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Comment: Re:Sort-of-worked. (Score 1) 49

by Bruce Perens (#49633129) Attached to: SpaceX Launch Abort Test Successful

What I am getting from the videos is that this test was a success but that there was indeed an engine failure and the system recovered from it successfully by throttling off the opposing engine. There was less Delta-V than expected, max altitude was lower than expected, downrange was lower than expected, and that tumble after trunk jettison and during drogue deploy looked like it would have been uncomfortable for crew.

This is the second time that SpaceX has had an engine failure and recovered from it. They get points for not killing the theoretical crew either time. There will be work to do. It's to be expected, this is rocket science.

It sounds to me like the launch engineers were rattled by the short downrange and the launch director had to rein them in.

Comment: Re:Some good data... (Score 1) 371

by madbrain (#49625535) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

What stick would you suggest they use ?

They provide the OS in source form, then each device maker and carrier goes out, compile it and ship it for their hardware.

I don't see how Google can fix the upgrade mess with the existing devices.

Even if carriers and device makers were uptaking, recompiling, and shipping security updates for their old device/OS regularly, they are still dependent upon Google to provide support for the base Android OS.

Google has repeatedly disregarded customers by not backporting security fixes to the main trees of their old Android OS.
In this case, even if the carrier or device maker wanted to update the old device, there would be no fix for the old OS available.
But of course carriers and device makers currently have no economic incentive to provide security updates in the first place.

Comment: Re:Some good data... (Score 3, Insightful) 371

by madbrain (#49625491) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

Agree having the latest OS is not the consumer's highest priority. After all, they bought that device with a particular OS version.

However, over time every OS has security vulnerabilities discovered. The support model for Android updates for said vulnerabilities, as currently done by either device makers or carriers, is broken, IMO.

Comment: Re:Not Really (Score 2) 371

by madbrain (#49625479) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

Actually, many smartphones are pretty expensive, you just don't see the actual cost because most US carriers are obfuscating the price into their plan subsidies.

The exception is T-mobile. You will see that last year's top tier smartphones like Galaxy S5 and LG G3 were in the $600 range, not cheap by any means if you are going to upgrade every year.

In comparison, you can buy a $600 laptop or desktop computer, and keep it many years, and get security updates for the OS you choose to install on it on it from the OS vendor for many years. But there is no such choice on a mobile phone, you are typically locked to the OS that came with it, and can only obtain updates for it from the device maker or the carrier.

You can't generally just wipe the OS on your old device and install another OS on it that supports hat old device, and still gets regular security updates.

There are some mods like Cyanogenmod, but first you need to root your device.
Generally, rooting is done by first exploiting one of the many unfixed security vulnerabilities in the OS ;).

But even after that, the modded OS tends to have a lot of issues on many devices, as they are not tested by the developers on all available devices.
And unlike a PC, the base hardware between phones varies much more, so you can't get a single base OS image to work for all smartphones like you can, say, have a single Windows or Linux CD/DVD install that can be installed on all PCs.

Comment: Re:This again? (Score 1) 473

by Bruce Perens (#49598949) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

OK, I will try to restate in my baby talk since I don't remember this correctly.

Given that you are accelerating, the appearance to you is that you are doing so linearly, and time dilation is happening to you. It could appear to you that you reach your destination in a very short time, much shorter than light would allow. To the outside observer, however, time passes at a different rate and you never achieve light speed.

Comment: Where we need to get to call this real (Score 1) 473

by Bruce Perens (#49596461) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

Before we call this real, we need to put one on some object in orbit, leave it in continuous operation, and use it to raise the orbit by a measurable amount large enough that there would not be argument regarding where it came from. The Space Station would be just fine. It has power for experiments that is probably sufficient and it has a continuing problem of needing to raise its orbit.

And believe me, if this raises the orbit of the Space Station they aren't going to want to disconnect it after the experiment. We spend a tremendous amount of money to get additional Delta-V to that thing, and it comes down if we don't.

Comment: Re: Elon Musk (Score 1) 108

by Bruce Perens (#49582987) Attached to: Russian Cargo Spacehip Declared Lost

Obviously I am missing something, then. Please fill me in on your better information sources. Email to bruce at perens dot com if you don't want to put them on Slashdot.

It's time to start planning another trip to Lompoc. The Motel 6 was sort of yukky last time. Maybe I'll try something else. There was an official visitor observation site that I found and got into last time, but that was for the Delta, and it was on Pad 4 if I remember correctly. This one is all the way on the other side of the base on Pad 7 or 8, isn't it? There are some farm roads that might be good observation sites if they are open.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 108

by Bruce Perens (#49582029) Attached to: Russian Cargo Spacehip Declared Lost

I am not confident that the world will remain a hospitable place for life until we are ready by your standard.

Getting the resources and people there is very close to being within our technical capability. The task ourselves, if we perform it, will take care of the remaining gaps.

Creating a self-sustaining colony outside of the Earth's environment is going to need a lot of work, but it is not work that can ever be achieved on this earth. We have to actually put people in space to achieve this. Our best experience so far is with submarines. Academic research has so far yielded only farcial frauds like Biosphere II.

If God had a beard, he'd be a UNIX programmer.