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Comment: Re:"unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" (Score 1) 179

by 0123456 (#47445281) Attached to: NSA Says Snowden Emails Exempt From Public Disclosure

Here's an idea.

Imagine you go back in time, and you ask Jefferson, Washington, Franklin and friends whether it would be OK if the government was keeping a record of who sent every letter and who they sent it to. Just to protect us, obviously.

Just imagine that for a moment.

Then tell us, with all seriousness, that you really, actually, imagine they would say 'yeah, sure, that's fine, and totally Constitutinal'.

Comment: Re:Think of it a slightly different way (Score 1) 256

by 0123456 (#47432939) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

1) Why do my systems require downtime for this kind of thing? I should have better redundancy.

True. Last year we upgraded all our servers to a new OS with a wipe and reinstall, and the only people who noticed were the ones who could see the server monitoring screens. The standby servers took over and handled all customer traffic while we upgraded the others.

Comment: Re:All web devs shouldn't *need* a device lab (Score 3, Informative) 60

by 0123456 (#47411669) Attached to: All Web Developers Should Have Access to a Device Lab (Video)

Here's another idea. How about we create a whole new format which separates content from presentation, and then the display program can figure out the best way to display it on that device.

We could call the format, I don't know, 'HTML'? And the display program, hmm, maybe a 'web browser'?

Oh, crap. We tried that, and then the developers decided they just MUST be able to specify exaclty where everything is displayed on the screen, which is why they're now having to rebuild all their sites to work on mobile devices.

Good way to ensure job security, I guess.

Comment: Re:I dont see a problem here (Score 1) 146

by 0123456 (#47390421) Attached to: NASA Approves Production of Most Powerful Rocket Ever

The reason for incremental development is that your engineers and technicians learn their "craft", gradually learn where they can shave off millimetres and where they have to add more.

You do realize that pretty much everyone at NASA who actually designed a rocket or rocket engine has now retired, right?

Comment: Re:Known by anotehr name (Score 1) 146

by 0123456 (#47389011) Attached to: NASA Approves Production of Most Powerful Rocket Ever

I think he is confused, that was called the Space Shuttle - The single item that killed space exploration in the US forever.

As bad as the shutte might have been, SLS will be worse. The fixed costs killed the shuttle, not the variable costs; a single shuttle launch cost a couple of hundred million dollars, but the price went up to well over a billion when you added in the fixed costs spread over three or four launches a year. SLS will launch at most every couple of years, so you'll not only have a couple of billion dollars per rocket, but several billion dollars of fixed costs per launch... it could easily end up being the Ten Billion Dollar Booster.

Comment: Re:How foes this compare (Score 2) 146

by 0123456 (#47388787) Attached to: NASA Approves Production of Most Powerful Rocket Ever

So SRMs are good, and likely to be used in pretty much every first stage from now to the day we invent a beanstalk or something and get rid of rockets.

Hardly. The big problems with SRMs are that you can't reuse them and you can't test them; yes, you can test that SRM #1 worked fine on the ground, but you'll actually be launching with SRM #2, which can only be tested by firing it, which means you can't then use it to launch anything.

You can't build a cheap launcher with SRMs, because a cheap launcher has to be reusable. You can't build a really safe launcher with SRMs, because every flight is the first flight for the SRMs.

Comment: Re: The rocket to nowhere (Score 3, Informative) 146

by 0123456 (#47388755) Attached to: NASA Approves Production of Most Powerful Rocket Ever

Yeah. SpaceX built a new rocket engine and two new rockets, and actually launched them into space, for about the same amount of money as NASA spent putting a dummy upper stage on top of a shuttle SRB and launching it into the ocean.


SLS is a pure pork project, there are no funded missions that need it, and it will cost billions of dollars to launch, which means there will be few, if any, missions that ever do use it. There is no rational justification for it whatsoever.

At the rate they're going, when NASA launches a crew to Mars in an Orion capsule on an SLS booster, there'll already be tourists waiting to greet them, having been flown there by SpaceX for a tiny fraction of the cost of the government option.

Comment: Re:Disappointing - Potential payoff is enormous... (Score 1) 225

by 0123456 (#47376623) Attached to: Senate Budgetmakers Move To End US Participation In ITER

Disappointing to see such an important long term research project get shelved by politicians.

Perhaps if they hadn't spent 40+ years promising that fusion would happen soon if we just kept throwing money at them, politicians wouldn't be so eager to stop throwing money at them.

Fusion has been twenty years away for as long as I remember.

God made machine language; all the rest is the work of man.