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Can Commercial Space Tech Get Off the Ground? 133

coondoggie writes "While NASA's commercial partners such as SpaceX and Orbital have made steady progress in developing space cargo transportation technology, they have recently fallen behind their development schedules. Combine that with the fact that the most critical steps lie ahead, including successfully launching new vehicles and completing integration with the space station, and you have a hole that will be tough to climb out of. Those were the two main conclusions of a Government Accountability Office report (PDF) on the status of the commercial space world this week. The GAO went on to say that after the planned retirement of the space shuttle in 2010, NASA will face a cargo resupply shortfall for the International Space Station of approximately 40 metric tons between 2010 and 2015." Speaking of SpaceX, reader Matt_dk sends along an update on the company's Falcon 9 flight efforts. "Six of the nine first stage flight engines have completed acceptance testing and all nine flight engines are on schedule to complete acceptance testing by mid-July."

Anonymous Newspaper Commenters Subpoenaed In Tax Case 394

skuzzlebutt writes "In a federal tax case reported in the Las Vegas Review Journal last week, a local businessman has been paying his employees in gold coins instead of cash or ACH, and has reportedly told them that they can only be taxed on the face value of the coinage — not the much higher market value of the metal. The United States disagreed, and brought him up on 57 counts of income tax evasion, tax fraud and criminal conspiracy. The non-authenticated comments section of the original article brought a lot of supporters out of the woodwork, including a few who thought the jury should be hung (literally, procedurally, or figuratively ... pick one). In response, the prosecution has subpoenaed the names of the anonymous commenters, citing fears of jury safety. Or something. The obvious questions of privacy and protected speech aside, for the folks that support the defendant (the newspaper is fighting the subpoena), this also brings back into the spotlight the troll-empowering nature of pseudo-anonymous, non-authenticated boards. If they want to find you, they will; is anonymous commenting still worth it, or is it just too risky for the board owners?"

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