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Comment Re: Free speech is overrated (Score 1) 104

Why you blame Hitler for your entire country's fuck up. I got news dip shit MOST of your country was in on it. You tried to be the worlds biggest ass holes and you failed. Now live with it and stop blaming Hitler because in the end you're all fuck ups.

Fuck knows why this got modded up. Most people in the country voted for Hillary, she took the popular vote by over a million votes. Did you not get that in your news, you amusingly stupid mucksavage?

Comment Re:What governmen brought to the table (Score 1) 94

As if liquid boosters can't fail catastrophically? Check out SpaceX's last failure. Liquids are hardly immune to catastrophic failure.

And actually more to the point, you've got it backwards. The SRB failure on Challenger was slow, more like a blowtorch. The explosion was when it compromised the external tank (which, obviously, stored liquids).

Solid propellants aren't like explosives. More to the point, you have to keep them under pressure to get the sort of burn rate that is desired for a rocket.

Comment Absolutely not (Score 1) 166

It should be positively encouraged. I also believe offices should be furnished with beds, so we can take a nap when we want. And we should all have an additional computer with an up to date graphics card and 4K monitor that we can install Steam on.

This seems reasonable to me. What say you, fellow programmers?

Comment You can't generalize. (Score 2) 166

Anyone who works on unauthorized personal projects should certainly expect to be subject to firing. But as a supervisor I would make the decision to fire based on what is best for my employer. That depends on a lot of things.

I don't believe in automatic zero tolerance responses. The question for me is whether the company better off booting this guy or disciplining him. Note this intrinsically unfair. Alice is a whiz who gets all of her work done on time and to top quality standards. Bob is a mediocre performer who is easily replaced. So Alice gets a strong talking to and Bob gets the heave-ho, which is unfair to Bob because Alice did exactly the same thing.

But there's a kind of meta-fairness to it. Stray off the straight and narrow and you subject yourself to arbitrary, self-interested reactions.

Now as to Alice, I would (a) remind her that anything she creates on company time belongs to the company (even if we're doing open source -- we get to choose whether the thing is distributed) and (b) that any revenue she derives from it rightly belongs to the company. But again there's no general rule other than maximize the interests of the company. I'll probably insist she shut down the project immediately and turn everything over to the company, but not necessarily. I might choose to turn a blind eye. Or maybe even turn a blind eye until Alice delivers on her big project, then fire her and sue her for the side project revenues if I thought we didn't need her any longer. If loyalty is a two-way street, so is betrayal.

Sure, you may rationalize working on a side project as somehow justified by the fact your employer doesn't pay you what you're really worth, but the grown-up response to that is to find a better job; if you can't, by definition in a market economy you are getting paid at least what you're worth. If you decide to proceed by duplicity, you can't expect kindness or understanding unless you can compel it.

Comment Re:Fiduciary duty (Score 1) 242

Why is only one industry a candidate for this legal replacement? H-!B should be open to all professions or not at all.

It is. Relevant to this discussion, one of my son's college professors is here on an H1-B visa. She's concerned that Trump's changes to the program may cost her her job. Oh, and she's not a CS/IT prof; she teaches Japanese Literature.

Comment Re:Well, sadly, probably.... (Score 1) 166

Many if not most employment contracts/agreements have verbiage that states that anything you come up with on company time, belongs to the company.

Many if not most employment contracts/agreements for software engineers and the like have verbiage that states that anything you come up with on company or personal time, belongs to the company.

Read your contract carefully before starting a side business.

Comment Re:60Ghz (Score 1) 126

I agree it sounds impractical. So I looked at the patent -- which not being a radio engineer it's perfectly safe for me to do (n.b. -- it's always dangerous to look at what might be bullshit patents in your field because you open yourself up to increased damages for using common sense). But I was a ham radio operator when I was a kid so I do know the lingo.

There are a number of problems with broadcasting power, starting with the fact that it's inefficient to saturate ambient space with enough radiation to be usefully harvested. But that's not what they're proposing. 802.11 ad operates in the extreme microwave range -- about 5cm wavelength aka the "V" band. This band is also unregulated so you can try weird things in it. What they propose is to use an array of antennas to create a steerable beam -- like a phased array radar. This would confine the power to a specific plane so that you wouldn't have to saturate all of ambient space with power. The beam steering would be done "dynamically", which I take to mean it would figure out how to maximize signal strength with some kind of stochastic algorithm. So it might not work if you are unicycling around the room.

And because the wavelength is so short an antenna array would be relatively compact.

Even so, it doesn't sound that practical. It's bound to be limited to line of sight, for example: the V band does not penetrate walls or the human body at all, in contrast with the S band that conventional wifi operates on. I can certainly imagine applications for it, but making it practical for charging your phone is apt to be very expensive. You'd have surround yourself with V band antenna arrays.

By the way, reading this patent reminds me of why I hate reading patents. They're infuriatingly vague in order to make the claims as broad as possible, and yet are cluttered with inanely obvious details ("the radio receiver can include active and passive components") and irrelevancies (the device may include a touch screen). I think the purpose may be that someone trying to figure out whether the vague language applies to a cell phone will think, "I don't know WTF this is claiming, but look this phone *does* have a touch screen." It just shows how broken our patent system is.

Comment Re: Favorable? (Score 1) 228

Going with your premise, why should Google and Facebook be permitted to track my usage of other sites?

They can't. Not shouldn't, can't.

What can happen is that when you visit some site that site may tell your browser to load a resource from Facebook or Google, and when your browser does so, they find out about the visit. Your browser even sends them a nice referer header. Alternatively, the site you visit may send a message to Facebook or Google telling them about your visit. Neither of those things require any eavesdropping on traffic not intended for Facebook or Google.

Comment Re:Speaking of delays... (Score 1) 94

Could you remind me how many people SpaceX has killed? Boeing and Lockheed have certainly killed people in the past.

If you're referring to the AMOS 6 ground failure, ignoring that part of the whole point of flying a stack unmanned as much as you can before you fly it manned is to shake out any problems, is that a manned mission would have almost certainly survived that. Unless the launch escape system failed, despite the drama, that was an eminently survivable. How do we know this? Because AMOS-6's hypergolic propellant tanks didn't ignite until the satellite hit the ground. AMOS-6 had the fairing as some extra protection, but on the other hand, the satellite itself isn't nearly as durable as a crew dragon.

The launch escape system ignites within milliseconds of a failure being detected and almost immediately reaches full thrust, accelerating away at 10gs. Here's a graphic of Dragon's abort test superimposed over the AMOS-6 failure. Things like this are the very reason that launch escape systems exist. NASA's last manned space vehicle lacked such a system entirely. And while their design for the Shuttle ultimately wasn't chosen, you know what? Lockheed's proposal didn't have one either. And it had a strong impact on influencing the final Shuttle design outcome.

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