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Comment: Re:What is the business case of SpaceX? (Score 1) 82

by Kjella (#47546545) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

They don't do space tourism yet, but once they got the Dragon man-rated I don't see why not. The seven people who've been space tourists so far have in total paid $170 million, while SpaceX has quoted $140 million for a crewed Falcon 9 launch so they're at a price at least some is willing to pay. If they can make the rockets reusable it could significantly increase their launch volume even if only a few hundred super rich want to go. It would be real space flight in LEO and make you a genuine astronaut, not just "pop your head in" suborbital flight. Maybe they could even use the cargo room of the Dragon to hold some kind of deployable/inflatable mini-hotel for the stay. 100 mile high club anyone? ;)

Comment: Re:When I was born... (Score 1) 82

by Kjella (#47546275) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

When I was born Mankind had not set foot on the moon. By the time I was five, we had been there, done that and decided to never go back again. If aliens do exist, they are sitting back saying "What the f?ck man, you want to meet us but don't have the energy to get off the couch and answer the door?" Mankind does not deserve space travel. We had our chance and refused to take it.

By the time you were five, we had been (384 400 kilometers) / (4.2421 light years) = 9.57827017 x 10^-9 = ~0.000001% of the way to the closest star. Eight years later they launched the Voyager 1 which is now about (127.98 Astronomical Units) / (4.2421 light years) = ~0.05% of the way. And it's probably uninhabited. What chance did we miss to go visit aliens? Do you think if we just put enough money in it we'd invent the warp drive? Chemical rockets can't do it, it'd be like trying to ride a horse to the moon. The ban on nukes in space kills fission, we still haven't got a working fusion reactor here on earth and antimatter only exists in extreme lab experiments.

True, we don't care much about developing the propulsion technology but we sure as hell would like the energy generation technology so to pretend we're not working on it is false. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to try building the applied technology before we got the basics working, if we can make a fusion reactor here on earth then maybe we can turn it into a fusion drive. Trying to skip that step earns us nothing, it doesn't bypass any of the problems we already have and creates a whole set of new ones which makes it that much less likely to succeed. The only tech that's pretty much ready to go is fission, but good luck selling a rocket that'll nuke its way through space.

Comment: Re:Great... (Score 4, Insightful) 311

by Kjella (#47545799) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

The side that apparently blew a 300-civilian passenger jet out of the sky because they're too dumb to know what a Boeing looks like is getting direct military support from a major regional power which just happens to have nuclear weapons. And I thought my hometown of Detroit was fucked.

Well, if you want to put it that way the plane would never have been shot down if Russia had supplied a professional crew instead of teaching the separatists how to aim and pull the trigger. At least with the Russian military firing they probably know what they're aiming at.

Comment: Re:I know you're trying to be funny, but... (Score 1) 487

by Kjella (#47545407) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

Except in this case there's no signs that anyone was being particularly reckless, lazy or disregarding the rules, it was a fairly complex interaction between debug settings, ASM optimizations and dependency management. This is more like when the Space Shuttle blew up and nobody cares about the 9999 parts that didn't fail because the O-ring did and as a result it's now small chunks of scrap metal with dead astronauts. You don't get points for effort, style or the parts that work it's the end result that counts and in this case GCC poops on the floor because the final output is shit.

I think it's a good attitude for a kernel manager, because when he gets shit code from driver or subsystem maintainers that goes into a release kernel and starts corrupting data and throwing panics the shit is going to land on him. You can't just shuffle that responsibility downwards and say no, the kernel is 99% fine but that driver is crap because as far as the end users are concerned the kernel is crap and the internal bickering about whose fault that is doesn't matter one bit to them. It's your project and your job to get it fixed. And that might require some harsh words about the O-ring and the people who made it, because it's making them all look bad which is totally unfair to everybody else.

Comment: Re:That's why I dropped AdWords (Score 1) 86

by Kjella (#47543753) Attached to: Nasty Business: How To Drain Competitors' Google AdWords Budgets

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, if your AdWord campaigns are being sabotaged it's extremely hard to say what your conversion rate should have been without the sabotage unless you've got really good historic data to show we used to get good leads but now we get crap. For example if my botnet all likes to visit Google and click your ad links, but never buy anything. Yes, you know the conversation rate is very low - as a few real customers are in the mix - but it doesn't tell you anything about who or why, it just looks like random IPs visiting and not buying. Nor do you have any obvious reason to sue, it''s not illegal to visit and leave without buying. To use a real world analogy, it's like you have an organized band to clog up your stores, circulating and acting like customers but ending up just browsing. I've done that in real life, exiting the store without never buying so individually it's not unheard of. But if hundreds or thousands did that in an organized fashion, there'd be trouble as legitimate customers would pass on your store because it's too crowded, even though they have no intention of buying..

Comment: Re:Nudity (Score 3, Informative) 148

by Kjella (#47543587) Attached to: Amputee Is German Long Jump Champion

If there's a distinct non-human advantage to them, yes. Most sports are extremely tightly regulated, mainly I've looked at the Nordic sports and for example the jump suit used in ski jumping is highly regulated. Likewise in ice skating, they proved some years ago a "Donald Duck" like suit would improve skate times. It was banned. The support biathlon athletes can get while shooting is likewise regulated. The rules themselves are arbitrary, as long as they're equal for everyone. Why it is "three strikes, you're out" in baseball? Couldn't it be one strike? Five strikes? Sure it could, but the game says three. And then you compete under the rules of the game. Everything else is the other way around, they're allowed to wear baseball caps because everyone can wear one and it doesn't favor anyone in particular. You can't call ut unaided because bicyclists obviously outpace runners, pole vaulters outjump high jumpers and so on but the aid is considered neutral. Anything that isn't you ban.

Comment: Re:As soon as greenpeace touches it (Score 1) 271

by Kjella (#47539935) Attached to: Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

John Stewart Mill made the point that you should consider every argument, even if only one person in the entire world is making it against the consensus of everyone else, on its merits. The person speaking does not matter, only the merits of the argument.

Knowing that someone has a very warped perception of reality - at least from your point of view - pretty much destroys all their credibility to make arguments about the real world. If the argument had any merit then "normal people" would use it too, it's not worth the effort to track every argument back to the underlying root causes. Very often it boils down to "that's not the way real people act or the real world works" because so many get caught up in an ideology and forget to ground their beliefs in reality. They're immune to normal feedback mechanisms, it's like watching people cut themselves and if it hurts the solution is to cut more. I suppose if you cut yourself enough the pain may stop permanently, but it still seems a rather bad idea.

Comment: Re:Attention Editors (Score 1) 37

The reason to use [sic] is to indicate that you didn't introduce a typo, it made sense for scribes, typewriters and citing dead tree sources but when you're copy-pasting another electronic source perfect reproduction is the norm and pointing out spelling mistakes is typically mocking, like you're making a point that the one you're quoting can't even spell properly. So I wouldn't use it and if people complain, well then they don't understand the concept of quoting. You don't change someone else's words and it's obvious from context who made the typo so the [sic] is completely redundant.

Comment: Re:And... (Score 1) 264

Thats cute, you think Outlook is an email client. (...) Hint: Email is about 1/10th of what Outlook is and does.

He did say small company. which makes it fairly plausible. Many pay a lot for Outlook/Office and use it only for email, meeting scheduling and simple documents/spreadsheets because it's the de facto corporate standard.

Comment: Re:The price you pay (Score 1) 367

by Kjella (#47520267) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

The agile way, quick and dirty. Find the code for whatever task you're supposed to do and change it. You do not try to place it on some grand master blueprint like in waterfall. Nor do you, according to agile, need that blueprint to add a new feature. If your code change breaks anything then tests will fail. Now you've got regressions, that's a task if you need one. Don't build any extra abstractions. Don't make your code overly generic. Go back and add those only as they become clearly needed and necessary. The general sentiment is that we don't know what tomorrow will bring, so fix it for today and if we need to redo it later we'll do just that.

You ask for the big picture, agile's answer is that there is none. The whole code base is alive and trying to keep on top of everything else that's happening is too much wasted time. You just keep the bits and pieces you work on working as you make changes. If the architecture becomes a problem then we'll make that a refactoring task to solve that particular issue, but it's never a full review. If agile was to create driving directions they'd go something like "Take the road going closest to the direction you want to go. If it becomes rough, carry on as it's probably better to get through that go back. If you really hit a dead end, make the smallest possible backtrack that lets you get around it."

Comment: Re:Is this real or fantasy? (Score 1) 161

by Kjella (#47492955) Attached to: Linux Needs Resource Management For Complex Workloads

These resources are all being managed today, there already are priorities for CPU, QoS for network bandwidth, ionice and quotas for storage and so on with a lot of specialization in each. He wants to build some kind of comprehensive resource management framework where everything from CPU time, memory, storage, network bandwidth etc. is being prioritized. It sounds extremely academic to me, particularly when I read the line:

I will make the assumption that everything at every level is monitored and tracked (...)

Besides, resource management isn't something that happens only on this level, for example if I have an SQL server then clearly who gets priority there matters, these are order transactions that should have millisecond latency and here's the consolidated monthly report we need by noon tomorrow. Load balancers, cache servers, read-only slaves, thread pools, TCP congestion logic, it's like you took something that you can write a whole library about and said "we need a framework for it". Good luck writing a framework that can balance anything in any situation, yes I suppose that from a galaxy away it might look like everything is a resource and we have consumers who need prioritization but the specifics of the situation matter a lot. Which is why there are many, many specialized systems that all do their specialized kind of resource management.

Comment: Re:"the market" = biz managers (Score 1) 192

by Kjella (#47490537) Attached to: Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

people want relevant, accurate news more than ever

No they don't, they gobble down the latest "rushed to the frontpage two minutes before the competition" and after being fed clickbait by clickbait that's wildly misleding they keep coming back for more. You're confusing it with that they want it two seconds after it happened, which is another thing entirely.

people want entertainment that is not formulaic & trite more than ever

The first Transformers movie made $700 million. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" made $830 million, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" grossed over a billion dollars and "Transformers: Age of Extinction" is 75% there after two weeks. Reality disagrees with you.

the only reason is that we, as consumers, have been conditioned by bullshit marketing to have ***REDUCED EXPECTATIONS OF VALUE***

No, most people mainstream because they want to since it involves the least effort. I could certainly find something I like better but a pizza from the popular pizza shop down on the corner will probably be fine. Those clothes I wear might not be a fashion statement but they work well enough. My car is certainly mainstream and it has its conveniences when it comes to service, repair, parts and resale market. Tried and true and not on the bleeding edge of anything. Maybe I could find one better or simpler or lower priced or lower on maintenance but at the risk of ending up with something I eventually won't like.

Like everyone I've got a few things I really care deeply about, like what parts my computer have and the other 95% I don't really care, I just want a product that's decent and will work for me unless I have some sort of special needs. Like what brand of tooth paste I use, I barely remember it well enough to pick up the same tube next time and I certainly don't care - it's not brand loyalty it's brand apathy. There's a few I don't like the taste of so there's "lemons" in the market and I can't really say I know what the improvements would be. It's not like I'm going to start reading toothpaste reviews to pick the best one.

Comment: Re:WRONG. (Score 1) 118

by Kjella (#47487619) Attached to: Preparing For Satellite Defense

Since ICBMs predate GPS by several decades and the US has a massive submarine launch capability I doubt taking out the satellites would affect the US counter-strike much. What worries China is the US rocket shield technology, they say it's against "rogue states" but who is to say what it's really capable of. If the US strikes first are they able to retaliate? Do they have any submarines capable if the ICBMs fail? Doubtful. Take out the satellites and you're back to MAD - if the US can nuke China then China wants to be sure they can nuke the US.

US has been and is pushing for a level of military superiority where they can't be harmed, where people thousands of miles away push buttons and drones fire on the enemy without anyone at the US side at risk. That's a very comfortable position for the US of course, but very uncomfortable position for everyone else. What's the deterrent from using this aggressively and excessively when there's no personal losses to waging war? If way, way more than three thousand die in Iraq or Afghanistan, well then that was necessary to secure American lives after 9/11. Their lives never count as much as our lives.

Comment: Re:Not actually accepting bitcoins. RTFA (Score 1) 152

by Kjella (#47486159) Attached to: Dell Starts Accepting Bitcoin

Which is pretty much exactly what VISA does when I want to pay with my NOK in USD. I don't have to find an ATM, withdraw cash and deliver US bills and that's generally what we mean by "Do you accept VISA?". If I can hand over Bitcoins and they handle the conversion it means they accept Bitcoins. Just like you in some third world tourist destinations can pay with US dollars, they'll just keep it until they can exchange it for local money. Sure, it's not a native Bitcoin economy but it is on the way to using Bitcoin as any other foreign currency which is a big step up.

Comment: Re:Until dell can pay it's bills with Bitcoin.... (Score 2) 152

by Kjella (#47485189) Attached to: Dell Starts Accepting Bitcoin

Large companies don't have the same kinds of issues small companies have. For one they're likely to do net exchange after they've paid off all expenses in that currency and large volumes get better rates very close to the interbank rate. I know my bank charges the interbank rate + 1.75% for foreign exchange, that's fine if we're talking about small sums but if I was buying say a $400,000 vacation home abroad I sure wouldn't be paying $7000 in fees. There are services that specialize in this, but the average person doesn't need them.

APL hackers do it in the quad.