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Comment Linux Inside? (Score 2) 366

I think the reason they don't mention it, is that they don't want to take any reputation away from Google. If Google is using Linux inside, what's special about Google? Besides, if they do mention it, at some point in the far future which may never happen, Linus (or his inheritors) may come looking for some licensing costs. Or, here you go, when Google starts charging licensing fees, how does having Linux Inside affect that?

Comment Hang a rug (Score 1) 561

You could purchase a small but artistic rug. Staple one edge of it to a furring-strip, then hang that furring strip onto your wall. If the rug was 4x6 feet, you now have 24 square feet of sound-damping material hanging on your wall. The furring strip gives lots of 'hang-points', so you can hang it using a few of those cool 3M adhesive hangers.

Another suggestion is to get a small fan. This gives you the 'hum' of the running fan, as well as some air circulation.

Comment Re: H1B Visa comparison (Score 1) 224

There's been several studies that demonstrate that IBM has been ignoring local labor (something that's illegal) in preference to H1B Visa holders.

Then paying the H1B employees at the lowest end of the lowest technical scale they can cite. And yes, this does depress wages for local labor.

I can only assume the same things are happening in Australia. However, except for xenophobia, it's a non-starter. The Corporate Powers That Be are trying to get the standards lowered, not raised. America is having a hard enough time maintaining the (often ignored) rules about our H1B hiring practices.

Comment Jobs Fired (Score 1) 171

I'm surprised they don't mention Steve Jobs being kicked out of the company by John Scully in 1986, the decline in the company's fortunes from 1992, and Jobs coming back to save the company in 1996.

The problem with the Lisa was that it was built by a bunch of ex-HP engineers, to whom a $10,000 price tag wasn't extraordinary -- it's not like they bought their own equipment, the company did. But that was dramatically different from the Apple II+ customers, to whom $1500 was affordable. The Macintosh used the same processor (68000) and better disks, and a simpler GUI OS to fit in the more limited space. This made a much more successful, if more limited product, at a $2500 price point Apple customers could afford.

Comment How many do we need? (Score 4, Insightful) 718

Okay, so I've served on a carrier. But seriously, do we NEED 12 carrier battle groups? Mind you, a typical battle group isn't just the carrier -- it's the carrier, plus a few destroyers, plus a few fast-frigates, plus an attack sub or two. Not to mention the 120 planes in the squadrons -- attack, fighter, AWACS, anti-submarine.

Surely 10 groups is enough. Perhaps even 8.

Comment Vertical Landing control needed (Score 1) 106

It occurs to me -- if you wanted to use a parachute system to lower a 100-foot-tall booster safely, it would still be necessary to develop much of the needed technology for vertical landing. That's true even if it's mostly an empty tin can.

You'd need this to slow the booster from sub-orbital speed, and orient the booster, and remove much of the spin, so that when the parachute(s) do come out the booster doesn't break in half and the parachutes shred.

As other commentators have pointed out, it makes little sense to return to the launch pad, and even Musk himself has said that. So the first stage decellerates then parachutes into the Atlantic for pick-up. The second stage uses a heat shield to bleed off velocity, THEN the vertical landing system to orient and bleed off more velocity, THEN a parachute system to land... somewhere.

The big dangers of a vertical landing is having something "go wrong" at the last minute and that 100 foot tower fall over and explode. Parachuting down following a complete stop at 100 feet (especially with a 'tilt' to horizontal) could avoid a lot of this. I wonder how much that first stage weighs when empty? Is it difficult to parachute something that size and weight?

Comment Lego Mindstorms (Score 1) 310

The Lego Mindstorm environment is excellent for showing how software can effect physical action in the real world. They have a graphical programming environment easily grasped by 7 years olds. A few point and click actions and you can change the behavior of an attached robot. And an "NQC" simple C text environment is available free. $200 for the box with 'Brick' computer.

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