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Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 354's unlikely that they won't get into the next big thing in power as long as they still have control over it.

And that is exactly what worries me, especially with everyone going off the deep end about "Bad government! Deregulate everything!" It's like the entire period of '01 to '09 just went *poof! vanish* from our collective memory in terms of actual details and just who did what.

Comment Re:Oil dependence isn't a myth, just annoying (Score 1) 354

Well, here's the kicker. It's where the "Oil as a God" argument falls apart, and really is due to a faulty assumption on which said argument is based: Green energy does not completely replace oil, only as a replacement power source, e.g. our electrical grid, and (possibly, depending further advances) for transportation. I've heard & read of various research into creating synthetic fibers & plastic-esque materials based from corn silk and other "natural" materials rather than petroleum, but I don't know how far along such research is.
Still, it's ridiculous to assume that a collapse is imminent with the advent of a new technology; I'd guess and hope that a change-over would be done more incrementally to see how it would work out. As for the oil barons' financial well being?... Suck it up. Whatever happened to free-market capitalism, and may the best player win, survival of the fittest, etc? If you can't see anything above the edge of the oil barrel in which you live, can't innovate with a new business model to keep up with changing demand, who's fault is that?

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 354

Yeah, special interest groups wouldn't have any impact on this at all. Especially now that corporate contributions to political smear- I mean, opinion films has been lifted, I'm sure all the oil, natural gas, and coal groups will be glad to jump on it's back- I mean, aboard.

Comment Just to play Devil's advocate... (Score 1) 319 many *significant* recalls have there been for vehicles within, oh, just the past four years? The past two? Just 2009? How about the most recent one, gas pedals on certain Toyotas sticking? It's bad enough if something like that causes a wreck here on Earth, but in space, there's no such thing as "a crash you walk away from."

Comment Re:How is this a good idea? (Score 1) 319

Yeah, but where does that stop? What if the program puts such a cheap value on the participating astronauts that they become as expendable as the impact probes we shot at the moon? What if Airmen stop signing up? What then? Conscription? Random short-stick lottery from qualifying candidates? As far as your other examples go, cars and so forth, a lot has to do with, yes, private sector interests that will pay just enough to reasonably limit their liability, and not a penny more, politics, and a general public that's been numbed to a point of indifference. Using certain things about our society that are pretty f***ed up as an example and justification to let our space program be f***ed up is just a bad can of worms to open. Allowing standards to slacken instead of being raised, that's not progress; that's the disgusting slob still at the bar some time in the A.M. drunkenly screaming, "WHADYA MEAN, LAST CALL?! BULL****!!!" I, for one, do not want us to be that guy.

Comment Re:Well yes... but: (Score 4, Insightful) 155

If only they would have stood up for free speech at the beginning, and not only after they found themselves with a disappointing 29% market share.

Er, Baidu had 1) been operating for seven years already when was founded in China and 2) had the benefits of being a Chinese company that no doubt had leaders more in tune with Chinese culture.

Pick a country foreign to you. Now give your competitors a seven year head start. Now try to enter the market. Now tell me that 29% is "disappointing." Has anyone come even close to that against Google in the US?

I'd say 29% is pretty astonishing. What were you expecting?

Comment Re:What will they be called? (Score 1) 242

The weird practice that there be a different English word for every nation's astronauts just reflects the strange place the space program resides in: a political and cultural bauble, not an essential activity for the future of the human race. It's sad.

Sad, but not surprising. Look at how we, as a culture, have treated so-called "big science." As soon as the [elitist snob]unwashed masses[/es], and particularly politicians, think that Fermi, or our various other big research labs, can come up with a solution for something, or create a fancy new toy for the Pentagon, they're willing to invest, but only the minimum, and feel it their right to demand a solution ASAP. They fail, however, to understand that such research labs need funding of a significant amount for significant periods, and aren't really "quick-fix" institutions, but rather places to advance our broader scope of understanding of the Universe. I remember seeing a PBS special, "The Atom Smashers," that covered a period just before CERN opened their V.L.A, and how Fermi was striving to find the Higgs-Boson before such a heavyweight contender entered they playing field. Part of the film featured a public forum of sorts, to educate people on "big science" research, which from the looks of it was conducted at least in the 1980s, perhaps later. The people asking questions seemed to be utterly confused as to just what the scientists there did, and I got the impression of a distinct impatience that they weren't producing immediately viable results. The more the scientist conducting the Q&A session tried to answer and relate the relevance of their research, the more it just dissolved into contentious questioning of the worth of such research. As long as this anti-intellectual attitude remains the cultural norm, things like space travel and major physics labs, etc, will remain just as you said: a cultural bauble.

Wow, really did not mean to go on like that, but it needed to be said.

Comment Re:First call center in space scheduled for 2021 (Score 1) 242

Bush also didn't inherit an enormous national debt from a previous administration, did he? No, I do believe he started out with a surplus... The sad thing is, somehow, the far right has managed to cloud the issue by calling into question the surplus, and, what's worse, spread the untrue and utterly ludicrous notion that Bush reduced spending. They mysteriously pull a few cherry-picked and sometimes completely fictitious numbers out of their hat, and *WHRRRR-CHUGA-CHUGA-CHUGA-CHUGA* there goes the spin machine, hard at work.

What's interesting to note is the record of debt between the two major parties, going back all the way to the Kennedy-Johnson era. Neither party has been stellar, but it does seem an awful lot that during the periods of the so-called "fiscal conservatives" have actually been some of the highest debt periods our nation has had. Care to explain that?

This is all off-topic anyway. This is an article about freaking India and their space program, ergo, the wrong place to start a squabble over US politics.

Comment Re:Right of free speech + right of association (Score 1) 1070

No Corporations and Unions are different from Political Parties and Individuals in a specific way.

I believe you meant "No , Corporations and Unions are..." Seriously, punctuation matters. My brother happened to glance at that sentence in the course of discussing this with me, and about had an aneurysm.
That said, I agree.

Comment Re:Wow, you can't get better sources than WND? (Score 1) 689

To add to ubernostrum's reply, and further drive the point home, the paper explicitly cites...

Those who subscribe to conspiracy theories may create serious risks, including risks of violence...

I'm pretty sure preventing threats to the US public like violent acts such as, say, a McVeigh-style bomb attack, preventing cold-blooded murder, etc, are responsibilities of the government.

Comment Re:Why fear terrorists... (Score 2, Interesting) 689

...I really never thought I'd live to see the day when someone praised Moore and Limbaugh in the same sentence.

As far as Limbaugh goes, I forgot when the spirit of the 1st amendment was so people could encourage things like this...

The dream end of [Operation Chaos] is that this keeps up to the convention, and that we have a recreation of Chicago 1968 with burning cars, protests, fire, and literal riots and all of that, that is the objective here.

Yeah, great use of those 1st amendment rights, Oxy-Rush. If you wonder why on earth bad ideas like the one in TFA get started, look no further than the talking heads and stuffed shirts on conservative KRWA radio, and the Teabag-grabbers still incoherently screeching, "DEATH PANELS, DEATH PANELS!" or, "KENYAN NATIONAL, KENYAN NATIONAL!!" long after the myth has been debunked. If the OP is to be believed, this wanders uncomfortably close to artificially shaping public opinion, and may be a step in the wrong direction. On the other hand, how does this administration deal with a an angry mob intent on tar-and-feathering them for the crimes (yes, crimes. Not a typo) that the previous administration committed? As far as I see it, debunking myths and lies is, at least, a noble cause. It's just the methodology that's dubious.

Comment Re:How much of this is really SENSITIVE? (Score 1) 175

I don't think this is so much corporate espionage, as it is personal data of either customers, clients, or even the company's own employees, falling into the wrong hands. Like identity thieves or black-hat hackers sifting for credit card numbers or other usable financial information, payroll/account details that could possibly include bank account numbers, etc. How many people these days use direct deposit? And some companies that handle medical/rx must abide by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which requires certain "Personal Info" to be released only internally, or only to third parties directly involved with a given person's health care. There are companies that need this, either by law, or just as a good common sense measure, and if not for the entire organization, then at least some departments should look into it.

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