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Comment Re:How can this be competitive? (Score 1) 121

Musk does have a bit of a habit of announcing Sci-Fi projects in grand strokes but never actually explaining how he's going to fix the problems that plagued earlier attempts.

The relaunchable rockets are the probably most realistic goal he's currently trying to achieve and that still hasn't worked out - the only rocket they've actually attempted to launch a second time blew up. And this after NASA had been doing the relaunching space transport thing for decades, and had to come to the conclusion that even if the Space Shuttle technically worked, it was probably more expensive than using regular discardable rockets would've been.

Now he's also trying to build a supersonic train, quadruple the number of satellites currently in space in five years, start up asteroid mining, and then colonize Mars?

Comment How can this be competitive? (Score 3, Interesting) 121

2/3rds of the satellites will always be over water and have their bandwidth utterly wasted. A significant part of the rest will be over areas where almost nobody lives, or nobody can afford to pay for internet with hard currency. Meanwhile all 400m Europeans that live in the populated 5m square kilometers have to use the same 20 to 100 satellites.

Because the satellites are not geostationary they'll need to use omnidirectional antennae which puts some hard limits on bandwidth, while a lot of people will get FTTH and 5G mobile networks in the next decade.

Iridium can get away with these shortcomings because they target the customers that doesn't care about prices. But I kind of doubt that market can support 4000 satellites

Comment The problem with this (Score 1) 314

Only 1% of the population commits crimes. In statistics you have to pay special attention to cases where probabilities are close to 0 or 1.

Here, even though 18% of the population may commit 40% of the crimes, it still only means that one of those people has a 2.2% chance (0.4% divided by 0.18) of being a criminal. If you therefore deny him a service due to fear of him being a criminal, you are still 97.8% likely to have commited an error.

Comment Re:Like the Jewish assets during WW2? (Score 2) 103

Swiss misbehaviour regarding Jews during WW2 consisted of:
- Accepting confiscated jewish assets (art, jewelry) in payment for goods even when the government had been informed that "legal" proceedings leading to those forfeitures didn't even have a semblance of fairness.
- Liquidating jewish bank accounts whose owners did not contact the bank anymore after the war without taking even very reasonable measures of trying to reach any heirs.

There are some common other urban legends going around like the Swiss handing over assets to the Nazis, Jews being transported through Switzerland, Switzerland accepting gold tooth fillings etc that are all fantasy.

Comment Re:In other words... (Score 5, Insightful) 142

It'd still be quite interesting to have a look at that missile. Even really basic things like hinges and reinforcement hull struts might give you ideas how to improve other missiles.

Not that they necessarily are better but being able to look at how other people solved problems and compare them with your own solution has always been one of my favorite ways to gain knowledge.

Comment Re:Jeunism (Score 1) 401

By the way it's not necessary to be able to see a USB A plug or cable to be able to orient it correctly. On a device, they are always oriented top up, with the hollow (for a regular size) or wide (for a micro) side pointing towards the keyboard. On the cable, there is usually an embossed USB symbol on the side of the cable that's "up".

Comment Re:Wny did they need the certificates? (Score 2) 95

There are reasons for creating fake certificates, like when you want to sniff your own HTTPS traffic to aid with web debugging. But what Symantec never should've done is use their proper CA for that. They should've used an internal CA that their own computers trust but nobody outside knows about, like any company does that can't just walk across the office and get a "real" certificate from Frank.

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