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Comment: Cut Down On Olympic Bloat (Score 4, Interesting) 228

by rnturn (#48668473) Attached to: Should Video Games Be In the Olympics?

Get rid of the sports that cannot measure the success of the competitors using the Olympic motto: higher, faster, stronger. That means no figure skating, no synchronized swimming, and, especially, no more rhythmic gymnastics. Essentially, nothing that requires assigning a number to a performance via a panel of judges. (I'm a little torn about any sport that chooses winners based on the points that they score on a particular day but when I think about the excessive coverage given to beach volleyball in the last few Summer Games I lean hard to the "drop them, too" side.)

Just think how much less expensive it would be to hold an Olympics would be if all those judged "sports" were taken out. The potential sites for the games would mushroom without a need for all the additional venues for the judged events. Cities that hold the Games can rarely afford to and the citizens wind up footing the bill for facilities that will rarely see use after the closing ceremonies. Plus, if it would get Bob Costas' interviews with prepubescent gymnasts off the air, we all win.

Comment: Re:um.... (Score 1) 156

by rnturn (#48647309) Attached to: Can Rep. John Culberson Save NASA's Space Exploration Program?

Maybe, just maybe, if the USPS wasn't required to prepay the retirement benefits for employees who haven't even been born yet (and their children who may become postal workers), they'd be able to make a profit. That wasn't mentioned in the article you referenced. My guess is that providing the reader of that little tidbit of information would interfere with their "USPS = inefficient govt. agency" narrative.

Comment: Can't you just call it broken? (Score 1) 130

by rnturn (#48620933) Attached to: Research Highlights How AI Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At

I mean an AI that looks at static and says it's a school bus 99.99% of the time seems to be about as broken as could be. The researchers have to be the most optimistic folks in the world if they still think there's a pony in there. I'd be seriously thinking about scrapping the software (or, at least, looking for a bad coding error) and/or looking for an entirely new algorithm after achieving results that bad.

Comment: Re:Wildly premature question (Score 1) 81

by Bruce Perens (#48620117) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

If we look at jet aircraft, wear depends on the airframe and the engines, and the airframe seems to be the number of pressurize/depressurize cycles as well as the running hours. Engines get swapped out routinely but when the airframe has enough stress it's time to retire the aircraft lest it suffer catastrophic failure. Rockets are different in scale (much greater stresses) but we can expect the failure points due to age to be those two, with the addition of one main rocket-specific failure point: cryogenic tanks.

How long each will be reliable can be established using ground-based environmental testing. Nobody has the numbers for Falcon 9R yet.

Weight vs. reusable life will become a design decision in rocket design.

Comment: Re:Mesmerizing (Score 1) 433

by rnturn (#48596189) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

Those were used on direct drive turntables to allow the user to fine tune the speed. Line frequency is -- in theory -- 60Hz (in the US) but can be off a bit. The strobe+markings were to let you compensate for that. I'm not aware of any drive-wheel or belt-drive turntables that had the speed adjustments.

Comment: Re:NO DRM! (Score 1) 433

by rnturn (#48596151) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

``Except for the fact that it will be worn down.''

Depends on how you take care of it. I suspect that someone buying vinyl today for the first time is going to subject it to a whole lot more abuse than those of us who've been listening to it for decades. After seeing my daughters drop their MP3 players time after time (after time) I wonder if an LP would survive a week. That doesn't necessarily make the format inferior. (Except for the use case or environment that a newcomer to the format may assume it can be used in.)

Comment: Re:Nitche Market (Score 1) 433

by rnturn (#48596035) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

I have to chuckle a bit when I hear people extolling the virtues of the higher dynamic range of digital recordings when those recording are typically heard while in the car or played through second-rate ear buds. Face it: you only get the advantage of that dynamic range when you're sitting at home in a comfortable chair. (When nobody else is around vacuuming the carpet or running the washer/dryer.)

Comment: Re:Nitche Market (Score 1) 433

by rnturn (#48596003) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

I realize you're talking about the vinyl recording industry but so much of what happens today depends wa-a-a-y too much on someone being able to make a killing on something. Not a comfortable profit but a killing. And you can see where that's gotten us.

When I think of the number of recordings that would never have even made into the record store bins if this idea became the sole reason for making a record, my head spins. It might be the entire thought process that someone like Simon Cowell employs when deciding to make a record but how many classic rock performers would have been able to make past that a**hole if he'd been around back in the '60s or '70s. "I'm sorry Janis but that was bloody awful!"

The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.