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Comment Re: Great idea... But there is a problem... (Score 1) 247

If we go with your plan, NASA will have to launch multiple rockets to build the Mars vehicle and many more rockets to fuel the vehicle. Have you ever thought why no NASA missions to outer space has been refueld? The ISS station gets refueled all the time but not probes. Why is that?

Because they're... probes? Most of them weigh so little and go by so energy efficient orbits that there's no point. Your typical probe is maybe a ton, the Curiosity mission was a real heavyweight at almost four tons total - of which the rover itself was around one, but still something a regular Falcon 9, Atlas V or Delta IV could deliver to Mars. There's still room for bigger missions on a Delta IV Heavy, even before the Falcon Heavy flies. We don't do it because there's no point in adding that complexity and the extra expense doesn't give any payback in science. It's better science to send two small probes than one big one.

Comment Re:Great idea... But there is a problem... (Score 1) 247

You cannot be serious... Do you have any idea what kinds of technology advancement NASA has been a primary driver of?

Memory foam, maybe. The general list is things that would have been invented anyway--although some of those things would have instead been DOD projects (satellite communication) more than likely. Velcro was invented by a guy who observed stupid shit like the Greater Burdock sticking itself to dogs and pants.

We've managed to invent things like transparent aluminum without NASA or the DOD; the DOD has been running with it, finding new ways to make it, polish it, and otherwise improve the stuff. In most cases, this is stuff someone already invented but that isn't viable for the consumer market yet, and so is mainly a profit source from government money; in many cases, it's stuff that's too expensive to research at a given level of technology, and becomes viable to invent a decade later; in very rare case it is only uncertain if DOD and NASA interest was the cause of an actual invention or only the cause of it being profitable or invented earlier than it would have been.

People have a hard-on for space travel and war, and they believe all kinds of delusional shit about how things just won't ever happen without a good war to make us invent new tech. No matter how technology marches on in peace time and without public-funded science experiments to fund it, people assert that certain technology must be special and would never happen from just commercial interests. They ignore the real world.

So in short: Grow up and stop believing in Santa Clause.

Comment Re:Great idea... But there is a problem... (Score 1) 247

How would the money be well spent?

If the money is spent paying Google, Netflix, Verizon, or other engineers, we end up with newer infrastructure, better services, and the like. If it's spent building rockets to circle the moon, then we still pay this (not just "we pay it in taxes", but the labor is spent and the labor is compensated--we work and we exchange our time for this), and what do we receive?

Wasteful spending reduces the amount of stuff you receive for the work you do. That's true across an entire economy for obvious reasons (if half the farmers instead make war machines, half the food doesn't get made, and you pay for war machines that only go out to get blown up). What are we gaining by spending $23 billion here?

Comment vGPU seems cool (Score 5, Interesting) 88

Looks like you can get near-native performance even though you're sharing hardware. With this maybe instead of a dual boot PC you can have a dual VM PC, one runs Linux and the other Windows and both at near native performance and you don't have to dedicate a graphics card. That sounds like a real gateway drug, use Linux for the desktop and the games that run on it but be able to switch to your Wintendo and play that one must-have game your friends want. That said right now it looks like an an Intel tech, did anyone see anything about AMD/nVidia support? Because sharing that Intel iGPU wasn't really what I'm looking for....

Comment Re:== vs =, | vs ||, variable/pointer dereference (Score 1) 84

if (a = b) {

When they meant:
if (a == b) {

Which is the one thing Visual Basic got right IMHO, use := for assignment and == for comparison. The C form is plain wrong when you consider that "=" is the equal sign, to anyone who doesn't know C-isms the first reads "If a equals b then". Same way stealing kilobyte = 1024 bytes was a bad idea, the only excuse you really hear is that we've done it so long it seems natural. Like clicking the start button to shut down the machine, except we're still doing it.

Comment Re:Why is this different from traditional classes? (Score 1) 70

I'd go one step further and be more scientific, why not use automated A/B testing? Like you make a new revision of a lecture, half the class gets the new one and half the class the old one. Then you run some form of quiz on the material. If you have at least a few hundred students or ideally a few thousand you should pretty quick get statistically significant answers. And you could test with short/medium/long explanations to see whether you're beating down open doors or areas they'd benefit from more detail and examples. In the interest of fairness you should of course make all variations available after they've had the quiz, perhaps also with stats to see what quiz questions their path may not have covered as well as the others.

Perhaps that could even develop into a preference system, everything from "I want to learn the essentials for a passing grade quickly" to "I have learning difficulties, give it to me slow and in detail" to "I want to ace this class, give me in-depth insight". Or some form of branched interactive learning, if you grasp 80% quickly you don't need that in more detail but the 20% you struggle with have a more detailed explanation. I think I'd love a system where my hand was on the throttle, it's going as fast as I want it to go not as fast as the professor thinks it should go for some average or "no child left behind" student. Personally I tend to prefer to read the book simply because there's too much time spend on things I already understand.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 2) 145

First off, that whole 15 minutes thing is absolute bullshit. Maybe its a worst case if you were in truly deep thought over one of the hardest problems of the year. But most of the time you aren't, and it will be a few minutes Like around 1.

YMMV but whenever I'm stuck with half an hour from coming to work to a meeting or between a meeting and the lunch break or whatever I feel that time is exceptionally unproductive. Whether it's making a change or implementing something new or tracking down a bug I usually need some time to work out what it really does, what it should do and how I can do it with good code that's easy to maintain. Most botched jobs happen if I rush that, I can work quick and dirty but it builds technical debt. That I'd be three times as productive if I had an hour (15 vs 45 minutes effective time) doesn't sound too far off to me. I try to have a few "just do it" tasks ready for that, but typically they're not supposed to be my top priority. So if I had a PHB who wants me to work on that task and no other task until I'm done productivity and quality would suffer.

Secondly- your productivity doesn't matter. The team's does. Those interruptions- it means a team member needs help. They're blocked. Their productivity is at or near 0 until unblocked. If interrupting you costs 15 minutes from you but saves an hour for him, that interruption is worth it for the team. There are almost 0 of those interruptions that aren't a net gain.

Depends on how many of these interruptions are from your team and about work, not to mention if they've actually checked and read the documentation or is just asking because bugging you is easier than making the effort themselves. That said, answering simple questions or checking Bob's calendar to see if he's in a meeting doesn't break the flow for me, that I can push/pop off the mental stack. If I need to take 5-10 minutes to check/discuss/explain/investigate/show something though I've decided I'm already distracted so time to check my inbox and answer what I can now before they're at my doorstep. Sadly we're not big enough to have a support staff to shield us from the solutions we've developed so it's DevOps and most the users are one or two floors down.

Comment Re:Simple answer. Dont use SAP. (Score 1) 119

Companies buy off-the-shelf ERP systems so they don't have to manage people like me, but they really end up paying through the nose for it.

Actually it's mostly so they if you get hit by a bus or decide to quit or decide you got them trapped and can demand a 10x salary increase they can get by without you. Sadly there's a lot of well designed custom systems that'll be throw out for no other reason than being very custom and very specific to your needs. The theory is nice, you can use a generic solution and it's just configuration. In practice I've found that you often end up with big limitations and have to work around them. And that can actually cost you a lot more time and effort in the long run than actually making a solution that works they way you want.

Comment Re:Well, duh! (Score 1) 142

The problem is that Facebook T&Cs, as well as granting Facebook an almost unlimited license to anything you upload also includes a clause that you agree to indemnify them against this kind of claim. So, while you might be able to take Facebook to court and win if they took a video your friend uploaded of you and sold it, they would then be able to turn around immediately and sue your friend for whatever amount the court awarded you.

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