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Comment: Landing legs (Score 1) 71

I wonder how confident they are of a successful launch, given that they've never launched with the 'production' landing legs attached (albeit, stowed for the ride uphill). NASA probably doesn't care if the first stage shreds itself upon reentry, but they'll care all right, if the landing leg interferes with the launch somehow...

Comment: Angara (Score 1, Insightful) 311

by benjfowler (#46743113) Attached to: Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

They can't even launch Proton reliably, and it's taken them 20 years of R&D to get Angara to the point where they can (nearly) launch it.

As it is, the Russian space programme has gone from world-beater, to being a bad parody of Kerbal Space Program.

Talk is cheap. I'll believe they can build a Moon base, when I see it.

Comment: Management (Score 1) 236

by benjfowler (#46736067) Attached to: GM Names Names, Suspends Two Engineers Over Ignition-Switch Safety

Management are paid the big bucks, because in theory, they are held accountable when fuckups happen.

We keep on being told that meritocracy is the American Way. But what I see here, are a bunch of overpaid slimebags avoiding accountability, avoiding responsibility, and hanging the engineers out to dry.

If Barra has any personal integrity whatsoever, she should accept responsibility for this, and for lying to Congress, and fall on her sword.

Or is "personal responsibility" only for the little people?

Comment: Re:well, it takes two to tango... (Score 1) 139

We have the Ottomans and their dysfunctional culture to thank for that. They are the ones who brought in different rules for different groups, and they are the ones who indirectly legitimized corruption in southern Europe. It's a wonder that we are as nice to the Turks as we are, considering the damage they've done.

Comment: US equivalent of Bribery Act (Score 4, Interesting) 139

In the UK, we have a particularly strict law called the Bribery Act 2010, which is good, because it not only prohibits giving and receiving bribes to win business, but it also prohibits failing to prevent it.

Does America have anything even close? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised if they don't, because the US rent-seeker corporate Right would fight it tooth and nail.

Comment: Blah (Score 3, Insightful) 1744

by benjfowler (#46652993) Attached to: Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

I've got absolutely no time for poofter bashers.

But the torches-and-pitchforks brigade really overdid it this time.

Well, Eich did invent Javascript, and despite what that says about his judgement (or lack thereof), I think it's totally unfair to crucify somebody for their personal opinions. Just saying.

Comment: Re:Politcs vs. Science (Score 1) 291

by benjfowler (#46649807) Attached to: NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

You're saying that his peeling Crimea off Ukraine isn't a master stroke? Most people would. Very few leaders would have finessed that at such incredible speed. OTOH, he had goaded NATO into tooling up, and pushed Ukraine itself out of Russia's orbit. Putin's made Western leaders look like dickheads often enough these days that they're determined to avoid a repeat.

"If John Madden steps outside on February 2, looks down, and doesn't see his feet, we'll have 6 more weeks of Pro football." -- Chuck Newcombe