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Comment: Re: 9 whole billion? OUTRAGEOUS! (Score 3, Informative) 121

by RightwingNutjob (#49351497) Attached to: GAO Denied Access To Webb Telescope Workers By Northrop Grumman
Well then I must have just flubbed my arithmetic. Having zero visibility into the project, I'm just guessing. Hell, even on projects I work on that straddle the line between R&D and procurement I have a hard time putting a number on retention, but I do know that if an individual piece of work takes X months for one competent guy to do, and he quits after having his budget cut, restored, and then cut again, only to be restored the month after he leaves, it'll take ~0.5X months to find a replacement and bring him up to speed. And by definition he's not as good as the guy who left since he's new to the organization and doesn't have as finely resolved of a mental picture of the whole project and where his work fits in as the first guy did. Is that 1.5 times the cost for the same work? Maybe. Sometimes slack gets picked up, sometimes people burn out under the added load. Sometimes a flash of divine inspiration lets you do more with less, and sometimes the whole thing tanks because the guy walked out the door with 50% plus epsilon of the knowhow to get it done and the whole thing needs to be restarted or retendered.

Comment: No kidding (Score 4, Insightful) 355

by RightwingNutjob (#49351469) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US
EEs coming out of places like MIT with degrees in MATLAB. Physicists coming out of Stanford with degrees in Mathematica. Circuits? What's that? FPGAs? What's that stand for again? Been happening long enough in some places I've seen that senior management thinks it have software without coding, eletronics without soldering, and mechanisms without machining. Sad. But all rooted in laziness and an inability to handle criticism or recognize polite discouragement for what it is. No mystery.

Comment: Re:Too expensive? Think of the science! (Score 1) 121

by RightwingNutjob (#49351045) Attached to: GAO Denied Access To Webb Telescope Workers By Northrop Grumman
you're possibly being sarcastic, but you;ve made a good point: you shouldn't worry about the innefficiencies unless you're fielding dozens of these things. if it's a one-off, you're going to have waste and mistakes. cost of doing business with one-of-a-kind instruments,

Comment: Re: 9 whole billion? OUTRAGEOUS! (Score 4, Informative) 121

by RightwingNutjob (#49350829) Attached to: GAO Denied Access To Webb Telescope Workers By Northrop Grumman
It costs about half a billion to launch something that size into a Lagrange point. It costs maybe a billion dollars to make a telescope that big. It costs maybe another billion to make a telescope that big that you can fold up onto a rocket's nose cone and have it unfold into the right shape by itself. Add another half a billion for the cameras and instrumentation. That makes 4 billion, which was the original budget. Add another 50 percent to make it flight qualified and for the various surprises that happen at the coal face and aren't quite as evident when you're writing a grant proposal with all the rigor that I'm putting into writing this comment. That's 6billion. Where does the other 2 billion come from? Easy: when a project this big picks up another 2 billion and congress critters and the gao start to make shutting down noises it makes it hard to retain good people on a projectwithblood in the water, and it goes on with the next notch down in talent but no less stringent requirements. So you now make more mistakes, catch them, and are obligated to go back and redo work, since it's better to go over budget than to deliver a 6 billion dollar turkey that doesn't work as advertised. Bd

Comment: Re:Satellite and cellular Internet (Score 2) 147

by RightwingNutjob (#49350391) Attached to: Draconian Australian Research Law Hits Scientists
Literalism is such an unpleasant thing. By RF broadcasts I am specifically referring to the thing that the FCC asserts authority over: high power transmissions from large centrally located antennas operating in a one-to-many mode. While the FCC regulates siting, frequency allocation, and power levels over point-to-point and telephone transmitters, it has never asserted authority over the content of the transmissions and wouldn't dare try.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't it be nice (Score 1) 147

by RightwingNutjob (#49333553) Attached to: Draconian Australian Research Law Hits Scientists
And more to your point, I (the collective manifestation of the citizenry) have leverage against a government that does as you suggest by keeping firearms in my possession, being proficient in their use, and advocating (through constitutionally protected peaceable means) for my right to do so. This is one of the functions of the second amendment: to act as a check on a government that overreaches. Tax-dodging nuts holed up in the mountains notwithstanding, governments need checks on their powers that have teeth in them. It's kind of like the British monarchy: on paper, the monarch is supreme. In practice, it's understood what would happen if he or she tried to assert that supremacy, so they don't.

Comment: Re:How many minutes until this is mandatory? (Score 1) 280

by RightwingNutjob (#49332989) Attached to: Ford's New Car Tech Prevents You From Accidentally Speeding
It would also help if it used GPS, INS, and/or visual odometry for the speed instead of tachometers on the wheels. More exact, verifiable, and not subject to the "we'll turn it up the gain on the speed display a little to be conservative" methodology reportedly used by all car companies to avoid liability ("I wasn't speeding, the speedometer said I was doing XX").

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

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