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Comment: Re:Time for a UNION! (Score 1) 263

by hackertourist (#48875477) Attached to: The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees

That's a solution only if you accept the drawbacks of being a contractor. Suddenly you have to do acquisition, you're a business so your taxes get 10x more complicated (e.g. VAT), etc.

We're seeing some industries moving towards an all-contractor model over here (.nl). Postal delivery and the building trade for instance. Some contractors do well for themselves, but there's a large number of them subsisting below the poverty line. As a contractor they're no longer protected by employment laws so they get screwed over no end. Especially in the building slump of the past few years people were agreeing to work for a pittance, not realizing the consequences in time. And if they don't get a contract, they're business owners so not eligible for unemployment benefits either. Meanwhile the contract prices are under pressure as workers from low-wage countries migrate here and accept conditions that result in a wage that is livable in their home country, but not here.
This is a gigantic poverty trap, and an end run around employment law and the unions by building companies. IMO a service/contract culture is not something we should wish for.

Comment: Not as efficient: TFS is wrong (Score 2) 64

by hackertourist (#48849679) Attached to: Microsoft Researchers Use Light Beams To Charge Smartphones

TFA says: "Using a light beam to charge a smartphone could be as quick as many wired chargers, the researchers found, depending on the size of the PV panel."

Efficiency is going to depend on the efficiency of the PV panel in the phone, but at 20% it's a long way off from the efficiency of a wired charger.

The lengths to which people will go to avoid plugging in a wire still amaze me.

Comment: Re:Wait a minute (Score 3, Informative) 248

by hackertourist (#48833571) Attached to: SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released

The main hydraulic system on the F9 (for gimbaling the engine nozzles) uses RP-1 (i.e. rocket fuel) as its hydraulic fluid. Spent fluid from that system goes into the fuel tank.
The fins are driven by a separate system at the top of the stage, if they pumped the spent RP-1 overboard you'd have flammable liquids running down the stage, I'm pretty sure they don't want to do that. Returning the RP-1 to the fuel tank is unlikely (needs an insulated pipe around the outside, next to the cold LOX tank). So probably a separate waste tank near the fins.

Comment: Re:How could this all happen? (Score 1) 257

by hackertourist (#48832197) Attached to: Belgian Raid Kills 2, Said To Avert "Major Terrorist Attacks"

Could you please let me know which Govt Department I go to in France to apply for the location I am allowed to live in?
I seem to be having trouble finding it - hell - last time I was there I just lived where I damn well wanted to and could afford..

The word 'afford' is key here. If all you can afford is the lowest-rent housing, then that's where you end up. That's how many large European cities ended up with immigrant ghettos.

Comment: Re:Great to see (Score 1) 152

by hackertourist (#48811667) Attached to: Chinese Spacecraft Enters Orbit Around the Moon

You're confusing technology with "currently in production". Several companies in the US posess all of the technology needed to put humans in space. They just haven't produced and flown spacecraft yet.
It is a political issue, pure and simple. The transition between the Shuttle and new manned systems was planned badly, allowing a several-year capability gap.

Mausoleum: The final and funniest folly of the rich. -- Ambrose Bierce