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Comment Re:Space elevator? (Score 1) 148

As per Wikipedia:

Space elevator cable would need a cable material with a specific strength of at least 100,000 kN/(kg/m).

Modern fibre materials such as kevlar, fibreglass and carbon/graphite fibre have breaking lengths of 100–400 km/m.

Nanoengineered materials such as carbon nanotubes and, more recently discovered, graphene ribbons (perfect two-dimensional sheets of carbon) are expected to have breaking lengths of 5000–6000 km/m.

So in short... no. A breakthrough of double the strength of graphene gets us maybe 10% there. Space elevators just aren't going to happen for at least few hundred years, at best.

Comment Re:Great for Space Junk "capture" (Score 1) 148

This material has more potential as a spacecraft structural component. Weight is the #1 concern for anything going to space.

As far as collecting space junk - I have yet to see a proposal that addresses the real enormity of space. Imagine building a net or block (made of anything) on the surface of the earth. You want to use this net to clean up random trash people dropped. How much progress would you make over, say, Ohio. Or how about the USA. Maybe you just focus on North America. How big does your net need to be to make a dent?

Now factor in that space is a 3D volume. Even the cubic volume between LEO and geosynchronous is mind boggling.
Say LEO is 160 kilometers up, geosynchronous is 35,786 kilometers up. Area of 2nd sphere less 1st sphere is: 192044931750177-17164190 =
192,044,914,585,987 cubic kilometers.

Tell me again how big your net is? And how are you going to move around something that large?

After all that, you've neglected the space junk above geosynchronous.

Comment Brand B? (Score 5, Insightful) 121

I took a look at their web site, and man, does it feel like vapor-ware. All I wanted was information about the car, but 95% of the web site is on features of the seats, doors, and phone integration. Odd sales pitch for a car.

What little I could see about the car part of the car left me saying that it's a just like a Tesla. Except you can actually buy & drive a Tesla.

I predict a quick collapse of this company.

Comment Windows 10 is the last version of Windows (Score 2) 265

Remember when we were told that "Windows 10 is the last version of Windows"?

Ya, and this move is exactly what I expected. Windows will keep changing, complete with random, pointless UI changes. Nothing in the update schedule has changed.
Mark my words - at some point "Windows 10" will change it's name because of sales & marketing pressure. Forced updates and user-hostile changes will continue unabated.

Comment Re:palpable irony. (Score 1) 404

Got an example of sanctions working? Cuba, Iran, Iraq, China- any place I can think of where sanctions were tried didn't work. The most impact any of them had was to hurt the lowest class of a country. The leaders dug in and doubled down.

Bombs only work if there is overwhelming, swift victory with an unconditional surrender. Anything less, and you end up fighting the same battle again later.

Comment Re:palpable irony. (Score 2) 404

Sanctions have never worked, at any time they have been implemented. Sanctions as a politician's tool to say they did something without actually making a tough decision. Especially with 20 (make that 19 now) days left in his presidency, this move means nothing. It's all getting rolled back anyway. Too little, too late.

All this report does is confirm that the Russians didn't hack the election. They might have released a few E-Mails, but Hillary did her own part to make E-Mail a meaningful factor in the election. Democrats and media types who didn't read the report will cite is as (yet another) excuse as to why the democrats lost the election, totally missing the point.

Comment Re:*Beside the road* is still cheaper and better (Score 1) 277

The design requirements of a road have nothing in common with the design requirements of solar panels. Nuts, off the top of my head:
Road vs Solar:
Must support many tons, Support only own weight
Must be x lanes wide for miles, can be any shape
Ideally parallel to ground, Ideally aiming toward the sun
Must have high-traction surface, must have smooth transparent surface
Ideally covered from weather, Must be exposed to weather and full sun
Ideally at or near ground level, ideally above trees & buildings
Must be safe for vehicles, bikes, and foot traffic, must have high voltage wires integrated
Designed to be covered by cars & trucks while in use, Any partial shade at all will drastically drop output for segments

The idea of sporking these two needs together has always seemed a bit daft to me. There's a lot of land/buildings/poles that the government has access to without resorting to this.

Comment Re:Title is wildly misleading (Score 1) 107

As commented above, the article at:

notes that all 3 stages are solid propellant systems.I see no mention of liquid propellants, though there may be some for the spin-up and station keeping.

If this really is a completely solid propellant system, the cost savings would be incredible. One number I saw was 1/3 the cost of traditional systems. At least for earth orbit, that should give the Space-X crew some competition for a while - which is good for everyone.

Comment Re:a job guarantee would be a better solution (Score 1) 441

Requiring work, even if it's busy work, has the benefit of establishing a work ethic.

I know several people who are frequently/chronically unemployed, because they never developed a work ethic. (Efforts on my part to help them develop skills are rebuffed, as it's always someone else's fault.) Some folks just haven't figured out that if you want to keep a job, you have to show up on time. A government program to help instill some basic job skills wouldn't be a bad thing.

Comment Re:Statistics (Score 3, Informative) 171

Typical California thinking. Not everyone is cooling their homes. For the past few months, the vast majority of my utility bill has been heating.
Electronics (that I already manage power settings on, thank-you-very-much) giving off heat is a side benefit to me at least half the year - maybe more.

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