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Comment The dividing line (Score 1) 115 115

There is a definitions based line dividing "Telecommunications" and "Information Services".
We see certain for profit entities try to skip over that line once again to get the best of both worlds and none of the responsibilities.
It's like they're in a jumprope contest.

Comment Re:IE all over again (Score 2) 364 364

Lets see... Your other browsers are STILL THERE, and if you open one of them, it will ask you if you want to make it your default browser.
Real freaking difficult.
On the other hand, it's not MSs responsibility to ensure that old versions of other peoples software is compliant with their new OS, so yes, it makes sense to have upgrades change the default to one they know will work. That way the users that prefer the other browsers can use the default one to download a new version of the one they prefer, even if their old version of it doesn't freaking work properly in the new OS.

There is nothing stopping you from easily changing the default, and there are reasons why an OS upgrade shouldn't leave the pre-upgrade default on an unverified 3rd party software. Don't like it, then welcome to the reality of having to cater to millions of virtual computer illiterates that will panic and freak if the slightest thing goes wrong. You are just a footnote of annoyance vs a possible flood of pissed off users.

I can complain about MS as much or more than virtually anyone that's sane, but look at the big picture rather than your own little reflection. If you want to complain, make it about something that is unreasonable, or just plain broken or F'd up. (There's lots of that out there. I'll give you one hint, don't do the express install, use the other one where you can pick what some of the defaults will be, you'll be shocked.)

Comment Re:Why the controversy? (Score 1) 509 509

By fuel, they are referring to reaction mass. It's that stuff you propel out of the ship in the opposite direction of the one you want to go in.
The EM Drive has nothing to do with how the electricity is generated anymore than your toaster does, though both need it to do their job.
We have many satellites that have power, mostly via solar, that have been decommissioned and deorbited because they were out of reaction mass, excluding the amount used to deorbit them. If you don't need reaction mass, that's no longer an issue.

In conventional space drive technology, you have two basic types.
One burns fuel, which becomes a hot and expansive gas that then rushes out the thrust nozzles and provides thrust in the opposite direction. It doesn't matter if it was solid or liquid before it was burned.
The other is the Ion drive, which uses electricity to ionize a reaction mass and that then shoots out the thrust nozzle and you get thrust just like the other one. The real difference is the reaction mass isn't itself burned, rather it's ionized. So it's still pretty similar.
In both cases, you have a finite amount of reaction mass, which must be expelled to provide thrust, and before it's expelled you have to use more of it just to cart around the amount that isn't yet expelled.
Think of it this way, you have an electric cart that when it's carrying nothing but itself and it's one battery, it can go 20 feet before running out of power. Well, you can't go back for more batteries after you start out, so if you want to go further, you will need to carry the extra batteries with you. Let's say you want to go 310 feet. Well, that would take a total of 16 batteries, but it's also massively increased the weight of the cart, so one battery will no longer propel it 20', but only 12'. Well crud, now you need more batteries, but that adds more weight, and of course, the need for more batteries.
Do you see the dilemma here?
Sure, we have a small advantage, that if we travel slower, we use less power, but there are limits to that other than human lifespans and patience, both of which are relatively short.
That's part of why a reactionless drive is so fantastic. It doesn't have to conserve reaction mass, so it they can do a space version of petal to the metal as much as they want, so long as they don't screw the approach vectors. Travelling with short bursts of small thrust become obsolete as you can leadfoot it like crazy, and no space cops to bust you for going over the limit. So instead of a 3000lb probe of which 2800lbs is reaction mass with only 200lb for instrumentation, you know can have an 800lb probe with maybe 600lb of instrumentation. And even better yet, it doesn't even have to be a one way trip. As long as the hardware holds out, it can come home, or even divert to other points of interest. No longer having to rely on a reaction mass is a HUGE deal.

Comment Re:Blimey (Score 4, Informative) 509 509

An ion thruster is a very efficient reaction mass based thruster,
It still has to drag all that reaction mass along, despite it's only real purpose being that it's thrown out like garbage just to provide thrust.
It takes thrust to push that reaction mass around the place, up until you actually throw it out the window, which is actually out the directed nozzle or whatever.
And what happens when you run out of reaction mass? You have no more thrust.

On the other hand, if you have a reactionless thruster, as long as you provide it with power, it will give you thrust. Slap on solar panels, or if it's a deep space mission, nuclear batteries or the like, and you are set.
As an added bonus, you can use that constant acceleration trick to really build up some speed. Something you can't do with reaction mass because you don't ever have enough, even for a tiny trip like to the moon.

Comment Re:Macs don't get viruses (Score 0, Troll) 129 129

If you believe that, you are really stupid, and probably infected already.
I've worked in the middle of mac support guys, and I've heard plenty of calls from people who's macs were infected.
It's real bozo, now stop deluding yourself.
Hopefully the forceful language will get AC to reconsider his flawed and incorrect position, but to be honest, he's probably to stupid to realize it.

Comment Again? (Score 2) 58 58

So yet again a member of a government organization has willfully engaged in Identity Theft and/or Copyright or Trademark Infringement. Will they get arrested? Of course no. Heck, they won't even get a slap on the wrist as soon as the press quiets down. I guess it doesn't matter what country it is, they seem to think the laws apply to other people.

Comment The worst. (Score 1) 618 618

It wasn't me, but a friend of mine. They had one of those ancient tape banks you see in old black and white sci-fi movies. For real. The day I was in his shop and saw it, I asked him about the antique, and he got really pissed and started venting. Apparently they had stuff on those giant tape reels, and absolutely refused to upgrade to something faster, cheaper, and more reliable, like a floppy disk for instance. To make things worse, the damn thing was so freaking slow, they had to have a special interface/buffer built, but it kept blowing out because of the massive differences. Of course, he was the poor schlub that had to try and fix the piece of archaic trash. (I had nothing to do with it, so I'm just repeating a paraphrase of his rant and take no stance on it's accuracy.)
I'm not going to tell you what organization it was that would insist on something this stupid and wasteful, but I'm pretty sure you can make a decent guess.

Comment Not a metamaterial (Score 1) 83 83

Transparent Aluminum isn't a metamaterial at all.
"Aluminium oxynitride or AlON is a ceramic composed of aluminium, oxygen and nitrogen."

Here's a link with a couple of pictures:

Metamaterials are undeniably a cool field, but they should have chosen something that's actually a metamaterial to mention in their article, and not a normal material that is decidedly not "new".

"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." -- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_