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Comment: Re:Websites have to be paid for... (Score 1) 153

ads != doubleclick.

There are ways for sites to include advertising without surrendering their site to third-party-hosted malware. Many ways which aren't even blocked by adblockers by default. It's a bit more work for them than just using doubleclick/etc, but it's worth it.

So you're really saying that all the stupid/lazy sites will die off or retire behind paywalls. Surely that's "mission fucking accomplished."

(I'm constantly amazed that newspaper and TV-network sites mindless use doubleclick/etc for their websites, even though they have large advertising/marketing departments for their non-web products. You are already paying for an ad department! You already have a network of advertisers! You already have their actual ad-content on file! Why are you giving money to another company to do what you already do yourself and have done for over half a century?)

Comment: Re:Final Cut Pro library (Score 1) 267

by FatLittleMonkey (#47915393) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

No. Digital content needs to be worked. Digital archives are a certain path to unreadable formats, corrupted files, failed electronics, etc. It's different with archiving paper/film/etc, where constant handling reduces lifespan and data decays in a "human friendly" way. USBs, harddrives, DVDs, all shitty archive material unless they are being constantly used (and thus checked) and copied and themselves backed up.

Even with a archive folder(s) on an active drive, every few years you need to check that the formats are still readable, and that the player/editor software still works on your current system and/or that newer player/editors play the older files. And periodically convert the data to newer formats (by all means keep the old to avoid lossy conversion to short lifespan formats.) And it all gets backed up with your normal backup regime, which itself is a system that gets periodically updated because it's in regular use.

Comment: Re:An EMP from a super solar flare... (Score 1) 151

by FatLittleMonkey (#47895037) Attached to: To prepare for a coronal mass ejection, I ...

What exactly is that first component?

Ionisation of the upper atmosphere creates a cloud of relativistically accelerated electrons which the Earth's magnetic field causes to flow (or rather, to slam) back into the ground. That creates a RF pulse so sharp that it creates a voltage potential across any electronics or electrical devices, no matter how well protected against surges. It is sharp enough to create a voltage potential across a Faraday cage, removing the cage's protective effect. (And if you've seen Faraday cages resist lightning, you'll get an idea how fast this pulse is. It makes lightning look slow.)

The second component is slower, and apparently more like lightning. So at distance, a simple surge protector is enough. Closer, a Faraday cage will do the job. The third component is more like a geomagnetic storm, long wave RF that overloads long antennas (such as power lines). Pulling the plug is enough to protect you. Hell, your normal breakers or fuses should also suffice. The risk there is the destruction of the power grid over a large area.

Is there any way an average Joe can protect his electronics from it? Or is the only defense, "pray that a nuke won't detonate above your region"?

Rad-hardened electronics will shorten the distance that you are vulnerable. But mostly it's just about putting bulk mass between you and the EMP. And your basement isn't enough, due to the metal lines running from above (power/plumbing/strapping/etc). So basically that means the answer is bunkers.

It's always bunkers.

Comment: Re:An EMP from a super solar flare... (Score 1) 151

by FatLittleMonkey (#47888161) Attached to: To prepare for a coronal mass ejection, I ...

There are three components to a nuclear EMP. One affects electronics and can punch though a Faraday cage, one affects electronics but can be stopped by a Faraday cage, and one which affects power lines and a Faraday cage for individual devices is overkill. The range of each component is an order of magnitude greater than the previous.

A geomagnetic storm (from a Carrington Event scale CME) only produces the third component. It won't affect your harddrive unless it's plugged into a wall-socket and you're really, really unlucky.

Comment: Re:Can someone explain to me (Score 1) 123

by FatLittleMonkey (#47876753) Attached to: SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

NASA hasn't incrementally developed spacecraft for decades. Their obsession with one-off throw-away designs is a major annoyance of mine.

So the topic was human vs robotic. And it's clear that removing the human element has done nothing to reduce the cost of programs like JWST. On the contrary, it's blown the cost out by over 300%.

Step-wise, incremental development would lower costs no matter what program you are talking about, manned or unmanned.

Comment: Re:Continuous competition = best (Score 2) 123

by FatLittleMonkey (#47876093) Attached to: SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

neither the government nor either company could afford that. NASA has to pick one and fund it.

Can you explain the logic behind that?

If the launches are fixed price, it costs NASA a fixed price per-launch whether they have one vendor or ten. If one vendor (say, Boeing) can't compete, they'll drop out and their launches will go to other vendors who can.

Dropping back to a single vendor on a cost-plus contract is the most expensive option.

Comment: Re:Can someone explain to me (Score 3, Insightful) 123

by FatLittleMonkey (#47875787) Attached to: SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

OTOH, the cost of JWST has blown out even further than Hubble (approx $9b, from an initial budget below $2b) precisely because there's no human servicing, which means everything in the overly-complex design must deploy perfectly or the entire mission is a bust. Eliminating the added cost of making the spacecraft serviceable is more than made up for by making the need to ensure the spacecraft can't fail.

So "the science guys" aren't a guarantee of savings, once a robotic mission becomes the flagship program and everyone tries to latch on to the teat to fund their idiotic ideas.

The problem with HSF at NASA is the legacy of Apollo, the hundred thousand employees and contractors, the scattered NASA centres and even more scattered contractor networks, which all make HSF unaffordable. (For example, the annual cost of the Shuttle program was the same regardless of how many missions they flew that year, 6, 4, 2 or none. The annual budget for operating the completed ISS is, by amazing coincidence, exactly the same as the annual budget during the construction, which was by yet another amazing coincidence, exactly the same as the annual budget during the last four years of development.)

By developing private human space-flight, we can reduce the cost of doing on-orbit repairs until it's cheaper to send humans to fix something than to write off the spacecraft and send up a new one.

Comment: Re:Decisions, Decisions... (Score 1) 123

by FatLittleMonkey (#47875331) Attached to: SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

How would SpaceX man-rate Dragon if they aren't selected by NASA given that man-rating space vehicles has always been done by NASA?

It's been done by NASA because NASA was the only body in the US flying humans into space.

Private spaceflight will be regulated by the FAA.

[Looking at FAA's rules for sub-orbital flights, it looks like they are going hands-off initially. Once there are enough commercial HSF accidents to find patterns, they'll start to add rules to eliminate some of the worst cowboy practices. (Same as happened for commercial air travel.)]

Comment: Re:Decisions, Decisions... (Score 5, Interesting) 123

by FatLittleMonkey (#47875273) Attached to: SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

Also, SpaceX is trying to commercialise their systems. Boeing has no interest in anything except the NASA contract. That means that, if Bigelow achieves their goal, SpaceX will not only be flying to ISS, but also to private Bigelow stations. That's a secondary career for astronauts, and an alternative career path for NASA's astronaut-candidates who didn't make the cut.

And for that reason, there's nothing "safe" about choosing Boeing's capsule. That's just spin from Boeing's own PR pukes lobbying for funding. Boeing is the furthest behind of the three main participants. It is the most expensive. It will have the least flight time. It will have no upgrade path, and every development will need to be funded entirely by NASA, at increasing costs as it mutates back into a cost-plus program. Boeing has put it none of its own funding into the project, unlike every other participant, and has been lobbying behind the scenes to remove the current Commercial Crew NASA team and replace them with a traditional NASA cost-plus management structure.

Boeing is poison for Commercial Crew, a cuckoo in the nest. The sooner they are excluded from the program, the better.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.