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Comment: Re:Nope! (Score 4, Interesting) 290 290

I was talking to a colleague following the terrorist attacks last week in France, Tunisia and Kuwait. His wife was talking about going on holiday somewhere and he said "fine, as long as it's not a Muslim country". We then progressed on to how it was sad that the region that was the cradle of civilisation is now well behind the curve.

I also added that Iran is probably one of the safer Muslim countries to visit nowadays, which is ironic to say the least. He's still not convinced about going to Tehran for his summer holidays though!

Comment: Re:Flagrantly anti-consumer (Score 1) 323 323

Oh right, I got the idea you'd posted the three links to suggest that Uber drivers are more likely to be untrustworthy, so I just posted another three links to suggest that taxi drivers of every variety can be untrustworthy. In the interest of balance, that's all.

Quite frankly, I'd prefer that licensed taxis drivers were treated like Uber drivers - they get their photo and reg number sent to the customer's phone for posterity.

Comment: Re:Flagrantly anti-consumer (Score 1) 323 323

Guess what, licensed taxi drivers do that too:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-s...
http://metro.co.uk/2015/02/03/...
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/u...

Then there was the case in Dublin where a woman was dropped of by a taxi driver (after first dropping of the guy she was with), driving around the block and raping her. It turned out the taxi was sublet by the plate owner.

+ - Creating bacterial 'fight clubs' to discover new drugs->

Science_afficionado writes: Vanderbilt chemists have shown that creating bacterial "fight clubs" is an effective way to discover natural biomolecules with the properties required for new drugs. They have demonstrated the method by using it to discover a new class of antibiotic with anti-cancer properties.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Don't rule out sabotage (Score 1) 312 312

Saying that this launch failure has certainly put a crimp in SpaceX's plans to nuzzle up to the DoD/NSA funding teat.

Probably, but it shouldn't - it's not like ULA have had a perfect record*

* Actually, I looked that their success rate for Delta II, Delta IV, Delta IV Heavy & Atlas V and they're all pretty damn good. Lockheed and Boeing have been in the game since the start however, and they also know how to charge for their services.

Comment: Re:Nice defense of Musk but wrong... (Score 1) 312 312

Railgun - payload has to survive the stupendous acceleration - General Atomics Blitzer for example *only* reaches Mach 5 (22% of LEO speed) but experiences 60,000g.
Skylon - great on paper. It's British so I'd like it succeed, but I'm not holding my breath.
VentureStar - never made it off the paper, and it's been cancelled.

SpaceX's launch system isn't revolutionary, however it's recovery system is. People have talked about it for decades, but nobody else has even tried it (no the Delta Clipper doesn't count - it's record flight was 142 seconds up to 3,140m). Airbus & ULA have their powerpoint concepts - nothing else.

Comment: Re:List of lost Cargo (Score 3, Interesting) 312 312

I was thinking on starting off a conspiracy theory about a shady group sabotaging the ISS resupply missions. Alas I don't really have the imagination to come up with a suitably ridiculous hypothesis.

According to this list they're going backwards:
* The first 51 missions were successful - Progress M
* The following 25 missions succeeded - Cygnus
* The next 4 missions were successful, followed by two successive failures (Progress M & Falcon 9)

On a serious note - the NASA press conference mentioned that the Progress M 3rd stage has been reverted to an older configuration, so the failures we're seeing are possibly due to multiple launch systems being continuously developed.

The rate at which a disease spreads through a corn field is a precise measurement of the speed of blight.

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