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Comment Launch from balloon (Score 1) 22 22

I wonder whether a weather balloon ride to the top of the atmosphere, then a rocket launch, could produce an orbit or two before reentry. The weather balloon would get up to about 20 miles, leaving about 70 or 80 to go.

It seems like a long way, but without a lot of air resistance...

Comment Kinda got one... (Score 1) 195 195

In a sense, I have a HUD. Over the years, I've found it invaluable. It's a good, old-fashioned GPS with a sucker-mount. My job involves a lot of driving on unfamiliar two-lane highways in rural Ontario. I keep my GPS mounted just below eye level to the left. It gives me my speed, the shape of the road just ahead, and it will pop up an actual point-of-view picture of some exits and entrances from larger highways. This is available to me without having to take my eyes off the road even for a split second.

It has saved me from at least a couple of accidents (probably minor, but you never know) and allowed me to concentrate on driving rather than trying to spot the appropriate turn-off. These often aren't marked at all, or have a sign the size of a banker's conscience...great for reading as you miss it on the way past.

That said, even just shifting my concentration from the road to the GPS and back did require a little learning. The most important (and safest) thing, though, is that my eyes are never entirely off the road ahead. In addition to keeping me safely on a road that may take some unexpected turns, this has certainly saved the lives of a large number of apparently suicide-prone wildlife and domestic animals. On a purely practical level, anyone who has ever hit something the size of a deer knows it's no laughing matter. Two of those idiotic creatures are alive today thanks to my "HUD". And so am I.

Comment Re:Design by Fisher-Price? (Score 1) 302 302

I don't know, but they'd be well-advised to be about it. Phones and tablets, and even laptops, are limited in so many ways. I want an interface that can take advantage of what a full-scale PC with multiple monitors offers.

My cell phone is for checking up on stuff when I'm not at my desk. I don't want or need an OS that caters to a device that's my second or third priority.

Comment Small Is Beautiful (Score 1) 268 268

Do a little research into what's needed in your own community. Stay small. Give to a food bank. Buy a bunch of toys and give them to your fire department for distribution at Christmas. Ask a major chain store to sell you a hundred pairs of kids shoes wholesale and give them to a shelter for abused women (You'll have to prove to them that's where the shoes went). Buy a year of tech support or office space for a local non-profit.

Stay away from charities with big budgets, even if they're doing good work. And if there's even the faintest whiff or religion about it, avoid it like the plague.

Small charities and non-profits often operate with almost no overhead. If you want bang for the buck, you'll usually find it there. And if there IS fraud, it won't be like all those zillions of dollars that were supposed to rebuild Haiti disappearing down some rat hole with nobody even asking questions. If a hundred grand goes missing at the local level, you can bet a local guy will get perp-walked out of his home at dinner time, and tossed in jail for a few years to reflect on the nature of charity.

Comment Re:15 years in the embassy (Score 0) 262 262

Extradited? LOL.

As for the rest of your nonsense, you apparently haven't been paying a lot of attention to US behaviour with respect to people who poke ol' Uncle Sam in the eye. And Sweden has interviewed people on charges similar to those Assange faces before on foreign soil, and no doubt they'll do so again. The whole thing could have been done by phone or e-conference.

I can't help but wonder why you're so hot to get Assange back to Sweden. You seem to have become a one-man crusade on this issue. Was his alleged victim a relative of yours?

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