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Comment Re:I thought the secondary payload (Score 2) 51

For the price of one manned mission we will see tens of thousands of more engineers and scientists inspired to go into STEM.

I know 2 people who are going back to college for mechanical engineering so that they can "work at SpaceX someday". And that's suborbital. Anecdote yes, but listen to all of the Anecdotes of people inspired by Apollo.

Comment Re:This is nothing but good (Score 1) 121

Except they're not at all competitive. It would be like a bicycle company saying their bicycle just one-upped the Tesla Model 3 in range and price. Technically true, but what people want is a car not a bicycle and improved electric bicycles won't offer much competition to a mass produced electric car. That's not to say both aren't cool in their own way but the only real company that is seeing competition from Blue Origin at the moment is Virgin Galactic and the SpaceShipTwo. However Virgin Galactic and Rutan already accomplished years ago what BO did today.

What this might do though is give BO a good boost of revenue towards making truly competitive hardware that does do something more useful than give wealthy sightseers a bucket list checkmark.

Comment Re:This is only true (Score 1) 365

Pfizer sells a patented product. The only thing stopping someone from making it for $1 instead of $1000 is that patent. The government's courts, police and armies defend Pfizer's business from being destroyed by generic knock offs. Fuck me if using the might and power of the US government to create and defend your business model doesn't deserve *something*.

Let's entertain your silly little sophomoric perspective. Let's say Pfizer owes nothing to the state. Great. The reciprocal principle then means that the state owes nothing then to Pfizer. Lipitor is now free for everybody! In order to avoid paying 2% more in taxes they've now given up $10B next year in revenue to avoid 2% of about $800m in profit which works out to $16m in taxes. Their $10B business model only costs about $120m in taxes total. That's a bargain.

Comment Re:That won't last long... (Score 1) 814

(Back in the 90s): 4 of us were taken to the principles office for the entire day after being separated and interrogated. We were told if we didn't confess and agree to 50 hours of community service they would call the FBI and we would probably have lifetime felony charges on our record. So just "Agree to the community service and terms of your punishment for the next year and it'll all go away."

Yes, it's as nefarious as you expected. We logged onto computers using the sys admin's password (half to fuck with 7th graders and half to actually do his job since he was an inept nitwit whose solution to every problem was re-install windows and couldn't even be bothered to change the 17" monitors from 640x480 to something reasonable like 1024.)

Comment Re:Cry me a river. (Score 1) 519

The right wingers just want to go kill the stupid terrorists.

And who exactly is a terrorist? That's the problem. The US Government has arrested and detained innocent people in the past. The US Government has mistakenly killed innocent people presumed to be terrorists in the past. Almost every anti-terrorism operation kills civilians. So "Just want to go kill stupid terrorists." also means invading Iraq, destabilizing the country and arguably creating the environment in which ISIS emerged. So saying that liberals are creating a disaster through inaction is no more true than saying that conservatives are creating a disaster through action. However when inaction and action both produce equally terrible outcomes--maybe the cheaper option is the better terrible outcome. That's not to say that every action is certainly or even most likely worse than inaction but it is to say that "Just go kill stupid terrorists" is not a logically acceptable path. It costs lives, it costs money and it will inevitably kill far more than 140 civilians so it had better be pretty clearly superior to inaction.

Lastly it was conservatives who opened Guantanamo and refuse to close it, conservatives who passed the Patriot Act, conservatives who called anti-war activists "treasonous". It's pretty hard to take the high road on liberties unless you mean "Gun Control" which is as much an innate right as "The Right to Own High Explosives" which nobody claims because thankfully it wasn't deemed sensible 300 years ago to say "the people's right to bare C4 shall not be infringed.".

Comment Re:Insufficient safety margin (Score 1) 366

Falcon 9 has engine 1-engine out capability almost on the launch pad. 9/8 = 1.12 (coincidence) but on the launch pad has a thrust-to-weight ratio of 1.18. It only takes a handful of seconds after liftoff to have burned enough fuel to reach 1.2. However it does take about 15 seconds before it could theoretically suffer 2-engine loss and *hover*. Certainly wouldn't make it to space but there is a time at which space craft definitely do have an abundance of engines for their thrust/weight ratio. Falcon 9 again actually starts throttling down before first stage shut-down.

Comment Re:I suspect it already does (Score 2) 337

Windows 8 and 10 have a user accessible file system without compromising security. It's kind of a PITA in some situations because the user has to elevate each folder's access privileges per application and some some folders like like Win32 Program Files and the System directory are off-limits (except through UNC hacks).

Forces developers to rethink a lot of stuff too since file access isn't guaranteed.

Comment Re:Real smart fella (sarcasm) (Score 1) 519

Chopping people's heads off to make a point and to recruit more crazies is not necessarily evil... uh huh.

We execute people to "make a point" when they feel they warrant it. Lots of people are calling for indiscriminate carpet bombing of Syria to "Make a point" which will undoubtedly murder far more than 150 civilians.

I'm not 100% convinced that amputation is better or worse than life imprisonment. I would take amputation to being a three-strike burglar thrown in jail for the next 40 years.

'The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions' I think is the most apt true-ism in this instance. ISIS has a viewpoint on what the perfect society looks like. They'll kill or jail or enslave anyone who threatens that ideal society. So do we. We just have a more 'enlightened' perspective on what that ideal society looks like.

Comment Re:Firefighting Capacity (Score 1) 91

Buildings already have water in them. What the building needs is people to direct said water, people to know where you should cut holes and where you need to keep areas sealed off and people trained in respirators, first aid and rescue.

Look at what happened the last time we had a massive fire in a sky scraper: NYC september 11. The elevators went out and fire fighters had to haul ass up hundreds of flights of stairs. Now, the blaze in the WTC almost certainly couldn't have been fought but when you're talking about multiple $1.5B structures $3m in firefighting equipment to deliver fire expert personnel isn't unreasonable. For comparison the NYPD uses Bell 429s for rescue operations and they cost about $6m each and can only carry 7 people. So 20 person capacity for $3m or 7 person capacity for $6m. I'm not saying there isn't also a place for a civil rescue agency to have a helicopter, just that I don't think it's all that crazy to have a fast response team on personal helicopters as well. If you save one penthouse suite in the Burj thanks to additional fire fighting resources the $3m will look like money well spent.

Comment Re:Is this some luddite anti-tech site? (Score 1) 91

Many NYFD fire fighters died on 9/11 running up stairs to fight a fire. If the elevators are out on a 2,000 foot tall building, a jet pack could get a fire fighter to the roof or even theoretically in through a port installed mid-way up. Put 20 firefighters on the roof and work their way down by stairs a few stories. They can then use the tools which are already stashed in lockers. Having expert eyes on-location is what matters, they can direct non-professionals in attacking the blaze. And I imagine a $150k jetpack is cheaper than keeping a fire marshall on-staff in a penthouse 24/7.

Comment Boulder/Denver, CO; Lincoln, NE & Bozeman, MT (Score 2) 464

I was really surprised by Lincoln, NE. I wouldn't live there but it really is at its heart a college town and has everything that generally goes along with that.

Boulder/Denver has everything Lincoln, NE doesn't have in the way of mountains and outdoor activities while also doing pretty well on the tech and lifestyle front.

Bozeman I hear is doing pretty well right now as well. Again, Big Sky is nearby so lots of outdoor goodness.

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.