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Comment: Re:NIMBY strikes again (Score 0, Troll) 228

by bleckywelcky (#49433723) Attached to: Amid Controversy, Construction of Telescope In Hawaii Halted

Native groups complain about this kind of stuff all the time. When the reality is that they make abundant use of all of the benefits received from being "couped" by their overtakers. While complaining about anything they don't like. There's an island in the northeast part of the Indian ocean called North Sentinel Island. There's a group of primative people that have been living isolated on the island for as long as we know. To this day, they've resisted all contact with the outside world. They have practically no knowledge of modern travel, modern medicine, modern technology, modern sanitation, modern agriculture, or modern anything. A few videos / photographs have been taken from approach to the island, but at some distance. They run around in loin clothes and they throw spears, with likely no knowledge of even basic medicine or basic agricultural practices for steady agricultural yield. That's what no contact and leaving you alone gets you. Yet every one of these protestors probably has a cell phone, access to a hospital, lives in a house that meets modern (i.e. 1900s and later) construction standards, with sanitation systems, and access to grocery stores that have plenty of food available nearly year round. What most of these groups need is a reality check. The world moves on. Smart people invent smart things and inherit the Earth. Their approach to live in isolation will eventually result in their culture's death through famine, disease, asteroid, or the Sun burning out. Developing advancements will at least give us a chance to survive beyond those problems. Stop complaining, join the rest of us, and let's all move on with life.

Comment: Re:Good? (Score 1) 273

I'm a bit hesitant to let Uber etc just run free and amok in the market. I feel like there should be publicly available registration and verification data on all vehicles and drivers. There are very few, if any, other businesses that are free to run completely unchecked. Restaurants, gas stations, contractors, dentists, day cares, grocery stores, truckers, etc, etc, etc all have some degree of oversight, registration, verification for the purposes of trying to track and root out issues. Part of this could be tracking wheelchair accessible vehicles.

Alternatively, if the free market does succeed, and prices are higher for wheelchairs, then you might find people that specifically outfit their vehicle to cater to wheelchairs. And they might roam the city looking for wheelchair fares to optimize their revenue, potentially provided superb service (albeit at a higher cost).

Comment: Analagous? (Score 1) 248

To be fair, whether you lock your door, don't lock your door, or leave your door wide open ... if someone steals your stuff, it is still considered theft. However, whether you lock, don't, or leave wide open might determine whether the act is considered breaking and entering. It appears that the person did nothing abnormal to access the documents though. So at best, it would appear his charges should be distribution of copyrighted materials, if the materials were copyrighted.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 241

People's obsession with the world around them after death is odd. None of the major religions talk about just hanging around in the normal world after death to see what is going on. And secular followings certainly don't. So most of what we do before death, regarding death, is for the sake of satisfaction while we're alive. And that should really cover, at most, your required responsibilities. I.e. if you are the sole income earner in a family with kids, then get a life insurance policy to be responsible for those kids. And broader global issues like not damaging the Earth, so future generations can enjoy it too.

So when people put tremendous effort into setting up wills, estates, etc, I find it hilarious. The person that is potentially dying has no interest whatsoever in any of that. It is impossible for them to care at all, because they are dead and can not care. About the best outcome is getting to see which of your family members fights over the writing of the will or estate, so you can see which values your money over the family relationships.

Comment: Re:First amendment (Score 1) 117

by bleckywelcky (#46094703) Attached to: DOJ Announces New Methods For Reporting National Security Requests

This has baffled me. I know you can be held accountable for yelling fire in a crowded theater. But even then, the act of yelling fire in a crowded theater is not illegal itself. Just the deaths as a result of yelling fire can be attributed to the yeller.

How the government can strictly deny someone from stating mere facts makes no sense. "Yes, I received a FISA subpoena today." Have gag orders been contested at any level of the judicial system?

Comment: Re:Waste of money (Score 1) 401

by bleckywelcky (#46059615) Attached to: More Bad News For the F-35

We'll never do away with human pilots entirely. We may convert large portions of the forces to drones. But in the end, there's no replacement for the ingenuity of a human brain. No matter how many pre-canned routines, how much machine learning, how much sensor fusion we can possibly put on a drone ... there will always be some kind of situation that can arise that the human ingenuity will be more capable of dealing with than the drone. It may only require 1 regional human pilot to direct a fleet of 100 drone fighters. But that 1 human pilot may need to be sitting in something like an F35. However, spending more effort on drone technology should be a major focus of the future.

Comment: Re:I'll be in trouble (Score 1) 374

by bleckywelcky (#45980899) Attached to: Man Jailed For Refusing To Reveal USB Password

Even better yet. The reason why people aren't pursued for encrypted DVDs is because no one in the investigation has any reason to believe that the encrypted DVDs hold anything other than the movie that is on the label. Therefore, maybe it would be a good idea to start storing encrypted data on DVDs that look like regular movie DVDs. Remember, the first step in security is obfuscation!

Comment: Re:Shocking (Score 2) 409

by bleckywelcky (#45957227) Attached to: Lawsuit: Oracle Called $50K 'Good Money For an Indian'

Why does it have to be a racial difference? Why can't it just be the difference between hiring a guy from India, and hiring a guy locally? Employment negotiations are full of these kinds of discrepancies. One guy negotiates more than another guy. One guy knows the market better than another guy. There are all kinds of people that do the same exact work, yet get paid differently. The "Indian" may have referred to the guy coming from India, rather than locally. They know Indian demand to transfer to the US is high, so they offer a lower salary. Rather than a guy who is already in the US, who they must offer a higher salary to attract.

Comment: Re:A field of Two (Score 1) 69

by bleckywelcky (#45947243) Attached to: Orbital Becomes Second Private Firm To Send Cargo Craft To ISS

Except for the fact that Lockheed and Boeing have been NASA's contractors for decades.

The difference is how these contracts are funded. The COTS contracts for SpaceX and Orbital have two huge things going for them:

1) These are not "cost-plus" contracts, but rather fixed price contracts where any cost savings during operations is kept entirely by the launch provider. If either company can save even a few hundred dollars by doing something cheaper or avoiding a purchase of the proverbial $10k wrench & hammer, those companies see that savings directly. Neither Lockheed-Martin nor Boeing care about stuff like that as they simply pass those "costs" in the "cost-plus" contract on to taxpayers. There are no cost overruns in a fixed price contract too, so if either Orbital or SpaceX have some unexpected costs showing up.... they need to eat those costs.

2) Both SpaceX and Orbital are free to use these launch vehicles for any other purpose as everything they've made belongs to them and not NASA or the federal government.

I do think there is a time and place for cost-plus contracts where there is a genuine national priority that something absolutely must be made. None the less, this really is a different thing and in a great many ways these other companies have been extensions of the government in how they made their vehicles.

Not cost plus only works if the task is well known and well defined. Because a task with an unknown or wandering scope (i.e. a science experiment) will eventually just stop once the money runs out, if it is not cost plus. Because individual companies are not bottom-less supplies of money either. So they'll mess up once, eat the cost. Mess up again, eat the cost. Repeat until the bank account says $0, and the rocket is half-complete. Then the company will simply go bankrupt. You can't go after a company with no money, there's nothing to go after. The government can take them to court and say "the contract says deliver a rocket, and you delivered 1/2 a rocket" all they want. But they won't get anything out of it ... because nothing exists anyways.

At this point, ISS resupply appears to be well known and well defined. However, if NASA, NFS, or the DOE said they wanted a new fusion power plant, and the RFP said fixed-fee (not cost plus), I doubt they would get any bidders. Or the bids would include absurdly high prices to allow for massive budget margins.

Comment: Re:A field of Two (Score 1) 69

by bleckywelcky (#45947165) Attached to: Orbital Becomes Second Private Firm To Send Cargo Craft To ISS

This whole "look how gr8 commercial spaceflight can do so much better than government!" stuff is nonsense propaganda.

Again, SpaceX built a new rocket engine and two new rockets and launched them into space for less than NASA spent to put a dummy upper stage on top of a shuttle SRB and launch it into the Atlantic Ocean.

Aerospace, except in perhaps the first 5 years of flight, has always been about the government making the long-term investments and R&D, and private companies delivering final products.

So, you're claiming that government developed and funded the 747 and 787?

To be fair, Ares I was intended to put 56,000 lb into LEO. While Falcon 9 only puts 23,000 to 29,000 lb into LEO. And Antares only puts 11,000 lb into LEO. And we all know that space does not scale linearly.

However, I applaud both their efforts. And I'm not sure you can ever consider government contracting in space as "private" in the sense that a private company might put out a RFP for silicon chip fab, and get back 10 aggressively competitive bids from other private companies. But, it's a step in the right direction. NASA can set quality and efficiency guidelines each year for ISS resupply. And then award the next year's (or batch's, etc) set of resupplies to whoever meets the guidelines best.

Comment: Re:And children of public school cheerleaders (Score 1) 715

by bleckywelcky (#45946975) Attached to: How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

Also never seem to attend public schools. Usually these cheerleaders are wealthy, and wealthy families tend to use private schools.

And exactly what is wrong with people that can afford to help their children get a better education doing so? Should not every parent try to provide the best life skills and education for their offspring that they are able to provide?

Are you advocating that people who have these means...sacrifice the lives of their children, send them for a poor education merely to prove a social "point"?

From an individual perspective, there's nothing wrong with rich parents paying for a child's expensive education. From a society / species perspective, what is wrong with it is that it may be an inefficient allocation of resources. Some child in poverty may actually be a better combination of genes upon which to bestow all those expenses of education. Given those expense of education, the poverty child may rise up to be some theoretical physics researcher. While given the same, the rich child may only rise up to be a middle-level accountant / bean counter. We can't know for sure. But we also can't know for sure that it would be the opposite - the rich child becoming a researcher. So, where does this notion of "it's my money, I'll spend it on my family as I please" come from? Well, it's a basic notion that people are free to do with their own earnings as they please. That people will be motivated efficiently in their own life, if they are rewarded efficiently. But once that crosses a generational boundary, does that efficient-reward, efficient-motivation begin to break down? I think there is evidence that it does to some degree. The stories of privileged youth benefiting from prior generations work and then squandering it themselves are well known. And the stories of unprivileged youth overcoming prior generations failures to flourish are also well known. That both of these are known to exist are enough evidence to prove that parents exclusively funding a child's education is a flawed approach. So the balance must be somewhere in the middle.

We don't really understand it, so we'll give it to the programmers.