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Comment: Re:Wrong Focus (Score 1) 118

by Rei (#49375327) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

The cornerstone of it is the dusty fission fragment rocket, so I'd start there. Another key aspect is the use of a accelerator-driven subcritical fast reactor rather than a critical slow reactor. Lastly it's a variant of a nuclear lightbulb, albeit (as mentioned) without the primary drawbacks of them (containment and radiation blackening of the chamber blocking the light). This latter aspect is due to the spectrum changes of fused silica (I can't find a paper on short notice that shows the IR spectrum, but you can see that for most types of fused silica / fused quartz, there's little loss of transmission on the red side of the spectrum; this holds true but is even more pronounced in the IR range).

Comment: Re:Anonymous advertisers (Score 1) 96

by gstoddart (#49373291) Attached to: How Malvertising Abuses Real-Time Bidding On Ad Networks

What makes an ad agency reliable to you?

One in which all of the employees are encased in carbonite, and whose computers and records have all been nuked from orbit.

Anything less and you have to assume they're still unreliable.

And what solutions do you recommend for individual blog authors to implement "host your own ads"?

Not Our Fucking Problem.

Sorry, but I will continue assuming all ads are crap I don't wish to see, served by companies who don't give a crap about my privacy or security and whom I therefore do not trust.

The revenue of web sites interests me not even a little.

Go to a subscription model and see if you can stay in business. Or accept that some fraction of users do not wish to see your advertising, and don't trust the companies serving them.

Comment: Re:Not terrorism ? (Score 3, Insightful) 273

by gstoddart (#49372483) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead

No kidding ... attempting to force your way into something guarded by armed military personnel and then discovering they're not afraid of you isn't terrorism.

It's a frickin' Darwin award.

I consider that only one of them is dead to be either extraordinary luck, or surprising restraint on behalf of the soldiers.

Comment: Re:stupid (Score 4, Insightful) 273

by gstoddart (#49372321) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead

You know, I'm a pretty heavy user of tinfoil with an inherent distrust of government.

But even I don't need to look at this as an abuse of power by the government.

The rights of US military personnel to shoot your stupid self for trying to ram through a gated checkpoint with big giant signs saying "we can and will stop you, by force if necessary" has been established for an incredibly long time.

Most of the last century, I should think. Probably MUCH longer.

Sorry, but this falls entirely in the domain of "if you didn't see this one coming you're an idiot".

Comment: Re:Wrong Focus (Score 1) 118

by Rei (#49372263) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

Used an online calculator earlier but clearly I had entered something in wrong last time because the results it's coming back with this time are different (and much lower). Tungsten could radiate around 10kW/m around its melting point. Graphite could do 14,5kW/m at its sublimation point. Hafnium carbide, 17,2kW/m at its melting point (though ceramics are brittle and probably not suitable).

An ideal near-term radiative solution for minimizing mass in this regard would involve a working fluid in carbon tubes carrying a thermal fluid out to carbon radiators.

There's also radiator concepts that don't use solids at all - various kinds of droplet radiators.

Comment: Re:Ballsy, but stupid ... (Score 4, Insightful) 273

by gstoddart (#49372029) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead

yes but they shouldn't be, protecting secrets shouldn't be more important than protecting citizens.

There comes a point where what you are doing is telegraphing that you are no ordinary citizen doing ordinary things.

Approaching that gate with the big barricade, armed guards, and the huge sign which says "this isn't your usual place, and it isn't under the usual rules ... keep the hell out", and then deciding you're ramming it anyway? Well, as I said, that's a special kind of stupid.

It isn't like these guys went trigger happy and went after someone who was doing nothing at all. Trying to drive through a military check point on a military base sends a specific enough signal that I think to expect to NOT get shot in that context makes you an idiot.

Ramming gates on a military base isn't something you can reasonably expect to fall under the domain of things you can do without Really Fucking Bad Consequences.

I'm among the first to complain about government over-reach. But fucking with armed military personnel under strict orders to keep everybody out? Definitely not that.

Comment: Re:Ballsy, but stupid ... (Score 5, Insightful) 273

by gstoddart (#49371641) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead

Seems like further evidence that the NSA believes it can do *whatever* it wants to any peasant that puts a toe out of line. I question whether lethal force was necessary in this case.

While true that apparently the gate crashers didn't shoot anybody

1) This wasn't the NSA, directly. It was the US Army guards from what I can tell.
2) If you try to crash a gate guarded by any Army, I think you should reasonably conclude you might get shot

I dislike the NSA as much as any nerd, but by the time you're talking about the people who guard military bases and other secure compounds you kind of need to understand these guys are deployed under a set of orders which says "we'll be polite as long as that is possible, and then we'll be significantly less so".

Maybe you think the armed guards on a military base should say please and thank you and be friendly, but there's usually big giant signs that say "do not taunt the lions, they will bite".

It's hard not to see getting shot as a completely logical outcome of what happened.

The use of money is all the advantage there is to having money. -- B. Franklin