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Comment: Re:just let it go (Score 1) 833 833

Crazy thought. If the project is risky and requires a higher bid then would that not capture the inevitable rise in development cost we are currently experiencing with these projects? Perhaps different decisions would be made in light of more realistic bids? Bidding $100 on a job that you know full well is unlikely to come in under $1000 when completed would never be accepted in the private sector. Why do we allow it for these government contracts?

Comment: Commercial Crew Program (Score 1) 140 140

NASA doesn't have the funds to human-rate it, and even if they get those funds, human-rating it will likely cause SLS's schedule to slip even more, something NASA fears because they expect the commercial manned ships to be flying sooner and with increasing capability. The contrast — a delayed and unflown and very expensive SLS vs a flying and inexpensive commercial effort — will not do SLS good politically.

This is the real reason why CCP had it's funding reduced.

Comment: Re:Bullshit? (Score 4, Insightful) 195 195

The difference is that a fighter pilot has been selected for their skills, esp. with multi-tasking and processing a rapidly evolving environment. Few candidates actually make it past the starting gate. Drivers on the other hand are only weeded down to those that can stay in a lane, use a turn signal, and apply the brakes at an intersection. You can be an almost entirely incompetent driver and pass your exam. If you fail you can generally can continue to retake the test until you pass. Eventually the dice will land just right.

Comment: Re:If you can't keep your eyes on the ROAD (Score 1) 195 195

HUD who cares about the HUD. I want a robotic arm that slaps the damn mobile phone out of the drivers hand then comes back across their face for good measure. I don't get it. Most of the cars whose driver's have a hand glued to their ear have bluetooth hands free integrated into them. Yet nobody uses it. Even if the car is old/cheap, nobody seems to have heard of "speakerphone".

Comment: Re:Wrong headline.. (Score 2) 214 214

I appreciate cynicism as much as the next person but in this case given present demand, Elon Musk, as well as China's willingness to undercut others that's actually highly unlikely. Within the next few years I think it very likely that we'll see a considerable expansion of manufacturing capacity for batteries.

Elon is managing to change the climate within the auto industry by a sufficient degree that EVs are going to enter the mainstream in the west. China's polution problems mean it has no other choice but to adopt EVs. If the establishment doesn't supply them, then they'll make them themselves--which they're already doing.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 4, Insightful) 939 939

Yes, that cool thing called quantitative easing. That is, printing money so as to facilitate increased government debt. The citizens get to go along for the ride. The purchasing power of incomes tends to look like an upside down logarithmic curve whereby the poorest lost the most and the wealthiest the least. Don't worry though, it's all going according to plan.

Comment: Re:The most underrated misconception of economics (Score 4, Insightful) 939 939

I think the incompetent wordsmith was trying to communicate the problem embodied in San Francisco real estate. That is, us geeks whom command higher pay squeeze out the demographic currently residing in a given location.

Comment: Re:Nuclear? (Score 4, Insightful) 308 308

Thanks to Tesla among others we're getting closer. There are a number of strategies under active development including battery, flywheel, thermal, and hydro conversion storage. It's an engineering problem. We simply need sufficient economic motivation to solve it.

Comment: Re:This is interesting (Score 1) 163 163

Citation required. I want to see these "studies." They don't exist. Many of these ingredients have been grandfathered in. The assumption being that since no one has provably dropped dead from having eaten them that they do not cause harm. The term is GRAS, Generally Recognized As Safe. An increasing body of these GRAS ingredients have come under suspicion as of late, some provably show to cause harm.

Regarding GMOs, Monsanto and co. prevent ANYONE from testing their seeds. Farmers are contractually obligated put them into the dirt or destroy/return them. Researches are not allowed access. Government bodies do not require independent testing. They are allowed to vouch that their products are safe and we're just supposed to trust them. A common genetic modification is to cause the plant to produce its own pesticide. Specifically Bt-toxin a neat little compound that works by eating holes in the digestive track. Even if we're not immediately dropping dead by this stuff, we're ingesting some pretty f'ed up stuff. GI inflammation continues to receive interest as a contributor to a significant number of health problems. Are these GMO plants contributing? Difficult to tell since there's no mandate for independent safety studies.

It is strangely coincidental that we are experiencing unprecedented health problems, unheard of allergies, whose timeline track rather closely with the inclusion of these so-called GRAS ingredients and GMO crops. I am far too cynical to believe that the calorie companies have my best interest at heart over their own profit. I also seem to recall the tobacco industry telling us similar tales. I will not take their word for it. These ingredients and plant modifications should be subject to same rigor as medications have to prove their safety.

"Just think, with VLSI we can have 100 ENIACS on a chip!" -- Alan Perlis