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Comment: Re:well (Score 1) 187

by N1AK (#47925743) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

Failing to win the contracts after the development work could wipe out smaller organisations so the risk could be along the lines of 50% of winning and 50% chance of annihilation, at which point the sensible course is not to bid at all and find other work to do.

This is common in parts of the UK public sector I am familiar with. Often government departments are forced to require considerable demonstrations as part of the bidding process. This could mean, for example, being forced to produce a publication as part of the bid to get the contract for publications for that department for 2 years. Given the considerable cost of managing a bid, and the considerable cost of producing a demo publication, many smaller firms decide not to try as they know that the odds of winning (when competing with potentially dozens of other firms) are too small to risk the expense.

Comment: Re:well (Score 3, Insightful) 187

by N1AK (#47917459) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

The first one that delivers should win

Which is fine as long as you're willing to pay the premium that all the companies put on their proposals to cover the risk of not winning. Sometimes leaving selecting a winner to the last minute can lead to higher costs than picking the most viable candidate at an earlier stage.

Comment: Re:It's getting hotter still! (Score 2) 589

by N1AK (#47909967) Attached to: Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels
And betting your life savings in Vegas may make you rich; that doesn't make it alarmist to say "Bet your life savings in Vegas and you'll likely end up broke". By your, faulty, logic you basically can't say anything may/may not happen without saying the opposite as well. Which means you should probably have said his "alarmist or not alarmist point, may have been a little, or lot, less, or more, convincing" because god forbid you actually imply something is more likely than something else if it isn't an absolute certainty.

Comment: Re:So-to-speak legal (Score 3, Interesting) 410

by N1AK (#47908755) Attached to: Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor
Private organisations providing internet service in the US has done what exactly to stop government monitoring/filtering/etc so far? The government could already regulate just like in China just as easily as it could if the internet was classified as a utility, let's not pretend those businesses are doing anything to stop it.

Comment: Re:Someone with no brain is running NASA (Score 1) 162

by N1AK (#47711727) Attached to: Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

However, the primary target of the mission was not the floor of Gale Crater, it was to study the stratigraphy of Mount Sharpe, the mountain in the middle of the crater.

I don't believe that was the primary purpose of the mission. Curiosity had clear scientific objectives and MEP has clear goals, none of which include reaching a specific location. It may well be the case that the team intended to go to Mount Sharpe in order to complete its scientific missions, but it has been able to achieve it without going there.

To slightly correct your analogy: It's like wanting to go out for excellent food, discovering the tube station near the restaurant you had selected due to its reputation is closed and deciding to instead go to another equally great restaurant that is near an open station instead.

Comment: Re:Someone with no brain is running NASA (Score 5, Informative) 162

by N1AK (#47710697) Attached to: Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

The first time when I saw the wheels I was wondering why the hell they spend so much money to send up a robot to Mars and then equip that thing with such flimsy wheels

In short: Because they aren't idiots and know enough about this field to make informed comment. The rover has reached its planned mission life, everything beyond this is a bonus. The wheels survived and will likely, with proper management, last considerably longer still. It's a great success.

Your comment on the other hand is a great example of how people who are ignorant on a field automatically assume it must be simple and that they have some valuable insight. You know when you hear people who don't have a clue say something stupid about something you know a lot about? That's you when you comment on wheels for vehicles travelling on other planets (unless you'd like to point out what makes you remotely credible in this field).

Comment: Re:Insignificant...unless you're the bird (Score 1) 521

by N1AK (#47710533) Attached to: Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead
Smaller but not insignificant. If 28,000 birds are dieing to generate 0.4GWh then millions would die just to generate 1% of America's energy needs. Personally I can't understand why it's ok to own cats and negligently allow them to hunt but apparently society is fine with that, but it doesn't mean that we should ignore other issues because we're doing that wrong.

Comment: Re:god dammit. The Numbers (Score 1) 521

by N1AK (#47710521) Attached to: Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

Crunching the numbers, it's foolish to delay solar power adoption for even 28K birds a year.

That's 28,000 birds for this current, small, solar installation: 0.4GWh, when the US uses tends of thousands of GWh. Scale it up to just 1% of US power generation and you'll be talking about millions of birds a year. It may well be that it is the least harmful way of generating electricity, but just saying cats kill more (which is an issue in itself!) doesn't make it unimportant. Personally I think it's very important that the truth comes out on what the figure is, and if the companies figures are false they get fucked for it. If it really is 1,000 birds a year then it's probably an unfortunate, but better than the alternatives, consequence of greener energy.

Comment: Re:No real need. (Score 1) 382

by N1AK (#47701797) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

I do not see how you could work out the id.

If you had separate blocks for normal posts and AC posts then you wouldn't be able to use it find out who was who. I thought you meant that if I blocked someone's normal posts it would also block their AC posts, and that would be exploitable.

Personally I think throwing out true AC posts (not logged in users) isn't required. I wouldn't be opposed to putting them through a more extensive moderation process before sharing widely (perhaps showing to ~5 'trusted' users, who could flag abuse, and if more than say 2 did it would never show up for anyone else).

Comment: Re:Oversight and regulation (Score 1) 341

by N1AK (#47701777) Attached to: Berlin Bans Car Service Uber
I'll happily stand by my statement about Thai taxis. I know two people who've been there who had issues with Taxis in Thailand. As you'd be aware if you'd both read and comprehended my post before throwing accusations of prejudice around one of the issues I highlighted was ensuring that it is an official taxi that you're getting in.

There are plenty of other places I could have used as examples instead. I used Thailand because I'm heading there in Feb and given the experiences of those two friends and the online guidance on taxis in Thailand I know that I personally would use Uber instead if it was available.

Comment: Re:No real need. (Score 2) 382

by N1AK (#47694625) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

2. The ability to block the person when they are posting as an AC. The person blocking would still not know who they are blocking as it would just say AC on the blocked list.

There is scope to abuse these ideas. Firstly it stops AC comments without login and secondly you could theorectically work out who was posting by checking with multiple accounts and/or banning and unbanning accounts.

Slashdot's moderation system seems to work pretty well. Sure it's not perfect but it's vastly better than it would be otherwise.

Comment: Re:Tough guy geeks... (Score 2) 382

by N1AK (#47694605) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

If I do not want imposed censorship, I sure as shit am not going to pay for it directly.

I don't like the state telling people what they can or can't do, that doesn't mean I let people smoke in my house ;)

There are plenty of venues on the internet where anything goes. Having some venues that are more civilised is something I think would be beneficial. I'm not overly sure that paying is the best way to ensure that. Xbox live had (and may still have) some of the biggest twats who seemed to get away with anything even with a 'paywall'. Just making it harder to join forums if you keep getting banned for abusive behaviour (a sort of internet troll blacklist) would likely be a good enough start.

Comment: Re:Did you even bother to read the GP's comment? (Score 5, Interesting) 341

by N1AK (#47676175) Attached to: Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

What happened to all the voices in those past Lyft/Uber threads talking about how stupid it was that some US cities were thinking of limiting these startups,

There's a difference between some cities trying to block Uber because it undermines the outdated medallion concept, and a city having reasonable requirements to offer a commercial transportation service and expecting it to be followed. You might feel that Berlin's public transport act is unreasonable, though I doubt you have any idea what's in it, but if the locals think that it is reasonable then it is perfectly reasonable for the government to expect companies to follow it. It seems that Berlin's issues are primarily that passangers may not be adequately insured and that Uber may not be checking that all drivers are licensed (which includes checks on criminal record, health and driving record) which don't seem unreasonable to me. I don't want services like Uber to accept drivers that meet a certain standard!

Comment: Re:Oversight and regulation (Score 4, Interesting) 341

by N1AK (#47676011) Attached to: Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

I travel all over Europe and Asian as part of job and for personal reasons and I have learned one thing..NEVER take unofficial taxis. EVER.

Which is why I don't get the concern about Uber etc. I travel abroad plenty and finding out what official taxis are, how to make sure it is an official taxi, how to check they are doing what an official taxi should etc is a lot of work and still has risks. With a system like Ubers I know that the car I'm calling is part of their network, would be kicked off rapidly if they don't follow Uber's rules etc. I've only used Uber a couple of times and in places where I know the official taxis are legit, but I'd probably feel safer taking an Uber ride in Thailand than finding an official taxi.

Many people write memos to tell you they have nothing to say.