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Comment: Re:Oh...my...gawd! (Score 1) 48 48

> Sure but SpaceX's goal to land the first stage has little to do with its cargo launch capabilities

It has a great deal to do with the cost of missions. They've not yet created a working human-rated craft. I applaud their work, but I'd call that the _next_ lap of the space race.

Comment: Re:The straightforward (Score 1) 105 105

> The situations where the system is abused to steal someones domain is so rare that its not worth worrying about.

What makes you think this? There are entire companies that squat potentially useful domain names, and resell them as desired. They've fallen in prominence as registration has become easier, and registrars have evolved policies to recover expired domain names more quickly. Most of them are pretty benign, and will turn the domain over to the original for what is effectively a "finder's fee". But it's a _very_ common practice.

Comment: Re:Oh...my...gawd! (Score 1) 48 48

This lap, yes. The Space Shuttle had roughly 3 times the cargo capacity of a Soyuz vehicle, but never fulfilled its design goal of being a "space truck" that could be refettied quickly and cheaply. SpaceX is having problems with the "land on a barge" task, which _no one_ has ever done before.

Comment: Re:Depression is not self pity (Score 1) 178 178

> Would you say a financially comfortable american with terminal cancer is 'better off' than 99% of the world?

Better off than at least 50% of the world, possibly as high as 90%. They have access to high grade medical care which has a chance of saving them, time to spend with their family, some resources to leave for their family's care, access to high quality painkillers, and an opportunity to do a few "final wishes" they might otherwise miss out on. I've had several friends die from cancer: while the end can be devastating and agonizing, their day to day life leading up to that end was often far better than the ordinary world citizen's life.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 815 815

And the F-16, according to the pilots from many nations, is an outstanding aircraft. The F-22? I'm not an expert, but the new reports about that craft were similarly negative to those about the F-35. It's also being theoretically replaced by the "cheaper" F-35, and that's a sad claim given the cost of F-35's. And with no one else permitted to import them, the last was delivered to the US Air Force in 2012.

This also belies the idea stated by another poster, that these "teething problems" are inevitable and can be worked out over time. The F-22 was cancelled for cost and safety reasons. As best I can tell from the reports, they never did completely resolve the oxygen supply problem that kept knocking out pilots and even killed Captain Jeffrey Haney.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 815 815

> The F22 is the competition for the F16. The F35 is the competition for the F18 Superhornet and the A10.

Not according to Lockeed Martin, and not according to the General Accounting Office of the US government.

http://afcommission.whs.mil/pu...

Both of them describe the F-35 as the planned replacement for the F-16.

Comment: That helmet problem is devastating in air combat (Score 1) 815 815

> The F-35 will evolve into a competent fighter as they always do.

What makes you think this? While the existing investment is so large that many contractors and military don't dare let it fail, the numbers of design failures seem to be unusually large and more seem to be revealed as time goes on, without resolving the original problems. Some of the new problems seem to be due to attempted solutions of the old problems. (The lightning strike vulnerability seems to be due to fuel tank redesigns to handle the larger power plant, for example.)

This is a common problem with "quantum leap" project designs. All the components have to work at the same time, almost perfectly, without opportunities to fundamentally evolve or refine the designs for specific targets. And this is what made the Space Shuttle such a problematic craft. It could do a very few things better than any other craft, but it could not _possibly_ live up to its expectations of cost, of safety, and of frequent flight. It just had too many complex, compromising kludges. And by effectively siphoning the national budget away from alternative craft for alternative missions, well, look at the current state of US manned spacecraft.

Comment: Re:It's the non-engineers. (Score 2) 125 125

> This comment makes no sense at all. Programming and management are completely different skills.

Organization of resources, managing tasks, learning when to automate and when to tear it apart for a rebuild, checking for failures, sanitizing inputs, documenting work and cooperating with other developers are all useful skills at both hands-on and management levels. There's considerable overlap.

If you can't manage pointers and complex sets of data safely, you're unlikely to be able to manage projects and manpopwer and deadlines any better.

Comment: Re:This problem needs a technical solution (Score 1) 268 268

> Agreed. On the other hand... what plane can't tolerate a drone strike?

Most of them. There are many good explanations of the problem, including http://www.askthepilot.com/the.... And a firefighting plane dumping foam is effectively "barnstorming" anyway, dumping the foam at the lowest possible altitude.. An impact on the cockpit is dangerously distracting, an impact in a rotor or jet engine could be catastrophic.

Comment: Re:Drug tests? Seriously? (Score 1) 179 179

> Wait... Some companies actually give programmers a drug test?

One of the tricks of doing this is that it reveals medical issues and medical history, which can be quietly collected and assessed even if discrimination is technically illegal. Much like the interview and job description tuning that be used to select only for H1B visa holders instead of hiring American, the paperwork and even the tests themselves can reveal productivity and medical cost relevant conditions such as gender, age, pregnancy, depression, diabetes, blood pressure, sexual history, etc.

Comment: And then there's Google..... (Score 1) 179 179

One of the elephants in the room in hiring tech these days is Google. Many interesting people in technology today put in applications for the variety of roles Google advertises. But Google apparently doesn't interview for the particular roles, and they have an _extraordinarily_ long time between application and phone screen that may be for a different job, another period of weeks or even months before scheduling the on-site interview that again is often for a different job, and weeks or even months before making an offer that may be for a very different job.

Several of my colleagues have been through this, during their work with us and before they wound up with us, and several of my peers now at Google explained it recently. Google used to spend an extraordinary amount of time and resources finding people who "fit" environments, and only then finding a specific role for them and making the offer. The result was apparently a great deal of political and social monoculture, and the hiring process took so long that only personal referrals would put up with it and not find another job long before Google made the offer. They still take an extraordinary amount of time making an offer, but now they seek out talent first, and fit second, and recruit a big pool of high level talent from which they then match a role and try tp place the people. The result seems to still include a long hiring time, and waiting in that pool of talent for long periods, as if tech people were taxis waiting in a queue for the next passenger. It's quite odd in the tech world. Google seems unwilling to acknowledge or uncaring that people they interviewed and approved a year ago are only now getting offered particular roles. But according to the Google personnel I spoke with at a conference a month ago, it's much less of a monoculture now, and they consider this a benefit of the shift to "seek talent first, cultural fit second, particular job last".

This long delay before hiring is fairly common in academia, where the pay is small but leadership of a group or prestige of a particular role are so valued that they can call a candidate after a year or years and the candidate will still take the offer. I work with several people whom Google made offers to a year or more after a successful interview,including one senor team member who just got an offer last week, over a year after their quite successful interview at Google. It's been quite extraordinary to watch Google spend so many man-hours interviewing and recruiting people and watch those people get hired elsewhere, first.

Comment: Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 1) 939 939

> The solution is to go up.

The solution is to drop the birth rate and immigration. Access to water, food, transportation, trade, and industry, and the increasing shortage of arable land, are all squeezing available living space and ruining the dream of "owning you rown home".

Comment: Re:Wow, Yet Another Harrassment Narrative (Score 1) 529 529

> As for the townsfolk harassing her, well we once again have only her word on that. And after almost a year seeing unverified and outright known to be false accusations of harassment trumpeted in the media--the Guardian itself being one of the (very) guilty outlets--yeah, I'm gonna need some substantial evidence before I believe a word of that either.

It's within the realm of possibility. I'm sad to say that when younger, I remember such actions against unwelcome races, genders, religions, sexuality, income, and lifestyle. I also remember reaching out to those people being harassed if I became aware of it in progress: it was difficult to respond to it when it occurred quietly and was mentioned later, but I'm afraid I'd met some of the sources of it. I even spent several weeks with a chair and a lamp, reading myself to sleep and studying on the porch of a mixed race family who had a cross burnt on their lawn. We took turns sleeping on their porch, we brought beer and coffee and snacks, and we made friends. We were very, very careful _not_ to bring weapons, and this long predated cell phones, but one of us even set up a ham rig and police scanner to call out if there was trouble.

There were a few windows broken and even some tires flattened for we who showed up. It was a long, long time ago, but these sorts of things can still happen, especially in neighborhoods without the encroaching maze of CCTV monitoring in so much of modern life.

The UNIX philosophy basically involves giving you enough rope to hang yourself. And then a couple of feet more, just to be sure.

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