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Comment: Re:Wildly premature question (Score 1) 81

by Bruce Perens (#48620117) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

If we look at jet aircraft, wear depends on the airframe and the engines, and the airframe seems to be the number of pressurize/depressurize cycles as well as the running hours. Engines get swapped out routinely but when the airframe has enough stress it's time to retire the aircraft lest it suffer catastrophic failure. Rockets are different in scale (much greater stresses) but we can expect the failure points due to age to be those two, with the addition of one main rocket-specific failure point: cryogenic tanks.

How long each will be reliable can be established using ground-based environmental testing. Nobody has the numbers for Falcon 9R yet.

Weight vs. reusable life will become a design decision in rocket design.

Comment: Re:Here come the certificate flaw deniers....... (Score 1) 80

by Alioth (#48564169) Attached to: New Destover Malware Signed By Stolen Sony Certificate

Signing certificates are normally encrypted. Stealing the file will do no good unless you know the decryption passphrase. For example, to get a package into our local debian repository such that it can install/upgrade in our production environment, you'd not only need the gpg signing keys, but the 60+ character passphrase (which is NOT written down) to go with it.

Comment: Re:I've hired people with misdemeanors before (Score 1) 720

by Alioth (#48555701) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

> Would you want to hire someone who was convicted of violent assault?

It depends why. Were they the initiator of agression, and beat up their spouse? Perhaps not.

Were they defending themselves from a bully? Yes, I would hire them.

A 40 year old who was convicted at age 17 when he flew off the handle for some reason, but has not been in trouble since? Yes, I would hire them.

Comment: Re:Finland will save money on napkins (Score 2) 523

by Alioth (#48489787) Attached to: Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

Wiritng cursive has crossed the line for decades (just teach them so they can write legibly, which is still required - but all that cursive shit, no).

However long division and other things such as doing multiplication by hand are important skills that should still be taught: it internalizes the idea that a big difficult calculation can be made easier by turning it into several smaller calculations. It's a bit like learning asm in computer science - you're (probably) never going to use it in the real world but it's important to know in the understanding of how a computer actually works.

If anything I think schools need to be able to get more people to be able to do mental arithmetic and estimation. If you understand these even if you only ever use a calculator it gives you the skills to sanity check the result (how many times have I thought "that's not right" after entering something into a calculator because it disagreed with a mental estimate, then discovered I had miskeyed a number, especially on a touch screen)

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.