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Comment: News (Score 0) 78

by Areyoukiddingme (#48900357) Attached to: Fish Found Living Half a Mile Under Antarctic Ice

"This is the closest we can get to something like Europa," said Slawek Tulaczyk, a glaciologist at the University of California...

So, not very close at all, considering that ocean is attached to all the world's oceans, which enjoy the benefits of most of the solar energy the planet receives impinging on a liquid surface. Europa is a long long way from the Sun, and the inverse square law is a bitch. While Jupiter really wants to grow up and become the brown dwarf it was always meant to be, it didn't. The radiation it puts out is hardly enough to make up the difference between the solar energy received by Earth and by Europa.

Is life in Europa possible? Yes. Liquid water indicates there is at least some energy to be had. Is high energy life possible? We can't categorically say no unless we go and look, but it's improbable.

Comment: Re:A humble request (Score 1) 104

Please make them easily re-fuelable AND establish a real refueling system. Hell, add in the ability to replace / upgrade parts during the pit stops.

It seems obvious that if you want to support on-orbit refueling, you had better support on-orbit upgrades too. Satellites are basically big piles of electronics with solar wings. What iterates faster than electronics? Nothing. So if you're going to go to the trouble to maintain longevity on-orbit, you're going to want to update them when they're obsolete too.

That said, replaceable parts always make for a bigger device than an integrated system. Traditionally the space industry has counted and begrudged every gram, because putting any more grams into orbit than you had to would cost you a fortune greater than the technical expertise needed to eliminate the extra grams. SpaceX launch costs might put a dent in that attitude, but won't eliminate it entirely. SpaceX launch costs after first stage reuse is perfected may actually tip the balance. But probably not.

Judging by the quoted numbers of satellites, the SpaceX launch cost reduction bonus is going to mostly be spent on lofting a larger constellation, rather than increasing maintainability. Considering replaceable boards reduces reliability (launch vibration + unsoldered connection == bad), that's probably the prudent choice. It won't contribute much to the space junk problem. Stuff in low Earth orbit has a tendency to fall out of orbit quite quickly, relatively speaking.

Comment: Re:Full WSJ article NoRegReq (Score 1) 104

I had to re-read the article about five times trying to figure out what hiring African-Americans had to do with anything else. I still don't know.

That looks like the author was trying to say that Google had hired multilingual African-Americans to be able to easily speak to African governments, locations that are known to be under-served in the Internet connection department. The theory being that Google could more easily grow a subscriber base where there is zero competition than where there is some competition.

Then a hamfisted editor decided that made the article too long, and cut out three sentences and put in that stupid phrase.

Comment: Re:cost? (Score 1) 165

by Areyoukiddingme (#48826547) Attached to: Elon Musk Plans To Build Hyperloop Test Track

Vacuum systems are really really really really expensive.

Really? And that does 75 microns. Which translates to slightly better than a 99.99% vacuum. The Hyperloop is expected to operate at about 1000 microns. The extra superlatives apply when you're trying to build a giant particle accelerator, but Elon Musk specifically chose the point on the vacuum pump curve where that reduced pressure is achievable without falling off a cliff in terms of cost. Expensive, yes. But not vastly more expensive than any other part of the system.

Comment: Re:Money talks, electric car walks (Score 1) 181

by Areyoukiddingme (#48815767) Attached to: Tesla To Produce 'a Few Million' Electric Cars a Year By 2025

I love the idea of electric cars, and Tesla is on my "lottery win" shopping list. With that said, if you apply hard numbers these cars do not make any sense at the current gas prices.

What's with this "current gas prices" meme? The current gas prices have applied for maaaybe 3 weeks, if you're lucky. And suddenly people are absolutely giddy. Yay! Gas is free again! What? No it's not. It's temporary, despite the pronouncements of random Saudi princes. It's probably short term temporary, and there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth when it rebounds.

Even if it's not short term temporary, I would be vastly surprised if gas prices stay this low for the lifetime of a new car purchased this year.

Comment: Re:While I applaud his actions in principle... (Score 1) 417

by Areyoukiddingme (#48815235) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US

Absolute nonsense. I can stream an HD movie easily at 10mpbs if the neighborhood lets me actually HAVE 10. WTF do you *need* 25mpbs for, much less to assert it's some sort of "bottom adequate floor"?

Got kids? Got a wife? Got a wife's parents, whose breadwinner got injured on the job and has been out of work for 2 years?

There are more households in the world besides the lone hipster.

Comment: Re:Municipal Broadband? (Score 1) 417

by Areyoukiddingme (#48815089) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US

I'm wondering why everyone seems to think so highly of their local officials. What cities have such great local officials that we want to give them all these new responsibilities?

Because some of us have local officials who can keep the roads paved? And not just paved, but straightened and leveled, with new fire hydrants and storm drains installed, in the case of the road nearest my house that I drive on every single day. The road all of my neighbors drive on every single day. The road the local fire department drives on, hopefully not every single day.

I don't want to hold my elected officials accountable

Full stop.

Just because you are fine with living in a Third World shithole that can't even meet the standards of the ancient Roman Empire, it doesn't mean the rest of us have this problem.

Comment: Re:Obama: please stop helping us! (Score 1) 417

by Areyoukiddingme (#48814695) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US

Funny thing. A lot of my family live in rural areas around the country, and many of these areas are gaining faster fiber than what's available in the cities. The common pattern that I'm seeing is the metro areas are taken over by incumbents and the incumbents are staying or running away from rural like the plague. Even with little to no competition in rural areas, they're starting to see faster, cheaper, more reliable internet because these areas are being serviced by ISPs less greedy than incumbents.

In Missouri, rural areas are getting fiber because the state government appropriated funds to help establish rural fiber co-ops. Charter and AT&T want no part of it. By the time the decade is out, rural Missouri will have better, cheaper bandwidth than any metro area in the state.

There is no cable service, and AT&T only provides phone service because the law demands it. DSL can not be had. The central offices are too widely scattered and AT&T has zero interest in installing DSLAMs for 6 subscriptions at a time.

Comment: Re:Obama: please stop helping us! (Score 1) 417

by Areyoukiddingme (#48814659) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US

But most rural people have TV and cable, won't they be able to get internet through that?

Most rural people do not have cable. Rural subscribers are the majority of satellite TV subscribers, because they have no access to cable television. My parents recently built a brand new house, in a subdivision large enough that it has a homeowner's association, in a cluster of three subdivisions—surrounded by farmland in rural Illinois. They don't have access to cable, nor do any of their neighbors. And it's not a matter of money, either. It can not be had for any price. The cable company flatly refuses to run wire, no matter what percentage of the neighborhood would sign up. It's rural. It's ignored.

Comment: Re:Love how he had all these great ideas (Score 1) 417

by Areyoukiddingme (#48814627) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US

You conveniently forget things that actually do get passed and signed, and focus only on your frustration when the agenda of one person is disliked by a majority of the people in the country...

Says who? Last I checked the majority of the country didn't even vote in the most recent national elections. 36%, says the New York Times and the Washington Post. The majority of the people in the country haven't expressed a meaningful opinion since 2012, and at that time, the majority of the country expressed agreement with his agenda.

... and by congress.

I don't give a flying fuck what congress likes or dislikes, since I am absolutely certain the only things they like are the things that bring in the most campaign contributions, and I'm not a billionaire.

The majority of the country find his foreign policy positions to be complete feckless, and clumsily handled even if they approve of them.

No, the 30% of the country that listens to Fox News thinks his foreign policy positions are completely feckless and clumsily handled. The rest of the country thinks he's substantially better at diplomacy than his predecessor, and for most of his terms in office, his foreign policy was roundly praised in the national media outlets most people consider important. Saying it ain't so doesn't make it not so.

The points where his own party dislikes his foreign policy are the points that, in a Republican president, the Republicans praise to the skies. Republicans like bombing the shit out of sand people. We have 8 years of quotes to prove it. We know damn well that had it been a Republican president bombing Libya, all Republican commentary would have been about how it's right and just and necessary to bring peace, democracy, mom, and apple pie to Libya, plus loud protestations that it's 100% constitutional and within his purview. We KNOW this, because those arguments have been made.

Obama and his party have solidly earned the opposition they've cultivated, and the recent mid-term election demonstrates once again how tone deaf they've been.

That's a remarkable echo chamber you have there. The recent mid-term election demonstrates that everyone hates Congress. It soundly demonstrated that the Republican Party is wildly tonedeaf to social issues. As noted by one of your own analysts, every Republican social initiative either failed to pass or was contradicted by votes. Republican economic positions failed too, with minimum wage hikes passing in every single state that had one on the ballot, including every single "red state".

Your entire argument consists of labeling. "We say it's bad, therefore it's bad. We say Obama is incompetent, therefore he is incompetent." The reality is somewhat different, and there are a few of you who have noticed, but not enough.

Anyway, I don't know what your beef is with Obama. He's the best moderate Republican president to come along in years.

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre