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Comment Re:Empire Strikes Back (Score 1) 1222

> I don't understand how A New Hope could be considered better other than the fact that it introduced the Star Wars universe.

I tend to agree, but in defense of the original Star Wars, it was a self-contained story that worked well whereas The Empire Strikes Back was an experiment in serial movie-making that did not work out well. In some ways Empire was ahead of its time and anticipated the various cinematic universes of today. In some ways it paved the road for these universes. However, despite being a well-made professional movie with dialogue that (for the most part) did not make one cringe, it suffered from the weakness of needing Return of the Jedi to complete the experience because the two movies were essentially one story with three-year gap in the telling.

Comment Re:Is it marketable? (Score 1) 198

In general that is true, but it does not apply to thing like the tools required to produce the things that can be heavily monetized, and laptops for professionals are one of those tools. One cannot design the next generation of low-end laptops without powerful high end computers, and it is much easier to carry an high-end laptop to a factory or design meeting or brainstorming retreat than it is to ship a desktop system. Tools tend to be niche market, but without them there are no toys.

Comment Re:Is it marketable? (Score 1) 198

> Socially, the 20xx years will probably be closer to the 18xx years than the 19xx years, without a Soviet Union that forces us to look like we're the good guys, there is exactly no reason that cutthroat capitalism shouldn't be employed to the full extent that we had in the 1800s. Only far, far more efficiently.

This is probably the most insightful comment that I have read today.

Comment Re:Beware of predictions (Score 4, Interesting) 198

In many ways Putinist Russia is Tsarist Russia. The broad outlines of Russia's current governance and foreign policy would be immediately recognizable to people in 1911. The thing they would not have predicted was the 62-year hiatus in the middle of the 20th century.

On the other hand, the long-term demographic problems facing Austria-Hungary were known and both Russia and Germany were trying to get their ducks in a row in case the empire collapsed. Much of the lead-up to WWI, and the Balkans wars. was states jockeying for position in a post-AH world. It was widely assumed that Austria-Hungary would not survive in its (then) current form much beyond the death of Franz-Josef. Even his heir was openly talking about radically restructuring the empire.

Comment Re:More accurately: dark matter/energy is gone. (Score 1) 106

The Cosmological Constant, which is the part of the equation that requires dark energy, is a fundamental part of the Einstein field equation. It is as real as a constant of integration is. There is no question mathematically that this term is required. The real question is what is its value, because theory does not predict that. Scientists tend to think it is one of 0, ~10^35, or ~10^88, but the question is very much open. The big range in predicted values is the problem, not the fact that there the field equation has a constant term.

Comment Re: Why not land on the moon? (Score 1) 317

But there was clear economic benefit in setting up colonies in North America. The fishing ground off Newfoundland were making some people in Western Europe very rich. The gold and silver being looted from Central and South America created and maintained the Spanish Empire for over a century, and there was a wide-spread belief that there were similar "cities of gold" in North America. Many a man in Britain and France became wealthy from the North American fur trade. The economic benefits of the New World were very real and very clear to both the chattering classes and to the newly emerging capitalist class.

Comment Re:Good idea for now (Score 4, Informative) 58

The plan is to crash Juno into Jupiter at the end of the mission, so we will get some nice close-up imagery at the end. This will require a manoeuver to change the orbit. The telemetry from the de-orbit burn may provide some useful information about the valves. The reason to de-orbit Juno into the planet is to be sure the probe does not contaminate any of the Jovian moons at some point in the future. After all, we do not want to (eventually) go to Europa and find e. coli spreading from the crash site.

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