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Comment: Nothing new (Score 4, Insightful) 192

by Virtucon (#48608325) Attached to: NASA's $349 Million Empty Tower

After Challenger, the House Ways and Means Committee basically forced the ASRM onto NASA even though they didn't need it. Billions were spent on the Yellow Creek facility because of one congressman, Jamie Whitten, and it's now abandoned. Pork-barrel politics has been around since well, politics but that doesn't mean we have to like it or put up with the system that enables it.

Comment: They'll figure it out. (Score 1) 186

by Virtucon (#48606409) Attached to: Graphene: Fast, Strong, Cheap, and Impossible To Use

Materials and Process Scientist and Engineers will continually evolve the processes making it more cost effective. As for the "hype" about Graphine why are companies jumping on-board to manufacture it? Much like industrial and gemstone quality diamonds, or even Carbon Fiber, eventually a process will be found and Graphine will find more uses because it'll be less expensive.

Comment: Re:I'm sorry (Score 3, Funny) 415

by Virtucon (#48556599) Attached to: Microsoft's New Windows Monetization Methods Could Mean 'Subscriptions'

I'm sure they'll support the traditional model and maybe come up with a catchy edition title. For example they could label it 'New Windows' for the subscription model and 'Windows Classic' for the one model people are used too. Then of course they could come up with new editions like 'Windows Zero' or 'Windows Light' just to further confuse the marketplace.

Comment: Re:Texas Anti-Regulatory Climate (Score 2) 137

by Virtucon (#48546843) Attached to: Tesla Wants Texas Auto Sales Regulations Loosened

It has nothing to do with conservatives. It has everything to do with preserving the good old boy network. Texas represents a huge sales opportunity for Tesla and much like other states, the laws here mimic the old Dealership mentality. Fishing a battery plant in Texas isn't exactly going to make or break Texas, nor will it probably entice legislative change. It's certainly good for Nevada because high paying jobs, especially in Northern Nevada, are few and far between.

Comment: Adapt Dumbshits (Score 1) 460

by Virtucon (#48531397) Attached to: Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

Shit, if you could get an 85KW storage system with a decent support plan in place, then you'd see large scale electric grids wither in all but the most densely populated areas. Solar/Wind Charging during the day, comfortable power at night and when the recharge capabilities diminish beyond a certain point they come and swap it out for another storage system. Yeah if I were one of the big electric conglomerates I'd be nervous too. Adapt or die.

Comment: I can see Vegas wanting to protect their revenue (Score 4, Informative) 93

by Virtucon (#48524691) Attached to: A Backhanded Defense of Las Vegas' Taxi Regulation

Sorry I travel 2 sometimes 3 times a month to Vegas and I have to say outside of NYC it's the biggest taxi racket out there. Because of the terminal locations, it's a guaranteed $10 sometimes $15 bucks before you even get to the Strip because of the circuitous routing and roads. One time I had a driver "miss" the airport exit and then had to argue with him over the extra $13 bucks on the meter because of his mistake. So now I rent cars when I go there and again, Vegas leads this category in stupidity. Hike to the Rental Car Shuttle Bus, ride for 10 minutes, more lines, more hassle and oh yeah nice "Franchise" fees on top of "Airport Taxes" to pile onto the car. Still, it's better than a taxi there.

Comment: Wordsmithing (Score 1) 114

by Virtucon (#48518187) Attached to: Comcast Forgets To Delete Revealing Note From Blog Post

Yeah somebody forgot to delete a commentary edit in the text. It's like people who ship word docs around. I have more fun scanning through the comments they thought they'd removed. It's all about the message folks and how clean they can make it. I like how they gloss over that they don't compete which again is another reason that this deal should be through down the shitter. Comcast is a pile of shit and now there's serious consideration to let them get bigger? Fuck that.

Comment: Re:Modern Problems (Score 1) 229

by Virtucon (#48514057) Attached to: FBI Seizes Los Angeles Schools' iPad Documents

I think putting cutting technology into the hands of students is a great idea. The caveat is that they are mature enough to understand how to take care of it and use it. Kids nowadays are much more advanced than we'd like to think and have access to things both good and bad that I never had when I was growing up. Getting in front of it and leveraging this for educational purposes was a laudable cause.

How do unions equate to an educated workforce? You can also be an outstanding teacher and not be part of a unionized workplace. I'm not anti-union but where education is concerned these teacher unions don't have our kids best interests at heart.

With my comparison to airlines I should have been specific. Consider things like Flight Attendant paperwork, taking money for onboard services. None of this has anything to do with safely operating an aircraft but the union won't let you change anything until a rigorous amount of work study programs are completed and negotiations have concluded on any additional workload. If you're paying for the employee to work the flight and you provide them with technology to make their jobs easier and more efficient they'll still want something in return for all these innovations. The same can be said for teachers unions even though individually workloads on their members will decrease.

It was a great concept by the LAUSD but again, poorly executed and thought out. Think about kids dragging home tons of books everyday, the cost in textbooks isn't going down and this kind of tech allows for more innovation in teaching. Kids can become more engaged and be given the tools to succeed in life by leveraging the right technology, not just for technologies sake. The blame lies then with the board and those at the top responsible for implementing it. It's a billion dollar mistake but that happens everywhere, even in business. The real issue is a billion in education dollars is tougher to recoup.

Comment: Modern Problems (Score 1) 229

by Virtucon (#48511927) Attached to: FBI Seizes Los Angeles Schools' iPad Documents

It was a great idea but the fundamental issues barring it from being successful were completely ignored. Organized Labor always wants training and work studies to be completed and approved before anything gets rolled out. I've dealt with this working with Airlines and trust me, you don't change work rules or add tools to the environment without Union buy-in. The training issue keeps coming up and to be fair, the support structure and training should have been thought out well before the first tablets were rolled out. Of course the school district paid way to much for the tablets and that's another investigation point. Finally we have the students who if they're like most kids want to play games and do whatever they want with the devices. You can't give a walled garden experience to an 9 year old kid, he's going to figure it out and bypass what you've put in place or get his older sibling or friends to get him access to whatever he wants. Shit all the kid has to do is google it "how do I jailbreak an iPad" and "how do I sideload apps on an iPad" and at that moment all of the useful school district supplied controls disappear. You've now given 10s of thousands of tablets to kids so they can watch youporn all day. Congratulations LA Unified School District.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard