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Comment Re:Boeing is going to put people in space? (Score 1) 74

Cool! Thanks.

The Volksrocket project does look really fascinating, but there's not much about it. The Wikipedia entry calls it a "planned project", as cited in the linked "Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition"(!) article, and says (uncited) that it was tested through 1991, and reached 34km altitude at burnout (citation Omni article, which is not online, bah!) with no hint that it was capable of in-flight relight or that controlled descent was tested.

Googling for more info is a bit all over the place. The VolksRocket Project claims 3 successful flights, but has no information on the flights, and says it was powered by 1 AJ-10, contradicting the Wikipedia article which says it used 4 LR101s.

Are you aware of a better/more direct link to how far they got with the controlled-descent stage of testing?

Comment Re:Boeing is going to put people in space? (Score 1) 74

Really? Wow. Could you please provide a link or reference citation to the extraordinarily detailed documents describing the data obtained from the 50+ year-old R&D in flying rocket booster stages back to sea-level for a controlled powered landing, so they can be refuelled and reused with minimal-to-none teardown/rebuilding? Or the 50+ year-old R&D into combining a capsule launch escape system with a means of powered descent and soft-landing on land, removing the need for parachutes (except as emergency backup) or ocean recovery, which could also be used to land on Luna or Mars?

Comment "The Power of Nanoparticles"? (Score 3, Interesting) 56

Really? As if all nano-scale particles have some kind of magical properties? (On top of those relating to branding and getting hits on your press-release?)

From TFA:

Silica nanoparticles (SiO2NP) with radius of about 50 nm (Supporting Information, Figure S3) were synthesized by the Stöber method and applied as a solution in deionized water at concentration of 30 wt% (pH 8.5) or, when indicated, as a powder. Iron oxide Fe2O3 nanoparticles (Fe2O3NP) were purchased from Alfa Aeser, stabilized by citric acid, peptized, and used in aqueous solution in milli-Q water at 42 gL-1

That's not nanotech, that's fucking chemistry.

I doubt that should even count as your basic type-IV nanomaterials or type-V biopolymer nanotech. There's nothing "nano" to see here except for the 18th-century tech known as "molecules", and it's certainly not worthy of 61 separate uses of "nano-" words in the paper.

No wonder any discussion around "real" nanotechnology (i.e. atomically precise manufacturing - the technology the word was invented to describe) is so damn confusing.

Comment Re:Obligatory (Score 2) 314

The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.

If only! Then Microsoft would finally start catching up with Unix, which got there first (as always):

Ken Thompson has an automobile which he helped design. Unlike most automobiles, it has neither speedometer, nor gas gauge, nor any of the other numerous idiot lights which plague the modern driver. Rather, if the driver makes a mistake, a giant “?” lights up in the center of the dashboard. “The experienced driver,” says Thompson, “will usually know what’s wrong.”

-- The Unix Haters Handbook, Chapter 2 (p.17)

Comment Re:Why so low a commonality? (Score 2) 202

Yup, given that I've read elsewhere that we share about 90% of our genome with fricking cows - all that data for building animal cells, and vertebras, and hearts, and livers, and kidneys, and mammary glands, and hair, and eyes, and nerves, and skin, etc..., having only 20% of the Neanderthal genome in common with us is setting off my bullshit alarm big time.

Comment Re:Wrong answer. Switch file formats first, then a (Score 4, Informative) 273

Actually, now I've read the article, that's what the Minister is saying. Move to open formats first.

That will make it possible to switch software later, if they choose to. But even if the government doesn't, it will allow the people they work with to use their own choice of software, and prevents lock-in. Using MS Office becomes a choice, and can be selected (or dropped) on its merits, rather than being suffered out of necessity.

It's the BBC article and the /. summary which try to make it look like this is purely about switching software.

Comment Wrong answer. Switch file formats first, then apps (Score 5, Insightful) 273

I want to see a greater range of software used, so civil servants have access to the information they need and can get their work done without having to buy a particular brand of software.

In that case, you want to first switch your mandated file format from MS's doc(x)/xls(x) to ODF's odt/ods. Then you can use MS Office, or switch to a new (possibly open-source, possibly even Free Software) office suite as you prefer.

Comment Re:Lots of services? Why? (Score 1) 158

By having separate services, they're kept in their own process memory space, so no memory-surfing hackery can jump into another database instance.

So SQL Server is so badly written that an application - already in a separate process - causing the DB to perform unexpected memory accesses and read/write random memory is an expected exploitable attack? Fuuuuuuuu.....

You might install a 2000, 2005, 2008, 2008 R2, and 2012 instance all on the same machine.

Hmmmmm....., I can see how this might be useful on a beefy test server that does automatic builds and regression tests of your entire source tree across your entire range of supported dependencies. I think it's a pretty rare use-case, and probably not that likely to apply to the original poster, but OK.

each instance generates three separate folders

The datadir is a (possibly junctioned/redirected) subdirectory of the binary installation directory? That's... interesting. And the pathname includes the SQL server version? Doesn't that make upgrading even more of a pain?

Comment Re:Lots of services? Why? (Score 1) 158

SQL Server alone is 10 services.


Bloody "enterprise" software! So, install a DB server with a reasonable footprint instead. Like PostgreSQL, or even MySQL. They are available for Windows, you know. Also, if IIS is anything like that, then ditto Apache. If no-one's making any connections to it, Apache will happily sit there in the background using almost no resources.

5 of them are per-instance, which means that installing multiple instances of SQL Server will add more installations of this same service to your system.

Why would you install multiple instances of SQL server? What's the point? And where would you install them to? "c:\program files\SQL Server 1", "c:\program files\SQL Server 2", etc...? Or...?

Comment Lots of services? Why? (Score 2) 158

I'll be needing to install all of your basic Microsoft developer suites, IIS, SQl Server, ANdroid SDK, Java SDK, device emulators, etc. etc. Plus AMP and finally GIS software. There will obviously be a lot of services running, long build times, and so on.


Why will there be "a lot" of services running? Yes, you'll have IIS and SQL server, but that's only two services - and if you've only got a small test database and a couple of dev websites, they'll hardly take any resources at all if you're not actually using them. So, if you're not sat in front of the computer actually doing development, and someone else is logged in instead, it shouldn't really affect them at all. Ditto "long build times" - what sort of things are you planning on writing that are going to take so long to build that you'll have to walk away from the computer for long enough that someone else will want to use it concurrently?

Visual Studio, the SDKs, and the emulators will put extra entries in other people's start menus, but so what? If they don't run them themselves, they won't do anything or get in the way. Presumably not all these other users run your music production and photo editing software either, and that's not hurting them, is it?

To wit, I wouldn't be able to use my desktop for my other purposes like the music editing.

Why on earth not?

Comment Re:Send them to mars (Score 1) 174

That's only the case if you want to go into a controlled orbit very close to the sun. But we don't want to do that.

To crash something into the sun, we'd be happy with any orbit which is elliptical enough such that the perihelion is inside the sun's radius. We don't care what velocity we have at that point, even if it's theoretically high enough to send us back out to the orbit of Earth (or even Neptune) on the other side of the orbit, because the act of hitting the surface of the sun will remove any problems there.

So, we don't actually need to change our speed very much. We "just" need to change direction. Or any combination of direction and speed which gets us within 1 solar radius somehow. As another commenter has noted, we can use slingshots off other bodies in the solar system to change our delta-v in a large number of ways. We should be find a suitable slingshot *somewhere* to get us on a suitable orbit for impacting the sun without needing too much extra propellant.

Comment Hang on... (Score 5, Interesting) 286

See also Scroogled by Cory Doctorow (translations)

Wow, Microsoft appropriating the name of someone else's pre-existing work in a particular domain, particularly when that domain is the criticism and commentary on a near-monopolist, and the original author is one of the most vocal and prominent proponents of copyright and other IP-related reform. I think my irony meter just exploded.

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