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Submission + - SpaceX Lands Falcon 9 Rocket At Cape Canaveral

Rei writes: At 8:40 PM today, SpaceX successfully launched and relanded the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral, as well as delivering to orbit the last portion of ORBCOMM's communication satellite constellation. This also marks SpaceX's return to flight and the first launch of the "Full Thrust" Falcon 9 v1.1 with densified (extremely chilled) propellants. The company will now shift its efforts toward catching up on its backlog, investigating and refurbishing its landed first stage, and preparing for the maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket this spring. Congratulations to everyone at SpaceX!

Comment Re:I Hate My California Self (Score 2, Interesting) 556

Really? You haven't been paying much attention...

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) after the San Bernadino shootings -- "Sensible gun laws work! We've proven it in California." link She is apparently unaware of what state San Bernadino is in.

Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) with the debt spiraling upwards at close to $1.25T per year and insurance premiums are jumping as much as 50% per year - "ObamaCare is lowering costs and the deficit." link

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) -- “Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs.” – in a nation with 307 million people.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) -- “We have federal regulations and state laws that prohibit hunting ducks with more than three rounds, and yet it’s legal to hunt humans with 15-round, 30-round, even 150-round magazines.". Apparently, she doesn't know that it's illegal to hunt humans with any number of rounds.

She (Feinstein) also believes that allowing people to make calls from an airplane will result in uncontrollable brawling amongst the passengers. link

Or, her (Feinstein's) fine opinion of our Veterans: "All vets are mentally ill in some way and government should prevent them from owning firearms." link

Not to mention Feinstein's flip-flopping on this very issue [encryption]. In October, she said, "Millions of personal records and hundreds of billions of dollars fall victim to cyber-attacks every year, and we’ve done little to stem the tide." In other words, calling for enhanced cyber-security, yet only a month ago, "I can say this. [FBI] Director [James Comey] and, I think John Brennan, would agree, that the Achilles Heel in the internet is encryption. Because there are now... it's a black web! And there's no way of piercing it. And this is even in commercial products!"link

“Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, ‘Thank God, I’m still alive.’ But, of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same again.” – Sen. Barbara Boxer

“It [marijuana] will still be legal under federal law.” Senator Dianne Feinstein claiming that marijuana is legal

And. of course, the all-time grandaddy of a Nancy Pelosi quote, "But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."

That was from less than 2 minutes of searching. You should really pay more attention.

Comment They've already missed the boat (Score 1) 242

You're missing the one other major effect of advertising and greed by the commercial networks:

Big Bang Theory - Season 1 episode 1: 22 minutes 58 seconds. The season averages about 21 minutes 30 seconds. The longest episode is 24:06.

Big Bang Theory - Season 9 episode 5: 18 minutes, 45 seconds. The last three episodes aired average about 18:50 seconds. The longest episode is 20:32.

So, over the past 8 years, the average episode has lost nearly 3 and a half minutes to additional commercials. A half hour show is now nearly 40% commercials. Compare that to 1966, when Star Trek episodes were 54 minutes long.

At this rate, by 2025, an hour long show will consist of less than 30 minutes of program and a majority of commercials. And then they wonder why people are pulling the plug...

Comment About $2M -- But not really a mistake... (Score 4, Interesting) 377

Our group at FedEx released code that I wrote on a Saturday night. This was two days before the Apple iPhone 4 shipped. The code worked perfectly, however, despite our repeated warnings about nearly doubling downstream traffic, the downstream systems (like billing and tracking) weren't ready for it.

So, on the day everyone wanted to track their new iPhone, my code shut down all tracking on FedEx for about 12 hours before we could switch the config setting (10 minutes) and the downstream systems could catch up (11+ hours).

Estimate of cost was around $2 million in lost time and revenue and extra calls to customer service. Luckily, since I wasn't actually at fault, and we had multiple email chains backing up the volume estimates and warnings, we didn't get the axe.

Comment Re: With H-1B Cap Hit, CEOS Press for Outright Sla (Score 1) 442

You are correct that a H-1B cannot get a SCI clearance, however the company can get around this in two ways, namely by getting them an LAA (Limited Access Authorization - which is a sort of provisional clearance for foreign nationals that can do anything below Secret level clearance) or they can get a DSP-5 license, which is a waiver for "exporting" classified information. In this case, the export is to the H-1B group working in their company.

Finally, the more common way is to use H-1Bs as code monkeys to work on every non-classified sub-system, or to generate databases, algorithms, and networks for processing non-classified data in the same format as the classified data will be using down the road. This lets them do all the coding without ever exposing them to anything that requires a clearance.

I live in an IT community stacked with defense contractors who know every trick in the book to get around limitations. Especially the kind that lets them line their pockets with more of that sweet, sweet government contract money.

Comment Re:With H-1B Cap Hit, CEOS Press for Outright Slav (Score 1) 442

H-1B visas only have to be paid the local market average, not the company average. So you can have high-paid employees and still pay the H-1Bs squat. I worked for 10 years in contract work and that's exactly what all the contract companies were doing. They'd hire in H-1Bs at *exactly* the local salary for the city as reported in the prior year's Fortune or Forbes magazines.

When they were in place, they would never get raises or reviews, and if they complained, they'd pull the visa and have them on a plane home that afternoon. I even had the joy of seeing an H-1B (in the cube next to me) brought in at $54K, but on his first paycheck he got $45K equivalent salary. When he called the company HR department, they responded with, "We are not responsible for typographical errors on your offer letter." When he got angry, she said, "If you don't wish to continue at the rate, I can issue your plane ticket and have security take you to the airport." So he sat and took an illegal $9,000 pay cut because he didn't really have an option.

H-1Bs are used as indentured servants, especially by contracting companies who turn around and bill them out at $50-$60 an hour to other companies. They're pure profit centers.

Oh, and when that company hit hard times, they very illegally cut every non H-1B worker from the contractor payroll.

I've been at three contracting companies that used that identical technique. They hire some citizens to establish a pool so they do lip service to the law about hiring local, then they bring in a gob of H-1Bs at half the price, then they dump all the locals. They end up with pure H-1B work forces, and depress the local economy. I've even seen defense contractors turn away TSI Clearance people in favor of H-1B visas at a discount, because they'd rather pay the $5K for the clearance and $50K for the H-1B than hire a qualified citizen who might earn $80K.

See, that's how it depresses the salaries in the whole market. If I can get headcount "A" at $55K, I'm not going to pay $60K for headcount "B". Most management feel that every STEM person is functionally equivalent. Then they wonder why so many projects fail.

I worked with three H-1B visa "programmers" who had "degrees" from a university in India that doesn't exist. Who in America is going to check that the university has a history or background? These guys laughed about how their "university" was just a guy who ran a business back in New Delhi where you paid the equivalent of about $20 and he paid a bunch of women to pose as university registrars that would answer the phone and confirm your "degree".

One of them hadn't even finished high school, much less college.

Yes, all these stories are anecdotal, and while I could give you the names and places of most of these guys (the ones I remember, anyway) the point I'm trying to make is that the system is being abused from both sides. It's broken, and it needs to be fixed. Tell me, would CEO's be so in favor of it if we had H-1B visas for CEOs?

Comment Re:Not a "clever" euphemism at all - just wrong (Score 1) 234

No, a "troll" is someone who persists in a contrary position, no matter if they are proven wrong. If they cannot defend their position, they simply move to a new position while claiming they were "not answered" or that "wasn't the question they asked." Trolls will also claim that a response was given that was never made. You have engaged in all this behavior.

My first posting said quite clearly that the explosions at Fukushima were not inside the reactor but inside the building that housed it. I cannot make it simpler than that. Your willful ignorance as to the difference between those two is stunning.

When you raged that there was no difference, I tried a simple analogy, which you then criticized as not the same thing. This is the "not answered" claim.

I then proceeded to give another example, more simple than the analogy, namely "The explosion spread zero material." You then claimed this was impossible, and that I was now claiming the explosion was in the reactor. There was no possible way to read the answer that way, but that's the way you read it. This fulfills the "response given that was not made" troll logic.

Finally, I laid out, with scientific documents backing me, the difference between a pressure explosion from burning hydrogen and a true detonation explosive, and showed why the reactor vessel would have suffered no damage from the low overpressure at Fukushima.

In response, you claimed I was saying Fukushima was a "perfectly run site" and I was "endorsing nuclear power." This perfectly fulfills the "Not what I asked" and the "response not given" troll meme.

You have called me such wonderful names as "Coder Boy", "idiot", and "fucking stupid." You might note that, other than the now proven "troll" moniker, I did not use any such epithets towards you, even when you created a false dichotomy of "Saying it was perfect is either being an idiot or pretending to be one in the hope of tricking others..."

At this point, since you were the one who added the word "perfect" to the conversation, I'd almost agree with that statement, since I made no such claim. I merely said that the main cause of the Fukushima Daishi disaster was a lack of accessible backup generators.

It's interesting to note that the Fukushima Daini plant, a mere 11 miles away which had waterproofed generators survived the earthquake and tsunami without major incident because it was able to maintain cooling through the disaster, even though it was hit by the same earthquake and same 14.5m tidal wave. It uses the same BWR4 reactor cores as the Fukushima Daishi plant. Both plants SCRAMmed their reactors moments after the start of the earthquake, but F. Daishi lost all of its diesel generation capacity in the tidal wave. F. Daini did not. That was the critical difference.

So, as I said in the other message. I only pursued this chain to see just how far down this rabbit hole you'd go. I see now that there's no bottom. I'm sure you will reply to this so you can have the "Last Word" in the conversation. Enjoy it, because at this point you are Macbeth's, "poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage". Tell us your final tale.

Comment Re:Not a "clever" euphemism at all - just wrong (Score 1) 234

Five times I explained to you that the hydrogen did no explosion damage to the reactor. I have restated over an over as to why this is the case. I have corrected your misinformation repeatedly about the nature of what happened.

In return you have claimed that I said things that I did not say. You have mis-read or simply ignored information I've presented, including links to supporting data. You have created arguments out of whole cloth and resorted, even in your first message to ad-hominem attacks.

I've kept this up only because I wanted to see how far you would go trying to defend your invalid position. I am, frankly, amazed at the depths you have plumbed.

I've looked at your history and found claims that you are everything from a material engineer to a rocket scientist at SpaceX. Every one of your messages follows the same form of ad-hominem and shaky science. You attack science in dozens of threads and are almost always wrong, or simply throwing "verbal hand-grenades" into conversations.

Everyone who has bothered to follow this thread this far is quite clear about what happened. You are stubbornly denying it. And then calling me childish. If I've acted in any way childish, it was only because I was trying to talk down to your level of understanding. Yet even that has failed. That leaves only willful ignorance as your modus operandi. In that case, further discussion is pointless.

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