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Comment: Re:More opportunities for amateur observation. (Score 1) 48

by BigFootApe (#49380217) Attached to: X-37B To Fly Again

If you read any of john leers stuff or any of the other "secret space program" people some of it actually sounds sort of credible considering the amount of missing cash (in the trillions) given to supposed black budgets..... really need to take all that stuff with the grain of salt though, but still pretty interesting. Leer did seem to tell stories of a folding feather craft design well before virgin began development of their tourist model (with a few photos on his wall that look strangely similar to virgins craft, but this was from the late 80s).

Also the abrupt closing of the vandenberg USAF shuttle launch site seemed to suggest they had some other alternate means of getting up there. The rabbit hole goes pretty deep on this stuff though (and so does the tin foil hatage).....

They made something else for getting up there. It was called Titan IV.

Comment: Re:The Russians poisoned the well (Score 1) 152

by BigFootApe (#49364369) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

I'm personally against any missile defense program that doesn't operate by overwhelming international agreement. Russia should have been brought on board as a partner, as everyone else should have. If I recall correctly, they offered the use the Qabala radar in Azerbaijan. Having said that, the performance capabilities of the intercepters deployed in eastern Europe preclude interception of strategic weapons. If Russia's complaint is that they can't target Poland with IRBMs anymore, I don't have a lot of sympathy for their position. Being on the stick end of nuclear blackmail is the worst form of bullying. They know it from experience.

That's the fundamental problem here. Proprietary meddling by great powers has always ended up stomping on the small players whether it be in Central and South America, the Middle East, or Eastern Europe. This sets those weaker countries on the path of looking for a means of answering back. The legacy of these heavy handed policies pushed Poland, the Czech Republic, and the Balkan states into NATO's arms, just as similarly insidious policy from the US has created strong (sometimes violent) sentiment in various parts of the world.

The ideal for long term stability and security is to see all nations in the world equally held to account for the damage they do by their choices on the international stage.

Comment: Re:seems a bit shy... (Score 1) 91

by BigFootApe (#49010619) Attached to: DARPA's ALASA Could Pave Way For Cheaper, Faster Satellite Launches

You gain 100% flexibility in orbital plain. No launch restrictions because your launch point is completely flexible. This is a common feature with SeaLaunch. It would actually be very cool if SpaceX used a similar mobile launch platform for Falcon 9 as an additional facility. Certainly, reliability would likely be much better than Zenit.

Comment: Re:its all about choice. (Score 1) 581

by BigFootApe (#48422581) Attached to: Debian Votes Against Mandating Non-systemd Compatibility

Better to have a neutral way of process dependencies being defined, then have tools automatically translate into the configuration of your favourite init system. Alternately, sell upstream developers on the merit of a standardized init system conf file format and get them to adopt it.

But this isn't the problem. The problem is that un-forked udev is only shipped in tandem with systemd. ConsoleKit is deprecated and replaced with logind, which is only shipped with systemd.

It's like MS bundling newer versions of DirectX only with their latest flavour of Windows, although perhaps not for the same reasons. Same tactics, though.

Comment: Unit Conversions (Score 1) 942

by BigFootApe (#48034367) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Isn't it enough to teach people how to properly perform unit conversions (then show them the cell phone app)?

Within the context of science education, it is a much easier to focus on understanding the mathematical relationships which underpin theory using metric. Use of customary units (US or UK) will result in more students falling back on the use of memorized magic numbers and not proper derived constants. Understanding concepts of scale in science becomes an order more difficult as well.

For this reason, metric units (mks or sometimes cgs) units are by far dominant in scientific papers and texts. Imperial has some presence in engineering, possibly due to a more narrow focus and more resistance to change.

Comment: Re:I call BS (Score 1) 167

by BigFootApe (#43134077) Attached to: SXSW: Elon Musk Talks Reusable Rockets, Tesla Controversy

The input energy for the heat engine is less than the total amount of energy transported. In an example of a heat pump acting as a chiller, there is significant waste heat which must be dumped into a heat sink.Total energy transported is more than the input energy, but overall energy is conserved.

Nothing happens.