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Comment: Re:Context (Score 1) 52

by pavon (#49784207) Attached to: SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches

The Orbital ATK merger is different because they had complementary capabilities and weren't really competitors. Orbital didn't have any experience building rocket motors; they have always refurbished ICBMs for military launches, or purchased motors for their private launches. Whereas Thiokol produced many of those original ICBM motors that Oribital was reusing, and was already contracting with them to produce new motors for Antares. There was/is some overlap in the non-launch services parts of the companies, but as far as launch goes it was a pretty natural fit for them to merge.

Comment: Context (Score 2) 52

by Bruce Perens (#49782349) Attached to: SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches

This ends a situation in which two companies that would otherwise have been competitive bidders decided that it would cost them less to be a monopoly, and created their own cartel. Since they were a sole provider, they persuaded the government to pay them a Billion dollars a year simply so that they would retain the capability to manufacture rockets to government requirements.

Yes, there will be at least that Billion in savings and SpaceX so far seems more than competitive with the prices United Launch Alliance was charging. There will be other bidders eventually, as well.

Comment: Re:Slashdot videos suck! (Score 3) 107

by Eloquence (#49776673) Attached to: Building Hospitable Open Source Communities (Video)

Videos/podcasts and similar formats are definitely not for every setting, but they do allow you to get to know a person a bit better than a simple transcript does. In a video, you can see a person's facial expressions, you can hear emphasis, and you may be able to make more of an emotional connection. For a podcast, you can listen in the background, during your commute, etc. Each format has its advantages/disadvantages.

I agree a transcript would be awesome though; sorry that I've not gotten around to that yet (I do these in my spare time and suggested to Roblimo that he might want to run a shorter version). If you want to help, I've set up an Amara import here. In general, Passionate Voices is a community project (the videos are under CC-0, i.e. free to reuse), and help is always welcome, including with doing itnerviews.

Comment: "Pipeline" by Sumana (Score 1, Insightful) 107

by Eloquence (#49776607) Attached to: Building Hospitable Open Source Communities (Video)
A few days ago, Sumana released this video, Pipeline, a critique of the tech industry's treatment of women. It's relevant to the overall discussion re: hospitality and worth watching (the main point being, "getting women into tech" doesn't really solve any problems if the actual experience in the industry is a terrible one).

Comment: Re:Puzzled (Score 1) 72

I should have said that the mass of an attracted object is irrelevant if the attractor is stationary. Like, one presumes, said McD station was thought to be.

When the relative difference in mass between two objects go towards infinity, the amount of influence the mass of the lighter object has goes towards zero. The pull a car has on earth, an astronaut on the moon, or a star on a galactic center black hole is so small that for all purposes they can be disregarded, and the greater objects be considered stationary.

Comment: Re:Not pointless... (Score 1) 443

by Skapare (#49773455) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker
in a city i used to live i photographed dozens of cars making illegal left turns at an intersection where lefties were not allowed (according to a sign with a slash over a lefty pointer). they were taken at an angle clearly showing readable license plates and that they were doing a lefty. i offered the photos to the police but they said they needed the evidence of who was doing the driving because the law applied to the driver, not the car. i guess i need to introduce them to the D.C. police to get them to be more creative about applying laws and go arrest some car owners.

Comment: Re:Puzzled (Score 2, Informative) 72

it does seem to work like this, with bodies of larger mass being attracted to it with greater force!

Jokes aside, you're perpetuating a false belief.
It should be well known by now that gravity does not accelerate heavier objects any faster than lighter objects. The mass of the bodies is irrelevant if non-zero.
Ref Gallileo's alleged demonstration at the tower of Pisa.

Comment: Re:Or.... (Score 5, Interesting) 246

by JanneM (#49772627) Attached to: Leaked Document Shows Europe Would Fight UK Plans To Block Porn

You follow the local accepted customs, whether you think they are ridiculous or not.

Let's take a parallel situation: In some countries, such as Australia I believe, you wear your shoes indoor. In some countries, such as Japan or my native Sweden, you always take them off.

If you come to either country, would you find it acceptable to basically say "In Australia we always wear our shoes indoor. If you want to take them off, no issue. Why should I be forced to take them off?". Then proceed to try to walk in wearing your outdoor shoes? Would you be surprised if you were (politely in Japan, not so politely in Sweden) thrown out as a result?

Comment: Re:did the tech exist in 2010-12? (Score 1) 120

by sbaker (#49762613) Attached to: Oculus Founder Hit With Lawsuit

HMD's have been around since LONG before there were 3D graphics on the PC at all. They'd been used (for example) on military flight simulator back when you'd need a million dollars of mainframe hardware to generate a 3D image. I very much doubt that any of this tech is actually new. Probably someone like Evans & Sutherland were the first to do it - and they had 3D graphics back in the late 1970's. I doubt that much of the general concept is still patentable - so this argument is probably over some kind of small feature.

Like punning, programming is a play on words.