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Comment: Re:Instilling values more important (Score 1) 698

Paypal is a scam company now. It wasnâ(TM)t really a scam company when it was originally founded. It broke new ground in paying for stuff on the web when the web was in its infancy. It was also had to deal with massive scams coming from the other direction, faux customers.

Bitcoin companies seem to be having a much worse problem with being scams than Paypal did, at least until it was sold off by the founders to EBay at which point, yes it turned in to an obnoxious, kind of a scam company.

It should also be noted 9/11, the Patriot act and the 2008 crash all happened in there which made Paypal increasingly obnoxious in reaction to crushing Federal scrutiny of and intrusion in to financial transactions.

Comment: Re:Instilling values more important (Score 3, Interesting) 698

Point her to the Elon Musk TED talk. When asked how he did so many amazing things, one of his more insightful comments was he learned physics, and he learned how to approach things from the bottom up the way a physicist would. If you learn something at a fundamental level you can do amazing and new things. If you learn stuff, shallowly, from the top down, you often end up copying others which is both less amazing and less valuable.

Also has pretty good lessons for all the wanna be startup founders in Silicon Vally who are doing Uber of . . . or AirBNB of . . ., me too companies.

He also covers doing big, hard things for the benefit of humanity part pretty well.

Comment: Re:WHO forced them? (Score 1) 141

by demachina (#48854029) Attached to: Iran Forced To Cancel Its Space Program

Iâ(TM)m not exactly sure why Saudi Arabia would want to harm Islamic State. ISIS is Sunni, fundamentalist and they are tearing apart the Alawite and Shia pro Iranian states in Syria and Iraq. You would almost figure some Saudiâ(TM)s are funding ISIS under the table.

ISIS is undoing some of the damage George W. did to Sunni interests by toppling Saddam and unleashing a wave of Shia ascendence in Iraq.

Comment: Re:WHO forced them? (Score 4, Interesting) 141

by demachina (#48850069) Attached to: Iran Forced To Cancel Its Space Program

More probably plunging oil prices have wiped out the Iranian governments revenue stream. There is speculation that one of the reasons Saudi Arabia is continuing to pump oil and crater oil prices is to cripple Iran, a bitter Shia enemy, and defund programs like uranium enrichment, missile development, their miliary in general and their support for other anti Sunni groups in the Middle East.

The other speculations for continued Saudi efforts to crash oil prices are to wipe out frackers in the U.S. so they can regain more political control over the U.S., to wipe out expensive offshore and artic oil exploration, to punish Russia at the behest of the U.S. or because Russia is a key benefactor of Iran.

Comment: Re:How dare you talk down about Reagan like that! (Score 1) 160

by demachina (#48764683) Attached to: What's Wrong With the Manhattan Project National Park

Much of that inflation dates back to massive spending and debt from the Vietnam War and the creation of OPEC spiking oil prices, neither of which Jimmy Carter have much to do with. LBJ and Nixon are the ones to blame, if you were alive then you would remember the failed attemps at wage and price controls under a Republican administration, Nixon. Carterâ(TM)s presidency was doomed before it started because of the mess he inherited, and there was very little he could do about it.

Interest rates were 20% because Paul Volcker and the Fed set them to 20% in 1979 to break the back of an inflationary spiral, which he did, and that is not something Reagan can take any credit for. Carter can only take credit for having appointed Volcker to the Fed. Volcker was one of the very few great Fed Chairmen.

The legacy most working people can thank Reagan for is jacking payroll taxes up to to an inescapable 12.5% on all working people, while he was cutting taxes on the rich.

A key reason we have income inequality today is working people pay an inescapable 12.5% in taxes on their wages not counting sales, propery, state and federal income taxes. Rich people pay 15% on capital gains, and those taxes are incredibly easy to dodge.

Comment: Re: 60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda? (Score 1) 409

by demachina (#48520877) Attached to: Is Chernobyl Still Dangerous? Was 60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda?

I donâ(TM)t blame /. Its hard to have insightful commentary on our society any more.

Who would have figured Wall Street and the The City would rape the global economy in 2008, and instead of going to jail the central banks rewarded them with free money for six years and theyâ(TM)ve tripled their money as their punishment.

There was a brief glimmer of protest in the Occupy movement and it was crushed like a bug. The Department of Homeland security has turned most small town police force in to something resembling an occupying army you would see in Iraq, and they seem to be spending much of their time arbitrarily confiscating cash and cars for profit, no judge, no jury, no trial.

The Five Eyes are not just spying on some stuff, they are spying on EVERYTHING and we all know it and there isnâ(TM)t really anything anyone is gonna do about it. To stay on topic, 60 minutes had a shill do a great peice on the nice kids that work at the NSA.

We figured the Republican brand was destroyed as of 2008 and we elected this hopie changie President. It turns out heâ(TM)s pretty much as bad or worse than the previous clown and nothing changed. There is a high probability the next one is gonna be worse than the last two. In six years the Democrats have laid such waste we are welcoming the Republicans back. We donâ(TM)t really want either of our parties any more but they arenâ(TM)t going to allow us an Option C.

Its hard to find biting satire or piercing commentary that does it justice and you know it isnâ(TM)t gonna change a God damn thing. After everyting thatâ(TM)s happened over the last ten years, there should have been change, our civilization was ripe for it. There just wasnâ(TM)t any. The man seems to have his jack boot on our necks and heâ(TM)s got us down.

Comment: Re:That's the part that "counts" (groan) (Score 4, Interesting) 443

by demachina (#48258217) Attached to: Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch

Pretty sure NASA has blown more on Constellation, Orion and SLS, launchers to no where that never launch, than SpaceX has spent on successful development of 2 new rockets and Dragon1, and will probably spend on Falcon Heavy, Dragon 2 and their reusable program.

NASA's problem is not insufficient funding. Its inefficiency, bureaucratic bloat, corrupt contractors, and the inability to build or do much of anything in the vacinity of its manned space program. JPL and a few others places are doing fine but they are an exception to the rule.

Some people at Orbital probably do need to be sacked for trying to use 40+ year old Russian engines, the engines are actually that old not just the design. Some people at NASA probably should be sacked for buying in to a contractor proposing such a flawed concept.

Comment: Re:No WMD's...Really? (Score 4, Insightful) 376

by demachina (#48153565) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

Its no secret Iraq had chemical weapons. They used them liberally against Iranian human wave attacks during the Iran Iraq war.

The reason they were hushed up is because they were provided by western countries. You do know the U.S. and Europe backed Saddam in the Iran Iraq war and most probably encouraged the use of chemical weapons against Iranian teenagers right? Iran had a huge population advantage, Iraqi Shias weren't that keen on fighting Iranian Shia, so Iraq needed technology to level the field and the West helped with that edge.

The West was really happy about a lengthy, bloody stalemate in that war bleeding both countries white.

Comment: IronNet Cybersecurity is the ethics issue (Score 5, Informative) 59

Most of the ethics questions around Alexander involve his company IronNet Cybersecurity. He founded it when he retired. He's charging big banks $1,000,000 a month to protect them in cyberspace, and its not exactly clear what he has to offer to justify the price tag, other than classified insider knowledge of cyber threats from his NSA years, he probably shouldn't be selling to the highest bidder.

Comment: Re:Boeing bought more politicians. (Score 4, Insightful) 127

by demachina (#48011513) Attached to: Sierra Nevada Corp. Files Legal Challenge Against NASA Commercial Contracts

This contact is for carrying people in to LEO, not satellites or cargo. Your argument doesn't work for human rated launchers.

First, it is difficult and expensive to human rate a launch vehicle so not very many companies are going to do it without a reasonable chance of getting business.

It is also probably not a place you want a company cutting corners to low ball a contract bid. The first priority is keeping the cargo alive, not saving a few dollars by going with launch-by-night Rockets-R-US.

One can't proceed from the informal to the formal by formal means.

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