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Comment Re:Premature much? (Score 1) 24

We have more than enough beautiful drawings and pie in the sky dreams, these do not advance the end goal of having and regularly using cheap manned access to space.

These guys are not just making beautiful drawings, and I fail to see how they are not advancing the end goal of having regular and cheap crewed access to space.

I don't know what their end goal actually is, assuming they can actually put capsules into space. I think that issue is something which legitimately needs to be brought up. There is a history of some "open source projects" (Gracenote comes to mind) where once a pile of money starts flowing and the project gets on a firm footing financially that the volunteers get left behind in the dust. The Wikimedia Foundation is another such project that isn't quite so bad, but Jimmy Wales definitely could have completely sold out the community in the past and definitely did in some ways too so far as there are some people making a huge pile of money off of Wikipedia content, even if indirectly.

I don't mind the fact that Kristian Von Bengston is dreaming big. We need that in this universe, where people who dream big can actually accomplish things. If he tries and fails, he is but one more person who has definitely been in that situation before. Jim Benson was another such dreamer in commercial spaceflight that tried and failed.... but provided the groundwork for others to follow that really did help. I could name a great many others that can definitely fit in that list, including I might add Werner Von Braun..... who even got his start from Hermann Oberth if you want to follow an interesting engineering pedigree. We won't get into space without folks like this. I'll even say that Kristian Von Bengston is leading a resurgance of private spaceflight for the European Union, which I find awesome in so many ways for just that point too.

And the really amazing thing is that Copenhagen Suborbitals is doing all of this with very minimal amounts of tax dollars involved. There is a sort of libertarian side of me that is just screaming "He gets it!" on that point too. This could be a huge government boondoggle with pork flowing all over the EU as yet another ESA project for going to the Moon or something like that. Instead, it is private money that is paying for the bulk of what is going on, even if it is donations. That by itself is proof of some significant support for spaceflight

Comment WP Foundation Development Model Adds to Problem (Score 1) 51

WordPress as a platform targets the easy-to-use market and thus has a lot of site admins who are not savvy IT people. The auto-update system built into WordPress addressed a large part of the security problem, namely people who don't actively update their software.

One glaring shortcoming to the WordPress development model is that they don't keep a set of stable releases. The WP core group wants you to stay on the most recent head version to be secure. In practice they have patched previous releases going all the way back to 3.8 but you definitely get the feeling that this is a half-hearted stop gap while they brow-beat you up to the head version.

Linux distros went through this growing pain 15 years ago with the introduction of enterprise distributions. It is about time that the WordPress foundation recognize that they are no longer a small time blog package. They need to introduce long term supported releases for the stability of their platform.

Comment Re:6 months in? (Score 1) 89

So, since the book contains instructions and reasons for filtering water and the pages get consumed as filters, what happens when you are 6 months in and half the book is gone? Why not just make a big stack of filters and a small pamphlet on how/why to use them?

It's perfect for any kind of outdoor survival book. If you manage to survive long enough to filter 100L of water, you probably can find time to memorize the information on the next page.

Comment Re:If people look for a "Rock Star", walk away! (Score 1) 80

As somebody that in some respects would qualify as a "Rock Star", people looking for one are an immediate red flag. Not only are they buzzword-users, they likely messed something up to a serious degree and are now looking for a person to clean up that mess. Quite often, that will not be possible with the border conditions given, and the pay will often suck in addition.

Well, maybe they are overusing a buzzword, but more importantly, rockstars can recognize other rockstars and prefer to be among their own kind. Everybody wants superman but why would superman want to work for you? If they really are that good then money isn't a problem for them. Superman wants to roll with the Superfriends because it is annoying to constantly work with people who can't or won't be as effective/productive as Superman. I might not be a rockstar but I work with some heavy hitters. You could double my salary but if my current boss and coworkers wouldn't be working with me, I would be very hesitant to take the offer. Every one of them is in the top 5% in the industry at what they do. Maybe that's just what happens when you make Superman VP of operations and let him handpick his team.

Comment Re:Smart... not what you think it is. (Score 1) 686

And while we're at it, you might as well mention that we've overloaded the definition of the word 'smart.' A successful surgeon is skilled. A PhD is persistent (the closer I got to PhD, the less respect I had for them). "Smart" is a word with so many meanings that it's practically meaningless for closer investigation.

My definition of 'smart' is someone who is good at recognizing patterns related to whatever it is they do. That includes analyzing their own mistakes and improving their response to similar future situations. I would agree that many PhD students don't have these qualities.

Comment No chance (Score 2) 458

A lot of candidates are said to have no chance of winning the election. Here we have an actual case of no chance.

In Lessig's case it's less than no chance, it is negative chance. Every time he runs one of these stunts his cause is hurt more than it is helped.

Tell me how well Lessig's Mayday PAC is doing these days. How many super pacs has he ended with it?

Comment Re:Get rid of protection to increase diversity (Score 2) 337

The quickest way to increase diversity is to get rid of discrimination protection. It is very risky to hire someone from a protected group. If they are not a good fit for the company there is a substantial legal risk to firing them and overhead for carefully creating a paper trail to CYA. It is much easier to hire people from non-protective groups. If they don't work out you fire them and try someone else. Of course for businesses they like the H1-B's the most because if you fire them they get deported which really puts them in a position of power.

There is a substantial risk in firing anyone. My company creates a paper trail for anyone who isn't performing. Making a bigger paper trail for someone in a protected group would be discrimination. We treat everybody the same. Not performing? We'll try to help them. If they can't help themselves, we start building a paper trail. The people who can't be bothered to help themselves usually make it pretty easy to document their ineptitude.

Comment Re:The only reboot/reprise/sequal (Score 5, Insightful) 168

You really need to watch the behind the scenes features for Fury Road. Sure, there was some big obvious CGI (the giant sand storm) but for about 90% of the movie, the things you expect to be CGI (the car crashes, explosions, insane stunts) are real, and the CGI is limited to fleshing out the wasteland background and erasing some safety equipment.

It is a breathtaking movie precisely because it is so real. Action movie fans have been saturated with CGI for so long, we hardly know what the real thing is anymore. Most recent superhero movies have been a big yawn for me. It's all fake and the actors are not really in a scary situation. Nothing brings out good acting like actually driving at high speed through the desert with actual explosions and crashes all around you.

Comment Re:North Korean Industry: Precision but not Accura (Score 1) 236

The Unified Korea actually set a Timezone of +8:30 GMT back in 1910. In 1912 when Japan took over, it was reset to Japanese +8:00 GMT. After liberation, South Korea briefly for a year or two went back to +8:30 for a few years in the 50's I believe, but reverted to Japanese +8:00 for economic reasons.

What possible economic reasons could there be? A 30 minute time difference isn't going to make the slightest difference to businesses. It isn't like clocks are sold with fixed time zones and sharing a time zone means they only have to design 1 model.

Comment Re:I'm not renewing prime this year... (Score 1) 79

Our household spends a lot of money on Amazon, but we are not going to renew Prime this year. I ahve been rodering thing from Amazon since the 90s but my satisfaction level with the company peaked a couple years ago adn has been sliding down since. The reasons we are cancelling are varied: - Items listed as having Prime often do not arrive for 5-6 business days. This is typical for larger items. It annoys me that Amazon lists tham as prime (to me this means item will arrive 2-3 business days), and their practice of having fine print about extra handling time for some prime items is abrasive. Just don't list it as Prime if it won't be shipped for 3-4 days! - The streaming video options are weak and I don't like the picture quality - "Prime day" is a joke - They raised the annual price of Prime 3x since I signed up - Items shipped prime from Amazon have shown up obivously used or broken multiple many times over the past year (much more often than before) - Amazon's support people were really hard to deal with when things in the above bullet point happened - As far as I can tell "super saver" shipping usually only takes one additional day (and sometimes none) to arrive compared to prime - I have been finding better prices on many things from retailers like Costco and Walmart compared to what Amazon offers - Amazon uses a variety of tactics to make the camelcamlcamel plugin not work relably to show price history on an item. Maybe I will regret the decision and we will sign back up, but we are definitely going to try living without it.

Same here. I haven't had used or broken items arrive yet, but I am completely fed up with the 2 day delivery promise turning into 5 days or longer after I order an item. Especially frustrating when I order a bunch of things for a project, plan on starting the project on day X, then one item somehow doesn't arrive until the next week. I may still be eligible for student prime rates but it still isn't worth it. I live in Houston; there really is no excuse for the shipping delays. Maybe Amazon has subcontracted out a little too far, and therefore lost control. It doesn't matter, we're going to try to live without prime.

Comment Re:Backers don't want DRM (Score 3, Insightful) 128

Because the vast majority of people saying they want a device without DRM don't understand that all of the CONTENT that they want (netflix, hulu, amazon video, etc) is using DRM.

So while firefox was smart enough to end a product that will be universally panned by reviewers, they are stupid to think that they can copy whatever Google does.

Basic is a high level languish. APL is a high level anguish.

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