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Comment Re:Liberal Arts Guys Think Engineers are All Killb (Score 1) 490

I wanted every step in my chain of reasoning on its own line

actually I thought that was an excellent post. The line "A terrorist recruiter is trained to spot these disaffected students" reminded me of what I heard how cultists i.e. Moonies recruit members. They avoid confident, well connected, and sociable people.

Comment no upgrades (Score 1) 494

I'm tired of having to constantly upgrade to upgrade in order to meet the next upgrade. All of these, if not many, require online registration and create account and password. I want to install and use it. If I want an upgrade then I will seek that out. Otherwise let me use the program, offline, and don't bother me.

Comment Re:Smart man (Score 1) 378

your crew's distant descendants, when they arrived, ...

I think they'd be completely different group of animals, culture wise that is. I think of the Star Trek TOS episode of aliens that commandeered the Enterprise, modified it for a very long journey to another galaxy. Shortly after they (in human bodies) were becoming nutzoid with human emotions from getting drunk to jealousy. By the time they'd get to where they were going, they will be "Futurama."

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

They are commercially available Jetpacks dammit! What is wrong with you all?

Excellent comment. We all bitch about not getting flying cars but now there are jetpacks though I'm too poor to buy one. Excellent commuter vehicle, perfect for those living in constrained area like a condo. My pool area and my work site have enough clear area for takeoff/landing. Would a helicopter endorsement be required for a pilot's license? Would I need a transponder for congested airways in SF bay area? How noisy are these jetpacks? I don't have a budget like Larry Ellison to pay off noise abatement fines.

Comment Re:This is 2015/2016 Fuck living in california. (Score 1) 464

There was some program about presidential campaigns, they were interviewing this guy from New Hampshire or Iowa or one of those small states where voters get choices. His comment was he got to shake hands with every president since Kennedy. Here in Calif you need at least $50K to simply attend a fundraiser with a Party nominee.

Comment Re:Whoever gets there first and works them (Score 1) 239

good point. Chinese may harness lunar resources with extensive mining operations. US can bitch "you can't do that because we were there first" but then if we are still like we are today (barely able to put a few tons into LEO) then it really doesn't matter. In terms of space settlements, mining, whatever, it may all go down like how Europeans settled the new world. Native Americans were here first and were well established but things didn't go so well for them afterwords, there never was an issue of fairness or proper law. It was simply a matter of conquest.

Comment Re:No need for such complicated reasons. (Score 1) 103

Well, as a former VCR repair tech, I can tell you why we thought VHS beat BetaMax: the VHS machines were much easier to repair.

A friend who worked at VMI in Sunnyvale back in the days said same thing. He worked on reel to reel, and interacted with other guys who worked on VHS and Beta. To align the beta heads, the machine had to be shipped to Japan as it was that precise.

I also heard there is a documentary about the guys who developed VHS, a Japanese show where they portray these as a drama. I'd love to see it as another friend while he was in Japan he watched this docudrama. These guys went on for days, weeks, months with very little time to sleep, take baths, or eat. Entire lab was filled with huge rack mount test equipment, scopes, etc. with cables and cords going everywhere, and floor covered with empty food containers. One of the guys was given an impossible task during the project which he was seriously considering an easy out (stabbing himself to death like a Samurai). Other tasks included hundreds of insert-and-eject tasks to ensure the decks will not eat tapes. When they finally got it going, Sony and other companies rejected it. But JVC accepted it and also provided licensing for other companies to make VHS machines.

Anyway, I am old enough to remember when video cassettes arrived on the consumer market. I didn't have enough money to buy a machine so I rented. VHS was a no-brainer because I can record a 2-hour movie or two 1-hour TV shows. Or put it in EP mode and record three 2-hour movies. Beta was maximum 90 minutes which even though I heard it was better (honestly I couldn't tell the difference) but I need that last 30 minutes!!!

But wait, this guy lead a team to develop the first consumer video cassette deck, Richard Elkus knew even in 1960s video will never be popular in the consumer market unless it was a cassette. i.e. people had 8mm film but they typically only watch it once because setting up a screen, setting up and feeding the film through a projector was too tedious for most people. Unfortunately US companies didn't buy into it but the Japanese took the technology and ran with it. Rest is history.

Getting back to Beta, that was the game changer for news media. None of the "film at 11!" as that is how long it takes to develop and show 16mm film footage of an event earlier in the day. None of packing a camera with a separate recorder and wearing a 50 lb battery belt. Grab that shoulder mount, run and gun, for action reality footage, and also be able to solve the camera in a politician's face, and footage is ready to go for the 6 pm news.

Comment Re:Is Paul Moller on the board? (Score 1) 226

I met Paul Moller at Yolo County airport in late 1980s. There was a small airshow of sorts, he had a Skycar mockup on display. I asked him why this VTOL will be so much cheaper than what typically be from aerospace companies. Moller said these large companies have only one customer, the government, so there is no reason to make any VTOL vehicle lowcost. He is (was or still is?) for the "average." Earlier in 1980s I found a AIAA paper he wrote and had a set of equations dealing with power and diameter of ducted engines (I cannot find it anywhere now). It outlined for a given amount of powered lift the total ducted area needs to be of a certain value. Moller also wrote his equations showed the Canadian Avro-Car in late 1950s was doomed to never get out of ground effect because total ducted area was too small regardless how powerful the engines may have been. I also remembered the slick brocheres, I looked up the company in the phone book and also (what's that publication that was real popular back in the days?) that lists companies, Moller Corp. business that earned money was selling mufflers that were flow efficient. Moller was also a professor at UC Davis.

Comment Re:50% more than LEO, TO BE EXACT (Score 1) 226

Put down the Star Trek, pick up the physics and reality 101. For your own good.

Larry Krause implied this but not in those words. In a presentation he mentioned amount of energy it takes to accelerate a federation starship is way more than the mass of the ship (E=mc^2). I tried some basic calculations using KE=1/2mv^2, my values seemed quite low. However the concept seems valid (examine amount of energy it takes to put a measley 3000 lb (mass) into LEO.

"Spock, did you see the looks on their faces?" "Yes, Captain, a sort of vacant contentment."