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Comment Re:Hollywood loves reboots (Score 1) 194

If Apple wants to create a compelling streaming service, they'll have to compete with existing services out there. I'm happy to take a look and see if it's worth a subscription. But since I have consoles that run any streaming app just fine, I can't imagine myself wanting any hardware they could possibly offer.

Sounds to me that they are trying to come up with an iTunes for steaming services. When you're looking for something, it will tell you which streaming source has it and they'll probably make it real easy for you to pay for what you want an get it.

Comment Re:This is dumb (Score 1) 194

The rights holders are the problem and will never allow this.

They probably will. Apple here is talking about this being a UI issue. Sounds like they are coming up with a new AppleTV type device except instead of searching each individual service for something individually, it will search all of them. Or rather, it will search the ones that cooperate with Apple and those that don't will lose out. I bet one of those bits of cooperation will be being able to buy a subscription to a service you don't already have or even getting something ad hoc, when the search finds something you want on a service you don't already own.

Comment Re:Crazy "Curiosity" Landing worked.. Schiaparelli (Score 1) 177

When I saw the video of the "7 minutes of Terror" and the crazy landing system for Curiosity, I thought, "Seriously, all of these mechanisms are required?".

Then I saw the Schiaparelli, landing, and I thought, "can the do this successfully in what appeared to be a more 'straight-forward' approach?"

We now, it appears, know why Curiosity had the landing system designed the way they did. Only thing crazier, would be to put balloons around a lander and let it bounce to a landing. Could you even imaging such a thing?

Yes, that's the trouble with the Martian atmosphere, enough to make landing by rockets problematic but not enough to slow things down. I remember reading an article where a guy that works specifically on parachutes for re-entry vehicles said that a parachute only landing on Mars was not possible. Keep making the parachute bigger and you end up with deminishing returns for weight and other reasons before it will slow things down enough. Likewise, supersonic entry into an atmosphere with rocket tech at the time wasn't possible either. Also, this is just for fairly small craft of just a one ton. When dealing with a human landing on Mars and you are talking something like 40 tons and much, much harder to land. Currently, the hope is that SpaceX can use their technology for first stage re-entry and landing to Mars and use it there for similar rocket based re-entry.

Comment Re:UBI is a one way street (Score 1) 883

The Culture series are pretty good. It's a civilization of post scarcity AIs and trans-humans humanity. Lots of weirdness and neat Ideas I think. However, we rarely see the normal people much as the books follow the ones actually doing stuff, typically stuff that the Culture isn't even supposed to be doing. If you like that sort of things also check out Charles Stross and Aliester Reynolds.

Comment Difference Between Europe and USA (Score 1) 401

"European Lifestyle" also means single payer medicine, 4 or more weeks vacation, and an efficient mass transit system.

Reminds me of when I went to Germany for a week to attend a music festival in Leipzig. I was talking to the Germans and the typical reaction was along the lines of "You rich Americans who can afford to fly to a different continent for a week to attend a music festival." My answer was "you rich Europeans that can afford to take more than a week off of work. I have to get back to pay for all this." There is certainly a difference in vacation idealologies that I observed. Europeans cut costs, stay in hostels, camp even in major cities, etc. They'll take their several weeks and backpack around Europe with barely enough money to buy food and beer. This seems because they have lots of vacation time and somewhat less money. Americans work a lot, as evidenced by this article, and get just a fraction of a European's vacation. In such a case, the American idea of a vacation is typically "money is no object" so while they are vacation, they splurge because although they'll have to work hard to pay it all back, they'll probably do so before they get another vacation. This probably contributes some of the American image abroad.

Comment Re:UBI is a one way street (Score 1) 883

Or, it could be more like Star Trek. Where we essentially have reached a post scarcity society and people work for the self-actualization aspect of a job rather than the desperate need to struggle to survive. You might then have children who are raised by parents who have devoted their lives to perfecting some art form, advanced mathematics as a hobby, cooking or woodworking for the bliss of it. Then hey-lets-go-to-Mars because we haven't been there and I would like a challenge since I am not worried about a sickness putting my family in the poor-house for the next ten generations...

I'm sure that Star Trek has their slackers. Even if the vast majority of society was based on enriching yourself and the social and cultural expectation was to do so. There would still be those that simply would or could not do it. There would be that one guy that would be content to sit at home in his holosuite all day long. Sure, his parents and any friends would try and get him out, and counselor will come by and ask awkward questions and try and manipulate him into wanting to be a productive member of society, but they'll still fail with a percentage of people. Eventually, society will just have to be ok with that, however if human nature results in or society can't cope with that percentage past a certain point, the system may collapse. Sure, the Federation has tons of great people and can manage a huge star spanning civilization, but I bet there are still block upon block of buildings full of people who just do nothing. In the Culture books, most of humanity sits around having sex and doing drugs all the time and the few are the ones actually doing stuff.

Comment Re:Seems like common courtesy to me (Score 1) 196

The country in question is the uk. Brits seldom bother to learn foreign languages, after all, even in another country the foreigners are everybody else.

In large, this is because English is the default language of travelers. Specifically, British english as most other countries mark such with the British flag. I've even heard French travelers asking Germans if anybody spoke English so they could ask questions on several occasions when in Germany.

Comment Re: You gotta fight for your right to (Score 1) 212

Netflix could buy the rights for any show in any area. They just choose not to.

Shit. There's a lot of movies that haven't even made it from VHS to DVD yet because of licensing issues. Regional and other issues besides simple licenser greed prevent Netflix from getting "any show in any area".

Comment Re:There Is No Rivalry (Score 1) 263

The US is almost 50 years behind the US at this point. How long would it take the US to launch a manned moon mission?

Depends on how long it will take for SpaceX to get the Falcon Heavy up and running (~2017) and then man rated or for the ULA/Blue Origin to get their kit up and running (~2018) and man rated (perhaps further along than SpaceX)

Comment Re:So how does this affect the Drake Equation? (Score 1) 258

Ya, Lord Kelvin gets quoted a lot so I looked up that but took the time to actually hunt down what seem to be actual quotes with citations. Further more, he expresses that he thinks things might eventually be invented in one quote but not others. So, if I wanted to post unverified or singular quotes, I could have, but instead post the selection with link so people can read for themselves. I would bet that if I wanted to spend more time to do fact checking, that I could find similar evidence of notable people of the day expressing doubts for all sorts of things, but, while I am interested in it, it's not really might fight. That great and learned people call something impossible right on or even just past their discovery is certainly reasonable as it happens almost all the time well into the present era with most great discoveries.

Comment Re:Does this change then the need for dark matter? (Score 4, Informative) 258

(I find it amusing that dark matter is handwaving why big things don't fly apart and dark energy is handwaving why bigger things do :) But I'm weird :)

Galactic rotation curves was just the first bit of observational evidence that we saw over 80 years ago. Since then, every other explaination has been shown not to be the case. Since then, there have been many other observed evidence such as gravitational lensing, fluctuations in the CBR, etc. which is all under Observational Evidence under the Dark Matter Wikipedia page. All have been pointing more and more towards matter than only interacts via gravity, while all other competing theories fail to explain other observations. Furthermore, it tends to be called dark matter, and dark energy, energy, because they end up with unknowns that have specific units, and when those units are those of mass or energy, they get called mass and energy.

Comment Re:Drake Equation == 1 (Score 2) 258

FTL travel might be impossible via acceleration

How do you get from a velocity of "a bit" to a velocity of "a fucking fucking bastard fucking lot" without accelerating?

Well, as velocity is the change of location according to time, not speed which is affected by acceleration, what people are usually saying is that they get from point A to point B in a time faster than light can through a vacuum through Minkowski space (flat space). If you are talking about raw speed, it could be that particles could be created going faster than the speed of light, therefore never need to accelerate. Those would be tachyons and the only real serious talk about them was in a Michael Kaku book saying that somebody figured out they were possible, but only in a universe that was at a false vacuum and this probably happened at the beginning of the universe but such things would cause instability and for the universe to fall to a more stable vacuum state. Beyond that, there is the idea of warping space such as the Alcubierre drive as while the speed of an object through local space cannot get to or go beyond light speed, a section of space can move fast enough for the effect with something inside of it or by shrinking space ahead stepping across and then letting it re-expand. However, space is really, really hard to get to bend even though we know it does, taking planet or sun sized chunks of matter just to do it a little. The other ways such as hyperspace or worm holes are assuming that there is a separate path to where you want to go that is shorter than normal space. In hyperspace it would be other dimensions (such as those string theorists keep talking about) that are still connected to our normal space or drastic bits of Riemannian space (curved space). We can see a similar example of this in gravitational lensing where two paths both follow light like paths to a single point, but one can be shorter than the other. It is also possible that if there are other dimensions, such as possibly where our space and universe was born from, that the laws of physics would be different and there might not even be a lightspeed limit.

Comment Re:So how does this affect the Drake Equation? (Score 3, Interesting) 258

I mean, it's literally only 120 years since people were saying things like "heavier than air flight is impossible, we know the physics, we know the materials, it's just not feasible"

Who the fuck ever said that? Are birds lighter than air? You said "literally" so I expect a quote backing your bullshit up.

Lord Kelvin said some things along those lines within ten years of the Wright Brothers. He also said lots of other silly things on other topics like calling x-rays a "hoax". This page cites sources and has links to scans and such.

"I have not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation other than ballooning or of the expectation of good results from any of the trials we hear of ... I would not care to be a member of the Aeronautical Society." [Source]

"The air-ship, on the plan of those built by Santos-Dumont, is a delusion and a snare. A gas balloon, paddled around by oars, is an old idea, and can never be of any practical use. Some day, no doubt, some one will invent a flying machine that one will be able to navigate without having to have a balloon attachment. But the day is a long way off when we shall see human beings soaring around like birds." [TLWT, vol. 2, p. 1168]

"They never will be able to use dirigible balloons as a means of conveying passengers from place to place. There never was and never can be any commercial value to any such affair. It is all a delusion and a snare. Santos-Dumont is a very bright young man, but an air ship as planned by him is not practicable." [Said to reporters after having arrived in New York on April 19, 1902. Quoted in the New York Times, p.2, the next day.]

Comment Re:Where's the love and support? (Score 1) 200

Tea, Earl Grey, Hot, fuzzbucket.

You would think that with their AI computer system, they could at least store some preferences so that if he asked for Tea, without any other qualifiers, it would just give him his usual. Or since it is supposed to be an AI, ask if it sensed he might want something different.

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