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The Future of Stamps

Jarik C-Bol Re:Give it another decade - the problem will solve (129 comments)

While at the same time, by undercutting everyone by miles, the USPS is assured its eventual collapse. So I guess Postal Service Reform would be a decent platform to run for office on?

2 days ago
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The Future of Stamps

Jarik C-Bol Re:Give it another decade - the problem will solve (129 comments)

Thats just it, we don't fund it. While it is mandated by the constitution to exist, and overseen to some degree by congress, which is why postage has barely crept up, because it is locked to the inflation rate, and can only be pushed beyond that with approval from a regulatory commission. So the postal service is required to fund itself. While congress has occasionally allotted certain funds towards the postal service for special situations (related to disabled and overseas voters mainly) It is meant to be a self sufficient agency of the government. Honestly, the fact that I can sent an envelope full of paper from Florida to Alaska for less than a dollar describes a hilariously broken system, and highlights the fact that the reason the postal service operated at a 4.8 billion dollar loss in 2012 is because the cost of mailing anything has been kept artificially low. I cant FedEx *anything* for a dollar. If the USPS could operate with a pricing scheme that was commercially viable, then it would not have these problems. And of course, having working capital would probably open up new avenues to expand and develop greater service. the USPS is basically any other carrier, only wearing a gimp mask and chained to the governments desk.

2 days ago
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The Future of Stamps

Jarik C-Bol Re:Give it another decade - the problem will solve (129 comments)

Just because you don't send physical objects anymore does not mean everyone else does not. The cynical part of me sort of thought this was going to be sponsored by the USPS, as another last ditch attempt to get people to mail more things, to stave off its eventual demise. While its true that the Postal Service is dwindling to store flyers and political ads in the digital age, I dread the idea of them shutting down, simply because when it comes right down to it, If i need to send something, they have the quickest, simplest, and most user friendly meatspace interface of all the carriers. (there is no FedEx office in my town, and the UPS office is open to customers for literally 1 hour in the afternoon).
Apparently, the objective these people seem to have is to actually bring back sending things to one another, which they claim is sort of a cultural touchstone we have lost in the digital age. To quote them "when was the last time you received something someone else actually touched?"
Sure, its sort of hippy-dippy, but there is sort of a visceral enjoyment that comes from receiving a physical package or letter, and their goal is to make sending things supremely simple. I actually like the idea myself, but I doubt that it will get implemented without either starting their own carrier, or a deep partnership with one of the private carriers. I suspect The USPS is to mired in political crap to adopt this.

2 days ago
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A Look At Orion's Launch Abort System

Jarik C-Bol Re:Could be worse (43 comments)

Dear god, I remember that insane thing. The first time I saw a diagram of that escape system, I thought to myself "This has about, 15 to many steps in it." So many things to go wrong and kill you, AFTER you've escaped from an exploding rocket.

2 days ago
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A Look At Orion's Launch Abort System

Jarik C-Bol Re:Orion? (43 comments)

Yeah, i've finally gotten used to the disappointment related to these articles and that name.

2 days ago
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A Look At Orion's Launch Abort System

Jarik C-Bol Re:This is why NASA sucks (43 comments)

I remember reading about the development of this escape system a few years back, and as I recall, there was much discussion of the fact that, because of how big a bomb the boost stage becomes if it fails, that the acceleration required to get the capsule off the stack fast enough to avoid being incinerated would be enough acceleration to kill the crew outright. At that time, the escape system was actually even more over complicated, with something like 9 parachutes in 3 deployments involved, so this is obviously an improvement, but I'm still curious about the other part of the problem.

2 days ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

Jarik C-Bol Re:Maybe a Mini (354 comments)

The horror of all the tiny screws was, that wile tightening the very last one down, the blades on the head of the only size 000 philips driver i had actually sheered off on the last turn. Lessons learned? 1 apple uses very durable screws, 2 whoever made that screwdriver used crappy metal, and 3, holy shit, i'm glad that didn't happen five screws earlier. Thus, the screw driver was used up.

about a week ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

Jarik C-Bol Re:Yawn (354 comments)

You know my first thought when I saw the 5K iMac? "Jesus, making desktop wallpapers for that is going to create some HUGE photoshop files. " followed by "How many people own a camera that will take a picture that will actually look good as a desktop on that?"

about a week ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

Jarik C-Bol Re:The iOSification continues! (354 comments)

No, he's fine, he just drinks WAY to much lime Gatorade.

about a week ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

Jarik C-Bol Re:The iOSification continues! (354 comments)

I'm still doggedly using a customized "grays on white" theme for Adium, and never switching to Messages.

about a week ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

Jarik C-Bol Re:Maybe a Mini (354 comments)

No, changing the fan in a 2007 macbook is not a task for ordinary mortals. I actually used up a screw driver on that project. USED UP A SCREWDRIVER.

about a week ago
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Worcester Mass. City Council Votes To Keep Comcast From Entering the Area

Jarik C-Bol Re:Walmart is used to this (232 comments)

Never said I had a problem with the lack of Walmart, just that it annoys the local youngsters. Honestly though, our local economy is so lousy, i doubt anyone would notice the difference.

about a week ago
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Worcester Mass. City Council Votes To Keep Comcast From Entering the Area

Jarik C-Bol Re:Walmart is used to this (232 comments)

Happened where I live. Hell, at one point there was a sign up "Walmart, coming soon to this location" and then the sign came down. Turns out, a selection of the local 'elite' pushed the city council into doing *something* and now the closest walmart is over a 2 hour round trip. Much to the annoyance of just about anyone under the age of say, 25.

about a week ago
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Worcester Mass. City Council Votes To Keep Comcast From Entering the Area

Jarik C-Bol Re:Hitler (232 comments)

I wish I had not used up all my modpoints already, because this deserves an upvote.

about a week ago
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Feces-Filled Capsules Treat Bacterial Infection

Jarik C-Bol Re: Suppository form works just fine. (135 comments)

The reason for this is probably because even the best probiotics hold maybe a dozen of the various things that populate the intestinal tract, while these pills, by virtue of being a direct sample, contain essentially ALL of the thousands of things that make up our intestinal flora.

about two weeks ago
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Send Your Own Radiosonde 90,000 Feet Into the Sky (Video)

Jarik C-Bol Re:Ion Thruster (48 comments)

I'd sure like to know what kind of progress, successful or otherwise they have made on the concept in the 10 years since then. Its an interesting idea to be sure.

about two weeks ago
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The Greatest Keyboard Ever Made

Jarik C-Bol Re:Unicomp (304 comments)

Supposedly, the Cherry Red keys are the closest to the model M keys. Hopefully someone who has tried them can chime in.

about two weeks ago
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The Greatest Keyboard Ever Made

Jarik C-Bol Re:Unicomp (304 comments)

there is also http://www.daskeyboard.com/ which claims its modern keys replicate the feel of buckling spring boards, and are available in loud, and not so loud. They also have a model with no markings on the keys, for the true elitist.

about two weeks ago
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Send Your Own Radiosonde 90,000 Feet Into the Sky (Video)

Jarik C-Bol Re:Ion Thruster (48 comments)

I doubt it. A balloon filled with a lifting gas will eventually reach an altitude where the atmosphere density outside the balloon is equal to the density of the lifting gas inside, and halt is rise. Think of a balloon full of air underwater, rises to the surface, then stops. In our case, the balloon is full of helium, and rises through a sea of mixed air until it reaches a point where helium would normally be floating on top of the atmosphere if it where not for solar wind stripping it off. (thats a little simplistic in describing where helium goes, but close enough for this situation) IIRC, Most balloons burst before this point, because the gas inside expands as the balloon rises and the pressure outside the balloon drops, and the balloon expands in volume until the material finally fails. Because there is little to no momentum across the globe, the balloon is never technically in orbit. and drops back down to earth. The only reason it does not land at point of launch is air currants, and the fact the earth rotates underneath it a little. The highest altitude balloon, as described in the summary, reached 173,900 feet (about 53 Kilometers) which is a little over 1/8th the distance to the ISS, which is in a rather low orbit because it had to be serviced by the space shuttle. Now, if you could somehow invent a balloon with infinite structural integrity, which would not burst, I *think* you could get a balloon out as far as 100 Kilometers, but at this stage, i'm completely guessing based on quick perusals of some atmosphere data online. At any rate, even at those altitudes, you would still be far to low to fall into an orbit without significant lateral acceleration, which means you are coming back down, that day. Seeing as electrostatic drives take weeks to produce any meaningful degree of acceleration, I don't see how you could reach escape velocity using a balloon and electrostatic drive.

about two weeks ago
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NASA Eyes Crew Deep Sleep Option For Mars Mission

Jarik C-Bol Re:What will happen to their physical condition (236 comments)

It won't help the muscles, but it will help the bones apparently. Bone becomes brittle and light in null G over longish periods apparently, so the gravity spin is to make it so your still strong muscles (from the electroshock therapy while in stasis) don't snap your bones like twigs when you try to walk when you get to mars. In theory. Its still all just numbers on a spreadsheet at this point.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Scale of the Universe as a game

Jarik C-Bol Jarik C-Bol writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Jarik C-Bol (894741) writes "Newgrounds user Fotoshop has created a game which allows users to zoom in and out, exploring the scale of universe from the largest distances we can discern, down to quantum foam. Interesting descriptions and explanations abound as you travel through the range of measurements. Well worth a look."
Link to Original Source
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New Red Faction game in the works

Jarik C-Bol Jarik C-Bol writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Jarik C-Bol (894741) writes "in a very short article, CVG released the fact they had been informed by THQ that a new red faction game is in the the making. article at : http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?i d=169331 we can only hope it uses the destructable environments better than Red Faction 2. Which many of us red faction fans considered a bit of a letdown after the original."
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Jarik C-Bol Jarik C-Bol writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Jarik C-Bol (894741) writes "With the recent post about ebay in a lawsuit over its "buy it now" button against MercExchange L.L.C. (whom i had never heard of untill today) I pose the question. Has patent law become to lax, in that it allows the patent of "common sense" ideas? Honestly, I doubt anyone had any inkling that someone had patented the buy it now button when they added the code and functionality to ebays website. How far are we from an age where creating a web service, no matter how mundane, is 90% making sure you didn't violate someone's archaic patent of some menial detail. I say that this is an obvious case of how we need to take a serious look at what can and cannot be patented in this country."
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Jarik C-Bol Jarik C-Bol writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Jarik C-Bol writes "http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/873aae7bf86c0 110vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html Popular Science has a report on a machine that uses plasma to render anything short of nuclear waste down to is base elements, and use the results to drive generators that produce more power than the machine uses. Its creator has big plans to save the world, one landfill at a time. Hopes are that once in place, we will solve our garbage problems, and be producing cheep easy electricity from the junk we throw away. Here's to hoping, maybe this one will pan out, according to the article, it is being implemented in several cities across the country."

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