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Comment Not the first full recovery from space (Score 1) 121

SpaceShip One touched space and all elements were recovered and flew to space again.

BO's demonstration is more publicity than practical rocketry. It doesn't look like the aerodynamic elements of BO's current rocket are suitable for recovery after orbital injection, just after a straight up-down space tourism flight with no potential for orbit, just like SpaceShip One (and Two). They can't put an object in space and have it stay in orbit. They can just take dudes up for a short and expensive view and a little time in zero gee.

It's going to be real history when SpaceX recovers the first stage after an orbital injection, in that it will completely change the economics of getting to space and staying there.

Comment Re:Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 1) 137

You'd need a popular product to pull off obtaining second-clientage from governments, and you'd need not to reveal that your device had legal intercept.

This is just a poorly-directed company continuing to shoot itself in the foot. It's not made its product desirable for government, or for anyone else.

Comment Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 2) 137

There's a truism in marketing that you can only differentiate your product on the parts that the customer sees and uses. Blackberry just can't learn this lesson. They tried differentiating on the OS kernel, which the customer never sees. And now on an insecurity feature that the customer won't be allowed to use. It's been a protracted death spiral, but it's a continuing one.

Comment What's Wrong with the Hobbit? (Score 2) 175

The Hobbit books are to a great extent about race war. The races are alien and fictional, but they are races, and the identification of good or bad is on racial boundaries. This isn't all that unusual in the fantasy genre, or even some sci-fi.

Lots of people love those books. And there's lots of good in them. To me, the race stuff stuck out.

Comment Re:This (Score 1) 393

I call bullshit. I also hated high school, and went to college instead. The college classes translated back to high school requirements, and I only needed to take the regents (state exam). And, after college level english / history / physics this was a joke, and I scored in the highest percentile.

While I would have liked to have skipped physics, it was a requirement I had to take, and they wouldn't let me into college unless I agreed to this weird course schedule

Comment Re:Smart man (Score 1) 378

People make this kind of choice for their kids ALL THE TIME. Just look at refugees coming in from Syria. People can and do make the choice that it's better to risk their children's lives, and relocate themselves and all future generations to a culture where fundamentally they're considered outsiders, BECAUSE they believe it will be a better life.

Comment Re:Reward networks for not upgrading (Score 1) 75

What happens on eBay is just a market. It's fundamental that a properly working market works to determine the optimum price for whatever is being sold. A properly working market would have multiple sellers and multiple buyers, all with somewhat differing circumstances. Improperly working markets are dominated by a single vendor, etc. No market works perfectly, there are always factors that cause markets to be less efficient than they should be.

Demand pricing is something one vendor does deliberately and with calculation. In contrast, the market pricing is arrived at as the aggregate of the behavior of many people. The market's actually broken if the calculation of one person can influence it disproportionately.

Comment Re:Amazon Model (Score 1) 75

First, there's no shortage of interurban data links for these companies to use if they're willing to. A shortage of infrastructure is a myth.

Second, the customers will indeed abscond, but not to conventional telephone companies.

Anyone who is considering how to jack up voice call pricing is moving around deck chairs on the Titanic.

Comment Re:Reward networks for not upgrading (Score 1) 75

No definition of "surge pricing" could include eBay because it's an auction with multiple independent bidders. Uber, on the other hand, is one bidder with multiple operators who work through its pricing structure. Experienced Uber operators actually avoid areas with high dynamic pricing because there's too much traffic around them. It's more profitable to do three less expensive rides than one expensive one.

Uber dynamic pricing fails the riders, and fails the operators. Uber still makes its money, they don't particularly care that they aren't serving either bloc efficiently.

Comment Re:No excuse for committing a crime (Score 1) 201

If the engineers did something that they knew was wrong then they deserve to be blamed and punished for what they did.

The interesting thing is most software these days is abstracted out. If you're working on a big, enterprise level project, you won't get asked to draw a big picture: you'll be given a module you need to create that takes a given range of inputs and transforms them to a given level of outputs on a specific platform.

It's very possible that this wasn't something the whole engineering department would've known about. You could very easily have a number of different "modes" and then just have one guy link the modules together (in the damning behavior)

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.