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Comment Re:Sixty Years Ago... (Score 1) 42

That said, the point of a SSTO with airbreathing is not the *cost* of the fuel, but the weight-reduction itself, since the added weight that has been avoided in this way can be used for payload.

Even Elon Musk said it's not about the cost of the fuel, but the fact it impacts the useful weight of the payload. ;-)

It's possible, thus, that for LEO an airbreathing spaceplane is more suited than a rocket, especially if that rocket isn't fully SSTO. You say it doesn't save 'much', but the oxidiser on a typical rocket makes out about a third of the total mass... I would call that pretty much.

Comment The problem with ReactOS (Score 3, Informative) 137

Does not lay within it's technical capabilities and prowess, but with it's management skills and ability to create a community.

For years I've been a fan of ReactOS, actively participating and contributing to the community, albeit not in the form of a coder. Which, in the (still) current ReactOS mentality, is the only thing that counts for the brass, apparently. Testing ReactOS on a dedicated real-life machine (thus, not in VM), debugging, translating, making info-pages on their wikipedia: nothing really matters to the 'elite' of ReactOS. They just consider you some sort of fodder, and the moment you ask for a bit more transparency (on their financial side, for instance), or try to address the complete lack of community involvement, they bork (and bark) at you - and worse. Time and again I've tried to explain this in the past, that a successful project is NOT merely depended on the technical/coder side of things, but also how you establish a community, and try to involve people in your project. There were some half-baked trials at it, but those were mere lipservice, where it was always a consideration of a top-down approach, not a bottom-up way of seeing things.

Ergo; in the 20 years of their project, they have not succeeded in gathering 1/100th of the community that other projects like Linux have. Again and again I've pointed this out to them, but to no avail. They just refuse to see it, and only want things done strictly to their wishes, with their attitude of finding no other (real) importance to the project than 'code'. Which, granted, is an important part, but which will NOT get you a lively, engaging, and growing community - which is an absolute necessity for any open source project to know success. Eventually, since I kept hitting that nail, they got annoyed (not: they realised the error of their ways) and kicked me out too, the so many-th person who was a tester/sponsor/translator/helper of ReactOS they managed to drive away.

Whatever; so I went away, which is what they wanted. But what did it help them, then? Nothing at all. They view constructive criticism as a threat, not as an opportunity to better themselves and the project. They don't value anything someone does outside of their little constraints, and outside their preconceived notions as to what they see as important, yet have the mouth full of 'community-involvement'. Whatever you do, how many years you may have sponsored or helped out as a non-coder, you just are not counted as having done anything worthwhile. They have no inkling of an idea how to get a thriving community where you allow the bottom-up approach as well.

It's a sad thing to say, but the whole thing is run by people with overblown ego's, trying to protect their little turf and egotistical whims, ignoring anyone else, and being autistically elitist in wanting to decide virtually everything to the minute detail. Its only a community-project in name, but not in essence. And that's why, even after 20 years of operation, their project is just a small-scale project who - in comparison with other projects - has almost nothing to show for. They make some small technical progress year after year, that's true, but they fail to realise how much their ego-driven top-down approach has muffled the project to achieve the grandeur and support it could have had, had the top been more prone to some input from the people actually supporting it.

I've poured hundreds of dollars in it, and spend years on it helping them in my own way, only to kicked out when I pointed out their mistakes and lack of transparency. I still lie, the project, but I can not, in good conscience, support (most of) the people running that program/project. they've done it with me, as they've done it with dozens of people: it's no surprise, thus, that they're still at the small scale they are, without any community to speak off. They can't get any traction, because they kill off everything that would get them traction. There are some good coders under them, to be sure, but almost all of them lack the managing skills to actually create a project where people feel engaged in, and want to continue to support. How many people, running, debugging, sponsoring the project didn't they drive away, just as they drove me away? It's painful to see people shoot in their own feet, but that's the way it is. They just don't care.

Transportation

Domino's Will Deliver Pizza By Drone and By Robot (roboticstrends.com) 64

An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes CNN Money's report that "pizzas will soon be dropping from the heavens": Domino's demonstrated its ability to deliver food via a drone Thursday in New Zealand and plans to test actual deliveries to customers next month. "It doesn't add up to deliver a two kilogram package in a two-ton vehicle," said Scott Bush, a general manager for Domino's Pizza Enterprises, which is independent of the U.S. chain and operates in seven countries. "In Auckland, we have such massive traffic congestion it just makes sense to take to the airways."

A Domino's customer who requests a drone delivery will receive a notification when their delivery is approaching. After going outside and hitting a button on their smartphone, the drone will lower the food via a tether. Once the package is released, the drone pulls the tether back up and flies back to the Domino's store.

Robotics Trends has video from the flight, and reports that Domino's is also testing a pizza-delivering robot. Their Domino's Robotics Unit "has four wheels, is less than three feet tall, and has a heated compartment that can hold up to 10 pizzas. It can deliver pizzas within a 12.5-mile radius before needing to be recharged."

Comment Re:Really (Score 1) 524

Unless you live in a swing state, voting for Clinton or Trump IS throwing your vote away. The only way most voters can make any difference is by voting third party. It won't affect who wins this election, but then neither would voting a major party. It will, however, influence party policy the the choice of candidates next election.

Comment Re:Apples and oranges (Score 1) 56

A single atheist can exist. A group of atheists, will argue theology until the cows come home.

Same with any other fundamentalist.

"Dude, aren't religious rules derived from the holy book/word of god?"

Somebody had to write that book. Long before it was in a book, it was oral tradition. Long before it was oral tradition, it was bedtime stories for kids by parents trying to impart wisdom to the next generation.

Most religions existed long before their scriptures were written. Scriptures are only necessary if you get more than four generations from the founder without the cult collapsing.

"Hunter/gatherers also needed a surplus before some voodoo priest can claim that his magically connection to God helped them find food."

Few hunter/gatherer societies ever achieved a surplus of food- every single day was spent hunting/gathering- and yet they still had priests (who were also hunters/gatherers, you're right as far as a priestly class goes, but the professional priest is a rather recent addition and even today isn't entirely true, every priest I know has side interests and side jobs).

We were better off then because we had the three noble virtues:
https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2016/08/26/the-fading-of-three-christian-virtues/

We were happier back then.

Slavery to lust is still slavery.

Comment Re:Big surprise some jackhole Silicon Valley (Score 1) 242

"My pitch" is entirely "this other lawyer says I have a case, but he personally can't file it for me. Will you look at what he has prepared and consider filing it for me on contingency?" and the answer to that is "no". I personally don't know a fucking thing about the matter other than that someone else who's supposed to know better says I've probably been wronged and that he personally is barred from righting it for technical reasons I don't understand, and all I want is for someone to look at his pitch, and they won't even do that.

AT&T

ISP Lobbyists Pushing Telecom Act Rewrite (dslreports.com) 75

Karl Bode, reporting for DSLReports:Telecom lobbyists are pushing hard for a rewrite of the Telecom Act, this time with a notable eye on cutting FCC funding and overall authority. AT&T donated at least $70,000 to back Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, and clearly expects him to spearhead the rewrite and make it a priority in 2017. The push is an industry backlash to a number of consumer friendly initiatives at the FCC, including new net neutrality rules, the reclassification of ISPs under Title II, new broadband privacy rules, new cable box reform and an attempt to protect municipal broadband. AT&T's Ryan donation is the largest amount AT&T has ever donated to a single candidate, though outgoing top AT&T lobbyist Jim Cicconi has also thrown his support behind Hillary Clinton.

Comment Re:OMG, a months rent! (Score 1) 242

Like the poor schmuck living in a rented bedroom in someone else's house gets a choice of whether that house has TV or not, or could get a discount off their rent/utilities if they decided to forgo watching it.

Also, $300-$500 would cover the filing fees just to ask the judge a goddamn question pro-bono. Double that to also ask a lawyer whether he would ask the judge that for me in the proper way, to which he still might answer "no". Even if he did say yes, and (on contingency) asked the judge to order the relevant documents produced to settle the question, the judge then might say "no". Even if the judge said yes, and the documents were produced, and the question was answered, the answer might still be "no".

And nothing in a library is going to tell me the odds of that, because that outcome depends entirely on the contents of private documents. Just asking for those documents to be produced, in the afore-described way, which is a best case scenario, is several months' rent. The legal theory behind the case is sound, I'm assured, because I'm only aware of any of this happening because another lawyer brought it to my attention -- he's just not allowed to file the case. I just need someone else to look at his strongly-suggestive evidence, and ask the judge to order the production of definitive evidence. But I can't even get anyone to look at that evidence without paying them a crippling sum, and I can't even ask the judge myself without paying the court a crippling sum.

Comment Re:OMG, a months rent! (Score 1) 242

Or even more to the point, it's a matter of unavoidable expenses levied by those with the power to do so (like paying for the right to just exist somewhere) sucking up so much of whatever money someone can make.

A full time minimum wage job could fund quite a luxurious amount of actual consumption, if it weren't for things like rent sucking up so much of that money before it can even be spent on anything.

Comment Re:OMG, a months rent! (Score 1) 242

He did. I asked one of the other lawyers I went to talk to to call that first lawyer (while I was there talking to him) who said he'd send over the information and it should be open and shut and a safe bet for the other lawyer. Other lawyer nominally said "OK do that" while I was there getting my consultation, and said he'd be in touch. When I didn't hear back from the other lawyer I called to ask him if he had received the info and what he thought about the case. He said he thinks the info came in a while before but hadn't looked at it yet because I hadn't paid him yet.

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