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Comment Network providers not homes (Score 1) 73

1Tbs unless offered at a good price, would be useless for most homes....Perhaps if I had a 4k TV it may be more important

Try 40,000 4k TVs: Netflix 4k takes 25 Mbps. I don't expect to see this technology in the home anytime soon except perhaps in some selected test areas. There is no 'killer app' which needs this much bandwidth in the home at the moment. If it is cheap enough to act as a home link they would be better off marketing it as a replacement for 10Gb network links and switches. I could easily imagine using that sort of bandwidth for analysis of research data on a cluster in a data centre. Why would you aim it at homes to start with?

Comment Re:...and Accuracy (Score 1) 111

I think someone didn't understand his physics course very well. Being in a different frame of reference does not affect a clock's accuracy.

Actually since I'm now the one at the front giving the lectures I'm petty confident I do understand my own physics courses! ;-) Being in a different frame does affect a clock's accuracy when I am making a measurement because time is local. The moment you are in a different frame the accuracy of the clock is limited at best by the accuracy with which you can determine the frame of the clock relative to your own.

In fact this is now the limiting factor in the accuracy of clocks since they can now make clocks which are accurate to 1s in 15 billion years at which point things the the floor of the building you are on start to matter. If they ever make these portable and cheap there are going to be some really interesting applications as well as some fun lecture demos.

Comment Extra pedantic... (Score 2) 111

And for pedants: Yes, technically nothing in the observable universe is theoretically "free" of Earth's gravitational influence

Actually if you want to be extra pedantic that may not be quite true. Parts of the universe which we can observe today (and so are in the observable universe) may by now be causally disconnected from us due to the accelerating expansion of the universe and so no longer feel the Earth's gravity. Of course we really don't know too much about what is driving the acceleration so perhaps this does not apply but it just goes to show that it is best not to make sweeping statements about the universe when we know so little about it: at least 95% of what it is made of is so far unknown to science.

Comment ...and Accuracy (Score 5, Interesting) 111

It probably won't stay that accurate for that long either if it is in space because it is in a different frame of reference and so relativistic effects, including those from general relativity, will build up. This is why the GPS satellites have to have their clocks corrected to stay accurate within the tolerances required. The shift per day for GPS is around 38 microseconds per day which if it is the same for this satellite means that in 26,316 years the clock will be off by one second. This is still a long time but a lot, lot less than 1 billion years.

Comment Re:Please don't... (Score 1) 495

I'm sure for $59.99 they'll have something that you can use to bridge the technology gap.

Unfortunately walking around carrying a bag of dongles to allow you to connect your laptop to the variety of peripherals it needs to connect to is not exactly what you expect for a 'pro' machine. You would have thought they would have learnt that from the Macbook but Apple seem to be really losing the picture here and with MS developing things like Linux for Windows plus the huge improvement in PC-based laptop construction (primarily driven by the need to compete with Apple) they may soon start losing customers if they don't get back on track and start providing 'must-have' features that will let them get away with crap like this.

Comment Re:Provide all Info, Don't Restrict It (Score 1) 85

Sorry, how is that relevant to a review? When you review a game, you're not reviewing what "might become available later"....

You are missing the point of a review. The idea is to provide information that is useful to a potential purchaser of the game. Developers regularly promise that new features are in the pipeline or will be coming for a "small" additional fee as DLC because that information may encourage people to purchase the game. Hence it is useful if a 'review' includes information to help a purchaser evaluate the trustworthiness of such claims.

Having the review cover not just the game but those who made it is often very useful. The sad reality is that it is rare for a game today to be released as a finished product so knowing that the developers are trustworthy is important.

Comment Used to be a Mandatory Death Sentence (Score 4, Funny) 136

10 years for piracy?

Actually until 1998 piracy used to carry a mandatory death sentence in the UK under the 1837 piracy act. This was one of the few crimes which still had it after the (almost) abolition of the death sentence in 1965. Mind you it did have to be committed on the high seas so it only applied to those downloading content while on a ship at sea.

Comment Re:Huge Risk and Inconsistent Technology Assumptio (Score 1) 231

If there's life there, what are the chances that the microbes that we send there will be better at living on their world than the nativre stuff is?

Nobody knows...and that is precisely the point! We would be flying completely blind. However we would be introducing microbes, not mammals, and our history there is far more lethal e.g. evolution of the bubonic plague which wiped out a huge fraction of the human population at the time, current concerns about various flu viruses and ebola etc.

It is effectively playing Russian roulette with another planet's ecosystem using a gun with an unknown number of chambers. If there were some serious benefit to be hand then perhaps it is worth all the unknowns but, as far as I can see, there are no benefits at least for ~a billion years or so and even after that time only if we have some means of getting there...at which point we can probably do a far better and faster job of terraforming the place.

Comment ELE Kills Humans not All Life (Score 1) 231

You've made an assumption that our species will be able to develop the technology prior to an ELE.

Why is this at all relevant? An extinction level event kills off some fraction of species not all life on the planet (e.g. mammals survived the dinosaur ELE). Seeding another planet with microbes does nothing to save the human race nor does it even save our ecology since the plan is that these microbe will evolve to form their own, unique ecology....although of course we will have no idea whether they are successful or not.

Comment Provide all Info, Don't Restrict It (Score 2) 85

If the devs promised all of heaven and earth to kickstarter, but only deliver a decent game ... original backers are going to slam it.

I'd argue that is information relevant to the review though because those same devs may be continuing to claim they will deliver amazing new features etc. in the future and so those contemplating a purchase should know that they have a history of not delivering.

The best solution is to come up with what you think is a better algorithm and then display BOTH results. This way people can judge for themselves which score is most useful in a particular circumstance. In fact this would give you some idea which games devs were manipulating their reviews which is very useful information if you are considering a purchase.

Comment Huge Risk and Inconsistent Technology Assumptions (Score 5, Interesting) 231

Actually I disagree. At the moment seeding remote worlds would involve firing off a probe blindly containing what, for the planet involved, could be a lethal virus which would wipe out life there. If there were intelligent life this would be effectively declaring war and if there is no intelligent life we have just wiped out what might have been our first chance to study extra-terrestrial life.

...and for what? The possibility to seed a planet so that in a few billion years time (on Earth it took 3 billion years before the first microbes evolved into multi-cellular lifeforms and 100's million for those lifeforms to populate the land) we might have a habitable planet which is too far away to reach with current technology? So on the one hand you are expecting us to develop the technology to be able to travel there while at the same time not developing any technology which can terra-form a planet in less than a few hundred million years at best?

The time to do this is when we develop the technology to travel there. Doing it beforehand is lots of risk with no reward.

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