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Comment: Re:Translation... (Score 1) 196

by Teancum (#47933655) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

I apologize. I've been battling too many people on Reddit lately, and sometimes that carries over to here on Slashdot, even though I've largely faded away from here.

BTW, this particular tweet is VERY interesting:

https://twitter.com/TheLurioReport/status/512292169840099329

If there is any substance here, this story could could a whole lot more interesting. The Lurio Report, unlike Mr. Pasztor, is usually pretty accurate with these things too. Even more interesting is this tweet:

https://twitter.com/TheLurioReport/status/512293986602848256

I guess that explains the layoff notices that Boeing sent out earlier to comply with the WARN Act.

Comment: Re:Translation...and I'm a Guest, not a Coward.... (Score 1) 196

by Teancum (#47928001) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

In the press conference that was held after the announcement, the NASA PR rep actually mentioned "other competitive crewed spaceflight operators" could be considered in the future. In other words, SNC is not completely out of the picture. Indeed they will still be funded for CCiCAP as they complete the final milestones under the current agreements... SNC just missed the big funding and actual spaceflight missions which SpaceX and Boeing are now being funded for with CCtCAP.

Comment: Re:Translation... (Score 1) 196

by Teancum (#47923707) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

Except for the nit-picky fact that they've said nothing of the sort.

On the contrary, they even prepared the lay-off notices to most of the staff working on the CST-100:

http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/40931boeing-preparing-layoff-notices-in-case-of-commercial-crew-loss

It was a prudent business move none the less, but Boeing certainly didn't seem ready to compete in general commercial spaceflight endeavors. Now that they've won the award, I guess all of that paperwork gets burned, which should be a relief to those working on the CST-100.

Comment: Re:Translation... (Score 1) 196

by Teancum (#47923585) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

And the award to the biggest asshole on slashdot goes to businessnerd, who can't tell time to see that I posted before the official announcement. Not only that, but besides the raw "Boeing and SpaceX got the award", Mr. Pasztor got nearly everything else in the article flat out wrong.

It should also be pointed out that NASA has yet to select a "prime contractor", if any is to be selected at all.

Comment: Re:Translation... (Score 2) 196

by Teancum (#47917897) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

Slow down there..... you don't know who has received what, if there is even a "prime contractor", or what is going to happen. Assuming that Mr. Pasztor is 100% accurate (his previous record of accuracy in reporting about the space industry suggests strongly otherwise), it would still be pretty good for SpaceX. Although I would say it is just at the beginning of the fireworks as whatever deal actually comes from this announcement today (4 PM EDT according to NASA) is going to be reviewed by congressional committees in the future and may even change. It will still remain competitive between the companies in the future and I can see the down selected company getting business in the future from NASA if they continue development and independently get passengers into space.

The interesting thing is that Blue Origin is rumored to be potentially purchased or some sort of stock swap with Boeing with a merger. The future of Boeing and whatever they are going to do in the future will be interesting, and I think Boeing is going to feel the pinch to be competitive. Both SpaceX and Sierra Nevada have promised that they will continue with development of their vehicles even if they don't get selected, which I hope is not a criteria being used for selecting Boeing if this proves to be true.

Comment: Re:Translation... (Score 4, Interesting) 196

by Teancum (#47917733) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

Boeing paid off Andy Pasztor to write this hit piece. Basically it is being done, I would guess, to push up stock prices so somebody else can make a bunch of money shorting the stock afterward or something silly like that. This "reporter" has rarely been right and deserves to be embarrassed if everything he says fails to happen.

BTW, I agree with you in regards to Dreamchaser. It is a good enough vehicle that the ESA is even looking at using it, and Sierra Nevada is already on record saying they will continue the development of this vehicle even without additional development money from NASA. Indeed the only company that has said they will stop any further development if their vehicle isn't selected is Boeing.

Comment: Re:Car Dealers should ask why they're being bypass (Score 1) 148

by Teancum (#47914161) Attached to: Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

Some of the issue with automobile manufactures is that the vehicles are so complex and need so much capital that almost everybody who tries to build a new manufacturing company in this industry usually goes bankrupt. Tucker and DeLorean are really good examples of this, in spite of conspiracy theories that suggest ulterior motives of existing manufacturers.

The other issue is simply complying with government regulations in the industry. Some of those regulations certainly have been established because of major screw-ups in the past, but many of them (in spite of the manufacturers complaining about them) are enacted explicitly to discourage new entrants into the industry. At the very least the existing manufacturers only offer token resistances to things like seat belt and safety laws that add complexity as long as it hits everybody in the industry equally... and keeps new companies busy trying to catch up if they tried. If somebody built an exact replica of the Ford Model T, it couldn't be driven today except as a historical re-creation for off-road usage and certainly not something for mass production.

Comment: Re:Car Dealers should ask why they're being bypass (Score 2) 148

by Teancum (#47914107) Attached to: Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

The point of the dealership is to have a local representative who can help with compliance with local regulations. A hundred years ago, selling stuff was a whole lot more complicated in terms of trying to keep track of things each state wanted or didn't want, not to mention often even different laws for each city even in the same state. Communication was also a bit slower as well... and more importantly the system simply worked for almost everybody.

The problem is that once you have the franchisee in place, getting rid of them is nearly impossible, even if the situation has changed. This is why several historic systems still stick around years, decades, or even centuries after they are obsolete. Some places in Europe still use Roman aqueducts for their water supply... because they still work. There may be more efficient ways to get the same thing to happen now, but why change if it still sort of works?

Comment: Re:Car Dealers should ask why they're being bypass (Score 3, Insightful) 148

by Teancum (#47914055) Attached to: Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

You are the one who made the first mistake.

If you do that kind of research by looking stuff up on-line, reading Consumer Reports, and digging up information about the automobiles before you show up to the dealer.... what is the point of the dealer in the first place?

I agree with you so far as that is the best way to avoid getting screwed over by incompetent salesmen, but you can intelligently use sales reps to get more information about their products. This is not strictly about the automobile industry either, and I've done that with electronics, software, and even groceries.

Comment: Re:Car Dealers should ask why they're being bypass (Score 2) 148

by Teancum (#47914017) Attached to: Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

Tesla doesn't have dealerships, which is part of the problem though. They have stores... like stores which sell soap or drugs like aspirin. That is also the point of the ruling as they are trying to tell these mega-dealerships who own the rights to every automobile brand that they simply can't add Tesla to their list.

The reason why Tesla doesn't want these dealers to have their cars is primarily because they are afraid that these dealers will throw a couple of Tesla cars in the corner of their showroom and be pushing the other brands instead. Elon Musk has explicitly stated this as his primary objection, and why he felt it was necessary to go outside of the dealership model.

Comment: Re:Possession is nine-tenths of the law... (Score 1) 213

by Teancum (#47896237) Attached to: Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

I haven't forgotten the multiplicitive nature of human reproduction or how life will spread. Millions of years from now mankind is likely going to be spreading to other Galaxies and doing things you would not even comprehend at the moment. Human populations also seem to somehow stabilize when constrained with resources (sometimes in ugly ways, but it does happen). Space is huge and there will be many other places to worry about than a mined out Moon.

Who knows, there may even be a lunar restoration group wanting to make it look as pristine as when Neil Armstrong first walked on it.

Comment: Re:LOL (Score 1) 213

by Teancum (#47896225) Attached to: Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

Everybody thought the era of pirates was over.... until they started to show up again in the 21st Century here on the Earth. If the opportunity presents itself, there will always be people who will take advantage of a power vacuum and try to take that which is undefended.

No, it won't be like Star Trek or Firefly..... those are too slick and clean cut. It will be far more ugly and different still. This isn't chest thumping, it is facing reality instead of burying your head in the sand and thinking none of this is going to happen. I'll also say that a couple hundred years is nothing in terms of human history too. If you don't make longer-term plans, your civilization is simply doomed to extinction.

Comment: Re:LOL (Score 1, Interesting) 213

by Teancum (#47895221) Attached to: Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

The reason you can make a claim in North America and have it stick is due to the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army. They are the guys that make it possible to make a mining claim and not have to worry about having some 2-bit thug come along and take your mine from you. That is what makes civilization possible. As much as Canada wants to assert their independence, they are dependent upon the U.S. military to make sure Russia doesn't go and sack the northern part of their country (or the whole country for that matter). Ditto for Mexico (in spite of the gangs in northern Mexico.... proving my point and the GP poster above).

The problem with the assumptions about those hoping for peace and tranquility in space is that you don't have sovereignty claims, thus no military of any kind except for pirates and thugs who don't give a damn about treaties or the United Nations. This also includes opportunistic nations that may want to take any space-based assets. That is not an environment you want to be investing billions or perhaps even trillions of dollars worth of money to develop space-based mineral assets.

Yes, space is big, far bigger than you can imagine. None the less, once you start sinking resources into developing a location in space, it becomes a target for aggression. That becomes a fixed point that can be occupied and stolen. Thugs will beat you up simply to steal ten bucks out of your wallet.... what will they do for assets worth billions? That is why you need to have available some friends who are far bigger and badder than any potential thug to allow civilized behavior to flourish.

Comment: Re:Barriers will fall once the money comes rolling (Score 1) 213

by Teancum (#47894707) Attached to: Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

I wonder what the lobbying budget of Planetary Resources is at the moment? There are other space mining enterprises, but they are the ones that are furthest along with actual hardware capable of doing something with the idea. Their short-term goal is to simply map the Solar System, and not even trying to pretend that it is for purely scientific purposes.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra

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