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Comment: I wonder... (Score 1) 65

by SharpFang (#49504043) Attached to: Rocket Lab Unveils "Electric" Rocket Engine

This *might* be an avenue alternative to ion engines for flights that don't stray too far from the Sun. LEO-Moon, Lagrangian Points, inner planets. And it could be combined with ion and rocket propulsion.

You can't store all the propellant at extreme pressures simply because the tank needed to contain these pressures would be extremely heavy. There's a fine balance between weight of the tank and savings on storing pressurized fuel (both energy stored as pressure and more fuel fitting in). We're at "state of art" here and can't push that much farther.

But we can afford a *tiny* extreme-pressure tank, and we have weightless unlimited solar energy at cost of fixed-size, fixed-weight solar panels.

Run the pump with solar power, gradually pressurizing the fuel to quite extreme pressures in the dedicated, tiny, very durable tank. Release it through a narrow nozzle at extreme speeds. Speed it up even more through combustion or electric field of ion propulsion. You're converting solar energy to extra delta-v with no extra fuel usage. You have just the fixed cost of the pump+buffer tank infrastructure and they can be kept really tiny, since we don't try to get a high throughput of the fuel (and have limited energy input anyway), just to increase the propellant stored energy by transforming electricity into pressure.

Comment: Re:As someone on dial-up in Seattle... (Score 2, Insightful) 71

by mrchaotica (#49502779) Attached to: DOJ Could Nix Comcast-Time Warner Merger

At that location they are so far above us in speed. It's sad when the middle of nowhere in a useless state has access about eight times faster than us for about a tenth of the cost. I wish Seattle would catch-up so the shithole of South Carolina.

Gee, it sure sounds to me like it's Seattle that's the shithole!

Comment: Re:At this point? Really? (Score 1) 71

by mrchaotica (#49502773) Attached to: DOJ Could Nix Comcast-Time Warner Merger

Based on this list [], it looks like merger activity between US banks dramatically slowed since Obama took office, after going through the roof during the Bush years.

I counted 48 mergers during the Clinton years versus 39 during Bush.

Well, shit, when an industry is consolidating of course there are going to be a bunch of mergers (of small companies into medium companies) at the beginning, then a moderate amount of mergers (of medium companies into big companies), then just a few mergers (of big companies into gigantic, dangerous ones).

So yeah, we should fully expect Clinton mergers > Bush (II) mergers > Obama mergers, just because by the time Obama got in office there were hardly any companies left to merge!

Comment: Re:privacy? (Score 1) 237

by smitty_one_each (#49502485) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Features Would You Like In a Search Engine?
Well, there are incubators that support some shiny new thing, e.g. but they tend to Do One Little Thing Well, a la Unix, and then sell their soul for rock-n-roll.
But we think about IT here. There are also business in the Real World but both of these examples underscore your broader point, if I may radically restate it: economic activity of consequence is a top-down, not a bottom-up affair these days.

Comment: Re:privacy? (Score 2) 237

by smitty_one_each (#49501743) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Features Would You Like In a Search Engine?
The cost would seem proportional to the users.
As far as running the business, just let me sharpen my AWS knives a little more. . .
Of course, in our post-capitalistic era, just having a good business plan is necessary but insufficient to protect you from Big Oligarchy and Big Government, assuming you could pry them apart with a crowbar. If you offer a viable alternative, look for "something really, really unfortunate" to arrive with an innocuous name like "Net Neutrality", or something.

If you steal from one author it's plagiarism; if you steal from many it's research. -- Wilson Mizner