Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier
I remember reading about a competing product called "MagicJack". It appears to have cheaper rates and doesn't need a computer as a bonus. I guess folks could consider this as a competitor.
CCP Games Explains Why Virtual Reality First Person Shooters Still Don't Work
I played a lot of games and I always found that first person view games stood the best chance of giving me motion sickness. I think a console game called Spiral the Dragon was one of the worst. On the other hand racing games, space sim games and flying games gave me the least problems which to me proves that this statement makes perfect sense. Maybe this VR tech will bring back the popularity of these kinds of games considering they were my favourites when I was a kid.
On the other hand I remember reading about a tech which applied electrical shocks to alter your sense of balance. While this might be a little extreme, it might be the solution to this problem.
Tesla Aims For $30,000 Price, 2017 Launch For Model E
For folks who want an electric now, the Chevy Volt is basically one for about 40 miles and then it switches over to gas for longer trips. It's a little small for some folks but being a hatchback, you can actually carry quite a bit of stuff provided you are not carrying passengers and price wise it's actually pretty close to $30K as well. I've owned mine for the last 2 years and it's turned out to be a much better car than I even thought.
I Want a Kindle Killer
I think what the author is really looking for here is a Color E-Ink Tablet. I would be very interested in such a device as well but alas such a device doesn't exist on the market sadly for a reasonable price. Folks seem pleased with back-lit displays but I find them not as comfortable to look at as an E-Paper device.
WRT54G Successor Falls Flat On Promises
I would highly suggest Asus routers as a good alternative. Their native firmware is a customized verison of OpenWRT and they can be setup to run a version of Tomato firmware if you can't be bothered with the complexity. I own an RT-N66U myself and highly recommend it and it's successors. They even have a microSD slot inside for no apparent reason other than for hacking.
UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming
Mankind especially is very good at adapting to even quite sudden changes in climate, as are animals. They will move between regions, they will adapt to conditions. Areas naturally see drought and wet years over the lifespans of animals, they have to be able to deal with that - so they can also adapt to an overall change as well.
Umm no, I think you misunderstand how this works. Let's say you have 10 minutes of air. You need to spend 10 minutes in space. You're now told you have 5 minutes of air and to "adapt.". How do you "adapt"? The easiest solution is to draw straws and to have someone die in your place. Good-luck figuring out who and if you don't kill each other doing it. The problem is these poor countries are EXTREMELY poor, there's millions that are living on a knife's edge in that any small change in their lives will kill them outright or start literally a war. Yeah, we'll adopt all right but not all of us will make it though. Your logic is flawed.
UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming
I have always found it interesting that a lot of folks would prefer that such problems didn't exist when even simple logic seems to point to the fact that it is human caused. Common sense tells you that if a billion of us start to burn things it might have some negative effects. Heck, I remember as a kid we use to dig holes in a riverbank for fun and over time with a few sticks we managed to amazingly reshape the entire riverbank. Granted maybe I shouldn't be so hard on folks who refuse to believe in it. After all if it doesn't directly affect me and I can't do anything about it, it doesn't exist right?
The real problem is what to do about it. It probably isn't all gloom and doom. The UN is making a huge deal of it because let's face it there's a LOT of third world and poor countries out there where even a small shift in climate would kill millions. The UN represents ALL countries. For us richer nations it will probably be uncomfortable, maybe an inconvenience at worst so long as serious world war doesn't break out. Still I wonder how morally bad we would feel if we knew that say saving a little now could save millions in another country. Sadly I suspect in the end greed will win out and we'll likely take the difficult road in life. It seems to sadly be what we do best. Wait until things get bad or someone dies, then try to fix it if we can.
Sulfur Polymers Could Enable Long-Lasting, High-Capacity Batteries
Technically we could easily make a high powered battery pack using Lithium Polymer batteries due to their high energy densities. The downside of course is your car turns into a bomb if the battery pack malfunctions or is punctured. I wonder if these high density Sulphur batteries are as stable as some of the Lithium Phosphate Manganese batteries that are used in modern electric cars? Otherwise we'll never see them in large applications because they would be considered to be unsafe.
Tesla Used A Third of All Electric-Car Batteries Last Year
It's an interesting article for perspective but somewhat inaccurate. The article fails to point out that not all Lithium batteries are the same. The Volt for example uses such a different battery chemistry that it tends not to catch on fire even when punctured. The one simulated in lab fire occurred from the battery coolant catching on fire after it had a chance to dry out. (Took about a week.) The trade off is that the Volt's battery has lower power density which means that it holds less power for a battery its size. The Tesla S uses laptop batteries which have great battery density but have the obvious trade-off of catching on fire when punctured. An Iphone uses a Lithium Polymer battery which has some of the highest energy densities of all Lithium batteries. The downside is they explode when punctured. In a small device like a phone or tablet this isn't a big deal but in a Car which this would give it some amazing range, if it crashed it would literally be a bomb on wheels.
How 3 Young Coders Built a Better Portal To HealthCare.gov
Having worked for government, I can only say that I wouldn't be entirely surprised if a group of enthusiasts could do a much better job than a bunch of contracted government programmers. I often find contracted government work to be a complete mess, poorly documented and often using as many tools as they can charge for. While not everyone ends up like this it is more often than not the case.
Enthusiasts on the other hand are more interested in what works, not so much in what is politically the best tool to use or how much to charge the taxpayer.
Duke Univ. Device Converts Stray Wireless Energy Into Electricity For Charging
This doesn't even pass the common sense logic rules if you understand physics. The issue is there's not much energy in these types of radio waves. A cellphone transmits a maximum of around 1 watts, a wifi router 50 milliwatts if you're lucky. By the time the radio waves have reached you their effective power has already dissipated by the square of the distance. Sure you might get a voltage potential that's in the 7 volt range but how's that useful if there's next to no current to do anything. Short of standing under a high voltage power line or next to some high power transmitter which probably wouldn't be safe for your health, this isn't going to work.
People also misunderstand Tesla's work. Tesla's work wasn't that you could just pop up an antenna and get free power. His plans involved putting up a massive transmission tower that would dump power into the air at an efficient frequency. A coil and antenna could then be used to pick up this power wirelessly. Great idea but the issue then is how exactly would you charge for this power when anyone with some know how could build a receiver to grab the "free" power?
Report: Fisker Automotive Sold To Hong Kong Billionaire Richard Li
I've seen that video. I do have to hand it to the guy, if that was my car I wouldn't still be smiling and talking enthusiastically about it. I have a Chevy Volt which as a car is a whole lot better. :)
Japanese Start-up Plans Hydrogen Fuel Cell For 2014
Hydrogen Fuel-Cell systems are interesting but I suspect the whole idea doesn't work. There's still a problem of how you're actually suppose to produce the hydrogen for cheap. Imagine developing a combustion engine while you haven't even worked out a process to drill or refine oil for the engine. Besides, I'm not sure folks would want to buy fuel for their laptop rather than just plugging it in for few pennies of electricity.
UK MPs: Google Blocks Child Abuse Images, It Should Block Piracy Too
Okay first of all when google tries to eliminate child porn, they have the assistance of the police who in general are trying their best to eliminate this content because we've deemed this sort of content less than legal. I think most would agree this is a clean directive and relatively simple to understand.
When it comes to media organizations such as RIAA, it's pretty obvious they don't care too much about the music, people or privacy. All they care about is making money from the system. This results in them blanketing everyone with lawsuits including themselves and folks who are completely innocent.
If the police were like this it would be like them shooting everyone in the building to catch a single criminal because somehow that's a much better idea that actually doing your job correctly. This is the key difference between google looking for child porn and looking for pirated media. The organizations they need to co-operate with operate entirely differently.
Can GM Challenge Tesla With a Long-Range Electric Car?
Very very few folks understand the appeal of EVs but since I own a 2013 Volt, I can share with you why it's loved by owners. The Volt has a large enough battery that it can run entirely on battery for the first ~40 miles including highway speeds. The car is so silent that with the windows down it feels like you're zipping along on a bicycle. I was in fact surprised to hear the brakes "creak" the first few times at a stop. The fun part comes with accelerating. Most folks will not punch the petal to the floor because on a regular gas car repeatedly doing that will likely wear out your engine or damage something. It also causes most gas engines to burn through gas horrifically. On an EV, there's a slight whine and smooth take-off and at no point does your car sound like it's going to blow up. My daily round-trips average about 20 miles and with electric power being so cheap you end up taking odd trips to the store if you have spare power without worrying about burning up excessive gas. There's no transmission gearing so the car doesn't suffer from any cheap automatic gear shifting jumps and you climb hills like they weren't there.
If you run out of electricity, the Volt turns into a hybrid essentially burning gas on and off (it shuts off at stoplights and down hills) Allowing you to drive across the entire country on a moments notice without having to resort to superchargers which don't exist in Canada. If you go down a huge hill or mountain, the regeneration recovers power in the battery and saves your brakes from melting.
This is why Volt owners like their cars so much. It's an electric without limitations. More range would make it even less likely that gas would be used and help for folks who drive insanely long distances in their daily travel. Probably the Volt's biggest weakness was it's former high price before the recent huge discounts and its somewhat poor advertising.
Court Declares Google Must Face Wiretap Charges For Wi-Fi Snooping
Maybe I'm a little off on my law but civil damages are when people sue each other. So it makes sense if Google used the information in some way that hurt you then you have the right to sue Google for damages. In Canada, for a while when cellphone calls were not encrypted, it was perfectly legal to listen to the calls provided you did not use the information gleamed off that to benefit in any way. Google to the best of our knowledge deleted this information or no longer has it so what exactly would you be suing Google for? How did Google collecting this information harm you or how in the world are you ever going to prove that?
Report: By 2035, Nearly 100 Million Self-Driving Cars Will Be Sold Per Year
Frankly I suspect that self-driving cars will come someday. We already have cruise control, back-up sensors, heck fall asleep lane drift sensors on some modern cars and I don't see people objecting to them. In fact, a fair number of folks really like those features. One only needs to look at manual versus automatic transmission to realize that a majority of the public likes automatic transmission but the enthusiast likes the manual stick.
My only real concern would be the loss of the skill of driving for the younger generation in much the same way handwriting is going away. I am glad I have both great handwriting and top notch typing skills and would be sad to have not had either. Granted driving cars is ridiculously dangerous in that I've gotten to my current skill level in driving through experience, some of which were hair raising mistakes so it's a trade-off. Is it worth dying or potentially getting crippled for a skill is something we would have to ask ourselves.
As for myself, I would love a self-driving car especially on those long cross country trips. If it was reliable enough to nap on, it would be a great feature. There might be points where I might manual drive my car for fun but if I got tired or bored I could pass control to my car.
Neurologists Shine Light On Near-Death Experiences
I thought this was somewhat known in the past already? From what I recall brain death occurs rather quickly. (The Brain is one of the the fastest organs to fail in your body in the event of the lack of oxygen.) From what I recall, what happens is that as a single neuron dies from lack of oxygen it releases chemicals which cause other neurons to fire faster causing them to fail faster and so on. This causes a massive escalating cascade failure which is why loss of oxygen to the brain kills you so quickly. Of course what happens to your mind in this massive electrical storm is still unknown. Maybe you gain some sort of awareness and reach a level of consciousness that is the afterlife. Maybe it's all an illusion and you just end up on the best mental rush in your life. I guess most of us will find out someday...
Colorado Town Considers Drone-Hunting Licenses
To be honest this is a really bad idea. Let's put it this way, do you think it's a good idea to shoot at an airplane? This would be an accident waiting to happen as I will bet some folks won't be able to tell the difference between a plane and a drone. What about stray bullets missing the "drone"? and hitting an airplane. Even worse is what do you do if you hit a drone and it goes up into a fireball (some are gas powered) and crashes onto someone's house because it is loaded with fuel.
Electric Car Startup 'Better Place' Liquidating After $850 Million Investment
Although it's slightly expensive, the Chevy Volt is a good compromise for those wanting to drive an electric and needing the range. I should know I own one. In the summers when mostly doing in city driving, the Volt's roughly 40 mile range battery gets me around gas free and charges entirely at night when I sleep. I also recently completed a 1300 mile cross-country road trip across Canada fuelling up with gas every roughly 200 miles or so. So basically you have a fully electric car if you don't drive too far and a hybrid car that gets a moderate 40 mpg (I managed to get this on my trip) when you need it.
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