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Comment Re:O RLY? (Score 2) 310

No, if you want to send men all over the solar system, you develop infrastructure that doesn't live in a gravity well. Which, I believe, is what NASA is actually doing. Unfortunately "mission to some to be named asteroid the identity of which depends on when we have enough funding to do anything but build a useless congressional pork rocket project" doesn't have the same ring as "return to the moon".

Comment Looking at it in the sky in elementary class (Score 1) 320

We could actually see the shuttles go up and it was a once-a-week gifted pull-out class, so we were outside watching it directly. It looked really strange, with the contrail splitting and curving oddly, and we had to go back inside to figure what had happened. I vaguely recall being sent off to play while the teachers regained their composure. That, I think, was the worst possible launch to have an accident on -- but, for the same reasons, the pressure to launch on schedule was that much higher.

Comment Re:There's a reason... (Score 2) 117

I believe PGP in this context is used for end-to-end security. If you intercept the message at one end, outside the encryption, then that isn't a PGP flaw. This sounds like the application on the device is not careful with plaintexts and keys in memory, and so the data and possibly the key can be recovered from a physical device. That is completely different from decrypting intercepted data. If, on the other hand, this BB contains a hardened chip that the key is never supposed to leave and they are able to recover the key, that is big news.

Comment Re:Cart before horse (Score 1) 115

SpaceX is *investing* in testing landing to make future launches cost them less. Ironically, NASA wouldn't be allowed to do that because it is "not mission related" even though it is the biggest step forward in access to space in the last 30 years. This complaint about misuse of funds is almost a perfect demonstration for why NASA is better off buying launch service rather than hardware.

Comment Re:Accident type is relevant (Score 1) 748

While I think that is true, it could also be that driverless cars come to a stop in an unfamiliar way due to how they are programmed. Try leaving an extra few yards between you and the car in front of you at a stoplight every time and see if you don't end up with someone scuffing your back bumper. The truth is that in traffic, decisions are not made based on the behavior of just the car in front of you. The driving algorithm may not be responding to traffic as a human would, even if the human is "rigorously following traffic rules".

Comment Re:Good! 8 more years of time working correctly. (Score 1) 143

I agree. The problem is not UTC or leap seconds, it is that POSIX time ignores the existence of leap seconds. The more appropriate fix to me would be to redefine POSIX time as TAI. Or more accurately obsolete POSIX time so programmers are forced to choose between TAI and UTC. Who would ever have tried to convert from posix time to year/month/day/hour/minute without a library anyway?

Comment Re:Let me think about it for a second .... (Score 2) 291

Hopefully you realize that leap seconds are not "chosen by a standards body" per se, they are actually measurements of the slow-down of the earth's rotation and the standards body just decides how to schedule them. As another poster said, if you don't need to know the time of day, don't convert to UTC, just use a time standard that doesn't have leap seconds. The problem here is ignorant people who don't realize that time of day is not easily derivable from time-since-epoch. Changing from leap seconds to leap minutes just allows them to be ignorant longer, which I would argue is a bad thing.

Comment False comparison (Score 1) 274

Universities typically use endowments for the fixed-cost and facilities portions of their budgets, which is not student support. But, as a result, those costs do not need to be paid out of tuition. This means the number given in the summary, "endowment used for tuition etc" is meaningless because that is not what endowment is typically used for. This seems like a hit piece that is cherry-picking numbers to trump up a conclusion.

Comment Re:He may be mistaken (Score 1) 204

I also thought the CRS contracts were for deliveries, not launches. Maybe he has included the cost of schedule changes for other launches that were already more expensive? But I guess saying that it is almost as expensive to reschedule a non-spaceX launch that it is to do a spaceX one doesn't come off as good in a headline. The CRS contract to SpaceX, according to the wikipedia page, is $1.6 billion for 12 launches, or $133 million per launch.

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