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Comment Re:NASA's core problem is still pork... (Score 0) 142

SpaceX can't open space. They can only publish pretty videos of a spaceship they can't ever afford to build.

Did you see their plan for being able to pay for the spaceship? First, they will launch a network of about 8000 satellites. Now, Iridium just had about 120 and one of them still hit another intact satellite. But SpaceX is going to launch 8000 and then they'll corner the market on providing the internet using those 8000 satellites, and then they'll be able to afford to go to Mars.

"Aspirational" is a polite word for this. "Lies and fraud" is closer to reality.

Comment Re:That's not what's driving houses out of your re (Score 4, Interesting) 146

Hello, baby boomer here...

I wish I could criticize your post beyond being a bit exaggerated...

There are huge numbers of boom-generation people hanging on to what remains of their work lives and careers by the last millimeter of their fingernails. Add to that the fact that there's no such thing as a "savings account" any more: The only way to not fall behind inflation (see paragraph below) is to "invest" in equity, bond and/or international markets. Those markets are gyrating madly and some who needed to see a bit of safety for their 10 year money bought into the real estate market. They hope to put their hard-earned savings into a material investment vehicle they could see (and not evaporate suddenly), that should at least keep up with inflation. Some of them bought into the explosive adjustable rate mortgages, having been lied to by the fuckheads selling those (IMHO) fraudulent loans. My wife and I bought a house (using our 30+ years of savings) for that reason, though we would never get sucked into such a sick excuse for a loan.

Now about inflation: I think I agree that easily shippable goods have experienced reduction of inflation due to the Amazons of the world. But let's not be confused about "inflation". My wife and I have experienced increases in the costs of stuff we cannot do without far far in excess of "inflation". These things are things that cannot be shipped from countries engaged in "the race to the bottom": Medical insurance, taxes (property, sales, etc.), communication (I am a developer, my wife is a psychologist. There is no business without it.) We are grateful that another source of monstrous and damaging inflation, education (also local and increasingly profit driven) is not killing us financially as it is so many others.

My observation is that inflation has developed a bimodal distribution: services that can only be acquired locally have a high inflation rate, while goods or services that can be globalized have a low inflation rate.

Bottom line: Some unwise boomers didn't save and may have taken advantage of the bullshit loans, which contributed to the meltdown; I suppose the temptation of a McMansion might be part of it. I pin blame for the meltdown on the lying thieving bankster fuck heads (if I believed in Hell, they belong there, they knew exactly what they were doing to their mark^H^H^H^Hcustomers). There are also "wise" boomers that have savings who are getting fucked over by the lack of any investment vehicles that can be trusted in less than 20 year time horizon.

Comment Re:HAM/CB mobile device?? (Score 1) 74

The point is that you can't sell the radio without FCC approval. This concerns me because I am producing an SDR radio that is supposed to be 100% Open Source, but in order to sell it as anything but test equipment, I need to have one little non-Open-Source part that keeps the receiver from being programmed to receive AMPS cellular.

Comment Re:About St. Louis, Two Kansas Cities, Hyperloop (Score 1) 154

Industrial and farming machines are dangerous, people have heart attacks and strokes, and people have lots of other reasons that they end up in a helicopter to the hospital. I'd assume that the hospital is being fed by a large portion of at least two states, and probably smaller hospitals.

Comment About St. Louis, Two Kansas Cities, Hyperloop (Score 1) 154

Those of us who live on the coasts might discount St. Louis and the two Kansas Cities as fly-over country. However, both are relatively big cities. St. Louis has a large university, a regional medical complex that covers 7 or 8 square blocks, working mass transit, and a good deal of industry. Last month when I was there, helicopters never stopped flying in and out of the hospital heliport.

Kansas City is two cities straddling a river and state border: Kansas City Kansas, and Kansas City Missouri. It has more population than Atlanta or Miami.

The hyperloop has a lot of human issues people seem to underestimate. Current designs would be uncomfortable and claustrophobic, and safety of a big thing moving really fast in an evacuated tunnel is problematic. High speed rail, on the other hand, can go really fast without the problems. The assumption that a hyperloop would be less expensive than rail is unfounded and untested. And the hyperloop itself is little tested other than models on a short, linear track outside of SpaceX. The hyperloop may be real someday, but that time has not yet come.

Comment Re:Can someone please explain? (Score 1) 244

When I worked for HP, our PR company contact introduced his company to me, pointing out that one of their differentiating capabilities was that they did negative publicity as well as positive. In other words, they would place a negative story about an HP competitor if asked. I wasn't ever involved in asking them to do that and don't have proof that it happened, but they certainly offered the capability. The board was later involved in breaking the law with pretexting. I don't doubt the board or managers down to the section manager level could have made use of negative publicity.

Comment Re:Can someone please explain? (Score 1) 244

The stock is at 341 from an all-time high of 383. This is not a tremendous sign of disapproval of the market. It's more like regular cyclical pricing changes.

When Prius was the dominant hybrid car, auto companies paid for lots of anti-Prius stories. Now, it's anti-Tesla stores.

I doubt I'd buy them at this price, but if I were holding I would not sell. It's not like the entrenched automakers will suddenly become agile, come out with better electrics than Tesla, or achieve Tesla's quality level.

Comment Re:How is that 10 year old still alive? (Score 1) 74

Nickel-hydrogen batteries in satellites can last 40,000 cycles.

How has my Prius lasted for 10 years on the same battery pack? Because the software never discharges the battery below 20% or charges it above 80%.

Good charge management software is one thing. Also, the satellite can be designed to work in sunlight with an open or shorted battery, which is how AO-7 is still working after 43 years. AMSAT's experience in space has taught them a lot about battery failure.

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