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Comment Re:what happened with computers? (Score 1) 272

If rockets were in any way physically analogous to computers, a Saturn V today would be the same height as the width of a human hair and still lift...

And Armstrong's famous footstep speech would be hacked and replaced by a plug for boner-pills.

"If you want a giant leap in your trousers..."

In short*, be careful what you ask for.

* No pun intended

Comment Re:what happened with computers? (Score 1) 272

now the military is buying the same tech as everyone else because it's better than their custom made stuff.

That's not entirely true. Often the difference is simply not enough to justify the huge price difference.

For example, a $500 "battle grade" hammer may be able to survive being run over by a tank during battle, but is that really worth the extra $460, or is it better to live with occasional flattened hammers and spend the $460 elsewhere.

Comment Let gamblers gamble (Score 1) 272

The practical current function of commercial space co's should be to provide routine transfer of staff and supplies to and from a station or base. That makes perfectly good sense. When something becomes a semi-commodity, private enterprise, with competition*, is usually more efficient.

If and when space does become profitable, such as asteroid mining, such commercial co's will already have some of the infrastructure and knowledge to pursue that market.

As far as pie-in-sky commercial endeavors like a one-way Mars mission, let investors waste money if they want. Who knows, maybe they'll stumble on an unforeseen way to make a profit. Surprises happen. If somebody discovers how to tame anti-gravity particles to get cheap launches, for example, existing space companies will have a big leg up. It's not irrational to devote some of one's investment portfolio on high-risk/high-reward stocks.

And even if they fail, humanity as a whole will be smarter for it, learning from their mistakes. Failure is experience.

* NASA does use lots of private contractors for current missions. But, they are mostly custom one-off products.

Comment More and faster options (Score 1) 187

The Internet generation expects easier choice, such as clicking on Favorites to go elsewhere on whim, and will not sit through long commercial breaks. Plus, gaming, social media/chatrooms, and cat videos compete for attention.

This may mean that TV shows are less profitable and have a smaller budget. But it could also mean that new lean and mean media companies will offer a wider variety and experiment more because they don't have to deal with the bureaucracy and oligopoly collusion of the big networks.

Comment Re:led by a president possibly insane enough to do (Score 1) 146

LOL! You gotta love these libs! So stupid, it's funny.

For something comparable, the tough talk of Iran's leader affects our decision makers here and now. His quotes are quite often used by the GOP to argue their stance.

Either GOP is heavily bluffing, or they would factor in his blustery talk if there were a related international issue that required a snap judgement.

It's not silly, as you imply, it's dead serious.

Comment John Wayne (Score 0) 146

U.S., then led by a president [percieved as] possibly insane enough to do it.

Yet another downside of electing Rambo wannabe's.

We were really lucky to survive the cold war, there were roughly a dozen or more close calls. Or, perhaps it's the Anthropic Principle, multiverses, and/or God (the server admin of our emulated universe) kicking in to save us.

Comment Re:Stop spying on everyone (Score 1) 491

Perhaps if it were made a clear and easily-changable option to the user. Example:

1. 30 day trial, no snooping
2. Snooping version, free after 30 days
3. Purchase non-snooping version

And it should let you know when your 30 days are up rather than automatically go into snoop mode without confirmation.

Clear and friendly choices can bring in more customers and more dollars.

"Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown!" -- The Ghostbusters