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Submission + - Farewell, Rocketplane (

DynaSoar writes: Farewell RocketPlane, We Hardly Flew You...

What started out as a dream of rockets in the Oklahoma sky and money flowing from space enthusiasts has finally ended. George French Jr., owner of Rocketplane Global, decided a mountain of debt and expectations of the same altitude were too much to burden and filed for bankruptcy .

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy papers were filed June 15, one each for three separate companies — Rocketplane Inc., the parent company, and its subsidiaries Rocketplane Global and Rocketplane Kistler — and a personal bankruptcy filing by French himself. Rocketplane Global was the space tourism company, while Rocketplane Kistler was set up to handle a NASA contract to build a rocket ship for carrying cargo to the International Space Station. The company was awarded the contract in 2006, but NASA pulled the contract a year later due to the company’s failure of meeting financial deadlines.

The news was made public immediately, of course. But it spread very slowly, taking 3 weeks to make it to 'enthusiasts' media. This is probably because it was no surprise — the financial woes were public all along. Also, Kistler, despite marvelous design and prototype work, tended towards this same end. In fact it's how Kistler, Inc. became as subsidiary of Rocketplane.


Submission + - What Not To Buy? (

DynaSoar writes: SmartMoney is carrying an article entitled "What Not To Buy In 2010". They take 10 brief looks at current products and services and evaluate them according to their version of impending obsolescence, which seems as though it's based more on what companies will have increasing or decreasing profits than whether the items will still be viable in the business sense. Intentional or not, bias is quite visible in this article, such as touting Netflix and other on demand services over DVDs, with a Netflix advertisement next to that paragraph, but this too is business oriented. Not examined is whether these things will still give the owners what they paid for despite this obsolescence, consideration of the technical aspects of the question. My questions to the Slashdot readership are which of these (or what other consumer electronics items or services) are likely to decline significantly in the business sense and/or become a bad purchasing decision in the coming year, and which of these things becoming obsolete in the business sense will become obsolete to the end user vs. which will continue to be useful for the expected lifetime of that item.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.