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Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

Chuckstar Appears elsewhere? (349 comments)

I don't know enough to comment on the validity of the claimed copyrights in general. But I do know one thing: The fact that material appears elsewhere online is not evidence that it is not copyrighted.

The important question is not whether the stuff appears elsewhere. The important question is only whether Oracle's claimed copyright is real/valid.

about a month ago
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FAA's Ruling On Smartphones During Takeoff Has Had Little Impact

Chuckstar Re: Exactly (128 comments)

The study only observed how many people used devices some time during the flight. It didn't particularly focus on during take-of/landing/taxi. So all it means is that allowing use during those extra times doesn't encourage the 65% who weren't using their devices to suddenly start using their devices. In other words, not a lot of people were saying "if I can't use it during takeoff, the I won't use it at all."

about a month ago
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FAA's Ruling On Smartphones During Takeoff Has Had Little Impact

Chuckstar Point? (128 comments)

I'm not sure I understand the point. I don't remember anyone claiming that more people would use mobile devices on planes if they could use them during taxi and takeoff. It seemed it was always just that the people who were already using devices on planes wanted to also be able to use them during taxi and takeoff.

about a month ago
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NASA's Plan To Block Light From Distant Stars To Find 'Earth 2.0'

Chuckstar Re: Can they make a 3D shade? (92 comments)

Autocorrect made it "Gods" instead of "Good", and I didn't notice before posting.

about 2 months ago
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NASA's Plan To Block Light From Distant Stars To Find 'Earth 2.0'

Chuckstar Re: Can they make a 3D shade? (92 comments)

Gods thinking. But two potential problems that spring to mind:

The petal profile seems to matter, although I admit to not knowing why. You'd have to have your sphere replicate that outline from the various appropriate angles.

Controlling reflection of stray light back into the telescope is already identified as a potential technology problem. A sphere may make that even more of an issue.

about 2 months ago
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NASA's Plan To Block Light From Distant Stars To Find 'Earth 2.0'

Chuckstar Re: Aperture Science (92 comments)

You are correct that there is not an orbital alignment that would passively keep the telescope and shade in alignment with a star. They plan to put the system in a solar orbit (so that the speed at which alignment shifts will be slower than if it were in Earth orbit) and also they will have to actively guide the telescope using ion thrusters in order to maintain the correct alignment during an observation. Because of this, observation windows will be relatively short. This requirement for active guidance during observation is one of the technology risks identified in one of the links above.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon Turns Off In-App Purchases In iOS Comixology

Chuckstar Re:Make a good mobile site (244 comments)

Agreed. I wasn't trying to imply that making a mobile site work that way was hard. Frankly, was trying to imply it was relatively straightforward. It's always possible a big company borks something easy, but I fully expect that the need to switch to the web to purchase a comic book will be only very marginally less convenient than in the app. (I admit that in the app would always be the more elegant system, but it really doesn't have to be a big deal if Amazon is smart about it.)

about 3 months ago
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Amazon Turns Off In-App Purchases In iOS Comixology

Chuckstar Re:Make a good mobile site (244 comments)

Not really sure why giving your credit card info to Amazon is any different than giving it to Apple.

about 3 months ago
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Amazon Turns Off In-App Purchases In iOS Comixology

Chuckstar Make a good mobile site (244 comments)

Just make the mobile web site work well, and it's hardly jumping through hoops. Someone mentioned how easy it used to be to buy the next issue in-app. Just make is so when you go on the web site, the next issue is right there waiting for you to buy it (the app can report back which issues you've finished). It would add all of 15 seconds to the purchase process.

I understand there's still a hoop there, but they don't have to be holding it very far off the ground, and it's certainly not on fire. They could easily make it a little hop, not a huge jump.

about 3 months ago
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Back To the Moon — In Four Years

Chuckstar Re:Loses credibility with this statement (292 comments)

Falcon Heavy will have significantly smaller payload capacity than NASAs SLS. Perhaps you mean Falcon X (or maybe they call it Falcon X Heavy, hard to keep straight), which is planned to have similar capacity to SLS. NASA is way ahead of SpaceX in development, but has all of the baggage of being NASA, so we'll see who finally gets a vehicle with such capability done first. Don't bet against Musk.

about 4 months ago
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Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

Chuckstar Re: Efficiency. (937 comments)

What an absolutely lame response. Those systems exist only as experiments, not as systems that are actually safe to drive on the streets. :rolleyes:

about 7 months ago
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Metal-Free 'Rhubarb' Battery Could Store Renewable Grid Energy

Chuckstar Re:What's the storage density? (131 comments)

Pumping a liquid around at a constant elevation doesn't have a very high energy cost. I imagine you'd lose far more energy through the round-trip chemical reactions than you would through pumping the liquid around.

about 7 months ago
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Metal-Free 'Rhubarb' Battery Could Store Renewable Grid Energy

Chuckstar Re:What's the storage density? (131 comments)

Storage density is only a problem for portable systems. For fixed storage installations, the important question is "what does it cost per ampere-hour of storage?" Inefficient storage that is cheap can beat highly efficient storage that is expensive.

Of course, to correctly calculate costs one needs to include things that are the result of storage density, like land acquisition and construction of holding tanks. But if the storage medium is cheap, it could come out ahead of some higher density system that has a more expensive storage medium.

Even conversion losses become less of an issue if the storage is cheap enough.

about 7 months ago
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Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

Chuckstar Re:Efficiency. (937 comments)

In an emergency brake, you [i]do[/i] slam on the brakes 100%. And communications doesn't matter. For two reasons. First, communication can fail. There's no such thing as a 100% failsafe wireless communication system, so you should not be driving in a configuration that requires 100% perfect communication to be safe. Second, the system you describe requires that the lead car(s) not brake as quickly as possible. So you could easily end up with a situation in which the lead car could have stopped in time to avoid a fatality, but couldn't because of the choice to operate in a train. That's a decidedly idiotic result.

Furthermore, braking isn't the only potential scenario. If the lead car swerves, and the car behind is two feet behind, it may not have enough time to swerve. And, similarly to braking, wireless communication cannot be relied on as a solution to that scenario.

The situation you describe is simply unsafe. No amount of futurist handwaving will change that.

about 7 months ago
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Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

Chuckstar Re:Efficiency. (937 comments)

This is a nonsense dream of self-driving car afficionados. It will always be dangerous to drive that close, even if the computer is doing the driving. Different cars have different stopping distances, even the same make/model/year will vary simply because of variable tire/brake wear. In an emergency stop situation, the "couple feet" distance between cars is simply unsafe.

about 7 months ago
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Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

Chuckstar Re:Efficiency. (937 comments)

Assuming we're talking about the 2006-2013 C6 Corvette, it has a drag coefficient of 0.28. Lots of production cars have that kind of efficiency. Hell, the new CLA is 0.23. The Prius is 0.26. That Corvette drag coefficient is attractive, but hardly the best of any production car.

Frankly, I'm suspicious of the claim. Note that he was comparing an actual mpg measurement to the rated measurement. Those are not always apples-to-apples. Or the rating speed could happen to be an inefficient speed (given the Corvette's gear ratios). In other words, there will be a speed around 55 mph where a Corvette gets better mileage than it does at 75 mph -- it just might not be exactly 55 mph (or whatever speed they use for "highway") where that speed occurs.

about 7 months ago
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Parents' Campaign Leads To Wi-Fi Ban In New Zealand School

Chuckstar Re:Yeah right Mr. Einstein (not)... (294 comments)

LOL... No. That doesn't happen. You can stand in the sun all day in 25C temps. You might get a bad sunburn. You might get dehydrated. But your brain doesn't heat up and fry in your head.

Hell, where I grew up it was regularly 45C+ during the day. You had to worry about staying hydrated, and about getting sunburned if you didn't have a good tan (or use sunblock), but otherwise you could be out in the sun for hours without your brain overheating and killing you.

about 7 months ago
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Parents' Campaign Leads To Wi-Fi Ban In New Zealand School

Chuckstar Re:There's a question about that at Skeptics (294 comments)

The point is that more people aren't getting these maladies. At least not in any way that would correlate with the dramatic increase in exposure to cell phone and WiFi signals.

But I do agree that we can almost certainly show that signals of these types do show up as at least minor changes in cell activity. But is that leading to brain cancer? If it is, then where's the brain cancer spike we should see related to the spike in exposure to these signals?

about 7 months ago
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Are Tablets Replacing Notebook Computers? (Video)

Chuckstar Depends... (211 comments)

Depends on the use case and exactly what ones means by "replacing". Within six months of the iPad's release, none of the senior execs at my company carried their laptop out of the office anymore. They still have laptops, though. So Dell still gets to sell them a new laptop every few years. But the requirements of that laptop have declined. It no longer needs a DVD drive to play movies on long flights. They no longer ask for the most cutting-edge thin/light model laptop, since they rarely carry it around.

Personally, though, I find that the tablet is a personal accessory, not a device to do real work on. I use my tablet for reading, light web surfing, games, movies. I still need a keyboard and mouse/trackpad to really do work (anything more than reading email and making short replies just doesn't work on a tablet for me). Even if I really need to do some research on the web (like car shopping) where I want to be able to have lots of pages open and shift between them quickly, I do that on my laptop.

I would guess, therefore, that tablets don't crowd out laptops very much, but they might change what laptop people buy, and maybe even how often they replace them. Maybe you keep your existing laptop longer. Maybe you don't buy the thinnest/lightest new laptop, but instead buy the slightly bulkier, less expensive model. So I think it does affect laptop manufacturers, but it is unlikely to show up as a lot of users who once owned laptops but now do not.

about 7 months ago
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Parents' Campaign Leads To Wi-Fi Ban In New Zealand School

Chuckstar Re:There's a question about that at Skeptics (294 comments)

For the record, the sun's heating and radio wave heating would work differently. The sun heats the surface. The sun wouldn't do a particularly good job of heating the brain. The scalp would heat up, but then blood does a pretty good job of distributing that heat around, and the skull would be a decent insulator. Radio waves would penetrate into the brain and heat it directly.

Furthermore, there is at least one study showing that glucose metabolism in the brain increases in the presence of cell phone radiation.

Having said all of that, there's pretty much no way that either cell phones or WiFi are causing brain cancer. We've been engaged in a natural experiment of the effect of these forms of radiation. Both WiFi and cell phone usage have gone from "doesn't exist" to "ubiquitous" in the course of the last couple decades. We're not seeing an increase in any cancer rate that would show a correlation (let alone causation) with the rather dramatic increase in exposure to such radiation.

These parents want someone/something to blame for their child's death. It's very much that simple.

about 7 months ago

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