I guess you're not familiar with XBMC (Now "Kodi")? Video over LAN is still a thing, people just want a file browser with a 20 ft GUI. VLC never really made it off the desktop which I guess is why XBMC was able to succeed in the HTPC market where VLC failed miserably and it's plugin system never really took off.
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Smoking bans in restaurants and bars are still handled on a city by city basis in Texas. A lot of big cities have laws on the books but small and medium cities it can be a real crap shoot.
Telcom companies have a lot more money to fight a legal battle than the FCC does. See also: Why it took ~35 years to get smoking under control even though the FDA declared smoking a major hazard to your health in the 1980's. Private corporations simply have more money to fight those kinds of battles than governmental organizations.
I would buy the low yield argument if one of two conditions were met; 1) the technology was developed this century, and 2) fewer than a billion (that's with a 'B' for those if you following along at home) were produced every year. 1080p ought to be the minimum standard in 2011, it's 2015, time for manufacturers to get with the program.
It's a spec. Designed by intel's marketing group. Which is constantly in flux. Their long term goal is to push affordable yet quality laptop design, but at the same time I wouldn't all $700 "palatable" for an Ultrabook. $570-$640 is palatable for an ultrabook. $700 is just a regular laptop price.
And really, should we be praising laptop manufacturers for putting a 1080p screen in a $700 laptop? In 2015? How many pixels does your phone have? How much does it cost off contract. Extrapolate.
The NK-33 rockets are fully tested before they're flown, I don't want to sound like a Russian apologist, but NASA's preliminary report says that the Orbital flight is their own fault, finding evidence of dessicant and spare parts(!!!) in the fuel tank that were later ingested by the turbopump. If you stick metal action figures in the cylinders of your car how many miles do you expect the engine to last running at 80,000 rpm?
Russia charges NASA about $73 million per astronaut, that includes Soyuz training, russian lessons, splashdown survival training, and of course the actual launch. That's per astronaut. We typically rotate through six astronauts a year on a staggered schedule.
SpaceX is going to be capable of sending seven astronauts for under $100 million. That's about $15 million per seat or 20% of what the Russians are charging. It could potentially get as low as $60 million per launch which comes out to 8.5 million per launch which would be 12% what we're paying now.
If/when SpaceX could successfully land and reuse the booster cores for $20 million per launch, it gets down to $2.8 million per seat. That's 20+ years away perhaps.
Russia was broke through the entire Cold War and was more than happy to let their citizens starve to push their space and millitary programs and they still beat the US in the space race in every respect (excluding landing a man on the moon). They saw the price tag and said "forget that", we already have First Sattelite, First Man/Woman in space, first Man/Woman in orbit, first manned space station, furthest distance driven on the moon/mars (until VERY RECENTLY actually, only in the last two years were those records broken). Russia also has the most reliable manned spaceflight program by a wide margin. Russia does space better and for less money.
They made a formal announcement that they'll be disconnecting from the US half of the ISS at the end of 2013 after approximately 10 years of talking about it. And now they're courting the Chinese, the Japanese and the ESA to go in with them on their own ISS, leaving the ISS with... The US and South Korea.
It's not a rumor, it's "when". They have a webcam setup showing construction of their new spaceport built to support the "new" spacestation in it's new orbit. They plan on doing their first launch by the end of the year.
Most computers these days don't come with a restore disc, let alone a disc drive.
Nowadays they have a compressed restore image on the drive that occupies between four and twenty GB as a restore option, which likely comes with the crapware ready to spring in to action(!).
Or you could be Cartagena, which has absolutely zero city planning, and a failed public transit system that was still born (transit stations are overgrown with weeds, etc, built but never opened). Compare to Bogota and Medellin which have thriving public transit systems and well laid out cities. All three cities were established at the same time, only two were truly successful and became world class livable cities.
They still have to match orbital velocity on the same ecliptic, even at 0.1c they would show up from a long ways away. There's no "stealth" in space, plain and simple. Spaceships produce too much everything, heat, radiation, gas etc.
Orbital insertion would be pretty obvious as well, even at the L1 behind the moon we would notice them coming in.
Driving through the gulf coast from Houston to Miami was a real eye-opener for me. I've been to 20+ countries and the closest thing I can compare their standard of living is to rural Peru.
I got a warning message in Spanish when I took out money from the ATM in Cartagena, Colombia (Caribbean edge of northern South America). Since my money came out ok I didn't pay it much attention. My buddy who spoke Spanish, however, was pretty amused.
"Did you see that warning message," "Yeah?" "That warning message is telling you your card only has a magnetic stripe, and no secure chip-and-pin system which is really insecure and you should ask your bank to upgrade it for you. This is the same system the Europeans use. Fuckin' Colombia's banks, in South America is a decade ahead of the United States banking system when it comes to technology. Typical."
Here's an example from 2011: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZkDOx4W3zs