Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 25% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY25". ×

Comment Not the first full recovery from space (Score 1) 121

SpaceShip One touched space and all elements were recovered and flew to space again.

BO's demonstration is more publicity than practical rocketry. It doesn't look like the aerodynamic elements of BO's current rocket are suitable for recovery after orbital injection, just after a straight up-down space tourism flight with no potential for orbit, just like SpaceShip One (and Two). They can't put an object in space and have it stay in orbit. They can just take dudes up for a short and expensive view and a little time in zero gee.

It's going to be real history when SpaceX recovers the first stage after an orbital injection, in that it will completely change the economics of getting to space and staying there.

Comment Re:Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 1) 137

You'd need a popular product to pull off obtaining second-clientage from governments, and you'd need not to reveal that your device had legal intercept.

This is just a poorly-directed company continuing to shoot itself in the foot. It's not made its product desirable for government, or for anyone else.

Comment Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 2) 137

There's a truism in marketing that you can only differentiate your product on the parts that the customer sees and uses. Blackberry just can't learn this lesson. They tried differentiating on the OS kernel, which the customer never sees. And now on an insecurity feature that the customer won't be allowed to use. It's been a protracted death spiral, but it's a continuing one.

Comment What's Wrong with the Hobbit? (Score 2) 175

The Hobbit books are to a great extent about race war. The races are alien and fictional, but they are races, and the identification of good or bad is on racial boundaries. This isn't all that unusual in the fantasy genre, or even some sci-fi.

Lots of people love those books. And there's lots of good in them. To me, the race stuff stuck out.

Comment Re:Climate has never not been changing. (Score 3, Informative) 369

Try going outside. You appear to be in a condo in Vancouver. You may be on heroin.

It's been so cold in Canada in the last three years we've broken dozens if not hundreds of cold record temperature records:

We've not broken one for warm/hot, just record cold.

"Environment Canada has released its list of top weather stories over the past year, and the long winter chill took top spot."

The Great Lakes attained 92 per cent ice coverage for the first time in 35 years, sea ice was back on the East Coast and ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence was its thickest in 25 years."

Frost in late may/early June? Welcome to Canada, eh?

Niagra falls has frozen about 7 times in 200 years. Last year and the year before were two of those times.

Plus, you know, the Arctic sea ice has grown so much - because it's unseasonabley cold and hs been for a decade according to the NOAA - that we have to redraw the maps becvause of eht INCREASE IN ARCTIC SEA ICE. There's more of it now than when "global warming" started.

I'd have to say, as a Canadian living in Canada you don't see a lot of global warming here. More like the next ice age.

One scientist who predicted this in 2008 had his work vetted by CERN and NASA and botttom line: 27 more years of this cold then it'll warm again.

Look at the number of temperature records set for cold and hot worldwide. I believe that explains why they're so desperate to prove a hot climate record. It's because they keep trying to prove one, keep being corrected when it's pointed out it's not really a record in a field of so many cold weather records.

Can't say there's any sign of warming in Canada. The current Indian Summer, a first in a decade is not a sign the planet is warming, Sparky.

Comment Re:Reward networks for not upgrading (Score 1) 75

What happens on eBay is just a market. It's fundamental that a properly working market works to determine the optimum price for whatever is being sold. A properly working market would have multiple sellers and multiple buyers, all with somewhat differing circumstances. Improperly working markets are dominated by a single vendor, etc. No market works perfectly, there are always factors that cause markets to be less efficient than they should be.

Demand pricing is something one vendor does deliberately and with calculation. In contrast, the market pricing is arrived at as the aggregate of the behavior of many people. The market's actually broken if the calculation of one person can influence it disproportionately.

Comment Re:Amazon Model (Score 1) 75

First, there's no shortage of interurban data links for these companies to use if they're willing to. A shortage of infrastructure is a myth.

Second, the customers will indeed abscond, but not to conventional telephone companies.

Anyone who is considering how to jack up voice call pricing is moving around deck chairs on the Titanic.

Comment Re:Reward networks for not upgrading (Score 1) 75

No definition of "surge pricing" could include eBay because it's an auction with multiple independent bidders. Uber, on the other hand, is one bidder with multiple operators who work through its pricing structure. Experienced Uber operators actually avoid areas with high dynamic pricing because there's too much traffic around them. It's more profitable to do three less expensive rides than one expensive one.

Uber dynamic pricing fails the riders, and fails the operators. Uber still makes its money, they don't particularly care that they aren't serving either bloc efficiently.

Comment Re:Why aren't radio satellites pushed out of orbit (Score 1) 203

The problem is that the asymmetry doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

I have no problem with the mission of investigating fringe theories. But I don't think they deserve a bit of publicity until they raise an orbit in space. I know a guy at CERN who had a bad connector, and it told them something was happening faster than light.

Comment Re:Why aren't radio satellites pushed out of orbit (Score 2) 203

For me to confuse an EM Drive with a photon drive, I would have to believe in the EM Drive. I happen to be a member of a private club called AMSAT that has its latest cubesat in orbit right now, and that is OSCAR 85 in a series running since 1963. Obviously, there isn't really anything standing in the way of testing this on a cubesat. I'm sure that if you can raise something's orbit that there will be a lot more attention. Until then, color me dubious.

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.