with these new laws in Russia this isn't going to help you at all. They have also outlawed using non-certified apps (with no backdoor) now and can fine you for just using such an app. And believe me, paying a few hundred bucks for using jabber will teach people some laziness very quickly.

Comment Re: Huh... (Score 1) 157

It's a minority, but not a small minority. Also you can use iMessage with SMS fallback on a Mac or an iPad with no cellular connection as long as you also have an iPhone around (iMessage then will use your iPhone to send a SMS from your Mac or iPad).

One major convenience of iMessage over WhatsApp is that you can use it freely with as many devices as you want as long as they all use the same account, cellular or not.

Comment Re:How long until the total surveillance state ... (Score 1) 208

What different languages? It's "OK Google" or "Hey Siri" with no regard to language and that's it. The keywords are the same in all languages. There may be some adjusting (tables downloaded onto the chip), but not more.

And I'm not saying you can't abuse that, but I will never understand how people can demand to do nothing that can be abused. There's a risk and we have to minimize it.

Comment Re:How long until the total surveillance state ... (Score 2, Insightful) 208

None of these always-on systems track every word you say, because this would run your battery dry in no time. They all have just a low-power minimal voice-recognition in hardware that only recognizes the keywords and only then wake up and hand over control to the SoC itself for what you're actually saying.

Besides, if Big Brother wants to listen to your microphone he can just do that anyway, no need for such tricks. If you don't trust your networked microphone containing device not to listen to you, don't carry it to begin with. This is true for every fucking phone or tablet or computer.

Comment Yeah sure (Score 1) 208

Do you really think "they" would need you to turn the microphone on to listen to you if they want to listen to you? I mean, are you people actually thinking for moment before saying such things? If they want to use phones for audio mass surveillance they would be idiots to have to trick you into turning on the microphone first.

And then? "Damn, he tricked us by disabling Siri! What do we do now?!".

If you're carrying any connected device with a microphone, using voice recognition or not just does not make a trace of a difference anymore.

Comment This and other reasons (Score 5, Interesting) 559

I think there are two other points to consider: First, life and even intelligent life does not necessarily mean technology, or technology at an industrial scale. Maybe just THIS is very, very rare, with civilisations going this way separated by enormous gulfs of time and space. And maybe the universe is full of planets with aliens that have some sophisticated culture, but not at an technological scale that would lead to us being able to detect them.

Then there's the bottleneck of how long a species can sustain a lifestyle of full-scale industrial technology. Without forking out into space as soon as they can resources will be depleted very soon and then it's too late. Either that culture will end then or will (have to) become much more efficient and low-key, which again lowers the chances of us detecting anything.

I mean, one very useful aspect of thinking about this is thinking about what is going on here, not there. How long can we sustain this and what do we have to do to sustain it? Maybe we will learn how things tend to go with industrial-scale technological civilisations very quickly, even if too late...

Comment Re:Nothing to worry about... (Score 1) 306

There's an element of truth in that though. Not long ago someone getting some product delivered from China to his doorstep was unthinkable and something even the very rich could hardly afford. Today you can order it without even talking to someone and get it a few days later. It's all about volume and logistics. Hard to see why space should be different in the long run.

Comment The obvious is obvious (Score 1) 306

Earth has become a very small and limited place. Space is full of raw materials and energy, limitless amounts of them. It's definitely the new frontier and going to other places when the place they were was used up and overpopulated is exactly what people did since millions of years and what caused our species to spread over all the planet. Everyone who thinks that we will be limited to this rock just has no idea.

Look at this if you have a few minutes: http://www.bradshawfoundation....

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