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Comment Office Miniaturization-Virtualization (Score 3, Insightful) 51

Just think, once everyone is using these we can shrink an office building down to the size of an armoire. Everyone's bot can scurry around the small building being in each other's presence. It will save oodles of money. Of course, once we've done that, we'll realize that the office building is a logical concept that doesn't need a physical presence, and we'll create a virtual office, with virtual presence bots, where everyone roams the virtual halls. And we'll call it WOW or Minecraft, or something like that. World of MeetingCraft?

Comment Re:We make machines more efficient, why not people (Score 2) 487

Exactly. We try to improve ourselves in countless other ways. Diet, exercise, sunscreen, makeup, plastic surgery, moisturizer, viagra, propecia, yoga, and on and on. To me that's not even a question. We can and should improve ourselves.

Now the questions that remain are
What are the benefits? What are the side effects, short and long term? What is the tradeoff?
Are there broad public health concerns, like addiction?
What is the cost - and is this going to deepen class inequality?

From my perspective, the government should have *very* *very* good reasons before they consider taking away my right to weigh my options and decide what substances I will put in my body.

And for what it's worth, when there are drugs that make us smarter, with minimal side effects, I'm all for taking them and getting them to as many people as possible. We need more smarts around here. Meaning everywhere on the planet.

Comment Re:NEVER (Score 2) 398

Nobody's going to buy that piece of crap. It's a glorified golf cart.

Well, you're right that it's not a car. But it also not a golf cart.
No, it's an autorickshaw, and (if this is not vaporware) they will buy it because there are already probably a hundred million of them in India, home of Tata Motors.

Comment All about the optics (Score 2) 892

My aunt was in Iraq with the army the first time around and had a good story. She described a US armor force who had detected a line of Iraqi tanks and decided to engage them. They took out the first one in the line, then the second one. The Iraqis couldn't see the US tanks, so they had no idea where the fire was coming from and therefore couldn't return fire. After tank 1 and tank 2 blew, the US forces could see the guys scrambling out of tank 3. They gave them a few seconds to get out and get away then blew the tank, and so on down the line.

The lesson is, the force with the better detection/sensors/eyes can engage an enemy before that enemy even knows there is a fight, provided their weapons have sufficient range. A slight edge in information becomes overwhelming superiority.

Applying this to space, if we have two opposing forces, and one has a Hubble telescope level optics capability where the other doesn't, those with the capability will be able to engage in the fight at a much greater distance, and pick off the adversary at will.

Of course they will need an advantage in weapons range, too. In space you can't afford to use up your limited mass to attack, because sooner or later you'll run out, and it will affect your trajectory. It will be all about energy weapons, including lasers. And making those effective at distance is also dependent on your optics.

So, optics for observation and optics for achieving high range with energy weapons leads to force superiority in space.

Comment Re:problem (Score 1) 160

Yes. We need way more than 32 characters. Unless you want everyone yelling all the time. (I think without lower and caps people will default to all caps. ick)
And we need a decent amount of punctuation. Period, comma, apostrophe, question mark, and exclamation are all essential for basic communication. Quotes, hyphen, @ sign, etc are nice to have, and we're already over the 32 char limit. And we didn't even talk about numbers yet. 32 char won't work.

Submission + - Can hackers solve our energy problems? (

kryzx writes: GE has kicked off the Ecomagination Challenge, a $200 Million experiment to discover and fund the best ideas out there for renewable energy, grid efficiency and eco-homes and buildings. I think the key to generating innovation in this space is to create a big community of energy hobbyists — the hackers and makers who have driven innovation in computer hardware, software and many other industries. To enable this we need inexpensive standardized modular components, including microgeneration devices and storage, that hobbyists and makers can use to build their own systems and experiment with renewable energy. Most importantly, we need a programmable and networked centralized controller so we can do interesting things with these devices. I think there is a huge untapped market of people who have an interest in this but are prevented from building and tinkering by price barriers. I know because I'm one of them. As a programmer and hacker, and I'd like to experiment with small energy generation devices, but spending thousands on a solar panel system that is hard to modify is not what I want. I've submitted an idea to the Challenge, called "Flexible, Modular, Programmable Residential Power Center", to see if we can get GE to create and bring to market the inexpensive standardized components needed to lower the barriers to energy system tinkering. Check out the Challenge and my idea. Of course, if you agree with my goal I'd like your support. Also, think revolutionary thoughts and contribute *your* ideas, and then talk about them here so we can support them. Currently there are only a thousand ideas, and the top one has less than five hundred votes, so we can own this. (annoying registration required to submit, vote and comment, but it's free)

Submission + - SSN disclosures and the law

An anonymous reader writes: I recently recieved an email from a US based publicly traded company that I used for income tax services. The content of the email was a screenshot which prominently displayed my SSN. I expressed concern to the company that they chose to send this information over the web in an unencrypted format. The company's response was to offer a verbal apology, explain that it was a one time violation of company policy, and offer a year of credit monitoring service. I think their mishandling of an SSN probably would result in some legal trouble for the company if reported to the government. What sort of fines/other punishment is the company liable for in this case if pursued in court? I'm trying to decide if it's worthwhile to sue them or take the monitoring service and let it go.

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