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Comment Re:Why not support the top of the booster (Score 1) 39

Yes.

However, if I am designing an experiment, I try to limit any simultaneous changes to dependent variables.

That's not to say that I *won't* (I have) vary multiple independent variables at the same time, but if I do, I usually have at least a "hunch" that the direction I'm moving them both (all) is toward a saddle point.

Perhaps the person deciding this has already concluded the independence of the variables and the probable location of the saddle point. If so, good on them; from outside, I really haven't reached the same conclusion, but, alas, I do not have all of the data they have.

Which is why I stated my comment the way I did, rather than accusing them of bad judgement.

Comment Re:On paper, this is a good decision (Score 1) 102

But I can't help but wonder in practice if it won't leave a lot of poor people with no internet access at all.

Sure, it's nice to have an even playing field. But when you're starving, do you really want the government telling McDonalds that they can't give you free food because that wouldn't be fair to Burger King?

This is the intent.

You didn't think that all the poor people with no internet access at all were the ones posting online about the lack of neutrality in the offering, did you? The people posting already have Internet access, and so the only impact on them would be:

(1) If they were one of the companies that refused to partner with Facebook, which means that they were unable to successfully compete in markets (e.g. job sites, etc.) where they were already underdogs, or

(2) They were ordinary Indians, more well off than the poor, who were suddenly forced to compete with well educated poor, who had the ability to apply for jobs which they coveted

(3) They were people who had to pay for their service, felt that if poor people received free service, they should too, and were upset that the free service was not as extensive as their current paid service

So it's basically a strategy to keep the target market segmentation of startup sites focussed on "not the poor", anti-competitive for labor, against the currently disenfranchised (keeping them that way), and people wanting their existing something for nothing, rather than a new thing that is a lesser something for nothing.

Welcome to India.

Comment Re:Some "facts" (Score 1) 39

- 100% of the Falcon 9 Full Thrust landings have been successful.
- 0% of the Falcon 9 v1.1 landings have been successful.
- There has been one F9 FT flight so far.
- The F9 FT has (among others) improved thrust (and thus more reserves for the return flight) and improved landing gear.
- After the successful return of the F9 FT some things were noted about the FT drives and launches were pushed back 4-6 weeks as it looks right now.

Or the ground landing was a "Oops! We accidentally landed successfully! Let's blame the equipment! Back to the barge! Arrrrrr, maties!".

Multiple successful ground landings would have been good. But they aren't planning to refly the thing even if it's a successful landing at this point. But that does move us 3 launches to reuse from first landing to probably 6 launches to reuse. If they have money to burn on it because they are rolling it into launch costs, it makes sense to roll as much of it as you can into the costs before you end up being forced to drop the prices.

And yes, I know: being cheapest, they aren't "forced", but visible reuse would encourage others more, if it had corresponding visible cost reductions.

Comment Re:Why not support the top of the booster (Score 1) 39

Why not use some sort of collar made of cables on some masts around the deck to support the top of the booster? When the booster come in, the hoop is wide open so as not to obstruct. As it passes though, the loop tightens and the booster is kept upright even if it tips. By the time it lands, the loops is snug against the top of the rocket and the booster is secure, even if the platform rocks.

That was actually my first reaction: "Oh, obviously it'll be something like 'this' that they'll be using...", the first time I heard they'd be landing them at all.

Then I got really annoyed at them not having something like that, and trying to land on a pitching platform.

The platform landings themselves make sense, particularly if you locate the launch and landing facilities out in international waters so that the world really has no say in whether or not you are allowed to launch and/or land, but really: there's a lot simpler tech that would work to avoid losing the things over and over again.

That said, once they get it right (assuming they ever do), and assuming the weather cooperates all the time, having solved the problem, the per launch additional equipment costs will be marginally lower than they would have been, had they gone with a "hug truss" system in the first place.

Personally, I was thinking they were going to do a least three dirt landings to give them a confidence interval and more data, since that data may change what they decide to do in the process of landing, which in turn might add complications to the water landings that they had not yet considered.

Comment Re:The reasons are far from unknown. (Score 1) 257

You know that they lifted the ban on second children last year, right? And that it never applied to everyone, just certain areas where there was overpopulation. Obviously many in the west would condemn their methods, but it isn't true to say that they have a problem with the rate that their population is expanding. They have it under control, at the rate they desire.

I'm well aware of the ban. It primary served to cause a rash of "SIDS" cases that left odd strangulation marks on female children. Ironically, given that there will be massive shortage of wives, and the families with daughters will pretty much be able to dowry for whatever they want. You would think that there would be a lot of efforts in the other direction, as a monetary investment.

As far as "at the rate they desire" ... that rate being non-zero, that assumes that they are able to manufacture territory (which is what the comment was about) and support infrastructure (which was also what the comment was about).

Comment Re:The reasons are far from unknown. (Score 1) 257

I typed some of it, and pasted others, and manually formatted. I went to 5 sources.

A lot of countries have a lot of disputes; Taiwan is about as bad a China, actually, and there are areas of the Middle East that are pretty fired up, currently (particularly if you consider ISIS a state actor, rather than a marauding horde).

Comment The reasons are far from unknown. (Score 5, Informative) 257

China needs to do more to keep NK under control, unless NK's games are tolerated by China for reasons unknown.

The reasons are far from unknown. China is currently grabbing as much territory as they can, anywhere they can:

Baekdu Mountain (North Korea)
Bhutanese enclaves in Tibet (Bhutan)
Demchok, Chumar, Kaurik, Shipki Pass, Jadh, and Lapthal (Taiwan, India)
Hong Kong (Taiwan)
Jiandao (North Korea, South Korea)
Kula Kangri and points West, Haa District (Bhutan)
Macclesfield Bank (Taiwan, Vietnam)
Paracel Islands (Taiwan, Vietnam)
Scarborough Shoal (Taiwan, Philippines)
Senkaku Islands (Taiwan, Japan)
Shaksgam Valley (India)
Arunachal Pradesh (Taiwan, India)
Spratly Islands (Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei)
Taiwan (Taiwan)
Eastern Bhutan (Taiwan, Bhutan)
Mainland China, Hainan (Taiwan -- but the PRC has a pretty good claim here 8^) ...)
Western Heixiazi / Bolshoy Ussuriysky Island (Taiwan)
Penghu, Jinmen,Matsu Islands, Pratas Islands (Taiwan)
Songling District, Jiagedaqi District (Mongolia)
Pamir Mountains (Tajikistan)
Yalu River islands (North Korea, South Korea)
Shaksgam Valley (India)

Anything that keeps peoples attention focussed elsewhere is all to the good, as far as China is concerned. The territorial waters claims in the South China Sea, in particular, are important to them in terms of extending their range of control, in order to control fishing rights, since their population is still rising, despite sterilizations after the second child, and similar measures.

Comment This was actually the result of a proxy fight. (Score 4, Interesting) 253

This was actually the result of a proxy fight.

It was a proxy for the ke ea Hawai‘i movement, which is a movement that is demanding some form of sovereignty for Hawaii. they have been around forever, and they make themselves a pain in the ass wherever they can in order to attempt to draw media attention to their cause.

Their favorite hobby horses are self-determination and self-governance, for Hawaii as an independent nation, or for people of native Hawaiian ancestry to obtain "tribal sovereignty" similar to the relationship with Native Americans, for Native Hawaiians.

They generally don't care about "sacred spots" unless caring about them publicly will get major headlines.

Alphabetically, the organizations involved include: ALOHA, Hawaiian Kingdom, Hawaiian Kingdom Government, Ka Lhui, Ka Pkaukau, Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, Nation of Hawai'i, Nou Ke Akua Ke Aupuni O Hawaii, Poka Laenui, and Protect Kahoolawe Ohana (PKO).

Frankly, I'm surprised there is not a "Bring Queen Lili'uokalani Back From The Dead Society". They are unhappy with the 1893 U.S. Marine invasion that got rid of the hereditary monarchy, and they are unhappy with the U.S. annexation of 1898.

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