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Comment: Re:no ones really winning. (Score 1) 194 194

take it as a personal act of blasphemy if you try to cancel.

What if you don't pay the bill? I would think they'd simply disconnect or do they send goons to garnish your wages?

Overall in the big picture it seems less people are watching television as many viewers spend time in front of the computer or on their phones. But yet broadcasters seem to still be raking in the big bucks, my perception is they replace all their video equipment every three years (and some of that stuff is ***expensive*** but where does the old stuff go? I'd love to get one of those HD cameras).

ugh, I'm getting more tempted to cut comcast but where I'm situated there is not much option for OTA. Network TV sucks, but I tune into NDT's Startalk. PBS is nice (I donate money to help further the cause), I need to evaluate if I can receive them OTA. TCM seems to be repeating same stuff over and over, occasionally they will show obscure movies (i.e. George Raft story that also starred Barrie Chase, Julie London, and Jayne Mansfield).

For highspeed internet and where I'm at it seems only option is Xfinity (no DSL in my area). Which most of us scream about lack of choices, and the other thread of state govts prohibiting local cities from establishing their own ISPs. I noticed city of Santa Clara (I don't live in that area) has free wifi which seems to work much better than Google in Mountain View (which is worse than dialup).

Comment: Re:The Right should be happy (Score 1) 1074 1074

The more clever candidates on the right will figure out quickly that it's now in their best interest to just shut up about gay marriage and to focus on a part of their platform that's less toxic to young voters.

I somehow have this feeling they will still be making a stink about same sex marriages. i.e. Candidates on the right still making a stink about ACA even after numerous SCOTUS rulings.

Comment: MacGuffinite? (Score 1) 167 167

I'll believe in people settling Mars at about the same time I see people setting the Gobi Desert. The Gobi Desert is about a thousand times as hospitable as Mars and five hundred times cheaper and easier to reach. Nobody ever writes "Gobi Desert Opera" because, well, it's just kind of plonkingly obvious that there's no good reason to go there and live. It's ugly, it's inhospitable and there's no way to make it pay. Mars is just the same, really. We just romanticize it because it's so hard to reach.
end quote.

Comment: Win98, XP, Mac OS9 still running (Score 1) 297 297

but if those HDs fail I am toast. I've copied some of the files to other sources. They seem to be running pretty good after all these years in addition to a couple older laptops. It's just backing up is tedious (and yes I read the post about HD failure 5 minutes after, "I'll back up later, too busy right now."). I've tried to connect external drives but getting the PCs to recognize them is difficult. All these devices are not connected to internet (and have never crashed since I've left them offline). There is option of going to NSA as they "backup everything" but my legacy systems are not connected to internet and NSA systems are like cockroach traps (can go in, but never come out). Reminds me regarding backup systems, can you get your files from it? Many companies have routine backup networks but it's horribly bureaucratic trying to get information from the backup HDs.

Comment: no more Dewey Defeats Truman? (Score 2) 292 292

Let's say polls were way off resulting in newspapers with headline errors. But the printed newspaper has gone wayside along with all those "hard to reach" people on landlines. However there is the internet. I did a screen grab of news website a week or two after the 2012 election that has a Romney infotainment article on the side, "we're confident we will win this election."

Comment: Re:Shuttles (Score 2) 59 59

Yes, Solar Max was the first to be repaired. And there were some other satellites that were retrieved and brought back.

But (yes there are always bad excuses) cost of flying Shuttle is far more expensive than the satellite itself. I remember in 1970s/1980s there was lots of talk about space tugs, then poof all such articles disappeared. Later in 1990s in a project management class, instructor mentioned a parametric study on space tugs resulted in energy changes to change orbits from typical 250mile at 28.5 deg Shuttle orbit to get to various satellites will take more energy than to send a spacecraft to the Moon. Shuttle could change orbit inclination but not by much (I think about 1 deg). Damn physics again prevents science fiction becoming reality.

On a side note, Shuttle capable of retrieving satellites was something the Soviets ***did not*** like as their recon birds were ripe for pickings.

On NASAwatch someone posted this insightful comment:
"I blame most of the destination argument on the creation of the Mars underground in the 1980's. Prior to that NASA was focused on using the Shuttle for industrialization in LEO with projects like demonstrating the repair and return of satellites, building structural items in orbit, tethers, etc., all logical starting points for building a Cislunar industrial capability that would have given us the Solar System. NASA didn't even have plans to send robots to Mars. By advocating that we needed to skip the Moon and go rushing off to Mars they started this entire useless destination debate that has paralyzed space policy ever since."

Comment: don't need a nuke, just Newtons Law (Score 1) 272 272

David Morrison of SETI has said only need to nudge it by impacting it with a spacecraft, that will change it's trajectory [of course need to do it way ahead before impact, and careful calculations]. Other than that, sounds like excuse to keep some A or H bombs lying around. And of course using them on a NEO is very dramatic, add Bruce Willis and you have a classic (there was another asteroid movie that came out same time, it has been forgotten). Plus ever since the movie "Marooned," a common movie plot of problem solved are secret USAF spaceships (as illustrated by SensitiveMale).

Comment: Re:Not a moral conundrum (Score 1) 298 298

The look of absolute horror on his face when he asked "Why would you want to see that?" is something I have not forgotten.

I've noticed veterans that have been in combat rarely talk about it. When they do, a common theme is how chaotic it was. And those who talk a lot about battles and firefights were never in one.

Comment: dial before you dig (Score 1) 168 168

I wonder how often fibers are cut by a backhoe to lay other utilities but didn't do proper homework prior to digging a trench. Or if some of these intentional cuts were actually accidental (or removing old fibers but mistakenly took out the ones still in service). Kind of like the old phrase of stupidity over malicious the likely cause or something like that.

Comment: Re:Let's be honest about the purpose of the hyperl (Score 1) 124 124

Interesting comment. It seems to me people in this country don't have the culture or mindset for high speed rail. In US especially California they are trains of railroad tracks that great grandpa built with grade crossings (problems of cars getting hit by trains, people committing suicide). In other countries HSR are systems (and there are no RR crossings, roads and walkways either go over or under). And then there is the "government is the problem!" bitching while infrastructure continues to deteriorate in this country. I don't see private companies stepping in to fill what needs to be done (except for exclusive areas, not region wide).

Though there are many supporters of HSR in high places, I get suspicious they're mostly motivated for profit (huge construction contracts). I also have email subscription to USHSR, I notice a complete lack of any kind of ASCE participation in all their conferences (maybe they have representation, I haven't find them). But occasionally USHSR puts out some insightful comments such as this:
"Congress members who continue to block funding for high speed rail are increasingly being seen as preventing progress and solutions to the nation's problems. These members of Congress can even be viewed as un-American sitting doing nothing as the nation suffers with our deteriorating transportation systems."

Though Musk's concept is interesting, can it be scaled to cover everywhere? and not just choice places that has business?

Comment: Re:Typical (Score 1) 173 173

Sort of reminds me of what happened to Preston Tucker, just not quite to that extent yet.

What about comparing Musk with that visionary automobile pioneer? There are major differences but I think much better comparison than to a fictional character of Tony Stark. At least Musk has produced usable hardware while Tucker got bogged down with prototypes (hey, Telsa almost went belly-up in 2008).

It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.