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Comment Re:Again, PR failure but engineering success (Score 1) 66

The whole reason for a lander was to drill, capture, bake, and sample the surface. How do I know? I'm working on a nearly identical mission for NASA that will go to permanently shadowed craters on the poles. Because it's a cheaper mission the success criteria is very limited. We must land and take data. But the whole reason we are going is to drill, capture, bake, and sample. That is the only way to really know what is there. If we fail that everyone on the mission will feel we failed. But as long as we land and get some data from the instruments the PR will be spun that we succeeded.

Comment Re:Why only trees? (Score 1) 74

And, then it says, you just put hundreds of thousands of these things under highways, and start reaping a non-trivial amount of electricity

And cause a non-trivial increase in rolling resistance and reduction in mileage of the victim vehicles. That energy had to come from somewhere, and collecting it has side-effects.

TANSTAAFL: The first law of thermodynamics as well as economics.

The trees, on the other hand, may appreciate some energy-absorbing sway damping - especially in a storm. (As long as it doesn't interfere with pumping the water up the trunk to the leaves, of course.)

Comment Re:Too bad they pushed Love out (Score 1) 225

Oops, got the history horribly mixed up. Try this:

Written in 1976, under licensing granting source use in classes, suppressed with the release of System 7 in 1979, which didn't include this license term, (after which Unix source code was deleted from classes and the two-volume set became an underground copier-room classic), general distribution of "ancient source" (including System 6) authorized by SCO and the book reprinted with the 1977 version of the commentary (plus a forward by Ritchie) in 1996.

Comment Re:Too bad they pushed Love out (Score 1) 225

What was the title of those text books?

Lions' Commentary on UNIX 6th Edition, with Source Code, a.k.a. "The Lions Book".

Written in 1976, under licensing granting source use in classes, suppressed with the release of System 7, which didn't include this license term, (after which Unix source code was deleted from classes and the two-volume set became an underground copier-room classic), general distribution of "ancient source" (including System 6) authorized by SCO in 1976, reprinted in 1977 with updated commentary and again with added historical commentary in 1996.

See the above-referenced Wikipedia article for ISBNs, more details, and links to more history.

Comment Re:Self Defense (Score 2) 212

Arguably the availability of precision munitions changed the moral balance from "bomb a city into submission" into the modern sensibility of "only bomb specific targets of military importance."

And I'm beginning to seriously wonder if that works. Drop a bomb on a building containing a few 'terrorists' or similar. OK, they're dead. But their sons and nephews and cousins in the house next door are now pissed off and want vengeance, the neighbors are pissed off and scared and want random bombs to stop falling, etc. So you end up with a lot more people pissed off at you than you started with.

I mean, just look at Iraq and Afghanistan: are they at peace since precision missiles started dropping on their heads ? Nope. With no end in sight.

Look at Dresden, it was NOT nice, but there weren't any nazis OR supporters at the end of the night.

Comment Re:User interface flaw (Score 1) 571

You are absolutely right, but there is still one type of error which is hard to avoid unless yo ualready know the details of the road: road closures at mountain passes in winter. Plenty of people end up in the snow at the end of a small road because the road is perfectly drivable... after june !

Comment Re:And, it cheaper (Score 0) 74

No, the person who decided to use a "cable-brick-cable" instead should be taken out and shot. First of all, nothing stops you from simply adding an extension cord to the wall wart if necessary, but doing the opposite is not possible. Second, there's no reason the transformer can't be the same size as the outlet in the X and Y directions, and as long or short as it needs to be in the Z direction. Third, if plugs are falling out of your wall sockets, then your wall sockets are worn out and need to be replaced.

Comment Re:User error (Score 1) 564

The Cadillac CTS is a mid-size sedan. The large sedan, the XTS, is only available in automatic.

As far as I know, the only full-size truck with a stick is the Cummins <strike>Dodge</strike> Ram (and I didn't realize that was actually still available until other posters pointed it out). I don't think that manual-transmission F-X50s or Chevy/GMC X500s (where X in the range [1, 3]) exist anymore, let alone a manual Toyota Tundra or Nissan Titan.

For minivans, packaging considerations should be surmountable -- the Mazda5 managed it (very nicely, I might add -- Mazda5s are fun to drive), and there's no reason (in theory) that a "5 on the tree" setup couldn't happen. The real reason is that manufacturers think nobody wants it.

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