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Comments

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ULA and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Announce Rocket Engine Partnership

Baldrson Re:Blastoff From the Past (19 comments)

Interesting. Is the geometry of that so-called "development vehicle" representative of the production vehicle's?

yesterday
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ULA and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Announce Rocket Engine Partnership

Baldrson Blastoff From the Past (19 comments)

Back in 1981-1983 when I was local support team leader for Space Studies Institute in Miami, FL promoting the idea of space colonies among the locals, one of the slides we showed was of this artist's conception of a Single Stage to Orbit Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing system proposed by Boeing to loft solar power satellites into LEO. This vehicle also appeared in Gerard O'Neill's original edition of "The High Frontier" that Jeff Bezos probably read while he was becoming the valedictorian of his high school class.

Looking at Bezos's New Shepherd Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing vehicle you might think that somewhere along the line Jeff caught a glimpse of Boeing's old design.

2 days ago
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WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

Baldrson Besoz's Blue Origin In Bed With Boeing on Taxi (198 comments)

Bezos's Blue Origin Part of Boeing Team Bidding for Taxi to ISS

http://slashdot.org/submission...

Submitted by Baldrson on Tuesday September 16, 2014 @10:58AM
Baldrson (78598) writes
"The WSJ reports that: "The long-secretive space ambitions of Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.com Inc., suddenly are about to get a lot more public. Blue Origin LLC, the space-exploration startup Mr. Bezos has been quietly toiling over for years, is part of a team led by Boeing Co. that is expected to soon garner a NASA contract to ferry astronauts to and from the international space station, according to people familiar with the matter.""

3 days ago
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WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

Baldrson Good thing for SpaceX (198 comments)

The sooner SpaceX gets away from reliance on government-as-customer the better. They are within a hairs-breadth of a dramatic drop in launch cost and if the effect of this is what I expect it to be, there will be an explosion of business in space as new regimes of space activity open up with SpaceX the primary transport.

3 days ago
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NASA's Competition For Dollars

Baldrson Just Do Prizes (78 comments)

Prize awards have high leverage on private investment. Moreover, prize awards aren't spent only for the desired returns -- thereby relegating risk management to the private sector where it belongs.

Oh, I forgot, NASA's money comes largely from political considerations about which districts get how much government pork.

Never mind.

about three weeks ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Baldrson Java Is Corporate (511 comments)

Java has stuck around for the same reason Cobol stuck around for so long: It's corporate.

Does that mean Java isn't cool? No. But are we going to say Cobol is cool because it stuck around for so long?

about a month ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

Baldrson Remediating American's Victimization of Indians (561 comments)

Its good to see Apple recognizes America's history of victimizing Indians requires remediation by affirmative action favoring the hiring of Indians.

about a month ago
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3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

Baldrson Re:Leftist drive (393 comments)

Anon writes: "Your tax scheme will destroy every company that thinks long-term enough to be able to survive a hiccup."

Argument by assertion.

"I'll just transfer all of my capital assets to the city of Detroit"

It doesn't matter to whom you transfer the assets for lease-back. They'll be assessed on the market value of the assets and you'll be assessed on the market value of the lease. Any attempt to void the requirement of liquidation through, say, an asset that self-destructs if it isn't biometrically linked to your "shrewd" butt will be seen for what it is: Interference in the liquidation of the asset, which will result in criminal and civil damages exactly equivalent to doing damages, with criminal intent, to any public good.

, whos politicians I own, and lease it back with a poisoned contract. Poof, now I'm paying no taxes, and I've got the city by the nuts, because this also means that they've screwed if they piss me off.

about a month ago
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3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

Baldrson Re:Devleopment Risk Management (393 comments)

I'm taking Musk at his word that he wants to see fair and open competition as his self-interest is based on a belief in his own superiority in a "may the best man win" spirit. I see no indication from Musk, as yet, that he is engaged in public sector rent seeking, so I tend to take him at his word here.

about a month ago
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3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

Baldrson Devleopment Risk Management (393 comments)

As a person credited with launch service privatizing legislation by Congressman (Ron Packard, R-Ca), in his introduction of my congressional testimony on private space development, the Congressman who sponsored that legislation, let me weigh in:

If your own money is at stake, you approach risk management in a very different way than when someone else's money is at stake.

Public funds for development results in a very different sort of risk management than private funds for risk management.

The typical argument for public funding of development is that the risk management under private funding is to, basically, not bother taking the risk at all -- and that therefore the public must.

Well... this has as its unspoken assumption that the downstream benefit is so great that it is clearly justifiable to take the risk. OK, let's go with that assumption and then let us further ask: Why is it that the capital markets are failing in their primary reason for existence: To manage investment risk?

The folks arguing for public funding of development need to provide answers for that question taking the form either of, a renunciation of the primary principle of capitalism -- since the public becomes more competent at investment the less risk there is -- or, proposals to correct the statutory regime under which investment is made so that the capital markets function properly.

In my role promoting private over public investment in launch services development, I was aware that there was, indeed, a capital market failure that needed to be fixed through statutory changes in the tax system. Yet I proceeded to promote private over public investment. Why? Because in the foregoing discussion of trade offs between private vs public risk management there goes unspoken the risk that a positive feedback system can easily develop where political action is funded by tax dollars, however indirect. This positive feedback system results in a body politic that excludes from political influence those who are not receiving tax dollars -- such as inventors in the garages who are trying to bring even incremental improvements to the market. Moreover, this lack of political influence is compounded by the fact that such inventors are seen as business risks by those whose political action is predicated on the technical ignorance of politicians -- hence government funds not only fund political action, but actively suppress improvement.

There is simply no way out of this mess but to, first, turn off the funding sources if at all possible, so that it is possible to then address the real underlying capital market failure that results in lack of investment in viable technologies of great value.

The role guys like Musk should be taking on here is to point out the capital market failure and recommend appropriate fixes in the statutory environment so that there is no place for the public sector rent-seeking of government funded political agencies, posing as technology companies, to hide.

One year after I gave my testimony before Congress, I did make a proposal for just such a reform in the tax and regulatory code in the form of a white paper which I sent to various think-tanks in the beltway. The problem is those think-tanks are, themselves, now funded by the same positive feedback loop that actively supports existing cash flows and their expansion -- which includes avoiding any reforms that would correct the capital market failures to which technosocialist political agencies point to justify their receipt of taxpayer money.

Here's what Musk needs to promote:

Replace all taxes on economic activity with a single tax on net liquidation value of assets. This is rational in that those assets enjoy government protection in a manner similar to the protection provided by property insurance corporations. In other words, taxes become a service fee equivalent to the insurance premium paid to a mutual insurance company in which all citizens are stockholders, in exchange for the lawful protection of the assessed property rights. Economic activity -- as a form of humanity in action -- is not taxed, nor is human capital arising from, say, investment in education (ie: no slavery direct or indirect).

Liquidation value is chosen for a very specific reason: Assessment can be objectively accomplished through bids held in escrow. The monetary base can then be viewed as the "mark to market" or liquidation value of assets in the economy, with the money supply defined by the bids in escrow. An owner can accept an escrowed bid at any time, thereby liquidating his property right and transferring ownership to the high bidder. Tax liability can be deferred as long as the total liability accrued does not exceed the liquidation value. Once it exceeds the liquidation value, the transfer of ownership is executed and the liability is paid. The high bid in escrow for a given property right is _not_ assessed as a taxable asset, but other, lower, bids, are taxed.

This isn't the only statutory reform needed but it is the most important to get the capital markets moving and remove taxation of income and capital gains resulting from high payoff risk taking.

about a month ago
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Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

Baldrson Dr. X, On Which List Will You Appear? (541 comments)

*RING* *RING*

Callee: Hello?

Caller: Hello, Dr. X, this is Dr. Y from [insert watchdog group name]. How are you today?

Callee: Uh, ok.

Caller: We're doing a survey. Your paper "[insert name of paper]" is cited in a NYT Best Seller that justifies taking babies of some races and putting them into blenders for smoothies. Do you oppose taking babies of some races and putting them into blenders for smoothies or not?

Callee: (Thinking to himself: "This guy is obviously nuts but then half of academia is nuts and they can cut off mine as well as all my future government grants for looking at them crosseyeed.") Why, NO! I absolutely oppose the use of my work to in any way shape or form to justify taking babies of some races and putting them into blenders for smoothies! Where is the bastard that so abused my inherently anti-racist work so I can consider suing him!?!?"

Caller: Thank you Dr. X. That will be all.

about a month ago
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About Half of Kids' Learning Ability Is In Their DNA

Baldrson The Rest Is White Man Keepin' Us Down (227 comments)

So what? Everyone knows that race is a social construct so there can't be any genetic correlations with race of social significance independent of racism's social construction.

Therefore, the racial disparities that appear in society are the result of the White Man keepin' us down! The Heterosexual White Man that is.

Open the borders!

about a month ago
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Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

Baldrson School Is Life (421 comments)

Absolutely. I have to work all the time and I fear for my children becoming less than fully indoctrinated as any deviation in thought may result in a loss of employability and social acceptance.

about a month ago
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How Google Handles 'Right To Be Forgotten' Requests

Baldrson Re:Orwell's Memory Hole (135 comments)

Not ultimately, but proximately, it is. For instance, the guys at the Hackers Conference ceased bringing their fragmentary Usenet archives because DejaNews had everything online and then -- poof -- only for Google to pick it up again and then go, "Duh!" We'll see how long it takes for complete archive to be fully indexed. I'm sure it will happen eventually. Meanwhile...

about a month and a half ago
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How Google Handles 'Right To Be Forgotten' Requests

Baldrson Orwell's Memory Hole (135 comments)

Google has already mastered the art of Orwell's "memory hole". Just look at how Google manages to forget everything they know about search engines when it comes to their Usenet archives. Selectively applied, this is far more effective than anything so brute as Orwell's memory hole.

about a month and a half ago
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Nuclear Missile Command Drops Grades From Tests To Discourage Cheating

Baldrson Re:Let Them Cheat! (122 comments)

Oh I should add that once you are in this regime, the term "hire" may be somewhat different than it is in other circumstances. I mean a more straight-forward means of dealing with cheating is to punish cheating with a degree of severity that matches the potential harm inflicted by having cheaters with their fingers on The Big Red Button -- so the circumstances of the "employment" may involve such any aspects of such punishment as are practically applicable. Military justice isn't burdened with your usual Civil Libertarian constraints.,

about 1 month ago
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Nuclear Missile Command Drops Grades From Tests To Discourage Cheating

Baldrson Let Them Cheat! (122 comments)

If you have people that are even remotely tempted to cheat that have their fingers on The Big Red Button, you have a serious threat to civilization.

Having an incentive to cheat is a great way to elicit this potential. The proper national security response is not to remove the incentive to cheat but to increase the detection sensitivity and then hire the guys who cheated to compete with others who cheated to design test regimes that are more likely to elicit cheating while also being more sensitive to detecting cheating.

about 1 month ago
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SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

Baldrson Fly More Missions and Purchase Launch Services (114 comments)

Necessity and Incentives Opening the Space Frontier
Testimony before the House Subcommittee on Space
by James Bowery, Chairman
Coalition for Science and Commerce
July 31, 1991

Mr. Chairman and Distinguished Members of the Subcommittee:

I am James Bowery, Chairman of the Coalition for Science and Commerce. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to address the subcommittee on the critical and historic topic of commercial incentives to open the space frontier.

The Coalition for Science and Commerce is a grassroots network of citizen activists supporting greater public funding for diversified scientific research and greater private funding for proprietary technology and services. We believe these are mutually reinforcing policies which have been violated to the detriment of civilization. We believe in the constitutional provision of patents of invention and that the principles of free enterprise pertain to intellectual property. We therefore see technology development as a private sector responsibility. We also recognize that scientific knowledge is our common heritage and is therefore a proper function of government. We oppose government programs that remove procurement authority from scientists, supposedly in service of them. Rather we support the inclusion, on a per-grant basis, of all funding needed to purchase the use of needed goods and services, thereby creating a scientist-driven market for commercial high technology and services. We also oppose government subsidy of technology development. Rather we support legislation and policies that motivate the intelligent investment of private risk capital in the creation of commercially viable intellectual property.

In 1990, after a 3 year effort with Congressman Ron Packard (CA) and a bipartisan team of Congressional leaders, we succeeded in passing the Launch Services Purchase Act of 1990, a law which requires NASA to procure launch services in a commercially reasonable manner from the private sector. The lobbying effort for this legislation came totally from taxpaying citizens acting in their home districts without a direct financial stake -- the kind of political intended by our country's founders, but now rarely seen in America.

We ask citizens who work with us for the most valuable thing they can contribute: The voluntary and targeted investment of time, energy and resources in specific issues and positions which they support as taxpaying citizens of the United States. There is no collective action, no slush-fund and no bureaucracy within the Coalition: Only citizens encouraging each other to make the necessary sacrifices to participate in the political process, which is their birthright and duty as Americans. We are working to give interested taxpayers a voice that can be heard above the din of lobbyists who seek ever increasing government funding for their clients.

Introduction

Americans need a frontier, not a program.

Incentives open frontiers, not plans.

If this Subcommittee hears no other message through the barrage of studies, projections and policy recommendations, it must hear this message. A reformed space policy focused on opening the space frontier through commercial incentives will make all the difference to our future as a world, a nation and as individuals.

Americans Need a Frontier

When Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon, we won the "space race" against the Soviets and entered two decades of diminished expectations.

The Apollo program elicited something deep within Americans. Something almost primal. Apollo was President Kennedy's "New Frontier." But when Americans found it was terminated as nothing more than a Cold War contest, we felt betrayed in ways we are still unable to articulate -- betrayed right down to our pioneering souls. The result is that Americans will never again truly believe in government space programs and plans.

Without a frontier, for the past two decades, Americans have operated under the inevitable conclusion that land, raw materials and wealth itself are fundamentally limited and therefore to be hoarded and controlled -- rather than created. Out of this post-Apollo mentality, a deeply rooted cynicism has led young people into careers as lawyers and financial manipulators rather than farmers, inventors and engineers. It has led to an environmental movement which loathes humanity's natural capacity to transform hostile environments with technology. It has led to cartels, wars over energy and a devastatingly expensive arms race. It has led businesses and investors to remain averse to high risk technology development even as they issue billions in high risk debt vehicles for corporate take-overs. It has led to a preference for real estate speculation over job creating investments, making it nearly impossible for most of those born in the mid-to-late baby boom of the 1950s to establish stable careers, homesteads and equity for retirement, even with two incomes.

In short, the lack of a frontier is leading us away from the progressive values of the Age of Enlightenment, upon which our country was founded, and back to the stagnant feudalistic values of the middle ages. We look to the Japanese for cultural leadership. We forget the rule of law and submit to the rule of bureaucracy, both corporate and governmental; for in a world without frontiers, the future belongs to the bureaucrat, not the pioneer.

No where is this failure of vision more apparent than in our space program where the laws of human nature and politics have overcome the laws of nature and the space frontier as in "Take off your engineering hat and put on your management hat."

First Apollo failed us. Then the shuttle raised and dashed our hopes by failing to provide easy access to space. We now look forward to the proposed space station as the last vestige of a dying dream written of by Werner Von Braun in Collier's magazine during the 1950's, even as its costs skyrocket and its capabilities dwindle into a symbolic gesture of lost greatness.

The pioneering of frontiers is antithetical to bureaucracy and politics. The greatest incentive for opening frontiers is to escape from calcifying institutions. We betray our deepest values when we give ownership of our only frontier to such institutions.

Therefore, these hearings on incentives to open the space frontier are among the most hopeful events in recent history. Those responsible for holding these hearings and acting to create pioneering incentives to finally open the space frontier, are to be commended for their insight, courage and leadership. They are earning for themselves and our entire civilization a place of honor in history.

Incentives Open Frontiers

Over the past few years the Coalition has worked with Congressman Ron Packard and a broad spectrum of other Congressional leaders to introduce and pass a bill providing the most significant incentive for opening the space frontier to date: The Launch Services Purchase Act of 1990. Similar to the Kelly Act of 1925, which created incentives for pioneering aviation, the LSPA seeks to synthesize a commercially reasonable market from existing government demand for launch services. Lowering the cost of access to space through incentives for commercial competition is the most important goal in our space policy because launch costs dominate all others.

Although extensively amended from its original language, the LSPA remains a symbol of pioneering spirit, democracy in action and American values in the one place it counts the most: The Space Frontier.

Congressman Bob Walker's Omnibus Space Commercialization Act of 1991 contains two important provisions which will expand and empower the incentives of the LSPA. The first provision is the return of language in the LSPA to cover the Department of Defense as well as NASA, and to cover all space transportation, not just orbital launch. The second is the substantial funding authorization for launch and payload integration service vouchers under the Department of Transportation. The independence of the Department of Transportation's Office of Commercial Space Transportation creates exactly the kind of checks needed to avoid conflicts of interest. Private investors can trust their capital with such carefully constructed incentives.

Another important provision of the Omnibus Space Commercialization Act is the encouragement of many Federal agencies to participate in space activities. Such variety of funding sources further inhibits the politicization of space by replacing political competition for centralized programmatic control with incentives for performance in technical and commercial competition.

These incentives are helping to open the space frontier because they discriminate on the basis of actual achievement rather than political savvy and psychological appeal. By acting as a market instead of a monopsony or as a source of capital, government funding ceases to control or compete with the initiatives of our citizenry. Instead government rewards viable citizen initiatives with the profits needed to further capitalize space services, while punishing failed management and technology with bankruptcy; conditions virtually impossible to replicate within the space paradigm of the past.

Profit and bankruptcy are as essential to technical progress as mutation and selection are to biological evolution. They are the "invisible hand" that guide private investors to create viable solutions to our needs. Just as mutation and selection led life from water onto dry land, so profit and bankruptcy will remove the earthly limits on life and open to life the limitless ecological range of space.

Distribution of funding in peer-reviewed grants to scientists which patronize commercially competitive companies not only utilizes market forces to optimize infrastructure design and operations, but it also spreads space dollars out to all Congressional districts without multi-year authorizations, technical prejudice or political gamesmanship. This apolitical cashflow creates commercial incentives and it builds solid justifications for the use of our space dollars with a hard-core nation-wide constituency.

But robust justifications and hard-core political constituency pale in significance when compared the explosive energy of Americans challenged by the incentives and freedoms of a frontier.

Americans can best be challenged by the following policy measures:

* Distribute space funding to multiple independent agencies for the funding of unsolicited scientific proposals.

* Require that the experiments be designed to fly on existing commercial services.

* Expose the proposals to review by a patent examiner to ensure the work is genuine science, as defined under intellectual property laws, and therefore not in competition with private sector technology development.

* Require that the principle investigator make the primary procurement decisions free from Federal Acquisition Regulations.

* Minimize abuses and avoid multiyear authorization by keeping grants relatively small.

* As commercial companies establish space operations, support their property rights.

Comprehensive legislative language drafted for discussion by Dr. Andrew Cutler details many of the Coalition's ideas on procurement, property rights and transitional policies. This legislative language is available on request.

Stated simply:

Fly lots of scientific missions using commercial services. Base them on fresh ideas. Let unfashionable ideas find funding. Decentralize procurement decisions. Avoid competition with the private sector by focusing on research rather than development. Enforce new property rights in space as they are defined.

Give Americans a challenge and trust them to react with the resourcefulness and courage of our ancestors who risked everything to cross the oceans to settle a hostile continent. We won't disappoint you.

Conclusion

The space frontier is a hostile environment with unlimited potential that demands our best. We can meet such a challenge only with the strength of our traditional American values -- values uniquely adapted to opening frontiers.

This Subcommittee is in a position of great privilege. The next millennium could witness the restoration of Earth's environment and the transformation of space into an new kind of ecological range, virtually limitless in its extent and diversity. Those creating the incentives that open the space frontier now will be responsible for the fulfillment of this vision which appears to be the ultimate destiny of Western Civilization's progressive tradition.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Bezos's Blue Origin Part of Boeing Team Bidding for Taxi to ISS

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  3 days ago

Baldrson (78598) writes "The WSJ reports that: "The long-secretive space ambitions of Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.com Inc., suddenly are about to get a lot more public. Blue Origin LLC, the space-exploration startup Mr. Bezos has been quietly toiling over for years, is part of a team led by Boeing Co. that is expected to soon garner a NASA contract to ferry astronauts to and from the international space station, according to people familiar with the matter.""
Link to Original Source
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NASA Langley Study On Cold Fusion's Potential in Aviation

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  about 7 months ago

Baldrson (78598) writes "Perpetually in-flight "skytrains" with which smaller aircraft would temporarily dock to exchange passengers and cargo, ground-effect flying container ships ala the Hughes Spruce Goose (only bigger and not made of spruce) and vertical takeoff and landing supersonic business jets were among among the aircraft potentials of cold fusion technology presented at NASA Langley's ARMD Seedling Seminar, February 25, 2014 in a study titled "Low Energy Nuclear Reaction Aircraft" (Warning: Adobe Connect). One comment heard: "There is a similar initiative in Lockheed/Martin.""
Link to Original Source
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NYT: Massive Study Questions H-1b Policies

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  about a year ago

Baldrson (78598) writes "The New York Times reports: "An LCA is not an actual H1-B application rather an intent to hire an H1-B worker after an unsuccessful domestic search...Within the top 10 jobs, there are an estimated 134% more candidates nationwide than there were positions requested. Additionally, we found that domestic student enrollment in computer and mathematical graduate programs has grown 88% in the last decade, while foreign student enrollment has dwindled 13%. There does not appear to be a sudden mass shortage of educated domestic workers, rather a handful of outsourcing firms who file a majority of the LCAs and are uninterested in domestic candidates. 82% of the positions requested by the top 20 companies were requested by outsourcing firms.""
Link to Original Source
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Forbes Takes a Second Look At Rossi's E-Cat Cold Fusion Device

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  about a year ago

Baldrson (78598) writes "Forbes technology contributor Mark Gibbs reports that: "I haven’t posted about Rossi and his E-Cat since last August simply because there wasn’t much to report other than more of Rossi’s unsupported and infuriating claims ... What everyone wanted was something that Rossi has been promising was about to happen for months: An independent test by third parties who were credible... much to my, and I suspect many other people’s surprise, a report by credible, independent third parties is exactly what we got. Published on May 16, the paper titled “Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device” would appear to deliver what we wanted...And now, the big reveal the authors’ conclusions are (again, the emphasis is mine): ' if we consider the whole volume of the reactor core and the most conservative figures on energy production, we still get a value of (7.93 ± 0.8) 102 MJ/Liter that is one order of magnitude higher than any conventional source.'""
Link to Original Source
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Independent Academic Validation of Industrially Useful Cold Fusion Device

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  about a year ago

Baldrson (78598) writes "An energy revolution has been reported in a joint paper by scientists from Bologna University, Uppsala University and Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, titled "Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device containing hydrogen loaded nickel powder." This is the long-awaited independent validation of the infamous "E-Cat" or "Energy Catalyzer" by controversial inventor Andrea Rossi. Quoting the paper: "Even by the most conservative assumptions as to the errors in the measurements, the result is still one order of magnitude greater than conventional energy sources.""
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Applied Oceanic Geoengineer Spurs Mass Hysteria Among Political Class

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  about 2 years ago

Baldrson writes "The UK Guardian via io9 reports that "A massive and illegal geoengineering project has been detected off Canada’s west coast." An Amerindian tribe in the Pacific NW that depends on salmon contracted to have 100 tonnes of iron sulphate spread across a huge area in order to spur plankton growth. The entrepreneur, Russ George, hopes to cash in on the carbon credits and the Amerindian tribe on an increased salmon harvest. This is inducing mass hysteria among the poltical class."
Link to Original Source
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H-1bs Drive Out Skilled But Not Unskilled

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Baldrson writes "From a Notre Dame press release: "In the first study to measure the temporary impact of highly skilled immigrants on native populations, University of Notre Dame EconomistAbigail Wozniak and Fairfield University's Thomas J. Murray — a former Notre Dame graduate student — found that when highly skilled immigrants move to a city or town, the U.S. natives in that area who are also highly skilled tend to move away. However, the study found that the same immigrant group's presence decreases the chances that low-skilled natives would leave." This, of course, contrasts with pundits such as Tim O'Reilly who claim that US skilled workers enjoy greater economic security from skilled immigrants."
Link to Original Source
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Quadrotor Construction Swarm

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Baldrson (78598) writes "In this video teams of quadrotors autonomously build cubic structures from modular parts. Imagine these little guys flying to battery recharge stations, dropping off their discharged batteries and picking up freshly charged batteries. That would take only about 10% off their production time. The battery recharge stations themselves could be autonomously and continuously redistributed to the construction frontier. Autonomous crawlers could weld the positioned joints."
Link to Original Source
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Falcon 9 Orbits!

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Baldrson (78598) writes "Business Week reports that: "SpaceX’s Falcon 9 took off on its first test flight at about 2:45 p.m. local time from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It reached the Earth’s orbit about nine minutes later." This is a victory not only for Elon Musk's team, but for advocates of commercial space transportation."
Link to Original Source
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A Space Solar Power Satellite A Day...

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Baldrson writes "I've been following space solar power satellite technology since O'Neill's Stewart Brand days (longer than half of you have been alive) and this is the first time it appears likely to happen in the near future: PowerSat Corporation has filed 2 important patents. One uses the solar array to propel itself from low earth orbit to geostationary orbit. The other one turns a cloud of small geostationary solar power satellites into a huge phased array. The propulsion patent plausibly reduces launch costs by 67%. The satellite cloud microwave phasing patent, however, has a huge hidden benefit that I doubt even Powersat has fully taken into account: industrial learning curve of small launchers. A similar argument has been made before by Autodesk founder, John Walker in "A Rocket A Day keeps the High Costs Away. Basically, if you are going to deploy a system with a large number of repetitions, the total (integral) cost is given by the formula: firstunit*(units^(1-rate))/(1-rate). To replace all fossil fuel baseload generation capacity in the US (250GW) would require 20,000 Falcon 9 HL launches (78Mdollars/15000kg or $5200/kg to geostationary transfer orbit) each of 3 BrightStars (PowerSat's satellite) at nearly 5000kg each. Walk that down down an industrial learning curve at 10% per doubling, the total launch cost of a 250GW cloud would be (1-.67)*1-.67)*5200*3*5000*((200*100)^(1-.1))/(1-.1) = 212G$ or less than a dollar per installed watt of baseload electric generation capacity. Assuming 10% energy loss in transmission to the ground array, each satellite would need to generate around 250GW/(3*5000*200*100)kg/(1-.1) or less than 1kW/kg or 5MW/satellite. At 35% solar conversion efficiency and 1kW/m^2 solar flux most of that would be in a weightless mirror that would have to be about 70m in diameter at 350g/m^2 (5000kg/(5MW/(.35*1kW/m^2))). Weightless mirrors can be very low mass and inexpensive. Looks doable. To pay for the satellite itself let's more than triple the installed cost to $3/W. To understand how big of a deal this is: The other near-term scalable baseload electrical sources are "clean coal" and nuclear power — both of which are, optimistically, at similar capital costs per installed watt."
Link to Original Source
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Spasim: World's First 3D MOG

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Baldrson writes "The first 3D Multiplayer Online Game was published in — 1994? No. 1984? Sorry, Mac. It was 1974 on the same system that Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's current Chief Architect got his start: PLATO IV. It was for up to 32 world-wide users all shooting it up in a space simulation called "Spasim". Watch the video of a recent demonstration running on a CDC Cyber emulated by an AMD64 system."
Link to Original Source
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Armadillo Aerospace Wins First Lunar Lander Prize

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Baldrson writes "By flying a rocket for 90 seconds to a soft landing on another pad, and then relaunching for a similar 90 second flight, John Carmack's rocket company, Armadillo Aerospace has won the first, and smaller, of two prizes in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. The first flight was completed this morning but the second flight was delayed until this afternoon due to air traffic conflicts. Carmack and crew have been at this for a number of years with some near misses in prior competitions. This winning flight is welcome good news at a time when many have concerns about a down-turn in commercial space and the likely next President of the United States has recently said of such prizes, "When John F. Kennedy decided that we were going to put a man on the moon, he didn't put a bounty out for some rocket scientist to win — he put the full resources of the United States government behind the project...""
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Fear and Loathing in AIG's IT Department

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Baldrson writes "John Miano of The Programmer's Guild writes: "In the late 1990s the world of computer consulting took me to AIG. Only superlatives can describe what I saw while working at AIG's computer operation. It was the most mismanaged company of any type that I have ever seen...So why are you and I bailing out this company? In a free market, the penalty for mismanagement is going out of business. America owes AIG nothing. AIG has no loyalty to America or the American people. They were willing to replace Americans with foreign workers in a futile attempt to save a few dollars.""
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$1M In Compression Prizes Announced by Ocarina

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  about 6 years ago

Baldrson writes "Ocarina, a storage compression company, is offering $1 million in prize increments of $10,000 for each 3% advance in compression on what Ocarina's Chief Scientist, Matt Mahoney, describes as "extremely challenging data". Matt should know, since, in addition to originating a leading class of compression algorithms and maintaining a benchmark list of top compressors, he is on the board of directors of The Hutter Prize for Lossless Compression of Human Knowledge, which stimulated a number of 3% incremental improvements in compressing Wikipedia."
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Machine Super Intelligence Thesis Wins $10k Prize

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Baldrson writes "The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence has announced Dr. Shane Legg the winner of its $(CDN)10,000 prize for academic achievement in 2008 for his theoretic work relating to "machine super intelligence". In his own words: "My thesis is written and submitted and I will be having my thesis defence in June. The title is 'Machine Super Intelligence' in which I describe Marcus Hutter's AIXI model and study some of its implications, extensions etc." His post-doctoral work is going to be in finance."
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H-1b Visas Not Going to "Best and Brightest

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Baldrson writes "Norm Matloff has published a continuation of an earlier study investigating the degree to which H-1b visas have been awarded to talent unavailable in the United States — "the best and the brightest" — as is required by law. Using a market-based analysis derived from salary figures, Matloff concludes: '...the data show dramatically that most foreign workers, the vast majority of whom are from Asia, are in fact not "the best and the brightest."' Moreover, he further concludes that 'Most foreign workers work at or near entry level, described by the Department of Labor in terms akin to apprenticeship. This counters the industry's claim that they hire the workers as key innovators, and again we will see a stark difference between the Asians and Europeans.'"
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Chertoff Recommends Cyber "Manhattan Project&#

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Baldrson writes "News.com reports that: "Risks from cyberattacks are increasing and the consequences are so great that the country needs a "Manhattan Project" for network security, Michael Chertoff, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said in a keynote on Tuesday at RSA 2008... The government needs the "best and brightest" from Silicon Valley and elsewhere in the private sector to work on creating an advanced warning system to prevent such cyberattacks." I'm sure all reasonable readers of /. are now asking themselves, "Why don't they just bring in a bunch of Indians, Chinese, and Israelis on H-1B visas?""
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Free Speech Redefined by Canadian Court

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Baldrson writes "Saying, essentially, that "If it were free speech then it wouldn't be prohibited!" an Ontario Superior Court has ruled that a dissident must pay damages for calling a lawyer for the Canadian Human Rights Commission "an enemy of free speech". The London Free Press reports that: "Richard Warman, a lawyer who worked as an investigator for the Canadian Human Rights Commission, often filed complaints against "hate speech" sites — complaints that were generally upheld under Canadian speech restrictions. Fromm, a defender of various Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites, has been publicly condemning Warman for, among other things, being "an enemy of free speech." Warman sued, claiming that these condemnations are defamatory... Friday, the Ontario Superior Court held for Warman — chiefly on the grounds that because Warman's claims were accepted by the legal system, they couldn't accurately be called an attack on free speech." Additional details of the ruling indicate this centers on the use of internet communication."
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Surfer's Theory of Everything Stuns Physicists

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Baldrson writes "The UK Telegraph reports that: A surfer dude named Garrett Lisi has come up with a new theory of everything which physicists are calling "fabulous", "incredibly beautiful", "profound" and "most compelling". Lisi's peer-reviewed paper titled "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything" is being published with the New Scientist. The Telegraph article continues: "Lisi is now calculating the masses that the 20 new particles should have, in the hope that they may be spotted when the Large Hadron Collider starts up.""
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Journals

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Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  more than 7 years ago Alexander Ratushnyak's most recent (09/10/2006) Hutter Prize program purports a nearly 6% increase in compression of the first 100M of Wikipedia over the prize baseline. I've verified this with my own system running his program. If this withstands the 30-day comment period then this represents a very good start for the Hutter Prize, which was active for just a month before this entry. Congratulations are premature as yet but I just wanted to share some of the potentially good news with people. If you have any kind of financial means I really urge you to contribute to this prize fund. It is truly the most crucial technology prize of all due to the fact that it represents a proven sound way of advancing artificial intelligence -- a discipline with the potential to advance all other knowledge.

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"Protestants" fall to less than 50% of the US

Baldrson Baldrson writes  |  more than 10 years ago The following article claims that within a year or two the percent of the US population that is "protestant" will have fallen bellow 50% for the first time since Jamestown settlers.

I disagree with this assessment if one is going to call "protestant" those denominations that have been for individual conscience against the imposition of theocracy -- which is its original foundation.

We in the US have been living in a de facto theocracy at least since Brown vs the Board of Education in 1954. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is the first time that protestant leadership capitulated, en masse, to a government action which violated freedom of association and hence freedom of religion. (One can easily argue that prior imposition of public education did not so violate the desires of association of the communities in which it was applied, except in principle. School bussing and other follow-ons to the 1954 ruling were clearly taking this theoretic violation to practice in a way that the vast majority disagreed with at that time.) That it was done to the children is even more in line with historic maneuvers of theocracy. The only other contender I can think of is the Telecommunications Act of 1934 when monopoly rights to new broadcast technologies were granted by the government to private concerns -- but that is a bit more problematic as it merely violated freedom of speech, an obviously lesser principle than freedom of religion which entails freedom of speech only to the extent that one is allowed to declare one's independence -- one's secession -- which may, in turn, entail expulsion from the fora of one's former order.

At the present time the war is on between theocracies: Catholic, Islamic and, of course, the currently ruling de facto theocracy of political correctness which is largely a secularized Jewish construction (see Kevin MacDonald's "Culture of Critique"), as was the Telecommunications Act of 1934 in its grant of monopoly rights to the networks (see Neal Gabler's "An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood")

Some people say the US died at earlier points in time -- perhaps. However, the underlying principle of the Declaration of Independence, that every human has a right to "the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them" is protestant. This established the right of secession as the primordial right over all others -- including the divine right of kings, popes or other potentates. That is the true origin of protestantism, of freedom of religion (to choose the social order in which one invests one's life) and of abolition of slavery.

Such a declaration is anathema to many who otherwise think of themselves as opposed to political correctness. They're just substituting one theocracy for another and they have in common, with political correctness, a slave-making mentality.

July 21, 2004, 12:18AM

Study finds number of Protestants is falling

Soon, less than 50% of Americans will claim the faith

By RICHARD VARA

Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

For the first time in U.S. history, the number of Protestants soon will slip below 50 percent of the nation's population, according to a new survey.

"As early as this year and certainly, if the projections hold, within the next two years, the majority of American adults will not be Protestants for the first time since the founding of colonial Jamestown," said Tom W. Smith, director of the National Opinion Research Center's General Social Survey.

"We were always at least a majority Protestant country, and that is about to change."

The survey, which was released Tuesday, has studied various aspects of American life, including its religious dimension, for 32 years.

From 1972 to 1993, it found that Protestants constituted 63 percent of the national population. But the total declined to 52 percent in 2002.

The study mirrors results from a recent Harris County survey. Protestants decreased from 56 percent in 1994 to 34 percent in 2004, according to the Houston Area Survey directed by Stephen Klineberg, a Rice University sociology professor.

...

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