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Comment: Re:My money is on SpaceX (Score 1) 202

by HangingChad (#47797147) Attached to: Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets

They have the vision and agility that NASA lost in the sixties.

I get smacked down here for suggesting that NASA is no longer the best agency for moving the space program forward. SpaceX soft-landed two boosters in the ocean and are ready for a land trial. They did that in their spare time. It would have taken NASA 10 years and $20 billion dollars to replicate that achievement. NASA also relies on contractors with obscene overhead rates.

SpaceX is living proof that NASA wastes billions.

Comment: And? (Score 1) 283

by HangingChad (#47792111) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

When you look at the problems they have yet to solve, compared to the problems they've already solved, they don't look that menacing. To me it looks like a prototype that has been fantastically successful.

that the car wouldn't be able to spot a police officer at the side of the road frantically waving for traffic to stop

Well, can't solve that problem so lets hang up the entire concept of self-driving cars because of a handful of hypothetical obstacles. Never mind the lives and money saved, never mind the productivity salvaged by all that extra time. Can't see a cop waving so hang it up. No progress for you!

Comment: How Does SpaceX Do it? (Score 4, Insightful) 73

by HangingChad (#47792057) Attached to: NASA's Competition For Dollars

How can SpaceX come up with innovative rocket designs for a fraction of what it costs NASA? And they can produce those designs faster. SpaceX soft landed two boosters into the ocean, it would have taken NASA 10 years and $20 billion dollars to replicate that development.

I spent years in Titusville to cover the end of the shuttle program and walking away my opinion was that NASA is a flock of risk-adverse mid-managers flying in formation with a rusting theme park endless replaying clips of their glory days. There are some really good people there, some of them doing amazing things, but they're handicapped by a management structure that's too fat and doesn't have an aggressive vision for the future. NASA depends too much on contractors that can't produce anything on budget and there's no penalty for not performing. Some of that is political, not all their fault.

If we're going to explore space then we have to face the fact that it's unlikely we're going to get there with NASA as it exists today. And we have to find a way to fund that exploration so it's more insulated from politics. Otherwise we're stuck on this rock until a giant comet, asteroid or neutron star wanders by or we get fried by our own sun or a gamma ray burst.

Comment: Wouldn't it be rejected? (Score 3, Interesting) 77

by HangingChad (#47751279) Attached to: Whole Organ Grown In Animal For First Time

This means the developing thymus would not be a tissue match for the patient.

It would seem like organs grown in animals would contain animal proteins and cell receptors. I wonder how they get around that in the patient ready organs? Freaking amazing. Not quite as amazing if the recipient has to live on anti-rejection drugs the rest of their lives, but still impressive.

Researchers also need to be sure that the transplant cells do not pose a cancer risk by growing uncontrollably.

Slight problem there.

Comment: Re:NT is best (Score 5, Insightful) 190

by HangingChad (#47746609) Attached to: Munich Council Say Talk of LiMux Demise Is Greatly Exaggerated

you should give it another try

Why? What compelling features does Windows offer that I don't already have? I want to know about Window's value proposition. With software as a service becoming the predominant model, the software you need to get work done is available on any platform. At home I work on Linux, when I travel I take my Android tablet and work just fine on that. I can write and post stories, with pictures and video, from anywhere.

A few years ago the Microsoft faithful used to make such a big deal about if you wanted to do "real work" you needed Windows. Doesn't seem to be the case anymore. It's great the blue screens are mainly in the past but I'm still missing a reason to get a Windows device.

Comment: Re:Why build on the surface? (Score 3, Interesting) 61

by HangingChad (#47708693) Attached to: Modular Hive Homes Win Mars Base Design Competition

Or just dig into the regolith.

Finally. I could never figure out why the idea of either partial earth-shelter or underground shelters weren't considered for Mars. A shallow tunnel with an inflatable habitat inside would seem to be the ideal shelter. It would be easier to keep warm and shielded from radiation. It's not like you have to worry about flooding. Digging equipment would be a heck of a lot easier to get to Mars than depleted uranium. I remember holding a 30mm DU round and couldn't believe how heavy it was. You could blast holes or caves, although blasting doesn't always yield a stable void. Or just pile up dirt around the structures and cement it in place.

Any of those should be feasible if DU shielding is on the table.

Comment: Here's a thought for the NFL (Score 3, Insightful) 216

by HangingChad (#47636675) Attached to: NFL Fights To Save TV Blackout Rule Despite $9 Billion Revenue

If I don't get the games on terms I want, then I'll go do something else, watch movies on Netflix or play video games and your advertisers can go pound sand. What a bunch of arrogant, self-entitled bastards. Fuck you and the corporate jet you rode into town on.

Comment: Pretty easy to test (Score 1) 315

by HangingChad (#47627713) Attached to: Why the "NASA Tested Space Drive" Is Bad Science

Just put a payload experiment in orbit and see if you can drive it around. If the scientists running the experiments accounted for the motion of waves on a beach five miles away, I'm pretty certain that makes it worth a payload slot. We could dick around down here for years arguing about whether the results are valid or not, or we could put one up there and try it.

Sounds like the perfect cubesat experiment.

Comment: Re:So! The game is rigged! (Score 2) 570

by HangingChad (#47562153) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Personally I have almost no debt, just my car payment.

We opted out the debt economy years ago. We froze our credit reports and paid cash for our last house, car and motorcycle. We could have some dinky medical bill or something that slipped through the cracks in collections and not even know it. We might not even find out about it until we update our address when the credit freezes expire and we need to renew them.

You don't need credit cards, car loans, or mortgages. We're living proof. We fly, stay at hotels, rent cars all the things people think they need credit to do. We don't pay more for car insurance, though we do have the occasional utility deposit.

Nothing you can buy with credit feels as good as opting out of the debt economy.

Comment: Re:already done (Score 2) 133

Given the situation, the outcome was quite easily predictable.

If it was that easy FP&L would be making plans to close Turkey Point instead of expand it. That whole site is going to be underwater and, before that happens, there's going to be a storm surge high enough to swamp it. That's a guarantee which seems to fly in the face of your supposition.

I worked in the nuclear industry for nearly a decade. What I saw with my own eyes could best be described as straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel.

Comment: I wonder how long it would've taken NASA? (Score 3, Interesting) 49

by HangingChad (#47516303) Attached to: SpaceX Releases Video of Falcon Rocket's Splashdown

That is flat freaking amazing. NASA does some pretty cool stuff, but I can't help but wonder how many billions it would have cost taxpayers for them to manage development of technology like that? It's hard not to see NASA as an organization with its best days well behind it.

It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions. - Robert Bly