Oh, and I forgot to mention the voice communication systems problem. That one didn't affect me directly but I did get a memo about it.
It's just an unfortunate incident.
British Telecom has had an issue (which has happened a number of times) which led to a minor timing glitch in one of their systems. When this happens, the data reliability on the FARICE line to Iceland drops and you start getting corrupted flight messages. Shanwick was alerted to the problem and both sides consulted and decided that the best solution in the interrim would be something that had been done previously, disconnecting FARICE and thus forcing all connections through the backup line, DANICE, which appeared to be operating normally.
Unfortunately, the problem was even worse on DANICE. What appeared to be normal operation was only normal up to the data logger. Once it actually got to the flight tracking software, the messages were being refused, and corrupted messages being sent in the other direction. So while BT was working on getting their system fixed, flight control managers were being forced to basically manually dig up ATC messages and copy-paste them off to the air traffic controllers (as much was handled through voice as possible as well).
But it got even worse. A totally unrelated communications network, Datalink, decided to misbehave during all of this, which may or may not have been due to the Shanwick problems. On the Iceland side, the general solution is to force a switchover to the backup system. Which was done... except a critical component on the backup system immediately crashed. Repeated attempts to switch and ultimately switch back caused even more problems for the air traffic controllers.
Eventually the fixed FARICE line was brought back up, Datalink back online (with the switchover-crash problem postponed to be investigated during a low-traffic timeperiod)
It's terrible that there were so many delays, but these are extremely complicated systems with a challenging task, built up over decades with tons of computer components, protocols, lines, routers, radar systems, transmitters, and on and on, scattered all over the world. On a weekend. Everyone was scrambling and doing their damndest to fix it as soon as possible. It should also be noted that it was never a safety issue - even in the absolute worst case, air traffic control could go all the way back to the old paper-and-pencil method. What the systems give is, primarily, speed, and thus when there's big problems, there's delays.
And that was my weekend, how was yours?
Brew up some well known explosives, touch them off and tell me that stuff that's well understood can't be fun if done yourself.
Dangerous? Hell yeah. So? As long as you can make sure that you're alone should you blow up, more power to you and have fun!
Africa looks more and more appealing...
No, seriously. If people have real problems, they don't concern themselves with non-problems.
From the European's perspective it's more a right leaning industry protecting government, but since either side would fuck us over, who cares which branch of The Party is in charge currently?
One side doesn't want you to know because with the knowledge you could possibly create something that endangers lives, the other side doesn't want you to know because with the knowledge you could possibly create something that endangers profits.
The high school one from the 1950s, no doubt about that. It also has the much more interesting experiments. Problem is just that you can't get 9 out of 10 chemicals you need anymore due to "safety concerns" and trying to get the tenth puts you on a no-fly list and grants you a personal visit from guys that come at 6am.
Having once written for HyperCard, I'm glad it's gone. It had some syntax in common with COBOL. ADD 1 TO N is valid COBOL and valid HyperTalk. The data access in Hypercard (put the second word of name into last_names) was worse than COBOL.
If you used card names instead of card numbers, the program ran much slower.
The cited article is interesting, but he never gets into Bitcoin's "contract" capabiilty. There have been proposals to add mechanisms to Bitcoin so that you could send Bitcoins to someone, but they couldn't spend them until the sender committed the transaction. This provides a way to insure you get the goods when you order something.
So far, that's a future feature, not a usable one. This is why Bitcoin remains the scammer's paradise - anonymous, irrevocable remote money transfer. There's little risk of annoying lawsuits, cops, or armies of angry customers with pitchforks coming after you.
As a result, more than half of Bitcoin "exchanges" have gone under, usually taking customer funds with them.
Most alternative reactor designs have some major flaw. Sodium reactors have sodium fires. Pebble-bed reactors have pebble jams. (An experimental one in Germany is such a mess there's no way to fully decommission it.) Helium gas-cooled reactors leak helium. (Fort St. Vrain was converted from nuclear to natural gas because of that.) One of the painful lessons of long-life nuclear power plants is that what goes on inside the reactor vessel has to be really, really simple. Anything complex in there will break. It's being shot full of holes at the atomic level, after all. (See "hydrogen embrittlement").
Pressurized water reactors and boiling water reactors at least have only water to deal with. The fuel rods are solid rods. The thing is basically simple, although the plumbing gets insanely complex. Even then, big accidents have happened.
Some of the fancier reactor designs require an associated chemical plant to reprocess the materials. This is a pain if you're in the power generation business, and a source of leaks and risks.
Show me someone building an airplane. Oh sorry, you need an FAA license for that...
Check out the Experimental Aircraft Association. Visit the Oshkosh Fly-In. FAA regulations on experimental aircraft are quite lenient. You can't carry passengers or fly over heavily populated areas, which is reasonable enough. For flight test, there's the Mojave Air and Space Port. "My job is to give people permission. Every day in the skies over Mojave and on the ground at Mojave Air & Space Port, people take enormous risks, which someday will yield great things for all humanity." -- Stuart Witt, CEO, Mojave Air & Space Port.
How about a rocket?
"You want to test a rocket engine? This is a place where you can do that." -- Board of Directors, Mojave Air and Space Port. SpaceShip One and various X-Prize trials have launched from Mojave. Rotary Rocket flew from there, although not very far. I know people at TechShop building upper stage engines for orbital insertion.
Flying car? Forget it...
There are several ultralight helicopter kits. Quadrotors seem to get bigger each year. Thrust-type VTOLs need a lot of power, which usually means jet engines, which means a flying car will cost about as much as a small bizjet, which limits the market. Paul Moller built a flying car; it doesn't work, but that's Moller's problem, for which he's been making excuses for 40 years. I had some hopes for Urban Aeronautics out of Israel, which was showing a non-flying mockup in 2010, but they never made it fly.
Government is not preventing you from doing any of these things.
My point is that with every translation a change of meaning becomes a possibility. A translation is by its very definition entail an interpretation of the text, which invariably will lead to a change of pace and meaning, at the very least the emphasis changes. It's a bit like playing telephone. You can actually try it yourself provided you find a few friends who happen to speak a few different languages, let the first one draft a short text and have the others translate it. Now add the temporal difference between the original draft in Hebrew and the KJB which is literally millennia and you're dealing not only with different languages but different interpreters that have a very different world view and mindset, a completely different background and probably their own agenda in mind, too.
You want to rely on such a translation of a translation of a translation to be the verbatim word of God? After at the very least three humans had meddled with it (provided the original author had some divine inspiration), in three very different time periods with a very different outlook on the world?
I love our subway system. It takes you from one corner of the city to another without giving you even the foggiest idea how you got there. For all I know, I could be on a different planet and wouldn't know for sure. But then again, I'm not in it for the ride, I'm in it to get where I have to go.
While we're at it, I'm also pretty sure that most tourists know more about the monuments of various towns than the inhabitants. I'm pretty sure there have been more Japanese in Notre Dame in Paris than Frenchmen.
1789 called. They wanted to show you, and 1917 is coming with them.
So we die together. Fine by me.
The last order in my life is given by me.
The problem about your calculation is that it is absolutely in the manufacturer's interest to not only sell more, but you can't even possibly (at least willingly) compensate it.
With modern electronics, the fixed costs are enormous, the per-unit costs negligible. The only thing with a more slanted fixed vs. variable cost balance is content. R&D, marketing, logistics etc. cost virtually the same, whether you sell one unit or a billion. And their share of the price is growing steadily. In a cellphone, the manufacturing cost is only about 1/3 of the street price. So, to make it interesting for the manufacturer to sell you only one instead of two phones, you wouldn't have to make it 10 bucks more expensive but rather over 100.