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Comment: Re:Ronnie Phone (Score 2, Insightful) 276

by Tablizer (#49795999) Attached to: FCC Proposes To Extend So-Called "Obamaphone" Program To Broadband

It's odd how it seems to politically matter who does something more than what is being done. Examples:

"GOOD" (or neutral) WHEN BUSH DID IT:

Corporate welfare
NSA
TSA
DHS
deficits
stimulus
bombing
medicare part D
golfing
hugging Saudi oilers
saluting with things in hand
feet on desk
subsidized cell-phones

"BAD" WHEN OBAMA DID IT:

Corporate welfare
NSA
TSA
DHS
deficits
stimulus
bombing
medicare part D
golfing
hugging Saudi oilers
saluting with things in hand
feet on desk
subsidized cell-phones

Comment: Combo tech (Score 1) 208

by Tablizer (#49794909) Attached to: Why Detecting Drones Is a Tough Gig

What about a combination of image detection and echo-location? Image recognition and/or regular sound detection would identify candidate objects, and narrowly-focused echo location would then scrutinize the candidates further.

And so what if you take out a few birds accidentally? Just place a KFC nearby to handle such. They'll enjoy the free raw materials.

Comment: Re:Waste of Time & Money (Score 1) 245

there are also multitude of valuable scientific experiments that are done on ISS

The science-per-dollar in such ISS experiments has been very poor, considering the total cost of ISS and life-support and maintenance. 100 billion US dollars can buy a hell of a lot of R&D otherwise.

all the Moon missions brought back precious information about its geology. If we could make a self-sufficient base on the Moon and even send a single geologist there they will bring more data then all probes that we sent there to date.

I'm skeptical of that claim. One generally does not know what one is looking at until it's taken back to a lab. And robotic sniffers can do more preliminary analysis than an on-site human geologist per dollar. Robots (multi-spectral cameras) can "see more colors" in a sense. Human eyesight is limited. And we'd have more rocks/soil from more sites if we had sent robots under the same costs.

Comment: Technology Race, not Space Race (Score 1) 245

Our current gap is not really in space-specific technology. An "AI race" and/or 3D-printer/replicator-race would probably better serve the goal of living in space than a "space race" that only focuses on space-specific technology. We should focus on the bottlenecks, and those bottlenecks so far appear to NOT be space-specific.

Think of how difficult it would be to do space exploration in general without compact computers. Computer technology is not space-specific, but computer technology miniaturization happened to be a giant enabler of space exploration. Dumping tons of money into ONLY space-related stuff would not have been nearly as beneficial (being we've mostly plateaued on the mechanical and chem rocket side of things since the late 1950's.)

Similarly, AI and/or flexible manufacturing automation appear to be areas that help in other industries AND space exploration/colonization. Let's try to launch two birds with one rocket.

Comment: Waste of Time & Money (Score 4, Insightful) 245

Manned missions are expensive, risky, and provide very little of value for the money other than knowledge of space's impact on the human body.

Manned missions also take money away from robotic missions, which have proven to be far more scientifically valuable per dollar spent. I'd rather see a Titan boat probe and a Europa submarine probe than a manned near-orbit asteroid sampling mission.

I believe other technologies have to catch up to make humans-in-space practical, such as automated dwelling construction and mining, and automation of space-based manufacturing and repair. It requires a lot of labor to make a self-sustaining colony, and space-suits make such impractical and risky. We need better helper robots first. Otherwise, we are just spinning our wheels. These problems will NOT be solved by yet more manned missions alone.

Robotic probes are highly effective and efficient, while humans-in-space is currently very clunky, wasteful, risky, and expensive at this point in time. We are doing it wrong. Let other tech catch up first.

Computer Science is the only discipline in which we view adding a new wing to a building as being maintenance -- Jim Horning

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