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Comment Re:Can't blame NASA (Score 1) 158

Agreed. This report smells like sensationalized bullshit that makes light of what things really cost. The cost to essentially re-tool after decades out of the business of anything beyond low-earth orbit space travel has to be paid, and since NASA has to carry out the mission, they're the ones who first have to have everything in place. Measuring this against what contractors get is a head-fake; contractors should be specialists paid just for the piece of the puzzle required from them, so they should get paid less and later, after NASA has figured out to an excruciating degree of certainty what they need and how to get it done right so that contractors don't wind up making something useless.

Unless they had private industry do it. Then they wouldn't need to do all this stuff. It's worth noting that NASA actually did a study where they priced out how much a NASA contract for SpaceX's development of the Falcon 9 would cost. It turned out to be an order of magnitude greater than what SpaceX actually spent on development.

Besides, NASA is not for-profit like the private sector. Money doesn't disappear down a profit hole, CEO bonuses or golden parachutes.

Actually a lot of money does disappear exactly that way since NASA depends on private industry to actually build anything.

Unless there are examples of specific misappropriation

Like the existence of the Space Launch System? No reason for it aside from cash flow to the appropriate congressional districts. It has some of the most terrible economics since Titan III with a very low launch frequency and no compelling need for the capabilities it provides.

except only for pork mandated by Congress, because a congressman wants something sweet in his state or district. In THAT case, don't blame NASA, blame the Congressman (and the people who voted for him).

It's NASA's job to do NASA's job. They let this political rent seeking get way out of hand over the decades.

Comment those are taxiways (Score 1) 312

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:Can't blame NASA (Score 1) 158

Yep. Turns out NASA doesn't get to say "oops" as often as SpaceX does, which makes things more expensive.

NASA does a lot of stuff which makes things more expensive. In addition to their skewed risk perception, they also reuse the Space Shuttle lineage despite no compelling reason to do so (particularly, the solid rocket motors which generate a variety of costs and risks), employ cost plus contracts (which should be the exclusive realm of gouging law firms), and make some of the worst economic decisions in the federal government.

Comment Live Distros....find your desktop environment (Score 1) 490

Everyone has their opinions, I would suggest trying some out on your own using live distros (CD/DVD or USB drive). I have been using linux since 1998 at home, and it is great. Live distros are a beautiful thing.

You can boot into a fully running OS and try it out without installing it. It will also let you know if it is compatible with your hardware. It will run slower than if you installed it, but it will run and you can get the feel for it.

As you read through these comments, you'll see names of distros. All of them should have live versions you can try out.
Try them to see which desktop environment you like the best, that would be a good start. I use Mint XFCE. There is also Mint KDE, Mint Cinnamon, Mint Mate. Maybe others now too. Some distros, like Mint and Ubuntu have specific packaged versions with these desktop environments as the default. Others don't and you would hvae to install them and try them out. You can also have different desktop environments on the same machine and switch between them if you like once you install it.

For a beginner, I would say to stick with Ubuntu or Mint, which is based on Ubuntu. They have good guides/documentation, and large communities. You can also check out distrowatch.com, which shows the most popular in terms of downloads. I am sure there are some of the top ones I haven't tried yet.

That is the beauty of it - take some time and try them out.

Comment a question for you... (Score 1) 97

A serious question - what kind of phone do you have?

I have known one person who had a Windows phone. One. I don't know anyone anymore who has a blackberry. Well, my son does. It's my old one from work that I had 5 years ago, he uses it as a pretend phone. Everyone talks about physical keyboards, but I could do no better on that than I can on my Android phone.

I would actually love for there to be alternatives. And I think that is what we have with Android. Not alternative OS, but alternative providers. Who provides Windows phones? Who provides iPhones? See the difference? Now if Google takes Android fully into their castle, that is when alarms should sound.

Comment Re:Uhm... (Score 1) 538

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 Re:what's the next plan? (Score 1) 269

Half of Bangladesh being under water is a "first world cause"?

It's not that hard to move a hundred million people. The US, for example, does it every few years.

If anybody will survive catastrophic climate change it will be the "first world".

Come up with evidence first for this alleged "catastrophic" nature. You clearly haven't been reading actual research.

Plus, most of the "first world" is in a temperate climate zone which means it will be warmer, but livable, unlike say the tropics in such a scenario.

Most of the warming won't be in the tropics. And once again, if that really is a problem at some point in the distant future, then move the people. It's not that hard a problem.

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