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Comment: Re:Nobody cares about public interest (Score 1) 294

I do miss the "swim across the Atlantic" bit they used to have.

But I miss far more, the old Google Calculator. You used to be able to stuff like "circumference of earth in football fields", but now-a-days it's not much better than a four function calculator.

Comment: Re:"It's a Wonderful Life" was in the public domai (Score 1) 294

Your perspective is warped. If characters performing behaviour that would get you thrown in jail were the criterion for making a movie bad, then we can toss Pulp Fiction; Kill Bill; Ocean's Eleven; Batman; The Usual Suspects; The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly; practically every western, actually; every crime movie; every vigilante movie; every horror movie; and a whole slew of others right on the trash heap.

Comment: Re:Why on the ISS? (Score 1) 167

by camperdave (#49511895) Attached to: ISS Could Be Fitted With Lasers To Shoot Down Space Junk
For the love of sanity why? The moon is 770 times as far away, which means you'd need a laser almost 600,000 times more powerful than one in Low Earth Orbit to deliver the same "punch". (Lasers spread out like any other beam of light, so inverse square law applies). Your aiming mechanism also needs to be magnitudes more accurate. If you're running this off solar power, then the moon based laser is going to be out of commission half the time, and is not going to be at peak energy most of the time. Furthermore, the launch costs are going to be astronomical.

A satellite based system can be in perpetual sunlight, with the solar panels constantly at the optimum angle for energy collection. You're right on top of the target, so aiming is easier and power delivered on target is greater.

Comment: Re:Another Hollywood Socialist (Score 2) 670

by camperdave (#49510169) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California
A politician opens up a large pipeline project for bids. The first guy comes and says he can build it for 20 billion dollars. The second guy comes in and says he can build it for 10 billion dollars. The third guy comes in an says "I can build it for 30 billion dollars."
"30 billion?!?", exclaimed the politician. "We've got bids that are far less expensive. Explain yourself!"
"Certainly", oozed the third guy. "Ten billion for you. Ten billion for me, and ten billion to hire the second guy to do the actual work".

Comment: Re:Hype pain (Score 1) 75

by camperdave (#49503251) Attached to: Rocket Lab Unveils "Electric" Rocket Engine
At 3g, it took the shuttle 8.5 minutes to get to Low Earth Orbit. This rocket is going at 30g. If things scale, then it will take less than a minute to reach orbit. Even if it took 5 minutes, there are three stages on this rocket. The batteries need to run for two minutes, max. In other words, you don't need big heavy batteries. Small, lightweight batteries will do just fine.

"Freedom is still the most radical idea of all." -- Nathaniel Branden