top What Canada Can Teach the US About Net Neutrality
Nice to hear from you, Mr. Haselton!
top Panel Says U.S. Not Ready For Inevitable Arctic Oil Spill
when they needed to clean oil spills off penguins.
That can be done in a fast and efficient way using flamethrowers
top Why Portland Should Have Kept Its Water, Urine and All
Except for the fact that people consume hundreds of times more water than tuna.
top Why Portland Should Have Kept Its Water, Urine and All
A gallon or two of methylmercury would probably kill thousands of people, and make many thousands more very, very sick.
top Anti-Game-Violence Legislator Arrested, Faces Gun Trafficking Charges
... and you end up with taxes on drugs to pay for some of the likely increase in health problems
If you remove the war on drugs, you also remove contamination -poisonings-, variations in drug's concentration -overdoses-, needle sharing - AIDS, hepatitis- and most of the reasons for violent drug related crimes.
Your "likely increase in health problems" is quite unlikely, indeed.
top Mathematician: Is Our Universe a Simulation?
The problem is I don't know how to bring up the console.
top Valve's Steam Machines Are More About Safeguarding PCs Than Killing Consoles
You can build your own steam machine for peanuts, if you are technically inclined. If you aren't, you can request the help from a friend, and if you can't/don't want to do that, you can still buy a suitable PC an add SteamOS on top. If you're too lazy even for that and have money to expend, you can purchase one of these pretty Steam machines. At the very least you'll be free from the Windows tax and still you'll end up with a full fledged PC with a serious OS (Linux) that can run lots and lots of 'serious apps' + a growing number of games. I think Valve has hit the nail in the head with this one. Kudos to them.
top The ATF Not Concerned About 3D Printed Guns... Yet
... it wouldn't be a 'classic' firearm.
You don't need receivers and metallic mechanical parts if you use electric ignition, just an electric trigger, a battery and some circuitry.
You don't need proper barrels if you can use thin standard tubing encased in a 3d printed plastic sleeve, both for reinforcing the barrel and for safety.
You don't need magazines if you can store several bullets in the barrel and make the barrels single use and swappable. Due to their flimsy construction, the barrels should be strictly one use only, having to swap barrels for a new burst.
A company called Metal Storm is already applying some of these concepts in the real world.
As for lack of precision due to the lack of rifling in the barrel... they'd still be great for urban guerrilla scenarios, and probably far more precise than UZI style weapons.
I don't think the ATF guys have thought this one thoroughly enough.
about a year and a half ago
top Machine Gun Fire From Military Helicopters Flying Over Downtown Miami
Reality states that at least it would make weapons more expensive for the criminals. Nowadays thousands of weapons are stolen from their rightful owners, or illegally sold by their rightful owners to criminals every year. As smuggling operations have to compete against these sources of weapons, they have to keep prices low. If you close the former sources, smuggled weapon prices will soar, just like with any other monopoly.
What is more, with the actual status quo, for many crims not having a weapon would be suicidal, as many of their prospective victims are probably armed and willing to shoot at them. It's like an arms race, with the added factor that most of these weapons are sold to both sides by the same companies.
top New Evidence Indicates Amelia Earhart Survived For a Time on Pacific Atoll
Most people have heard of the first woman to solo the Atlantic
Well, I have heard a lot about that girl who soloed Dallas, but THE WHOLE ATLANTIC? What else?
top Software Engineering Is a Dead-End Career, Says Bloomberg
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur."
I also like "Pay peanuts, hire monkeys"
top Ask MIT Researchers About Fusion Power
And they can print more $s when needed!
top File Sharing In the Post MegaUpload Era
"do you think you can bring Harry Potter onto the big screen without the resources of big budget movie studio?"
Give it ten or twenty years and technology will make expensive films and film studios follow the path of dinosaurs. In that timeframe and thanks to Moore's Law the average user will have enough power at his fingertips to make CGI films indistinguishable from reality, including tricks like motion capture. A group of friends could do a film for peanuts, and if the film is good enough it could make tons of money for its makers. Of course, there would be lots of crappy films, but without the help of some humongous promotion campaign, they would be winnowed out really fast.
In that moment, with good quality films costing less than, say, 50000 $, it suddenly would make sense to obtain revenues by alternative means, i.e. publicity and product placement, and what we call 'piracy' would be the best way of promoting a film.
I think that movie studios are aware of this, and are just desperate to milk the cow as much as possible, before she falls dead.
top Early Plants May Have Caused Massive Glaciation
The fossil record shows that time and time again biosphere changes are not only recovered from, but that the net effect is dramatically positive in terms of long term diversity.
Yep! You're totally right! If we trigger a mass extinction, in a few millions of years everything will go back to normal, and our descendants -if they miraculously manage to survive - will thank us for our hindsight in causing said extinction.
top Project Bifrost: (Fission) Rockets of the Future?
This thing would be assembled in orbit and would never land on a planet.
How would you send the radioactive fuel to orbit? By FedEx?
top Doctorow: the Coming War On General-Purpose Computing
Well then by your definition my Linux system contains spyware since it also checks for updates.
There are a few differences:
You can choose to prevent any software in your Linux system from updating, either individually or collectively.
You can choose to prevent any software in your Linux system from "calling home" and/or sending data about you.
The updates you received are Open Source programs, and have been reviewed by a community of experts and users before being deployed.
Using Linux -or any other general use OS- lets you choose what programs to install or use. You can install paid-for software, open source software, or even create your own software, without being a prisoner in a walled garden where competition doesn't exist. If you are in the garden, everything is pretty, but you end up paying more and getting worse software, and your data and apps are used as hostages and can be remotely erased or blocked from you, at the whim of a private company.
top New Record High Temperature At South Pole
Was there a leather-bound scroll I missed somewhere?
If you believe in everything written in scrolls, you need professional help asap.
top Alloy Could Produce Hydrogen Fuel Using Sunlight
If solar panels were the norm then they might become half as expensive, but batteries, charging systems, and installation won't be.
Economy of scale would affect not only the panels, but the rest of the components as well. Even installation will get less expensive, as the installation procedure gets streamlined and the components better designed, both for efficiency, inter-operability and ease of installation. If I had to place a bet, it would be that the rest of the components would drop prices even more than the panels.
top Scientists Sequence Black Death Bacteria
I must disagree.
While washing your hands wouldn't probably do shit in preventing the spread of the Plague, other factors surely would.
Frequently washing clothes would reduce greatly the amount of fleas and flea eggs, hence lowering the infection rates. Ditto for taking frequent baths. A sewer system wouldn't make rats disappear but it would keep them away from most humans. In the middle ages there was plenty of food in the streets for rats -garbage, dung, animal corpses...- which made it impossible to isolate rats from the population. And, lastly, the plague could also be transmitted by air, in droplets of body fluids in the victim's breath. Those funny face masks that were so fashionable during the Swine Flu outbreak would have helped a lot in this context.
top One Giant Cargo Ship Pollutes As Much As 50M Cars
.. please tell me you were being sarcastic!
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