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Comment Re:Am I the only one... (Score 1) 129

There's a big difference between LEO and GEO in terms of fuel and weight and how much you can get out of the gravity well. Once you get past GEO, the cost difference of going further and getting to the moon and Mars just depends on how fast you want to get there.

Hell, without the need to land and lift off, there could be space tourism just for a trip around the close bits of solar system lasting for a year.

Nobody can bring enough food in one launch to last a year in space. Humans are a needy component.

Once there is sufficient number of people out there, new for profit opportunities happen

Unfortunately that's backwards. You won't have people out there unless there's profit opportunities. That's also pretty overly optimistic assuming that there will be new opportunities. But there are opportunities to go get raw material from space for use in further space-development as well as sending it back home.
Scientific opportunities are really only limited by the budget they receive. And there's a big incentive to go colonize Mars, which could kickstart the rest.

There are the assholes who bitch about every dime the government spends. There are the apathetic lot who don't see the utility of space. Equally dangerous to the space industry are the starry-eyed optimists dreaming impossible dreams. Keep it on an even keel.

Comment Re:Look to history (Score 1) 293

If you want to understand the difference between Americans and Russians, compare GPS with GLONASS.

With GPS, each satellite transmits the ephemeris data for all satellites. That way, each receiver can track the satellites, so they know exactly where they are at any time, and also which part of the elliptical orbit they're in, so that they can correct for the fact that satellite is travelling faster at aphelion than perihelion, which affects the atomic clock speed due to relativistic effects.

With GLONASS, each satellite broadcasts X, Y, Z, X', Y', and Z'. That's pretty much it.

The difference between Americans and Russians is that Americans know how to build powerful consumer electronics which can do complex calculations, and Russians know how to inject a satellite into an almost perfectly circular orbit.

Comment Re:Why can't there be an open phone? (Score 2) 480

the PC's openness was really a result of Compaq's careful cleanroom reverse engineering of the BIOS, rather than any legal constraints on IBM

I would say that the PC's openness at least equally due to the fact that they offered full schematics, theory-of-operation documentation, and BIOS source code for a small fee prior to Compaq's entry into the market. The main competitor at the time in the business space was the Apple II, which also had schematics and ROM source available, along with a thriving industry for expansion hardware. Also, both machines were built with completely off-the-shelf parts.

Comment Re:Node.js is terrible (Score 1) 133

So you see nothing wrong with blobs of callback after callback with making your own threading and scheduling from scratch?

JavaScript has been accused of many things, but "threading" isn't one of them.

I don't mind blobs of callback in principle. Continuation-passing style doesn't scare me at all (especially in a language like Scheme or Haskell). But I agree with you. The more I used Node.JS, the more I realised I really wanted Erlang.

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