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Comment: Re:"Back to the launch site"? (Score 2) 73

by Isca (#46330321) Attached to: SpaceX Testing Landing Legs On Next Falcon9 Rocket
Once you've used up 80% of your fuel plus you have dropped the weight of the upper stages and the fuel/payload for them it's relatively light. Especially compared with how much thrust you can output. That 20% fuel is enough to dramatically change your direction and still leave enough fuel to steer yourself and land in an upright position.

Comment: Re:Private enterprise to the rescue (Score 1) 292

by Isca (#45986733) Attached to: Thousands of Gas Leaks Discovered Under Streets of Washington DC
The issue with wireless is that you just can't get the bandwidth that cable or fiber can bring. It's different per industry. There's no reason why water and sewage need to be for profit companies. I think natural gas is close behind simply because it's hard to have multiple companies provide the product at a central distribution point in whatever city/town. However communications services CAN be split into their components to be set up as a utility and a service. I think more cities should invest in municipal fiber with this type of setup. There have been multiple studies showing it can be economical for most cities to recoup costs over a thirty year period for around $25/month per drop for the actual infrastructure (fiber to the home/switches/etc on backbone). You can make that cheaper for people in your city by adjusting how much businesses are charged for the infrastructure versus residents. Some cities have lowered the monthly infrastructure cost having residents pay a larger amount for hookup (300-400) and have that cost spread out over a few years in the same way the city will spread out payments for a new sidewalk. The key thing is that they should not be allowed to offer service themselves - allow others to sell the service. Heck, if google wants to come in and make no profit off of it but sell it at the same cost as what the city is charging google per customer, let them. There will still be some who might op for other, better add services with other companies. It's easy to add other providers in this scenario. .

Comment: Re:maybe (Score 1) 267

by Isca (#45576093) Attached to: How the LHC Is Reviving Magnetic Tape
I think Amazon's system is a hybrid. There have been numerous articles about it but Amazon has kept their system tightly locked down with NDA's for all parties involved. However the reason why lots of people have come up with this conclusion is simple -- there are occasional but regular complaints you'll see on the internet where the 3-5 hour window is blown up to 10-24 hours. I suspect that they use commodity hard drives that are powered off once filled. But backing up those hard drives is a tape system that is only kicked in when they find a bad hard drive (and the tape backs up the hard drive). This way they don't use power when the drives are on.

Comment: Re:Never underestimate the bandwidth (Score 4, Interesting) 267

by Isca (#45575029) Attached to: How the LHC Is Reviving Magnetic Tape
Actually I found the article informative. I knew tapes were the cheapest and most cost effective backup solution but I didn't realize that they were so fast once the tap has been loaded.

It's also interesting to see the advances in tape reading technology that they are striving for - it sounds as if it will keep pace with HD and SSD technology to keep staying relevant.

Comment: Re:How is this possible? (Score 3, Informative) 144

by Isca (#45213381) Attached to: ACA Health Exchange Contractors Have History of Security Failures
A large part of it is who you know to get your foot in the door. Once you've done government projects it's easier to land more contracts. I suspect in this company's case that the breach happened after they had already signed contracts to work on this project (at least with Serco)

Comment: Outsourced Lowest Bidder syndrome (Score 4, Insightful) 144

by Isca (#45213347) Attached to: ACA Health Exchange Contractors Have History of Security Failures
This is what happens when you don't hire people in the agencies with technical abilities to even be able to oversee the implementation of complex systems.

Privatization is good as long as you actually have competent people with technological expertise to oversee the development. Outsourcing all of this to the lowest bidder, then that company outsourcing components to the lowest bidder (and so on, and so forth) always causes these type of issues. We need technologist inside the government that can actually manage these projects.

Comment: Re:They had these during the Cold War, slow news d (Score 2) 192

by Isca (#44348699) Attached to: Interactive Nukemap Now In 3D

You are wrong. The worst a terrorist is ever going to be able to do is a dirty bomb - basically a bunch of C4 next to the radioactive material. The bomb will spread radiation across one or two city blocks and that's about it.

The reason that they will never actually detonate a real nuke is that they are complicated and extremely delicate. The shape of the bomb must be absolutely perfect and the timing of the charge detonations must be accurate to within microseconds, else nothing happens. Getting the shape right is so important that people working on at least one major nuclear programat Los Alamos had to classify all spheres, including oranges.

It will take the resources of a nation-state to blow up a nuke on US soil and no matter what any war-mongering politicians have said, no actual nation-state is stupid enough to do that because it means the end of that country. Not Iran, not North Korea. Not going to happen.

I don't know about that. Most of the problems in shaping it comes down to having the machines to craft and shape the bomb to tight tolerances. We've been able to keep the machines that can make objects and refine materials with such tolerance out of foreign states for the most part. That's what has saved us as much as anything. The math is pretty much out there in the open to a degree. With 3d printing and 3d shaping (lathes/cnc/etc) I don't think we are far from being able to shape any material into any shape. And there are explosives that could certainly be printed and shaped to the nth degree. With some of the new technologies going mainstream and available from all quarters it's going to be downright impossible for us to control those technologies. I think the chances are going to be much higher.

Comment: Re:this just in (Score 1) 178

by Isca (#44044999) Attached to: TiVo Series 5 Coming This Fall
COX Doesn't have it set to Copy Never, but they have it set to Copy Once. (Incidentally this is the same on time Warner as well)

MythTV doesn't support Copy Never or Once - that requires encryption and a very large licensing fee to ensure your software works with the restrictions (Only microsoft has paid for this license - no other software solutions).

However if you have Windows MCE on 7/8 you can use it to record it on one machine only. You just can't ever play back that content on another machine or burn that to a DVD.

The difference between Copy Once and Copy Never is copy once allows you to copy it and keep it indefinitely. Copy Never allows you to record it once and only keep it for 90 minutes from the end of the program. I've only seen copy never turned on for PPV.

Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy

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