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Comment Re:People ARE what we are sending (Score 2) 217

NASA pays SpaceX primarily to put NASA satellites into orbit, or to send NASA cargo to NASA astronauts on a space station partially built by NASA. They provided some funding to help SpaceX develop that capability. They are continuing to fund SpaceX's development of Dragon v2 (because NASA also wants the ability to send NASA astronauts to the space station) and Falcon 9 Heavy (because NASA wants to improve what NASA satellites SpaceX can put into orbit). NASA is *not* directly funding BFR/BFS development, because they don't want that (the current BFR development was funded with the *profits* from the Falcon 9 flights, just as Falcon 9 reuse was). Note that NASA also pays United Launch Alliance, Orbital ATK, and Roscosmos for launch services, and has been funding development in Boeing, ULA, Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada, and Blue Origin, all of whom are building things NASA wants to be able to buy one day.

The US Air Force and the NRO also pay SpaceX to put their satellites into orbit, and the USAF was among the early funders in SpaceX because they like having redundant means of orbiting satellites. I believe they are funding development of Falcon 9 Heavy in order to have a redundant means of orbiting heavy satellites. They are not funding BFR/BFS development because their job has nothing to do with Mars, unless the Russians start putting guns and soldiers there.

Comment Re:So that's how Trump's spinning it (Score 1) 843

I never said there *was* a media conspiracy, only that Trump was implying that there was. I have seen no evidence that it exists, save for the claims of Trump and other random nutjobs. Groundless claims by people with no reputation for accuracy are not evidence.

And if this election has taught me anything about the media, it's that the right-wing, not the left, has a ridiculous amount of control over press and public perceptions. They've managed to convince far too many people that Clinton's "scandals" are on par with Trump's - something that even a cursory look shows to be completely and objectively false.

Comment So that's how Trump's spinning it (Score 5, Insightful) 843

I was wondering how he was going to try to recover from his recent string of bad news. Looks like his method is to pretend it's a conspiracy by the left-wing media to ruin him with an "onslaught" of bad press. Which implies that the stories are false or exaggerated, without actually making that claim. Clever, in case he ever needs to admit that the reports are true.

Truth has no sides. Reality has no bias. If these things are true, and I have seen no indications that they are not, then the news is making Donald Trump look bad because Donald Trump is actually bad. If he steals money from charity to bribe investigators to turn a blind eye to his fraudulent businesses, the blame for the bad press afterward lies purely at the hands of Trump, not on the media and press.

Comment Re:What about the NBA? (Score 2) 469

We cannot - therefore, your assumption must be incorrect, in a case of proof by contradiction.

Sports are physical events, where certain biological differences clearly affect performance. Race does involve biological factors besides just skin color, and some scientists have concluded that sub-saharan africans (not just "blacks", but a more specific subgroup) have a leg-length-to-body-size ratio that favors the kind of movement seen in basketball. You will find a similar bias towards taller basketball players - height being a quite clear advantage in the game. Discrimination is in fact allowed when you're discriminating on "ability to do the job" - you see which college-level players perform well, and hire them, and if reality happened to be biased towards a specific group, that's not really a problem.

However, no reproducible study has found a statistically significant difference in mental capacity between humans of different races. There are clearly some people who are smarter than others, but race is not a reliable predictor of intelligence. And since there are no physical differences that make one better or worse at data analysis, seeing any company that does data analysis with a substantially different racial makeup is suspicious. Maybe there's an explanation - it could be coincidence, or maybe another company has a hiring policy that's biased towards asians and hired them all up. Maybe there's a factor being discriminated on that correlates with race - preferring native citizens or permanent residents over those on work visas might give this result (or it might not). Or maybe Thiel's just racist. He hasn't been charged with anything yet, they're just checking to make sure there's not anything illegal going on.

Comment Re: Not grid connected (Score 2) 85

So it makes sense for them to continue to generate and push the power into an overloaded grid that has no use for it, because they make money doing that.

And while wind companies are doing that, what are the coal/gas/oil plants doing? The rational move for them is to not generate once the price of electricity drops below the price of whichever fossil fuel they use, which means less CO2 is produced. It may not be an exact "every watt of wind power generated means one watt equivalent less CO2" but it's still reducing CO2 emissions.

Comment Re:Misleading (Score 5, Interesting) 154

Tesla's Autopilot functions at almost exactly the same level as an aircraft autopilot. Perhaps even better - an aircraft will not automatically detect and avoid other aircraft, only mapped obstacles. A Tesla will automatically brake for other vehicles moving into your lane.

I do agree that "Copilot" would be a better name, but only because people are idiots, not because it's a bad name.

Comment Re:Less header (Score 1) 226

Okay, so you're on a 1600x900 screen. Or maybe 1200x900, if 4:3 laptops are still around, but horizontal space doesn't seem to be a problem for either of us.

Vertically, that's not all that much more than the 1920x1080 screens I regularly use, and I've not made any special effort to optimize vertical space on my setup.

My current screen has vertical space allocated like so:
46px: Firefox window border and tabs (a bit extra wasted space because I'm not in a maximized window, but rather a 960-wide half-screen window)
38px: Main address bar + search bar
25px: bookmarks bar
913px: Page content
18px: horizontal scrollbar and bottom window border
40px: Windows taskbar

Adjusting to a 900px screen height, that alone would give 733px for page content, or about 81%. This is a worst-case for my setup - simply maximizing the window would cause the horizontal scrollbar to disappear and the top window border to shrink, saving 17px and 16px, respectively. At this point, you should be up to 766px out of 900px, or 85%.

The next easy step is disabling the bookmarks bar, for 25px, and setting the Windows taskbar to auto-hide, saving 40px. That would give you 831px of page content, or 92%, which beats at least my installation of Chrome. That's pretty good, but I can do better:

Press F11.

100% of your screen is now devoted to page content. All bars and menus are automatically hidden.

You're welcome.

Comment Re:Less header (Score 1) 226

What kind of stuff do you have in your header?

I have a row of tabs, the address/search bar, and a bookmarks bar. On Firefox, that's about eight pixels less than on Chrome, because the back button is slightly bigger, but the overall height is only 90 pixels. I'm not running any special extensions to hide things - I have a few addons that add buttons to the main bar, and I've disabled more than a few things, but even those were through easily-discovered menus. If you disable the bookmarks bar, that cuts about 20 pixels - and even at 800x600, 70 pixels ought to be fully tolerable.

(Agree on the resources, though - I have to restart Firefox every few days because it starts getting laggy, and I've had to adblock a lot of useless Javascript that lags the browser.)

Comment LOGO is why I'm a programmer (Score 4, Insightful) 68

My first exposure to programming was MicroWorlds, in third grade. I was immediately hooked, and never turned back. I think it's fairly safe to say that if it wasn't for that, my life would be completely different, and probably for the worse. Rest in peace, Dr. Papert. You set out to teach children to program and love programming, and judging by these comments, you succeeded.

Comment Re:32% would vote clinton (Score 0) 993

Trump has called on Russia to hack his political opponent for his own personal gain. That's treason, by common usage of the word if not the legal definition.

Trump has engaged in corruption from the other end. For just a single example, Florida was investigating his university for fraud. $25K in campaign donations to the state attorney-general later, and the investigation was dropped. (And lest you claim that it could have been dropped for legitimate reasons, several other states also investigated and at least two have pressed forward to a trial).

Trump is also deeply tied into the American Mafia. He may or may not have blood on his own hands, but he certainly doesn't hesitate to profit from and protect those who do.

Comment [citation given] (Score 1) 176

F9-001: Success
F9-002: Success
F9-003: Success
F9-004: Primary mission success, secondary mission scrubbed due to ISS safety rules
F9-005: Success
F9-006: Success (first v1.1 flight)
F9-007: Success
F9-008: Success
F9-009: Success (first flight with landing legs)
F9-010: Success
F9-011: Success
F9-013: Success
F9-012: Success
F9-014: Success
F9-015: Success
F9-016: Success
F9-017: Success
F9-018: Success
F9-020: Failure, RUD at T+150s
F9-021: Success, first v1.1 FT, first successful landing at Canaveral
F9-019: Success
F9-022: Success
F9-023: Success, first successful landing on droneship
F9-024: Success
F9-025: Success
F9-026: Success
F9-027: Success

One failure. Out of twenty-seven, for a success rate of 96%. Unless you want to count landings as necessary for success, in which case they have a 19% success rate - but by that metric, Soyuz, Proton, Atlas, Delta, Titan, Redstone, Saturn, Ariane, Athena, and Zenit all have 0% success rates, and only Energia-Buran and STS also have a non-zero success rate, with 50% and 98%, respectively.

Over that same period North Korea fired four missiles (claiming to have fired even more but not supported by evidence) and launched two orbital rockets. The missiles may or may not have failed - they fell vastly short of their design range but that may have been deliberate - and both rockets worked, although their payloads may have failed. At least, this is all the info I could find - there's no convenient list of every launch attempt they've made, and I suspect most failed launches are never revealed.

Comment Undecided - for now (Score 2) 185

I've been wanting to get into VR. But every platform has at least one seemingly-fatal problem right now:
Oculus: being evil with DRM, no motion controls yet
Gear: Underpowered, works only with certain phones
Vive: Weakest software support
PSVR: Not out yet, but likely to be underpowered (PS4 is well below Oculus/Vive req. specs, PS4NEO unknown), and likely to contain evil
Cardboard: Decent replacement for the View-Master but doesn't work for actual gaming
LG 360: Literally hadn't heard of it, which means the software is likely weak; also only works with certain phones

Vive has the easiest problems to overcome - just make more games for it. The SteamVR model seems like it could make VR cheap and standardized, which would make them the de facto PC VR platform. And I think I'd be happiest with Valve leading the VR industry.

PSVR has potential. They're going hard on the software side, and they have history of making good consumer hardware. I'm concerned about the horsepower - if they require VR games to be usable on the stock PS4, that's going to hamper game design, making my experience worse even if I get a NEO. And the NEO itself is an unknown.

Oculus has a head-start, and they're doing the best on average. Their software library is okay, their headset hardware is reportedly the best, and the motion controllers are coming soon. They're in a position where they could win. But they don't have enough of a lead for me to bet $700 that they'll win, and honestly? I don't want them to. I was willing to write off the concerns about Facebook buying them, but after that DRM stuff they decided to pull? I can no longer ignore them.

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