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Comment Re:Who? (Score 1) 593

This is why Linux will NEVER WIN

Win what? The X-prize? A T-Shirt?

Linux doesn't lack brainpower & talent. Cite an actual schism which has drawn off participants from the linux kernel to a competing, redundant kernel. You have no clue of what you're talking about.

The only schism that I'm aware of in FOSS that actually had consequences was gcc/ecgs. Two competing groups with differing visions, which eventually led to a much more capable compiler and reunification.

Comment Re:Why New Mexico (Score 4, Informative) 223

Why not Dubai?
1) Lack of infrastructure to support the venture.
2) Volatile region; what happens when you have to ditch in the Gulf of Oman, Yemen, or Iran?
3) You can buy off local gov't, but you can't buy off the ruler of Dubai.
4) Technology embargo issues.

Why New Mexico?
1) Its in the US. Los Alamos is located in the state.
2) Its relatively close to the equator while in the US. Florida is closer, but its going to be underwater within the century; also hurricanes.
3) Desert. Tons of cheap, open, unpopulated space.

Its disgraceful that money is being pissed away on a lightly used, space center gamble, but would the money be "available" for the local budget otherwise?

Comment Re:Brave polling, but in real life? (Score 3, Interesting) 253

If I was that mayor, I wouldn't give up password on the threat being detained. Its not like the DHS is going to torture you or send you to Guantanamo. Let the news agencies start screaming about how Mayor Commentator has "disappeared" after arriving at the airport. Americans won't understand what a threat the DHS represents to Americans until they understand you can be imprisoned for not relinquishing your constitutional rights. Then I'd be plotting the massive lawsuit once the DHS caves and lets me speak to a lawyer, or releases me from detention.

Comment Re:"in order to avoid customer confusion" (Score 1) 223

But its still bull pucky. Amazon doesn't make a huge profit on their hardware devices. They're trying to make (some) money from collecting customer information and creating consumer "lock in" on their services. They can easily create that consumer "lock in" by requiring information transfer on the software/API end, rather than in the hardware. Let Google use their hardware products on their services platform, as long as the firmware conforms with the API. This is that stupid lockin/exclusivity that Microsoft tried to do with their OS back two decades ago. Its utterly unnecessary, and it will only alienate customers.

Then again, the cable companies haven't learned either. The difference is that if Amazon became successful with their version of lock in, they'll just spend the a fortune and a decade fighting the FCC and DOJ and losing.

Comment Its going to be glorious (Score 1) 406

There will finally be a gummint shutdown, freak out & piss off every indifferent voter dependent on gummint checks, freak out the commercial sector that depends on the gummint and banks to deliver a quarterly profit, JUST IN TIME for national elections in November!

Go Tea Party!

Comment Re: No one is asking YOU (Score 1) 684

Launching heavy stuff from Earth, like radiation shielding, is a non starter.

I'm thinking more like building robots to send to the moon, create automated factories to synthesize H2O, and using that H2O as the "radiation shielding".

Hell, in my pipedreams, we send the robot factories to Mars to synthesize crucial raw materials (on some form of nuclear pulse or ion rocket), and then send the human crew to hog the spotlight.

Comment Re:Start with the moon (Score 1) 684

If you only work with chemical rocket technology, it takes humans one to two years to reachMars. You build the VASMIRs &/or nuclear propulsion in LEO (or GEO), and it will probably allow a crew to reach Mars in 6 months. That would make a 1 year Mars mission feasible (and give you a propulsion system to get you to the asteroid belts & outer planets).

Chemical rockets are probably the only way in technical/political terms to move humans & machinery into LEO.

Comment Re:Start with the moon (Score 1) 684

You forget, a self sustaining colony on Mars means humanity survives a big asteroid strike, solar flare, loss of the Van Allen radiation belts, exceptionally narrow & unlucky cosmic ray event, nuclear warfare, etc. etc.

(Plus, I'm not sure if I want to live in a Fascist America that has the 1% keeping the 99% in thrall with surveillance and computer threat modelling.)

Comment Re:Start with the moon (Score 1) 684

It's just practice for Mars.

Believe it or not, I think its a step that should be skipped, in order to save money. Most of the astronauts time will be spent in zero-gravity, not partial gravity. Living on the Moon doesn't accomplish anything, other than spending money.

we should be building a radio telescope array on the far side of the moon.

As I've already explained elsewhere, this step should be skipped. Robotic repair will remove the need to place a moon base on the moon to maintain a telescope.

Comment Re:indeed, let's not (Score 1) 684

First, man has to prove they can get to Mars, and sustain life for roughly 1 year, mostly in space. Right there, that means shelling out tax dollars now. Every journey begins with the first step. (Yeah, I know, you can't get yourself out of bed...)

Then more enterprising people can work on ways to make a permanent self-sustaining habitats. Once you complete that phase, it becomes possible to move to Mars. Making it affordable and finding a motivation to get people to move is the easiest last step.

Comment Re:indeed, let's not (Score 1) 684

Spending tax dollars specifically to "mine" the "asteroid belt" has got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Where did I say anything about "spending tax dollars"? Like all colonization in human history, colonization only works if there is some economic incentive for it. There is no economic incentive going to Mars, no matter how many tax dollars you spend.

If you only depend on economic investment to drive basic science, then scientific advancement would come to a dead stop. You can only obtain that money via national investment; through politicians that can sell to their taxpaying voters its money worth spending on something that may not give a certain return on profit.

The Apollo program was not pursued primarily for scientific advancement. It was a gov't subsidization program for the aerospace industry, so they could attract more talented minds to an industry primarily there to develop more accurate, reliable nuclear weapon delivery systems. Apollo was the snowjob sold to the American people, to convince them to spend 10% of the GNP towards sending SPAM to the Moon, in the name of science. (See how the real world works?)

The lesson here is to sell the taxpayer to spend their tax dollars to send Man to Mars. Then spend even more money to colonize Mars. The payoff? A nicer place to live (after 10 billion people living in civilization's metabolic waste make Earth a lot less nicer place to live), and the guarantee that humanity can survive a cosmic catastrophe.

There is an economic incentive to mine asteroids.

Its only a pipedream for government bureaucrats with a science background. There's nothing out in the asteroid belts which we can't mine on Earth (or Mars). Even if it were, the cost to use rockets & maintain miners in space long enough to extract the minerals would cost more than the rare minerals mined. And even if it were the case, I'd still not have any interest in paying money so the Koch Brothers can get richer. Let them spend the billions of dollars to develop the technology. They're the ones profiting from it.

Well, if you believe that, then going to Mars is the wrong thing to do. Mars is a dead end, just like the moon was.

Mars is anything but a dead end.

1) Its far away enough from Earth to survive a disaster that ends life on Earth.

2) Mars probably has enough gravity to avoid the debilitating physical deterioration caused by long term zero gravity.

3) Mars has H2O and probably enough O2 to make a colony self sustaining (not so with the Moon).

4) Mars is big enough to have something worth mining.

5) If you can make it on Mars, you can make it anywhere in space.

This is the theory that Jack built. This is the flaw that lay in the theory that Jack built. This is the palpable verbal haze that hid the flaw that lay in...