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Comment: Re:Google Plus Defined Itself As a Hazard (Score 1) 209

by Bo'Bob'O (#48876865) Attached to: Tracking Down How Many (Or How Few) People Actively Use Google+

I found the real-name policy to be a real negative too. I think it's perfectly reasonable to want a level of privacy on the web. Total anonymity is probably not possible from any sort of social media, and maybe not wholly desirable, but I think it's fully within my rights to have a part of my life that isn't in the view of the management at my work. Or that a teacher might not want her social life being just a web search away from young students. Or hell, maybe there are just things I'd rather not have my grandmother see.

The 'circles' thing was nice, but it's really just not much of a privacy wall.

Comment: Re:Try Again Next Time (Score 1) 248

by Bo'Bob'O (#48834131) Attached to: SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released

They don't have stock-holders or congressmen holding the purse strings to try and impress. They don't need to downplay or spin the outcome of a test flight because everyone involved knows that a good testing program will have some failures. And in fact finding new failure modes in early testing is better then not finding them at all.

So while to SpaceX this was a useful test; their stocks would be falling right now, sending bean counters into a panic were they publicly traded.

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

by Bo'Bob'O (#48814473) Attached to: Tesla To Produce 'a Few Million' Electric Cars a Year By 2025

If buying cars were simply a matter of price vs purely practical specifications, we'd all be driving Toyota Yaris or commercial vans. Nothing wrong with these vehicles, but sometimes people want to pay a little more to get a little something else or extra out of one of the items that is to most people one of their largest personal investments.

Yes, for a small few it might be a choice to seem trendy or fashionable.. but so what? For the vast majority of people interested there are many big picture and pragmatic reasons to want a car like this. Yet, the criticisms and concerns people often express about cars like the Tesla are far less superficial then what seems to be the average criteria most people use to put value on their gas powered cars.

Comment: Re:Airline anaolgy is incorrect (Score 1) 448

by Bo'Bob'O (#48759761) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

Considering that most channels seem to work under the model of "Get as much to fill the schedule for as little as possible" I'm not sure that very much of value will be lost.

Look at it another way: The Travel Channel hires many different producers for it's shows. If the travel channel goes away, the channels that survive will be eager to snatch up the shows from the Travel Channel people (hypothetically) actually watched while all the filler just dries up. So now you have channels competing with each other to get people to buy their channels (like HBO does now), rather then just hoping people land on their channels for an hour and see a few commercials before moving on.

I have a feeling that channels will probably stick better to their formats, too. If they drift away from what their core wants, they will have to try and re-market themselves for their new format while the original watchers maybe don't renew that channel the next time their contract comes around.

Comment: Re:What the hell is this guy smoking (Score 1) 235

by Bo'Bob'O (#48709387) Attached to: The Billionaires' Space Club

Even space launch economics aside, the dragon spacecraft can return cargo to earth from LEO.

This is a technology that only only a number of countries you can count on your fingers can do. Fewer still with anything actively doing it. Even if SpaceX stops developing tech tomorrow, it's still had an immediate impact the US and the world's ability to do research in space now and for years to come.

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: http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1407/27marstelecom/#.VANoxEi0b0c

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.

Utility is when you have one telephone, luxury is when you have two, opulence is when you have three -- and paradise is when you have none. -- Doug Larson

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