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Comment Re: Apartheid (Score 2) 441

Stalin was a communist and an atheist, yet he made a deal with the Russian Orthodox Church and suspended all publications of the league of militant atheists in 1941. It just suited his aims. The point is these guys never claimed to be christian, it is just someone like you that tries to extrapolate some phrase to support his agenda and ease his insecurities. Claiming that Mussolini or Fascism were pro-religion or pro-christianity is just nonsense.

Comment Re:Apartheid (Score 2) 441

Keep repeating those shallow reasonings, you may eventually to believe them. Mussolini was an anticlerical atheist. Of course he was also a politician and so he had to make a deal with the powerful Catholic Church, like he had to make a deal with the monarchic exponents but he was not a Catholic nor a royalist: he was just pragmatic. Like Hitler or Stalin or Napoleon or Saddam: they all used religion, as a political mean, because religion is/was powerful in their state, but they weren't religious in a traditional sense.

Comment Re:Apartheid (Score 1) 441

I don't think that a youtube video with out-of-contest, mistranslated words is going to support your point (he's talking about communists by the way). Mussolini, the theorist of fascism, was an atheist. After all, it's really difficult to imagine a leader of a totalitarian regime supportive of some kind of religion or religious power. It is true that totalitarian states (from Napoleon onward) tried to embrace, extend and extinguish religion and so at some point they had to take care of religious people and religious power, however that is just a struggle with an alien power on the road to the true totalitarian state. Even Stalin had to make a deal with religious authorities during the second world war: totalitarian leaders are politician and you'd make a huge mistake judging a politician by his words instead of his actions.

Comment Re:So, Japan is winning the new space race... (Score 1) 87

I said

NASA paid $1.6 billion for 12 launches, that's a lot more than $57 million per launch.

Then you said

Thats because NASA was buying into a company that didn't have the capability at the time and knew they would be funding development.

So, I replied

In the end the cost for a supply mission is $90 million for Falcon 9 v1.1 plus the cost of using Dragon: I doubt it will ever be significantly less than the actual $133.3 million.

And now you say

You cannot add in the cost of the Dragon when calculating the launch cost of a launching system.

Why not? Because it doesn't suit the mantra that SpaceX is so cheaper than the alternatives? The cost of a resupply mission will never be cheaper than what it is now, let alone near to the famous $57 million, and the fact that the contract was prolonged for an undisclosed price proves this. That's a fact.

It also isn't really relevant what NASA paid SpaceX for the contract. An Iphone doesn't cost $700 but customers still pay that. In the end the launch costs is somewhere south of the $60m private customer cost.

It is relevant, unless you want to compare apples to oranges. Other vectors include insurance and services in the total cost, when SpaceX says $61 million does not ($57 million is the old cost for the Falcon 9 v1.0). US government requires insurance and all that, so the cost is about $90 million (per launch, not including Dragon), not $60 million: for example Vega rockets cost €32 million services included, but €25 to €22 million is the cost excluding services.

Comment Re:So, Japan is winning the new space race... (Score 1) 87

Well, that is not the full story. NASA paid $278 million to SpaceX to develop the Dragon module, on top of that they paid $1.6 billion more to have "at least" 12 resupply missions, that should deliver "at least" 20 metric tons of supplies to the space station. NASA, in March 2015, already prolonged the deal with SpaceX with 3 more launches in 2017, for an "undisclosed" price, because "the data is sensitive" and, after all, they assured that the total contract cannot exceed $3.1 billion.

On top of that, in 2017 SpaceX will launch NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite for $87 million, because $61.2 million is the launch price for private companies, while $90 million the price for the US government (insurance cost, certifications and all that). In the end the cost for a supply mission is $90 million for Falcon 9 v1.1 plus the cost of using Dragon: I doubt it will ever be significantly less than the actual $133.3 million.

Comment Re:Sounds like an ad (Score 1) 316

The circumstances are equally important. For example it must be not a case that in 2014 a new mayor was elected in Pesaro: the new city council for some reason decided to switch back to MS Office. Perhaps there was some kind of deal, perhaps the new city councilors were not as expert as the old ones, that were in charge since 2004 (two elections). Perhaps there were people complaining about the transition and the new council just wanted to quickly fulfill those wishes (they are politicians after all).

The same article says that other cities use Google Docs. While some municipalities, much bigger than Pesaro, are switching to Open Office. Some towns, like Turin, have very detailed and well supported plans, perhaps it is just that Pesaro didn't have a good plan.

Comment Re:Can the enemy actually shoot down the F35? (Score 1) 732

The whole anti-F35 argument rests on the report that one (1) F117 was shot down by Serbian forces using VHF technology. Otherwise, they are only talking about the possibility of long range tracking... not fire control radar. And in the case of that F117, there was no mention of the effective RCS.

The Serbs simply demonstrated that you could use radar equipment from the '70s to shoot down modern "stealth" aircraft. All these proxy wars are a testing ground for military technologies, not only Americans, but also Russians and Chinese gather information on the performance of the new weapons and begin to design countermeasures, like the new Chinese radar drone. The idea is to combine long range with fire control: you fire a missile, you guide it with VHF until it is near the objective, at that point the objective is not so stealth and you can use more accurate pointing systems.

The arguments about dependency on forward bases is destroyed by VTOL capability, a fact that was not even touched on in the discussion. Similarly, while it was mentioned that the F18 could drop external fuel tanks in combat, no mention was made of the fact that the F35 could drop (or fire) external munitions in a similar situation.

I don't know what you're talking about here. The article says that the F-35 is designed to operate on internal fuel (because otherwise it loses its only advantage, that is stealth) and so has a bigger combat radius than an F-16 or an F-18, however an F-16 or an F-18 could use external tanks to match or exceed the F-35 combat radius and then drop them before combat to greatly exceed the F-35 combat capabilities. A loaded F-16 has better acceleration, thrust, manoeuvrability than an F-35 relying only on its internal load: an externally loaded F-35 is painfully worse than an F-16 or an F-18 at everything and it is _not_ stealth.

Comment Re:No the US would not face "20:1 odds" (Score 1) 732

Saying the US would be facing 20:1 odds simply isn't supported by the facts. The US has FAR more combat aircraft than any other country and the US has exactly half (11/22) of the world's supply of aircraft carriers.

If you had followed closely the whole debate about the F-35, you'd know that the 20:1 figure is indeed supported by facts. It has to do with the ability of the US to wage war against distant enemies, e.g. China. In an hypothetical war with China, the US would have a bunch of scattered air bases on small islands in the Pacific Ocean, with very limited aircraft capacities, only a fraction of those thousands of aircraft could be operated from there. On the other hand the Chinese could rely on a big network of air bases and could use their air force at full capacity. The result would be that the US air force would be outnumbered: it doesn't matter the total number of your forces, it matters how scattered or concentrated they are. So, to be effective in this scenario, the F-35 should be able to take down all the enemy fighters before having to reload or refuel, otherwise it could let those air bases open for enemy retaliation and, as a consequence, losing the ability to attack mainland China (that is losing the war).

Comment Re:Genesis! (Score 3, Interesting) 153

I don't see any reason why this is "stunning" or a big controversy. It's just a new fossil and they'll argue a bit on where it goes into the taxonomy tree... happens all the time.

The fact is that, as always, those who found it are basically screaming "sensational discovery, mystery XYZ is finally solved", while other scientist are more cautious. It's the old theme of "sensationalism versus business as usual", dangerously close to the stance of attention whores.

Having read the article, I think it's more likely that those weak limbs were used for tree climbing than for grabbing preys and probably this is not a snake but a specimen from some extinct group.

Comment Re: Well, well, well. (Score 1) 316

Easy. Five launches: 3 complete failures, 1 test launch, 1 commercial launch of space debris. First fully "privately" developed rocket: its first 3 launches were all bought by US government agencies (NASA, US Army) and all 3 failed. After its only successful commercial launch, it was scrapped because none wanted to use it: so much for SpaceX could exist without NASA money. Reusable rocket, that never was reusable (but but but falcon 9 will be, believe). Ridicule payload.

It was a complete commercial failure, which is quite a problem when your aim is to make money.

Feel disillusioned? I've got some great new illusions, right here!