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Comment Re:Bullshit ... (Score 1) 467

You don't think that the VW engineers know exactly what the loss in performance is while passing emissions? They surely do and they or someone else decided that the cars wouldn't sell with that level of performance. Otherwise, why cheat while testing, just sell the cars to be in emission-pass mode all the time.

Comment Re:Can we get back (Score 1) 94

It's been well known for a while. The wikipedia article ( has some scholarly references and states, "With the new figures added in, the discrepancies, and with them the need for a Planet X, vanished.[55] Today, the majority of scientists agree that Planet X, as Lowell defined it, does not exist.[56] Lowell had made a prediction of Planet X's orbit and position in 1915 that was fairly close to Pluto's actual orbit and its position at that time; Ernest W. Brown concluded soon after Pluto's discovery that this was a coincidence,[57] a view still held today.[55]"
And another popular reference:, which states, "Studies eventually showed that Pluto doesn't have the mass necessary to interfere with the orbits of Uranus and Neptune. The errors in calculation that helped lead to its discovery were later attributed to an incorrect mass estimate for Neptune, a value that was refined by NASA's Voyager 2 mission."

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 124

It's too hard for me to dig up the statistics, but with its one deadly accident I would guess that the death rate per passenger mile flown by the Concorde is higher than the B747 and probably every other airliner in wide service now (B737, A320, etc). Not that the Concorde was dangerous, but you have to watch how you state, "safest planes in operation".

Comment Re:Congratulations India! (Score 3, Informative) 89

No you can't, for the reason which the USA and USSR gave up on liquid fueled ICBMs as quickly as they could and never fielded cryogenic fueled ICBMs ('cryogenic' defined as using liquid hydrogen). A liquid fueled ICBM requires too much advance preparation to launch and so becomes the first target to be hit by the opposing power in a confrontation. The only practical ICBMs are solid fueled, but solid fueled rockets are too inefficient for practical launches to geostationary orbit. So launching to geostationary orbit has little to do with usable ICBM technology, at least for the propulsion part of it.

Comment Re:How did these idiots catch anyone? (Score 1) 282

"Unfortunately, these abilities don't seem to be in vogue at this time" -- I agree with you that they aren't in vogue now, but can you cite any examples when they were in vogue? I can't. Maybe we could say during the late 60's when the populace finally turned against the Vietnam War, but a lot of that occurred when the big news organizations turned against the war (liberal bias!?), not through self education.

Comment Re:"moving near the speed of light relative to CMB (Score 1) 139

There is a dipole anisotropy observed in the CMB as observed from our local observations, which can be attributed to our local motion in reference to the CMB. I'll quote/steal the paragraph from Wikipedia (,
"From the CMB data it is seen that our local group of galaxies (the galactic cluster that includes the Solar System's Milky Way Galaxy) appears to be moving at 627±22 km/s relative to the reference frame of the CMB (also called the CMB rest frame, or the frame of reference in which there is no motion through the CMB) in the direction of galactic longitude l = 276±3, b = 30±3. This motion results in an anisotropy of the data (CMB appearing slightly warmer in the direction of movement than in the opposite direction). From a theoretical point of view, the existence of a CMB rest frame breaks Lorentz invariance even in empty space far away from any galaxy. The standard interpretation of this temperature variation is a simple velocity red shift and blue shift due to motion relative to the CMB, but alternative cosmological models can explain some fraction of the observed dipole temperature distribution in the CMB".
I haven't done any more reading on this but it does appear that there may be something to a preferred rest frame in the CMB.

Comment Re:So, Japan is winning the new space race... (Score 2) 87

"the Japanese are concentrating on but one thing at a time and will eventually surpass Musk and Space-X in all areas" -- no they won't and here's why: The Japanese have had the second or third largest economy for how long? And been one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world for how long? Almost for longer than Musk has been alive. And what have they done in Space -- essentially nothing noteworthy. They don't care. I had high hopes for them in the 80's -- technological superpower on the rise, without much in the way of military adventures, big population without a lot of land to exploit -- seemed natural that they would flex their techno-prowess in space as the USA and USSR fell behind. But it didn't happen, they had other priorities (mostly screwing around with bogus real estate deals and fu**ing up their banking system as it turned out). Now that Japan is leading the world in elderly citizens they will be spending their research resources on robots to care for their geezers. Japan isn't going anywhere in Space, it is a pity. I'll put my bets on Musk -- he wants it.

Comment Re:65 VW Bug (Score 3, Insightful) 373

Does anyone around here remember DRIVING those carbureted, non-computer cars? Or worse, keeping them tuned up? I did both, along with major hotrodding, including engine swaps, camshaft swaps, carburetor swaps. Compared to the new cars they ran like cr*p. They barely started when it was cold or hot. They had weird idle and off-idle characteristics. They had very little power for the engine displacement. Worried about hackers shutting off your engine or brakes on your new car? -- well in the old days the cars did that all by themselves! Engines shutting down while driving -- yep, it happened, brakes failing while going down hills -- yep, it happened. Power steering fail while driving -- that happened, too. Those things happened with regularity. I recently helped with the purchase of a '68 Cougar with a small block V8 (302 CID) for a friend of mine -- upon driving it both of us said, "What a death machine" -- poor acceleration, poor braking, poor handling compared to the new cars we have (I'm driving a Honda Fit!). Yeah, everyone remembers the awesome big block muscle cars of the '60s, except they don't really remember them. I do, I had several. They were fun, but not very high performance compared to now. Check the magazine tests of the time.
If you want a decent car with no outside computer connectivity then your best bet is probably something from the mid-90's to around 2010, I would guess.

Comment Re:No the US would not face "20:1 odds" (Score 1) 732

Actually, as I recall from the 80's, the US never renounced the first use of tactical nuclear weapons due to the numerical superiority of the Warsaw Pact forces over NATO in Europe -- that was the NATO ultimate force multiplier. And I recall the plans of how the USAF was going to beat the Russian Air Force by having each F-15 shoot down 5 (or was it 10?) MIG-21s. No one know how that would have really turned out.

Comment Re:Might be? (Score 2) 732

All of your links say that those foreign 5th generation fighters are IN DEVELOPMENT. In contrast, the F-22 has been in operational service since 2005. Here is a quote from your second to last link describing the F-22, "The world’s premier fifth Generation fighter aircraft."
I'm not a big fan of the F-35, but those other countries are going to find out that building an operational 5th gen fighter is a lot harder than putting some CAD and photoshop drawings together and assembling a prototype without full functionality; actually some of them are finding that out already. Here is a quote from your second link, "Despite this, Russia will need to cope with the increasing criticism voiced by India, which is partnering with Moscow on developing the aircraft, amid concerns over delivery delays and technical shortfalls of the program." If the Russians are having troubles, I doubt those other programs are going very smoothly.
I can't believe I am defending the F-35 ...

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal