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Comment: waltz, foxtrot, tango (Score 1) 166

SpaceX has promise, but Boeing has shown it can deliver.

...eventually, and only after the requisite pork has been spread across a multitude of states and subcontractors to keep the requisite congress-critters happy. :(

Not to knock Boeing's technical prowess, but damn - they do know how to play the game (which explains why they're getting a piece of the contract most likely...)

As a very apt comparison, go back to the days when the F-16 first came out: relatively cheap, by some upstart company (General Dynamics), a revolutionary design, the first 9-G capable fighter, and was an all-around workhorse that could do (within reason) damned near anything you demanded of it. It's still in production today (albeit as a division of Lockheed-Martin), with a design that stands to be around for decades to come. Compare and contrast this with, oh, the F-35/6/whatever that's been nothing but a massive money-sink to date.

Did you just called GD an "upstart" (relative to the time the F-16 was built)? #youarenuts

GD is a century old tech mega-ass conglomerate (think GE of defense) that builds from armored vehicles to fighters to satellites to naval warships to communication systems to artillery, you name it, with branches all over the world.

If GD was an upstart at the time the F16 was being build, I'm batman!

Comment: Re:That's government spending for you.. (Score 1) 166

Boeing - Giant Company - $4.2B for a space vehicle that is still in design. SpaceX - Space Startup - $2.6B for a space vehicle that works and has been flying missions for two years.

Spend your money more wisely.

We are talking about NASA and space exploration, not implementing and deploying ER software systems. Re-using existing designs is a very acceptable approach, but for the type of R&D and work that this involves, NASA (and we) need to also explore new designs. The time to do is now.

I think *our* money is well spent by funding both proposals and to put them into competition. The point is not just to have someone deliver something, but to do R&D and extend our body of engineering knowledge. Our money *would not* have been spent well if only one player had been picked to the exclusion of the other.

Comment: Re:My Guess (Score 1) 166

Boeing on the other hand is proposing a craft that's clean-sheet new and has no other customers.

That is better because?

He didn't say anything about one being better than the other (#fileitundereadingcomprehension.)

With that said, from a fault-tolerant point of view, this makes absolute sense. It would be extremely hard and un-probable that any major flaws in one system will be present in the other system. This has been a typical way to create redundant, fault-tolerant solutions, expensive, but totally appropriate when critical systems are concerned.

Re-using an existing design has the advantage of leveraging known factors, specially if the design is already proven.

That hast its limits when it comes to innovation, however. Here is where a from-scratch approach can push innovation forward (at greater risks obviously.) Reuse when you can, but don't be afraid to break new ground with from-scratch systems if the potential ROI warrants it. That is the nature of engineering complex shit.

Comment: Re:I hate to be this guy... (Score 1) 166

...but people are still dying of starvation and lack of water on THIS planet. =\

I know space exploration is very important, but shit, let's get real here. I feel guilty driving a newer model Honda Civic knowing that if I bought something cheaper I could maybe feed someone less fortunate.

Your post has little to do with compassion, and a lot to do with a base need to show to the world that you *care* and drop a tear for it. #dramaqueen

Comment: Re:Real results announced here (Score 1) 192

by luis_a_espinal (#47919687) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

The official news (not WSJ speculation) will be revealed on a live feed today at 4PM EDT. Lots of info in the link below. Link: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.c...

Bingo. OTH (and to add more fuel to the speculation pyre), WP is reporting that the news will announce contracts will be awarded to both Boeing and SpaceX.

Comment: Re: Talk is cheap. (Score 1) 266

by luis_a_espinal (#47865577) Attached to: John Romero On Reinventing the Shooter

It just seems hypocritical to let you kids watch the 'Simpson's' with 'Itchy and Scratchy', then claim FPS are too violent.

Not to mention the Simpson's Halloween special - characters turned inside out. I'm sure the scene is someone in the youtubeez. And there are plenty of "shooting" games that do not involve blowing shit up. A quick visit to GameStop would show the options. Or jeez, man, Angry Birds.

Asking for a non-violent FPS option as if there weren't any is just an exercise in drama.

Comment: Re:Please retire... (Score 1) 266

by luis_a_espinal (#47865503) Attached to: John Romero On Reinventing the Shooter

I was never a fan of the push towards realism in doom 3 on mars

Mod parent up. I was (still am) a big fan of the old Doom/Doom 2/Quake/Heretic type of games .I was seriously put off by (IMO) the excessive interactive dialog that I had to do with Doom 3 just to get going. I didn't buy Doom 3 to have a dialog with the characters, or to listen to them telling me the back story. I bought it to shoot demons and blew shit up. Almost every other game I've tried since then, I've felt them to be overly verbose and "immersive" in Hollywood crap.

It was like dealing with the FPS game version of Microsoft Bob!!!

If I wanted to be immersed, I would simply GTFO and talk to people or something else IRL.

Comment: Re:Whatever happened to scientific discussions the (Score 2) 768

by luis_a_espinal (#47861555) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

People believe what they want to believe. Humans are fallible and will act in their self-interest.

True, but non sequitur to the nature of scientific debate (true scientific debate, not just "debate").

The question are:

(1) Is science and are scientists responsible for "explaining" themselves and their discoveries?

A) Yes they are responsible for explaining, and B) yes, they do explain themselves. But just because a explanation for a complex thing exists, that does not mean the explanation can be made to simple enough to reach a large untrained audience. Try creating an explanation to Wiles's proof for Fermat's Last Theorem that can reach anyone without any exposition to Algebraic Number Theory.

(2) Is the scientific community responsible for calling out charlatans that pose to use the scientific method, but don't?

Of course.

(3) Are scientific discoveries constantly open for debate?

Most of the time, of course. Just because something is discovered, that does not mean we know the mechanisms that make such a discovery a part of reality. Like, when we discovered that Archaea was a branch of life completely different from Bacteria (and not just a form a Bacteria). Then we have to debate, why are they different, how they came to exist, are they even closely related or separated from each other in a similar degree to which each of them is related or separated from from Eukaryota? Do they have a common ancestor (very likely) or they arose independently and their commonalities are just the result of lateral gene transfer?

Think a simpler question: what is electricity? We more or less have an idea of what it is, but for a very long time after its discovery we didn't quite know.

So, for as long as new discoveries and observations are made that cannot be taken into account from predictions made out of existing theories and discoveries, everything is up to debate by a) qualified people using b) the scientific method in c) a manner that is correct.

And does it make sense to have proper channels for inquiry and discussion, or can anyone jump in?

Of course. The scientific community must have channels to discuss the nature of, say, HIV, by qualified individuals (virologists, health specialists) using methods and observations that are reproducible by other qualified people.

OTH, the scientific community must not have a channel for someone like me (who has no fucking clue how to conduct virology studies) to come and say that HIV doesn't exist and that it is just a flu can be cured by eating peyote while looking at the stars from Stonehenge.

Comment: Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (Score 1) 768

by luis_a_espinal (#47853743) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

Most non-scientists are not in a position to evaluate the claims of any given scientist.

I'm pretty sure that was the argument the Church had against releasing full, translated copies of its data, a.k.a. the contents of the Christian Bible.

That this is true with regards to the Church, this in no way invalidates the original observation. You are trying to invalidate the observation and general position by applying a "guilt-by-association" label with respect to abuses by medieval religious institutions.

This argument doesn't pass the sniff test. It is the job of a "scientist" to present claim and data that supports said claim in such a way that it may be consumed by anyone and still stand on its own, only then is there "consensus."

Really? How the hell can a theoretical physicist present claims on some complex shit related to, I don't know, string theory so that it can be consumed by anyone? We can water down things to the point of becoming edutainment, but that becomes *that*, edutaiment, not the presentation of a claim with its supporting data.

Can't wait to see Mathematicians making Andrew Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem in a manner consumable by the general public!

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!