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Comment: Re:Orbital (Score 1) 442

by Kadin2048 (#48258425) Attached to: Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch

It's not a terribly serious setback in the history of space flight, but it could be a serious blow to Orbital.

Their whole program is built around the idea of using old surplus Soviet-era rocket engines, originally designed for the ill-fated N1 program. (The N1 program, as a sidenote, is responsible for one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in human history when one of its launch vehicles had a failure shortly after takeoff. On top of a zero-for-four launch record, it's not the program I'd pick to emulate.)

My understanding of the Soviet engines is that they have some design features that make them lightweight for their output, but represent tradeoffs not typically taken on Western engines, due to the risk of "burn through". But some people--perhaps including Orbital--thought that the designers had solved the problem and the risks were overstated.

Too early to tell right now, but if the engines turn out to have a fatal flaw, that would be bad for Orbital. It'd probably be good for SpaceX, since they're the obvious alternative, but it'd leave NASA down one contractor for the commercial launch program.

Comment: I was one of the unfortunate (Score 1) 173

I had the unlimited plan. I was keeping it just to keep it. At the time I had two phones and ran a Blackberry through AT&T.

I never used more than 2 gigs of data but I loved the idea of having an unlimited plan. After the caps were put in place I held out hope it would change. While it never truly affected me I ended up canceling and leaving AT&T all together out of principle about a year later.

Comment: Telnet client = great, telnet server = bad idea (Score 2) 60

by Viol8 (#48213581) Attached to: Cisco Fixes Three-Year-Old Telnet Flaw In Security Appliances

Don't get the server confused with the client. Telnet servers should have been put out to pasture years ago except perhaps on small isolated networks. The telnet CLIENT however is an extremely useful debugging tool for connecting to all sorts of text based servers (FTP, usenet, HTTP etc) and I get really pissed off with some distributions that assume because the server is no longer used neither is the client and so remove it.

Also FWIW , telnet is still the default way to access MUDs and some BBSs.

Comment: Another stupid viewpoint from slate that is (Score 1) 287

by linuxrunner (#48211563) Attached to: Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles?

Maybe. Would cities start? Sure. But how long would it take and at what cost? We've had electric cars for a long time now, but no charging stations. The cost is too great to do it for the small few. So fuck them. Basically that's what it amounts too. And rightfully so.

Same with cities and streetlights. It's easy to say they'll change them. They may... over time. But those first self-driving cars will find themselves in horrible fucked up situations. Then what? And of course those bad situations will make it harder to sell the car. Less cars, less incentive to change things over.

And even if the city does change, the rural world won't. Rural towns don't have the money to paint some of the roads. (My town doesn't even have a single stop light actually). Our roads aren't really wide enough for two cars in some places so it takes smart driving skills to know when to move over and off the road, the roads are not painted (no yellow line, never mind a white one) dirt roads, pot holes, snow cover where you can't see the road, and mountain ranges that will even stop a satellite signal.

The point is, there are a lot of situations a self-driving car just won't work so not everyone is going to get one, which decreases the incentive to change things over and incur a large cost for the benefit of a few.

Comment: self-driving will always be an issue (Score 1) 287

by linuxrunner (#48211507) Attached to: Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles?

Between road detours, new red lights, which red light is mine in some cities... but the biggest issues are for those of us who live off in the north.

We have add things to avoid. Deer, turkeys, and lots of pot holes. I will swerve to miss a critter, but not at the cost of my life.

As a driver I'm smart enough to avoid the slippery leaves that land on the ground in the fall. There are bridges I can't cross because my truck is too wide to do it at the same time as another oncoming car. I can glimpse the car coming through the trees so I just stop and wait.

Half our roads don't even have a double yellow line, never mind the white line. Hell, we have dirt roads. What is a car going to see then? I have areas (mountains) where even my satellite radio will go out.

Lastly winter. There are times with the new snow fall that I have no idea where the road is and have to drive in the middle of the road. Not because that's where the lines might be but staying away from the edge is safer, driving in the lane where someone else has driven is safer, etc.

Lastly, for Google to originally think they weren't going to put a steering wheel in the car just shows their stupidity. After kids put cones in the road, and paint some lines via detour and watch the cars line up down a dead end street or something like that. It won't end well.

Comment: Yeah, OSS was nice (Score 1) 286

by Viol8 (#48176715) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Stop PulseAudio From Changing Sound Settings?

Its only major fault was that it was one-process-at-a-time but that would have - IMO - been pretty easy to fix. But instead they came up with the non portable (to other versions of unix) dogs dinner called ALSA. Christ, trying to program with that API is like trying to cycle with your legs tied around your head. It works - just - but it could have been made a LOT simpler.

Personally I think X windows should manage sounds as well as video allowing networked sound apps and there should be just a single sound API across all versions of unix.

Comment: Re:I still don't see what's wrong with X (Score 1) 226

by Viol8 (#48171363) Attached to: Lead Mir Developer: 'Mir More Relevant Than Wayland In Two Years'

Theres an advantage to dropping graphical networking support (15 years after even windows has embraced it) and built in inter client communication? More like it made the coders job easier.

"Networked graphics? Hey , thats hard, lets not bother. No one uses remote X sessions in 2014, right? Right? Oh, they do... well who cares anyway. Our server is new and shiny, thats all anyone really wants"

Comment: Quite (Score 4, Interesting) 226

by Viol8 (#48171169) Attached to: Lead Mir Developer: 'Mir More Relevant Than Wayland In Two Years'

Wish I had mod points. Canonical arn't really interested in Linux or unix in general other than how it can ultimately make them money. Its a means to an end and if that means dropping 30 years of experience because it doesn't quite suit them then they will.

X is far from perfect but its the unix display standard and it isn't going anywhere anytime soon. If canonical want to go their own way then they'll find their user base dropping away even further.

Comment: Given that the mobile world has moved to apps... (Score 0) 46

by Viol8 (#48159563) Attached to: Microsoft's JavaScript Engine Gets Two-Tiered Compilation

... I'm not really sure why so much effort is being put into fine tune browser performance when most browsers simply get used to display pretty static web pages. The number of people who actually play heavy duty games or anything that requires realtime performance in a browser is probably miniscule and any real gamer will be using .exe's.

Perhaps if browsers were kept simple rather than this constant effort to try and make them replace the desktop as a one-app-runs-all enviroment there wouldn't be so many exploits and they wouldn't be bloated bug ridden monstrosities.

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin