Pakistan was founded as a Muslim state, and it is not a reasonable expectation for it to work against Islam in Afghanistan by supporting the heretical idea of secular government.
Not accurate. Pakistan was founded as a secular nation. Their motivations in Afghanistan are all about power and control. Pakistan had militarily supported the Taliban against the Northern Alliance in the 90s, and so now that the Northern Alliance runs the government they ally themselves with India instead of Pakistan.
The only reason Islamabad gave the US the time of day in the past was to obtain arms to use against its mortal enemy India which was buddies with the Soviets during the Cold War.
The US came to India first. They wanted to be able to put missiles in India aimed at the Soviets. But India wanted to be neutral. Pakistan saw this and decided to ally with the US for money and arms to use against India. After China invaded India and gifted land to Pakistan, India gave up on neutrality and joined with the Soviets.
India would be wise to make buddies with the US after the US-Pak relationship collapses. If it comes to war, US assets could help India take out Pak nukes which are a menace to civilization.
It's never that simple. There have been several wars. And India always wins. Pakistan wants Kashmir because that's where the water is. There's not enough to go around so Indian dams cause the Pakistani rivers to run dry. They are so desperate for it that they constantly send their soldiers over the border posing as Kashmiri freedom fighters to fight and die. Like North Korea they are a doomed nation with nothing left to use. So they continue to terrorize out of spite. Even before both sides had deployed nuclear weapons, India had always stopped short of invading Pakistan because they see no use in trying to occupy it.
The closed source drivers haven't supported the X1400 in a while. The old versions that do don't run on any recent distros because of kernel incompatibilities.
It's not a hardware problem. We have lots of T60s at work and they all the same problem in Ubuntu 10.04. The open source driver support for the 1400 is not good. I have to disable most of Compiz to avoid glitches. ATI's closed source driver worked a little better in some ways but they dropped support for those chipsets and the old drivers don't work on current kernels.
You misunderstand me. I'm not saying that people in general are unwilling to risk or their lives or that progress is possible without risking life. I'm saying that there's currently no sustainable business model around manned space flight for commercial use. Sending people into space does not solve a business problem. There are a few very rich and brave individuals willing to go into space for personal reasons. Not a sufficient market right now. You won't find many VCs willing to invest in such a company. They will certainly not turn a profit any time soon. But it is something that government space agencies invest in. I'm not saying we shouldn't let the private industry take over more of the design and manufacturing of spacecraft. Or that NASA is doing a terrific job. But removing NASA as a customer will make things a lot worse.
When aviation was starting out, we had a few entrepreneurs that were able to take the risks and build an industry themselves. They didn't need much funding and this liberated them. Space travel seems to be a lot more expensive for individuals to embark upon without large amounts of external funding. That's the fundamental difference in my mind. But perhaps, as you say, it really isn't all that expensive if you approach it correctly.
As far as a "zero tolerance" of fatalities, I certainly don't see that from NASA...
I meant private industry in this case. A high risk of death is something that makes manned spaceflight unprofitable for the private industry right now. It's hard to get repeat business when your customer dies! The private industry has to deal with the lawsuits resulting from fatalities. That's much less of an issue for NASA.
Also, NASA isn't the "only customer"...
But you're not a customer unless you can afford to pay. There are plenty of window shoppers, but the cost isn't going to go down if you lose your existing customers.
I just think we're better off with NASA bumbling towards something than not having them trying at all. They consume a relatively small part of the federal budget and tend to deliver a better return on investment than most other things the government spends on.