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Comment Re:O RLY? (Score 1) 374

There's part of the problem. ALSA has advanced enough that the best way to improve sound handling is to uninstall Pulseaudio. Why polish a turd when there's a perfectly good toilet handy?

Too many confuse "different" with improved. To really be an improvement, it must either do something useful that the old way couldn't do (or be made to do), or it must do it much more elegantly than the old way could.

I've got Linux with pulseaudio on my phone, it has to handle all kinds of audio routing between the ear piece, speaker, audio jack, bluetooth headset, and to do it all as seamlessly as possible. Can ALSA do this? because pulseaudio seems to handle it well.

Now I admit that this is not exactly a typical usecase, and indeed if you only have one thing you want to output audio to then simply using ALSA is more than adequate. This is perhaps one of the main issues facing the Linux ecosystem, everyone has wildly different usecases and expectations for their software and in the end you get a bit of an overengineered jack-of-all-trades without being good at any one thing.

Comment Re:Why do people pay attention to Kurzweil? (Score 1) 161

The brain is an information processing machine, with inputs and outputs.

It really isn't and this method of thinking about the brain isn't helping to figure out how it actually works. This gives a decent overview of why the brain isn't a computer.

When you think about it, our brains evolved over time and so will have been built on top of something approximating simpler organisms around us today, which is to say a purely reactive nervous system like that of a Jellyfish. Add in the fact that sensory deprivation causes us to become unhinged and sensory overload can be quite debilitating as well, we dream when we sleep .etc, then it seems that our senses are things that our higher level brain functions are built on top of.

So we aren't information processing machines as such, we are of course biological nervous systems and complicated ones at that.

Comment Re: I don't know the answer (Score 1) 392

Look at it this way - if you won a contest that gave you $1,000 a month from now on, tax-free, would you quit your job, or would you think to yourself "I have $1000 more per month to spend on fun stuff!" Now, maybe you'd quit your job to go back to college for a better degree, in order to get an even better job, but is that a bad thing either?

My generation are also seemingly less materialistic than other recent generations, we care more about experiences and memories rather than buying endless trinkets. A big limiter on that is time, but realise that the more people have free time and excess money to spend on doing cool things, the more people required to help facilitate and organise all the various activities as well.

Comment Re: Alternatively: Buy Australian (Score 1) 274

I don't really want to know what happens when a bushfire hits a substation filled with Lithium-Ion batteries.

Um, this is probably solved by not building your battery farm in the middle of the bush? (seems obvious, but here we are...)

Yes obviously, but its still a risk that needs to be managed which limits where and how these units can be used. Do you even build a battery farm? or do you install units into every substation acting somewhat like a UPS for the local area? Crazy idea i know, that different technology might be best suited for different applications.

Comment Re: Alternatively: Buy Australian (Score 1) 274

Wow, I don't even like Tesla and I read that as a "buy local" because of this FUD about fires "that the local product surely doesn't share."

Lithium-Ion batteries don't like being set on fire, thats well known. In Australia we get bush fires rather regularly and I don't really want to know what happens when a bushfire hits a substation filled with Lithium-Ion batteries. Zinc-Bromine batteries however, are completely different and as such have different pros and cons, one of which is that they dont fail quite so spectactularly when set on fire.

Comment Alternatively: Buy Australian (Score 4, Interesting) 274

As popular as Musk is, and he is no doubt doing cool things, I can't help but think that the SA Government should be looking locally for a possible solution before importing battery units from Nevada.

We have an Australian company that is bringing Grid Storage products to market using Flow Battery tech called RedFlow, and it seems to be better suited for grid based applications rather than a re-purposed automotive unit, particularly when it comes to risk of fires.

Comment Re:Missing technical details (Score 1) 73

Most of these blockchain articles fail to mention the important technical details about how a blockchain would be used.

For every reason you mentioned, and an additional infinite reasons, using Blockchain to eliminate middlemen is a pipe dream even in a make believe world. It will do exactly the opposite. There will be a few (at most, and eventually merging into one) extremely large middlemen guarding all the doors and holding all the keys. It is not even a remotely viable replacement for our current economic system.

A centralised 'blockchain' is just a database, and we have those already so why bother? The whole value proposition of a blockchain is cooperation between entities that don't really trust each other but the greater value is in working together, so like a multi-player prisoners dilemma.

Comment Re:We know... (Score 2) 198

Actually, I think people believing a sci-fi movie to be true probably has less impact on the real world than those who believe historical movies to be completely true. It has often been said that history is written the victors, and that may have been true once, but nowadays the history that many know and believe was actually written by Hollywood scriptwriters.

Not when that Sci-Fi movie includes fictitious science. In the UK I had a conversation about the idea that humans only use 10% of their brain, and upon saying that the idea was basically bullshit and provably so from an evolutionary perspective, I was asked if I had watched Lucy, the Scarlett Johanssen film based upon the premise and that I might find it interesting.

Comment Re:we recommend using C++ (Score 1) 60

Extracted from the sailfish developer documentation: "we recommend using C++" to develop apps which do anything non-trivial, to paraphrase.

Ok that's all I need to know about sailfish.

Wake me up when you have a mobile OS where the main app development language was invented in the 21st century, and is, for example, safe, simple, and well-designed.

You can get quite far with QML and Javascript, which is modern and reasonably nice to work with. Qt style C++ is there if you need it, but many Sailfish APIs are exposed through QML and so you don't need to use it a lot of the time

Comment Re:No, it's not notable (Score 1) 208

As scientists we should advocate for standardization of weights and measures. If the length of the meter changed every day it would be extremely difficult for two construction companies to co-operate in building a bridge. Without extremely precise measurements modern science couldn't exist.

Meters measure distance, money is supposed to measure value. So why does our unit of measurement (the dollar) change in value every day? It should be as constant as possible, we should standardize this unit of measurement.

Except the total amount of things we want to put a value on changes, so having a variable unit means that people don't have to change the price of their goods everyday, and beyond a certain point gold becomes rather hard to divide up into the right amounts.

Comment Re:Bull (Score 1) 644

This is why it's important to keep the technology in reach of the general public.

Community developments like Makerspaces with their cheap 3D Printers, Laser Cutters, CNC Machines and the like are helping the non-rich get a grip on what these things can do, and how to build and use them. We are already starting to see a rise in Owner No Employee manufacturing businesses no doubt in part to these same automation technologies, and we need to continue down that path or perhaps only the 1% will own the technology.

Comment Re:Sadly, It's Worse Than This... (Score 2) 176

But in which universe do you imagine that the additional input cost of corporation tax isn't wholly born by increase in the cost to the customer of the goods and services they consume. Corporation tax is just a hidden consumption tax on you and me any way you slice it.

This depends on the product and the market of course, but remember goods and services are already priced for maximum profit. If corporations could charge more without a drop off in demand, they would be doing that already increased taxes or not.

If the margins are thin, you'll see an increase in price and subsequent drop in demand if its some kind of luxury item. If the margins are fat you'll likely see no change at all.

Comment Re:linux (Score 1) 91

Which make and model of phone runs GNU/Linux? If it's the one I think you're talking about (Nokia N900), it's probably "a mythical beast" in Slashdot's home country. Can it even connect to modern networks now that AT&T is phasing out GSM service in favor of expanding LTE?

It's a Jolla C running Sailfish OS manufactured last year by Intex (India), its modem is designed for Europe so I guess it won't be that happy in the US of A.

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