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Comment What a old story (Score 1) 99

Somewhere about 2003 people took attention on these gullies. To many then it became clear that water still FLOWS in Mars. Its origin is clearly linked to certain horizons where pockets or small underground lakes can survive. While it is not clear how they survive there, two things are pretty well known:

1. Regionally these pockets are frequently linked to a few horizons so they come mostly from one and the same levels above local ground.
2. Most of them have a clear feature of bursting, nearly "exploding". The way they formed also suggested that liquid water didn't stay for long. They form and dry up fast not even reaching the bottoms of valleys or ravines.

So there is no big discovery here. What is novel is that someone may have found in laboratory HOW these bursts happen and why they have the features we see. And probably he may be missing a few things. One is why landscape remains "wet" for quite long time. Second - why the dark streaks seem to become bright-grey in time. Third - why this happens seasonally.

Anyway these questions will probably be answered in a few years from now, with fireworks and claims of novelity. This is how Science works in Mars...

Comment The crap of the crap (Score 1) 205

SLS may be really The Crap. However, the original post is surely the proof Space is too sweet for the flies to leave the pie in peace...

Whoever thinks "private" soft is more effective than any government funded project is dumber the dumbest ass on the road. He does not know nothing about space travel, specially the fact that there are still lots of unknowns behind the "simplicity" of celestial mechanics. These problems are hard enough to turn a well-planned trajectory into the nightmare of a very fluid situation, specially if there are people inside the crap. Now tell me what commercial venture will risk its head on such things. Or has anyone took off the "Ltd." out of modern business?!

NASA glued stuff? Great! That's exactly what we all do today. We GLUE stuff! We "optimize expenses", cut budgets by the half, mix apples with carrots to sell them in Tetrapacks. Oh! And you don't need to be a government agency for that because EVERYONE does it! That's what we call "Business Processes" without even thinking that there is a first principle voiding everything we do - "No changes/improverment shall stop the work of the current business..." But we are above that! Let Hell freeze over, we make a revolution! We create "the stuff" able to work everywhere for everyone everytime.

The only ooops here is that even before NASA sent people to the Moon, even before USSR sent the Sputnik and the nazis lauched its V-2... There was such stuff! It worked everywhere for everyone everytime. Its name - "snake oil".

Comment Kammler and Nukes (Score 3, Interesting) 292

Kammler can be linked to every fantastic and most absurd idea on nazi secret projects. However there is a caveat - till now I have never seen his name in any document that can be surely sourced to any atomic project nazis may have had. None, zero, nada, nechego...

The most striking fact that Kammler had nothing to do with nukes is how real nazi nuked scientists tried to survive the last days of the Third Reich. Most interesting was how Heisenberg managed to find food and other essential things for his family - he got help from an old acquaintance working at one of Kammler's key labs! For that, he came to town on a bycicle and the acquaintance was shocked by his shabby looks. So Heisenberg was a lost soul at the end of the war.

Nukes and Kammler, until someone proves the contrary, don't cope. However, this does not mean someone may still find some mega-leftovers of Kammler's Underground Empire. For the sake of what? Well he surely was an early participant of "Amerika Bomber" project, still in a very classical form. He also was the V-2/A-4 boss and there are tons of questions on how deep was his knowledge and participation of such projects like the A-10. He once worked at Luftwaffe and seemed to have been in good relations with Goering, so he could know about such wonders as the Silbervogel. And, at the end he was the last boss of the nazi jet projects (which was the reason why von Braun suddenly stopped at Oberammergau, with this guy breathing at his back). While war demanded some humbleness, it was usual to see many nazi projects exploding into mega-machines. I wouldn't be shocked to see the last of the last of Kammler's projects, the Messerschmidt P.1101, having a megabrother nearby. Or maybe it was just for the P.1101 itself! Once tested, they had to be produced somewhere, in large numbers, in very, very large numbers.

So the huge, nearly empty bunkers. Maybe for one of these bloated conceptions of World Domination. And nukes were just speculation, still without any proof of concept. At the end of the War, nazis still thought that the key to victory was the Very Big, Surely Bad and Really Ugly.

Comment Not Hypersonic but Hypesonic (Score 1) 290

It BOOMS since WWII but that's all it does... It just booms the air with lots of hype. This thing is like the Philosophical Rock of the good Middle Ages. The difference is that, from the early start, someone tries to tell you how hard, heavy and look-alike the rock is.

Which means all these quests are a total failure. For one simple reason - Speed vs. Maneuverability. You can't have both in one basket. Either you sacrifice one for the sake of the other or you get nothing (eeeee, not so straight. You may get something you believe it works but usually it becomes bloody expensive).

Hypersonics are very peculiar on this cost. It's mega-speed, so it means you have near-zero maneuverability. Worse, even miserable deviations to a planned trajectory may be deadly to your mega-cannonball. X-15 and the Shuttle have magnificent examples of such cases, down from the drawing board and up to, somehow, Columbia's tragedy. They all show that hypersonics is not a place to play with fire. Because it's fire all over. Everything burns, even the best alloys and composites we created for this task. And a small deviation of parameters/environment and you are dealling with Sun temperatures in a place you may have not taken into account. In such cases, the result can be nothing but catastrophic.

This does not mean there is nothing to do in hypersonics. Well, nuclear heads and space systems fly on it! So there is something to do there. Maybe even a hypersonic rocket could have a role, if we count all caveats of the field. However, most hypersonic research is linked to the idea of creating a "TOP GUN" system, with Buck Rogers at the helm and even less brainy politicians and generals feeding the whole thing with mega-budgets and napoleonic dreams on World Peace.

To end, let me note that this whole story has a historical scent of sinister. The first idea of an hypersonic mega-weapon was first studied in The Third Reich! Its name - Silbervogel. It was a madness like many things nazis did then but it is not just a crazy idea "floating in the air". In fact, the nazis tried some follow-ups and one of those was pushed by von Braun's boss - general Walter Dornberger. Later, after getting a solid feet in the US, Dornberger will lobby several times for hypersonic mega-weapons. In the end he became the father, forefather and grandfather of the BOMI, X-15, X-20 Dyna-Soar and Space Shuttle.

Comment Close your own hatch first (Score 1) 526

Really, what Senator Hatch should do first is to take care of its own pirates like McColo, InterCage and alikes, who cost billions of dollars for millions of people all around the world. American Pirates who specially care to attack hundreds of thousands of russian sites stealing resources AND traffic with specialized trojans, semi-automatic robots and unique viruses.

Maybe russian taxpayers don't have billions of dolars to show Senator Hatch the cost of what american pirates do here. But I am pretty sure that many american citizens still can endure tens of billions of dolars, which does not happen to many russian citizens. Because for many of them, the cost of a high-tech McColo attack runs frequently from 1/3 to 5 times their monthly salaries. There are small companies here that went burned from something that originated in USA. Yes, playing absolute numbers is SOOOOOO COOOL. Watch the effects first, before crying wolf.

So many thanks for Senator Hatch to refer Canada, China and Russia as being in the top of US's Piracy watch-list. For us, it is YOU who are in the top!

Comment Now meteors... (Score 1) 1

It seems the meteorite "theory" is picking up, even on Slashdot... And it is going even statistical:

IMHO, it is picking on the wrong way.

First, not all Earth's surface is equally probable on meteority strikes. Earth is moving on Space in a determined direction, and carries a specific positon in time. Now, space objects in the Solar System are not equally distributed all over it. Under this, as far as I can record, it seems that the Equator is one of the less probable zones for meteorite strike.

Under the weather conditions, we know were ocurring at the flight path, the flash being a "meteor stike" is even less plausible. Much more plausible is a massive bolt striking the plane. They also flash brightly and an example from a plane in Japan, seen on several sites, even shows the camera going blind.

Yes, this does not "explain" the "vertical fall" seen after the flash. Is it so? If the flash did blow up the fuel, then that would be the most probable thing to be seen.

Yes, many people claim that lightning cannot do such damage to airplanes. But no one denies, that a catasthrophic set of events could lead to something unexpected. Now such things do happen and when they happen, things go wrong in every possible way, specially, it occurs if models consider every catasthropic event as an individual parameter, but ignore their simultaneous ocurrence. In my life as an expert (nothing related to airplanes), I have seen some 4 such events. I even confess here that I was responsible for the consequences of one of them - I considered that events A and B would never occur together in any possible and plausible form. They ocurred. No matter that there were things that denied their simultaneous ocurrence, I never thought that one day I would have to deal with an hybrid environment were both basic events would be possible.

User Journal

Journal Journal: And the sprint is finished

Yes, ./ is great. Undoubtly. It is one of the great things that happened to Internet.
However, it is pretty sad that things keep being the same after all these years.

Comment Re:How hard is to find jobs today (Score 1) 287

In your world of "opportunity for everyone" maybe. In the real world shit happens in such way that it may be practically impossible to get a solution. If the whole economy goes through the tubes, how can you guarantee yourself survival? If you didn't have had this chance, you are pretty lucky, I had to pass by the downfall of USSR. It was a TREMENDOUS experience. And not the first and last one. I just refer it because it was a situation where, chances to find work were pretty grim.

Now, guys like the one I described, don't have the experience of running through wars and major crisis. They are good guys, who hope to have a life without serious bumps. This bump going now is pretty bad for such people and don't tell me a anything about opportunities. You didn't even think on what market, country, region or field I or this guy are in. So, drop a bit your shell, be it "conservative" or "liberal", and think for a little that the world is not everywhere the same.

And one note: You claim sysadmins have no excuse for considerable savings. That's consumerism, pal. That's management going nuts, not knowing what they are spending on. Not personally nor at company level. If you don't know how to manage your OWN money, how will you manage the company's money?

I don't get just a salary, I manage budgets and personnel. If I would hear someone claiming such thing as you did here, I wouldn't even take the effort to see his CV. And don't tell me about that "IT ain't cheap". Yes I know it is not cheap. But it shall be rational. Specially, when you have companies burning millions of dollars of debt and you are one of the guys tasked to kick off these companies out of the hole they are in. So when I say - I will not look at such CV, I am pretty sure of what I am talking about.

Unfortunately, I know the reality. Yes, you are among the majority.

You know how many sysadmin CVs I refused to look at? It is not "opportunities". It's a very grim picture that makes me feel horrible.

Comment As an example (Score 1) 464

Microsoft - Windows is the "gloat of the bloat and bloat of the gloat"

User - What is this moat of the goat or...

Microsoft - It is a complex of programs to feel a unique experience on digital information.

User - Can I put something into your?..

Microsoft - No way. Verbotten! It's pure proprietary, closed source, use it or drop it.

Now laws are being broken here. And it's not a question wether this works on PCs or not. It is clear black on white.

Now if...

Microsoft - Windows is an Operating System!

User - Can I put my program?

Microsoft - Eh, uh... No. Use ours or drop dead.

That IS a violation of law. More it is an antitrust violation because in the OS market you have a privileged position and you are misleading everyone AND using that "mislead" to kick out the alternatives.

Comment Re:Microsoft has a right to Windows (Score 1) 464

The antitrust law goes as far as you claim your rights in a specific market. Does DoJ drops the rope on Sony for the software they have on the playstations? And is MS breaking any laws for blocking every other system on their Xboxes? Is anyone going after them for that?

MS claims that Windows has a certain universality under a very specific thing - the Operating System. Read carefully what I wrote. I know I'm pretty freak in english but the text is quite understandable.

Yes, MS is a legal construct. But, while they have to follow the law, they have inherent rights - they are copyright holders. I am not saying that "today" they may scrap Windows or change the EULA. If they did this, probably they would have some pretty bad time with DoJ. However, they can change it "tomorrow". And they can change it ways that no antitrust will go after them. IMHO, if they stop claiming the OS definition for Windows, it will be pretty hard to get them.

But while they claim Windows is an OS or carries certain properties that they really don't make available, they will have to spend a lot of time in the courts. Because, that is where the law is being broken.

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I THINK THEY SHOULD CONTINUE the policy of not giving a Nobel Prize for paneling. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.