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Secretive X-37B Military Space Plane Could Land On Tuesday

AC-x Re:It must be running out of fuel (81 comments)

Why else would they need to bring it back

To install a different sensor package? To put it into a different orbit? I can think of many reasons, after all the whole point of the X-37 is that it can land and be re-used for different mission profiles.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Develops Analog Keyboard For Wearables, Solves Small Display Dilemma

AC-x Why would you want to type at all? (100 comments)

it's Microsoft that might have the most logical solution for typing on small size displays running Google's Android Wear platform. Microsoft's research division has built an analog keyboard prototype for Android Wear that eliminates the need to tap at tiny letters, and instead has you write them out.

Why would you want to type at all? There's reasonably good voice recognition now, that's got to be better than trying to finger-paint letters on a tiny watch screen?

about two weeks ago
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CSS Proposed 20 Years Ago Today

AC-x Re:They _Should_ Replace It (180 comments)

Simple things like a complex form, which would be trivial with a grid (and are trivial with tables) are an epic pain with CSS layouts.

Sure in the pre-IE8 days it was a pain, but now it's trivial to do .form { display:table; }

about two weeks ago
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MIT Study Finds Fault With Mars One Colony Concept

AC-x Re:Something More Modest (269 comments)

Then we found out about the 450C sulfuric acid clouds, the molten tin lakes and the almost solid atmosphere...

It's pretty nice at 50km up though...

about two weeks ago
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Test-Driving a $35 Firefox OS Smartphone

AC-x Re:Buffering.. (132 comments)

But then, the first iPhone wasn't 3G either...

about two weeks ago
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A Production-Ready Flying Car Is Coming This Month

AC-x Roadable aircraft aren't "flying cars" (203 comments)

I wish they'd stop calling roadable aircraft "flying cars".

Flying car: Something that allows you to take off from your home and fly directly to your destination.
Roadable aircraft: An aircraft that you can drive to and from local airports.

It's good for people who already fly light aircraft (no more worrying about transport once you fly to your destination), useless for the rest of us.

about two weeks ago
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A Production-Ready Flying Car Is Coming This Month

AC-x Re:You mean our nightmare could become a reality (203 comments)

I think the licence to operate an aircraft might be just a teensy bit harder to get than the licence to operate a car...

about two weeks ago
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New OS X Backdoor Malware Roping Macs Into Botnet

AC-x Re:solution? (172 comments)

Nix their entire search query?

about three weeks ago
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Grooveshark Found Guilty of Massive Copyright Infringement

AC-x Having read TFA... (171 comments)

perhaps that is in the evidence somewhere and just didn't make the summary.

Yes, having read TFA there are some statements that ex-employees made:

The opinion also took note of the testimony of ex-Grooveshark employees who testified on behalf of the record companies. They explained how their bosses ordered them to acquire "the most popular and current songs" and upload them into the Grooveshark system.

As well as this:

"Escape openly acknowledged that their business plan was to exploit popular label content in order to grow their service and then 'beg forgiveness' from the plaintiffs and seek licenses," wrote Griesa.

So that coupled with the email seems to make it beyond reasonably doubt that the email was referring to downloading copyrighted music rather than looking for public domain music.

about three weeks ago
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Grooveshark Found Guilty of Massive Copyright Infringement

AC-x Having read TFA... (171 comments)

perhaps that is in the evidence somewhere and just didn't make the summary.

Yes, there are some statements that ex-employees made:

The opinion also took note of the testimony of ex-Grooveshark employees who testified on behalf of the record companies. They explained how their bosses ordered them to acquire "the most popular and current songs" and upload them into the Grooveshark system.

As well as this:

"Escape openly acknowledged that their business plan was to exploit popular label content in order to grow their service and then 'beg forgiveness' from the plaintiffs and seek licenses," wrote Griesa.

So that coupled with the email seems to make it beyond reasonably doubt that the email was referring to downloading copyrighted music rather than looking for public domain music.

about three weeks ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

AC-x Re:Will Capcom sue? (602 comments)

Whoops, actually meant MR16, but yeah 12v halogen replacements.

about a month ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

AC-x Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (602 comments)

every one that I've purchased - from multiple companies - has burned out prematurely

Did you buy the cheapest, crappiest ones you could find or something? My house has a total of 21 Phillips GU10 and 4 Megaman MR11 (yes they're a real company) bulbs, all 6W (50W equiv) dimmable, and not a single one has failed in 3 years, including the ones in the bathroom (so hello high humidity and temperature swings).

They're all modern warm white LEDs, they work fine on standard dimmers, and the light quality is indistinguishable from the halogen spotlights they replaced. My living room has the equivalent of 1000W of light for just 60W worth of LEDs.

about a month ago
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Octopus-Inspired Robot Matches Real Octopus For Speed

AC-x Re:Underwater? Yes. Robot? NO (71 comments)

"A robot is an automatic mechanical device ... "

Quite a serviceable definition, and it covers what they are doing.

But there's nothing automatic about their model; They manually attached it to a water hose to fill it, manually released it, and relied on fixed fins to provide passive stability.

Sure the technology can be used on robots in the future, but this proof-of-concept model is as robotic as a water bottle rocket.

about a month ago
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SpaceX Launches Supplies to ISS, Including Its First 3D Printer

AC-x Re:Some details about the 3D printer (129 comments)

That's why you carry spare parts with you.

Still, with mass at a premium it would be more efficient to send up a stockpile of raw plastic rather than many combinations of different spare parts. After all you can't perfectly predict which parts will fail and how often, so you could get caught short on a part that was supposed to be reliable but failed more than often it was predicted to.

about a month ago
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SpaceX Launches Supplies to ISS, Including Its First 3D Printer

AC-x Re:Some details about the 3D printer (129 comments)

Ever since Muslims were banned from going to Mars by a fatwa? I guess it is!

Well, they're banned if the mission is one-way rather than two-way, mainly in response to that daft Mars One thing. Of course Islam doesn't have any central authority anyway so it's not like that "no suicide missions to Mars" fatwa is actually binding to anyone.

about a month ago
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SpaceX Launches Supplies to ISS, Including Its First 3D Printer

AC-x Re:oh wow (129 comments)

Thing is, you're melting plastic and placing that melted plastic where you want it to be. In gravity and endless atmosphere this is easy, the gravity helps feed the raw materials through a hopper and ensure that the plastic stays where you place it, and the essentially endless atmosphere carries away noxious fumes so that you don't poison yourself. Unfortunately on a space station or in a spacecraft you have no effective gravity and a very limited atmosphere, so you cannot pollute nor can you rely on gravity to make things go where you want them.

Gravity making things go where you want them?? Gravity is a limiting factor in terrestrial 3D printers! The plastic is loaded as a filament and is mechanically pushed through the nozzle so no gravity required there, and without gravity you could get much better overhangs without requiring supports.

As for the fumes it would be pretty easy to have the printer in a separate fume cupboard if they needed.

about a month ago
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SpaceX Launches Supplies to ISS, Including Its First 3D Printer

AC-x Re: So we just gave all this money (129 comments)

The X-37 isn't the launch vehicle, it's the payload...

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 8 a Pig?

AC-x Re:Alright smart guy (504 comments)

With an Android device, the manufacturer outright abandons updating the phone the moment their next handset is on sale. (Samsung seems to be the worst about this, but, even Google has done it to stock Nexus phones.)

Pick your poison. Slow, or quick. ....then get ready for your next pill.

At least with Android running a custom build is officially supported by the OS, and some handsets (especially the Nexus line) officially support rooting to install custom builds too. My nearly 4 year old Nexus S is running the latest version of KitKat just fine, and has actually got faster with the last few versions.

about a month ago
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2 Mars Missions Set For Arrival, Both Prepare for Orbital Maneuvers

AC-x Re:a collision wouldn't surprise me (65 comments)

It just seems that any time a government spends a lot of money to do anything, it normally ends with a fail worthy of Monty Python

Lets be fair here, the last thing they did on Mars was place a 1 ton nuclear powered tank on the surface using a rocket powered crane, so they've obviously come along way since that unfortunate units mixup...

about a month ago

Submissions

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Famous Judge calls U.S. patent system "dysfunctional"

AC-x AC-x writes  |  more than 2 years ago

AC-x (735297) writes "Famous U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner calls patent system "dysfunctional", wants to have the trial between Apple and Google-owned Motorola Mobility over smartphone patents dismissed with prejudice because "it was apparent that neither side could show they had been harmed by the other’s patent infringement".

His involvement and his anti-patent blog posts could prove to be a watershed moment for a U.S. patent system that is regarded as spiralling out of control."

Link to Original Source

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