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Comment: Re:Get real (Score 1) 348

Interesting, but I tend to remain skeptical. If you're talking about sending up a Bridgeport that you're going to use to make a 5 axis 20ft^3 workspace CNC, I believe you. If you're talking about sending up a dwarf-sized little mill (I can't think of any at the moment, but there's a Taiwanese company that makes table-top mills for about 1k a pop) to build a Bridgeport to build a..., there I just don't believe you can make it work without contorting yourself through a lot of hoops and picking up a lot of extra overhead that makes it more sensible to send up the full-sized Bridgeport instead. But like I said, interesting. If you've got a link to a writeup, I'll read it.

Comment: Re:We are fsk'd (Score 1) 57

Nowhere in the constitution does it say that treaties can override rights. It's a court challenge waiting to happen. Also, treaties generally aren't voted on in secret, even if they're negotiated that way. In fact, I don't believe congress can legally vote in secret on anything. They can have classified meetings, but they can't pass secret laws.

Comment: Re:We are fsk'd (Score 1) 57

Difference being that stuff like that can and does change with administrations, but more importantly, is fairly transparent. It's not like you come in to work one morning to your job at and ...what office? what website? It's always been a shuttered building. What boss? What lead reporter? Oh you must be talking about prisoner 24601.

Comment: Re:Get real (Score 1) 348

In my most optimistic guestimates, 1000 falcon first stage launches would probably cost about 5-10 billion, assuming they're recoverable half the time and last half a dozen flights each. But even when not counting the cost of the second and earth departure stages, that only puts a few hundred to at most a thousand-plus kg of payload on the moon per flight. You need way more than that to have ISRU equipment *and the in-place industrial capacity to maintain it*. Hell, a CNC mill can run 1000kg. And you need a few of those, some lathes, saws, drill presses, air handlers, compressors, water handlers, etc. Do yourself a favor and walk through a machine shop attached to a college lab or a chemical plant or something and do a mass budget before you start declaring stuff feasible with current tech for reasonable cost.

Comment: Get real (Score 1) 348

Unless you have a few trillion dollar coins stashed away somewhere that'll fund thousands upon thousands of chemical rockets, it's just not possible to do this. The only hope we have of actually getting to a place like Mars, or even the Moon, on a large scale (even with sufficient economic incentive to be there) would be new physics or a wild breakthrough in engineering, at least 30dB more than a re-usable SpaceX rocket would be. There's no guarantee that the former is even possible, and there is a guarantee that the latter won't happen without lots of deep thinking and hard work that needs an economic incentive to be worth-while, because it'll be very expensive and involve lots and lots of failure along the way. You can't force it, and you can't afford it, even if you confiscate everyone's possessions and tax everyone's income at 100%.

Comment: Re:Huh (Score 1) 240

by RightwingNutjob (#48145251) Attached to: Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'
The two sides are talking past each other. The "ooh shiny" crowd sees compatibility as an albatross and can't fathom why anyone would consider incompatibility as anything other than a cost of doing business on the path along forward progress. The other side can't fathom how anyone who's worked in software or engineering can be so cavalier about sacrificing compatibility for what may well be a passing fad.

Here's a hint: there's a right answer, and the reason one side doesn't see it is because they don't seem to share the experience and the background in engineering real solutions to real products that motivates one strongly to not want to do the same job twice when it's been done right once, at no small cost in sweat and tears.

I don't think there's a way to bridge that divide other than with time. Kids around my age and down, having grown up with participation trophies, tend to be hostile to learning from the mistakes of their predecessors, and haven't quite gotten to the phase of their careers when they can make and learn from their own mistakes just yet. I'm just getting there, but I work with hardware which is much less forgiving and makes you learn quicker. Pure software types in the "ooh shiny" crowd may not all be at the age yet where they've had their trial by fire and enough pushback from reality to temper their enthusiasm with an appreciation of the facts on the ground in regard to compatibility loss. Hence bullshit like systemd, binary format log files, and an "optional" attitude to POSIX.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern