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+ - In Daring Plan, Tomorrow SpaceX to Land a Rocket on the Earth

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "The cost of getting to orbit is exorbitant, because the rocket, with its multimillion-dollar engines, ends up as trash in the ocean after one launching, something Elon Musk likens to throwing away a 747 jet after a single transcontinental flight. That's why tomorrow morning at 620 am his company hopes to upend the economics of space travel in a daring plan by attempting to land the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket intact on a floating platform, 300 feet long and 170 feet wide in the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX has attempted similar maneuvers on three earlier Falcon 9 flights, and on the second and third attempts, the rocket slowed to a hover before splashing into the water. “We’ve been able to soft-land the rocket booster in the ocean twice so far,” says Musk. “Unfortunately, it sort of sat there for several seconds, then tipped over and exploded. It’s quite difficult to reuse at that point.”

After the booster falls away and the second stage continues pushing the payload to orbit, its engines will reignite to turn it around and guide it to a spot about 200 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida. Musk puts the chances of success at 50 percent or less but over the dozen or so flights scheduled for this year, “I think it’s quite likely, 80 to 90 percent likely, that one of those flights will be able to land and refly.” SpaceX will offer its own launch webcast on the company's website beginning at 6 a.m. If SpaceX’s gamble succeeds, the company plans to reuse the rocket stage on a later flight. “Reusability is the critical breakthrough needed in rocketry to take things to the next level.""

Comment: I'm more productive when allowed to focus (Score 2) 420

by snowsnoot (#48701637) Attached to: The Open Office Is Destroying the Workplace
... such as when working remotely or in a place away from distraction. It allows me to prioritize tasks that I need to accomplish vs tasks someone else wants me to do for something they need to accomplish. Mostly though my work is autonomous in nature and doesn't require a whole lot of collaboration. I can see how the open office is essential for teams where work is accomplished in a real time collaborative effort. I hear rumours my employer will soon move to the open office model, would be interestin to see how productivity is affected, for me personally and for the organization as a whole.

+ - The Death of Voice Mail 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Duane D. Stanford writes at Bloomberg that Coca-Cola's Atlanta Headquarters is the latest big campany to ditch its old-style voice mail, which requires users to push buttons to scroll through messages and listen to them one at a time. The change went into effect this month, and a standard outgoing message now throws up an electronic stiff arm, telling callers to try later or use “an alternative method” to contact the person. Techies have predicted the death of voice mail for years as smartphones co-opt much of the office work once performed by telephones and desktop computers. Younger employees who came of age texting while largely ignoring voice mail are bringing that habit into the workforce. “People north of 40 are schizophrenic about voice mail,” says Michael Schrage. “People under 35 scarcely ever use it.” Companies are increasingly combining telephone, e-mail, text and video systems into unified Internet-based systems that eliminate overlap. “Many people in many corporations simply don’t have the time or desire to spend 25 minutes plowing through a stack of 15 to 25 voice mails at the end or beginning of the day,” says Schrage, In 2012, Vonage reported its year-over-year voicemail volumes dropped 8%. More revealing, the number of people bothering to retrieve those messages plummeted 14%. More and more personal and corporate voicemail boxes now warn callers that their messages are rarely retrieved and that they’re better off sending emails or texts. "The truly productive have effectively abandoned voicemail, preferring to visually track who’s called them on their mobiles," concludes Schrage. "A communications medium that was once essential has become as clunky and irrelevant as Microsoft DOS and carbon paper.""

Comment: Re: Best of 2009? May be, but we live in 2014. R (Score 1) 132

by snowsnoot (#48642873) Attached to: Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009
How is this any more/less secure than an ActiveSync over SSL with your own keys though? I don't see the benefit of it. I always thought that as soon as the Android / iOS devices caught up with corporate users needs the Blackberry heydays would be over. It was only a matter of time.

Comment: Re: Best of 2009? May be, but we live in 2014. Ri (Score 3, Insightful) 132

by snowsnoot (#48635039) Attached to: Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009
I used a corporate issued BB with hard keys for years. While I agree the error rate is higher on the soft keys, I was most surprised how my thumbs no longer hurt. Also the advantage of being able to use the full screen outweighs the error rate problem. Also I don't buy into BB claims of security. This is complete nonsense as all lawful intercept occurs on the inside of the firewalls in BlackBerry's network. And these days with BB10 they use SSL routed over the public imternet instead of IPSec tunnels routed over dedicated circuits. MEH.

Comment: Re: Land of the free (Score 1) 580

by snowsnoot (#48634223) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'
Yes you can. Its called a gun amnesty program and several countries have successfully implemented it. Considering the amount the US spends on policing and defence I'm sure the cost would be insignificant. Its the will of the people to give up their guns that is the roadblock. Its time for the USA to wake up and smell the coffee. You are far behind the rest of the world on this issue and your daily gun crazed madman shooting up your school kids is a direct result of your complacency.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki...

Comment: Shooting yourself in the foot (Score 1) 100

by snowsnoot (#48569739) Attached to: Australia Pushes Ahead With Website Blocking In Piracy Fight
I'm convinced that all these hardline tactics by governments and corporations is only going to fuel a backlash which will be fought in the IETF Working Groups with the goal of end to end encryption and anonymization of all internet traffic. Oh I hope I live to see the day.

Comment: Spectrum Auctions = Another form of tax (Score 2) 66

by snowsnoot (#48542507) Attached to: A Case Against Further Government Spectrum Auctions
Do away with the silly auctions, all that they do is cause the cost to be passed down to the subscribers, which is by definition, a hidden tax. It is much more efficient for everybody and creates better competition amongst providers if the government retains ownership and nationalizes the entire spectrum, and along with it the mobile access network infrastructure, as a wholesaler only. Then, the providers compete with their various offerings, and coverage is efficiently managed with the maximum bandwidth available to any subscriber regardless of the network provider they subscribe to.

The same can be applied to Wireline access networks. This is all in-line with Australia's plans for the National Broadband Network which was a brilliant plan until it was railroaded by conservatives with corporate interests in mind.

The only problem I foresee with this is the cost involved in 'repatriating' the access networks from the incumbent telco's and also complications between retailer and the national wholesaler when it comes to troubleshooting access network issues. Hopefully the government can put this operation out to tender to a competent operator that is not affiliated with any of the retailers in any way.

Comment: Telefonica... (Score 1) 238

by snowsnoot (#48538041) Attached to: The Cost of the "S" In HTTPS
"However, the major loss due to the "S" is the inability to offer any in-network value added services, that are offered by middle-boxes, such as caching, proxying, firewalling, parental control, etc." ... And that is bad? Oh right this is written from the carriers perspective. Personally I would prefer if the would stop DPI'ing all my traffic and doing 'value added' stuff. This is about resisting the dumb pipe scenario. I can think of a Canadian company (who Telefonica happen to be their largest customer) that would find their business model threatened by an all encrypted internet. IMO, the carrier should have no place looking at the traffic I generate on their network. If I have to encrypt to guarantee it, then let's do it.

Comment: Re: Rollout in 2030 (Score 1) 216

by snowsnoot (#48512409) Attached to: How the Rollout of 5G Will Change Everything
*puke* Ericsson has to be one of the most incompetent, arrogant and politically motivated core network vendors I have to deal with on a daily basis. Their people don't know their own products. Their PLM is therefore overloaded and SLAs are frequently violated, and their executives are the first to march in and point the finger at the customer in an attempt at damage control. Their products are overrated too.. Mostly cobbled together open source solutions sold for top dollar with a bizzare O&M abstraction layer which makes it harder than just managing to open source as it was intended to be. Ericsson's customer is wrong approach and their refusal to compete with other vendors on quality and cost has them at the very bottom of the list from my personal experience at least.

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