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Comment Re:Poor on $100k? Sure (Score 1) 563

Don't forget the progressive income tax.
Cost of living may be higher but he is wealthy in terms of the tax man. So take 4K every month for federal state and local tax. Leaving him 3k a month. So he is being responsible only putting 1/2 of his salary into mortgage. But with 3k per month with other inflated prices. He can get by but why with working for the money where you can move to a different area get paid less and have more spending money.

Comment Re:Poor on $100k? Sure (Score 1) 563

I don't think poor is the correct term. I think the less politically correct term living below their class is more apt.
At 160k 3k a month should afford a good 4 bedroom house over 2000 square feet, with some land.
But he is living in a starter home from with a professional salary that people in other areas would dream of.

Comment Re: Bloggers (Score 1) 317

What product?

From my perspective they provide a service. A service that basically has been provided for decades in cars painted-up in various livery, with the principal caveat that they undercut the price of existing players in that service.

Now it looks like they've taken their venture capitalists' money to personally profit without delivering something with any chance of profitability, and they did worse, they dragged their employees down through a company-store model to do it. For the short-term the customers benefit, for the medium-term the management who've no-doubt given themselves extra compensation benefit, but the actual owners and the employees get screwed.

Comment Re:and so the cycle continues. (Score 1) 85

That's never going to happen. If you look at bans, you simply end up with black markets that experience varying degrees of violence. By contrast, taxing a product is a way to take an inexpensive product and compel a change in its use. You take that inexpensive product and turn it into an expensive one and generally people will reduce their use of that product even if only to keep the outlay the same.

The three most obvious cases are alcohol with the history of Prohibition, the modern fight against drugs that are defined as controlled substances, and the history of tobacco and cigarettes in particular. The first two were/are abject failures. To stop the violence alcohol had to be re-legalized, and many states are pushing against the illegality of many drugs. Cigarettes by contrast are merely expensive, expensive enough that many people have stopped smoking them even though they remain legal to those old enough.

Comment Re:18:9 (Score 1) 79

Because bigger numbers are better! Only a loser will use a 2:1 screen. Real men? they have a 10,000,000:5,000,000 ratio screen!
and it has a 330,000 uAh battery! DEAR GOD ITS HUGE! MOAR POWER!

And all you thinkers can STFU! stop your freedom hating education and knowlege from getting in the way of FREEDOM!

Comment Re:...and lunges at you (Score 2) 53

I can just imagine some rogue programmer installing the following on it:

1) As big of a battery pack as it can carry as "payload", strapped to its back.
2) Facial recognition software that measures the number of and distance to any people recorded by its camera
3) Modern neural net, trained by being rewarded when the actions it takes lead to 1) it approaching other people, and 2) people fleeing from it.

' ... and then setting it loose in the streets.

Comment Re:we can't even be bothered to get that right.... (Score 2) 127

Another option apart from orbit is going to L2 and back, if they want to basically "hover" with the moon blocking the Earth, right on the cusp of drifting away from the Earth-Moon system and into a free orbit around the sun. They'd be the first people ever to go there. It's 3.5km/s outbound, 0.6km/s back. Or if they want a long-duration stay (~100d) they can get back by the interplay of the Sun-Earth-Moon system for only 0.1 km/s (in the process going way far away from Earth).. There's probably some such returns with intermediary dV and durations as well.

But obviously a free return trajectory is the lowest energy. If I recall correctly Apollo's burn was ~3.2 km/s

Comment Re:Lottery? (Score 1) 127

Is there a legal reason SpaceX can't have a lottery for tickets? Seems like a good way to fund these types of things.

Well what do you do if you don't sell all the lottery tickets, is the lottery stuck? Normally the prize pool is relative to the total paid in, but either you get a seat or you don't. Also you might end up with people that for medical or mental reasons shouldn't be trapped in a tiny little space capsule for a week with no chance of assistance, sure you can disqualify them in the terms and conditions but the whole "my number came up, but I was refused" bit would be negative PR. And it's just one lucky winner, in a regular lottery people like to win a little now and then while they hope for the jackpot. The rest will really be trinkets by comparison.

And I think this is still just a joyride, not a life changer. You take a fling around the moon and then you're right back to where you were, sure it's for space nerds but hardly the mass market appeal an ordinary lottery has. I think it would be totally different if it were say a ticket to Mars. That's the kind of thing you could probably make a living off afterwards, just from selling interviews and speaking engagements and such. Then again you'd probably want to be more selective in the selection process so... I mean it would be cool, but I understand why SpaceX wouldn't do it. And it's easy to get their lottery confused with (semi-?)scams like Mars One.

Comment Re:Onward to Venus [Re:Moon- not perfect, but has. (Score 1) 324

That's an old graphic, but yes, we have an excellent artist aboard. Of course, they mostly want to go for what looks the most aesthetically pleasing, while I'm always niggling on the technical details ;) The conversations usually go like,

"But.... you can't have people living there, the ballonets are going to expand into that when they launch the ascent stage... either the ballonets are going to dramatically expand or the habitat is going to dramatically collapse, take your pick. And if you store the ascent stage that close, it's going to destroy the whole habitat if there's a mishap while it's fueled. And how can I possibly fit all of that floor area into the fairing? Plus I don't see any scrubber for ISRU... it's going to need to be big, I'm struggling to get the absorption figures to work for sufficient resource collection with a 4.2 meter prop....." ;) But really, so long as their final graphics don't end up with a giant pirate flag or anything like that, I'm sure we can deal with a bit of "artistic license" :)...

Oh wait a minute, I just noticed your username. Geoffrey.landis? As in, the Geoffrey Landis? Oh wow, hey, we should chat some time. ;) (bare minimum, I at least need to ask for permission to reproduce some figures from a few of your papers). If you get a chance, definitely drop me a line at mQeme@eaQku.neQt (remove Qs to despammify). I actually just dropped by Slashdot as a break in the middle of working on some graphics illustrating non-Hohmann transfer times vs. delta-V between Earth, Mars and Venus, demonstrating the advantage Venus has due to the Oberth effect ;)

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