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Comment: Re:Looks like the second stage ruptured (Score 1) 307 307

Based on Elon's cryptic comment on Twitter I think you might perhaps be on to something.

"There was an overpressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank. Data suggests counterintuitive cause."

Sounds to me like "the vent on the second stage oxygen tank was venting too fast and / or not smoothly enough".

Comment: Re:It's called Rocket Science for a reason ... (Score 1) 307 307

I watched SpaceX's own feed. The cameras kept on the vehicle for the duration of the failure and kept tracking some larger pieces of first stage debris for several seconds after it exploded. Beyond that point there would not be any large pieces of vehicle left to look at, except perhaps for the Dragon spacecraft which looked relatively intact.

I for one doubt that they did manage to get a camera on the Dragon before it crashed into the ocean.

Comment: Code merges? (Score 1) 125 125

Maybe they should investigate why they have problems with code merges first. Having everyone bunch up in front of one editor seems like a workaround that does not get at the root cause of the problem.

If you use reasonably loose coupling between software components and define interfaces between components before you start writing them and have one and only one programmer work on each component or sub-component between merges you will only have problems with merges if and when someone makes a mistake.

Comment: Re:Still have a ways to go (Score 1) 79 79

People who aren't interested in VR may be interested in augmented reality, like the stuff Magic Leap is developing.

VR has proven to be useful for things like training soldiers and experts in other fields, but it's not clear that it'll be useful for anything else. AR is pretty much guaranteed to be useful if it will work, because augmenting reality is pretty much useful by definition.

Comment: Re:Meh (Score 1) 830 830

Yes, but the decimal time system actually had reasonably long seconds, they were 0.864 seconds long by our way of counting. Most people count slightly faster than 1 count per second (hence the old one thousand and- counting trick), so having shorter seconds would probably be good for counting.

I don't know how well we would adjust to having only 10 hours in a day, though. That would make business hours only about 4 hours long, which would make it impossible to schedule many appointments at precise hour or half-hour times.

I'm also no too sure about having 10 months in a year, especially in cultures that recognize four seasons.

Comment: Re:Meh (Score 1) 830 830

Yes and no. A particular measuring system is superior in everyday situations for people who were taught that measuring system when they grew up.

The one thing that the metric system has failed to do in terms of everyday representation is time. The reason for that is that we frequently need to do things like split an hour by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 in order to accomplish everyday task. The number 60 = 2*2*3*5 comes in very handy because it divides neatly by those numbers.

Comment: Re:MS Paint (Score 2) 290 290

Microsoft's Metro interface design predates Google's Holo interface design by several years. Holo was probably greatly inspired by Metro.

With that said I don't think you can blame flat user interfaces on any one particular company. It's just a fad. Microsoft's flat UI looked ugly when Microsoft unleashed it back in the 00's. Give it five more years and it will look ugly again, ugly and dated.

Comment: Re:useless without updates (Score 2) 83 83

True, but if you're not visiting the Play Store you're probably either not using your phone for anything that would benefit from an OS update, or you're using Cyanogen or some other custom build.

If you look at the distribution of people who actually download your app from Google Play it will be even more skewed towards newer versions of Android, because people download a lot more apps in the days and weeks after they buy a new phone.

I have an app that currently sees about 20% Lollipop and 45% KitKat in new installs.

Comment: Re:useless without updates (Score 3, Informative) 83 83

The most common version is now KitKat with 39.8%. Jelly Bean is second with 39.2% and Lollipop has just under 10%.


Keep in mind that a lot of Android users have low incomes and/or live in countries where an over the air OS update would be a significant cost to the average person. We might think that a smartphone is useless without at least a 1GB per month data plan, but hundreds of millions of users in the developing world think otherwise.

A commune is where people join together to share their lack of wealth. -- R. Stallman