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Comment: Promising, but... (Score 5, Insightful) 144

by lax-goalie (#39432279) Attached to: Killing Cancer With Engineered Viruses

...there's still tons of work to do.

I've got a friend with brain cancer who was enrolled in one of the current virus trials - one which has shown great promise in animal studies. He ended up leaving the trial after a month or so, with tumor regrowth and tremendous swelling around the tumor site, causing all sorts of problems with speech, reading, and sight. He has surgery scheduled for tomorrow, after that, hopefully another trial.

Not to be a downbuzz, but it's a long road before this kind of therapy is anything more than an experimental crapshoot.

Comment: Hope they don't outsource to Northrop Grumman... (Score 3, Insightful) 49

by lax-goalie (#35966926) Attached to: US Gov't To Close 137 Data Centers In 2011, More By 2015

...because the latest in Virginia's IT outsourcing saga is that the State Police are having severe access problems to servers hosted by NG.

Outsourcing to these guys has been a disaster for the Commonwealth. And it happened on Vivek Kundra's watch.

Comment: 50 Words? (Score 1) 153

by lax-goalie (#35711798) Attached to: Book Review: 15 Minutes Including Q&A

"If you're putting more than 50 words on a slide, you've fucked up."

50? Seriously? Unless you're showing a screenshot, listing some code, or pulling a quote, the magic number is seven. In general, if you have more than seven words on a slide, you've fucked up.

More than that, and the presenter is usually just reading the Powerpoint deck. And in that case, why are you wasting my time, when you could have just emailed it to me in the first place?

Comment: Comparison v. Falcon 9 (Score 4, Interesting) 143

by lax-goalie (#35142988) Attached to: NASA's Ares 1 To Be Reborn As the Liberty Commercial Launcher

So, the Liberty will be able to put about 20,000 kg into LEO for about $9,000 per Kg. The Falcon 9 can put just over half that (10K kg or so) into LEO for somewhere between $5,400 - $6,000 per kg, depending on the load factor. (Numbers pulled from the SpaceX web site.)

Of course, there are other costs besides the raw launch cost (insurance, etc.), but it will be interesting to see how these two vehicles compete. For things like ISS resupply missions, it may make sense to just shoot the Falcon twice.

Once the Falcon 9 heavy gets into the mix (32,000 kg to LEO for $95M), ATK & Astrium will need to sharpen their pencils a bit. That'll be one and a half times the payload for half the cost or so.

Price wars for space launch capacity? I can't wait to watch!

Power

+ - The Future of Biofuel: Tequila in Your Tank?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "According to researchers from the University of Illinois, the Agave plant that is used to make tequila could be an excellent source of biofuels. A new report states that two Agave species are capable of producing yields of biofuels that far surpass those from biofuel feedstocks such as corn, wheat, soybean, and sorghum. Scientists have said that in 14 independent studies, it was concluded that Agave had “high biofuel potential”."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Hope It Helps End the Fighting (Score 1) 782

by lax-goalie (#34384846) Attached to: US Army Unveils 'Revolutionary' $35,000 Rifle

just look how long it took to replace the M1911

With all due respect to your FPS experience, obviously, you've never fired a M1911 or one of it's variants. Personally, I find it much easier to hit what I'm aiming at (yeah, there's more recoil, but the energy profile is more easily controllable) , and there a lot of people in the field who will tell you that the stopping power of the 9mm Parabellum cartridge is simply inferior to the .45 ACP.

The 1911 is a sweet weapon. It's reliable, and is a lot of fun to shoot.

You might be surprised to know that the 1911 is still preferred by everyone from Delta Force to the FBI's HRT to Marine Recon.

I'd opine that the M1911 took so long to replace was that it did the job it was designed to do because it was the best at what it did - NATO politics notwithstanding. I'll take a 1911 (throated and ramped, to be sure) over a M9 any day of the week.

Comment: Re:hard to see how this works (Score 1) 782

by lax-goalie (#34384642) Attached to: US Army Unveils 'Revolutionary' $35,000 Rifle

I'm glad you pointed this out. 700 fps is less than the speed of sound, so the weapon is not just smart, it's suppressible. (For all you non-shooters, that means you can put a silencer on it.) Prolly not enough to cancel the report upon firing, but enough that you can design the weapon so it doesn't give away your position.

I want one now.

p.s. Bitching link. Lotta serious info. Thanks.

Comment: Re:hard to see how this works (Score 4, Insightful) 782

by lax-goalie (#34384326) Attached to: US Army Unveils 'Revolutionary' $35,000 Rifle

Just a hunch, but I'm guessing that they actually tested to see if it really works. Otherwise, and given that this thing is now in the field, there would already be a pissed-off bunch of Army riflemen complaining that it doesn't work. And in the age of bloggers, wikileaks, etc., we'd probably be hearing about it already.

If I'm facing a squad armed with one of these, my bet is to not be on the other side of the wall.

There is hardly a thing in the world that some man can not make a little worse and sell a little cheaper.

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