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Comment Re: No Dragon 2 Soft Landing Yet (Score 1) 355

Actually the US Govt through NASA did pay for specific design and development work that was specific to the NASA resupply mission, though SpaceX did the core launch vehicle entirely on their own I believe.

But this is the way NASA structured the program and put it out to bid. If NASA had wanted to purchase resupply flights but provide no development money then SpaceX could have bid on that but it would be a very different program, and they would have had to end up charging more overall to cover up-front development, risk, and financing costs.

Comment Re:Clickbaiting (Score 1) 408

If you even read the summary you see that online ad revenue is a pretty small portion of their revenue, just $0.2B out of $1.6B, so your unsubstantiated assertion that they are falsifying subscribers or gifting subscriptions to up their ad revenue doesn't even make a lot of sense since it's a kind of small part of their revenue.

You've also credited t_d with finding that 50% of the click rates come from China, which is blocked. I assume you mean ad click rates, the metric that is being replaced more by ad impressions as a metric for ad value. But even if what you say is even true, people in China do know how to get around the firewall, so it's not a bad thing if Chinese people read the NYT.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 2) 226

I don't agree or disagree with your characterization of Hyperloop's true costs and risks because I'm not familiar enough with technical details, and because of that I'm curious what your basis is for your assertions.

You're using the "analysis by analogy" approach, where you say that this is the largest vacuum vessel ever built, and that there are some unspecified safety costs, and that together these necessitate quantum leap of vacuum or structurual technology to solve. Vacuum pumps and structural tech currently seem pretty well developed so counting on vast improvements here seems risky.

Do you mean improvements are needed to the vacuum pumps, or construction of tubes that can sustain a shallow vacuum? And what specifically is deficient in current structural technology?

Musk has often cautioned that a first principals analysis is much better than the analogy-based approach, which is largely what led him to his work with both Tesla and SpaceX. What is inherently hard about creating large vacuum vessels? These are not ultra high vacuum which requires careful selection of materials, cleaning, baking, multiple stages of vacuum pumps, etc. In fact Hyperloop depends on a rarefied atmosphere for lift, not a full vacuum. The tech, as Musk has stated, is largely similar to pipeline construction, i.e. a steel tube built in sections which are welded together by a robotic welder.

I don't think it's settled either way, but it's risky to make such confident assertions unless you have genuine experience in these fields, which you haven't stated one way or another.

Comment Re:That's a lot of wasted water (Score 1) 457

California has a pretty good water infrastructure to do just that... but there is a finite pipeline and pumping capacity which is limited by the fact that this infrastructure is expensive to build and run. Capacity needs to be way overbuilt to handle the occasional windfall from winter storms - and not every reservoir is going to get such a windfall so pipeline and pumping capacity has to be built at each reservoir to handle these events.

It's possible to do, just expensive. But it may be a direction that California needs to move in to improve their water security.

Comment Re:Define "channel" (Score 1) 53

This is all true, but lower frequencies are divided more finely into channels because they are in more demand, and you may not be able to combine many channels together depending on demand. The mm-wave and sub-mm-wave frequencies there is much more bandwidth available, so channels can be larger. 300 GHz is not super useful right now because it is incredibly expensive to get enough transmit power to get a useful range, but that's why these technology demonstrators are done to work on technology for generating the super high datarate modulated signals, and preliminary Tx/Rx technology which has enough bandwidth to support the signal.

Comment Re:When terahertz is not teraHertz (THz) (Score 1) 53

This is a pretty commonly accepted definition of "terahertz", also called sub-mm-wave which runs from 0.3-3 THz. The atmospheric loss keeps increasing with frequency, and the expense of getting a given transmitter power also increases, so there's really no point in pushing the frequency further into the THz band at the moment.

Comment Re:how about this (Score 1) 626

Why would you want assimilation? The very word you use, "assimilation", can be interpreted in a somewhat chilling way, suggesting that any immigrant must give up their culture and conform to some cultural norm that you choose. And which cultural norm exactly would you pick? Even if you restrict yourself to white European-descended Americans there is still a huge variation in the culture from the West Coast, to Midwest, to South, to the East Coast, New England, and more. America is a diverse country, and that diversity gives it strength, and you are foolish if you think that there even is a single American culture for immigrants to be assimilated into.

Also you talk about "losing your culture"... nobody is taking your culture away from you. Immigrants may bring their own culture, but your culture is still here too. And the cultures do meld and transform over time, but not instantly of course.

Comment Re:Does anyone understand Musk's position? (Score 1) 626

Where have you seen Musk sucking up to Trump? He criticized him before the election, and has criticized some of his actions after especially the travel ban.

From reading his Tweets it seems clear that Musk just wants to do the right thing, working with the administration to push for positive changes, rather than picketing in the street. You may disagree about the best way to do the right thing.

Comment Re:Do the right thing - stand against Trump's bigo (Score 1) 952

It's disturbing how confidently you seem to state your opinions while knowing nothing of the subject. I've known this woman for years and have watched her loosen up and become more liberal in her time in America. Have you ever met anybody from one of these countries? I work with people from all over the world and have met several Iranians, most of whom are very hard working and friendly people. One started a small business that now employs several Americans.

Your education about the Muslim religion is severely lacking. It's a cult to the same extent that Christianity is a cult. I don't understand the appeal of any organized religion, since it makes as much logical sense to me as astrology, but I don't begrudge people their belief so long as they don't try to impose their beliefs on me or give their beliefs the force of law.

Comment Re:Do the right thing - stand against Trump's bigo (Score 3, Insightful) 952

Fun fact - the World Trade Center terrorists did not hail from any of the 6 counties that our President has enacted a travel ban on, they hailed primarily from Saudi Arabia, our ally.

In the meanwhile you need to get out of your bubble and meet some Muslim people. You sound like you don't have a very diverse upbringing, well guess what there's a lot of diversity in America if you live and work in urban areas or technical fields. I have a colleague who is Muslim. She has a PhD in a technical field and wants to stay in the USA. She's the kind of person America should want to hang onto and not drive away. Yet now her parents in her home country likely won't be able to get a visa to visit her here, and she has no idea if the greencard she is in the application process for is still a possibly in this new scaremongering era of Trump.

Comment Re:Now can we (Score 2) 334

Calling Aluminum Oxynitride, or Aluminum Oxide "transparent aluminum" is like calling glass or quartz "transparent silicon" just because its chemical makeup is silicon dioxide. Some people do like to call things "transparent aluminum" just because it sounds futuristic, even though it makes no sense to do so.

The compounds Aluminum Oxide/Oxynitride share essentially no mechanical, chemical, optical, or electrical properties with elemental aluminum, so calling it "transparent aluminum" is, well.... wrong. The properties can also change quite a bit depending on the structure, e.g. amorphous, poly-crystalline, and the various crystal phases, so the same chemical compound can have very different properties in the same way that quartz and glass are different, or diamond and graphite are different.

Names matter because they describe what is being named. "Transparent aluminum" is a bad name since it is being used to refer to a wide range of aluminum-containing compounds whose properties have zero no resemblance to aluminum, so the name is implying a relationship that is incorrect.

Comment Re:Right... (Score 0) 1560

Trump would have campaigned differently if it was a popular vote election... but obviously Clinton would have changed her strategy too. The assumption that Trump would have won a popular vote election is at best unsupported and at worst delusional. Both candidates focused on swing states since that's how you win an electoral college election. The simple fact is that urban people favored Clinton, and there's a lot of urban people, and Clinton most likely would have won a popular vote election.

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