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Comment: Re:Profit over safety (Score 1) 122 122

Mod parent up...OP is a fuckwit who wears a hockey helmet in public outings who doesn't know shit about nuclear plant operations.He sure-as-hell ain't a GM of a nuclear plant.

Safety is the life blood of nuclear plant operations as we're keenly aware that public perception is against nuclear power. A GM with the above attitude would be shot by the plant engineers in the parking lot for gross stupidity.

Comment: Fair Concern, But... (Score 5, Insightful) 138 138

NASA is in a strange place right now. Commercial launch capability is growing quickly, but the recent SpaceX failure underlines the fact that they may not be ready for prime time just yet. So the question is - does NASA spend these dollars to develop a heavy launch capability, or do they wait, cross their fingers, and hope that there is a commercial capability in place during the desired timeline?

At best, they spend the money and have a redundant launch capability. At worst, they don't spend the money AND commercial launch capability dies on the vine, and we are then left with no heavy lift capability at all.

And for the anti-NASA crowd that will be chanting "Pork! Pork! Pork!" - note that NASA is also trying to slow a massive brain drain of experience and knowledge from the shuttle program (yeah, which happens to keep the district congress-critters happy). Not having a project to work will mean watching all that experience walking out the door, gutting NASA's capability to do anything in the future.

NASA has a lot of judgements to make, several of which in hindsight will be seen to be redundant and costly, but without a crystal ball they need to make the decisions based not on cost-efficiency, but what will leave them with a exploration lift capability. That sucks, but that is not NASA's fault; they have to ride the waves (with a period T of 4 years) of the political seas.

Comment: Not a Fan (Score 1) 139 139

Especially since my illiterate, mouth-breathing, redneck*, 4x4-driving fuckwit neighbor damned near set fire to my house last year with his "'Murica! Fuck Yeah!" Budweiser and fireworks extravaganza. He nearly killed one of his kids too, but the really tragic part of that is the "nearly" bit. That gene pool needs some chlorine bleach, stat.

Happily he is doing some time in jail, so I might have a quiet weekend.

*We have these in Massachusetts, believe it or not.

Comment: Wait, I've seen this before... (Score 1) 108 108

The AirGeep (1957)

Strangely enough, they never caught on. Maybe because for the number of troops you could deploy with the same sound footprint, you could actually use helicopters accompanied by gunships? And the troops are therefore not encumbered with their own transportation?

Giving everyone in the platoon their own hoverbike means that you have a bunch of hoverbikes that you have to keep and maintain. And the Ewoks can still kick your ass because they are unencumbered with such hardware.

Comment: And Maybe Elections Are Coin-Tosses? (Score 1) 292 292

The margin between the major parties has been shrinking over the last 30 years, mostly due to ambivalence. It really matters less and less who you vote for as the deep pockets have already ensured that you have the choice of Tweedledee or Tweedledum, candidates who will do their bidding no matter what their party affiliation.

Here's my previous rant on the subject with U.S. presidential election data since 1980:

Obama: Maybe It's Time For Mandatory Voting In US

The statistics on the previous N coin-tosses will not tell you who will win on the N+1 toss.

Comment: Let Russia Bankrupt Themselves To Check (Score 4, Insightful) 307 307

Fine, go ahead Russia, spend a chunk of your GDP and put some boots on the Moon and fact check the U.S.

Oh yeah, make sure to make some more nuclear missiles. That's not cheap either, but security!

But wait...weren't these exact activities what caused the USSR to bankrupt themselves back in the 90's? Just checking.

No hate Russia, but you need to rein in your rhetoric. You have been beaten by playing this hand before.

Comment: Re:I Predict... (Score 1) 205 205

Even if AT&T didn't have to pay a $100M fine, couldn't they still have raised rates by $100M/number of customers regardless? They don't need to wait for a fine to do that. They should (and probably are) simply charging customers the most they feel they can get away with at any given time, but that has nothing to do with whether they received a fine. It's not as if customers are all of a sudden willing to tolerate higher rates because ATT was fined.

Absolutely true. In addition to this increase, they'll have an additional line item on their bill, with some nebulous "shenanigans fee" label, which will handle the FCC fines just nicely.

UNIX enhancements aren't.

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