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Comment Re:That came in at a pretty steep angle (Score 5, Interesting) 206

There are two reasons that I've seen.

Because the rocket is almost out of fuel, even burning only one engine at minimum throttle, the thrust to weight ratio is more than one (ie, the rocket would fly, not land). So, they can't hover, they have to hit the ship and shut the engine off at the exact moment that the velocity is zero (or very close to it). So, to help with that problem, they come in at an angle which helps consume at least some of the thrust in a direction that isn't upward.

The second reason is, as you say, to protect the landing platform. If they run out of fuel (or the engine fails or....), the stage just drops into the ocean rather than crashing into the barge at a very high speed. That said, based on their last several failed landing attempts, that barge can take quite a hit and stay in one piece....

Comment Re:Wrong Math ? (Score 1) 100

Yeah, I think their math is off as well. My wife and I have the camera that they seem to have used (a Canon 70D - you can see it in some of their "Making Of" shots) and it shoots full-res RAW files in the 25MB to 35MB range. Even if you turn on RAW+JPEG mode, that's at most ~40MB/image. So I'm not clear on how they ended up with that much data unless it's, like, 20 shots per location and 70,000 locations? But then why say 70,000 images?

Comment Re:Action vs. inaction (Score 1) 307

I have a choice of which computer and handset I choose to buy and (on the computer) what OS to run. I have two choices in ISP's, or I can move where I *might* have two different choices in ISP's (or not). Moving is a pretty high bar to clear. Buying another handset or changing OS's (or even buying a second handset or computer) because whatever application I want isn't available on the platform I have is a much lower bar.

The problem is that we have chosen to not allow everyone and their brother to dig up the street to lay new cable or string new cable on overhead wires. There are good reasons for that. That, however, means that the so called "last mile" delivery, at least to residential areas, is always going to be a place where competition is artificially limited. So, at that point, you either take the cable-TV route and just let the monopoly abuse its customer base with no innovation for *years* or you need some government regulation to get more competition. Neutrality is one form of that regulation. Personally, I think that without it, the Internet as we know it will cease to exist and turn, instead, into content channels that are available like cable-TV channels on whatever ISP you happen to be attached to. That will severely restrict new websites from being created. Maybe that view is too pessimistic. Another option (or an additional option on top of neutrality) is to have the public "own" (or at least have a strong interest in the operation of) the last-mile network, kind of like the public owns the roads, and force the actual owner of the cable to allow multiple ISPs to exist on the cable (that could also take the form of prohibiting a single company from operating both a last-mile infrastructure and offering public Internet access, or several other similar forms, or it could just mandate that the lines must be leased to anyone who can pay to play).

I'd love to hear another set of options that can be plausibly implemented that would encourage competition in content creation and content delivery that doesn't a) require government regulation (remember, prohibiting exclusive contracts for last-mile service is, itself, a government regulation against an otherwise legal contract) and b) doesn't involve an unwieldy tangle of wires above and/or below every street.

Comment Re:parachute (Score 2) 248

One of the biggest reasons is that, in the location this is happening, parachutes means "lands in the ocean" which implies that your rocket is going to get bathed in salt water, probably engines first. I'm sure you could design some sort of a deployable cover to cover the engines (although they're have to be vented of fuel and cooled first) that would prevent salt water from entering, but I doubt that would be less complex than this scheme and it would almost certainly be heavier.

Finally, remember that one of Elon Musk's long term goals is to land on Mars (whether he will actually achieve that, I have no idea, but he's heading in the right direction) and for that, parachutes won't work. So, this whole thing is really an R&D program. Even if they "only" recover 50% of the spent stages, that's a lot of "cost of goods sold" to cut out.....

Comment Re:Man, am I old ... (Score 1) 173

I didn't say never look at them, I said never remove the extra photos from your Lightroom catalog, find the files on disk, delete them, and hope you didn't accidentally delete IMG_8192.JPG instead of IMG_8191.JPG. And yes, it *is* easier to just store them than to do that. If hard drive sizes stop increasing, or the photo cataloging software gets better, that may change. In the mean time, the disk space is cheaper and easier than the time to deal with it.

Comment Re:Man, am I old ... (Score 1) 173

It really depends on why you're taking the pictures. If you are just trying to have the memory, then yeah, you don't need 15 pictures in sports mode. But if you're trying to do something artistic then that's how you do it. And while you *can* sift through and delete all the ones that aren't the best, it's a lot easier to *not* have to do that and just store 'em. How much is your time worth vs. $250 for an 8 TB hard drive that can store, probably, all the pictures we'll take in the next 15 years.

Comment Re:Man, am I old ... (Score 1) 173

Yeah, but a better camera will be more than that. My wife and I took over 7000 pictures on our honeymoon (which lasted about a month) with a Canon camera. That's about 7MB/picture (seems to go up to about 12 for JPEG). If we'd taken them in RAW (which, arguably, we should have since some of the shots would be nice to reedit or do lens correction on) it would've been around 25 to 30MB/image with our camera. If you use sports mode (taking 10 or 15 shots every time you push the button), I could easily see hitting 100GB/month. All depends on whether this guy's wife is as obsessive about her "recreation" as my wife and I are....

Comment Re:Man, am I old ... (Score 1) 173

I design audio for theater. I have a 3TB archive of my designs and it grows about 300GB per year (musicals, where I do recording, take about 100GB per show). My wife likes taking pictures and she generates a few gigabytes per month of pictures. Many people keep movies. My parents have an archive of their favorite (broadcast) TV shows that they recorded with EyeTV. You're right that it's extremely likely that nobody will care about most of this stuff when we die. But we're still alive. What's so hard to understand about that?

Yeah, I could spend hours paring down my audio collection. I could delete the musical recordings, eliminate duplicates, and throw away shows I'm likely to never revisit. My wife could delete most of her pictures (ones that were out of focus, test shots, ones that she doesn't like for some reason). My parents could buy DVDs (which are simply a less convenient form of storage). But why would any of us do this? I occasionally get asked to remix songs and I reuse sound effects from shows sometimes. My wife goes back and looks at shots or may change her mind about what she wants to keep.

When you can fit 8TB on something the size of a medium book, why wouldn't you keep stuff you might use again?

Comment Re:Go back in time 5 years (Score 2) 581

THIS (* see below) dizzying pile of config files with nondescript names. And that doesn't even include the set of names that are magically generated either implicitly and from other files. For reference, /etc/init.d has less than half this many files. Furthermore, to know what actually is going to boot, I cd into a directory and type "ls". Can anyone tell me which of these is actually going to execute when my machine boots?

To answer a non-rehetorical question: Can any of the systemd lovers (or haters, I'm not picky) tell me how the heck I move /var to a different filesystem without editing every single file in that directory below? Just putting the mount point in /etc/fstab doesn't work because stuff that depends on /var executes before /var gets mounted. I added a unit file to mount /var and gave it a "before" dependency on dbus (which is the first thing that seems to break), but it starts dbus while it's doing the fsck on /var anyway.

(*) The list was going to go here. But it's so long Slashdot won't let me post it. There are 255 unit files in /usr/lib/systemd/system. They have fun names like "systemd-tmpfiles-setup-dev.service".

Comment Re:Same issue... just relayed all outgoing mail (Score 3, Informative) 405

You can't use that on a Comcast Business account (or at least my Comcast Business account couldn't). After 4 phone calls, they finally confirmed that their mail server won't send mail for anyone else's domain. Ie, if you own example.com, Comcast's server won't relay mail for foo@example.com only for foo@comcast.net.

Now.... My information is about 7 months old so maybe they changed this without telling anyone? If your information is newer I should probably revisit my mail configuration.

Meantime, I just tried from my domain (email server sends directly from a Comcast Business IP) and had no problems sending to Yahoo Mail so they aren't blocking *ALL* Comcast Business IP's. I also have (hopefully) correct reverse DNS on my email server and SPF records in my DNS.

Comment Re:Lucky for Stripe (Score 1) 353

(Now if Stripe is applying their rules differently for different people, that *is* a problem. If, for instance, they'd happily process payments for a gun store/manufacturer owned by a Democrat but not a Libertarian or a Republican, *that* I'd have a problem with even though I tend to be a Democrat).

Comment Re:Lucky for Stripe (Score 1) 353

There is actually a huge difference in the argument you are making. There's a difference between choosing *who* you do business with (or employ) and *what kind* of business you are willing to be in. If you're a gun store and you refuse to sell someone a gun because they're gay, that should be illegal (whether it actually *is* illegal is still being debated). If you're, say, a department store and you don't wish to be in the business of selling guns, you should have a right not to be. I think this case is pretty clear cut that the payment processor has a right not to be in the business of processing payments for guns.

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