It's basically modeling a pandemic. It's a less scary thing for the public to handle as zombies don't exists. It's kind of like the zombie survival classes for women. They're basically how to fight off a rapist class, but disguised to make it not seem so....rapey.
From what I've been told, it's basically done but in exhaustive testing. However, it's going to cost a couple billion more to proceed.
They have changed the management team once. It will be a great loss for science to cancel the JWST, but sometimes, enough is enough and a lesson needs to be taught. The worst part is, it's basically done and in testing.
Manned space flight is essentially cut from NASA once the shuttle lands.
Read the report: http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=35294
In short, the answer is yes, management is that bad at NASA. I am coming to believe that we need to look at NASA's mission and alter it for the post Cold-War era.
As massively over budget, mismanaged, and failings to meet timelines as this project has been, maybe it's time to kill it. I know it would be capable of wonderful science, but sometimes you just need to cut your losses.
Good way to introduce invasive species.
Moon - It feels like reading a Philip K Dick novel. It explores human nature in a science fiction setting, gets a bit long, then wraps up. My only beef with Moon is the score, it could have been a lot better and less intrusive.
New Apple Slogan:
iPhone, worth dying for...
Technology isn't an issue on this. Depending on what RFID technology is used, read range wouldn't be an issue. Since cattle life is relatively short, active tags can be used which also address some of the concerns of a single person taking the readings. Also readers can be attached to a trailer, punch a button and read all tags within range (which can be large or small).
Uploading data, you are right, it is very small. A few hundred bits per cow is all that would be needed. Even a old 300 baud modem could upload all the data relatively quickly.
As you also said cost is quite low compared to the operating costs of a ranch. RFID tags are pretty cheap now, $0.10 for passive tags and $10+ for active tags. Readers are $500 to $2k, but those are a one time purchase. If a rancher can't absorb the one time cost, they are really hurting, and the USDA could always subsidize the readers.