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Comment: Re:Then and now (Score 1) 54 54

But that's not how it works... The current networks make money because they don't have to cover the R&D or construction. When Iridium went bankrupt, the billions of dollars of debt from building the network evaporated. The modern companies don't have to service that debt. They can charge lower prices because they don't have those costs to recover.

All of the MSS companies went bankrupt. Iridium and ICO in 1999, Orbcomm in 2000, Globalstar and Teledesic (which never got off the ground) in 2002.

Let me put things in perspective: it cost $6 billion to build the Iridium network. The current company bought that network for $35 million. In the grand scheme of things, that's basically free. This has allowed the current Iridium to build up a respectable revenue stream, and now they've got the financial resources to build out their next-gen network. But they could never have done it without getting the "free" network.

Comment: Re:Succeed where Iridium failed? (Score 1) 54 54

I'm skeptical, but I think that they've got a better chance of success than Iridium did. Namely, they have their own launch vehicle (no markup or middleman), they have lower launch costs even for third party launches, and they've got a reputation for building electronics for space on the cheap by re-purposing consumer electronics parts, so they've got a chance at building the satellites themselves for much cheaper.

Comment: Re:Now Taking Bets (Score 1) 54 54

You kind of gloss over "the initial outlay of satellites" seeing as how they're planning to launch 4000 of them. They're also not cubesats, their estimated mass is more than a hundred times that of a cubesat.

It's possible that they'll slip replacements in here or there, but the expectation is that they'll be launching these things from Vandenberg (they're launching all the Iridium satellites from there too, and they've leased a second launch pad there). Doesn't that imply that their satellites will be in a retrograde orbit, and that they could only launch replacements from Vandenberg?

Comment: Re:Then and now (Score 1) 54 54

In what way is wired technology evolving less than wireless? Copper has gone from 10 Mbps to 100Mbps to GigE to 10GigE to 40GigE. Fibre has done the same, but the density of WDM has gone up a lot, the channel bandwidth has increased dramatically. Residential broadband has undergone huge changes, with the move from DOCSIS 1 to 2 to 3 (and soon 3.1) on the cable side, the move from ADSL to ADSL2 to VDSL2 on the telephone side, and the evolution of passive optical networks for fibre, currently transitioning from GPON to 10GPON.

Comment: Re:80% is misleading (Score 2) 281 281

It's exactly as I suggest:

We investigate technologies of websites, not of individual web pages. If we find a technology on any of the pages, it is considered to be used by the website.

So a single PHP file on slashdot.org would label it as "powered by PHP" despite everything else on the site being in perl.

We do not consider subdomains to be separate websites.

forums.mysite.com might use PHP, but that doesn't mean that www.mysite.com is "powered by PHP". But their stats count it as such.

In short, they treat PHP like a virus: *ANY* evidence of PHP on an entire TLD labels the entire TLD as "powered by PHP".

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov