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Comment Re:Agrument in favor of modularity (Score 5, Interesting) 80

How much thickness do you think the extra outer layer of plastic adds to the phone? If it has to be more than a millimeter I would be surprised.

Personally, I think it has more to do with the fact the lithium ion batteries have a finite shelf-life than it does with thickness. That means in two years you need a new phone even if you never added any software to it and managed the battery recharging perfectly. Even if the phone had been sitting in a box all that time it'd have significantly less battery life.

Comment From TFA: (Score 1) 158

The patterns were a mishmash of unrelated structures that were as misleading as they were illuminating.

This pretty much describes the state of every branch of science after a major influx of new data. Just look at the maps of the world produced after Europe became aware of North America. Early maps sometimes show California as an island; and it's not because the cartographer is stupid; he just put the data at his disposal together into what was at the time a plausible conjecture. And in fact the problem might not even have been that he was ignorant. He may have misinterpreted some of the (at that stage) imprecise data he had to work with.

New information confounds. The detection and resolution of conflicts in data is arguably what science is.

Comment Re:Since they determined autopilot wasn't to blame (Score 1) 177

The smart ones already had great driving records. It is the stupid ones you are protecting with this technology.

Being smart doesn't protect you from stupid people's actions -- you can be a perfect driver and still get rear-ended by someone who never saw you slow down because they were texting.

This technology protects stupid people and the smart people who have to share the roads with them.

Comment Re:Since they determined autopilot wasn't to blame (Score 1) 177

For a small fraction of what is spent on personal vehicle ownership, we could have pretty amazing public transportation that would satisfy the needs of nearly every city & suburb dweller. And that would naturally lead to fewer serious accidents.

Also for a small fraction of what is spent on fast food, people could buy and cook healthy vegetarian meals for themselves, that would satisfy the nutritional needs of nearly every citizen. And that would naturally lead to fewer cases of heart disease and obesity.

Unfortunately, what people want is not always the same as what would theoretically work the best. In this case, most people want private cars, and they have made that preference clear through both their spending and their voting patterns. Barring the advent of some kind of benign dictatorship, a transition to all-public-transit won't happen anytime soon.

Comment Re:Intelligent design (Score 0) 158

These researchers may be trying to apply the wrong methods to a device that is almost certainly the product of a higher power.

That may well be the case, but if so, it's also quite clear that the higher power used evolution and natural selection as his development tool.

If human brains had just been magic'd into existence by divine fiat, there would be no reason for them to look like a specialized version of the brains of earlier hominids (which in turn look like specialized versions of the brains of earlier mammals, and so on for as far back as you care to look).

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