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Comment: Re:Wildly premature question (Score 1) 81

by Bruce Perens (#48620117) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

If we look at jet aircraft, wear depends on the airframe and the engines, and the airframe seems to be the number of pressurize/depressurize cycles as well as the running hours. Engines get swapped out routinely but when the airframe has enough stress it's time to retire the aircraft lest it suffer catastrophic failure. Rockets are different in scale (much greater stresses) but we can expect the failure points due to age to be those two, with the addition of one main rocket-specific failure point: cryogenic tanks.

How long each will be reliable can be established using ground-based environmental testing. Nobody has the numbers for Falcon 9R yet.

Weight vs. reusable life will become a design decision in rocket design.

Comment: Re:Sexual Harassment shouldn't cost us knowledge (Score 1) 416

by Chuck Chunder (#48579397) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

Deleting all of Cosby's TV shows and movies would still be wrong as they are a part of our cultural history.

No one is doing that though, there is a difference between no longer promoting something and erasing it from history.

To stretch the Cosby link further, you might (quite reasonably) think things Cosby did in the past are funny and even have value beyond pure humour, as social commentary etc. If that were the case and you know someone who had been abused by Cosby, would you choose to put a Cosby video on for them and expect them to find it an enjoyable experience?

That is the situation MIT is in. They aren't just dealing with 'theoretical' students who might somehow be deprived of some value that only those videos can impart. They are dealing with real students actually effected by the situation at hand.

If you wouldn't knowingly ask someone you care about to be entertained by someone who had abused them, why would you expect MIT to ask someone to be educated by someone who harassed them?

Comment: Re:Just wondering... (Score 1) 416

by Chuck Chunder (#48579327) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

If you can't separate presenter from content, that's your serious character flaw, leave the rest of us out of it.

If you were someone taking the course who had been harassed by him would you consider it a "serious character flaw" not to be able to "separate presenter from the content"?

I imagine a lot of people might find that difficult and wouldn't need to have a "serious character flaw" to struggle with it. I think it's entirely reasonable for MIT to ditch (and replace) the content if it means the effected people can continue on with their education without having the chap popping up in their courseware.

I don't think it makes sense to worry about the (theoretical) "students (...) punished by removing good lectures" and not consider the (evidently real) students actually effected by what has happened.

Comment: Re:Just wondering... (Score 1) 416

by Chuck Chunder (#48579029) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin
Probably not much for the average person.

However I think that if there are people he harassed taking the courses (or who might like to take further courses in future) then it isn't a bad idea to cut him out of them rather than ask those people to interact with him further, even relatively passively on video.

Even if the lectures are high quality, they probably aren't irreplaceable.

Comment: Re:Support the developers! (Score 1) 91

by docmordin (#48520507) Attached to: <em>Dragon Age: Inquisition</em> Reviewed and Benchmarked

God, you're an entitled prick. As far as arguments for not paying for software goes, your [argument] is by far one of the stupidest.

The child poster who first replied to your comment was not me, the parent poster.

To expand upon my original comment: I am not interested in paying for and using software that is tied to platforms and services that I do not want or need. In my opinion, Origin is a good example of such a platform for two reasons. The first is that it is a glorified game-launcher application. If I've purchased a physical copy of the game, I should not need to install and use Origin to simply run the game, especially if its integration with Origin is minimal. Secondly, Origin is a digital storefront dedicated solely to a small catalog of EA products.

In contrast, I find platforms like Steam to be useful. For the most part, I'm able to launch and play games outside of the Steam service. As well, Steam offers a broad selection of products from a number of publishers. The fact that they offer massive sales throughout the year is also appealing, though tangential to the discussion.

Since EA has refused to release any of its newer games on Steam or other distribution platforms, there four options: (i) don't play the game, (ii) pirate the game and use a crack to get around the Origin requirement, (iii) pay for the game and crack it to get around the Origin requirement, or (iv) pay for the game and install/use Origin. Option (iv) is unappealing, as I do not wish to use Origin. Option (iii) is the one with the best intent; however, it is an unlawful choice due to circumventing the application protections. Moreover, in giving money to EA, I am reinforcing their use of Origin. Option (ii) is also unlawful. In this case, there are three possible side effects: (i) EA starts more tightly integrating their games with Origin, making cracking much more difficult or impossible, (ii) EA stops targeting computer gamers, or (iii) EA opens up their catalog to compensate for lost sales. This last side effect, while appealing, is unlikely.

Since EA started bundling their games with Origin, I have consistently chosen option (i) and will continue to do so in the future. If I had an overwhelming desire to play the game, which is not likely to happen, I would either go with option (ii) or an altered version of option (iii). I don't disagree with your assertion that this is an entitled viewpoint. However, it is not one on which I have acted.

Comment: Wikipedia the vector (Score 1) 61

by Bruce Perens (#48386659) Attached to: Researchers Forecast the Spread of Diseases Using Wikipedia

Like others I found the headline confusing. I read it as "Researchers are predicting the use of Wikipedia as a vector for the spread of disease". This may mean that:

  • Disinformation and ignorance are diseases.
  • Memes and computer viruses are diseases.
  • Wilipedia contains information that leads to depression.
  • Instructions on Wikipedia lead to substance abuse.
  • This is getting entertaining, fill in your own reason here.

Comment: Re:Well... no. (Score 2) 126

by Chuck Chunder (#48306195) Attached to: Flaw in New Visa Cards Would Let Hackers Steal $1M Per Card

True, but how is that any different to the normal situation where the maximum amount is £20?

Arguably it could make the attack more worthwhile. The effort and hit rate involved might not make it worthwhile at low ticket amount (might as well have a real job) but could be worthwhile as the money starts going up.

Realistically though it sounds like the attacker needs a merchant account to benefit (and presumably enough legitimate volume to hide the fraudulent transactions in without raising suspicions). From the sounds of it the biggest problem would occur if you were actually overseas and you were using your card in cafes and the like. Then perhaps an unscrupulous vendor might be able to get close enough to charge your card without you noticing and you might not notice it as fraudulent when you got your statement.

"I've seen it. It's rubbish." -- Marvin the Paranoid Android