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SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

captainpanic Re:Why not on land? (81 comments)

Probably safety... They expect it to go wrong. Even the most remote places on land have some people. And with this highly experimental flight, the exclusion zone around the expected landing site must be huge. That's only possible at sea.


SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

captainpanic Re:fuel weight (81 comments)

I surely hope that they will let the atmospheric drag slow them down a lot too, like other space vehicles.

While they do have to carry all that extra fuel, they don't have to rebuild the rocket. They only refuel it. The savings are enormous.


Want To Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages To Speak

captainpanic Re:Interesting, but ... (142 comments)

But humor is language dependent. And so is in fact every communication. And therefore so is culture. So, language partially defines a culture. And therefore is we were to drop all other languages and adopt English as a language, cultures (or at least parts of them) would soon diminish and disappear. And the world would become that much more boring.
Cultural differences are not impossible without language, but different languages make it easier to diversify.

It's a good idea to have one or two main languages in the world that everyone speaks (English, Spanish and Chinese are all good choices)... but let people speak whatever they want.

2 days ago

The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

captainpanic Re:At the risk of sounding pretentious, (246 comments)

There is absolutely no way you are going to get the $100 billion required for a Mars mission by producing a freaking reality show.

No? The 2014 winter Olympics cost over 50 billion. The London Olympics cost over 14 billion. I am confident that the first Mars mission is at least 10 times as interesting to an advertiser as the Olympics. Imagine a Mars explorer opening a cold Coca Cola bottle a few minutes after landing. That's worth Coca cola's entire annual advertising budget (which is 3 billion), because they can use that in so many other advertisements. The first walk outside on Martian soil, wearing a sponsored space suit will generate billions in advertising money. There are plenty of advertising possibilities, because a show like that would basically cover some people's lives. They wear clothes, they live somewhere, they eat and drink, clean themselves, etc...

There are enormous technical problems to be solved... but large corporations will be very interested to have their names mentioned... Five times as much is spent every year on advertisements (global market is 489 billion).


about a month ago

Study: There's a Wi-Fi Hotspot For Every 150 People In the World

captainpanic Data is incomplete (63 comments)

I tested the data for my own country (Netherlands). That website claims we only have 10 hotspots in trains, while all our intercity trains now have wifi. Also, municipalities should be having only 25 hotspots, while entire city centers have free public wifi now. It's a load of rubbish, this website.

I understand it is difficult to get the data... but if you equate the lack of data with "zero", then you make a mistake.

about a month and a half ago

The Largest Ship In the World Is Being Built In Korea

captainpanic Everything is awesome! (275 comments)

There, let me put that song back into your head.

Did anyone say smiling workers at Legoland? "Everything is awesome" is the first thing I thought about.

about 2 months ago

White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

captainpanic Re:Baby steps (352 comments)

Step 1 is being taken - all kinds of organisms (incl. plants) have been carried up to the ISS.
Step 2 should - probably for safety reasons - be build as an attachment to the ISS. It should however operate independently.
Step 3 should be part of step 2, as it is relatively straightforward to get sufficient data in advance to make it so.
Step 4 is the big leap, but I agree that the Moon is probably the logical testing ground for it.

When will this happen? As soon as there is another Space Race. And China is the only country that can start that.

about 2 months ago

Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

captainpanic Re:So? (488 comments)

Because there isn't really a good pie yet, they take far too long to pay off and can be dangerous to air traffic and wild life if they are A. in the wrong place, or B. installed incorrectly.
Oh, and if they don't have overspec'd components, they can cause a phenonom called "flicker" which is destructive of delicate electronics like your fridge, washing machine, A/C, and computer.

- Pilots have sunglasses.
- Wildlife have no problems with a flat piece of silicon that doesn't move. (Cars kill them by the millions though).
- And your electric circuit should have a fuse and other safety features that prevent fluctuations in the power.

How many of you trolls are volunteers, and how many are paid to troll by the coal/oil/gas lobbyists? This is just another scare tactic, just like everybody is now convinced that wind turbines kill birds, when in fact it is cats that kill birds.

Now move along, there is really nothing to see here.

about 3 months ago

Obama Presses China On Global Warming

captainpanic China has a government that adapts to changes (261 comments)

While Western nations (certainly not just the US, but also almost all of Europe) have reached a democratic impasse in which very little changes, China seems able to reflect on changes internally and externally, and develop drastic new regulations when necessary. It can self-correct. I could give a long explanation why this is true, but Eric Li explained it a lot better in a TEDx presentation. It's 20 minutes, but very relevant when comparing governments of China and US (and other Western countries).

I would not be surprised if China adopts its own pollution and climate regulations that are beneficial for the country, where benefit can include anything they think is relevant: e.g. health, economy. And it might be that these are more strict than we have here, or not. Time will tell. But they will decide on their own terms. Don't forget that China has to import a lot of fossil fuels, while it has most (all?) resources needed to produce sustainable energy production (solar/wind), and they also already have the factories within their borders. There may be a large economic incentive too.

I see Obama's challenge only as an excuse for the USA's lack of action.

about 3 months ago

I think next winter will be:

captainpanic Re:*shakes magic 8 ball* (148 comments)

Also, in Europe, there are more measuring stations, and the super computers used to calculate the weather forecast are more powerful.

Here's an old article from 2013 that explains it a little better: http://news.nationalgeographic...

about 3 months ago

Scientists Confirm Life Under Antarctic Ice

captainpanic Re:Good for them (46 comments)

This life is not necessarily in a circle of life. It can be methane formed in a similar way as natural gas or swamp gas. These can be pockets of methane that can eventually be depleted.

I'm just speculating though. As a good /. member, I didn't even rtfa.

about 4 months ago

Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

captainpanic Re:god dammit. (521 comments)

But think of the jet engines!

Also, according to his study, windmills 'save' birds, because they replace other, more harmful ways to generate electricity.

about 4 months ago

Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

captainpanic Re:Small-scale, real-time. (502 comments)

Similar here in Western Europe. Wind is very reliable, as we get wind almost every day. But we're too far north to make solar energy an interesting option. Solar should be built in more southern countries such as Spain or southern Italy.

If anything, all this sustainable energy will demand a stronger, and more integrated grid, which will mean more (not less) business for the grid company. If that all means some old coal power plants go out of business, then so be it. I am sure that the solar/wind industry will compensate the loss of jobs.

about 4 months ago

Japan To Launch a Military Space Force In 2019

captainpanic Re:the reality is... (150 comments)

If we ever get to that point, it might also be the end of the space age. With billions of small particles in orbit from all the blown up drones, there won't be a safe orbit left for civilian satellites.

about 4 months ago

NASA's Orion Spaceship Passes Parachute Test

captainpanic Re:That's great (75 comments)

There is no one-size fits all capsule and although the Dragon could be modified to work for deep space missions as this has been taken into account from the start, it isn't currently built for that.

Agreed. The Dragon seems to be just a 7-passenger taxi service to the ISS. However, you could probably dock it to another space station too, one with living quarters, a Mars-lander and a bunch of big engines and fuel tanks, and then you have your Mars mission complete.

about 6 months ago

Google Starts Removing Search Results After EU Ruling

captainpanic Re:Good. (138 comments)

True, but a lot of the requests come from politicians with dodgy pasts and paedophiles.

Yeah, but there are also millions of people who posted rather silly posts when drunk as a student, or other minor mistakes, who now have good careers and who want to get rid of some undesirable content about them on the internet.

Paedophiles, as well as any other criminal, have the right to make a new start after having served their sentence. The court determines a punishment, and often a treatment, and after that these people deserve the chance to make a new start (otherwise, the sentence is for life... and while you may agree with a life sentence, the court deliberately did not give a life sentence). Sometimes these people become politicians. If they served their sentence, and hopefully learned their mistake, then I have no problems with it.

about 6 months ago

EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

captainpanic Re:I'm almost cool with this (625 comments)

Actually, no. If it is a real disability, and an obese person is registered as such, they receive the necessary medical care as any other disabled person. If that care includes a diet or regular exercise, then so be it.

Look at someone with a disability on their legs (note: I am no doctor). They can apply for a wheelchair, which will be covered for them, but only if they go see a doctor. This doctor will first see if he can help the disabled person back on his feet. If that fails, the wheelchair is the backup plan.

The medical system - at least where I live in Europe - will always choose healing over just dealing with the symptoms.

about 6 months ago

DNA Study: First Farmers Were Also Sailors

captainpanic How about river deltas? (40 comments)

Maybe the first agriculture just went from one fertile river delta to the next? Those happen to be on or near the coastlines.

Unless they have dug up some boats from 10,000 years ago, I don't see any evidence of actual sailing.

about 6 months ago

Free Wi-Fi Coming To Atlanta's Airport

captainpanic Re:Hey, what? $5? (135 comments)

Indeed. Welcome to the 21st century, Atlanta.

about 6 months ago

NRC Human Spaceflight Report Says NASA Strategy Can't Get Humans To Mars

captainpanic Re:Sorry... (206 comments)

Also, they have a central government capable of making big decisions and capable of running large technical projects.
They may only have a little rover on the Moon, and very few (if any) space probes that are outside the earth's gravity well, but they can totally claim that they can make a decision, and then commit huge efforts to it. Look at their high speed railways. They have overtaken Europe (all of it combined) already.

If the Chinese are going for it, they really are going for it... unlike Europe or the US where the decisions are taken by a committee, which eventually will reach some lame compromise to do it only for 50% and only within a set of criteria which must support the almighty Economy, because heaven forsake if we ever waste some money - all the while blowing away money on management and bureaucratic inefficiency.

about 6 months ago


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