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Comment Re:Feeding the trolls (Score 1) 643

Automobile manufacturers, and others who compete against imports would benefit, at least for a little while.

The automobile manufacturers are all international corporations now. I don't think they would benefit. Probably some home-grown industry would benefit from protectionism if he actually managed to get any enacted, which is unlikely to actually be his goal given his current use of cheap overseas labor, his importation of immigrant labor, etc.

Comment Re:A well-written headline (Score 1) 59

Getting killed falling off a roof while installing solar panels is a more common way of dying than from a nuclear accident

That's true! Being a handyman is much more dangerous than being a cop. Handyman lives matter!

On the other hand, if we embrace more large-scale solar, the deaths will go down, because those deaths are primarily from small-scale installations.

Comment Re:No, they didn't. (Score 1) 643

The Russians have always been good at lower performance, low cost rockets. Higher performance, they've always struggled with (particularly upper stages), which hindered their ability to launch probes (they only ever launched to the moon, Venus, and Mars, and with a rather disappointing track record). But they've built quite a few reliable, cheap lower stages and full low-performance orbital stacks. Mind you, a few of their lower-stage engines have turned out to be lemons (most notably the NK-15/33/43), but most have been real workhorses.

As for advanced tech in general, Russia has always been great at conceiving of and doing small scale implementations of very advanced concepts, but they've struggled to bring it into mass produced products. In that regard, I think the US has more to worry about concerning China; while they've long been known for mass production of lower-tech goods, they're getting increasingly good at mass production of high tech goods. The key to the US's success has been the combination of both high tech and skill in bulk production (albeit disadvantaged in that by labour costs)

US vs. Russia, I think the AK-47 vs. M-16 is a great analogy. The M-16 is by most objective standards a much better weapon - lighter, significantly lighter magazines per bullet (yet with nearly the same impact energy due to much faster velocity), significantly greater range in most regards, greater accuracy, faster to load and change magazines, easier to work the safety, predictable trigger behavior, all sorts of other ergonomic features, less recoil, better sights, and on and on down the line. Yet the AK-47 is the one that ended up ubiquitous around the world. It was simple, easy to make, had loose-fitting parts that weren't sensitive to manufacturing defects, was tough to break or jam with dirt and grime, etc. Very much reflective of the philosophy difference in general.

Russia seems to be trying to change today, trying to move more toward the American philosophy of production, in particular with respect to arms. For example they're trying to make their jets less "disposable", designed for lower downtimes and more flight hours like the US and Europe do, in order to be able to give their pilots more flight-time training (among other things), like the west does. But the changes have been incremental, not by leaps and bounds.

Comment Re:Coal's not cheap (Score 1) 206

You can talk about that when wind and solar no longer need endless, catastrophically-indebting levels of State subsidies.

But fossil fuels are already getting endless state aid in the form of tax breaks and access to public lands. If you want to set the bar there, I'm all for ending that aid as well.

Comment A well-written headline (Score 1) 59

Army Vehicle Disappears (after being camouflaged)

Porn Star Sues over Rear End Collision

Oh Hail No

There Will Be Hell Toupee

The whole point of a headline is to be attention-getting. If you can make it clever, all the better. Nuclear Plants Leak is pure gold. Don't pretend people don't make jokes about how wind farms are hot air yuk yuk yuk. On the other hand, if you're a bit sensitive about jokes about nuclear plants leaking, well... u mad, bro?

Comment Re: Notice the timing on the propaganda piece (Score 1) 643

Not according to every single UN report on the subject, up to and including just days ago, but by all means, keep being a dictator's internet propagandist.

FYI, since you're late to the party, there no longer is anything called "Al-Nusra". The name changed to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham when they broke from al-Qaeda.

Comment Re:Paranoid Russia (Score 1) 643

Actually, my question is, what do any of these three nations have to gain by invading any of one another? We all have the same stuff, which is to say that we all have land, water, oil, and mineral resources. Even in that case, where they have a shared border so it's relatively convenient, what is there to gain? Certainly nothing that couldn't be had cheaper at home.

Comment Re:No, they didn't. (Score 1) 643

Thank you, I read this headline and immediately sighed at the stupidity of it as well.

Russia likes doing these sort of braggadocious product unveilings; they're often rather disconnected from the reality of how their development goes. That's not to say that Russia can't develop good products - they can. But every time they make these product announcements it's like "The world will imminently fall at our feet due to the obvious revolutionary technological superiority of our latest offering!", when it's most often anything but.

Comment Re:Feeding the trolls (Score 0) 643

You have to be either a troll or a completely moronic fanboi to actually believe that statement.

Does Trump have any other kind of supporters? AFAICT there are only two kinds. The trolls are trolls. The fanbois are suffering from cognitive dissonance, specifically they have to think they're great because in their model anyone who isn't great is a turd. Trump makes them feel embiggened because he's just as much of an asshole as they are, and he could become president if we're not careful.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 2) 643

Aluminum was largely the key to the "missile gap" that developed between the US and USSR in ICBMs in the 1960s. Before that, ICBMs had been liquid-fueled, which presented storage, complexity and bulk problems (also prevented underwater launch on submarines). The US discovered that the addition of aluminum powder to solid rocket propellant mixes would simultaneously increase ISP, thrust, density, and burn stability, and moved immediately toward the development of a series of solid ICBMs; the Soviets were late to catch onto the significance of aluminum in propellant mixes, and fell over half a decade behind as a consequence.

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