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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: Collision avoidance, not autopilot (Score 1) 219

Tesla's autopilot is as much an autopilot at plane autopilot is. Plane autopilots require two human pilots in the cockpit, and they aren't allowed to just sit around and play Pokemon the whole time.

Autopilots don't mean you're allowed to stop paying attention, they just removed some of the drudgework of maintaining distance and emergency braking.

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:I'm not here to test your OS. (Score 1) 148

More people definitely doesn't mean a better product.

I've worked on projects where they turn the people-hose on near the end, and it 100% does not work. It tends to make things worse, in fact.

For testing purposes, what they'd have to do is hire people to...go out and use their phones like they're normal people in the world using their phones. Why not leverage the users that want early access to the software? They've done enough testing to make sure it's mostly stable and won't destroy your data, may as well release it on the world. It leads to better products faster. I'm not sure why anyone objects to that. Nobody's making us use the beta.

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.

Comment Re:This is Their Explanation?! (Score 1) 61

Apple itself DID know better. I mean, they had a whole service based around fingerprinting and metadata.

So you can't snarkily make a comment about how they're incompetent "at every level". (And they really, obviously aren't. They're making a lot of money at it--if they were as incompetent as you'd like to believe, they would've gone out of business long ago. It's not like there aren't other options.)

That said, it's not clear why they rolled out a meta-data match with Apple Music. That WAS obviously a bad decision, but it was also a deliberate decision. In my experience, Apple makes seemingly bad decisions often, but they're almost always deliberate. You may not agree with them, or they may be objectively bad, but there was someone that actually sat down and considered it (and eventually got it wrong, unfortunately). It may be that meta-data matches are faster or easier or it was something they were contractually obligated to try for DRM-ish reasons, which the industry always loves trying to impose. I honestly don't know.

Either way, I'm glad it's done with. I avoided adding my home library to Apple Music because I didn't want a zillion mismatched files. iTunes Match worked great for me for the years that I had it, so I'm sure this update will work fine.

Comment Re:CFAA? (Score 0) 61

Uh, the key word in each one of those points is about knowing and intentional damage of data. Apple didn't code something up with the express intention of destroying data. No matter what you think of Apple, they don't code in little bombs to ruin your day just for the hell of it. It was a bug. If we start looking at all bugs as intentional damage, we're going to have a lot fewer programmers willing to release software.

Comment Yes. iOS betas going back to 7 (Score 0) 148

I only have one phone, and I install new OSes on it.

I used to install the developer previews, but I don't actually do any development (I was paying the $99 for the dev account because I really was going to write something and submit it...eventually) and frankly, those were too buggy even for me.

Now I do the public betas. I love the new features (I love patch notes day for OSes and games like WoW or Diablo 3) and they're stable enough that I'm not going insane. Battery life is markedly worse, and there are some times that mobile data will be flaky and get chewed up really quickly. I'm okay with those things.

I also get a chance to submit feedback on bugs that I've had issues with for a long time, not just new bugs.

These are betas, not alphas. I keep good backups, but I've never needed them.

Comment Re:I'm not here to test your OS. (Score 1) 148

There are too many use cases to accurately cover them all. App interactions with the system on top of new APIs--no company could afford to hire that many people to test all the possibilities.

The developer and public betas are a good compromise. They're opt in. I get a chance to use stuff first and play with it, which is something that I like (I'm the guy that always loved patch notes day in WoW or Diablo 3), and you get a less buggy OS. I think we can all win here.

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