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Comment Re:I'M OUTRAGED!! Oh wait, no I'm not. (Score 1) 478

You want to know why this matters even if "no one thinks the bill is going anywhere anyway"? Because it even exists at all !!! Legislators that waste time writing, proposing, and making others have to work and vote against it are bad legislators that should be doing actual work vice wasting theirs and everyone else's time.

They're not wasting time. They're doing as they are told. The national party uses state legislatures as test beds for potential policies, and as back chatter to set a stage. They have some state congresscritter propose some outrageous bill, and then they watch the results. Who noticed, who objected and how loudly, who supported and how loudly, and what arguments were brought to bear against it.

Then they can propose the legislation that they want, which isn't as extreme as the one the state ran up the flagpole, but is still quite extreme. The "market research" from the reaction to the state bill has been used to formulate strategy to support the bill they actually want, plus the state bill's very existence serves a function in getting something else passed. It can be pointed to both negatively ("this bill isn't nearly as bad as that one") and positively ("that bill was proposed, so there must be some demand for this sort of thing among the populace").

You're just seeing a part of the sausage-making process. This is the part where they grind up the cow anuses.

Comment Re:Yeah, not a surprise (Score 1) 559

In order to be released from detention while his appeals of the Swedish extradition in U.K courts were considered, Assange gave multiple oaths given to UK justice system promising to respect their authority, oaths he broke when he fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy.

No, he didn't. No oath is required when being released on bail, let alone multiple oaths. See the section "Conditions of Bail."

I'm curious that you are able to completely ignore these well known facts.

I'm aware of the facts. They were not germane to my comment, as no oath was sworn under those circumstances either.

Is it just Assange, or do you apply this reasoning for yourself? Does the end of getting your rocks off justify to you the act of not respecting a woman's word when she says no too?

Yeah, fuck you too. That's what you meant. I return it in full measure.

Comment Re:LMOL (Score 1) 397

3D debacle delayed work on OLED and better picture technology.

Paying off the enormous investment in all those old LCD plants delayed OLED and better picture technology. Those production lines couldn't do anything but what they've been doing since 2002, so we've been fucking stuck waiting for the amortization schedule to run out.

Comment Re:Frank Yu doesn't know what he's talking about. (Score 1) 278

There will be a shortage if we try to replace coal, nuclear, and natural gas with wind and solar. I have on my desk a report from Morgan Stanley claiming that it would take 10 billion tons of steel and concrete annually to replace coal power.

By when? Next month? Obvious bullshit number is obvious bullshit. Nobody has suggested that replacing coal, nuclear, and natural gas with wind and solar is going to happen overnight. Not even quickly. Coal, nuclear, and natural gas represent large capital investments with long amortization schedules. The power companies will only shut one off short of its design lifespan in extremis, and there has been no spike in fuel cost for any of them. Quite the opposite. Gas is dirt cheap now, but most utility companies have set fees agreed with state PUCs when gas was expensive, which have not been revisited, so they're making money hand over fist on gas power generation.

Imagine that I have a dozen nuclear power plants all humming along at about 80% capacity. Now imagine I have one of those once in a century events that knocks out one of those power plants.

Why imagine, when we have actual numbers? Average capacity factor of nuclear power plants in the US for 2015 was 91.9%, the highest it has ever been. If you follow the link, you'll see that at least the top 10 plants are actually operating at capacity factors in excess of 100% in order to achieve that average. Now consider that, with the shutdown of Vermont Yankee, there are only 99 total nuclear plants in the US. Having not just 10 plants, but 10% of the plants running at over 100% capacity, where they are by definition eating into their safety margin, doesn't seem all that safe, and it means that quite a few of those 99 plants are running at much less than 91.9% capacity factor.

Of those 99 plants, the majority of them are of such an age and design that they're incapable of being throttled, so when they're operating, they're operating at 100% or above. That means out of the 365 days in a year, the average nuclear power plant was offline for 30 of those days, and for every year but 2015, it has been worse than that. So there is no margin to "crank up" to accommodate a plant going offline.

In short, nuclear power plants are just as dependent on the existence of the full grid as wind and photovoltaics are.

This schedule should mean that with a dozen plants and an expected lifespan of 50 years I can expect a new plant to come online about every four years.

Design lifespans were universally 30 years and between 1977 and 2013, there were no new plants started. The Obama administration approved construction of 4 new plants. The US will be transitioning from nuclear to solar and wind by default, simply because those plants are not being replaced fast enough. But it won't happen so fast that Morgan Stanley's nonsense number is even remotely relevant.

Comment Re:Yeah, not a surprise (Score 1) 559

He doesn't _look_ like a coward and a fraud, he _is_ a narcissistic fraudulent oath-breaking sleazeball cowardly weasel.

I'm curious what oaths you think Julian Assange has broken? He's an Australian citizen who is not a naturalized citizen of any other country, and he has never served in any country's military. He's been in court, so he might have sworn an oath to tell the truth at the time, but that was a short-term thing. He's never been a civil servant of any country's government, either. Those are the only places where he might have sworn any oath, and he hasn't done any of them. So, what oaths?

Comment Re:EVEN TILLERSON says it's real. (Score 1) 266

A rain belt shift that sees the Midwest and the Plains become more and more drought prone is going to have a pretty major effect on a country of over 300 million people.

A rain belt shift that saw the Midwest become more and more drought prone would indeed have a pretty major effect.

Fortunately, it's not happening. Quite the opposite. Average rainfall in Missouri is trending upwards, and is higher now than it has been since at least 1900.

Comment Re:Smoking gun of theft or go home (Score 1) 136

Carmack was working on VR shit that directly went over with him to Oculus on ZeniMax's time and dime.

I strongly doubt it. John Carmack was working on experiments and prototypes. He had an old high speed CRT and a high speed camera, among other things. Yes, he was working with them on ZeniMax's time and dime. With their knowledge and explicit permission. We all knew about it. I'm betting he has it in writing. But having conducted those experiments, he was done with that stuff, hardware and software. He had learned what he needed to know, so he didn't need to drag all that crap with him when he went to Oculus.

Comment Re:Occulus built on hype (Score 1) 136

Palmer Luckey wasn't a "tech innovator"...he was a rich geek who frequented VR modding message boards, and just like everyone else took a smartphone screen and hooked it to community-made VR software

And stuck some slightly whacky lenses in front of the screen. That's what mostly nobody else was doing. He was (and presumably is) convinced that field of view mattered a lot more than most VR was willing to admit. And since he couldn't curve the screen itself, he found a way to make the light curve instead. Very few people were willing to acknowledge that FOV was important, even within that same community he was frequenting. Plenty of people argued with him, probably including you, complaining that human FOV is actually quite narrow, and all of that. And he said yes, that's why the lenses are the shape they are, and why it's ok for the outer edges to have an effectively lower pixel density. And Slashdot loved him. Plenty of people self-reported pledging to his Kickstarter, and quite a few Slashdot denizens have Rift Dev Kits as a result.

Oculus in general and Palmer Luckey in particular only became persona non grata around here when Facebook offered him stupid money and he accepted. It was stupid money. Of course he said yes. He's not dumb like Yahoo. He was a tech innovator who knew when to say yes.

Comment Re: Great strides (Score 1) 129

Yes, they've run a load of static fire tests, and yes, I'm sure they've done a very thorough inspection of the structure, but the stresses of launch are high and you'll only really see how re-usable it is when you actually re-use it.

There's an argument to be made that the return flight is a second stress test. The booster is flying at Mach 10 above the majority of the Earth's atmosphere. Then it intentionally dives back in. Coming back in is very nearly as tough on it as going up was. Other first stage boosters actually break up in the atmosphere when they reenter, it's so tough to do. The Falcon 9 booster not only makes it back into the atmosphere, but flips itself end-for-end twice, which has gotta be a severe lateral jolt, and then soft lands. That's three kicks to the pants (deceleration burn, reentry burn, landing burn), and two kicks to the head (flipping once for deceleration and once for landing). That sounds worse than the trip up and out, which is just one long steady push with some buffeting along the way.

Falcon 9 first stages already survive far rougher treatment than any other rocket ever has. Given how many of them have made it back in one piece, it bodes well for the re-use case.

Comment Re:So... Moller sold his designs to Airbus? (Score 1) 140

I didn't read that, but it's the same, held-aloft-by-four-fans design that Moller has been hawking for decades, which means that just like Moller's "Skycar", it's going to fly just slightly better than a grand piano if even one of those engines goes out.

Moller's original design had 12 ducted fans, 3 at each corner, specifically to be able to tolerate the engine-out scenario. They were also supposed to be small enough and light enough to be manually removable by a single mechanic. The quoted weight was 60 pounds. I think I still have that issue of Popular Mechanics in a box in the basement.

What Moller didn't know was that no group of small gasoline engines is responsive enough at the throttle for stable powered-lift flight. If he'd just tried electric motors in the 70s or 80s, the world might be a very different place. It would have had to trail a power cord, and the tilt sensors would have been the size of a shoebox, but it would have worked.

Comment Re:Awesome (Score 2) 129

Awesome, hating on Elon for having a private company pay to launch private satellites on a private launch vehicle.

While actually paying the US Air Force pad lease and range fees at Vandenberg. The US government actually came out ahead on that launch.

I really wonder why Slashdot is subjected to so much ham-fisted, pathetically obvious, qualitatively bad propaganda. Why do they care what we think? Why is someone spending actual money trying to change how we think? There's a handful of millionaires lurking. I would be astonished if there's even one billionaire lurking on Slashdot. The vast majority of us control nothing, spend nothing, affect nothing. So why do we have to put up with these crap attempts to convince us to hate a rocket company? Makes no sense.

Comment Re:Great strides (Score 1) 129

And the Merlins were designed from the start under the principle of preventing the need for a full teardown. That doesn't mean that they will be cheap to reuse. But it does mean that they have the possibility of it.

Considering they've publicly stated that one of the earlier successfully soft-landed first stages has undergone no less than 10 test firings on the test stand in Texas, with "minimal refurbishing," it seems cost-effective reuse isn't merely a possibility: it's a virtual certainty.

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% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis