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Comment Re:It's just smart business. (Score 1) 92

But it does!

When I can manufacture in China where I don't have to pay for air scrubbers or sewage treatment but instead dump the waste chemicals in the river and simply blow all the fumes from manufacturing outside I have much higher profits.

The EPA strangles companies trying to make maximum profits by not blotting out the sun with pollution or turning the waterways into chemical tubs of death.

Rich people profits are far more important than clean water and clean air.

Comment I'm not so sure it did (Score 1) 88

There just aren't a lot of games coming out if you don't count download only indies. Gamestop's built off used games. But if there's only 3-5 new games a month and more than half are shovelware with low resale values you're gonna hurt. Add to that most of the big releases are multi-player focused (Overwatch, Battlefield One, For Honor, Star Wars Battlefront) and that DLC is driving the industry (EA makes more off DLC than the original game sales). Also people play the same games a _lot_. For Honor is designed for about 5000 hours of play before everything unlocks (Ubisoft's getting flak for that).

The game industry is changing and retailers are getting pushed out. I don't think there's really a solution to that.

Comment In most of the business world (Score 1) 132

that's not how it works. You make a guess about how likely you are to get in trouble for those people's deaths and use that to decide how many times to measure. If somebody's irreplaceable (either because they're a genius or just really,really rich) you don't risk them. I'm not being flippant. That really is how it works. And we've got centuries of business rules and relations to fall back on as proof. Hell, looks at Flint MI's water supply. Or the process of approving drugs and the high profile failures there. Or if you want to get really famous that monologue from the beginning of Fight Club.

Submission + - Massachusetts Prepares to Vacate Nearly 24,000 Tainted Drug Convictions (

schwit1 writes: Massachusetts prosecutors will move in mid-April to vacate nearly all of the roughly 24,000 drug convictions tainted by a single corrupt forensic lab chemist, The Boston Globe reported Saturday, marking the denouement of one of the largest drug lab scandals in U.S. history.

A Massachusetts prosecutor told the state's Supreme Judicial Court last week that D.A.'s would seek to keep fewer than 1,000 of the 24,000 convictions tainted by drug lab chemist Annie Dookahn, who pled guilty in 2012 to falsifying test results in favor of law enforcement and tampering with evidence over a nine-year period starting in 2003.

Comment Re:"Shows Why We Can't Have Nice Things For Cheap" (Score 4, Insightful) 152

Given the utter crap that's been given patents combined with the mechanical complexity of a golf ball, from club strike to landing, how likely are existing golf ball patents to be really bogus claims and drawings of dimples?

In any given 2-3 year time span, there's like what, maybe a dozen professional golfers so skilled that they are able to hit the ball on a predictable basis? The remaining pros vary wildly and the amateurs are all over the map, so assessing the claims and technology of golf balls is pretty difficult.

And the amateurs will do/buy anything to improve their game. I do some work at a country club and the schlock on sale to golfers makes global warming skeptics look like Einstein.

And it also wouldn't surprise me if the markup on golf balls was stratospheric, representing the general affluence of many golfers, so there's lots of profit being protected here.

Comment Re:Goes Back To Kennedy (Score 2) 132

I once worked at Rockwell-Collins, which had been a supplier for the Space Shuttle programme. When I arrived, they were very stringent about how we handled our time reporting and billing. Why? Because apparently before I got there they had just gotten heavy slapped down for exploiting cost-plus Shuttle contracts. Whenever any project went over budget, they just had employees credit their time to the Shuttle programme.

Comment Re:It is in the nature of the business! (Score 1) 132

And before you go and say Blue Origin and SpaceX are doing it so much cheaper, yes, but that is because they are standing on a mountain of research & technology courtesy NASA.

Something both of them readily admit. SpaceX in particular has continually expressed their gratitude for all of the support they've gotten from NASA over the years. And they have an interesting cooperative model in place now for Red Dragon - no money exchanged, but they get access to NASA facilities and time working with NASA researchers, and in turn NASA gets all of the data they acquire from their missions.

Comment Re:Can't blame NASA (Score 4, Insightful) 132

I'm anyone but someone to defend SLS, but this report seems rather flimsy. It seems that they're calling anything that NASA does in-house "overhead". That's not really a fair measure. A rocket is not just its physical construction; there's a huge amount of cost in research, design, testing, and support infrastructure - in the case of SLS, particularly the Exploration Ground Systems (EGS). Part of the problem however is that every time NASA builds something new, they're rarely allowed to shut it down. Including major projects with contractors. Congress keeps mandating this inefficiency, when what NASA really needs is the freedom to put large amounts of infrastructure to the axe when it can't contribute toward competitive costs, and reallocate the funds as is needed. So long as they face mandates to keep everything open (both internal, and with specific production lines run by particular suppliers), they shouldn't be criticized for their high costs - congress should.

I really think NASA would fare better if it went back more to the NACA model - a research and support organization for other players, maintaining the common infrastructure and R&D used by others - with the addition of a scientific exploration program. NASA shouldn't be making anything that a private business case can be built for (for example, rockets reaching LEO / GEO), but they should be running the DSN, range support, creating a market for private industry to continually expand/improve its capabilities, nurturing startups to increase competition, and extensively working to bring more advanced technologies (that the market couldn't afford to sink money into due to the risk) from theory into real world - not trying to make "workhorses", but proof-of-concept systems that others will run with if merit and maturity can be demonstrated.

In short:
If there's a business model for it: private industry
If it's too risky or long-term for business: NASA proof-of-concept
If its a common need for multiple businesses in the field: NASA permanent infrastructure

Comment Re:Puritan orthodoxy (Score 1) 499

there is no way to justify villifying someone because of their private and consensual bedroom activities

.I agree with you on that (as you should have worked out from reading my post).

You're on the wrong side of this argument.

How about reading what I have written instead of putting words in my mouth.
I'm arguing AGAINST this puritan shit combined with a boss thinking they own somebody in their off hours - both very much an affliction of the nasty end of the far right (not conservative - reactionary) and the complete polar opposite of anything to do with social justice.

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