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Comment Re:DVR not subscriber based (Score 1) 105

Mamie Van Doren is still alive! Very active on facebook. Unlike other 1950s blonde bombshells (Monroe, Mansfield, Dors, Lansing) who all died before 50 (though Diana died in her early 50s), Mamie was determined to grow old. Mae West lived to considerable old age, I wonder if she were still around what kinds of posts she would have on FB. Techies should be familiar with Lamarr who found time to do techie stuff herself.

Comment infrastructure (Score 4, Interesting) 106

it's crap, many don't understand you need good infrastructure for a functioning modern society. But oh no, that would require more evil gubbermint to do all that. Leave it to private companies (yay capitalism), yeah sure and look what we got for internet. Yes, I bitchy today. What really gripes me is telco companies lobby legislation preventing cities and towns set up their own high speed internet (essential for businesses)

Comment DVR not subscriber based (Score 2) 105

It seems all these DVRs require subscription and be tied to the internet. OK so I haven't surveyed the market, I don't subscribe to comcast DVR or Tivo as they all seem tied to the internet. My current DVR is the Panasonic DMR-E85H that functions just like the old school VHS but it has a harddrive, just press the button and it starts recording. It has a timer to set when I want to record (there's always some show or movie that plays during times when I'm at work or in bed). If I want to save it, then I can make a DVD. No, I don't pirate movies but I want to save them myself in case I want to watch again (and be able to use a different player), i.e. when TCM showed a bunch of Mamie Van Doren movies which they will never show again. However, it is NTSC analog and I have to set the cable box for specific channel.

It seems the Panasonic DMR-E85H (and the 75) was only on the market for a couple years then yanked probably because MAFIAA considers piracy a bigger problem than climate change, frugal economy, and terrorism. But wait! Aussie Panasonic has the DMR-BWT460GN, oooooo, looks real nice too. It's just like the SD models but this has huge HDD and Bluray. AC power is 220, USB to save files to external HDD and there is a RJ45 LAN jack to connect to a broadband router and get on the internet. It lists HDD info as recordable contents include mp4 and MPEG2. This beast covers every country except North America!

But then anything nowadays to record? Not often are old movies played on TV, outfits like TCM tend to show the same movies over and over (rare exceptions like the MVD movies). So is there anything worthwhile to record? For me I have no interest in football, Kardashians, etc. There is PBS, and on weekends CSPAN3 has interesting history programs. Late last night on CSPAN3 a program (I recorded it with my DMR-E85H) by Frank Capra made during WWII portrays Japan determined to rule the world through military conquest.

Comment Re:Janet Jackson (Score 1) 104

ah yes, I remember that particularly is I never noticed the wardrobe malfunction. I'm not into football but was with friends as they had a football party (was it a superbowl? I'm too lazy to look up the details). I remember about people discussing the lopsided team match, where one team seemed to have considerable skill over the other like the losing team was college kids going up against pro players. Then few days later comes this controversy, it took the FCC quite some time on how to deal with the matter. Janet Jackson took the fall but I always wondered why Justin Timberlake (who was the one that grabbed her costume) walked away untouched.

Comment Re:Pisa tower (Score 1) 241

I'll probably never get to Italy but this new leaning tower is close by. Maybe go to top of building and take a selfie before it become uninhabitable. I wonder who will find a solution (can't ignore it forever), if they do I'm sure ASCE will present them with a spiffy award (and give them a free meal and free parking close by at their annual banquet).

Comment Re:Silicon Valley able to cope with Trump regime? (Score 1) 184

So you are worried about rich people in SV that attempted to bribe the candidate who would write the regulation in their favor in order to screw the US workers.

no, I was simply asking about what will happen with many of these companies. Regarding rich people, many SV residents that are getting pushed out because of high cost of living would be happy to see many such as Google, Apple, and FB leave the area.

Comment Re:Two possible motivations (Score 1) 729

There are people on space forums criticizing Musk of his government funded "hobby rocket" and "Mars colonizing fantasy" (I agree the latter is a fantasy, as for the former all rockets are government funded except for those of you flying Estes). Though Elon may be the new Tony Stark and generates lots of excitement among younger generation, he is not an almighty God. Telsa and SpaceX have their problems and baggage but if these companies go, it will leave a huge gaping hole of capability. Who knows when Orion or CST100 will fly, Dragon provides both up and down cargo carrying now, and has a big door for big pieces of equipment to move in and out of ISS.

Comment Silicon Valley able to cope with Trump regime? (Score 2, Interesting) 184

With all this anti-immigrant attitude that is sweeping the country, and with lots of immigrants here in blue state of California (that appears like a foreign country compared to rest of US in this now Trump administration), where will this put many Silicon Valley companies? I heard Ro Khanna got a lot of backing from many SV companies to unseat incumbent congressman Mike Honda because Khanna is a proponent of more H1Bs (disclaimer: I've not extensively researched the details). I can see why many companies are going to push for more visas in these last two months of current Administration (do it while they can). Anyway, as I see Apple being pressured to bring back jobs to US (yeah, lots of luck with that) then there many other companies either friends with Obama and backed Clinton in the election, how will they fit into the Trump regime?

Comment new ghost town in Cupertino? (Score 1) 471

I'm watching this big flying saucer taking place and wondering if it will become abandoned. I heard Apple does more of its business outside the US, all manufacturing and much of the engineering was offshored. They also have tens of billions in cash reserves so if under too much pressure, it seems they could easily abandoned the US altogether (will that make Microsoft the ***only*** source for typical computer OS?). It seems Trump divert trade and interactions with China (and do more with Russia?). Considering California (blue) is an outlier from the rest of country (red), "shooting down the flying saucer" may be a goal for new administration (yes, I'm imagining stuff). However, Apple hasn't made a lot of friends since (along with Google and others) have driven up housing costs in Silicon Valley.

Comment Re:Concorde is often downplayed (Score 1) 202

Interesting article and one mention, “Market research later in Concorde’s life revealed that customers thought Concorde was more expensive than it actually was. Ticket prices were progressively raised to match these perceptions.” The other aspect "it was killed mostly because it was more profitable to operate a more conventional plane" is something I have to think about (that doesn't make sense but then most of us making money decisions do it for very strange reasons).

Back in those days, SST was the big thing. In 1960s there were people living who remembered reading in newspapers about first airplane flight. With extremely fast development of airplanes, it seemed only natural SST will be primary way of getting around the planet. Cargo will fly on the 747s.

However, I think overall SSTs simply don't scale up especially these days as it may be faster (and reducing 18 hours in coach to 9 hours would be very nice) but overall looking at cost, travel time to airport, time getting through security, etc. Maybe costs can be reduced, sonic boom more quiet (NASA is working on that, http://www.nasa.gov/press-rele... ). However, we also have the Internet so people on long flights are not incognito for hours on end. For executives and the 1%, subsonic private jets are more preferred (there are some proposals for SST "Learjets"*) as simply drive to airport, grab stuff and hop on the plane (don't have to unload carryons, take off shoes and belt, have TSA get all in a hissy fit when they find a partially filled water bottle). So for most people will SSTs save that much time? Regarding speed, even the military doesn't go that fast (if need to, that's what a missile is for).

Back in 1990s when NASA was investigating HSCT I talked with a NASA aero engineer old enough to have worked on SST development work. He said for HSCT (they changed the acronym because SST had bad connotations) to be successful the overall aircraft has to have seats same price as subsonic coach (otherwise companies and vacation travelers are not going to pay even a little more). To achieve this the aircraft has to be much more fuel efficient than Concorde (which flew on afterburners) and has to have about 250 seats (if less, then price per seat will not be like subsonic coach).

* "Learjet" is a generic term like Kleenex, Band-Aid, Xerox people use to call privately owned small jet transports. You all airplane buffs at airports watching a Cessna Citation or a Grumman Gulfstream take off usually hear someone say "oh look, there goes a Learjet!"

Comment Avro Arrow and Avrocar in reverse (Score 1) 430

"Canada's new push to attract foreign tech workers..."

Reminds me when the Avro Arrow (at the time was the fastest flying fighter jet ever) and the Avrocar (a real flying saucer, and led the way to hovercraft vehicles) were cancelled. Prior Canada was the third largest aerospace power. It was said thousands of Canadian engineers moved to US along with German engineers that was a great boost for the US space program. Will they become a major contender? A Canuck Silicon Valley? A Canadian be the first to walk the surface of the Moon since Gene Cernan?

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