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Comment Re:Disappointed with the Press Conference (Score 3, Interesting) 156

Indeed. I live in Europe, but I find little that's admirable about ESA in comparison to NASA. They're not nearly as open with the public, nor nearly as successful. NASA has its faults, but I'd take a European version of NASA over the ESA any day.

The openness issues don't just stem to press conferences. They also embargo mission data a lot more and have more strict licenses on reuse of ESA products. It's.... let's just say "unfortunate". And it needs to change.

Comment Re:So it appears . . . (Score 2) 156

Quite possibly none of the above; from the description, I think that it's more likely some sort of sensor issue. It used a doppler radar altimeter/velocimeter to estimate its position, with 1 antenna is dedicated to range (points straight down, direct measurement) and 3 to X/Y/Z velocity (angled outward, used to estimate how the landscape is moving with respect to the craft). There's also accelerometers onboard. I'm not sure what sort of priority is given to what data.

A program is only as good as the inputs it receives. It seems to me that it thought it was going "low and slow". I mean, technically it could be a software issue, there could be some sort of "unit conversion" bug or some sort of mistaken sequence specifications or the like. But if I had to guess, I'd go with a sensor data problem rather than software.

Comment Re:I mean... (Score 1) 173

Not personally, but a friend ruined his that way, and I've had some of what would have been "close calls". Likewise, I've never had to replace/send in a phone because of a bad battery. My "had to replace my phone" history is two cracked screens and one defective charge port.

For me, waterproofing is peace of mind - not having to worry about it. And I can do things that people whose phone isn't waterproof wouldn't dream of, like wading out on a beach or sitting in a spring while holding it. I was at a nearby geothermal river with my father this summer and he was sort of freaking out when he saw me in the water, taking pictures, not knowing my phone was waterproof. He had been taking pictures on the hike, but left his phone on the bank because of (reasonable) fear of it getting wet. Waterproofing just gives you something else you don't have to worry about and lets you do things that you probably wouldn't do otherwise.

Comment Re:I mean... (Score 1) 173

You know, I once was really hardcore on the "user-replaceable battery" bandwagon, but I've really softened on the issue. There are some significant advantages to making them not replaceable, including better waterproofing and the savings of both mass and volume. It's not some sort of scheme to make people replace their phones - or, at the very least, not only that.

If someone could make an IP67 phone with a user replaceable battery, I'd consider that a bonus over one that doesn't have a user-replaceable battery. But that's rare, and I'm not going to give up waterproofing for a replaceable battery.

Comment Re:DCMA Fair Use / Parody (Score 1) 173

Indeed. That mod is rather tame compared to some other snarky stuff I've seen out there. I remember after the Toyota "unintended accleration" issues, someone was plugging a "Toyota Simulator" that they made... when you went to the site it was just a continuous first-person video from a drivers' seat, played in fast forward, with the driver screaming in panic ;)

Comment Re:ANYTHING to distract from (Score 1) 377

But he has an impeccable source - James O'Keefe! Because when I'm looking for accurate reporting, and not, you know, selective editing and deliberate misrepresentation to make up a scandal out of whole cloth, I turn to James O'Keefe. Gold standard in reliable information there.

I also turn to Alex Jones for information about the Bilderberg Group, Art Bell for information about cosmology, and David Icke for information about herpetology.

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