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Comment: Re:What's with engine no. 5? (Score 1) 149

by BJ_Covert_Action (#40054765) Attached to: Falcon 9 Launch Aborted At Last Minute

...or they might take an engine off a rocket they have in the garage and use it instead.

You gotta admit that's pretty cool, eh?

"You see, the problem here is this faulty thingamijigger-whosamawhatsit on engine 5."
"Really? Well, that's too bad..."
"Sure is, but you're in luck, we've got a spare rocket engine just sitting over in the hangar there. We'll swap the parts and you'll be on your merry way to orbit in a couple days!"
"Oh! How fortuitous!"

I mean, how many launch companies can realistically have a dialogue like that?

Comment: Re:technical problems != technicalities (Score 1) 149

by BJ_Covert_Action (#40054699) Attached to: Falcon 9 Launch Aborted At Last Minute

Don't think you can turn off the engines once they are lit up, most rockets are based on one long controlled explosion coming out of the back. The article I saw said it was aborted at T minus 0 5 seconds, which is cutting it closer to the explosion than most action movies does :D

Well, actually the explosions (9 of them, 18 technically if you count the gas generators) happened. Rewatch the videos, you can see the engines light, very brightly if I do say so. They were just cut off when a commanded abort closed some valves somewhere along the fuel/ox supply lines.

As for being able to shut rocket engines off, well that's simply a matter of what kind of fuel you're burning and how much control you have over your valves if the fuels are liquid or gaseous.

Comment: Re:Better ideas (Score 1) 92

by BJ_Covert_Action (#38569070) Attached to: The Second Moons of Earth
Could give us some insight into unknown gravity field configurations throughout our solar system. That could prove to be pretty useful one day. Right now we mostly have only analytical models of our system's gravity field. If we could get some hard data of paths that we have not commonly traveled, we might find something useful.

Comment: Re:Such an option is going to cause panic... (Score 4, Insightful) 507

by BJ_Covert_Action (#38568992) Attached to: Net Companies Consider the "Nuclear Option" To Combat SOPA

Argue that all you want, but the fact is that politicians don't get paid all that much, yet Senators all live very well, well beyond what a $175k/yr salary would suggest.

When the fuck did $175,000 / year get classified as not "all that much." Both of my parents combined never made even close to that amount and we grew up fine and dandy.

User Journal

Journal: I Won't Be Here As Much

Journal by BJ_Covert_Action
Howdy All,

I just wanted to give a quick adios-type message. I started my new job at SpaceX about a month ago and am still getting settled in my new home/lifestyle. One thing that is apparent, however, is that working at SpaceX is going to keep me hopping. I've spent a couple weeks working more than 60 hours already, and I think that may be somewhat common. That said, I don't really have time to keep up on news stories as much as I have for the last three years.

Comment: Re:From a Biological Perspective We're Probably Fi (Score 1) 127

That actually depends on the rifle and the animal. I'm pretty sure a simple .32 wouldn't bring down a full grown bull elephant... or, for that matter, even an octopus. And I'd still be interested in seeing the rifle that can take out a large ant colony.

Comment: Re:Another step (Score 1) 127

It is always amazing to me when folks are willing to hold up a piece of fictional art to contest a15,000 year old (how long have modern humans been around exactly?) historical trend. We've been developing earth-shattering technologies that could be used to royally obliterate ourselves for awhile now. Think about it, designing a metallic blade that could, literally, break every other blade wielded against it back during the various transitions from stone-age to bronze-age probably convinced many of the folks at the time that the individual wielding the metallic blade was all but invincible. And yet, somehow one metal blade wielding psychopath didn't conquer the whole world (though, some tried).

Technology breakthroughs have been occuring for thousands of years. The nuclear bomb, dynamite, machine guns, rifles, muskets, long bows, hell, even something as simple as putting a rotten corpse on a catapult and flinging it at your enemies could be considered technology. We've managed not to kill ourselves yet.

Does this new technology have the potential to destroy the human race? Maybe it will eventually, but so have a dozen other inventions throughout history. One badass, epic science fiction T.V. series is not an adequate bit of evidence to hold up and dispute this trend.

Comment: Re:I actually agree with the Democrat here (Score 1) 239

by BJ_Covert_Action (#37706148) Attached to: U.S. Senator Wyden Raises Constitutional Questions About ACTA
I think my favorite thing about your posts, Grishnakh, is that you post one or two comments in a story that interests you that are pretty insightful and frank, but simple enough to not be rude or flamebaitish. Then when someone replies to your posts, you almost always respond with a link and a direct insult on their intelligence. It's quite amusing.

3D Printer For Your Kids 195

Posted by samzenpus
from the make-your-own-toys dept.
kkleiner writes "Two developers from Shapeways and i.materialise have designed a 3D printer for your ten-year-old. The prototype, named Origo, would allow children to easily design objects in 3Dtin and then print them safely in their home with minimal adult supervision. Could it be the last toy you ever have to buy for your kids?"
The Internet

US Intelligence Mining Your Social Network Data 240

Posted by samzenpus
from the government-friend-list dept.
bs0d3 writes "U.S. Intelligence has hired social scientists to mine the vast resources of the Internet — Web searches and Twitter messages, Facebook and blog posts, the digital location trails generated by billions of cellphones. They intend to use this info to track sociological laws of human behavior — enabling them to predict political crises, revolutions and other forms of social and economic instability. Privacy advocates are deeply skeptical of the project, saying it reminds them of Total Information Awareness, a 9/11 Pentagon program that proposed hunting for potential attackers by identifying patterns in vast collections of public and private data: telephone calling records, e-mail, travel data, visa and passport information, and credit card transactions. In a recent budget proposal, the defense agency argues that its analysis can expose terrorist cells and other groups by tracking their meetings, rehearsals and sharing of material and money transfers."

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?