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Comment Re:No Gut no Glory (Score 1) 67

The cost of a failure should scale proportionally to the size of their market because it means a standstill in launches, the same reputation hit, etc

Scaling up means having multiple launchpads, so a disaster would slow down the launch pipeline rather than halt it completely. Also scaling up means getting their insurance right, so that a lost rocket "only" costs as much as the rocket itself. Still no fun to lose, but unlikely $2.5B, and maybe not even this time's $250M.

Comment Re:haha - Russian government is so ignorant (Score 1) 44

They are nowhere near stupid.

They don't want to reliably deny Russian citizens access to some specific sites (why would a sane government ever want that?).

They want to be able to quickly suppress any protest rally on the internet when the hour comes (if it comes at all). To achieve that, they don't need to patch all the holes; it's enough to know where holes are. Should the hour come, all sites used for hosting protestant communication will be shut down "due to technical reasons" (if not completely legally by that time - new legislation is being passed all the time) and all proxy IPs will be banned on ISP level.

This means that one needs to block sites which few technically savvy people need badly, but which are not crucial to the general public. Such tactic reveals proxy/vpn endpoints and other evasion methods without causing an uproar. Which they did twice to github (re-allowing it back both times), and which they seem to be doing to linkedin now.

Comment "Just" put "some" servers in Russia (Score 1) 44

How is this law impossible to comply with? Put some servers in Russia. That's it.

It's not that easy in practice. For instance, one can run a fairly big site on MySQL, but if there's requirement to put part of the storage in a specific place, the choice is limited:

1. Rewrite the software to handle distributed database;
2. Run a totally separate entity in Russia (same logo, same software and nothing much else in common);
3. Move ALL data storage to Russia.

In theory, a common database with master-master replication is possible, but that's not actually compliant with the law because Russian citizens' data gets stored abroad in the end.

For giants like Google and Facebook who already use distributed custom databases that's peanuts. For a (say) low-cost airline, not so much.

Comment Not a big deal (Score 1) 44

There are and (which effectively mirrors linkedin's functionality) for those looking for a job in Russia. I bet there's a party at both offices! (Well, given the time difference, they should be already drunk).

However, the trend is disturbing. Roskomnazgul is taking on larger and larger targets. If they get an uproar, they fall back immediately (like with github and wikipedia). If there's no uproar, they move on. One bit at a time.

Comment Saving the world halfway through doesn't count (Score 1) 167

I wouldn't be so skeptical. Things like this happen (happened to me, too). However, the "interns saving the world" cry wolves far too often, while lacking the confidence or knowledge to break the news straight to the right people (the devs in GP's case). And as one gets older, it's easier to remember the times when you were right :)

Comment Could be done by a single person in theory (Score 1) 182

A corporate sabotage version is unbelievable. What if it comes out? Why do it from their own building?.. Won't believe it until an official admits in court they did it, and would doubt even then.

However, what about an employee going postal and acting on their own, out of envy, hatred, or fear of being laid off? It looks like it's possible to buy a suitable rifle in USA (I'm not a resident), so if only they could bring it to the building... And a ULA employee *should* be able to know when to shoot, and what happens if LOX equipment is hit.

That said, the chance is still beyond slim. On the other hand, making unsound sabotage accusations in this circumstances would be a PR suicide. SpaceX better have rock solid evidence if they do.

Comment Reuse effect on cost (Score 2) 150

I'm not sure I get it right, but here's my impression.

One-time rockets impose tight conditions on all parts' lifespans and quality: they must live through the launch with five nines reliability, yet making them last any longer is a waste of resources. Putting backups is a waste as well.

The reuse, on the other hand, means that (1) long lasting parts are not a waste and (2) backups are not a waste. This means that longer lasting, less reliable parts (i.e. closer to civil manufacturing, think commercial aircraft) can be used which in turn means much simpler production and QA. And *that* will drive the price tag down (eventually), not saving half the mission cost at half the mission cost.

*If* my assumptions are correct, *then* we're going to see a slight increase in engines number/power, and a series of successful launches/landings *despite* failing engines.

Comment East in space (Score 1) 107

It's not that hard. In a gravity-dominated, rotating frame of reference, one always has two special directions, namely the rotation axis (north-south) and direction towards the mass centre (up-down). The east-west axis for given point (unless these two are the same, which only happens at the poles) can be defined as a direction perpendicular to both, with east heading forward relative to rotation speed.

Earth's orbit, Solar system, and Milky way are all such systems. And there's little chance they get beyond Milky way soon.

Comment Re:Save WinKey, kill Insert (Score 1) 806

I use the middle mouse button, since I'm a Linux (and therefore X Window) user.

As for the ins key... Ok. I was too hard, it's a mere key after all.

Let it live, just change the behaviour: Ins copies, Shift+Ins pastes, and Ctrl+Ins switches insert/overwrite more.

This way it's harder to destroy data by accidentally hitting a tiny key residing right between Home, Delete and Backspace.

Comment Save WinKey, kill Insert (Score 3, Interesting) 806

Winkey is very useful.

I have a ton of tiny shell scripts invoked by Win + $key (via xbindkeys):

"Grey+" / "Grey -" -- volume control
G -- google current selection (see xclip (1))
W -- search Wikipedia (or Russian wikipedia with shift)
A -- open terminal
K -- invoke xkill (1)
L -- lock screen
and some more

On the other hand, the invenror of the Insert key deserves a mousetrap being put right under the light switch in their room.

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