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Comment: Re:Ok, then: Obama idiocy (Score 1) 200

by arglebargle_xiv (#48615335) Attached to: NASA's $349 Million Empty Tower
If you look at the graph they include in their article, complete with its pointless scare quotes around "hypergolic" every time it's used, the reason for mothballing almost all of the test stands is that hypergolic propellants aren't used too much any more in modern designs (less energy than cryogenics, and incredibly unpleasant and dangerous to work with), so there's less need to experiment with them in test stands. Another way of writing the article therefore could have been "Switch to safer fuels reduces need for expensive test stands", a win-win situation all round. In fact I'm sure Fox ("We Report, You Believe"), are working on that version right now...

Comment: Re:This is the voice of world control. (Score 1) 106

by arglebargle_xiv (#48455073) Attached to: Nuclear Weapons Create Their Own Security Codes With Radiation

a nuclear warhead going off in a silo, especially where the United States and the old Soviet Union put most silos, is a meh.

It's not a meh, it's a myth. The physics package can only be triggered after a fairly complex set of conditions have been fulfilled, starting with launch authorisation, a period of high acceleration, a period of zero-G (long enough for the warhead to have moved outside the continental US), re-entry heat, and so on. And unlike any number of Hollywood movies, this isn't something you can bypass by uploading a hotfix, it's fixed-function stuff that can't be changed.

Another thing about these gee-whiz national-lab designs is that they've been coming up with them since the 1980s (and probably earlier than that, I wasn't around then). None of them ever get used. They eventually find their way into civilian applications (things like MEMs, PUFs) years or even decades after the national labs come up with them, but they're never used for arms control due to a mix of massive inertia, difficulty in turning a proof-of-concept into a fieldable item, and the fact that deploying them typically requires renegotiating international treaties.

(This is a very abbreviated description of something that'd take a book to cover).

Comment: Re: Damn! (Score 2) 161

by arglebargle_xiv (#48439091) Attached to: Mozilla's 2013 Report: Revenue Up 1% To $314M; 90% From Google

Mozilla is squandering the money they have. It should be shows around to a range of open source projects. That sort of money could free dozens of major and important projects from their corporate sponsors' agendas.

That was my reaction as well. If Chromefox and a bunch of money-wasting vanity wank ("Firefox OS") is all we're getting for $300M, Google should be asking for their money back.

Comment: Re:Hire the new boss! (Score 1) 224

by arglebargle_xiv (#48345563) Attached to: Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8

Its a pot of money a lot of people put into usually with a single goal for an election.

Oh, so in Roman terms it's actually largitiones (referring to the act of providing money for political ends) rather than ambitus (a more general term for the crime of political corruption, including bribery) - see my other post above.

Comment: Re:Benchmark Bit (Score 1) 96

The Intel drivers for Linux are official and open source. They are actively maintained by Intel themselves. This is not like the Nvidia/Nouveau split, Intel are actually very open source friendly in this area.

So you've got the choice between crappy graphics hardware with OSS drivers and high-end graphics hardware with binary-blob drivers. Damn.

Comment: Re:Terrible (Score 1) 430

After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy

I know this is terrible and all, but as someone completely unaffected by this (not an apple fanboy, russian or gay) I find some kind of weird surreal humour in the whole thing.

What I find kinda surreal is that they were quite happy to set up a monument to a sociopath, but then felt the need to take it down when a completely different person admitted he wasn't into women so much. In post-Soviet Russia, happy ocelot pancake.

Comment: Re:Sky drive? (Score 1) 145

my work has office 365 accounts and i'll be darned if I can get sky drive sync to work.

This is exactly why my reaction to this story was "Giant who-cares". Instead of x GB of dysfunctional online storage that doesn't work more often than it does Microsoft is now giving me infinite amounts of brokenness to play with. It's like taking a faulty laptop back to Dell and as a special offer they replace it with three faulty laptops.

Comment: Re:Not a chance (Score 1) 572

The obvious alternatives for USB-to-serial are:
1) Prolific 220x

Prolific are never an alternative, unless the question is something like "Would you rather have gonorrhea or ...?". In order of preference, it's something like FTDI, FTDI clones, banging rocks together to get ones and zeroes, Prolific, Prolific clones.

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay