Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.


Forgot your password?

Comment: 40 year old engine. (Score 5, Informative) 443

by Bo'Bob'O (#48257245) Attached to: Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch

The summery isn't quite correct. The engines aren't based on an engine from the 60s. These -are- the engines built by the soviets in the 1970s. These things are 40 years old.

The RD-180s used by the Atlas-V are built new, despite their relationship to the abandoned Energia/Buran. The NK-33s that are used by the Antares sat for decades in a Russian warehouse.

Comment: Six Missoins Each (Score 4, Informative) 188

It was clarified later that both companies would fly six missions each (not counting the test mission).

I don't know if the director misspoke or was misunderstood, but she said later in the conference call they have the same requirements for the number of missions.

Comment: Re:Successful troll is successful (Score 1) 200

by Bo'Bob'O (#47921795) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

Indeed. Now that I am writing from the future (IE, after 5pm after this was actually announced). Both Boeing and SpaceX were awarded the exact same contract: certification, a test flight, and then six missions to the space station.

The only difference is that Boeing charged $1.6B more for the same service. Make of that what you will, but I can't say I can blame NASA -too- much for not wanting to put all their eggs in one basket.

Comment: Re:This is the Congressinal Rocket not NASA. (Score 3, Informative) 211

by Bo'Bob'O (#47796045) Attached to: Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets

And in it's place we got the commercial cargo and commercial crew programs, which have been highly successful so far. So much so that NASA is now looking to duplicate the process in other endeavors:

Meanwhile the Orion capsule, which was the part of the constellation project that actually put humans on top of those rockets to get them into space, was kept. It's still over budget, under speced and years off from putting anyone in space.

Comment: People acutaly LIKE the open floor plans? (Score 4, Insightful) 160

by Bo'Bob'O (#47679823) Attached to: The Flight of Gifted Engineers From NASA

I work in an office that is packed in with three people constantly talking on the phone, with other people or just otherwise doing their business. I find it incredibly distracting. Sure I can put headphones on and try and blot it out, but depending on my mental state or particular task, music can be distracting too. Be it Metal or Minimalism music isn't always the answer to getting the best mental state for your work. Also having the music cranked means I can't hear the phone when I'm getting a call. I can't even imagine working in a larger room packed with dozens more people.

I'd love to be in a properly lit and laid out office or cubical.

Comment: Re:Alabama (Score 1) 393

by Bo'Bob'O (#47657833) Attached to: 3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

Which just shows how short-sighted this is. With the logistics of launchers and launch services off of NASA's plate, NASA should be more busy then ever looking to go back to it's main business: pushing the bleeding edge of space, science and aeronautics. Something that that center will no doubt play a large part of. Certainly a lot more then just buying all the hard stuff from Russia.

I think it's still just as likely this is really just about protecting the interests of big contractors who find large profits to be made in building disposable, multimillion dollar rockets. Will SpaceX deliver everything it's promising? I don't know. I think it's fair to not just to put all our eggs in that basket just yet, but the government money that has been spent on SpaceX seems to have been a good deal so far. They seem to have a real vision of moving forward and I think that's a risk worth investing in.

Comment: Marketing (Score 4, Insightful) 161

by Bo'Bob'O (#47554253) Attached to: OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

The fact is that the experiment they Facebook conducted was mild to what other corporations do every day under the umbrella of "marketing".

They use control groups and try every trick they can to manipulate your mood, feelings, impressions of their products. They carefully script interactions to take advantage of your feelings and social norms. Also take the recent example in the past few weeks of the scripts that Verizon's 'account retention' departments use to try and wedge people into keeping their account longer. Those weren't just thrown together, those were made with careful research and years of experiments on customers and focus groups.

The only difference with what Facebook did and the rest do is that they shared their results with everyone. Was Facebook Unethical manipulating people the way they did? I think so, and I'm only less interested in the service after that scandal, but what they got them in trouble was sharing it with the rest of the world in a way that might have also done some honest good. Now they will learn from their mistakes, keep it to themselves, and use that research purely to manipulate people for higher profit and no one will say a thing.

Comment: DOWNLOAD (Score 2) 199

by Bo'Bob'O (#47160801) Attached to: To distress my enemies, I'd force on them ...

Ads that look like a download button. They have been getting better on that, locating it near the content and not having any other text around it except maybe a tiny (outside offer) or something similar nearby, if you are lucky.

It used to be that it was only pretty shady websites you'd see this on, but more and more I'm seeing this on supposedly reputable sites. Even Sorceforge. It's a massive loss of reputability in my mind.

Comment: Re:Overthinking it. (Score 1) 199

by Bo'Bob'O (#47160779) Attached to: To distress my enemies, I'd force on them ...

I hate marketing, I've gotten rid of cable and broadcast TV in favor of Netflix and other ad-free content. Much the same for music.

Yet despite having the option I've never turned off ads here on Slashdot; it's always in the same place, not massive or obtrusive, and generally somewhat relent to the content. I respect that they use the ads to support the site and I think this is one of the few commercial sites that respects me the same which is one reason I still come here after all these years. No massive page filling adds, moving ads, video ads, or any of the crap that is mentioned above. As long as it keeps that way, I won't turn off ads, and I'll even visit the sites sometimes when they are relevant to me.

If it ever changes from that, I'll probably just stop coming. Sure i could use adblock or the built in ad-blocking feature of the site, but if the owners don't respect me, why would I be interested in their services?

Comment: Oribtal does not have passangers in mind just yet (Score 1) 272

I don't believe that Orbital Sciences (now Orbital ATK as of last week) has any near-term plans for carrying people. Orbital's Antares rocket, which is what they use for the commercial cargo program for ISS, was only ever planned for cargo (And incidentally also uses Russian engines, the NK-33).

The Sierra Nevada Corporation is making their Dream Chaser spacecraft for manned flight, but it relies on the Atlas V as a launch vehicle.

So the only way we are going to get people into space without the Russians, before the SLS is done, is getting the Delta IV heavy human rated, or, SpaceX.

Comment: Re:Certain Disappointment (Score 2) 325

by Bo'Bob'O (#46873037) Attached to: <em>Star Wars: Episode VII</em> Cast Officially Announced

I think you're overselling StarTrek a bit. It was a silly action/adventure show with regular goofy fight scenes. It was though, a show that was written by people with an interest in core questions of humanity. On the good episodes that humanity shone through in a way that was novel for television. On the bad.. well, not so much.

I do agree that the show lost something in it's newest franchise and has become something else that I find isn't for me. Lets not kid ourselves on the source material though.

Comment: Bleeding Edge Victorian Consumer Technlogy (Score 1) 702

by Bo'Bob'O (#46791209) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

My grandmother has a petal operated singer sewing machine from the early 1930s that still works beautifully.

Sewing machines were a Victorian era household marvel, and really one of the first pieces of modern engineering technology that came into the home. Many were so well built it's not at all uncommon to find them still in great operating condition. You can easily find operating models from the 1800s in any antique store.

You're already carrying the sphere!