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Comment: Re:Larger landing area (Score 2) 340

Think of it as a soda can. When the rocket is pressurized with all of it's fuel it's 100 tons and can withstand very heavy vertical forces. When most of it's fuel is gone it's like an aluminum can - still strong top to bottom but on the side very easy to dent and damage. 90% of the 10 tons of weight left is in the bottom 10% of the rocket so it's not as tipsy as you'd think.

Comment: Re:Offsite (Score 1) 443

One of my first helpdesk positions long ago was for a major Insurance company. The company had a mainframe based system that held all of the insurance policies (of course) but it didn't hold all of the sales-ish information that was stored as part of the quoting system they had (this was back in the 90's). So while they could pull up policy information they couldn't bring up info that helps them close the sale like your kids names (you don't really think your insurance agent actually remembers all those details when you see him/her every few years right?)

So I get a call one day to initiate the process of getting new machines built for an agent who had his machines destroyed in a Kansas tornado. As I'm recording all the details I ask him if he had backup tapes off site and he says no, his office was in the front part of his residence (common for small towns). So I then say "you know, those tapes are really durable in their cases. Do you think they could be buried somewhere intact?". The agent pauses for a moment and says "yup, I think you're right. But my foundation is a clean slab so I don't know where in the county they are."

I guess you have to have a sense of humor about storms to be an Insurance agent in the plains.

I've always relayed this story when people bring this up. There are situations that can occur that could cause you not to be able to recover this data.

The only possible solution I can think is if you have a separate storm shelter away from your house where fire (and tornado's) can't reach. But even then you'd potentially have to worry about floods.

Comment: Solution: Decouple wired buisness from company (Score 4, Insightful) 255

by Isca (#48903615) Attached to: Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition
The reason why you have such great service in other countries is because of two reasons:

The state or state sanctioned telephone company is incentivized to offer better service and is severely penalized if they do not meet those requirements and/or the hardware wiring side is partially decoupled from the services side. In sweden most of these networks are municipal networks that provide fiber to the premises for a low monthly cost because a municipality can easily facilitate a long term non profit oriented recovery time for the expense of wiring everything. Then basically any provider who wants to offer service can using their lines, they just have to pay for their own uplinks and billing system.

We could achieve some of that model here in the states by decoupling the lines from the service, then regulating them like electrical or water utilities so that there is a base amount paid and a certain low but steady profit margin built in. It would also help tremendously if the state and local legislatures had the power or will to actually enforce the agreements set.

I'd love to see how fast Verizon could actually implement fiber in PA if they were told to get the ball moving or we foreclose on the lines that we paid for. 2.1 billion + 20 years of interest should be interesting clawback if they had the political will to enforce it.

Comment: Re:Translation: (Score 1) 158

by Isca (#48887735) Attached to: Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10
I think hybrid laptops are going to become more ubiquitous in the future, and some of them may even be as large as 17 inches.

But have you ever seen a family use a all in one pc device? Even though most of us find it easier to use a mouse/keyboard,I've sat and watched family members who bought one of those larger 21 inch all in one gateways sit at the desk, use the keyboard or mouse to open up their email, then flip over to a web page and start flicking their way through links by touching instead of using the scroll mouse.

When Intel's UWB wireless monitors hit mainstream I think we'll even see more of this - you might pick up that monitor off it's cradle and sit in the comfy easy chair across the room and use it as a giant 20 inch tablet. Not to mention artists who might lay it flat to draw on it. I think the next unsaid interim step for that will be the kinect for windows. Late last year Kinect they started talking with manufacturers about building kinect into monitors & tv's for Windows 10. We might see those designs by christmas or early next year. I don't want an xbox but I wouldn't mind having a kinect interface with the TV for accessing channels and such ala a tivo or roku interface.

Comment: Re:Translation: (Score 1) 158

by Isca (#48885501) Attached to: Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10
Wait --- your argument has turned into how iOS and Android are doing more with smaller less resource hungry systems?

Tell that to the plethora of users with phones less than two years old who can't run iOS 8 or the newest Android builds because of changes to the underlying OS. This also includes the tons of apps that companies are making that won't run on older versions of their OS's and are growing in size.

There are plenty of things to bitch about with Microsoft's decisions but I don't think their decision to use the same underlying OS is one of them. In fact, running windows 8.1 on an old machine works better than running windows 7 on an old machine because they've been optimizing the system to work well with less memory.

Microsoft has found that the market doesn't want ARM machines because there's a chance that they want to run xyz old software that they are familiar with. I say good for them! Adapting that internal app that has worked for 25 years to a tablet is great for xyz company who is not primarily an IT company.

It comes down to this:
Microsoft is a large company who wants to protect their income stream, which is office and lately, the cloud.
Apple is a large company who wants to protect their income streams in both the app store and keeping a constant hardware upgrade cycle intact.
Google just wants your eyeballs and to know everything about you, which means they need to have cheap and easy to use software that can be implemented by everyone as their main focus.

Everyone has their own motivations, and THAT competition is good for the rest of us.

Comment: Re:Re usability (Score 4, Informative) 151

by Isca (#48739293) Attached to: In Daring Plan, Tomorrow SpaceX To Land a Rocket On Floating Platform
The fuel tank was destroyed every launch, it burns up shortly after it is jettisoned.

The external solid boosters were sort of reused - the entire rocket needed to be disassembled, and about 5k parts were refurbished and reused. The shuttle engines themselves were pretty much the same thing, they were taken apart and refurbished every mission.

SpaceX wants to only partially disassemble key components of their 1st stage in a way that they could potentially send up the same 1st stage within a week. Some parts will be replaced, most others inspected, but they are not all getting rebuilt/refurbished every single takeoff.

Comment: Re:America, land of the free... (Score 1) 720

by Isca (#48550841) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?
errr... When I said "the fact that your misdemeanor just turned into a felony that'll restrict you for the rest of your life" my edits somehow stripped what I was trying to say. I meant to finish that sentence with "This fact never gets mentioned when they are saying "take this deal and you only spend the night in jail instead of 30 days".

Comment: Re:America, land of the free... (Score 2) 720

by Isca (#48550807) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?
Don't forget that you also get shady prosecutors who intentionally change charges so that they will be a more serious crime, then negotiate little to no jail time as part of the sentence. This makes their numbers look better to voters with the number of convictions and unless you have your own lawyers (Not a court appointed defense attorney) the fact that your misdemeanor just turned into a felony that'll restrict you for the rest of your life.

In addition to that it's easy to have a felony battery charge that sticks with your for the rest of your life when you are young. All you need to be is drunk and belligerent to an arresting officer just once. I know several guys who matured once they got into their 20's who only survived not going to prison by being white and well off enough to have their own attorney. They turned out to be perfectly normal people that are hard workers and model employees 20 years later. Be poor or a minority in that situation and your life is now shot.

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose

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