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Comment Re:It's called vaporware (Score 1) 142

Mars is hot air, yes. They were a great orbital rocket company. It would have done a tremendous lot for the world if they'd stayed an orbital rocket company. They might have even been able to finish the economic part of bringing 17 rockets back, which is flying them again at a net cost savings. They haven't done that yet, and it will take several years, probably at least three, to achieve that.

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: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 Re:And the loser is... (Score 5, Informative) 391

A modern cell phone takes great quality photos that are good enough for well over 95% of the population in over 95% of circumstances.

That would be the 95% of the population who have never used an actual camera, of course....

Hello. Pentax K-S2 owner here, with five lenses (only three of which I regularly use).

I'm on your side -- I think cell phone cameras are atrocious. The ergonomics are terrible, the sensor is tiny and noisy (though admittedly improving all the time), the lenses are short, the aperture is effectively fixed so you have no control over depth of field (you have to fake it in software), and rolling shutter is the rule of the day. There are various kluges around these shortcomings, but they are just that -- kluges.

That said... 95% of people don't care, and can't be made to care. All they want is something to take snapshots. This is why the market for point-and-shoot digital cameras is disappearing. Cell phones absolutely crush them on features (larger screen, larger storage, built-in network connectivity, etc.) and have long been their equal in image quality. If you want something to take snapshots, your cell phone is absolutely the way to go.

However, if you want to get in to photography, then you'll need something better. Alas, there just don't seem to be that many people looking to do that.

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.

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