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Comment: Re:How did they run out of fluid? (Score 3, Informative) 248

by catchblue22 (#48832873) Attached to: SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released

Hydraulic systems are in a loop, with the "spent" fluid recirculating back to the reservoir. How did they "run out"?

Where did the fluid go?

The system is an open hydraulic system. Closed systems require tanks and pumps which carry a mass penalty. They only need the system to function for about 4 minutes. Why bother with a closed system when the functioning period is so short. They will increase the amount of fluid by 50% so this shouldn't happen again. All in all a nearly successful experiment.

Comment: This test was a successful failure (Score 5, Informative) 248

by catchblue22 (#48832677) Attached to: SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released

This was the first time SpaceX had flown the new grid fin control system on a real first stage under real conditions. They did not know exactly how well the grid fins would behave. As it turned out, the grid fins had to move more than they expected during the descent (or the forces were larger than they expected), so they ran out of hydraulic fluid 30 seconds before landing. This is similar to an airplane losing control of its elevator just before landing. The fact that the rocket reached the barge and that its vertical speed was reasonably slow (certainly not 100m/s) indicates the resiliency of their systems. They are putting 50% more fluid into the system, so this shouldn't happen next time.

I think this video is epically cool. I can watch it again and again. Simply awesome.

Comment: Re: Minor setback (Score 1) 213

by catchblue22 (#48782031) Attached to: SpaceX Rocket Launch Succeeds, But Landing Test Doesn't

...SpaceX being a private entity, they just have a lot of paid PR people to drum up support.

I'm sure this is true. And their enemies in the military-industrial complex (Boeing/Lockheed Martin/ULA) have deep pockets to hire propaganda companies to slander SpaceX. In fact, they already have. Look at the client list of this PR (propagandistic relations) company called Shockey Scofield Solutions.

Reading between the lines, I think this is a company that specializes in greasing palms/pulling levers in Congress and the Senate, as well as constructing sophisticated internet campaigns that include releases to key susceptible news outlets/columnists and hiring fake posters to post on certain widely read comment boards.

Comment: Re:Minor setback (Score 1) 213

by catchblue22 (#48781733) Attached to: SpaceX Rocket Launch Succeeds, But Landing Test Doesn't

This was the first flight with the maneuvering grid fins. The fact that they were able to bring the rocket to the barge with an untested maneuvering technology is quite remarkable. It speaks volumes to their modelling software. I can speculate that because of the untested grid fins, the maneuvering was not quite as precise as needed and the rocket engines had to do a large slew just before landing, which burned up too much fuel. My speculation is that the fuel ran out just before landing.

The fact that the rocket arrived on target and with low enough speed that it didn't crater the barge is quite something, and speaks to the near success of this test.

Comment: The problem is fanaticism (Score 1) 1350

by catchblue22 (#48757433) Attached to: Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

In my opinion, the real problem is fanaticism. During the Enlightenment, the words "enthusiasm" and "fanaticism" both had very negative connotations. To be an "enthusiast" meant that you were someone who passionately believed in an idea without a rational reason. If you were a "fanatic", you were willing to kill for your "enthusiasms". In relation to this, the French philosopher Voltaire once wrote: "Those who can make people believe absurdities can make them commit atrocities." To believe that drawing a cartoon of any particular person merits a death penalty is clearly absurd.

Comment: Re:Tim Cook is an MBA (Score 4, Informative) 598

by catchblue22 (#48742979) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

He may well have made the right decision... or he may have just made the decision to use a 'mature unix' foundation, because it was basically just reusing his baby from NeXT (and we all remember how that company was taking the PC world by storm right? =scoffs=)

Jobs personally spearheaded NeXT with a small group of engineers. He knew exactly what he was doing. I remember him talking about NeXTStep and he openly boasted about its portability and high degree of hardware abstraction. He tried to sell this idea to other software companies but no one bit. It is no coincidence that OSX is so portable. It is by design.

You seem to imply that if someone is not a coding ninja, then they have nothing to contribute to software. I strongly disagree with this. Job's strength was that he saw the broad arcs of software design. He realized that simplicity and cleanness was key to good software, to maintainable software, to portable software. He realized that if software was not written properly at its earliest stages, it would remain inherently flawed no matter how much it was maintained.

It is no coincidence that Jobs made his best software when he was working with a small team of engineers. This is how he created NeXT. And this is how he created the original iPhone.

As for your comment on NeXT, well it became OSX, so it was in the end extremely successful. And another little thing came of of NeXT workstations. Tim Berners Lee first implemented hypertext on a NeXT workstation...that was the beginning of the web as we know it today. If you had every used an NeXT workstation (as I did), you would realize that the cleanness and elegance of the OS likely had a lot to do with Tim Berner Lee's invention. There was simply nothing like it at the time.

Comment: Re:Tim Cook is an MBA (Score 1) 598

by catchblue22 (#48741793) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

The true problems come when the people in charge don't balance everything properly. If Lutz got what he wanted and GM was run by the engineers... You'd get entire product lines of Pontiac Aztec clones. Great camping vehicle, but it looks like somebody replaced your glasses with a steaming load of diarrhea.

Actually I have an actual counterexample to your assertion. Elon Musk is as close to an engineer CEO as you can get. As head of Tesla, they have produced the Model S, which is fairly widey acknowledged as a triumph of engineering. Its high end model goes from 0 to 60mph in 3.2 seconds and is the fastest accelerating mass produced fo

Comment: Re:Tim Cook is an MBA (Score 1) 598

by catchblue22 (#48740421) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

People have been saying MBA's are worthless for a while. Look at this Key quote from the article: "Lutz says, we need to fire the M.B.A.s and let engineers run the show."

And yet, I think the problem is still there, in spite of the work MBA's have done on their "branding". Exhibit (A) is Tim Cook with corroborating evidence to be found in TFA.

Comment: Re:Tim Cook is an MBA (Score 4, Interesting) 598

by catchblue22 (#48740357) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

Sigh. You kids today...

Alas. I didn't have time to check the name and now my entire argument is refuted. Oh wait.

A short history on JOHN Sculley can be found here. Of note:

In the early 1990s, Sculley led Apple, at enormous expense, to port its operating system to run on a new microprocessor, the PowerPC. Sculley later acknowledged such an act was his greatest mistake, indicating that he should instead have targeted the dominant Intel architecture.[24] After a bad first quarter in 1993, Apple's board forced Sculley out.[25] He was replaced by German-born Michael Spindler, who had been Chief Operating Officer, who was also ousted a year later.[26]

Sculley did not have technical expertise. He pivotal strategic technical decisions such as described above without the expertise to do so. He didn't understand that using a mature UNIX foundation would allow his company to port the operating system (relatively) easily and quickly from one processor to another. This is exactly what Jobs did. It allowed him to (relatively) smoothly port OSX from PowerPC to Intel to ARM. In my opinion, this was Job's most important technical decision and it is what allowed Apple to become successful again.

Comment: Re:Re usability (Score 3, Informative) 151

Even if they can recover the engine intact how many times can it be reused. Saving a few million on a higher chance of blowing up multi billion payloads is not exactly wise economically.

I have heard they have already put engines through 40 or more simulated launch cycles. These engines were designed to be reliable. To a certain extent, having tested an engine through previous launches might imply more reliability, at least up to a certain point. In any case, if they recover the rocket, they will be able to analyze how the launch has affected the structure and systems.

These rockets do not use hydrogen, and thus do not have the problems of embrittlement that the shuttle engines had. I suspect one of the bigger problems will be coking from using kerosine fuel, but I also suspect that can be mitigated using solvents to clean the fuel systems.

Comment: Tim Cook is an MBA (Score 5, Interesting) 598

by catchblue22 (#48738571) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

More evidence for my hypothesis that MBA managers are driving the American economy into the ground. Contrast him with Steve Jobs who was not an MBA. He brought the company back from the edge, after being destroyed by another MBA, Jim Sculley.

If you want a strong perspective against MBA's, I recommend reading John Ralston Saul's "The Unconscious Civilization" . Here is part of a summary of his arguments against MBA's:

They fear all the most effective qualities of capitalism itself (risk, innovation). “No matter how badly the MBAs are doing, they just go on hiring clones of themselves.” They preach capitalist ideology, but only simulate it through unproductive preoccupations like mergers and acquisitions. Their incomes skyrocket, the economy founders, the middle class erodes.

They profit by flipping between nationalization and privatization; “an unnecessary move in either direction merely makes money for the political friends of the party in power”. Privatization of government functions is foolish, as business is better suited to fuelling real growth.

Contrast this with real innovators like Elon Musk, who has created disruptive companies in four separate sectors (banking, transportation, space launching, and energy production). Please note that he is NOT an MBA and openly says that he disagrees with their methods.

Comment: Re:What's with the "robber" nonsense? (Score 1) 235

by catchblue22 (#48710293) Attached to: The Billionaires' Space Club

I'm not saying he was a saint and that there was no room for criticism, but you are also flat out wrong that his actions didn't help the buyers of the products he was selling. That he clearly stopped other potential competitors from entering the marketplace is true, but he also was hardly the only person to shut out subsequent potential competitors from entering into an industry either. Sadly, most business regulations and laws are designed explicitly to encourage that kind of behavior too.

Just because others do it doesn't make it right. Just because organizations like Rockefeller's have purchased and corrupted our political system doesn't make it right. Just because similar organizations have purchased most of the media and broadcast the subtle propaganda that you have so faithfully reproduced doesn't make it right. Rockefeller illegally used his dominant market position to supress actual competition. That you so casually defend such reprehensible behavior speaks more to the effectiveness of the propaganda environment we live in than to the actual strength of any argument you are presenting. Your comment is basically an admission of your own slavery.

Comment: Re:What's with the "robber" nonsense? (Score 5, Interesting) 235

by catchblue22 (#48709277) Attached to: The Billionaires' Space Club

What are "robber barons" anyways? John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil is an excellent example of one. He gained an early lead in the oil industry. Then he used some rather extreme tactics to preserve his lead, none of which benefited consumers. For one, he bought up rail lines surrounding his competitors, and used this ownership to deny his competitors the ability to transport their oil. Those competitors responded by packing their oil in barrels which could then be loaded onto multiple means of conveyance (i.e. trucks). This is why oil is still measured in "barrels". Rockefeller responded by attempting to control the market on the compound that was used to seal the barrels from leaking. The government eventually responded by breaking up Standard Oil into many different companies.

The above doesn't sound like Space X under Elon Musk. Space X is the plucky newcomer disrupting the existing American launch contractor United Launch Alliance (ULA) and its cosy relationship with the US military. If anything, ULA, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing fall under the moniker of "Robber Baron". This writer sounds like a troll acting in the best interests of the decaying American launch industry.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke