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Comment Re:if this is the spearhead of human colonization (Score 2) 148

We could send robots onto the surface that could be directly and nearly instantaneously piloted by humans that are stationed on Phobos.

An automated car can drive 30 miles on US Highway 101, avoiding thousands of other moving objects going between 0mph and 65mph. Do we really need a human driver for the Mars robots, which only have to steer around some rocks, and are thousand of miles from any other vehicle? Especially as this would be the most expensive human driver ever.

Comment Re:Better (Score 4, Interesting) 130

Just look at the Hubble telescope. It has far exceeded it's expected life and is still sending images back. Not possible without people in orbit and putting hands on.

It would be much less expensive to construct ten telescopes and send one up every year or two on the cheapest possible launcher. Human repair only makes sense because you've already spent so much on the Space Shuttle.

You don't need someone to traipse across Mars, but having someone being able to change the tire on a rover enables it to continue its mission.

Rovers are cheap and patient. Humans are super-expensive and the costs for their consumables rack up very fast. We returned 12 humans from the Moon, which costs quite a lot of money. We have left dozens of landers on the Moon and Mars - although parts of Surveyor 3 came back with the Apollo 12 astronauts.

Comment Re:The artificial expense of radio and tv (Score 2) 351

we can up the power and antenna significantly, and that's the end of your expenses.

Your competitors will ramp up their power, and then you will ramp yours up some more and then they will be drowned out and decide to ramp theirs up...

But it all works out well, because we can save money on radios and just listen to your station through our fillings.

Comment Re:It's the end of the world as we know it! (Score 1) 307

Yeah. Okay. And how many companies are sitting on vast blocks that are only partially tapped?

There's some interesting economics coming up. Companies will bid up the price of IPv4 blocks, but that will also make it look like a better idea to move to IPv6. Google's stats show IPv6 users have gone up from roughly 3.5% to 7% in twelve months. If you expand the graph you'll see IPv6 is higher at weekends, when people are at home, and lower on weekdays.

So the price of IPv4 will go up, but this will push companies toward IPv6 migration, and when that happens the worth of IPv4 blocks will drop significantly.

Comment Re:Substantially correct, but . . . (Score 1) 270

I assume this should be Vietnam, rather than Iran. This is from the earlier point that "the US ignored history and didn't learn the lessons of the Iraqi revolt against the British in 1920 or the events of the Vietnam War".

Certainly "Underreporting U.S. casualties, over reporting enemy losses, and obfuscating how terrible the situation on the ground was." sounds like a good summary of what was done in Vietnam.

Luck, that's when preparation and opportunity meet. -- P.E. Trudeau