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Comment Re:Horrible Article (Score 1) 29

yeah, you could always guarantee that on those kinds of RFPs somebody had too much information. At a private company, we had a bid out for a replacement for an NAS/6 mainframe so IBM came in and bid a 3083 at twice the price of what National Advanced Systems (Hitachi) came back with. When a board member heard about awarding it to NAS, he became upset since he was a former IBM guy. He convinced the board not to approve the funding and buy IBM. That 3083 was a big piece of shit but we had the foresight to have performance penalties in the contract so IBM basically gave it to us for free.

Comment Re:Horrible Article (Score 4, Interesting) 29

It's funny how government contract awards go. Losers whine and if the RFP hasn't been properly documented, vetted and scored then bidders can and have overturned decisions. It can even wind up in court based on federal procurement laws. In some cases fraud or collusion is involved while in others despite having an open process, a selected bidder can have an easier path through the process. The latter being the collusion part. For example a department writes an RFP and it goes out to bid for a new computer system that must be natively compatible with IBM's iSeries. Let's count how many bidders there may be.

This is how you get overly priced items built for the government. It drowns in paper and bureaucracy including the annual "spend the budget" fun of summer where government agencies spend unused money on anything and everything because they don't want to risk the upcoming fiscal year budget. Rather than waving or giving the budget back to the treasury they'll spend it on anything they can.

In reading the TFA it sounds like Lockheed did indeed come up with an overpriced system that had features that NASA didn't want. In reasonable cases that'd be it but all of the government contractors, not just aerospace, know how to game the system to the determent of all US taxpayers. It'll be fun to see if this gets dragged out. Fortunately there's two years until the next contract period and if Lockheed ultimately wins, the current contract holders will probably get paid at an escalated rate to deliver resupply missions because it'll be in their contracts as well since it's outside the agreed upon contract duration.

Comment I don't think it will mean much (Score 2) 203

Even though they'll take responsibility, in every state in the US you must still have liability coverage. If these companies are to be their own underwriters so to speak then they'd have to jump through hurdles to be approved to operate as an insurance company as well. They could obviously partner with insurance companies as well.

Comment Re:I'm not a lawyer (Score 1) 323

These are companies, companies have lobbyists who make sure that interests are protected. Sure VW will pay fines, a lot of them but all that money will disappear in a great big puff of smoke to buy landing gear for an F-35. It won't go to help preventing this type of thing from happening, pay for more research into clean energy or healthcare. That's the bigger problem with the "fine" concept of government it all dumps into the general fund and at the current burn rate VWs cumulative fines probably won't pay for an hour of running the government.

Comment think.. think they know (Score 1, Insightful) 45

They think they know. They've done some homework, some research and have come up with a couple of hypothesis. They think they've ruled out one but they don't actually know. FTFY

I for one hold out hope for the large drinking rocks theory where the shape was determined by an over-wash of Jack Daniels.

Comment Re:I didn't inhale these emails (Score 1) 348

you can't write anybody in. The elections are controlled by the same two parties and to get on a ballot in a state you have to have enough signatures. Writing somebody in may have worked in the 19th century but certainly not the 21st. We have a two party system because they agreed long ago to just cut out all the other choices wherever possible.

The opossum is a very sophisticated animal. It doesn't even get up until 5 or 6 PM.