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Comment: Final Tally (Score 5, Informative) 292 292

by Areyoukiddingme (#50006697) Attached to: A Failure For SpaceX: Falcon 9 Explodes During Ascension

Ariane 1 - second and fifth launches failed
Ariane 2 - only 6 launches, first failed
Ariane 3 - fifth launch failed
Ariane 4 - eighth launch failed
Ariane 5 - first launch failed, two partial failures in first 11
Atlas A - only 8 launches, 5 failed
Atlas B - only 10 launches, 3 failed
Atlas C - only 6 launches, 2 failed
Delta - first launch failed
Delta II - first nineteen successful, partial failure on the 42nd launch which substantially reduced the satellite's operational lifespan (55th was first total failure)
Falcon 1 - only five launches, first three failed
Falcon 9 - nineteenth launch failed (Secondary payload on the 4th launch aborted as a precaution)
Long March 1 - only 2 launches, both successful
Long March 2 - first launch failed
Long March 3 - no complete failures in first 11, but 1 and 8 were partial failures
N-1 - only four launches, all failed horribly
Proton - third launch failed
Proton-K - second, third, fourth and sixth launches failed
Proton-M - eleventh launch failed
Saturn I - only ten launches, all successful
Saturn IB - only nine launches, all successful (unless you count Apollo 1 - it didn't launch but still killed three astronauts)
Saturn V - second launch (Apollo 6) failed, Apollo 13 doesn't count because it was a payload, not launcher, failure
Soyuz - third launch failed, with fatalities
Soyuz-U - seventh launch failed
Soyuz-FG - first nineteen launches successful (all 49 to date completely successful, including lots and lots of astronauts delivered to ISS)
Space Shuttle - nineteenth launch a partial failure (ATO) (25th was first total failure)
Titan I - fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth and tenth launches failed
Titan II - ninth and eleventh launches failed
Titan III - first and sixth launches failed
Titan IV - seventh launch failed
Zenit-2 - first and second launches failed

It was a good run, but the game is over. Falcon 9 slots in to the rankings as fourth in the history of rocket development, with a success record exceeded only by Shuttle, Soyuz-FG, and Delta II.

Maybe Falcon 9 Heavy will have better luck.

Comment: Final Tally (Score 2) 49 49

by Areyoukiddingme (#50006569) Attached to: Weather Promising for Sunday Morning SpaceX Launch

Ariane 1 - second and fifth launches failed
Ariane 2 - only 6 launches, first failed
Ariane 3 - fifth launch failed
Ariane 4 - eighth launch failed
Ariane 5 - first launch failed, two partial failures in first 11
Atlas A - only 8 launches, 5 failed
Atlas B - only 10 launches, 3 failed
Atlas C - only 6 launches, 2 failed
Delta - first launch failed
Delta II - first eighteen successful, partial failure on the 42nd launch which substantially reduced the satellite's operational lifespan (55th was first total failure)
Falcon 1 - only five launches, first three failed
Falcon 9 - first eighteen launches successful (Secondary payload on the 4th launch aborted as a precaution, 19th was first total failure)
Long March 1 - only 2 launches, both successful
Long March 2 - first launch failed
Long March 3 - no complete failures in first 11, but 1 and 8 were partial failures
N-1 - only four launches, all failed horribly
Proton - third launch failed
Proton-K - second, third, fourth and sixth launches failed
Proton-M - eleventh launch failed
Saturn I - only ten launches, all successful
Saturn IB - only nine launches, all successful (unless you count Apollo 1 - it didn't launch but still killed three astronauts)
Saturn V - second launch (Apollo 6) failed, Apollo 13 doesn't count because it was a payload, not launcher, failure
Soyuz - third launch failed, with fatalities
Soyuz-U - seventh launch failed
Soyuz-FG - first eighteen launches successful (all 46 to date completely successful, including lots and lots of astronauts delivered to ISS)
Space Shuttle - first eighteen successful (19th was first partial failure (ATO), 25th was first full failure)
Titan I - fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth and tenth launches failed
Titan II - ninth and eleventh launches failed
Titan III - first and sixth launches failed
Titan IV - seventh launch failed
Zenit-2 - first and second launches failed

It was a good run, but the game is over. Falcon 9 slots in to the rankings as fourth in the history of rocket development, with a success record exceeded only by Shuttle, Soyuz-FG, and Delta II.

Maybe Falcon 9 Heavy will have better luck.

Comment: Re:Competition (Score 1) 45 45

Basically I have an "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude. I don't think this proposed satellite service has an obvious natural customer base. Wouldn't mind being wrong but I just don't see it.

It very much depends on what they manage to do for the customer end. If they perform some voodoo when doing antenna design (MIMO included), the customer device could be the size and formfactor of a smartphone. From what I've been hearing out of the RF people, this is not out of the question. Between MIMO antennas on the ground and a phased array on the satellite, some dark magic becomes possible. Whether or not either SpaceX or OneWeb manages to implement such a thing remains to be seen. If they do.... It opens up many many possibilities, not least of which is competing with cellular carriers (another market where there's little love lost from customers).

You have to remember, in LEO, where an individual satellite completes an entire orbit in ~90 minutes, the ground station does not have a dish. Dishes are for talking to geosynchronous orbit, not low earth orbit. GSO satellites stay put, from the perspective of the ground, so you can aim your dish and be done with it. LEO satellites zip past you so quickly that your uplink is being handed off between satellites at least every half hour, and it could be as often as every few minutes, especially with a constellation as gigantic as the one SpaceX intends to loft. You could use a dish to talk to them, but it would be a hazard to anyone nearby as it tracks across the sky, then abruptly reaims itself to switch satellites.

In addition, LEO means the satellite can detect your transmission vastly more easily. Radio suffers from the inverse square law, so a satellite 1100 kilometers up (SpaceX's intended altitude) can hear you much more easily than a satellite 35786 kilometers up. The power density price of 1/(34686)^2 is brutal.

So no dishes. Smartphones, not dishes. Lots more potential customers.

I agree, Comcast (and every other cable provider) can trivially boost the bandwidth available to their customers. We know for a fact that all of their whining and crying about people daring to use the service they paid for is pure theater. They're fantastically profitable. Providing 10 times the throughput is just flipping a software setting. They know it, and I think they're counting on it for just this eventuality. It's their ace up their sleeve for smashing a competitor, just as you say.

For some people, that's enough to get them to stay. But consider this. All any competitor has to do is be something less offensive than a freewheeling asshole and if their product is even remotely broadband, it WILL attract customers who already have a broadband ISP. Because most of the existing broadband ISPs are freewheeling assholes. Add on VOIP calls on a portable device the same size and shape as the smartphone they already have? That works worldwide, with no "can you hear me now" games outside of parking structures? There's a reason there's now more than one company trying out this business plan. The numbers work out, and there's a larger market than the purely unserved population.

Comment: Re:Those took constitutional amendments (Score 1) 1052 1052

by Areyoukiddingme (#49998775) Attached to: Supreme Court Ruling Supports Same-Sex Marriage

The same is not true for a constitutional amendment -- which is how many other major rights were endowed.

The constitution does not endow rights. The constitution delineates most rights mainly by restricting the government's ability to interfere. It explicitly states that its purpose is to restrict government, and anything not mentioned in it is retained by the states and the citizens.

This decision rests on the Equal Protection Clause, which is a part of the 14th Amendment, which most definitely went through a legislative process, so I have a hard time seeing where you're coming from. Any future Supreme Court would have to go through some serious contortions to undue this ruling so long as the 14th Amendment stands.

Comment: Re:Tell me who the typical customer is (Score 2) 45 45

Anybody who would use this service is going to be WAY out in the boonies and there simply aren't huge numbers of people who live that remotely, who need and can afford fast internet service and who can be reached economically to sell them the necessary equipment.

I think you are underestimating just how desperate people are to get out from under Comcast's thumb. If OneWeb and/or SpaceX can operate in the US at all (and presumably they will be getting the necessary spectrum), both of them will be able to pick up a LOT of Comcast refugees, many of whom will be from urban areas. If they have anything like comparable bandwidth, they could make a huge dent in Comcast subscriber numbers. From what we've been hearing, these satellite systems stand a very good chance of being latency competitive with any land-based ISP that likes to meddle with customer traffic, and Comcast tops the list of meddlers. So reasonable latency and competitive bandwidth (which isn't hard, despite inflated claims by Comcast) would finally give entrenched monopolies and duopolies some competition.

It could be very interesting.

Comment: Re:The future is coming. (Score 1) 213 213

If you don't see lower costs, it's probably because either the market has decided to utilize the tech to make products better rather than cheaper, or because there is no real competition in the market.

Yeah, about that...

The process has received eight patents and has 75 additional patents under review...

Guaranteed no competition for 20 years. More, if they successfully game the system with submarine patents. (And you can bet some of those 75 will turn out to be submarines.)

But rejoice! The patent system has spurred innovation! A manufacturing technique created with research paid for largely by taxes will now proceed to charge the public all the traffic will bear! For a generation! Maybe two! It's fantastic! And efficient! And more superlatives!

Yeah, it's nice that there's a new battery technology. You and I will never own one.

They are initially aiming at the power company market, thus huge batteries with huge price tags.

Theirs. Not yours. Not already rich? Shut up and pay your bills.

Comment: Re:Super-car? (Score 1) 131 131

by Areyoukiddingme (#49991789) Attached to: 3D Printed Supercar Chassis Unveiled

Also, this will never be able to be put on the road in most US states without drastically changing the look of the front end. Most states have a minimum headlight height of 22 inches and some have a 24 inch minimum.

Thank you for that. I thought there was some such limit, but I wasn't sure, so I didn't cite it along with the other list of street-legal fails.

I had heard that the majority of kit cars were tube frame construction, but I figured that was because tube frame parts pack into a much smaller space for shipping than unibody and unibody assembly requires really long welds that most people shouldn't be doing by hand.

Also as someone else pointed out, tube frame doesn't necessarily mean space frame. I see all mention of space frames have been eradicated, so that was probably overstated. Now we know it's just a tube frame, and there are any number of dune buggy owners who can vouch that some designs are terribly inferior to others. It remains to be seen which this is.

Comment: Re:Super-car? (Score 3, Interesting) 131 131

by Areyoukiddingme (#49982747) Attached to: 3D Printed Supercar Chassis Unveiled

I'm not sure I'd call this a super-car per se.

It definitely isn't. It's not street legal anywhere in the world that can afford to buy it (with the possible exception of Dubai). It has no side indicator lights, no side rearview mirrors, and while there are no photos of the rear of the vehicle, I'd be willing to bet it doesn't have the required center brake light. I have a sneaking suspicion that it would perform miserably in crash tests as well. Space frame construction is so rigid that a vehicle built with it tends to injure or kill its occupants (or occupant, in this case) in a collision at much higher rates than other designs, for lack of crumple zones.

I'd also like to see skid pad, slalom numbers, etc.

So would I. Space frames don't resist torsional stress very well, which is outright dangerous for high speed handling. You called it a track car. I'll go even farther, and call it a drag strip car. It doesn't sound suitable even for a track, let alone a street. Somebody else commented about the styling "straight out of a kid's calendar" and it definitely looks and sounds like a kid with too much money said "I wanna make a super awesome car! With 3D printing!!!111eleven" and neglected to talk to any mechanical engineers who had been involved in designing actual street legal, street capable cars. They may make 10,000 of them, but they won't look like the thing in the pictures.

In short, it looks like the concept cars that came out of Detroit for decades that never went into production because they were illegal or dangerous or both.

Comment: Re:Little does we know... (Score 2) 167 167

by Areyoukiddingme (#49982177) Attached to: Elon Musk Probably Won't Be the First Martian

The main character is a "scientist" who doesn't use a single scientific term, instead using 50s pop-sci-fi style terms like "Oxygenator".

<snip>
Uuuh. That was a great rant about a book I never want to read. But the GGP was referring to Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. Not... whatever that was.

Comment: Re:A mixed bag (Score 1) 490 490

microTodd corrected one of your major misapprehensions, about LEGO's profitability, but not your worst one.

It's just that they realized they could make even more money at the expense of children's development.

Here you are just wrong. There have been a couple of studies that show that girl children who play with LEGO as little as once per week get such a boost to their spatial reasoning skills that they equal boys. Very young children start out with roughly equal spatial reasoning abilities. A gap begins to develop quite early, and most girls never catch back up.

Until now. Now that LEGO is gender-inclusive, many more little girls will not fall behind in spatial reasoning. They will stay equal with their male peers. It took pastel bricks and cute plastic animals to do it, but it's done now, and LEGO has singlehandedly done more positive good for children's development than any other organization in the past 3 years.

Gender-neutral is stupid and unrealistic. Gender-inclusive is the way forward, for all of us.

Comment: Re:A mixed bag (Score 2) 490 490

What we need is for advertisers to go back to showing girls playing with non-pink stuff, like Lego did before about 1985.

LEGO did that for more than 40 years and it did them no good at all.

LEGO's gender-inclusive advertising was worthless because the product didn't appeal to girls no matter how hard they tried to artificially interest girls. Boys like primary colors. Girls like pastels. Boys play with vehicles as readily as they play with characters. Girls play with characters and creatures almost exclusively, and ignore vehicles. Boys play with the outside of structures (think attack on the castle). Girls play with the inside of structures (think living in the castle). Boys are fine with characters who are defined by their occupation (cowboy, astronaut, firefighter). Girls want characters with names and stories of their own, with occupation a very distant third. Boys play with machines and mechanical things. Girls play with people and animals and organic things.

LEGO is now gender-inclusive in fact, not merely in advertising. They are not gender neutral. That's impossible. The genders are different. Gender-neutral is what you want, but gender-inclusive is the best you can get. For decades, LEGO were (apparently) gender neutral, and they were definitely gender-inclusive in their advertising. When they finally capitulated and fully committed to the pink, they made a billion dollars.

It is extremely hard to argue with a billion dollars.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.

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