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Comment: Re:Sort-of-worked. (Score 2) 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:Freedom is an illusion (Score 1) 179

by shutdown -p now (#49633027) Attached to: French Version of 'Patriot Act' Becomes Law

This "they fought for freedom" thing... you know, when e.g. Americans volunteered to "fight for freedom" in WW2, a hundred thousand of their fellow citizens were in concentration camps simply on account of their ethnicity, and it wasn't exactly secret knowledge - and popular sentiment was largely in favor of that. So it was part of the "freedom" that they fought for. Somehow, I don't think that they would have been outraged by the Patriot Act.

(Note, I'm not saying that it's a good thing - but don't seek moral approval in history when it's largely retconned.)

Comment: Re:More religious whackjobs (Score 1) 282

Have you actually read it yourself beyond the title? It doesn't permit the US government from granting anyone titles of nobility. It doesn't prevent anyone from holding or claiming such a title on other grounds.

I suspect that you're confusing it with the Titles of Nobility amendment, which went further by stripping citizenship from anyone who would accept a title from a foreign country (so even under it self-claimed titles wouldn't count) - but that amendment was never ratified and is not standing law. Some people claim that it "has actually been ratified", and hence is part of the Constitution "that the government doesn't want you to know about" - usually this is claimed by fringe right-wingers, the type of guys to the right of the Tea Party.

Comment: Re:...only a dummy... (Score 1) 49

by CrimsonAvenger (#49631987) Attached to: SpaceX Launch Abort Test Successful

>> Wednesday's test was conducted at Cape Canaveral in Florida, and saw a test vehicle - carrying no humans, only a dummy - hurled skywards by a set of powerful in-built thrusters.

Strange. I don't remember reading anything about there being a member of Congress on board..

Now that's just insulting to crash test dummies everywhere!

Comment: Re:On a similiar note... (Score 2, Interesting) 462

by CrimsonAvenger (#49630145) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery
Having gone through the same sort of thing for my cancer, the real reason it took so long is that the Doctor and Insurance Company went round and round trying to sort out who was stuck with paying for things.

Eventually, the doctor will give up and bill the patient....

At which point, you challenge the bill, ask both doctor and insurance company to prove that the bill isn't covered by insurance, and argue about it for a couple more years....

Comment: Re:Problem, Reaction, Solution... (Score 2) 179

by IamTheRealMike (#49630085) Attached to: French Version of 'Patriot Act' Becomes Law

You hardly need to be mentally ill to reach this conclusion. Sure, it's not like there's a grand master plan nailed to a wall somewhere. But to conclude governments helped create this situation all you need to do is read about the background of the attackers. Their radicalisation started due to the US invasion of Iraq. When the attackers tried to go to Iraq to fight against the occupation they were arrested and thrown in prison, where they met a radical Islamist.

No war? Probably the chain of events that led to the attack would never have happened. Our governments will continue to be in denial about this because politicians feel they should be able to engage in arbitrary foreign "policy" (i.e. invasions, occupations, picking winners in regional conflicts) without any kind of repercussions or blowback at all. When reality refuses to go along with this notion they claim it's an outrage and the solution is to record more telephone calls.

From the article:

The Buttes-Chaumont group’s jihadi aspirations were directly linked to the second Iraq war in 2003. They would sit in apartments watching footage of the US-led invasion. “Everything I saw on TV, the torture in Abu Ghraib prison, all that, that’s what motivated me,” one of Kouachi’s friends told their trial.

But under Jacques Chirac, France had refused to intervene in the Iraq war and the young cell’s stance wasn’t really a movement against the French state. It was more a rage directed against the US. Some of the group stated that jihad wasn’t done in France. The focal point was fighting a foreign invader in Iraq.

“They were the pioneers of French jihadiism,” said Jacques Follorou, a journalist at Le Monde and author of the book Democracy under Control, the Posthumous Victory of Bin Laden, about security issues

A bit later in the same article ....

Kouachi, who scraped a living delivering for El Primo Pizza on the other side of the ring-road that serves as a moat around Paris, was arrested in January 2005 on his way to catch a flight to Damascus, believed to be ultimately heading for Iraq ..... He got a relatively light prison sentence, three years with 18 months suspended, as there was little hard evidence against him except a plane ticket for Damascus.

After his arrest while trying to fly to Damascus in 2005, Kouachi was on remand in the notorious Fleury-Mérogis prison south of Paris, a super-size decaying concrete mega-jail, which is Europe’s largest prison ..... He added that when the young men were arrested and held on remand before their case in 2008, prison gave them access to a universe never known before. “If the Butte-Chaumonts was an informal school of jihad, prison was the superior diploma.”


One of the prisoners involved in publicising the terrible conditions [in the prison] was Amédy Coulibaly. He was an armed robber on his third sentence, this time for robbery, receiving stolen goods and using false number plates. Coulibaly met Kouachi inside the prison and they became close during seven months on the same wing – prisoners from similar backgrounds and affinity were kept together on the same blocks, which allowed them to convene. Less than a decade later, Coulibaly joined the Kouachis in last week’s terrorist attacks .... In prison together, Kouachi and Coulibaly found not only friendship but a mentor who radicalised them

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 462

by CrimsonAvenger (#49630011) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

I call up my doctor and dentist and make a reservation and am in with a few days and at a time I want, never fails.

Oddly enough, that's just how it works here. Last time I came down with something (two weeks ago, still not quite over it, since it's a two-week+ disease), I called my GP, got an appointment later that morning...

Comment: Re:Not law yet (Score 1) 179

by IamTheRealMike (#49629929) Attached to: French Version of 'Patriot Act' Becomes Law

I also use Gandi but only for DNS. As far as I can tell there's not much useful that intelligence agencies could do with that, except get IPs of ISP resolvers that are looking up the names. So I will probably leave things be for now. But I wouldn't buy any other more critical services from them. Shame - seems like a good company.

Comment: Re:the rigamarole is political, not diplomatic (Score 5, Informative) 160

by IamTheRealMike (#49629885) Attached to: Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership

Yep. These things don't seem to be as complex as you'd imagine.

When the Doha round failed at the WTO, lots of trade negotiators gave up. They thought it was hopeless. Eventually they narrowed the scope dramatically and produced a new deal (the Bali round) on reducing red tape imposed on importers/exporters. It was one of those "negotiators up until early hours of the morning, multi-day cramfest" kind of things. So I figured it'd be some horribly complex document I'd need years of legal training to understand.

Lol, nope. The agreement is here. The requirements are unbelievably trivial. Some of the things agreed to are, for instance, that import rules should be available on the internet, and if they change whilst a ship is sailing, the rules at the time of departure apply not the time of arrival. Other rules specify that when governments make decisions they should actually be issued in writing, and ports should do customs inspections on perishable goods before non-perishable.

The mind-numbing obviousness of what was agreed is sad. Reading it is quite depressing as it makes you realise how hopelessly inept and corrupt some countries must be.

Apparently one of the reasons the Doha round failed was an inability to agree on what units to use when weighing things. I mean seriously, wtf?

These things don't seem to justify the elaborate theatre that goes into them.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?