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Comment Yes, but change the question. (Score 1) 383

There are already some great answers here - but I think the question is not exactly right.
There's a difference between a hardware platform and the OS that rests upon it.

Imagine a free, universally available, top notch OS that works on all hardware platforms. Okay - not all platforms. There's a (ever-reducing) point where an OS is more than is necessary - such as the code required to drive an electric toothbrush. However, as we continue to develop hardware implementations, it is becoming increasingly cheaper just to use the same codebase for everything - so yes, at some point even a toothbrush could be available as a hardware platform.

Once you have a good OS that runs on all hardware platforms - the requisite toolchain is available to run all software on all platforms.
  Well... or fail gracefully (playing Doom on my toothbrush may be different unless it has a built-in screen and more than one button!)

A universal non-proprietary OS won't be (and cannot be) owned or commercially sold.

It's probably going to be Linux; Linux is about as close as you can get right now, and it conforms to Linux's own motives.

Timeline? I reckon that Linux needs another twenty years before Apple, Microsoft and other outliers throw in the towel.

Comment Context (Score 1) 165

In SME there are two crises facing an on-site development team:- first of all they will be expected to 'pick up' all sorts of general tech. support and queries, which is disruptive to the coding flow; they will be expected to be present as 'techs' in marketing pitches - which can be great, but also means not doing their job.

SME tend not to even consider 'working from home' as an option, which can be disconcerting for a modern developer who can use anywhere quiet as a coding location as long as there's some sort of workstation/laptop with an IDE and an internet connection, stuff to eat/drink, a toilet, and a bed.

Working outside the office is (for most developers) really tough for keeping hours - some coders are fine until distracted and then lost. Others just don't stop until they are way beyond productivity. (Every coder knows that they start writing bad code when they are tired).

In larger organisations you can suffer from those and other problems - if you work on-site and you are half-competent, you will be promoted to management, often dealing with the more inexperienced/less competent. Alternatively you will be expected to produce stuff way below your ability, which is just boring. Or you will be pushed into crunch-time continually which is just straight abuse.

TLDR; I don't really think that there's a strong correlation between locality and productivity, whereas a harmonious small team with a good leader (who also codes, and understands the needs and limits of the group) directly correlates with productivity.

Comment Re:I need to see more (Score 1) 711

Thanks a lot for such a great answer. Thanks again for retyping it after FF died on you. Sorry about the lack of line-returns in my previous cite.
You make a great argument - and I'm not sure that I can respond meaningfully to it. By all means stop before you start charging me tuition fees!.

This is what I got - the 'EM drive' delivers approx. 1.2mN/kW
My understanding (and WP is my friend) is that 1W = the work required to keep an object moving at 1m/s when there is an opposing force of 1N.
So, we have a cost of 1kW of work for 1.2mN of force. To me that seems unbelievably inefficient (and hardly worth making a hoo-hah about) and certainly no basis for perpetual motion. As I see it there is likewise a massive difference between 1.2mN/kW and 1kN/kW - the first is inefficient, and the second is completely impossible because it's unity - and unity doesn't leave any space for entropy.

Now, as for 1/c - and I'm not ready for the 'quantum vacuum flow' that the paper goes into; I get where you are coming from 1kW/c suggests a theoretical maximum of 0.003mN so I'm calculating that the reported thrust is 359.751 times (I will give you 500) stronger than it could be it it depended upon EM alone.

So, let's assume that the measurements are accurate - we can rule out 'normal' EM pressure - it may contribute but it's two orders of difference too weak. What does that leave us with? The weird graphics show electric force (big red arrows) and lots of swirling magnetic blue arrows. Given that electrons have quite a bit more oomph than their photonic cousins, I would go for saying that they've got something to do with the measurements being read off. However, that just opens up another puzzle: electrons have mass, and therefore whatever motion that is imparted them has an equal and opposite reaction.

My guess is that we are looking at half of the measurement. The other half shows the 'Test Article' swinging back as much as it's been pushed forward. If you put me in a crate and hang it from a rope, I can probably get the crate to swing - and it's not very interesting. I doubt that the figures have been fabricated - but in the end, I am probably with you - there's some BS in there somewhere. (and I'm not talking Boron-Sulphur compounds). .

So - you can chalk this one up to a victory. Just took me some time getting there.

Comment Re:I need to see more (Score 1) 711

I'm happy to let this be too - but I still find your argument confusing. You state "Maximum velocity possible is c" - this is a relativistic assertion - IIRC classical physics doesn't assert a positive limit to velocity - that's what makes it classical. Regardless, the paper seems to be arguing it's case from quantum physics - and that conservation of energy/momentum may be preserved by invoking 'quantum vacuum'. Importantly, the EM drive paper doesn't suggest that there is no propellant whatsoever, merely that the propellant is electromagnetic in it's force. Well, we have had radiation pressure physics for many years already, and Einstein talked about radiation friction back in 1909 - so most of the basic physics here is well covered. Likewise, let's be clear. I and you share one thing in common here: Neither of us imagine for a moment that the EM drive breaks the conservation laws of physics. Where we differ is that I am not yet convinced that the EM drive doesn't work and cannot work. As I see it, if there is anything to it, then it of course it won't break conservation laws, but it may open the door to new physics - or at least provide a new perspective to existing physics.

Comment Re:I need to see more (Score 1) 711

So rather than contradict my contradiction, explain to me how it, while in a perfect vacuum, is able to generate more power than it consumes?
Alternatively, show me ANY paper whatsoever that suggests the 'EM drive' breaks the 2nd law of thermodynamics. I get that the 3rd law of motion is questioned - but not any of the laws of thermodynamics.

'Generating too much thrust for exhaust' - means nothing whatsoever without a detailed explanation.

I believe you are trolling me.

Comment Re:I need to see more (Score 1) 711

"perpetual motion machine" - not really, no. It still needs fuel to drive the EM radiation. It would still also have some form of exhaust - but not in the normal 'rocket' sense - but as heat. Likewise it would still be subject to entropy. The entire engine is far from being a perpetual motion machine.

Comment Re:About that singularity... (Score 2) 78


How on earth can anyone produce a TV series about PS, when everything that ties us to our anthropomorphic, biocentric model of the world has been made redundant?

No individuality, no collective, no mortality, no sense of time (as we understand it), totally incomprehensible ideas of value.


Comment KERNEL vs. CACHE (Score 1, Interesting) 124

So there seems to be some difference over assertions here.
Apple is only talking about the iOS 10 kernel CACHE and that private data is never stored there (fair enough), whereas TFA is talking about the kernel code which is left open to exploitation.

I personally consider that opening the kernel is a wise move. It will, most likely, assist in closing holes in the code and, eventually, would make a stronger kernel. However, as the article suggests, it was probably a mistake...

Comment Technology is a factor not a cause. (Score 1) 1144

The question doesn't really make sense, in that technology is not an actor, and therefore has no ability to prevent shootings.

Various options on how to prevent shootings.
(1) Remove the required materials. Bullets and Guns. Hard to do as, due to modern technology, they aren't hard to fabricate.
(2) Make it illegal to carry the materials. We do this in the UK. It reduces shootings, but it doesn't prevent them.
(3) Make it impossible to use guns (eg surveillance, escalation, parity). Totalitarian state gone awry. This way leads to hell on earth.
(4) Remove the motive. Education and training in empathy and tolerance is possible, but will only reduce shootings.
(5) Cease to use it as a model. When authorities carry and use fire-arms they legitimise such activity. Will only reduce shootings.
(6) Smart weapons/bullets. See (1) above. It's easy enough to fabricate dumb weapons.
(7) Make the activity redundant. Once we are in a post-singularity society, then shootings won't mean very much.. (bit fantastical).

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