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Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 2) 481

by west (#49193495) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

I'd estimate the paperwork (including searching to ensure you are not ignoring legal obligations as a US citizen, occasional accountant/lawyer visits, etc.) to be on order of 20 hours a year. Less many years, some years you could spend 100 hours trying to make certain you are not breaking US law when you buy a house, are self-employed, etc.

Over 80 years, that's 1,600 hours. If you value your leisure time at $50/hours, than consider it to be about $80K worth of hassle to be a U.S. citizen. Add in $20K in lawyer/accountant fees over the years, and you could be looking at a total lifetime cost of about $100K.

Is it worth it? Well, if you're child chooses to work there, then it's easily worth it. But otherwise, probably not.

So, what you really want to decide (and only you can do so), is "Is the life-time option of working in the US worth $100K?"

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 4, Insightful) 480

by hey! (#49193289) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Personally, I don't see that any of these things as compelling practical advantages, given that the kids already have dual Swedish and Belgian (and therefore EU) citizenship. If they were Moldovan and South Sudanese, that'd be a different story. Or if they were citizens of a country from which getting a visa to enter the US might be difficult in the future.

But most importantly I think this is one of those decisions that you just don't make primarily on a cost-benefit basis. It's not like deciding to join Costco or subscribe to Hulu. Citizenship entails responsibilities. If you want your kids to shoulder those responsibilities and feel allegiance to the US then it makes sense to get them that citizenship come hell or high water. But given that they already have two perfectly good citizenships from two advanced western democracies with generally positive international relations worldwide, I don't see much practical advantage in adding a third.

Still, I wouldn't presume to give advice, other than this. The poster needs to examine, very carefully, that feeling he has that maybe his kids should be Americans. The way he expresses it, "sentimental reasons", makes those feelings seem pretty trivial, in which case it hardly matters if they don't become Americans. After all, most other Belgians seem to get along perfectly well without being Americans too. But if this is at all something he suspects he might seriously regret not doing, or if it nags him in ways he can't quite put his finger on, he needs to get to the bottom of that in a way random people on the Internet can't help him with.

Comment: Your friendly neighborhood word pedant here (Score 0) 132

by hey! (#49191827) Attached to: Developers Race To Develop VR Headsets That Won't Make Users Nauseous

... with some food for thought.

The ending '-eous' or '-ious' is added to a noun to produce an adjective that means producing whatever that noun is. Something that is 'advantageous' produces advantage for example. Something which is ignominious produce ignominy (shame, embarrassment). Something that is piteous arouses pity in the onlooker.

I think you see where I'm going with this. The word the headline writer should have used is 'nauseated', although making users nauseous in the pedantic sense would certainly be a concern for the developers of any product.

Comment: Re: International waters (Score 1) 61

by Immerman (#49190775) Attached to: SpaceX's Challenge Against Blue Origins' Patent Fails To Take Off

I suspect a bigger issue is protection from sea spray and the lateral stresses of crossing hundreds of miles of open ocean, neither of which can be healthy for a rocket. Either they have to secure the 13-storey rocket on the landing barge (or a cargo vessel) to get to land, then transfer it to a vehicle capable of carrying it overland to the refurbishing site (the largest military cargo helicopters could *just* carry it, but only have a range of a few hundred miles), or they fly it home under it's own power. It might eventually make more sense to build dedicated equipment to transport it, but if you're only getting a few launches a year...

Comment: Re: International waters (Score 3, Informative) 61

by Immerman (#49185921) Attached to: SpaceX's Challenge Against Blue Origins' Patent Fails To Take Off

The first stage is suborbital, so that's not really an option. And when it comes to aerodynamics, on the way up it's pushing hypersonic speeds with a not-even-supersonic-friendly profile, not even the usual "nose-needle" to break the shockwave, presumably because it's having to fight gravity the whole way without lift surfaces, so can't face directly into the line of motion. Plus with the fact that it doesn't start really pouring on the speed until it's mostly clear of the atmosphere anyway.

Bottom line - it's a rocket: with minimal lift surfaces efficiency isn't really high on it's feature list to begin with. On the return trip it's free to travel at much lower speeds though - it's basically a tradeoff between air resistance and the fuel consumed to hold it in the air instead of falling like a rock. Still, fuel is currently only a couple percent of the total cost of a launch, so even if you had to double the amount used you'd still see negligible effect on the total launch cost. First they have to get rocket reuse working - once you can get a half-doze uses out of a rocket, then maybe it makes sense to start worrying about efficiency on the return trip.

Comment: Re:Great product bloodlines (Score 1) 55

by PopeRatzo (#49185413) Attached to: A Versatile and Rugged MIDI Mini-Keyboard (Video)

The QuNexus also has control voltage outputs for directly triggering analog/modular gear.

That is great news. I've got a room full of old modular synths, like a Serge suitcase model and an early Arp.2600. Not to mention a Steiner-Parker that looks like it should have a 1930's phone operator sitting at it.

I've built some home-brew triggering controllers, but none of them are anywhere near as good as what McMillan makes.

Comment: Re:International waters (Score 2) 61

by Immerman (#49185355) Attached to: SpaceX's Challenge Against Blue Origins' Patent Fails To Take Off

I've heard that, long term, there are two alternate plans, depending on the percentage of payload/delta-V being used: if the target orbit requires enough of the total capacity to make returning to the launch site infeasible, it will instead land on the floating barge to refuel, and *then* fly back to the launch site.

I suspect that landing at sea, while less energy intensive, is considerably more difficult - especially considering that you now need favorable weather at both the launch and landing sites to have a decent chance of success.

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