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Comment: Re:Good... (Score 1) 165

by idontgno (#47581397) Attached to: Unesco Probing Star Wars Filming In Ireland

But are they really guesting Princesses into Sofia's timeline?


Does Cedric have something to do with it?

No, as far as I can tell. I guess it's assumed all the Disney Princesses have some kind of illogical shared continuity (regardless of time, history, or distance... because preschoolers). Think of it as the Power of Marketing.

Comment: Re:Winner (Score 1) 10

by DerekLyons (#47580957) Attached to: Winners of Raspberry Pi Photography Contest 2014

The winning photo is very nice indeed.
Some of the runner-up images are okay-ish, but overall the runner-up images do not look like contest material to me.

That was my thought as well. The contest (which I'd never heard of until know) may well have "proved" that you can use a Rasberry Pi in photography, to the benefit (read:publicity) of the Pi... But the photographs themselves are generally much less than impressive in both technical and artistic quality.

Comment: Re:Where do you get this garbage? (Score 1) 135

by DerekLyons (#47580911) Attached to: Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

You clearly have not read the appropriate NASA documents.

Actually, yes, I have.

Skylab was in very good condition and NASA wanted to use it in conjunction with the shuttle

NASA was (is) an organization of thousands of people - and cannot "want" anything. A small group of people, who had no funding, wanted to use Skylab in conjunction with the Shuttle, but that was just one of the dozens (hundreds?) of pie-in-the-sky ideas various groups within NASA generate on an annual basis. Very few space fanboys realize this and presume every single dammed one of those gotta-publish-something-to-keep-my-job studies and "plans" (was) is something "NASA wanted to do" no matter how ludicrous the idea was. Actually, the more ludicrous the idea the more the space fanboys love it, because it's just more ammo for their ignorant whinging about NASA's "failures". Ignorant because on top of not grasping the pie-in-the-sky nature of many of those "plans", they fail to realize that NASA is not an independent organism - but rather is a branch of the Executive Department and only does what the Executive approves and Congress fails.

Congress did not fund this cheap solution, so we ended-up dumping $100 Billion and ten years of construction time into building ISS to get a similar orbital capability (Skylab had 320 cubic meters pressurized volume, that's more than the US part of the ISS).

What's interesting here is you claim Skylab would provide similar capability - but then rather than comparing capability, you compare volume. Thus, probably inadvertently due to gross ignorance, you reveal the shallowness of your knowledge. In reality, Skylab didn't have a fraction of *any* of the capabilities of the ISS. It doesn't produce as much power, could only support a much smaller crew, and wasn't equipped with but a fraction of the scientific equipment, etc... (Even though Skylab and the ISS have a similar volume, the ISS has almost six times the mass. There's a reason for that.) Nor, given the small diameter of it's hatches, could it have been reasonably refitted to provide significant extended capability. Raw volume is impressive, but it's no more useful than an empty house. It's useful stuff that make a house or a space station useful, and Skylab was grossly lacking in that department.

The shuttle could have then flown additions to Skylab (which had a docking adapter for multiple visiting vehicles).

Yes, Skylab had a docking adapter for visiting vehicles. No, they weren't useful for adding additional modules. On top of lacking the structural strength, they had no provision for routing power, life support, data, etc. (Not without running cables through the already narrow docking tunnel - not that there was anywhere to hook them to on the Skylab end anyhow.)

When Skylab re-entered the atmosphere it did so under remote control from the ground, with its systems fully functioning until they were destroyed by the reentry.

No, they weren't "fully functioning". The third crew had to use a lashed up servicing system to replenish the freon loops in the air lock module (which were leaking). The also had to perform a spacewalk to install a back up set of rate gyros since the original set were failing. (Etc... etc...) Skylab was worn out, and it's equipment was beginning to fail even while the manned occupancy program was in progress.

A lot of people believe that Skylab was some lunar landing level program, and that in the same vein "tossing it aside" represented the loss of some grand capability. Nothing could be further from the truth. Skylab was a shoestring budget program subsisting on Apollo's leftovers and discards. (To the point where they had to take a hatch off an unused Gemini to provide an EVA hatch - they had no money to develop or build one of their own.) It had a minimal lifespan and modest scientific capability with no capacity for significant resupply, replenishment, refitting or extension.

Comment: Re:And it's already closed (Score 1) 74

by Dr. Spork (#47579627) Attached to: Nevada Construction Project Could Be Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory
It's also a pretty tough negotiating strategy. If the governor A doesn't match the bid of governor B, Musk actually fires a lot of governor A's constituents, and the whole thing is egg on his face. Since governor A doesn't want that, he might decide to offer Musk some terms that are actually bad for the state, but will cause less personal blowback for the governor than the mass firing would have. But then there's governor B has the same incentives, and also doesn't want headlines about mass firings in his own state. He might actually decide to accept an even worse deal for the state, so as to avoid the bad headlines and instead look like a hero. So this sets up a race to the bottom which could easily save Musk more money than he spent on the cancelled construction project.

Comment: Re:And it's already closed (Score 1) 74

by Dr. Spork (#47579569) Attached to: Nevada Construction Project Could Be Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory
It is possible that this is just an interruption of work, while Musk brings in new contractors who can actually keep deadlines. According to the article, the fired construction crew missed all their construction milestones. That could be the reason for the layoffs, not a cancellation of the plans.

Comment: Re:White Werhner von Braun may be many things... (Score 1) 135

by DerekLyons (#47579349) Attached to: Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

Imagine if Skylab had stayed in orbit and been used as the basis of an ISS 20 years earlier.

I don't think the substances that would allow me to imagine that are actually legal.

Seriously, by the time of the third occupancy crew Skylab was badly worn out on top of the damage caused by the loss of the heat shield. It would have been much more of a liability due to the amount of work required to resupply and refit it.

Comment: Re:Corporate lies! (Score 2) 288

by Z34107 (#47570615) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math

It's almost like Amazon is aware of that:

While we believe 35% should go to the author and 35% to Hachette, the way this would actually work is that we would send 70% of the total revenue to Hachette, and they would decide how much to share with the author. We believe Hachette is sharing too small a portion with the author today, but ultimately that is not our call.

Comment: Equally suspect (Score 4, Informative) 288

by Z34107 (#47570601) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math

Even if you don't have a background in economics, nothing in Amazon's statement should be particularly controversial. Price elasticity isn't something they pulled out of their ass, and the idea that lowering prices could make you more money (by selling even more units) is something the thinking slashdotter should be able to intuit form first principles. "Books aren't perfectly interchangeable units of entertainment" is a nice straw man, but it doesn't change the fact that entertainment spending is highly discretionary, or that his $20 e-book has an entire universe of competing alternatives vying for your attention.

Yes, publishers and middlemen have all kinds of rationalizations for trying to kill e-books, but calling any of them "legitimate" is shilling so hard you could pence a crown.

Comment: Re:Confusing position (Score 1) 494

by Archangel Michael (#47570021) Attached to: Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

Economy Recovering (For Wall Street, mainstreet still at unacceptable unemployment)
Debt Going down (Sequestration, in spite of horrors by Liberals about "government shutdown')
Pulling out of wars (while Russia invades multiple countries annexing them at will, Hamas/Israel, Syria, Libya, Iraq ..... )
Health Care for all (Not watching the news about Federal Case regarding Fed Exchange ...)

How about Open Boarder Invasion from the south, causing massive harm to the environmentally threatened South West? (Check)
IRS Lying in attacks against conservatives (check, check, check and ... "Not a smidgeon of corruption" .. check)
Support of Islam at every step, while ignoring the plight of Christians (and others) world wide. (check)
Golfing and fundraising instead of actually doing his job (Check)
Another Multimillion dollar Vacation (check)

And the "other guy" (Romney) was mocked for saying exactly what is happening today in Ukraine. Obama is the pigeon on the chessboard of the world, strutting around knocking pieces over.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan