Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment You know it's not going to work (Score 4, Insightful) 260 260

It's like guns in the US. If they were outlawed then those who don't care about the laws would still use them. Encryption is out there, it is widely available. And the more that governments try to block it the more determined companies and individuals will find more convenient ways to use it. It's a lot of bluster but not very practical. And ultimately (IMHO) the availability of rapid communications does more to help humanity than to hurt it.

Comment Re:Offshoring (Score 1) 173 173

Barbara Mikulski (Democrat) tried to restore funding with an amendment. But it failed along a party-line vote (Yes - Democrats; No- Republicans). So the Republicans who are supposed to be pro-business and anti-government are opposing the business upstart and supporting the big expensive players and the Russian services. NOT along bipartisan as you seem to indicated. Do you work for one of these big aerospace companies?. Quote from

"Mikulski's amendment would have added $300 million for commercial crew above the subcommittee's recommendation, bringing it close to the requested level. She also sought to add funds for NASA programs in science ($96 million above the subcommittee's recommendation -- $46 million for WFIRST and $50 million for Mars 2020), space technology ($54 million), and the Orion spacecraft ($50 million). The NASA additions were part of an overall $2.784 billion increase Mikulski sought for various activities in the CJS bill. The amendment was defeated by a 14-16 party line vote."

Comment Re:Yet they INCREASE funding for SLS... (Score 1) 173 173

If you look at what is being spent on SLS and what the operational costs will be, it is clear that Congress and the Republicans are not worrying about the wise use of Tax Dollars. Which is why I am so disgusted - the Republicans used to (supposedly) stand for fiscal responsibility. Now they are feeding at the trough like all the other corrupt interests in Washington.

Comment Re:Offshoring (Score 4, Informative) 173 173

I mean the entrenched US players, like Boeing and their part of the contracts. Congress sees SpaceX as a threat to the jobs in their districts which fund the incumbent inefficient companies like Lockheed, Boeing, etc. Congress is playing pork politics with US progress and competitiveness, and destroying the innovation (what little is left) in our space protram in the process. You make it sound like this is a sensible approach, but here is the quote directly from Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator:

"“I am deeply disappointed that the Senate Appropriations subcommittee does not fully support NASA’s plan to once again launch American astronauts from U.S. soil as soon as possible, and instead favors continuing to write checks to Russia.

“Remarkably, the Senate reduces funding for our Commercial Crew Program further than the House already does compared to the President’s Budget.

“By gutting this program and turning our backs on U.S. industry, NASA will be forced to continue to rely on Russia to get its astronauts to space – and continue to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the Russian economy rather than our own.

Comment Re:Offshoring (Score 2) 173 173

The upstart is much closer to doing this than the entrenched players - they don't have a capsule that has flown. The Dragon has already been to the station many times. I don't see how you can claim that the entrenched players are somehow safer or farther along than SpaceX.

Submission + - US Congress decides to delay US launched astronauts, keep using Russian services->

surfdaddy writes: In order to protect the entrenched big aerospace companies, the Congress has increased NASA's budget for FY2016 but has CUT funding for "commercial crew". Commercial crew is the funding used by SpaceX for the planned initial manned launches in the first half of 2017. With this cut the launch of US astronauts from US soil using US rockets will be delayed two years, and we will continue to send millions of dollars to Russia for launch services.
Link to Original Source

Comment Amazon has really been a stealth company (Score 5, Insightful) 83 83

They started as a bookseller, then moved slowly into other merchandise. Now they are eating the lunch of all sorts of brick and mortar stores. Then they went into cloud services and are grabbing that market. And now they are producing their own entertainment a la Netflix. They are a force to be reckoned with.

What is probably the saddest is Microsoft. Their two biggest cash cows (Windows and Office) are under tremendous pressure. And they really have trouble innovating in ways that are replacing that income. They chase everybody else, late to the game: mp3 players, search, cloud services, online email, smartphones, etc. Their constant focus on Windows over the Ballmer years really blinded them to all else that was an opportunity in the computing world. And so companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google are there instead.

Comment Once a power is granted... (Score 5, Insightful) 209 209

Once you give government some power it is almost impossible to get it reversed. That's because the foot is in the door, so to speak. This is just like taxes - once in existence, very hard to kill. I'm hoping that this is defeated but am not holding my breath.

You may call me by my name, Wirth, or by my value, Worth. - Nicklaus Wirth