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Comment: Re:Renewable (Score 1) 81

by kellymcdonald78 (#47905355) Attached to: Solar Powered Technology Enhances Oil Recovery
Before the massive glut in tight gas due to fracking, there were serious plans to build a nuclear reactor in Northern Alberta for exactly that purpose (steam for in-situ oil sands extraction). However now that the price of natural gas has cratered in North America, its much more cost effective to use it for steam

Comment: Re:That's not what MotherJones says (Score 5, Informative) 157

by kellymcdonald78 (#47821341) Attached to: Reno Selected For Tesla Motors Battery Factory
It's possible to generate 25% margin on each car, yet still have the company post a loss (Learn to read an Income Statement). All it requires is the company to re-invest all of that margin (and more) say... building a Gigafactory or other R&D or expansion activities. When you're in a growth phase like Tesla and your overriding objective is to scale the business, you would expect the company to be running on the edge of profitability, simply because every dollar in profit is a dollar that can be used to fund your expansion.

Comment: Re: Why does it take so long? (Score 4, Interesting) 211

by kellymcdonald78 (#47795431) Attached to: Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets
While the "Shuttle Derived" messaging was used to sell the program, it's hardly anything but. The first few flights will use left over RS-25Ds from the shuttle program, but they are far too expensive for new ones to be built and throw away each flight, so the RS-25E and RS-25F engines needed to be developed. The 4 segment SRBs from the shuttle aren't powerful enough for SLS so they've had to develop a 5 segment SRB with a new type of solid fuel with a completely new grain. The casings are also being redesigned to be expendable. While the tank is shuttle derived, it needs a completely redesigned aft section to support the engines, plumbing is completely different, and the a new interstate to support the upper stage and payloads. It would have been cheaper and faster to start from scratch, but that doesn't keep the trough filled.

Comment: Re:A bit less than 10 years ago (Score 1) 848

by kellymcdonald78 (#47785349) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine
The paper is filled with "potentially", "possibly", "reasonable chance of success", "our model fails to incorporate several factors" etc. As well several of the "counterforce" targets on the list are inconveniently located in or near major population centers (Naval bases for example). For example Polyarny had a population of 30,000 in the early 90's. Murmansk which is only 30km away has a population of 300,000.

Comment: Re:Why dont we (Score 1) 194

by kellymcdonald78 (#47677929) Attached to: The Billion-Dollar Website
Then I hope you enjoy your "sports car" that sits 8, has 5 square wheels, no brakes and a 14 HP engine. Built exactly how the client asked for it. Most government RFPs are terrible, written by people in procurement who have no clue what they're asking for. Rarely is there any kind of defined feature set, or schedule, mostly its just a laundry list of things people raised in a couple of committee meeting, with a date some politician wants it by (usually tied to a campaign promise, or event), and a budget that someone pulled out of thin air.

Comment: Screw 112-454.B Installed (Score 0) 75

by kellymcdonald78 (#47338309) Attached to: NASA's Orion Spaceship Passes Parachute Test
For Immediate Release Hundreds of dignitaries gathered on Wednesday at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Plant in Littleton CO for the installation of screw 112-454.B in NASA's latest emerging spacecraft the Orion Test Article. Vice President Biden was on hand to celebrate this important milestone on America's return to space.. "We salute the hard work of hundreds of thousands of American's from every state in the union for their efforts in ensuring the successful installation of screw 112-454.B. They represent the dreams of all American's as we seek to restore the capability of flying astronauts to the International Space Station, beyond, and perhaps one day this century or next, to Mars or even the Moon" Program Lead Dr Elliot Hoefstader highlighted the over 10,000 hours of computer and virtual reality simulations that paved the way for the installation of the screw "We're very proud of the work this team accomplished over the last 9 months and we can see the outcome in the how smoothly things went this morning. Later this fall we'll be installing screw 11-454.C and we hope that over the next 3-4 years we'll have all 12 screws installed on this panel. If all goes as planned we expect the test article to fly by 2030 and if funding is sustained, a manned flight perhaps in time for the centennial of Yuri Gagarin historic journey" Senator Richard Shelby (R- AL) cheered as the screw was installed, leading the crowd in a rousing chant of "Pork, Pork, Pork, Pork" When asked about comparisons to companies participating in NASAs CiCAP program, Senator Shelby expressed his concern "I can't in good conscious support hard earned money going to companies building death traps and taking money away from United Launch Alliance. After all look at all of this" pointing to the half warehouse full of binders, "without these 2.5 billion pages of screw cost information, how can we ensure that American's are getting value for their hard earned dollars. I bet those SpaceX folks would just buy a screw at Home Depot. If everyone did this, imagine the critical losses in America's manufacturing base. We have a national security interest to ensure we have the capability to build screws here, when we need them" Representatives of the European Space Agency were on hand as the screwdriver used to install screw 112-454-B was assembled in France, Germany, Italy and Denmark as part of an international partnership for future shared access to space

Comment: Re:This "nightmare" rigns a bell (Score 1) 240

by kellymcdonald78 (#47202303) Attached to: The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems
Why exclude "memory and CPU"? You may have heard of something called Moore's Law, its one of the single biggest reasons why modern consumer electronics become obsolete so fast. Many of the "marketing" features you've listed are directly tied to memory and CPU performance (turn by turn navigation, Safari upgrades, multitasking, Siri). Windows 3.11 had 500,000 LOC, XP was 45,000,000 LOC, Windows 8.1 is 80,000,000 LOC. To say that "lots of it hasn't changed in 20+ year" is flying in the face of fact, or are those 79,500,000 LOC all "marketing" features that could easily be added to a Pentium III powered desktop.

Comment: Re:This "nightmare" rigns a bell (Score 1) 240

by kellymcdonald78 (#47202077) Attached to: The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems
I take it you've never worked in hardware manufacturing. Gross margin is typically in the ~30%-35% range (that is margin after the cost of goods sold), Apple and Samsung manage to get in the 40% range. Of that 10%-15% goes to R&D, 10%-15% to marketing, leaving ~5% for profits, jets and limos. It's just that R&D is being spent on new things as opposed to supporting legacy platforms used by a handful of people.

Comment: Re:This "nightmare" rigns a bell (Score 1) 240

by kellymcdonald78 (#47172891) Attached to: The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems
Firstly I asked if you expected your desktop to last 20 years, you responded "yes I expect my desktop to last 10 years", nice way to move the goal posts. A 1994 top of the line desktop would be using a brand spanking new 100Mhz Pentium Chip running Windows 3.11. What exactly would you apply this powerhouse to today? Now because you (and a small handful of people) are running 15 year old machines to perform some specific task, everyone is supposed to pay more to provide you with ongoing support and spare parts? For a 20 year desktop lifespan, Microsoft for example would need to write Windows 8 to be able to run on an original Pentium (with FDIV bug), or support every version of Windows from Windows 8 down to 3.11 (an OS that didn't even have an IP stack). Tell me who gets to pay for these armies of developers? I'd argue that the 3GS IS horrendously obsolete. While the it can up upgraded to iOS6 there are several features that do not function (VIP list, Offline Reading List, Shared Photo Stream, Siri, Maps flyover, Turn-by-turn navigation, FaceTime on 3G, Hearing aid support). It does not support iO7 (Control Center, Notification Center, Air Drop, Improved multitasking, upgrades to camera and photos, iCloud photo integration, significant upgrades to Safari, Find My Phone, Car Play, plus a bunch of stuff to support enterprise usage). Oh and iOS8 comes out this fall. The 3GS doesn't support LTE, HSUPA, nor 802.11n. The iPhone5 has 4-8 times the processing power of the 3GS, 4 times the memory, 8-12 times more powerful video processing, the camera has 3 times better resolution, does HD video, image stabilization, includes a front facing camera, plus the battery lasts longer too . This all within 5 years (technically only 4 as the iPhone5S came out in 2013), now imagine a 20 year old smart phone.

Comment: Re:This "nightmare" rigns a bell (Score 1) 240

by kellymcdonald78 (#47155729) Attached to: The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems
Why should smartphones be expected to last 20 years. Do you expect your desktop or laptop to last 20 years? Why engineer something to last an arbitrary 20 year period of time, if consumer behavior shows that 99% of them will be in the trash within 5 years? Moores law is still in play for now, meaning the phone I buy today (even if built to a level of durability needed to last 20 years) will be horrendously obsolete compared to the phone I can buy in 5 years. (Which will have 4-8 times the performance and do a wide variety of new things that my existing phone can't). Consumers respond by throwing away the old phone a buying the new. Comparing a smart phone to the old bell land line phone is like saying "My abacus was able to last 50 years, why doesn't my MacBook Air do the same"

If it smells it's chemistry, if it crawls it's biology, if it doesn't work it's physics.