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Comment: Re:Why stop there? (Score 1) 106

by demachina (#47553681) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

Didn't say it was. I just said NASA should abandon it to whomever wants to pay to keep it operating. Prettty sure its past its original end of life anyway which I think was 2010.

If Russia doesn't want to play nice, or pay to run it themselves, I doubt ESA, Canada or Japan will be able to keep it going if the U.S. pulls out.

Comment: The scammer's dream. (Score 3, Insightful) 148

by Animats (#47551715) Attached to: US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

Over half the Bitcoin exchanges have gone bust. Entire Bitcoin "stock exchanges" disappeared with the money. Bitcoin "investments" promising substantial returns each month were, of course, Ponzi schemes.

Bitcoin is a scam magnet. Irrevocable, remote, anonymous money transfers are the scammer's dream. (Yes, there are people talking about cryptographic escrow schemes so you can buy something with Bitcoins and have some recourse if it doesn't show up. So far, that hasn't reached usability.)

That's why Bitcoin needs regulation. If you're going to hold other people's money, you have to be regulated. Deal with it.

Comment: Re:Why stop there? (Score 2, Insightful) 106

by demachina (#47545081) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

Probably one of the best things NASA could do at this point is abandon ISS, stop paying for it, and tell the Russians its all theirs. There is a fair chance they would fly Americans to it for free rather than get saddled with that boat anchor.

If the Russians don't want it either its time to deorbit it. It would free up a LOT of money for more useful endeavors. Its never been good for much of anything, certainly nothing to justify the staggering price tag

SpaceX will have the ability to put astronauts in to LEO in a few years. Its not like its a crisis, there is very little for people to do in LEO at the moment other than to be lab rats for zero G physiology studies. You would think they would have done most of that work by now.

About the only point in putting people in space at all is as colonists, persumably on Mars. You can do just about everything else way better and cheaper with robots.

So until you are ready to fly people to Mars to stay, stop getting your panties in a bunch about getting them to LEO.

Comment: Each server is worth $189 or less. (Score 1) 206

by Animats (#47544815) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?

If you want more servers like that, Wierd Stuff Warehouse in Sunnyvale, CA, has the same HP series G Xeon servers for $189. (2 3GHz quad-core Xeons per server! Hard drives are extra, but cheap.) Wierd Stuff has huge supplies of previous-generation data center equipment.

It's amazing how cheap computer hardware is now.

Comment: Space travel isn't feasible. (Score 3, Interesting) 106

by Animats (#47544719) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

Reality check: space travel with chemical fuels just barely works. It takes huge rockets to launch dinky payloads, and that hasn't improved in 45 years. Satellites and probes are useful. Man in space has just been a boondoggle.

If fusion ever works, this may change, but with chemical rockets, it's not getting much better.

Comment: Re:FUD filled.... (Score 1) 212

It sounds like this transformer had its center tap grounded and was the path to ground on one side of a ground loop as the geomagnetic field moved under pressure from a CME, inducing a common-mode current in the long-distance power line. A gas pipeline in an area of poor ground conductivity in Russia was also destroyed, it is said, resulting in 500 deaths.

One can protect against this phenomenon by use of common-mode breakers and perhaps even overheat breakers. The system will not stay up but nor will it be destroyed. This is a high-current rather than high-voltage phenomenon and thus the various methods used to dissipate lightning currents might not be effective.

Comment: Re:pfft, 3.5% overrun (Score 1) 132

by demachina (#47539023) Attached to: SLS Project Coming Up $400 Million Short

I am nearly speechless that you would try to use the ISS as an example of a "success story". It was mind boggling behind schedule and over budget, though turning it in to an international project is partially to blame. The core is based on existing Russian design. If they had just launched that and kept it simple it would have cost a tiny fraction of what it did and accomplished nearly all the science ISS has done.

The fundamental problem with the ISS is its bled NASA and the manned space program white. NASA hasn't done ANYTHING useful, in its manned program since Skylab, other than maybe Hubble. They built Shuttle to fly to the ISS and the ISS so the Shuttle would have a place to fly. It resulted in NO breakthroughs or progress worth the price tag.

So what is your point on Falcon. I think you just agreed with me SLS is hopelessly uncompetitive and SpaceX approach is really smart.

SpaceX is trying to get to space cheaply, safely and with a very high launch rate.

SLS seems to be trying to come up with the most expensive, impractical and dangerous solution possible, just to keep funneling money to Lockheed, Boeing, ATK, etc. Its as if they are TRYING to develop a system that is sure to fail or be cancelled.

Note the proposed launch date, 2017, just long enough after the 2016 election so the next president can cancel it and start over.

Real Programmers don't write in FORTRAN. FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies. FORTRAN is for wimp engineers who wear white socks.

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