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Comment Re:LibreOffice (Score 1) 297

With Matlab, yes it is just tabular data that is being read in using xlsread, but when you have existing scripts that are based around that function it can be difficult to get people to try something else. As for the others, VBA macros are used in various missions to get things done.

This sort of gets to the point that real or not, there is a perceived risk that moving to a new, open source solution will break things to a greater degree than the usual upgrade cycle of MS will. It really is vender lock-in, but it's so pervasive that to break it you do have to work with more than just the other parts of the office suite.

Just in case anyone things I'm an MS shill, I'd love to have an open source alternative (I'm a poor college student), but right now, I am locked into MS Office.

Comment Re:LibreOffice (Score 5, Interesting) 297

It's not just migrating the office suite, it's everything. At school every major piece of software I use (Matlab, MathCAD, & Solidworks) integrates with Excel. This means that to migrate away from MS Office I have to have all three of these programs work with the replacement. Good luck getting people to migrate until you have that compatibility. This does seem to be something that I don't see brought up all that often, and yes it is important.

Submission + - I need and want to read more, should I get an eBook or Tablet? 1

gspec writes: I read less and less nowadays, but I realize I need to get back into my old reading habit. Should I get an eBook or Tablet? Would it help me to enjoy reading more?
A little relevant background about me: I probably can spare 2 hours a day to read. I do not travel a lot. I am not a fast reader, if I force myself, I could probably finish a standard length novel in a week. English is my second language, so built-in Dictionary is a nice thing. I enjoy Netflix. I have bought many computer/technical eBooks from O'Reilly for reference. I have many technical reference PDFs. I have 300-400 bucks to spare for this. I have a Dell laptop, iPad2 (wife hogs this), MBA, and a desktop.
So what do you think? Should I get one? If you think I should, eBook or Tablet?
I don't mean to be rude, but please no "Up to you" answers, because I already know that :). Also I know I don't need it, but I want it. I would like opinions based on your knowledge and experience on reading using eBooks/Tablets. Thank you in advance

Comment Re:Oh man... (Score 4, Interesting) 197

Back in the early 90s there was a study done on the feasibility of returning the F-1 into production relative to developing a single use version of the SSME (Space shuttle main engine), and back then it would have been cheaper even after you include the start up costs to go with the F-1.

The reason for this is that back when the F-1 was pulled from production a massive effort to secure the institutional knowledge of how to build the engines was undertaken. Thousands of hours of recorded conversions with everyone from the designers to the engineers to the guys on the shop floor on how the engines were built, what problems were encountered, and how the problems were solved.

As a side note, the Soviets kept the Bear in production for most of the 60's, 70's and 80's which is why they were able to keep building them. The B-52 production stopped in the first half of the 60's, and because the forge that was used to make the single-piece main spar wasn't in use any more, it was scrapped.

Now, you could redesign the wing to use a multiple piece main spar like modern airliners, but then you wouldn't have the B-52 any more, you'd have something else.

Comment Re:Not the best possible home (Score 2) 63

They do cycle the aircraft and other outside displays through maintenance cycles, and most of the time there are only around a dozen or so aircraft in the Air Park (the newest of which is the first C-17). Also, many of the Air Park planes will be moved inside to one of the hangers following the reshuffleing once they get the 5th hanger built.

One other note, you may remember that they hit a bridge with the shuttle's wing when it was on the barge in NYC - that never would have happened at The Air Force museum as the runway for delivery is functionally adjacent to the museum.

Comment Re:Someone's got a case of the "s'posed tas" (Score 5, Informative) 190

The phased arrays that backed the deployed ABM system would not have been blinded by the interceptor warhead initiations. This was the primary advantage of moving to a phase array system for intercept control duty. There is also the fact that the Spartan missiles would have been doing the intercepts well over Canada, and it is only the SPRINT missiles that would have been doing terminal interceptions. Even with Sprint, a 10-30kt event over your territory is a lot better than a much larger (say 1mt) event that's a ground-burst.

Presently both the US and the Russians use Hit-to-Kill ABM systems because both nations have too much stuff in orbit that is too expensive to replace that we couldn't afford to pump energy into the van Allen belts on the scale that a nuclear-dependent ABM system would provide.

Comment Re:Only people who are full of shit use them. (Score 1) 243

If you find a suit uncomfortable, then you need a better suit - or you need to stop buying off the rack. I'm a poor college student, but one of the new articles of clothing in my closet is a tailored suit, and it fits like a dream.

Plus there is just something about getting dressed up and taking your girlfriend to the Philharmonic/Ballet/Opera that is just plain *fun* (yes, after the event is more fun, but getting the evening off to a good start is fun too).

Comment Re:No one see's a problem with this? (Score 1) 278

Well, it's possible to to use the radar as an input if you know the configuration. You broadcast a specific jamming signal that gets processed into a virus in the control computer and spreads to the rest of the systems. RUMINT is that this is what the Israelis did to the Syrians a few years back.

A more accurate version of your statement would be "require you to have access to inputs to the machine to hack it"

Submission + - Kenya Eyes Nuclear Power Development. (voanews.com)

Snirt writes: "Kenya is seeking to develop a viable nuclear energy program within the next 15 years to meet its growing energy demands. A government commission formed last year is conducting a feasibility study and the University of Nairobi is setting up programs to train people for the nuclear program. Critics say they're concerned about plant worker safety and the risk of environmental contamination.
Some 86 percent of Kenyans do not have access to electricity, relying on firewood and kerosene to meet their energy needs. Electricity is expensive(1$=KES 90), and the supply is limited."

Comment Why planning for zombies makes sense (Score 1) 219

People tend to have basic ideas for acting in natural disasters, but planning for zombie outbreaks adds the advantage of planning for a disease outbreak without the concern in the general public about infectious disease planning. It also gets the planning people to think outside of their usual box. I know it sounds silly, but it's a good exercise to get people thinking about population movements and control, disease spread, natural resource limitations due to deadly agents, overloading of medical response personnel, ect.

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