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Comment: Re:Please put up or shut up (Score 1) 284

by DerekLyons (#47505811) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

Why should anyone believe a person with a clear agenda, no access and no evidence?

That was my thought too... except I'd have added "and whose report contains so many assumptions, incorrect statements, and weasel words that even if I was inclined to believe the guy I'd be skeptical".

Comment: Re:NASA has become small indeed... (Score 4, Informative) 108

by DerekLyons (#47498345) Attached to: A Look At NASA's Orion Project

It took 8 years from Kennedy's speech in 1961 to a human on the moon in 1969. Not only did NASA get a moon rocket designed, tested, and launched in that time, it also got an intermediate rocket program (Gemini) designed, tested, and launched prior to the moon program.

From scratch.

Other than the part about Gemini... you're completely wrong. Development of the F1 engine started in 1956. The J-2 got started in 1959. Engineering studies and development of what would become the Apollo spacecraft and the Saturn V booster were well underway by 1960. There was also a ton of other R&D projects and nascent technologies from NASA and DoD programs then under way. (Apollo relied on chips developed for the DoD and a guidance system borrowed from a SLBM.) That's part of why Kennedy chose the moon landing as a goal over his other options we already had many of the pieces under development.
And you can't discount another critical factor - during the crucial startup period Apollo had a massive budget.

Now we're looking at (maybe) 11 years to develop a working rocket to go to an asteroid.

Space programs are like women, when you compare a fantasy (your massively romanticized and largely factually incorrect version of Apollo) to reality... it's unsurprising that reality doesn't measure up.

But the call of space comes from the same place the call of the sea arose from in the past. To Terra Incognita, where "Here Be Dragons." Sorry, there be no dragons around the space rock.

Nope. The call of the sea was "here there be PROFIT".

Comment: Re:no doubter here, I watched the launch (Score 1) 202

by DerekLyons (#47498281) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

a stunning achievement. from that effort came chips, medical telemetry, Lord only knows what.

In general, we got damm little back from the Apollo project. (Though NASA's PR department has spent decades telling us different.) Take chips for example - the only reason chips were available for Apollo is because someone had already built the fabs. (To sell chips to the DoD. But they got their timing wrong and the DoD wasn't buying big right then... leaving capacity available for Apollo.)

Comment: Re:10.10 per hour (Score 2) 757

by DerekLyons (#47494145) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

After necessities like food, rent, electricity, phone, transportation, clothing, and so on, it's going to take some wicked budgeting skills to have any disposable income at all.

So? It sucks to be poor. It's *always* sucked to be poor. It always *will* suck to be poor. You can't legislate that away.

Lack of living wage jobs is a problem. But so are the excessive expectations, created in part by our material culture and in part by the belief (created from whole cloth) that nobody should ever suffer because life is unfair nor have a life that sucks.

Comment: Re:advertising does NOT power the Internet (Score 1) 370

by DerekLyons (#47491475) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

I used the Internet, quite happily and successfully, for more than a decade, before HTTP (curse you, Tim Berners-Lee) began to intrude on the experience. I would be very happy to go back to those days. Throw in an IRC/FTP/RTP+RTSP "subscription" for content, and there's nothing I would miss.

Yet... here you are. And looking at your posting history, pretty regularly too.

The old adage about TV ("99 channels and nothing on") applies to the web, but with several orders more magnitude of noise to signal.

If there's "nothing on TV", then what exactly are you doing here? And seriously, In a day where there's practically nothing that's not got a web page and a user community somewhere... I suspect you're blowing smoke for the karma.

Comment: Re:Can we stop with the stereotypes? (Score 2) 125

by DerekLyons (#47491453) Attached to: Dungeons & Dragons' Influence and Legacy

The gaming community really doesn't need this old stereotype of gamers as uptight nerds who are scared to step outside the bounds of adult-imposed propriety. I played D&D in high school in the 1980s, but I found plenty of time for illin' like any other teenager.

Pretty much this. The same guys I played D&D with on Saturday afternoons in '80/'81 were the same guys I cruised the Stratford Strip with on Friday night and went (underage) drinking with on Saturday night. And the same guys who drove their cars waaay too fast on the back roads around Rural Hall. And went shooting the appliances folks had dropped in the woods off of Payne Road with. (And occasionally took a pot-shot at the old Payne place, which was rumored to be haunted.) In fact, the only real difference between semi-redneck gamers and the semi-rednecks non gamers around us was that we played D&D (and Traveller, and Boot Hill, and Gamma World, and... a whole bunch of other games vanished into the mists of time). The only time I recall one of us getting beat up was when one (not me) made an ill-chosen remark about someone's sister.
D&D and other fantasy and war games were also quite popular when I was in the Navy - and the submarine service is hardly a bastion of conformist nerds.

Comment: Re:And all because a copyright expired! (Score 1) 125

by DerekLyons (#47491379) Attached to: Dungeons & Dragons' Influence and Legacy

Correlation does not equal causation. And you've left out how Gygax and Arneson were avid wargamers, and how the first ruleset of what would become D&D was an expansion (by Gygax) of a medieval rule set by Jeff Perren... and how Arneson (an avid player of Napoleonic figures based wargames) further expanded on the concept.

"Who cares if it doesn't do anything? It was made with our new Triple-Iso-Bifurcated-Krypton-Gate-MOS process ..."