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Comment Re:Considering the enormous expense (Score 1) 239

Can I have some of what you are smoking? Apollo cost the US the entire GDP for 15 years? Maybe 4% of federal budget in total over the life-cycle.

US GDP from 60 to 75 ran from 3.08 trillion to 5.49 trillion 2009 dollars, while NASA's entire budget ran from 3 billion to a peak of 44 billion in 66 and then back down to 14 billion 2014 dollars.

Don't fall for the stupid argument that space flight eats an entire country's economy.

Comment Re:Only 32 missles? (Score 1) 289

Yeah only 32. In what would have been the first wave of a full scale nuclear war.

The Soviets would have either picked up the missiles being launched or maybe only the explosions, can't remember the level of launch detection technology in 62, and launched their alpha strike weapons. Once the US realized the Soviets had launched, their retaliatory strike would launch. Remember both sides were extremely twitchy that week and looking for the slightest signal that the other side was firing.

Maybe the lieutenant's 4 missiles might not have triggered the Soviet's alpha, but anything more than that would certainly have pulled the hair trigger.

Comment Very sensible (Score 1) 173

The only proposal so far to actually make sense. No corporate is going to open-source their Wifi code if they haven't already, especially those multi-channel directional systems. And binary- and official-only firmware has obvious problems as well.

This is the proposal to get behind, to reinforce to the FCC in the public consulations. It lets the corporates keep their trade secrets and allows open source firmware to exist at the same time.

Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 1) 345

The detection algorithms assume two purchases at the same store within minutes of each other are usually a sign of double-dipping or card cloning at the store. Physical presence at a store normally results in a single transaction, not multiple, for most shoppers.

Dealing with this in an online store can be difficult as multiple purchases are normal. Amazon's Kindle store handles this by delaying some of the transactions if they would appear too similar. I just bought two ebooks via the Kindle for $10.00. The first went through instantly, the second came through nearly six hours later. This is an interesting way to do things and I think Amazon only does it with the Kindle store because they can remove the book if the transaction fails later.

Comment Re:Great. (Score 1) 163

To me it makes sense when coupled with the assumption that Weyland hired the crew to be susceptible to bribery and to be easily disposable. The mission wasn't supposed to be scientific, just to appear to be just scientific enough that Shaw and Holloway wouldn't be suspicious about the real nature mission.

If Weyland had hired top xeno-biologists, they would have canned the exploration long before they got anywhere near what Weyland needed. Having someone who is there for the cash, basically a mercenary with just enough biological skills to pass muster, but not to react as a research scientist would, gets Weyland to that goal. Same for the rest of the team, and that scene with electrocuting the head highlights that they hired third or fourth-rate scientifically skilled mercenaries.

Ridley Scott and the rest of the Alien series set the groundwork for this process. Weyland-Yutani routinely had ill-equipped, non-specialist groups fiddling with alien technology, relying on their mercenary nature to do stupid yet profitable things.

  • The crew of the Nostromo was a long-distance trucking crew.
  • The family sent to investigate the crashed ship in Aliens, and the entire colony team, was in it for a cash reward.
  • Carter Burke and the real Bishop are the same.
  • The entire research station crew, including the military, in Resurrection also.

It might have been a bit too much in-your-face in Prometheus compared to the early Alien movies, but the way Weyland carried out the mission was in perfect conformity with their "later" missions in the Aliens series. Hell, it explains why the Nostromo of all ships was diverted to investigate the signal.

Comment Re:Why human in the loop? (Score 1) 104

How would a computer do a task like this. Aircraft is on final approach, 300m from the end of the runway when it drops suddenly and crashes over the final row of landing lights and skids to a halt on the hit point of the runway? How does the computer detect that, determine that it is an accident and then respond.

Sometimes you just need humans who are watching what is going on and capable of instant recognition of what is happening.

Comment Re:Why start now? (Score 1) 124

There may be 10000 bird strikes a year without causing a crash, but it doesn't mean those strikes are harmless. AVHerald has three bird strike incidents listed for the last calendar week that have results in the aircraft returning to the airport and then being grounded for 2-3 days while repairs to radomes and other panels are carried out. That's repair costs and lost revenue for the airline because of a relatively unavoidable incident.

Incurring the same repair costs and lost revenue for a completely preventable incident would seriously piss off most beancounters and that's why the FAA regulates RC aircraft near commercial flight paths. It's not just about a crash, it's about the damage and costs of non-crash incidents as well.

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne