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Comment those are taxiways (Score 1) 271

Look more closely at the diagram.

The dual-circles around the buildings are taxiways. (Notece that, in addition to being far narrower than an airplane and too close in, they're also not circular, but have a flattened area at the right side, making it more like a "D" than an "O".

The runways are the wide, straight, "roads", of which you see just a tiny chunk at the very boundary of the picture. They're essentially tangent to the taxiways - slightly out from them.

This is just a standard airport designs with straight runways.

Comment Re:It is in the nature of the business! (Score 1) 152

Yes, they stand on that mountain, but they are still building it!

All the more reason to question their overhead since this "mountain" was already climbed in 1969. You do realize there's almost nothing NASA is trying to do today that wasn't already done better, faster, and cheaper by the Apollo program, right?

Comment Re:Can't blame NASA (Score 1) 152

I wonder if Americans will ever figure out that privatization is a con job by oligarchs to get your money for themselves under the guise of efficiency.

I dunno. Americans still haven't figured out government programs are a con job by politicians to get our money for themselves under the guise of efficacy. "Hey Taxpayer! You're too stupid to know what to do with your own money so we will take it from you and spend it in ways we think are best for you! Don't object! It's for your own good!"

This is why I'm a Libertarian.

Comment Re: Can't blame NASA (Score 2) 152

Welcome to Trumponian politics.

You know, I seem to recall there might've been a different guy in the White House for the last eight years who oversaw the ridiculous F-35 program and did...well, nothing. Gosh, what was his name? O-something? But who cares, right? Since he was a Democrat he can do no wrong, and since Trump is a Republican he must be blamed for everything, including things he had nothing to do with.

Comment Re:But but but! (Score 1) 228

And you don't think some other nations might have a problem with that?

You say that as if we didn't have enough nuclear weapons already to wipe out nearly any nation on the planet without fear of counterattack. Why should we give a damn about what other nations think about a mass driver? If we wanted to be a serious threat to them it's not like they could do anything about it NOW so a mass driver wouldn't alter anything.

Submission + - What to do with the ISS? (popsci.com)

prisoner-of-enigma writes: As funding for the ISS runs out in 2024, what should be done with the ISS? It's only in the last few years the final modules were put into place. Seems a shame to just abandon billions of dollars worth of already-orbitting hardware. If NASA plans on just letting it burn up, why not offer it up for bidding to private industry instead?

Comment Re:Uhm... (Score 1) 534

Documents 6 bankruptcies, and 13 businesses that closed up shop - at the very least suggests he doesn't know what he's doing.

Business has something in common with war and engineering:
  1 You try a bunch of stuff that looks like it might work.
  2 Some of it works, some of it doesn't.
  3a. You stop doing (and wasting resources on) what doesn't work
  3b, and continue doing more of what does (transferring any remaining resources from the abandoned paths.)
  4. PROFIT!

In business, step 3a is called "a large business environment, major projects are done in separate subsidiary corporations. This uses the "corporate veil" as a firewall, to keep the failed attempts from reaching back and sucking up more resources from what's succeeding. Dropping a failed experiment in step 3a (when it's failed so badly that there's nothing left to salvage in a different attempt's 3b) is called "bankruptcy". It lets you stop throwing good money after bad and move on.

So bankruptcy is NOT necessarily a sign of weakness, stupidity, or lack of business acumen. On the contrary: It shows the decision-maker was smart enough to spend a bit extra to erect the firewall between the bulk of his holdings and the iffy project.

So a successful large-business-empire-operator who is also innovative will usually have a number of bankruptcies in his history. It's no big deal, anyone in business at or near that level knows it, and took it into account if they risked some of their resources in someone else's experiment that failed in the hope of profit if it succeeded.

Also: Someone starting out may have to few resources to run many experiments simultaneously. (Or even a big guy may be reduced to a little guy by too many failures - not necessarily his fault.) So he has to try serially, doing only one or a few at a time. This may mean total bankruptcy, even multiple times, before coming up with something that does work. Lots of successful businessmen went through total bankruptcy, sometimes several times, before hitting it big.

Comment And now maybe we'll know why ... (Score 5, Interesting) 113

And now maybee we'll know why it's been so hard for Open Source developers to get information on writing their own against-the-metal drivers for telephony radios and startup modules (BIOS, EFI/UEFI, etc.)

It has long been suspected that was not just proprietary info-walling, but to reduce chances of discovery of backdoors and persistent threats imposed in the name of spying.

Comment Pity, since I can't accept the EULA (Score 1) 147

Google's Chrome browser, on the other hand, remained unhackable during the contest.

Unfortunately for me, I can't accept Chrome's EULA.

It incorporates Adobe's, which (if I recall correctly from my AT&T Android-based smartphone) has several clauses I can't abide - including a never-compete, don't block updates, don't work on circumvention tools, we can change the license without notice, ...

I don't intend to do anything that might come back to limit my future software work or employability. Clicking through such a license (even if every bit of it is struck down by the courts - which I'm not holding my breath expecting), especially on a device that "phones home" in a way that is easily identified with my true name, is an invitation for an all-versus-one gladiatorial match with two multibillion-dollar corporations' legal departments.

Comment GitHub is in California (Score 1) 75

I struggle a bit to understand why this isn't a bigger issue. ... I wonder why some politician hasn't attempted to differentiate themselves by even mentioning the stifling effect on innovation [company-owns-all-your-inventions] policies impose.

Because it's already been adressed, long ago.

GitHub is in San Francisco, which is in California and governed by California labor law.

California labor law says that (paraphrasing from memory):
  - As a compelling state interest
  - overriding anything in the employee agreement
  - if an employee invents something
  - while not on company time or using company resources
  - and that invention is not in the company's current or immediately foreseeable business
  - then the invention belongs to the employee
  - (and the employment agreement must include a copy of this information as an appendix.)

(IMHO that law is THE reason for the explosive growth and innovation in Silicon Valley and why other states have been unable to clone it. Invent something that your current company won't use, get together with a couple friends, maybe get some "angel funding", rent the office across the street, and go into business with your new shiny thing. So companies bud off new companies like yeast. And innovators collect where they can become the inventor, the "couple of friends", or the early hires, creating a pool of the necessary talent to convert inventions into companies when they happen.)

What GitHub has apparently done is say to the employees:
"For the purposes of us claiming your IP, your lunch time and breaks are your time, even on company property, and your use of our computers and disk storage for things like compiles, storing code, and web research in aid of your project, does not count as 'using company resources'."

In other states, and other companies even within CA, that might be a big deal. For a company in CA, whose whole business model is providing archives for other people's software projects - and giving it away free to small groups, while charging large groups (or small groups that grow into large groups), it's not a big deal, and right IN their business model.

Submission + - SPAM: Camada: mafia charges stayed after using Stingray

Pig Hogger writes: Canadian prosecutors have decided to stay charges against 36 mafiosi, after defence laywers challenged evidence obtained through the use of Stingray devices. (Stingray are highly secretive and controversial devices mimic a legitimate cell phone tower in order to intercept communications from nearby cell phones).
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