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Comment Gov't systems do not follow 'Good Enough' (Score 1) 350

Look at a large amount of government systems. Everything is to the cheapest bidder. But the cheapest bidder isn't always the best or product, and contains issues. Also known as 'good enough.'

Parent is ignorant of how the government buys. The days of low price are gone. -- That's a how to buy question anyway, not *what to buy* which is discussed in the article.

Today most of the buys are still encumbered by perfection.

Examples? How about the IRS and FAA computer systems. Or the F22 fighter. Or the continuing drive to put humans in space.

Comment Mod Parent Up and Grandparent Down (Score 1) 465

And I thought Engineers trolled Slashdot...

So Copper and Concrete. Fine combo, no worries. But concrete and steel, there is a magical combination! --
- Concrete is weak in tension, steel is strong.
- Concrete is cheap, steel is expensive.
- Concrete is durable against wind and water, steel needs protection.
- And when it counts, they get together -- they expand and contract nearly at the same rate with changing temperature.

Concrete and steel, are a perfect match, just mix the proportions for the job at hand!

Comment Re:Poor Title (Score 1) 829

The cost is also a little misleading. Additional units cost ~$130M each (which is still expensive as hell), the $339M figure is total program cost plus build cost divided out per aicraft. That number only decreases the more we produce. So if we ordered another singe aircraft, it would not cost $339M.

That's also a little misleading. The majority of any weapon's cost is in operation, maintenance and training. The production is a fraction of the cost.

Comment Re:In a word... (Score 1) 1385

I agree with your point, but reasons the poor American train network are more complex than 'car subsidies killed the train'. -- The large mass transit systems at the turn of the century were created and subsidized by land speculators.

Your essential point is correct though, developed nations subsidize transit. We just have to decide which transit we want to subsidize. That will decide development patterns for generations.

BTW, an enlightening history of Suburbs and 20th century development is 'Crabgrass Frontier' by Kenneth Jackson. Worth a read for anyone interested in urban planning.

Comment Re:The Fleecing of America (Score 1) 222

I can assure you, good people are trying to accurately report. Check out The hard part is really finding what you are after. Each agency spends in different ways for different things and products are generally embedded in larger programs. There is no transparency panacea. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and a stubby pencil remain our best tools.

Submission + - .NET 3.5 SP1 silently installs Firefox Addon (

OmnipotentEntity writes: "As reported on
"This update adds to Firefox one of the most dangerous vulnerabilities present in all versions of Internet Explorer: the ability for websites to easily and quietly install software on your PC. Since this design flaw is one of the reasons you may've originally chosen to abandon IE in favor of a safer browser like Firefox, you may wish to remove this extension with all due haste.""


Submission + - Obama to reverse Bush limits on stem-cells (

An anonymous reader writes: U.S. President Barack Obama will sign an executive order Monday reversing Bush administration restrictions on federal funding for stem-cell research, a senior administration official said.

The official would not divulge the exact wording of the order, but confirmed, on condition of anonymity, that it would be in line with Obama's campaign vow to restore funding to embryonic stem-cell research.

GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Volunteer Open Source Tax Credit Bill in NY (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Assemblymen Jonathan Bing and Micah Kellner, along with a number of co-sponsors, have introduced proposed legislation in New York State which would grant a tax credit to individuals acting as volunteers who develop open source programs. The idea of the credit is to ensure that volunteer developers, who could not otherwise deduct their expenses because they are not part of a 'business', should nevertheless be able to receive a tax benefit for their contribution. The credit would be for 20% of the expenses incurred, up to $200. The preamble to the bill notes that the New York State Assembly itself currently uses 'Open Source programs such as Mozilla for email, Firefox for web browsing, and WebCal for electronic calendars', and that these programs have led to significant cost savings to taxpayers. The preamble also cited a 2006 report authored by John Irons and Carl Malamud from the Center for American Progress detailing how Open Source software enhances a broader dissemination of knowledge and ideas."

Comment Re:Questionable height question? (Score 1) 323

I beleive the total energy of water consists of static and dynamic pressure, velocity and the gravitational potential. At 1700ft, all of the energy in the water was converted to gravitational potential. Perhaps someone who knows wave mechanics could enlighten us of the relative energy proportions at an arbitrary position?
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - The Art of Information

Nom du Keyboard writes: The hits just keep on coming. Direct democracy on the web. As if there aren't enough different ways to express the AACS secret code, it has now it has become Photoshop art. My personal favorite is #12, but perhaps we can take a poll for the best expression of the idea. The funniest part of all was as I went through the list, an animated ad for Blu-Ray high-definition movie playback popped in after image #9. It doesn't get better than that!

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