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Comment: This post is being typed... (Score 1) 304

by dpilot (#48093677) Attached to: The Greatest Keyboard Ever Made

... on a vintage Model-M keyboard purchased years ago at Flea@MIT. Someone had a bunch of unopened boxes of them, brand new 15-year-old keyboards. My only mistake was in not buying more than one. I've picked up a few more an various flea markets and hamfests, but none as good as that one...

That is, except for the 1987-vintage Model-M on my wife's computer upstairs that came an the XT-286.

Comment: Re: Greater Internet F***wad Theory (Score 4, Insightful) 993

by dpilot (#48079405) Attached to: Lennart Poettering: Open Source Community "Quite a Sick Place To Be In"

How would you feel if there were apparent force applied to make you use systemd, regardless of our opinion of it? Some of us perceive that that's the reality. Witness L.P.'s recent rants against Gentoo, which only offers systemd as an option, and not the default option.

I like to be a moderate too, but I don't like coercion.

Comment: Re:Sounds a bit risky (Score 1) 236

by dpilot (#48058219) Attached to: NASA Eyes Crew Deep Sleep Option For Mars Mission

It's going to be interesting for the test subjects. You don't really think that they're first going to use this on the way to Mars, do you? I would suspect that the first many-month tests will be right here on Earth, with continuous monitoring, and they'll probably build time up from the current week until they reach the target.

Then at some point they'll ship the "hibernaculum" up to the ISS for the next layers of testing. They'll probably again ramp the time up, looking for zero-G degradations. By the time anyone ships for Mars this way, it'll be well tested.

But here's the question - I get the impression that you get a better pay scale for being on-orbit. What will be the pay scale for sleeping for 9 months solid? After all it IS hazardous duty. And when someone goes up to the ISS to sleep for long periods will they get on-orbit pay?

Comment: Re:Spoiler (Score 1) 191

by dpilot (#47914369) Attached to: Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future

This presumes that people regularly leave the tower, or at least the upper floors of the tower. Science fiction has plengy of examples where Elvis may never leave the building. Probably not workable in today's society, but what if everything needed for daily life could be reached within a few floors.

Think in terms of the arcologies in "Oath of Fealty".

+ - diaspora* version 0.4.1.0 released-> 1

Submitted by jaywink
jaywink (3824665) writes "A new diaspora* version 0.4.1.0 is out. It includes a lot of pages ported to Bootstrap, many bug fixes and small enhancements. Also included is a Terms of Service -feature for podmins. Diaspora* is an open source social networking server that joins all running pods into one big decentralized social network."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Saw it at the Smithsonian a few years ago (Score 5, Informative) 99

by dpilot (#47901817) Attached to: Original 11' <em>Star Trek Enterprise</em> Model Being Restored Again

We took the family to DC for a vacation, and of course one of the things I had to see was Smithsonian Air and Space. I didn't know that the original Enterprise model was there, and was surprised to see it on the lower floor.

The next surprise was that the model was never finished. One side had all of the lights, striping, and everything. The other side had a little striping, and was otherwise pretty much blank. I remembered reading that in one of those books, and how all shots were of the finished side, or mirrored in post-processing.

Comment: Re:Decisions, Decisions... (Score 2) 123

by dpilot (#47875919) Attached to: SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

I thought I also read something about kerosene leaving some sort of residue in the plumbing, turbopumps, etc. For a disposable it just doesn't matter, but for a reusable it means extra maintenance. The other thing was Zubrin suggesting that methane/oxygen was relatively easy to generate on Mars, for a return flight. Since Musk probably isn't planning on returning, that would be for a Mars space program.

Comment: Re:Decisions, Decisions... (Score 1) 123

by dpilot (#47874787) Attached to: SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

Since you sound familiar with this stuff, I'm wondering about Falcon Heavy. I've seen that it's moving to methane/oxygen propellents. My understanding has been that kerosene/oxygen were generally best for a first stage, and hydrogen/oxygen is best for an upper stage where specific impulse is more important than tank size.

With methan/oxygen it seems obvious that they'd like to run the engine on mars-native fuel. But I also get the impression that kerosene/oxygen might not be the best thing for reusability because it gums up the works, and methane/oxygen would be better.

So I see three factor here - Earth launch, reuse, and Mars launch. Do you have any feel for this tradeoff set?

Comment: Re:Decisions, Decisions... (Score 1) 123

by dpilot (#47873669) Attached to: SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

"Safe" and "Exciting" have a different meaning in this context. Realize that Falcon 9 has already flown several times, and though plagued with the delays that plague pretty much all launches, has a good track record which will presumably continue through its use in a manned launch. The "Exciting" choice sounds about as "Safe" as it gets in rocketry, to me.

The Boeing design is new, though presumably using tried and true components from a tried and true design. There will no doubt be unmanned test launches, but the first men on top will still be sitting on a rocket with far less launch history than the Falcon 9. The "Safe" choice sounds just a bit more "Exciting" this way.

Disclaimer - TFA doesn't say if this is for Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy. Falcon Heavy is all-new, with only the company track record behind it. That puts SpaceX and Boeing on a more even footing, with Boeing having a longer track record and SpaceX having done more launches recently.

OTOH, I seriously doubt that the head of Boeing plans on going through a Boeing launch personally. The head of SpaceX does.

Seriously... If we really want to foster a private space industry, both companies need to be kept moving forward. At this stage of the game, the contract needs to be split in order to improve the viability of both efforts. Cutthroat cost competition can happen later.

Comment: Re:Hooray for Space-X (Score 1) 32

by dpilot (#47872415) Attached to: After Weeks of Delay, SpaceX Falcon Launches Communications Satellite Payload

Of course, but that's "sunk cost" in a manner of speaking, available under no better terms to SpaceX than to any other US-based company.

However given that basis, typical contract projects are then paid for by the government, on top of "historical knowledge." SpaceX used the historical knowledge, as others do, but then paid for their additional development themselves.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern

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