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Does Being First Still Matter In America?

RightwingNutjob Re:First in what? (246 comments)

There's a story told by one of the former directors of LANL about when he met his Russian counterpart after the end of the Cold War. The US nuclear weapons community kept being amazed at how to the Soviets could stay on par with them on bomb design, given that the Soviet computer industry was always a decade or so behind the US. The answer from the Russian physicist was something along the lines of "you compute, we think." Having been in the bowels of the US military industrial complex for the better part of the last decade, this is all to true in what's considered one of the smarter corners of it. So having the biggest digital dick may not be the smartest or the quickest way to get a better home-grown weather forecast. Scratch deep enough, and there's always a bit more stupid in the process that can be optimized away for much less cost (but with much less fanfare).

about a week ago
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New Atomic Clock Reaches the Boundaries of Timekeeping

RightwingNutjob Re: Old saying (249 comments)

I thought that TAI was supposed to be a hypothetical clock on an idealized (spherical? oblate?) earth that's computed from the a bunch of real atomic clocks. So wouldn't it still be possible to synthesize a time like that to more decimal digits using better actual clocks?

about three weeks ago
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Suspected Ebola carriers in the U.S. ...

RightwingNutjob Re:Instant Quarantine (349 comments)

Exactly. Even if it's a 1000 to 1 shot, now you don't even know you're at risk and next week when the unlucky one out of 1000 of you go to hospital for a stomach bug, and the doctor asks you if you've been to West Africa, you say no. Granted, it's damn hard to cause a third-world scale outbreak this way, maybe a million to one or rarer for a grand total of at most a dozen or so infections nationwide, but it doesn't matter because you can turn that probability into an exact zero of the doctor stays home until they're guaranteed to not cause that scenario.

about a month ago
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Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch

RightwingNutjob Re:All very sad (443 comments)

NASA has had its careless streak too. See Challenger and the investigation that followed. But realistically, this is what happens whenever you do things in one-see, two-sies instead of in bulk. If the Air Force only had one fighter plane and only flew it once every few months, you can bet there would be a lot of failures for a long time before everyone settled into a voodoo flight ops mentality and nothing new was tolerated at all because the cost of failure was so high.

about a month ago
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Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch

RightwingNutjob Re:Wasn't aborted by the RSO either (443 comments)

Maybe yes maybe no. I thought so too on the first look, but on the second look it could just be a trick of the light in the dust/steam/ice coming off the fuel tank.

about a month ago
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The Airplane of the Future May Not Have Windows

RightwingNutjob Re:Safety Issue (286 comments)

Windows also help when there's turbulence or just regular maneuvering at takeoff and landing. You can look outside and get your bearings to prevent nausea. Easier to get airsick (or seasick) if you can't see the horizon to stabilize your head.

about 1 month ago
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

RightwingNutjob Re:Get real (352 comments)

Interesting, but I tend to remain skeptical. If you're talking about sending up a Bridgeport that you're going to use to make a 5 axis 20ft^3 workspace CNC, I believe you. If you're talking about sending up a dwarf-sized little mill (I can't think of any at the moment, but there's a Taiwanese company that makes table-top mills for about 1k a pop) to build a Bridgeport to build a..., there I just don't believe you can make it work without contorting yourself through a lot of hoops and picking up a lot of extra overhead that makes it more sensible to send up the full-sized Bridgeport instead. But like I said, interesting. If you've got a link to a writeup, I'll read it.

about a month ago
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Commerce Secretary: US Wants Multi-Stakeholder Process To Preserve Internet

RightwingNutjob Re:We are fsk'd (57 comments)

Nowhere in the constitution does it say that treaties can override rights. It's a court challenge waiting to happen. Also, treaties generally aren't voted on in secret, even if they're negotiated that way. In fact, I don't believe congress can legally vote in secret on anything. They can have classified meetings, but they can't pass secret laws.

about a month ago
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The One App You Need On Your Resume If You Want a Job At Google

RightwingNutjob Re:Python (205 comments)

You can have my curly braces and my if...else...ends when you pry them from my cold dead hands!!!

about a month ago
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Commerce Secretary: US Wants Multi-Stakeholder Process To Preserve Internet

RightwingNutjob Re:We are fsk'd (57 comments)

Difference being that stuff like that can and does change with administrations, but more importantly, is fairly transparent. It's not like you come in to work one morning to your job at wecriticizegovernmentalstupidityforaliving.com and ...what office? what website? It's always been a shuttered building. What boss? What lead reporter? Oh you must be talking about prisoner 24601.

about a month ago
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

RightwingNutjob Re:Get real (352 comments)

In my most optimistic guestimates, 1000 falcon first stage launches would probably cost about 5-10 billion, assuming they're recoverable half the time and last half a dozen flights each. But even when not counting the cost of the second and earth departure stages, that only puts a few hundred to at most a thousand-plus kg of payload on the moon per flight. You need way more than that to have ISRU equipment *and the in-place industrial capacity to maintain it*. Hell, a CNC mill can run 1000kg. And you need a few of those, some lathes, saws, drill presses, air handlers, compressors, water handlers, etc. Do yourself a favor and walk through a machine shop attached to a college lab or a chemical plant or something and do a mass budget before you start declaring stuff feasible with current tech for reasonable cost.

about a month and a half ago
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

RightwingNutjob Get real (352 comments)

Unless you have a few trillion dollar coins stashed away somewhere that'll fund thousands upon thousands of chemical rockets, it's just not possible to do this. The only hope we have of actually getting to a place like Mars, or even the Moon, on a large scale (even with sufficient economic incentive to be there) would be new physics or a wild breakthrough in engineering, at least 30dB more than a re-usable SpaceX rocket would be. There's no guarantee that the former is even possible, and there is a guarantee that the latter won't happen without lots of deep thinking and hard work that needs an economic incentive to be worth-while, because it'll be very expensive and involve lots and lots of failure along the way. You can't force it, and you can't afford it, even if you confiscate everyone's possessions and tax everyone's income at 100%.

about a month and a half ago
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Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

RightwingNutjob Re:LT LP (387 comments)

Someone's forgotten their fortan...

about a month and a half ago
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Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

RightwingNutjob Re:LT LP (387 comments)

Also doesn't charge ahead with full-bore stupid against half the user and developer base's advice.

about a month and a half ago
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Commerce Secretary: US Wants Multi-Stakeholder Process To Preserve Internet

RightwingNutjob Re:We are fsk'd (57 comments)

Considering W made it a point to keep ICANN's governance under the commerce department (censorship by which is banned by the US constitution) and Obama gave it away in a grand gesture of appeasement, you're pretty spot on.

about a month and a half ago
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Lennart Poettering: Open Source Community "Quite a Sick Place To Be In"

RightwingNutjob Re:Systemd (993 comments)

Wrong attitude. What breaks? Probably nothing, yet. But if you want me to upgrade, you need to provide assurance to me that your shiny new gizmo will work in all my specialized use cases, not expect me to spend time verifying it will.

about a month and a half ago
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Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

RightwingNutjob Re:Huh (240 comments)

The two sides are talking past each other. The "ooh shiny" crowd sees compatibility as an albatross and can't fathom why anyone would consider incompatibility as anything other than a cost of doing business on the path along forward progress. The other side can't fathom how anyone who's worked in software or engineering can be so cavalier about sacrificing compatibility for what may well be a passing fad.

Here's a hint: there's a right answer, and the reason one side doesn't see it is because they don't seem to share the experience and the background in engineering real solutions to real products that motivates one strongly to not want to do the same job twice when it's been done right once, at no small cost in sweat and tears.

I don't think there's a way to bridge that divide other than with time. Kids around my age and down, having grown up with participation trophies, tend to be hostile to learning from the mistakes of their predecessors, and haven't quite gotten to the phase of their careers when they can make and learn from their own mistakes just yet. I'm just getting there, but I work with hardware which is much less forgiving and makes you learn quicker. Pure software types in the "ooh shiny" crowd may not all be at the age yet where they've had their trial by fire and enough pushback from reality to temper their enthusiasm with an appreciation of the facts on the ground in regard to compatibility loss. Hence bullshit like systemd, binary format log files, and an "optional" attitude to POSIX.

about a month and a half ago
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Who's In Charge During the Ebola Crisis?

RightwingNutjob Re: Who's in charge? (279 comments)

I don't know. Hu?

about a month and a half ago
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Lennart Poettering: Open Source Community "Quite a Sick Place To Be In"

RightwingNutjob Re:Systemd (993 comments)

You wanna go rewrite all my legacy code for me that I got working with Linux? Go right ahead. If you fuck it up, you owe me money for time lost.

about a month and a half ago

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