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Comment Re:Could be big in Fintech (Score 1) 42

IBM CEO Ginny Rometty gives speeches at Fintech conferences all the time. They are available on YouTube. One oft-repeated phrase:
"Blockchain will do for transactions what the internet did for information".
BitCoin had no buy-in from large multinationals or any governments, yet, it was successful. These new business-friendly blockchain implementations absolutely DO.

Comment Re: DAB is useless nowadays, ever heard of streami (Score 2) 303

Workers in 3rd world countries have few wage earning opportunities. This depresses wages and also makes it possible for companies to find workers to disassemble obsolete electronics at a (very) small profit and recycle any parts that have value.
Personally, I think this work should be done in the 1st world countries where the obsolete products are disassembled by robots and in adherence with the strict environmental standards of those countries.
Part of the attractiveness of sending those electronics to poor countries, in addition to low wages, are the lack of environmental protections.

Comment Re:I'm going to make my vote count (Score 1) 857

Well, economics has been called "the dismal science". Human economic activity is an emergent system and so, very hard to apply it's teachings to predict economic behavior (other sciences do this with much more success). Nevertheless, I did say the GOP was actively damaging the economic environment. Many economists have come to this same conclusion. For example, Thomas Picketty's Capital in the 21st Century.

The GOP is de-regulatory in a broad sense. And that sounds nice, especially to American, freedom-lovin' ears.
But, capital attracts more capital. So the rich get richer and the gulf widens. I would argue this is, qualitatively, a bad thing for the majority of people.
Government is the only estate that can regulate that. I mean, regulation is the governments raison d'etre.

Comment Encryption needed (Score 1) 40

This nice thing about the old 72mhz and newer DSM-based RC control schemes is that they have really, really low latency. There was no need for encryption in the good old days. But now, we have high-speed, low power chips that could handle encryption on both ends of the data stream without too much extra latency. There is not a great deal of data that needs to be moved so, the load on the encrypt-er and the fattening of the data pipe should be modest.

Comment Re:Read "The War on Cash" article... (Score 1) 394

I modded you insightful for the article reference and this reply will remove that. Sorry, but the article was exceptionally long. Dude must be getting paid by the word!
Also, it neglected to make any mention of bitcoin, distributed ledger or blockchain technology.

Apple and other financial industry players wanting to supplant cash is a DEFENSIVE movement against the rise of open-source digital currencies like bitcoin.

Government-backed pieces of paper will no longer be needed for "the people" to be able to transfer value between each other, in private.
"blockchain will do for money what the internet did for information".
Governments and financial institutions are quite worried that they will lose control and will no longer benefit from acting as the middle man in all these transactions.
Personally, that is a little scary to me because I believe governments provide much needed regulation. I wonder if the modern Mafia uses blockchain... this should be a terrifying prospect. The lack of trust relationships between parties engaged in criminal enterprises is a big advantage from the perspective of law-abiding citizens and law enforcement. Distributed ledgers like bitcoin could help them with that trust relationship.

Comment Re:I'm going to make my vote count (Score 1) 857

Careful you don't persuade too many people to do the same. Suddenly a state that you assume will go to Hillary will go Trump.

Politics (and the public sphere in general) is about making compromises. Do not be shocked you have only a binary choice.

What stands before you is a choice between two major political parties. One of them is anti-science. Personally, I'm voting for the other one, up and down the ticket. The anti-science party needs to die because they are endangering the planet, our health, and the environment (both economic and "natural").
I hope whatever political entity emerges from the ashes has the humility to understand that there is much we do not understand and that decisions must be made with the best information we can gather.

Comment Re:Solve problems on Earth first (Score 1) 265

You may be right. But evolution requires there to be selection pressure. Does such pressure exist today? Any human living in a Western democracy can have offspring without worry of the birth canal being too narrow; one or more members of the family being eaten by wolves; Diseases; I mean, the environment in which modern humans presently exist is just so radically different from that which nearly _ALL _ our ancestors evolved in. Maybe evolution is over!

Maybe you are imagining a future where selection pressure returns - the earth scorches and only those living off-planet survive. But those surviving humans will not have physical characteristics that are well-adapted to their new environment because there were not thousands of years of evolution to mold them.
They will simply have brains that contain the memes (thoughts, skills, behavior) that were needed to get them off-planet.
Personally, I cannot imagine a catastrophe on earth that would make ANY known place in the universe an improvement!

Comment Re:Solve problems on Earth first (Score 1) 265

Cute comment, but, it masks the reality - modern humans were molded by the force of hundreds of thousands of years of evolution to be well adapted to tribal life here on Earth. Not only should we NOT leave earth, we should seriously re-consider the radical departure we've made in the last few hundred years from the tribal life 99% of our ancestors experienced to the bizarre un-reality we all experience as "normal" today.
I am becoming a conservative at the evolutionary-time scale.

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 2) 155

Umm, the DJI phantom is a modern consumer level drone and makes extensive use of machine vision to avoid obstacles and receive gesture commands from the "pilot". Some claim that Iran spoofed US drone GPS a few years ago. I imagine current military drones are making extensive use of on-board optical sensors for things like horizon detection and target acquisition. Hell, with an accurate on-board clock, the aircraft could determine good-enough position using celestial bodies!
This tech is dirt-cheap by military standards. You can buy pitot-tube speed sensor for your hobby aircraft along with very accurate barometer for altitude. This microwave thing sounds pretty pathetic. Communication of any kind will be a "Nice to have" feature in military drones but, completely unnecessary thanks to modern machine vision.

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