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Comment: Re:Yeah, sure, any day now... (Score 1) 64

by Maxo-Texas (#48623871) Attached to: A Domain Registrar Is Starting a Fiber ISP To Compete With Comcast

I think you would agree that if a farmer is 20 miles from any other connection point that no company or municipality should be legally required to run that farmer a line and charge the same price as they do for a line in an urban neighborhood.

If we decide that we want to provide that as the federal government- cool. Tho it would be pretty damn irritating to find we are running subsidized internet out to some wealthy lady's wilderness estate because she put in 10 acres of hay.

There are alternative solutions (like satellite) but they are more expensive. And that's the trade off you get for living away from other people. You can't share services and costs. You don't pay city taxes.

Everything we decide to do is a trade off. Alaskan Fishermen who are maimed and even killed while fishing for us don't get inexpensive high speed internet either. Neither do game wardens living in remote lodges in national parks. And we don't provide any of them the same level of police, fire, and water service either.

It's not a question of saying they do or do not deserve it. It's prioritization of limited resources. Do you run high speed internet to Fred the Farmer for $20,000 or do you pave a street or buy a new fire engine or buy the new police cruiser?

Especially when changes in technology may allow Fred the farmer to have high speed internet for $120 a month in a couple years.

But if we had unlimited resources- sure. Give the farmer's high speed internet with no extra charge for the extra hardware they require.

Comment: Re:As long as they get close it's a win (Score 1) 79

by DerekLyons (#48623425) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

A very negative point of view.

Only in the eyes of the completely clueless or the drooling fanboy (not there's much effective difference between the two) are facts "negative".

If you get it back in one or a few bits then it is a win over just just chucking it up there and knowing you have lost it (as most rockets do)

Since the goal is to recover it whole, no, getting back in 'a few bits' is not a win. It's a failure. That things can and will be learned from such a failure does not change this.

Comment: Re:Man, am I old ... (Score 4, Insightful) 149

by Archangel Michael (#48619739) Attached to: Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

Taking that many pictures of "life" events, unless you're a photographer professionally, is completely void of meaning. The problem is, if your too busy taking pictures, you are NOT participating. Personally, I take a few pictures, to remind me, and then participate, which provides me with way more satisfaction than if I were sitting on the sidelines snapping hundreds of photos.

Comment: Re:Not a cargo ship (Score 3, Interesting) 107

by DerekLyons (#48619665) Attached to: New Cargo Ship Is 488 Meters Long

Once again, when not using made up numbers, Green energies are the same.

Which is a very odd claim - since you produce no numbers whatsoever for "green" energy.

And you forget that natural gas isn't just a source of BTU's - it's also a major feedstock for a variety of industrial processes. (A significant portion of "oil derived" plastics are actually derived from natural gas.)

Comment: Re:As long as they get close it's a win (Score 1) 79

by DerekLyons (#48619545) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

No, I missed the quoting the part that was (more-or-less, mostly less) correct. The parts I quoted were parts that you were wildly incorrect on, as there's considerable distance between what has been tested, and what they are testing. Even so, you're still wrong. Miss the target, by even a little bit, and it's a loss. Land hard and lose the vehicle (not due to sea state) and it's a loss. Tip over and lose the vehicle and damage or lose the barge (not due to sea state), and it's a loss.

So yes, it does matter if they miss, it does matter if they land hard or tip over - because the whole goal of the test is to demonstrate a successful pinpoint landing. You don't really seem to grasp what's being tested here and why.

Comment: Re:Army? (Score 1) 167

by Archangel Michael (#48619181) Attached to: Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

Canada is invading?

Foreign threats capable of reaching the east coast would already be detected, being launched from across the Atlantic. Threats being launched from under water, close to shore, I'm pretty sure this would mostly be useless (sonar would be better suited).

No, this is about controlling the people of the United States. There is no other legitimate purpose.

Comment: TANSTAAFL (Score 1) 79

by DerekLyons (#48618497) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

However, the cost of not having to rebuild the rocket every time is much more significant. Even if they can only reuse it a few times, that's a lot of production cost being saved.

The money saved by not having to produce a new vehicle is offset by the money spent on fixed infrastructure and on recovering and refurbishing the vehicle for the next flight. Airline travel is as a cheap as it is because they've gotten between-flights maintenance down to essentially zero (basically only emergent work) - the expensive refurbishment and refitting occurs at intervals of months to years. (And the amortized costs of the facilities for doing so are spread over a large number of aircraft and a very large number of flights.) The Shuttle was expensive as it was because between-flights maintenance costs were very high. (And the amortized costs of the infrastructure were spread over a very small number of vehicles and small number of flights.)
So, if a first stage (new-in-box) costs $x million and refurbishment costs $.9x million (including the amortized portion of the fixed costs), then it'll have to fly ten times just to break even. The break even point calculation is very sensitive to flight rate, flight interval, and the number of vehicles in the fleet. The hope is, over a long time frame, to reach civil aviation levels... but there's a long way to go between here and there. (Particularly in light of the low flight rate of F9 launches that have sufficient spare payload capacity to allow them to be recovered.)

Comment: Re:As long as they get close it's a win (Score 2) 79

by DerekLyons (#48618363) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

If they can show over a couple attempts that they get close to the target then they can move to doing this over land. They have already proven they can do this in Texas many times.

There's a reason why they're flying all these attempts over water - they haven't done it in Texas even so much as once. The flights in Texas have been "take off, go a short distance up, then land more-or-less right back where you started" - which isn't the difficult part (so far as flight control is concerned, it's more of an engine control problem) as small errors have no time to propagate. The difficult part (from the flight control POV and the reason they are testing on a barge) is the boostback and retro burns, where even small errors in attitude and delta V propagate into significant errors by the time you hit your hovering gates (and is thus an engine control *and* a flight control problem). Another issue, also not tested in Texas, is the aerodynamics and flight dynamics of the returning stage (especially in the high speed regime), and indeed these issues caused a problem on the first attempt.

So no, coming close isn't a win. They're going to have to demonstrate pinpoint recovery a number of times before anyone is going to let them even consider attempting it over land.

Comment: Re:Depends... (Score 2) 158

From what little I know, the NSA doesn't actually spy on US citizens en mass. Instead, it has contracted other extra-national agencies to do it, specifically to get around the letter of the law. These are quid pro quo arraignments with agencies like Britain's MI6. We monitor them, they monitor us, and we exchange data.

So technically, they don't spy on us, but the result is the same.

Comment: Re:Does the job still get done? (Score 2) 572

by Maxo-Texas (#48616871) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

If you can't trade your labor for food and people feel it's immoral to give you food, things will get very bad for a period of time.

Then, like the luddites (who saw they were screwed- requested training on the new machines and didn't get it), most of the losers will starve to death homeless and then 20 years later everyone will refer to them the way we refer to luddites today.

It's a fundamental challenge to capitalism.

In the short term- fewer jobs will mean capital requires even more hours of those who do have jobs and that means even higher unemployment.

Comment: Re:Yeah, sure, any day now... (Score 3, Insightful) 64

by Maxo-Texas (#48615341) Attached to: A Domain Registrar Is Starting a Fiber ISP To Compete With Comcast

I.e. if Comcast uses excess profits from everywhere else to provide ridiculously low priced service (aka walmart breaking into a new market until the competition goes out of business).. then Tucows can't win.

I think the lines need to be built by and maintained by one company or by the municipality and the service provided by competition.

There are good and bad points to excluding customers. It's ridiculous to run a 20 mile fiber to one person's house or even a group of five or six houses and charge them the same as everyone else. If they want cable- they should live with the rest of civilization.

OTH, left to their own devices providers will cut "less" profitable customers over "highly profitable" customers. Which doesn't work with something that is basically a public utility.

Comment: Re:Durable parts. (Score 2) 169

by Archangel Michael (#48613345) Attached to: 3D Printer?

You're 100% right, but what you don't include is that some (if not most) of the parts created by 3D printer can be engineered to be better than the originals, even when you include lower quality materials. And it often doesn't take much.

The parts I'm talking about, were designed as much for the process of building the product it was a part of as anything, and once you get around THAT limitation (process of manufacturing), you'll have a better part engineered in no time.

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys