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Comment Re:Thank you Elon (Score 1) 105

You are aware that they already did the landing (albeit in water) on CRS-3 with a fully orbit-capable production Falcon9(R-dev)? They turned around, slowed down, and soft-landed in the water, exactly what was planned for that flight. The next one will be on water again, but aims closer to the cape, and so on. It is an iterative concept... and, what you said Falcon9R does not do (and is a scam for it) it will do later when they have the new test site in texas ready to go, which they are currently lacking permissions to use.

TL;DR: They are doing what they said they were doing, and they incrementally increase the height/flight paths of the rockets.

Comment Re:Thank you Elon (Score 1) 105

It will do so when they have the permission to fly out of McGregor, where the Falcon9 Dev-2 will be stationed. Where they are right now, they are not allowed to do acutal launches, so they have to wait.

Also, they test on production flights right now, see CRS-3 last time or the upcoming AsiaSat flight in a few days.

Comment Ah, I like where I live.. (Score 2) 479

Back where I live (southwestern Germany), we have a Cable ISP that is the pure internet goodness in 99% of all cases..

this is their top-tier plan:

Internet Access (150Mbit Down / 5Mbit Up)
Landline + Flatrate
some PayTV Packets

all inclusive: 47€/Month ($63 US, including taxes)
Oh, and obviously, they don't do any metering on traffic.

Comment Well, I've heard a lot of american reactions (Score 4, Insightful) 442

..to this lately, and most of them were in the "We are big, bad, mean motherfuckers so of course we do this and if you don't like it go fuck yourself or we nuke you" (paraphrased, not literally uttered.. even though nuclear weapons HAVE been mentioned once or twice in the discussion.. I think it was on gizmodo or some site like that..)

Guys, just turn around the situation and it would be China doing the same in the US.. wouldn't your outcry be as big as ours (German here), maybe even bigger?

Just because you have the biggest guns doesn't mean laws are not for you anymore, just as a reminder..

Also, having the biggest Aircraft Carrier in the block means nothing, if you actually would take on an opponent that can fight back.. (I've read up on a lot of NATO maneuvers where even our old diesel subs blatantly sunk US carriers and the commanders didn't even believe the sub commanders that they were there, until they surfaced like 500 feet away from the carrier in full broadside view of the torpedo tubes..)

Really, if you ask me, as a German with a strong national pride myself, the only political answer to this would be simple (and something our corrupt and incompetent government would NEVER do..): close all US bases on German soil, including Ramstein etc., remove every single American non-civilian personell from the country immediately..

and while we're at it consider if this constitutes an "armed" (as in cyber-warfare) attack against Germany (and our Allies) as based on NATO Article 5 (Casus foederis).

Also, leaving NATO would be another option.

Comment Re:...but it was still a space shuttle flying... (Score 1) 101

Well, sorry to correct you, but SpaceX does not "require" the robot arm to berth with the station (this Mode of Operation is called Berthing, not Docking), but rather NASA requires SpaceX to not DOCK but berth with the Station to minimize the chance of a vehicle on fully auto without a crew going haywire and damaging the Station - the Dragon would/will be fully capable of Docking, NASA just doesn't want them to.

Comment Re:I wish they wouldn't (Score 1) 197

Well, you can.. there is some web magic around already that lets you add a "run at logon" script that opens the Desktop "App" bypassing the metro launch screen and also the swipe to unlock screen.. and if you install start8 from stardock you don't have to bother using metro for the basic tasks.. but as soon as you change stuff (that includes joining a wlan, that is metro now too..the volume slider isn't though) and have to use the control panel, you're back to metro.

Comment Re:That's what America needs to be competitive! (Score 2) 969

Well, if you want a rundown .. (Anonymous coward here, just didn't have my login creds at work..):
I live in Germany, Stuttgart, in the City center, and I have roughly the following col: (all monthly quotes, converted from Euro to $)
3 Room, 700sqft -> $950 (including heating, fees, etc)
Power -> $90
50Mbit Cable -> $40
Car Insurance -> $100
Gas (at $8/gal..) -> $250
Insurance (non-medi) -> $60
Food -> $250 (including eating at our cafeteria at work)
Of course I have a lot of other positions to take care of, but this is just to give you an overview on my cost of living on the salary stated above..

Oh, and for your added benefit, some information on how we are taxed in Germany, example me (not married , no kids):
Income: 5516 USD
Work Tax: 1223 USD
Solidarity Tax (to rebuild Eastern Germany): 60 USD
Church Tax: 89 USD
Healthcare: 415 USD
Retirement: 540 USD
Unemployment Insurance: 83 USD
Pay after taxes (all above are mandatory): 3106 USD

Comment Re:Amazing (Score 2) 118

Well, if that Coal-Fired Burner is producing Power at 1/10th the price everyone else (producing it using Nuclear, or whatever they have), I would damn well be impressed. Of course we've been to the Moon already, shot stuff to Orbit a quadrillion times over.. but if we can do it again, affordable this time.. Take for example travel.. sure we could do London - New York in a single trip 50,100, 200 Years ago.. only difference is, 2hundred years ago, it took 2 weeks, cost a fortune, and was not very safe. 100 Years ago, it took four days, still cost a fortune, was safer, but still. Today it takes roughly eight hours, and I can actually pay for a return ticket with two weeks of my pay - if I wanted to, I could do that trip easily every two months and possibly survive every one of them. SpaceX is currently not doing something new - they are trying to build and improve upon what has been done in the past - namely getting stuff and people from A (Earth) to B (LEO, GEO, GSO), and at the same time build the foundation for much more ambitious missions. Like it says in the Article - if the SuperDraco system works as intended, you have a pinpoint-accurate lander that can touch down and - depending refuelling and the gravity of the body - launch again on it's own, without any expendable stages. also, Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy are only stepping stones on the way to something bigger - Falcon X, XX, XX Heavy are all on the drawing boards already. And with that much lifting power - and that at more or less affordable prices - building a structure in orbit for manufacturing larger crafts which in turn can be serviced, piloted, and left/rejoined with one and the same capsule: Dragon. As soon as you have a cheap means of getting stuff up there, you can really start looking at persistence - NASA is planning for developing "Space Tug" Systems, that can take stuff in LEO, and shuffle it to higher orbits, even GSO at little to no extra cost, since it is in all possibility a system based on VASIMR and solar power.. and if you actually have a means of getting fuel, repair crews and the crafts themselves up at a cost that actually makes making them reusable and not "one-shots" feasible, you suddenly have a complete infrastructure up there, actually gaining manufacturing capabilities after a few years of building.. Imagine if you have a Launcher like Falcon X/XX, a standardised Flottila of Crafts like Dragon..and the means to actually build ships in space instead of just one-shots that you partially drop piece by piece on your way and then throw away. Want to go to the Moon? Build a ship, fuel it, fly it, do your mission, return it, refuel it, refly it.. Of course this is all more or less science fiction right now, but it all is technically doable - the only things blocking us from actually doing them with what we have now is cost and effort, since most stuff for spaceflight is designed from the ground up for each specific mission - if you start having a reliable, high-volume and cost efficient base to bring stuff up, a lot of other stuff will follow.. and SpaceX is doing it's babysteps right now of course - hell, that Company is only a few years old and already on the edge of being the first gig that launches a 21st century man-rated Space Transportation System - hell it is a capsule, it looks retro, apollo did it, yadda yadda. But with thar Argument take your Ford Model T and your Ford Fusion 2012.. they both still look like cars no? Somewhere along the way we figured out that "four wheels and an enclosed capsule for the people inside" is a more or less optimal form for a car, so we stuck with it. I want my Spaceplanes as much as everyone else (REL, go on with Skylon, quickly!) - but for now SpaceX is doing a darn good job at what they do. I've seen their plans for powered ascent for 1st/2nd Level rocket stages - and I'm highly sceptical it will ever work. But oh boy, if they would make it work, that would be one of the sweetest feats I've ever seen launched from a Launchpad..

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