It sounds like the plan is for this ship to be the first of several, so the question is how much of that $20 billion investment is for upfront costs (design, shipyard upgrades, construction equipment) that will not be duplicated in subsequent ships. As it is, the first ship looks to probably at least break even or even make a decent profit (provided it works as expected) with bigger profits hopefully to follow. I am sure these numbers have been gone over very carefully. You don't make an investment this large on a whim.
I have driven that stretch in eastern Montana many times, and I have also driven that stretch of road in Texas. One thing the article doesn't mention about that toll road in Texas is that it was very expensive -- over $5 if I remember correctly. I tried it once not knowing the cost, and it was a lot of fun to drive on. But for that price, I can see why so few people use it, especially since you have to go out of your way. I was on my way from San Antonio to Dallas, so I didn't mind skipping Austin.
As for eastern Montana, the countryside is very open with gently rolling hills and long stretches of mostly straight sections of Interstate. Very often, you will not be able to see a vehicle in either direction (and just as often, no more than one or two buildings either), so the temptation to cruise is very high. Any wildlife can be seen from miles away, and there are very few trees. My only concern would be raising the speed limit on the western side of the state where there are more mountains and forests. There are some highways with 70 mph limits with limited visibility (both on the road and in the underbrush around) that makes for dangerous driving. As long as they take these things into account, it makes perfect sense. Montana already takes over a day's driving. just to get across.
You (The US) already spends the most on education per student then any other nation and yet have some of the worst test results.
That may be true, but it's not going to teachers!. (Link describes North Carolina, but I think the same is true elsewhere.)
I don't think "throwing money at it" will make it better. Sure, teachers will take home more money but the test results clearly show this doesnt improve the quality of education.
This study disagrees.
Not as long as it (would) take Linux to offer a really good Desktop solution.
Yeah, Microsoft made a really good desktop solution and then developed a really broken one. Take that, Linux!
Suing the companies that might be able to buy you out is not an uncommon way to start the negotiations.
The article says that most of the galaxies are moving apart, but the Local Group is moving closer. Why would the local group be different than the other galaxies? Are there other groups of galaxies that are seeing the same effect, or is the Local Group an anomaly?
ULA prefers Atlas V because it is more profitable for them. But it uses engines from Russia.
The Russian engines are purchased from a company with ties to one of the people targeted by US sanctions against Russia... so the judge has granted the injunction to prevent purchasing those Russian engines.
ULA has a stockpile of some Russian engines already, and they have the (less profitable for them) Delta IV if they can't launch Atlas V for any reason... and running out of engines would be one of those reasons. But ULA would prefer to continue buying engines. But we've been paying them to have both rockets available, so they'd better be able to show up with what they've promised.
Separate from this injunction, SpaceX is asking for a review of the large block by of ULA cores, as it was done just before (a few days before) one of the final milestones of SpaceX being qualified to launch for the air force. I think it's not unreasonable for them to say that it's unacceptable to do a huge purchase when if you wait for a few days you would have multiple vendors competing for the bid.
Even John McCain thinks that contract smells fishy: link
- More registers (16->32)
- DP SIMD
- New instructions for crypto
and a handfull of other things. But all of the above aren't really benefits of 64 bitness, just the improvements to the architecture. The real benefit of a 64 bit architecture is the larger virtual address space... processes with >2-3 GB of memory. Every other improvement is usually just improvements that could have been added in 32-bit mode but they threw into 64 bit arch. Similar with x86-64.
My total compensation as a qualified Engineer is similar to the average compensation for a doctor. I think that's reasonable. It's very hard to fill positions right now.
It's like literacy or numeracy or basic understanding of science. You have a problem as a culture if it is culturally acceptable to say "I can't do math" or "I can't understand written language" or "I have no idea about the universe around me or how people go about understanding it" or "I can't read or write logical directions."
Do you expect everyone to be a best-selling novelist (or a writer that is enjoyed for all history?) No.
Do you expect everyone to be the next Ramanujan? No.
Do you expect everyone to be the next Knuth? No.
But it is expected that everyone have basic skills in these kinds of things. It's just necessary to understand the world. If you don't understand these kinds of things -- if you don't have basic skills in language or mathematics or logic -- then you are at a disadvantage in modern society.
I group computer science'logic here separate from Mathematics. Perhaps it shouldn't be. But having a population that doesn't understand things like this shuold be considered as problematic as a population that can not read and write.
A car that drives itself is responsible for itself.
Who pays in the event of an accident is the driver. In this case, the car. Probably the manufacturer would be liable.
Manufacturers will probably get insurance for the car when driven autonomously. If self-driving cars are safer, this should be a lower insurance rate than you pay now. Additionally, self-driving cars will probably have sensor input that will prove/disprove fault.