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Comment Re:so the European Comission admits it? (Score 1) 149

So, low taxes attract jobs after all? And the European Commission admits it?

ReRTFA & its quite clear that the motivation in quote you're referring to ("motivated by employment considerations") is assigned to Irish Tax Officials and not to the European Commission. They're not admitting a thing.

Note: I have no pony in this race & have no opinion on whether tax breaks create jobs or not. But your referenced quote is not the smoking gun you make it out to be.

Comment Re:Sixty Years Ago... (Score 1) 51

Well if you remember the X-33 debacle, or the Boeing 787 debacle, composites aren't always the best idea. It's a lot easier to repair Al-Li than composites which is important for a reusable vehicle. Also AFAIK you need a large oven to cure the composites or an autoclave. I wouldn't be surprised if it took a lot longer to manufacture a composite structure which has an impact on production capacity and cost per unit. Al-Li might seem trivial now but a couple of decades back when NASA was doing the DC-XA they had to source a Al-Li propellant tank from Russia. Fact is Al-Li did not enter common usage in aerospace that long ago.

Composites are not a requirement for an SSTO. You need lightweight structures but composites are not necessarily the best way to do it. I have seen all sorts of proposals on how to get to the required weight fractions but without actual hardware flying its hard to be sure what's better. I am not even sure an SSTO is that necessary to begin with as long as the second stage is simple and cheap enough to be discarded.

Skylon has too many unknown factors in it. I think the engine itself has interesting ideas but that it's a bad match for an SSTO. The LAPCAT proposal they made for an HST with the SCIMITAR engine makes more sense.

Comment Re:Oh boy. Another scam. (Score 3, Insightful) 70

1) The USA can just say "Give me that guy". And have his head handed over on a plate.

If he's handed over it will be after years of extradition proceedings, involving significant due process, which is the exact opposite of how you characterize it.

2) The nation of which you are national will not lift a finger to help you.

See above.

3) That a stupid copyright issue is the reason for all this. In this case.

He didn't burn a CD for his mom. He ran a huge organization with billions of visitors and tens of millions of dollars, with most of that coming from sharing copyrighted materials.

4) That and more means there is no place on Earth safe from the corporate greed propagated by the USA.

Yes, America invented greed. And copyright law.

Comment Re: They're not capable of mind control... (Score 1) 145

There were two main reasons. One was that Osama bin Laden was in Afghanistan. The other was that a large amount of the perpetrators of 9/11 had been in Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.

As for how they found the perpetrators so quickly isn't particularly hard. They checked the passenger lists and Al-Qaeda had bombed the World Trade Center before so it wasn't much of a stretch to assume they were doing it again. So basically all they had to do was check for possible links to Al-Qaeda. Basically anyone who had traveled in the past either to Afghanistan or to a country bordering Afghanistan (where Al-Qaeda had training camps) was suspect.

Comment Re:Thought we'd have colonies on Mars by 1981 (Score 1) 61

PS: a manned lunar landing mission could be done with a simultaneous launch of two rockets (can't remember if you need two Falcon 9 Heavies or you can do it with a Falcon 9 Heavy and a regular Falcon 9). This should be possible once SpaceX has their Texas launch site operating in addition to their existing Cape Canaveral launch site. The cost of the rockets for the launch could be quite small if SpaceX reused the lower stages from prior launches.

ULA could also pull it off in theory if they wanted to. The original EELV designs included the Delta 4 Heavy and Atlas 5 Heavy configurations which should have enough payload capacity as well. They would need to modify the launch sites for manned launches and re-certify their launchers for manned missions. But the Atlas 5 is supposed to launch the Boeing capsule for NASA in a couple of years anyway.

Comment Re:Thought we'd have colonies on Mars by 1981 (Score 1) 61

AFAIK a Falcon 9 Heavy rocket can do a manned orbital lunar mission in a single launch. The Russians could do it with the Proton rocket (Zond program), with technology available in the 1960s, and the Falcon 9 Heavy has more launch capacity than the Proton. The first Falcon 9 Heavy rocket should launch this year or next.

Developing the lander is easy. SpaceX already designed the SuperDracos for the Dragon V2 capsule. First launch for the capsule supposed to happen next year. The transfer vehicle doesn't sound particularly hard to design either if you start with the Falcon 9 Heavy upper stage and the Dragon V2 capsule.

Comment Re:How does this compare to 3d-xpoint stuff? (Score 1) 145

Fact is Intel/Micron and Toshiba were years behind Samsung on 3D-NAND technology. The 3D Xpoint press release smelled a lot like vaporware when I heard about it. Intel and the industry has been working on PCM for decades. Remember Ovonyx? Intel announced a large investment in it around the time the *Pentium 4* came out and it was old even then... The industry has been working on PCM since the 1960s-1970s.

Intel/Micron and Toshiba are manufacturing 3D-NAND this year so there should be a price drop soon as competition heats up. As for 3D Xpoint when (if?) it does get to the market it will have much lower density than NAND. Intel supposedly is aiming for a memory with capacity/speed characteristics between DRAM and NAND Flash. Seems kind of like a niche product to me. Remember the press releases claiming MRAM would replace everything?

Comment Re:eh (Score 1) 315

I don't think it is; the article doesn't say kernel, and ends with "Do you use any Linux-based operating system? Share your experience with it. What changes would you want to see in it in the next five years?" I mean inviting criticism of the kernel wouldn't really be productive I think, unless you are a kernel hacker yourself or a developer or sysadmin who has an issue with some technical aspect of the kernel that affects your work.

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