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Comment: Re:Porsche Boxster E (Score 1) 353

by drinkypoo (#46803649) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

That's good to know. I imagine one has to get used to a different set of torque values for fastening to aluminum as well.

One does indeed. Naturally they are all spelled out. All the hardware used on the car is "passivated" so you have to replace with like, or in some locations you can get away with stainless.

Comment: Re:Big Whoop. (Score 1) 59

by PopeRatzo (#46802839) Attached to: SpaceX Successfully Delivers Supplies To ISS

Unlike every previous launch, however, we the taxpayers are paying a fixed price to SpaceX, instead of the bloated cost-plus contracts that are large part of the reason why there hasn't been much progress in manned spaceflight in the last four decades.

Well, it's theoretically less expensive, but not yet. If you extrapolate out 50 missions, you start seeing SpaceX making an actual profit instead of a projected profit based on a fee stream.

My problem is that the entire thing still relies on government. If there is value in a "private" space industry, it hasn't been found yet.

Further, none of the profits ever materialize if you look at the external costs of the federal government already having done the hard work. Unless you believe SpaceX started with a clean sheet of paper and didn't make use of the past half-century of government space programs.

At best, you can say that there's a place for government and private industry to work together on the really big things like space travel. Without the government over-spending, there's good reason to believe we'd never have seen any space program at all. Or, convince me that without the initial public investment, any private company would have done the basic research required to send the first satellite into space.

Comment: Re:Student Loans (Score 1) 360

by drinkypoo (#46799057) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

US student loans have various humiliating processes you can use to get some deferments, but if you never actually start making money with or without your degree you still have to pay them back eventually and they never go away and if you have outstanding student loans you can't close escrow on a home, or do some other important things.

Comment: Re:Porsche Boxster E (Score 1) 353

by drinkypoo (#46798749) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

Luckily Audi has a lot of experience dealing with corrosion, having produced an all-aluminum car in 1994 with the A8. Lots of warnings in all the service documentation about not using the wrong fasteners, about only using tin-plated ring terminals, etc. Unintentional grounding is a problem anyway... but only if you're not intentionally grounded, through a compatible terminal.

Comment: Maybe it's the weightlessness (Score 1) 61

Your having been to space is no guarantee that you're not crap-on-the-floor looney.

I would have thought that we've learned better than to pay too much attention to former astronauts. They might well be right about the asteroids, but I still think we should go ahead and get a second opinion on this.

Comment: Re:How's your Russian? (Score 1) 360

by PopeRatzo (#46796657) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

That U.S. crotch you're cheerfully kicking might not be able to bail out your "actual civilized" buttocks from the next war.

I'm pretty sure Europeans are more worried about the US starting the next war.

The thing Europeans like best about the US military is all the coin we drop having bases there. Unless you count Serbia, where the US military is about as welcome as a bladder infection.

Comment: Re:So - who's in love with the government again? (Score 1) 375

by hey! (#46796433) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

I don't know if this is nuts. I'd have to see the full arguments on both sides, and so far what we have to go on is a one-sided summary.

If the *only* effect of the proposed regulation would be to increase beer prices, then sure, I agree with you 100%: government is being stupid. But if there's a good reason for the regulation, then I'd disagree with you.

Reading the article, it seems like the idea that this regulation will cause beer prices to spike dramatically seems a bit alarmist. The regulations would require brewers who send waste to farmers as animal feed to keep records. It seems hard to believe that this would significantly raise the price of beer or whiskey given that alcohol production is already highly regulated. On the other hand, it seems like there is no specific concern related to breweries. They were just caught up in a law that was meant to address animal feed.

If you want an example of a regulation free utopia, look no further than China, where adulteration of the food chain is a common problem. If the choice were a regulatory regime that slightly complicates brewers lives, and a regime that allows melamine and cyanuric acid into human food, I'd live with higher beer prices.

Fortunately, we don't have to live with either extreme. We can regulate food adulteration and write exceptions into the regulations for situations that pose little risk. Since presumably the ingredients used in brewing are regulated to be safe for human consumption, the byproducts of brewing are likely to pose no risk in the human food chain.

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