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Comment: Re:Action movies are boring. (Score 2) 324

One of them would be the Borg...
The Borg (sounds Swedish) didn't see themselves as evil or believe that their mission was unjust. They wanted to add other civilizations to their own, making both sides better. The Borg did not have the problems most civilizations have such as crime, starvation, jealousy, etc. Who wouldn't want that?

Another good example is the Emperor...
The Emperor wanted to bring order to a chaotic galaxy. Sometimes, the only way is with an iron fist.

The Reapers is one more...
Reapers were changed against their will. What they became was not their fault.

Any position can change depending on the perspective. People... or cyborgs... don't see themselves as evil They are doing what they think is best, twisted as it may be.

Comment: Re: Sorry, not corporate enough. (Score 3, Informative) 69

You're probably unaware that the GP specifically used 'HSBC' because they were caught laundering trillions of dollars of drug money and nobody was indicted.

He probably isn't unaware of that. He may well have actually read the indictment itself or a detailed summary of it, which made clear that the US case was very weak to the point of hardly working at all. In particular, not only did they fail to clearly establish that drug money was really moving (their case was "there is so much cash, some of it must be from cartels") but in particular they failed to show intent by HSBC execs to help drug cartels. Actually their case boiled down to HSBC didn't try hard enough, they weren't suspicious enough, etc. (I'm ignoring the Iranian transactions here which gets into issues of international jurisdiction, as you only brought up drugs).

The reason you think the are guilty is twofold. Firstly US anti money laundering laws are unbelievably extreme. The PATRIOT Act removed the need to have intent to be found guilty of money laundering. Bankers can now be found guilty of AML violations even if they genuinely tried hard and had no intent to break the law. Hence the accusations from the DoJ that were of the form "HSBC should have designated Mexico as high risk", etc. Secondly as part of the plea agreement HSBC had to act guilty and accept whatever the DoJ said about them. So you only heard one side of the story, the prosecutions side (except there was no court case). No surprises that you think the whole thing is cut and dried.

It's no crime to be ignorant of such things, but just try not to hold any policy positions on the subject.

Given that there was never any court case and HSBC was never able to defend themselves, pretty much everyone is ignorant in this case because we never heard the full story. But I'm pretty sure if DoJ had emails from HSBC execs that looked like the ones from BitInstant there would indeed have been prosecutions.

Comment: Generally speaking (Score 1) 268

by m.dillon (#48647275) Attached to: Dish Pulls Fox News, Fox Business Network As Talks Break Down

Generally speaking, major owners of multiple networks such as Fox often try to force distributors (cable networks, dish, etc) to bundle all of their networks. Kind of an all-or-nothing approach. Otherwise networks like Fox News just wouldn't get distributed at all. It doesn't have a large enough following.

This is slowly changing as peoples viewing habits change. People are watching less T.V. these days and that is shifting the cost model such that the 'junk' channels are now more of a drag on profits vs the relatively few channels that people still really care about.

-Matt

Comment: Our Galaxy May Be Teeming with Networking Signals (Score 1) 388

I don't know that there ISN'T a von Neumann probe in our solar system. How would we know? The solar system is huge. The probe could be tiny. Again, how would we know? Have we tried communicating with it? Would it try to communicate with us? Or would it report to a nearby star, first, and await instructions delivered after centuries?

I've heard that the radio emissions from Earth are actually really, really weak, and distribute radially. Nobody can hear us out there.

The entire galaxy could be teeming with life, that's communicating point-to-point. Why waste energy in radial communication, when you can just draw a straight line from star to star?

Sometimes, I think, all we need to do, is point a big powerful laser at a nearby star, and request boot-procedure handshaking instructions, from the nearby access point, and then just wait for the signal that inevitably responds, with instructions on how to maintain the communications link.

Comment: Re:Someone doesn't understand basic relativity (Score 1) 81

The balancing act is almost exactly the same at the last moment of forward flight as it is at the first moment of retro burn, just in a different direction.

Aerodynamics matter very little at high altitude. They matter some at lower altitude, but I doubt they make much difference when the engine is burning.

Comment: Re:Wildly premature question (Score 1) 81

by Bruce Perens (#48620117) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

If we look at jet aircraft, wear depends on the airframe and the engines, and the airframe seems to be the number of pressurize/depressurize cycles as well as the running hours. Engines get swapped out routinely but when the airframe has enough stress it's time to retire the aircraft lest it suffer catastrophic failure. Rockets are different in scale (much greater stresses) but we can expect the failure points due to age to be those two, with the addition of one main rocket-specific failure point: cryogenic tanks.

How long each will be reliable can be established using ground-based environmental testing. Nobody has the numbers for Falcon 9R yet.

Weight vs. reusable life will become a design decision in rocket design.

Comment: Re:Someone doesn't understand basic relativity (Score 1) 81

The mass is less, and presumably easier to control, but yes, that is a difference.

The relative speeds are the same. Launch starts at 0 and increases to 1300. Landing starts at 1300 and ends at 0.

Actually, that is a small difference. Launch starts at 0, but landing ends at 2 m/s, leaving shock absorbers to reduce it to the final 0.

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. -- Pablo Picasso

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