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Comment Re:Sure (Score 2) 33

I'm not sure that I agree when you say it doesn't apply to all media.

First, when I own physical media I know that I'll have permanent access to the contents, within the scope of my player working and my display and sound system working. Given that I've got VHS and Laserdisc still functioning in the mix I don't think this is all that big of a problem. Online content providers, both properly licensed and unlicensed have shown themselves to be unreliable for a number of reasons. Sometimes a provider closes down. Sometimes a provider is closed down. Sometimes a provider thinks that they have the licensing worked out and it turns out they're wrong so the title is pulled. Sometimes the provider has only licensed the work for a limited duration, or has licensed the work when it's off-season (thinking of christmas specials that are not accessible during christmas except from the one excluslve provider but are available everywhere off-season). Rates change. Even with the attacks on net-neutrality, being able to access may change.

Second, people like to collect things. People like having sets. There's a certain satisfatction in it. Obviously not everyone has this penchant, but that's ok.

Third, going through the motions can be a means to determine if one really wants to watch something, or if one is just doing it as the path of least resistance. Personally I feel I watch too much TV and spend too much time on the Internet already, without having a streaming service and without having cable or other pay-TV. It makes it a lot easier to actually go do something else besides vegetate on the couch if I find myself not able to make a choice for what to watch.

If some of these aspects apply to comic books or graphic novels or manga or whatever you want to call them, then I can see why people want phyiscal media and why they want sets.

Comment Re:No, SLS Is Going to Be Moth-Balled (Score 1) 298

What may really bake your noodle is that they might not have had to latex the entire tank in order to protect it. They well might have been able to calculate the combination of ablative characteristics of the tank along with the speed of impact based on distance from the break-off point to the orbiter itself, such that they might have been able to get away with painting the nosecone and perhaps a parabolic-slice of the side of the tank facing the orbiter, such that pieces most likely to have a chance of damaging the orbiter were held down, while the side away from the orbiter wouldn't have had such protections.

Comment Re:No, SLS Is Going to Be Moth-Balled (Score 1) 298

In particular the issue with the o-rings stemmed from manufacturing the SRBs at Thiokol in Utah. The only practical means to ship said boosters was by rail. To ship them by rail ultimately meant designing components that could fit into the form-factor necessary to transport by rail.

The Saturn V rockets were manufactured in Louisiana, in New Orleans, so the large pieces could be barge-shipped to Florida in much larger segments than anything that had to be moved by rail. It was also the site where the Shuttle's external fuel tank was manufactured, for exactly the same reason.

If you look at a topographical map of the United States, you can see that Utah is about the least-suitable place, geographically, to try to manufacture and then transport something as large as the SRB. The entire state is within the Rocky Mountains and there are no navigable waterways out to an ocean or to flat lowland or plains. By contrast just about any state in the Great Plains, Coastal Plains, and the Central Lowlands possibly could've allowed for ground transport of the rockets even if it required new road or rail infrastructure simply because there are no mountains to contend with, and in the case of the Central Lowlands there's already a history of canal and lake barge shipping through the Great Lakes and out through the St. Lawrence River, in addition to alternative routes via the Missouri, Mississippi, and Ohio rivers.

I they hadn't chosen Thiokol, and if they hadn't opted to remove the latex to save all of six hundred pounds, it's possible that the Shuttle would still be flying with a perfect record.

Comment Re:Prove it! (Score 1) 877

My anecdotal experience has predominately been to witness sexism that's centered around when the guys get together without the gals around, and that in most cases it evaporates when there are women present, and it's almost always centered in social or off-hours situations. It's literally like the idiots revert to being thirteen and start openly speculating about sex acts that they're probably never going to get an opportunity to perform with women that they're never going to have any intimacy with without having any real-world knowledge of sex. What's kind of funny is witnessing the immediate-switch if a woman that could find issue comes into earshot, it's literally as dramatic as when the character in Office Space listening to the gangster rap on his commute is faced with a couple of potential bangers and he gets as meek as a mouse...

Most of the rest of the sexism has been older guys with no filter that say inappropriate things in front of coworkers regardless of the gender-mix, occasionally making it personal about a person present. Often this is in the context of the group enjoying a mild bit of prurient humor centered around double-entendre, only for this other person to come into the conversation and just destroy any sort of plausible deniability with outright escalation of the joke or the deliberate explicit statement instead of leaving the double-entendre intact.

I have no doubt that other forms of sexism exist in tech, but I have not personally witnessed anything as egregious as the article discusses.

Comment Re:No, SLS Is Going to Be Moth-Balled (Score 1) 298

I don't think that you're going to find a lot of argument about the cost problems associated with the Space Shuttle program, at least among those that actually think critically about the cost per pound, but bear in mind that if NASA had continued to pursue other launch platforms for the non-man-rated launch of materiel, and used the Shuttle more sparingly for when long-term crew accommodation was actually necessary we'd probably be having a different discussion.

If NASA had such an alternate heavy-launch method, they probably could have designed larger space station modules, could've launched more of them in groups, and sent up crews of astronauts, using the orbiter as crew quarters, to build the station in much shorter order. Instead of using the Shuttle to ferry parts smaller than the shuttle, they could have used it for what its name actually implied. They possibly could've even designed passenger accommodations for the cargo bay, if the space station itself had gotten large enough to be crewed by so many at a time, assuming that permanent emergency escape re-entry vehicles were left attached.

If the Shuttle hadn't been a bus misused as a tractor trailer needing all the weight-savings that could be achieved then they could've kept that latex coating over the main fuel tank and its insulation, such that the insulation wouldn't have been directly subjected to the forces that break it apart and that ultimately led to the destruction of Columbia.

Comment Re: Lots of Sunshine there (Score 1) 200

So you're saying that a partial solution is worse than having no solution?

As I see it, since people are most often awake and active during daylight hours, being able to operate enough base-load plants to meet nighttime needs coupled with solar to meet daytime needs would be a good way to transition the utility to provide the most efficiently and environmentally produced bulk generation while the consumer-end clean stuff satisfies the remainder.

Comment Re:Lots of Sunshine there (Score 5, Informative) 200

One of my uncles works on control systems and environmental systems for coal plants. He's had to travel to visit that plant several times. It's truly decrepit and the plant is dangerously lacking in written procedures. Some of that comes from being on Tribal land, so State of Arizona laws do not generally apply. If I remember right it's been a known cause of pollution affecting the Grand Canyon and other parks and monuments too.

That part of the Colorado Plateau is pretty sunny. It does snow from time to time but it's not the kind of climate where the snow just builds up all winter, so it probably would be practical to keep the panels snow-free.

Comment Re:They just don't care (Score 1) 118

Then the lawsuit settlement is too low.

I expect that insurance companies haven't yet truly figured out how to price the insurance they sell for this, and the long-term costs borne by the compromised companies haven't yet been truly realized yet.

If these costs shift back to the company that allowed the breach to happen then perhaps they'll start leaning on the vendors that they source their IT from, to get those vendors to start paying attention to security.

Comment Re:Vertical Video (Score 5, Insightful) 116

Facebook is running out of new users at their current intelligence level. In order to expand (which apparently is what modern business requires, it's not enough to simply remain the same) they have to figure out how to acquire more and more customers, which means lowering the bar further and further.

I still have to wonder how sound their business model is. Have they actually turned a profit yet?

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