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Comment: Re:I wonder how long it would've taken NASA? (Score 4, Interesting) 43

by Hadlock (#47516507) Attached to: SpaceX Releases Video of Falcon Rocket's Splashdown

It's really hard to do this kind of landing burn (nicknamed 'suicide burn' as you run out of fuel as the landing feet touch the ground at 0 velocity, and miscalculation and splat or a nice bounce (elon called it the hover slam)) with a solid rocket booster, which we keep buying/making to prop up the ICBM industry with civilian dollars. The shuttle ended up with SRBs instead of L(iquid)RBs purely due to political reasons.
Actually, for the Saturn V, blueprint drawings do exist made by NASA of a cockpit on the side of the main booster tank with glider wings, to take it the 300 miles back to a safe landing site. Obviously that complication got scrapped in the mad rush to get to the moon in a decade.

Comment: Re:At those prices? (Score 2) 26

by Hadlock (#47324819) Attached to: Intel Offering 3-D Printed Robot Kits

Have you looked at how much robotics parts cost? A cheap servo is $12, an acceptable servo costs $45, and good servos you might use with surgical precision start at $95. High torque high precision motors a human sized model start in the $450 range and go up from there.
Six range of motion arms (let alone three digits per finger) means 12 servos for just the arms. It's no wonder people are looking at pneumatics, hydraulics etc for high torque high precision "digitla muscles". Robotics is expensive. And when you wire a servo wrong at 4 in the morning because you've been working too long you end up replacing these things at a fast rate (Ask me how I know). Just getting in to a 5 degree of motion laser cut wood arm, starting the hobby from scratch, cost me about $600. And that's with the $12-20 level servos.

Comment: Re:Tuning it out? (Score 1) 254

by Hadlock (#47301553) Attached to: The Bursting Social Media Advertising Bubble

Social media works great for things I will talk my friends about movies, politics, and occasionally global sports like the world cup or Olympics. Since I don't watch TV I couldn't tell you what's playing right now, especially since most movies are reboots or sequels which really blend together unless you've seen the trailers a few times. I did end up buying a ticket to the Lego movie due to an ad on Facebook. After almost all of my friends had been talking about it for weeks. Ads for dishwashing soap, soda, pizza etc don't even register for me mentally online.

Comment: Re:Wow... this is actually pretty big (Score 1) 147

by Hadlock (#47159033) Attached to: Pixar To Give Away 3D RenderMan Software

Does blender have a greater, lesser or parity feature set compared to RenderMan? That's an important question for the casual user. I use blender quite a bit for 3D modeling for Kerbal Space Program, but if Render Man is better, and has the features I need, then I might look at their free edition. I use blender because it's free and do about 20 hours a year of 3D modeling a year for hobbyist purposes.

Comment: Re:12.64 percent in only 17 months (Score 1) 187

by Hadlock (#47152655) Attached to: Windows 8.1 Finally Passes Windows 8 In Market Share

This probably has something to do with the fact that Chromebooks are something like 20% of the new laptop marketshare, Apple commands something like 25 or 30% leaving Windows with 50-60%, whereas Microsoft used to own 90% wholesale of the market. It's a lot harder to replace your old market share with new when you have half of the market presence you did six years ago, and the consumer marketplace is contracting at the same time. Desktop numbers probably look a lot better, but consumers buy laptops 2:1 and enterprise has learned to move from a 3 to a 6 year upgrade cycle.
My next laptop is going to be an Android powered laptop or Chromebook with crouton on it, so I can RDP in to work (windows environment). Nothing I do besides games requires Windows these days, and Steam in Home Streaming will probably solve that as well.

All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.