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Comment Re:Reaching the limits of the unlimited (Score 1) 409

That's not what TFA says.
What the article says is that customers on the unlimited plan who use more than 100 GB-- and only ones using more than 100 GB-- must move to a different plan by August 31 or their accounts will be canceled.

If your account gets canceled if you use more than a 100 GB, that means "unlimited" data is not unlimited.

Comment Venera and other probes (Score 1) 184

And your point is? Venera 7, the first Soviet probe to land on Venus, was launched in August 1970-- that's a year after Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

During the Apollo years, the main focus of the Soviet program was on their human space program. Yes, they did some robotic planetary mission, withs (up until Venera 7) rather indifferent success. But their robotic program was much smaller and much less well funded than their human program, contrary to what anonymous coward had posted.

Over the same time period, we were flying the Mariner missions and just beginning the Pioneer series, both of which had some spectacular successes, so I'm really not sure what your point is.

Comment Gotta keep moving to stay in one place (Score 2) 43

Why would you use a heavier-than-air craft to essentially hover? Wouldn't an aerostat accomplish the same goal at a much lower cost, and lower risk of bodily harm should it fall from the sky?

A vehicle has to fly faster than the local wind to stay stationary over one spot. So, you are talking about a powered vehicle in any case, regardless of whether it's an aerostat or an airplane.

Since you have to be powered anyway, you might as well use the power for lift.

Comment The Russian Moon Program [Re: The Finest Day....] (Score 4, Informative) 184

No, the great achievement really was putting people on the moon, and the enormous technical, industrial, and organizational effort that took....
At least one major power other tried and failed. It wasn't a given.

Tried and failed ?? Who was that ?

The Soviets once tried to work with the US on manned space missions to the moon but gave up.

A significant difference between the Soviet and the American space programs is that the American program was done in public, with failures as well as successes in the public eye, while the Soviet program was done in secret, with missions not announced until they succeeded.

After the Apollo successes, the Soviets let it be assumed that they didn't have a moon program at all; they never tried to beat the Americans. It was only years later that the Soviet society started to embrace openness ("glasnost", in Russian), and the full history of the Soviet manned moon program was slowly revealed.

They did have a manned moon program, and a big one.

* http://www.wired.com/2010/10/r...

* http://fas.org/spp/eprint/lind...

* http://www.popularmechanics.co...

The Soviets could have sent a man there but they realised it was too expensive for the result

As it turns out, no, they could not. They tried, but failed.
Ultimately, they gave up after their large booster, the N-1, failed for the third time. It was a key element in their lunar program, but they never got it to launch successfully. (By this time the Americans had already landed on the moon, so at best they would have come in second in a race with two competitors.

so they put their money into robotic exploration...

Or, more specifically, they made the announcement that this is what they were after all along. But it wasn't.

Comment Burner accounts (Score 5, Informative) 317

In fact, this shows one advantage in allowing anonymous comments-- since anonymous comments start at Karma=0, it's easy to leave them out of your reading-- if you browse at +1, you only see them if somebody moderated them up. The anonymous cowards don't really care-- they mostly get their lulz just from doing the post.
If anonymous were disallowed, you wouldn't have that automatic filter.

Comment Re:Shuttle, Saturn [Re:Interesting quote in articl (Score 1) 236

The problem is that you hit material and physical limits. That's the end of the space fantasies, you neck-bearded virgin. Look at air travel, same thing there too, a lot of development in a short period, then... coasting. We don't even have the Concorde anymore, you four-eyed sci-fi writing nerd.

Wow. I'm flattered that you actually went to the trouble of reading my bio. If I had mod points, I'd mod you up one just for that (except obviously I can't, since I've already commented in the thread.)

Yeah, in my own 20-20 hindsight, I now wish I'd managed to take a trip on the Concorde back when it was still flying. Talk about the glorious but un-economical engineering dreams of the '70s!

Comment Hindsight is 2020 (Score 1) 236

There is a bit of hindsight

You got it. Hindsight is perfect.

but it's not entirely because even by the late 90s there were jokes how Russia's shuttle was nothing but a copy of the American shuttle, but the difference between the Russians and the Americans was that the Russians had the good sense to see it as the enormous money waste it was and cancel it long before the Americans did.

The Russians cancelled Buran in 1993. If it had been obvious without the clarity of hindsight that the shuttle had been a bad idea, they wouldn't have started the program in the first place. Cancelling Buran in 1993 is no evidence that it was obvious in 1976 that the shuttle would be a terrible idea.

If you're suggesting that it was obvious that it was a terrible idea in 1976, you need to show this using what was known in 1976.

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