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Comment Re:argh, you dumb fucks (Score 1) 149

I'm glad I'm not the only one saying it.

Musk himself isn't NASA bashing; he is extremely grateful for their assistance. Its all the SpaceX fanboys who are the problem, trying to make Falcon 9 out as the harbinger of a libertarian conquest of space. It isn't, its just a well designed rocket which the US government isn't paying massively over the odds for.

Comment Re:good call (Score 1) 149

It is actually a successful abort test (albeit an unscheduled one!) Now, SpaceX knows that they can shut down the engines half a second before liftoff with no problems at all.

An engine lost on launch would've prevented the payload reaching the ISS. Aborting the launch unquestionably saved this mission (although it may yet be unsuccessful.

I admit, I've been skeptical of 'private' spaceflight, both because of the libertarian ideological bleating that seems to always be associated with it (posing a risk to gov. investment in space) and the fact that, with NASA still holding the hands of everyone, it isn't truly private. Nonetheless, today is a complete success for SpaceX. They had a problem, they dealt with it well.

Comment Re:Score 1 moe for the government. (Score 1) 307

SpaceX was only able to do this because the US had spent all the money doing the groundwork for them, and even then NASA held their hands quite a bit. Elon Musk himself admits this.

Even if NASA is inefficient, that doesn't prove the thesis at all. Russian (or more pertinently, Soviet) rockets are cheap and reliable.

Comment Re:The future will be printed, not forged. (Score 2) 307

I'm sorry, but I can't see any evidence that what these machines can do can be replicated by additive processes.

Yes, additive manufacture is great, but it isn't a universal construction technique. Don't forget please, that the last country that thought you could just dump heavy industry and replace it with small scale operations didn't do very well.

Comment Sheffield Forgemasters (Score 4, Interesting) 307

The UK company is mentioned as being build up with cheap government loans, which is a half truth.

Yes, they are getting cheap loans, but only begrudgingly and only after the government had canceled a much larger loan, aimed at letting them produce "ultra large" forgings that few other places in the world can manage, mostly for the nuclear industry:

But of course, we have to spend billions turning London into a bland commercial fortress for the Olympics. This is not that surprising; money that is meant to be spend on a national level has a nasty habit of being spent within a few miles of London.

But hey, I'm sure the Coalition know what they are doing. I'm sure putting missile launchers of peoples roofs and forbidding British beer brewers from selling stuff in many of the capitals pubs is a far more sensible economic investment than developing world class forging capabilities.

Comment Re:Score 1 moe for the government. (Score 4, Insightful) 307

Well, yes, this is something that government clearly does best. Big, chunky investments whose returns are nebulous and decades after the initial outlay.

I don't mind that much that private enterprise then builds on government work afterwards, but what pisses me right off is when private companies then decide they owe nothing to the society that hosts them, avoid taxes, and campaign for reductions in the ones they do pay.

This, of course, has the advantage for established private enterprise of kicking away the ladder of government R&D and infrastructure investment so no pesky competitors can get the same leg up.

Comment Re:It's already gone (Score 3, Insightful) 153

Notice how all American posters think that ITV is just going to be rolled over by Apple simply because it is a UK company they haven't heard of. ITV have a long history trading under that name, are still one of the main content providers.

The UK is a large enough market, that Apple would not want a pointless legal fight just to take over a name that would, for most British people, sound odd associated with an Apple product. Especially seeing as "Apple TV" is already established as a thing.

Comment Re:Attention, screeching children (Score 1) 319

You correctly point out the Telegraph is a UK publication, but utterly fail to understand the politics in more detail. There is a deep divide in the UK media as to our place in the world. Should we be closer to our European neighbours, or should we be closer to the US? Take a wild guess which side of this debate the Telegraph falls on. Strongly.

The paper despises the EU, and doesn't think much of the French. They are quite well motivated to take shots at Airbus (and Air France) even without any kickbacks from Boeing.

To me, the article does seem to stink of opportunistic frog-bashing. The accident was indeed complex, and Airbus are going to have to do some thinking about the cockpit design (and Air France do some very hard thinking about how they train crews) - but that does not excuse the bias on display.

Comment Re:Fly by wire.... (Score 1) 319

That first picture does show that each seat requires a different hand to work the joystick. It also shows how prominent the ADI is for each seat, and raises the question - why didn't the guy who wasn't pulling back even look at his?

I have never flown a plane, but I have a rough understanding of how one is kept flying. Any information the pilots could've gained through joystick feedback could surely have been gained simply be looking at the pilots instruments, as they are supposed to do, constantly.

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