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Comment: Re:They nailed it 500 years ago (Score 1) 31

by iluvcapra (#47446785) Attached to: How To Fix The Shortage of K-5 Scholastic Chess Facilitators

Careful, Richard Feynman once said something very similar about computer programming:

Well, Mr. Frankel, who started this program, began to suffer from the computer disease that anybody who works with computers now knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is you *play* with them. They are so wonderful. You have these switches - if it's an even number you do this, if it's an odd number you do that - and pretty soon you can do more and more elaborate things if you are clever enough, on one machine.

After a while the whole system broke down. Frankel wasn't paying any attention; he wasn't supervising anybody. The system was going very, very slowly - while he was sitting in a room figuring out how to make one tabulator automatically print arc-tangent X, and then it would start and it would print columns and then bitsi, bitsi, bitsi, and calculate the arc-tangent automatically by integrating as it went along and make a whole table in one operation.

Absolutely useless. We *had* tables of arc-tangents. But if you've ever worked with computers, you understand the disease - the *delight* in being able to see how much you can do. But he got the disease for the first time, the poor fellow who invented the thing.

Comment: Re:Ranges from bad to terrible ping times (Score 1) 75

Won't argue with actual ping rates through Iridium. Merely pointing out that the lightspeed limits on the ping rate is in the vicinity of 75 ms. The rest of that is hardware issues, not issues with the satellites being so very far away. Note that a straight up-down-up-down query-response using only one Iridium satellite should have a FOUR millisecond round trip at lightspeed.

Comment: Re:Triangle (Score 1) 75

I did. I assumed an upward leg to a satellite near the horizon, relay through five other satellites to the other side of the planet, then a downward leg. Then back.

Note that I was only discussing speed of light lag, not lag caused by archaic hardware and other problems that apply equally well to links NOT using satellites.

In other words, a satellite link should be ~75 ms worse than a wireless link that doesn't go through a satellite.

Assuming satellites using Iridium's orbits, of course. A geosynchronous satellite would have MUCH worse ping rates, if only because you have ~500 ms for a straight up-down-up-down query-response loop, even without having to relay to other satellites.

Comment: Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (Score 1) 86

by CrimsonAvenger (#47437571) Attached to: Lyft's New York Launch Halted By Restraining Order

This is the reason why people have so much debt: the entire economy has become a "competitive market" where those participating in it - employees - barely survive, no matter how much it produces.

No, people have so much debt because they insist on buying things they can't afford. No, you really don't NEED a Tesla. Or even a new car. A five-year-old used car will do fine. Nor do you NEED the latest tech toy. Etc, etc, etc.

Now, admittedly, Fed policy with regard to the Housing Bubble (basically, pump money into the economy until the height of the bubble is the new normal) has driven housing prices to nearly unsustainable levels, at least till the inflation in housing prices spreads more generally through the economy over the next five years or so.

Comment: Re:Ranges from bad to terrible ping times (Score 1) 75

ping times are going to vary from bad (Iridium) to very bad (nearly half way the the moon for geostationary),

Two things:

Iridium orbit is ~780 km. Which means worst case ping times (due to the satellites) should be around 75 ms.

Geostationary orbit is 35786 km up. Lunar orbit is 384400 km up. Note that "less than one tenth" is NOT "nearly halfway".

+ - Mars (One) Needs Payloads->

Submitted by mbone
mbone (558574) writes "Mars One has announced that their first, unmanned, lander, targeted for 2018, needs payloads. Along with their 4 experiments, and a University experiment, they have two payloads for hire :

Mars One offers two payload opportunities for paying mission contributors. Proposals can take the form of scientific experiments, technology demonstrations, marketing and publicity campaigns, or any other suggested payload. “Previously, the only payloads that have landed on Mars are those which NASA has selected,” said Bas Lansdorp, “We want to open up the opportunity to the entire world to participate in our mission to Mars by sending a certain payload to the surface of Mars.”

The formal Request for Proposals for all of this is out now as well."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Why is Obama doing this . . . ? (Score 2) 215

You may not know this, but the President of the United States doesn't have an office in the NSA, and doesn't have direct access to their leadership or decision-making.

Actually, he DOES have direct access to their leadership and decision-making. He's the PRESIDENT!

All he needs to do is pick up his phone and call the NSA Director, tell him to get his ass over to the White House RIGHT NOW, and, lo, the NSA Director will be heading toward the White House.

Then he tells the NSA Director words to the effect of "Stop this shit, right the F**k now!", and lo, it will be stopped.

And if that doesn't work, there's the "Fire him, right now" option. Like when Truman fired MacArthur back in the day.

Remember, he's the President. Head of the Executive Branch. Which includes both CIA and NSA. They all work for HIM, not the other way around.

The fact that this is still going on does not show a lack of power on the part of Obama, it shows agreement with this on the part of Obama.

Comment: Re:To what end? (Score 1) 215

Germany wants its own trade deals in private.

While you can negotiate a trade deal privately, it's pretty much impossible to operate one privately. After all, at least one other country has to know the details, and most (if not all) of the economic effects are easily detectable....

Comment: Re:My daughter (Score 1) 200

I have a daughter born in 1999.

A bit younger than my daughter, so your daughter has a higher chance than mine (and my kid's chances are non-zero) of living in three different centuries (20th, 21st, 22nd).

I'm thinking that noone has ever done that (unless you count some Biblical codgers)....

Comment: Re:Good news (Score 2) 94

by CrimsonAvenger (#47424833) Attached to: Single European Copyright Title On the Horizon

Corporate tax avoidance?

Would that be like when you take your Standard Deduction (or Itemized, as appropriate for you) on your Income Taxes?

Or deduct your VAT, if applicable?

Do try to remember that "tax avoidance" is synonymous with "didn't pay any more taxes than legally obligated to". What it does NOT mean is "broke the law by paying less taxes than the law requires"....

Comment: Re:Or (Score 1) 387

by CrimsonAvenger (#47417821) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

Why do we need a climate change bullshit bogey man to get politicians to stop blocking natural progress?

Well, mostly because you dropped an even bigger bogeyman into your argument - "nuclear". That word produces even more hysteria and foaming at the mouth than AGW does. By different people, mind you, since the people generally doing the most yelling that we need to do something about AGW tend to be the ones who panic at the thought of anything nuclear....

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.