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Comment Re:Is it news? (Score 1) 227

In all likelyhood we will continue to use it beyond 2024, that's not a "hard" retirement date, it's a "let's look at the program and funding" date. Case in point: the B-52 is well past its original retirement date.

The biggest difference being that the B-52 is a fleet, not a single vehicle, and all of them are accessible for routine inspection, maintenance and upkeep. The ISS was designed to be as light as possible, while meeting all requirements for that design life, and it can't be checked or have major structural items swapped out on-orbit. So, there is a hard retirement date for ISS, based on structural fatigue. Every time a visiting vehicle docks or undocks, it takes a little bit of "life" from ISS.

If you saw the movie "The Martian," and didn't understand why his habitat suddenly exploded one day, this was explained clearly in the book; he used the door too many times! NASA makes its hardware "just strong enough" for its intended purpose, with appropriate margins of Safety.

Comment Re:Best Linux? What about best UNIX? (Score 1) 475

The same OS that makes you go into settings to run programs not downloaded through its proprietary services?

Crap like MacOS is the reason why Linux is so popular among tech savvy people. We're tired of it.

You are misinformed. [Ctrl]-O or right clicking when you want to run an unsigned app is all that's needed. and for people who are non-techies, it's a good proteciton against potentially malicious software

Comment Re:Contempt of the court... (Score 1) 520

I can't remember my god-damned four-digit ATM PIN unless I'm standing right in front of the fucking ATM. Nor can I remember my god-damned four-digit alarm code unless I'm standing in front of the fucking alarm panel. Human memory is shit, and it is entirely plausible that this person forgot their password(s).

And, I would venture to guess, highly dependent on the individual. I can still recall my high school locker combination from 35 years ago, the Michigan Driver's license number I gave up when I moved to Texas 30 years ago, and the phone numbers of my childhood friends. I never understood the "counting sheep" approach to insomnia; if I'm having trouble getting to sleep, I go through my teachers (in order) in my head. I typically nod off somewhere in the college years.

I also have a history of dementia on my mother's side of the family. I'm hoping that regularly reviewing memories is some form of "exercise."

Submission + - Your Digital Life Can Be Legally Seized at the Border 3

Toe, The writes: Quincy Larson from freeCodeCamp relates some frightening stories from U.S. citizens entering their own country, and notes that you don't have fourth and fifth amendment rights at the border. People can and have been compelled to give their phone password (or be detained indefinitely) before entering the U.S and other countries. Given what we keep on our phones, he concludes that it is now both easy and legal for customs and border control to access your whole digital life. And he provides some nice insights on how easy it is to access and store the whole thing, how widespread access would be to that data, and how easy it would be for the wrong hands to get on it. His advice: before you travel internationally, wipe your phone or bring/rent/buy a clean one.

Comment Re:And there won't be any accountability (Score 1) 68

The alternative is to ban "cost plus" contracts. Screw up and overrun the costs specified in you bid? Tough cookies. Eat it on your P&L leader, and do a better job bidding next time.

Another, at least as good and maybe better, option is antitrust. Break up the globs back into Northrop, Hughes, General Dynamics, Lockheed, Marietta, Glenn Martin Co, Grumman, McDonnell Aircraft, Douglas Aircraft, Convair, North American, Republic, Boeing, Rockwell, and so on... so that there are a dozen manufacturers actually bidding competitively for contracts with incentives to keep costs under control, lest the contract goto a more reliable competitor.

After all, when there are only two choices, why *Should* Lockheed Martin (from their perspective) deliver a fully-functional air or space craft as promised, and on-time and on-budget. What's the government going to do after all, go to Northrop "2 billion dollar stealth bomber" Grumman?

You haven't thought out the consequences. If these are all bid a Firm Fixed Price (the alternative), every bidder is going to pad their costs to compensate for the possibility of things going wrong at some point during the development . Depending on the likelihood of that (cutting-edge technology, etc.) this will be anywhere from 15 to 30 percent of the original estimate. Would you rather pay 20% more overall, or take the chance of a 10% overrun?

Comment Re:Arrest him and throw him into Gitmo (Score 1) 627

A civil contract cannot ask you to do anything illegal and someone cannot ask you to break civil contract unless what you're doing is illegal. If the border agent had the legal power to ask and not following instructions would be deemed illegal, then Mr NASA is fine. If the border agent did not have the legal power, then Mr NASA could sue them for coercing him into breaking a civil contract, assuming he can show damages. The simplest way would be for NASA to show 'damages' and to sue for the full market value of whatever secret information was on the phone or to which the phone had access.

It's not a civil contract. NASA employees take the same Oath of Office as the President (changing only "to the office which I am appointed"). There are no conditions under which "not following instructions" in this case could be deemed illegal.

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