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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

DerekLyons Re:Take the long view (288 comments)

Charlie Stross recently posted a very good take on this: This is a permanent change. Whatever happens during the first few years is basically irrelevant, compared to the long-term results. Did Norway separating from Sweden cause short-term economic upheaval? Does that matter at all a century later?

Yes it matters a century later - because what happens in those first few years sets the stage for what happens a century later. Historical events don't 'just happen' and then toddle off into the history books without leaving long term effects, real and "imaginary" (psychological).

2 hours ago
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NASA's Manned Rocket Contract: $4.2 Billion To Boeing, $2.6 Billion To SpaceX

DerekLyons Re:My Guess (167 comments)

I didn't say it was better - or worse. I merely pointed out that the two bids were not identical, and thus comparisons drawn on the basis (assumption) that they were identical were deeply flawed.

2 hours ago
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NASA's Manned Rocket Contract: $4.2 Billion To Boeing, $2.6 Billion To SpaceX

DerekLyons Re:Wow, I am impressed (167 comments)

I did not think SpaceX even with its excellent track record would have convinced the bureaucrats to give them a solid chance instead of just give everything to Boeing as usual.

SpaceX's excellent track record? Ship me some of what you're smoking, as it must be good stuff. (Seriously, where do you guys get this stuff?)
 
SpaceX's track record is far from excellent. The first flight of the Falcon 9 was six months late, the first flight of the Falcon/Dragon COTS was two years late. (And that's pretty much been the pattern to date - they've been unable to demonstrate a consistent ability to meet launch schedules or to maintain a significant flight rate.) They've had a steady series of technical problems with both the Falcon booster and the Dragon CRS capsules. Granted, they're getting better, but their track record overall is spotty at best.
 
That
is why SpaceX was given a solid chance rather than the whole enchilada.

9 hours ago
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NASA's Manned Rocket Contract: $4.2 Billion To Boeing, $2.6 Billion To SpaceX

DerekLyons Re:That's government spending for you.. (167 comments)

Spend your money more wisely.

Get your facts more straight. Dragon V2 is in fact derived from the Dragon CRS, but it's not the same vehicle and emphatically has not been flying for two years.

11 hours ago
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NASA's Manned Rocket Contract: $4.2 Billion To Boeing, $2.6 Billion To SpaceX

DerekLyons Re:Commercial Crew Press Conference (167 comments)

Boeing got nearly twice the funding for a conservative, unimaginative Apollo capsule

What's wrong with a "conservative unimaginative" design? This wasn't intended to be a beauty contest or to provide geek stroke material, it's a contract for workaday vehicles and services. And as for costs, you've got to remember the difference between the vehicles - SpaceX bid a derivative of an existing craft (I.E. with a lot of the development already paid for), while Boeing bid a new design. Comparing straight up dollars is not comparing like-to-like.

yesterday
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NASA's Manned Rocket Contract: $4.2 Billion To Boeing, $2.6 Billion To SpaceX

DerekLyons Re:My Guess (167 comments)

SpaceX will make $2.6 Billion do way cooler stuff than $4.2 Billion to Boeing. SpaceX is a young, hungry company that is on the forefront of multiple industries. Boeing, while still a great company, is older an no doubt bogged down in more levels of bureaucracy.

There's another factor that everyone is ignoring - SpaceX is proposing a craft that's a modification of an existing vehicle and which is also expected to be subsidized by commercial use. Boeing on the other hand is proposing a craft that's clean-sheet new and has no other customers.

yesterday
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NASA's Manned Rocket Contract: $4.2 Billion To Boeing, $2.6 Billion To SpaceX

DerekLyons Re:And the speculation was completely off (167 comments)

The fact that to deliver the same development and certification process costs $1.6 billion less for SpaceX over Boeing is also interesting.

It's not the same development and certification process - as SpaceX will be flying a modification of an existing (certified) spacecraft, while Boeing's is a new and unflown design.

yesterday
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WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

DerekLyons Re:well (192 comments)

Given that Boeing will already be 3 years late to the party, when SpaceX has manned capability up and running this coming January?

The mixed tense of the latter half of the sentence aside... The January test is that of a flight abort, not a qualification or validation flight. (And thus does not represent "manned capability".) The first full-up unmanned flight test isn't manifested until 2016 and no manned flight is currently manifested.
 

We're supposed to wait another couple of years for manned launch capability

We're *already* waiting at least a year and half for the first unmanned test flight - with the first manned test flight currently unscheduled (but at least a year after the first unmanned test flight according to the original projections). Your argument that Boeing will be "late to the party" and that "we must wait" is thus not based on reality.

yesterday
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WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

DerekLyons Re:Translation... (192 comments)

BTW, I agree with you in regards to Dreamchaser. It is a good enough vehicle that the ESA is even looking at using it, and Sierra Nevada is already on record saying they will continue the development of this vehicle even without additional development money from NASA.

The ESA "looks at" all kinds of things (they even "looked at" the one time darling of the space fanbois - Kliper), and such is about as meaningful as a celebrity endorsement. And going on record as intending to do something you don't have the money to do is equally meaningless.
 

Indeed the only company that has said they will stop any further development if their vehicle isn't selected is Boeing.

Except for the nit-picky fact that they've said nothing of the sort.

yesterday
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WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

DerekLyons Re:Hmmm .... (192 comments)

That made me actually laugh out loud. :)

yesterday
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WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

DerekLyons Re:Translation... (192 comments)

Boeing vs SpaceX? without doing all the number crunching it is hard to make an educated judgment.

This is Slashdot. This isn't about educated judgements, number crunching, or reasoned discussion. This is all about geek fanboyism and that all contracts are awarded solely on the amount slipped under the table being an article of faith.

Other than that, you're absolutely correct - Dragon and (especially) Dreamchaser represent fairly risky designs. Boeing presents a largely conventional alternative. This matters a great deal in the technical evaluation of the proposals, and contrary to popular belief such evaluations play a large role in determining who is awarded such contracts. It's not, by a long shot, just about who offers the least expensive option.

yesterday
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WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

DerekLyons Re:Hmmm .... (192 comments)

I've seen lots of stuff about what SpaceX is doing, but not a lot about Boeing on the space front these days.

If that's true, then you badly need to re-think where you get your space news. (Slashdot and other popular sites tends to disproportionately worship SpaceX.) I only casually follow and *I* knew about Boeing.
 

So, is this something which actually exists and is being tested? Or is this vapor ware?

It's something that actually exists and is actually being worked on.

yesterday
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

DerekLyons Re:Cart FIRMLY in front of horse! CHECK! (441 comments)

It's funny... you keep using the subjective word "successful" to imply reaching an objective goal. And all without providing any links to back up your subjective claims.

4 days ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

DerekLyons You couldn't be more wrong if you tried. (530 comments)

Really? Asking for actual evidence rather than handwaving indicates that I "clearly don't want to believe"? That's about the most ignorant and stupid thing I've ever heard.

5 days ago
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Publishers Gave Away 123 Million Books During World War Two

DerekLyons Re:And yet... (121 comments)

So many US Soldiers spend all their free time playing video games. (source: was in the US Army for 4 years)

Nothing new. Back when I was in the Navy (onboard an SSBN) in the 80's, it was movies or playing cards or zoning out with a cassette player and a set of headphones for most of the crew.
 

Excuse me? Reading for pleasure is one of those things that opens up your mind to new possibilities, that is a window into a new world, that doesn't result in the brainrot of modern TV programming.

Excuse me? Horseshit. It depends greatly on *what* you read. I'd guess that 90% of the readers on the boat read male romance novels - I.E. cheap westerns, Mac Bolan (and his spin-offs and clones), low rent spy thrillers, and dozen other kinds of complete tripe. Not all reading "opens your mind" or "doesn't result in brainrot". There's a lot of pure crap out there right on the same level as TV programming, and there has been ever since books became available to the masses.

5 days ago
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Publishers Gave Away 123 Million Books During World War Two

DerekLyons Re:Discounted not free (121 comments)

. And at war time, reading books would have been a luxury both at home and at the battlefield. So selling them at the cost of production or at lost is more likely investing for the future loyalty of customers.

There's also the marketing angle - every company that contributed in even the smallest way to the war effort made damm sure to trumpet it in their advertising and promotional materials, both during the war and for a period after.

5 days ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

DerekLyons Re:Not just Reno (441 comments)

Germany is well on the way to doing this on the scale of a whole country.

Sure... if you squint hard enough and tilt your head at the right angle and ignore the 75% of their energy that doesn't come from renewables. Otherwise, not so much. It remains to be seen how far that number can be pushed.

5 days ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

DerekLyons Re:Complex nation (530 comments)

So the truth is flamebait now?

5 days ago
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The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada

DerekLyons Re:I dont know why this is a bad thing (193 comments)

All of the recent articles about autonomous cars seem to be trying to make people think they're terrible will never work and are a disaster waiting to happen.

I don't blame google for not wanting to publish all the details about it, its a research project and the media seems to have an agenda to make autonomous cars into the boogeyman.

No, not so much. The recent articles are more in response to the numerous [Google press release based] articles with headlines like "Autonomous car drives 10,000 miles safely!". So, yeah, I do blame Google for not publishing the full truth, choosing instead in favor of spin and hype. It's not a media agenda, or a conspiracy, it's called balance and investigative journalism. (Something everyone here routinely calls for - right until the spotlight hits their fandom. Then it's an "agenda" and a "conspiracy".)

5 days ago
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China Targets 2022 For Space Station Completion

DerekLyons Re:Every space program is for peaceful purposes (100 comments)

Do you know what "scientific experiments" the cosmonauts were doing in MIR for all those years? Taking pictures maybe? (no maybe about it, that's why there were up there).

The were doing all manner of scientific experiments. And the pictures they took were of far too low a resolution to be useful. (Since they were made with normal handheld cameras.) The space station the Russians used for intelligence work was the Almaz series - the last of which was flown in 1976 and then cancelled because manned stations were much more expensive and had lower capability than unmanned reconnaissance birds. (Essentially the same reason the US cancelled the Manned Orbiting Laboratory.)
 

Is it a coincidence that the Shuttle's cargo bay was a perfect fit for US spy satellites?

No, it isn't, and everyone with a clue (a class which does not include you) knows it, so salaciously implying it was some kind of a secret is bullshit. The other thing that everyone with a clue knows is that the Shuttle never launched into the polar orbit such birds required and that while they did fly DoD missions, they flew about ten times as many non-DoD missions. (Refuting your nonsensical claim that they only purpose of the space program was for "espionage".)

5 days ago

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