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Comment: Re:NASA has become small indeed... (Score 4, Interesting) 108

by xmark (#47497799) Attached to: A Look At NASA's Orion Project

I will join you in the eye roll, but directed to your post.

I assumed anyone reading my OP would understand I was talking about a specific engineering and exploration *project* rolled up from scratch (which is a colloquial term, with the literary license customary for such usage). Take the logic of your post far enough, and I would have to credit Australopithecus for the discovery of fire.

We all, to paraphrase Newton, stand on the shoulders of giants. So too did the engineers at NASA. This should not require further explanation.

Meanwhile, judging by the serial explosive failures of the 50s rocket tech you mentioned, and the weak tea served up by Mercury vs. the superior Russian tech, Apollo did not have the kind of technological base you've implied, anyway.

If you read a good history of the Apollo effort, you'll find that the engineers *desperately* wanted a clean sheet approach. And they got it. Along with a government that cut red tape and cleared the way for them to do what they were there to do.

Those days are gone.

Comment: NASA has become small indeed... (Score 5, Insightful) 108

by xmark (#47497247) Attached to: A Look At NASA's Orion Project

It took 8 years from Kennedy's speech in 1961 to a human on the moon in 1969. Not only did NASA get a moon rocket designed, tested, and launched in that time, it also got an intermediate rocket program (Gemini) designed, tested, and launched prior to the moon program.

From scratch.

Now we're looking at (maybe) 11 years to develop a working rocket to go to an asteroid. Oh boy, journey to an, umm, space rock. Really stirs the heart, doesn't it? And this after willingly withdrawing from manned spaceflight capacity altogether for at least six years, and counting. Yep, just folding the cards and walking away from the table.

Sure, go ahead and tell me how technically challenging the space rock odyssey will be. But the call of space comes from the same place the call of the sea arose from in the past. To Terra Incognita, where "Here Be Dragons." Sorry, there be no dragons around the space rock.

The technical wizardry missions could and should be handled by robots. Humans should be reserved for missions which stir the soul, or the people who pay for such things (you and me) will stop paying.

It's hard to think of a better demonstration of how the US used to get things done, and how it does things now, than to compare the space program we had 50 years ago to the current version.

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood, and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Comment: Re:There's another treatment that stops most T2 (Score 2) 253

by Nefarious Wheel (#47480273) Attached to: New Treatment Stops Type II Diabetes

I'm pretty fit myself, not particularly overweight, an avid motorcyclist (light exercise for many hours at a time) and I'm good with the foods. I'm in my 60's, too. I have Type II. The symptoms can be managed, but I don't particularly enjoy the method. And shaming people for conditions they can't help is not what kind people do.

If they come up with something better than Metaformin, I'm in.

Comment: Re:Nice to see. (Score 1) 216

by Nefarious Wheel (#47321739) Attached to: Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

Carbon-Carbon batteries have gone from laboratory to small-scale commercial production in Japan, with the intent to ramp them up to car sized units as soon as the production processes are sorted out. From my back of the envelope calcs, it looks like a Tesla-sized car could recharge to 80% capacity in about two minutes, 100% in four, if using a Tesla Supercharger station.

Don't assume Lithium is the only battery type. We're still learning.


Comment: Not exactly needed (Score 1, Interesting) 62

by Simonetta (#47258669) Attached to: A Seriously High Speed Video Camera (Video)

A 700 frame per second camera really isn't needed by very many people. It doesn't matter if a new design reduces its price by an order of magnitude.

What we need is the opposite: a very cheap camera with very high resolution and a very low price. Then we can put them on light poles and get good high-resolution courts-evidence-quality images of the people who are running out of nowhere to attack you, beat you senseless, and stealing your $500 bicycle when neighborhood is quite 100% gentrified yet.

At the present we have low-res video of "people" doing this, but they are rarely have enough resolution to positively identify the attackers.

Same with 'Flash mobs' that come into a store in groups of dozens, grab handfuls of stuff off the shelves, and just walk out in a large group.

Comment: Re:Progenitors? (Score 1) 686

by Simonetta (#47218297) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

The chances of advanced technological lifeforms developing is nearly infinitely small, and the distances between the ones that actually do develop are so great, that they never contact or even become aware of each other. Life forms on earth that are far in advance of humans are based on intelligence that evolved into post-biological form before one of the 100 million year cycles that periodically destroys all life on earth.

Comment: Re:It's about the apps stupid (Score 1) 516

by Nefarious Wheel (#47151685) Attached to: Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

Microsoft had an epiphany. That epiphany was called iTunes and later spun off as the App Store...

You are absolutely correct. One spin-off issue from this attempt at forced monetisation was that nobody saw Microsoft as adding value to the users with that approach. They weren't just changing the UI, they were changing their entire business model.

Windows 8 itself? The cake was okay, but the icing was a lie.

Comment: Re:I am using Windows 8 (Score 1) 516

by Nefarious Wheel (#47151577) Attached to: Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

.... If Microsoft would just fire all their UI people responsible for the "different + dumbed down = better" concepts they've been pushing the past couple releases of all their products...

They did. They fired Steven Sinofsky, chief architect of W8, shortly after its release.

And when sales tanked as a result, the BoD fired Steve Ballmer.

Comment: Re:flame away, but... (Score 1) 516

by Nefarious Wheel (#47151453) Attached to: Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

Windows 8 is shit, from top to bottom.

Then how come the only criticism ever levied against it is the UI? Performance? Better than 7. Stability? Better than 7. Security? Better than 7. System requirements? Better than 7. The only thing you can legitimately criticize are subjective components like the interface, which some people like myself actually *prefer* to the start menu.

Well, I really did want that slice of carrot cake. It was a really great recipe for carrot cake, but for that layer of cat vomit on the top.

"The Amiga is the only personal computer where you can run a multitasking operating system and get realtime performance, out of the box." -- Peter da Silva