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Comment: Re:Avoiding Amazon Web Services? (Score 2) 165

by afidel (#47531407) Attached to: Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

AWS started as a way to gain revenue from the spare capacity they had for cyber monday, but it's now ~200x the size of Amazon's actual needs and is its own revenue and profit center. If a new CEO wanted to at this point he could spin it off into a separate company with contracts to host services for Amazon. I'm honestly not sure what it would gain you other than access to a pile of capital to use elsewhere, but for the time being Amazon doesn't seem to be hurting for access to capital.

Comment: Re:I wonder how long it would've taken NASA? (Score 1) 49

by afidel (#47520863) Attached to: SpaceX Releases Video of Falcon Rocket's Splashdown

Reducing cost through optimization of manufacturing can be more important than lots of original research, for instance the recent boom in photo-voltaic solar has much more to do with the plummeting $/W for panels made with decades old technology then it does with the constant stream of announcements that some group has eeked out .5% better efficiency out of cells made of unobtanium. I'm not saying that basic science research or materials science research should be halted, just that people who poo poo people making a better/cheaper widget just because it's not new and sparkly are missing the forest for the trees.

Comment: Re:Why ODF? (Score 1) 163

ASCII is more than 30 years old, it's 51 years old, and I'd bet $10,000 that it will be readable by nearly every computer in another 51 years. UTF-8 and UTF-16 are also highly unlikely to be unreadable anytime during my lifetime since they've been in use for 21 years and are open standards with many real world implementations.

Comment: Re:I wonder how long it would've taken NASA? (Score 1) 49

by afidel (#47517395) Attached to: SpaceX Releases Video of Falcon Rocket's Splashdown

which we keep buying/making to prop up the ICBM industry with civilian dollars.

More like to feed dollars to Utah as demanded by their powerful senior senator. (ATK's Thiokol unit is based on Utah and Hatch has been seated since 1977 and his predecessor served from 59-77)

Comment: Re:a question.... (Score 1) 63

by afidel (#47516981) Attached to: Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

River birch survives just fine in my climate here in Northeastern Ohio, we average 1.5m of snowfall and regularly see -23C temperatures with dips about once a decade down to around -35C. We're at the extreme northern end of their range though so it would probably be a crap shoot as to whether it would grow.

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