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Comment It can be fine... (Score 2, Informative) 476

...but they need to create a standard for the replacement jack first. And no, Bluetooth is not it.

I don't think the 3.5mm jack is actually a panacea. It's limited to a single stereo output, and numerous incompatible hacks have been grafted on to allow it be used for microphone input and for phone or music controls.

But you can't just get rid of it without an adequate replacement at the ready, with cheap adapters available that you can easily just slot onto the end of a 3.5mm jack.

Comment Re:Anything incriminating? (Score 1) 447

it was the *DEMOCRATS* who refused to sit some delegates simply because they were the wrong sex

Yeah, the Democrats have a policy concerning equal numbers of each gender which the Vermont delegation initially violated. Not seeing an example of sexism here, but an attempt to avoid it.

"Racist" is thrown out by the left so often it no longer has any meaning.

I'm pretty sure it does, it's just a sizable number of the right, particularly the alt-right, both understands that "being racist" is considered bad, but that they have no problems with a society that deals black people the short end of the stick, that they have an irrational fear of brown people, and even - in some quarters, most Republicans don't fit into this category, but many on the alt-right do - that they're worried about the influence of Jews.

Comment Fixing Number Spoofing is Hard (Score 1) 120

Sure, it's just a simple matter of programming to re-architect the signalling system that's driven the phone companies since the mid-80s. Unfortunately, number spoofing has been an important feature for legitimate businesses - it lets them do things like always give you the number of their main office as caller-id, even if the person is calling from a remote office, or let you give the direct number of the caller, even if the call is getting routed through the company's main office PBX VOIP gateway. It also provides the ability to do a lot more complicated things. And (this mattered more back then than now) it let them run phone switches on processors that were made in the 1960s and 1970s, and with mainframes that might have 10 MIPS of CPU power (compared with the wimpy 1 MIPS VAX I was using in 1980.) My wristwatch probably has less RAM than that, but probably a much faster CPU, and my wimpy Android phone has about as much RAM as my VAX had disk.

And yes, within the next decade we may well have re-architected the world's phone systems away from the designs we used back then (and much of the implementation has changed radically already), but interface standards stick around a lot longer than implementations, and are a lot harder to get rid of.

Comment Re:Anything incriminating? (Score 5, Funny) 447

Dunno, I went through them, and the only emails I saw that looked kinda shady were between her and an apparent long time friend with a pseudonym of "yugedeal@hotmail.com" where she appeared to be orchestrating some attempt to hijack the Republican nomination by having her friend win the nomination. Apparently "Yugedeal" would spout a lot of the kinda racist, sexist, what-liberals-think-Republicans-like crap before the nomination, insulting most of the party's big wigs (leaving them in disarray) while attracting support from the grassroots, and then reveal it was all a hoax the day before the election.

Not sure what came of the plan. The last email in the thread was just a "Good luck today Don!" sent June 16, 2015. I assume from the silence since that nothing came of it.

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 101

I don't need to stand by the rotation theory. However, the 2.5 degrees that the Earth rotates are about equivalent to the downrange distance.

The first stage is going about 1/5 of the target LEO orbital velocity at separation. While you might well model the trajectory as a parabola over flat ground, given the lack of fuel I would expect that SpaceX puts a lot more care into their trajectory. So far I've failed to attract the attention of the person responsible for Flight Club, the most trusted modeling of SpaceX flights, but I'll message him directly.

Comment Re:Amazon 'marketplace', wish I could disable it. (Score 3, Interesting) 336

You can't do it account wide, but you can do it on a per-search basis. Near the bottom on the left, once you've chosen a department, you'll see a "Seller" section. Curiously Amazon has itself listed as both Amazon and Amazon.com, I have no idea why.

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 101

Well, Alastair, you should probably not get snotty and ad-hominem, unless you want me to comment on how a one-time sci-fi author and the Unix guy at Dish doesn't really have more authority than the random person one might find in the SpaceX group on Reddit.

It happens there are a few people over there who are rocketry professionals, have the math, and have followed SpaceX long enough. So, sure, their opinion can indeed be trusted.

So far, we have a suggestion from one of the lesser folks there that raising the apogee takes advantage of the Earth's rotation. We'll see if we get the attention of the right people.

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 101

It seems to be a common misconception that orbital mechanics somehow knows when you are in orbit and does not work otherwise. But that is as silly as saying that relativity only works near light speed. These things always work regardless of speed, it's just that their effects are macroscopic at greater speeds.

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 101

Here's an illustration of the boost-back to RTLS trajectory. You can see that it very definitely goes up. And to prove from observation, you can actually see where the two trajectories separate in photos from yesterday's launch. It's a rather dim curl up, and another continuing East, in Jason Ruck's photo and John Kraus's photo.

At the speed of stage separation, they rocket isn't going fast enough to stay in orbit, but it is definitely in the regime where orbital mechanics has a macroscopic effect. If you think about it, this is going to be the case at some reasonable fraction of orbital velocity.

Comment The perspective of a 3D animation professional (Score 5, Interesting) 301

This is just like the way people whined that color film had ruined the medium, and the ones before them who whined about talkies and yearned for the days of silent films.

I started at the NYIT Computer Graphics Laboratory in 1981 and left Pixar in 2000. These days I produce or am on screen once in a while.

While I was at NYIT they weren't story oriented, and thus all you see of them is demos. Pixar, on the other hand, always put story first. We knew that we could not make a film stand up on effects alone.

Today, a good 3D animation house can make absolutely any scene they like. And thus there isn't anything special about doing so. It's there if it needs to be there to tell the story, and not otherwise.

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