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Comments

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SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

demachina Re:Why stop there? (99 comments)

Probably one of the best things NASA could do at this point is abandon ISS, stop paying for it, and tell the Russians its all theirs. There is a fair chance they would fly Americans to it for free rather than get saddled with that boat anchor.

If the Russians don't want it either its time to deorbit it. It would free up a LOT of money for more useful endeavors. Its never been good for much of anything, certainly nothing to justify the staggering price tag

SpaceX will have the ability to put astronauts in to LEO in a few years. Its not like its a crisis, there is very little for people to do in LEO at the moment other than to be lab rats for zero G physiology studies. You would think they would have done most of that work by now.

About the only point in putting people in space at all is as colonists, persumably on Mars. You can do just about everything else way better and cheaper with robots.

So until you are ready to fly people to Mars to stay, stop getting your panties in a bunch about getting them to LEO.

yesterday
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SLS Project Coming Up $400 Million Short

demachina Re:pfft, 3.5% overrun (129 comments)

I am nearly speechless that you would try to use the ISS as an example of a "success story". It was mind boggling behind schedule and over budget, though turning it in to an international project is partially to blame. The core is based on existing Russian design. If they had just launched that and kept it simple it would have cost a tiny fraction of what it did and accomplished nearly all the science ISS has done.

The fundamental problem with the ISS is its bled NASA and the manned space program white. NASA hasn't done ANYTHING useful, in its manned program since Skylab, other than maybe Hubble. They built Shuttle to fly to the ISS and the ISS so the Shuttle would have a place to fly. It resulted in NO breakthroughs or progress worth the price tag.

So what is your point on Falcon. I think you just agreed with me SLS is hopelessly uncompetitive and SpaceX approach is really smart.

SpaceX is trying to get to space cheaply, safely and with a very high launch rate.

SLS seems to be trying to come up with the most expensive, impractical and dangerous solution possible, just to keep funneling money to Lockheed, Boeing, ATK, etc. Its as if they are TRYING to develop a system that is sure to fail or be cancelled.

Note the proposed launch date, 2017, just long enough after the 2016 election so the next president can cancel it and start over.

2 days ago
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SLS Project Coming Up $400 Million Short

demachina Re:pfft, 3.5% overrun (129 comments)

"I can't imagine how demoralizing it is to spend years working on a project that would ultimately succeed"

None of NASA's major manned spaced projects are even remotely likely to succeed, they are not intended to do so any more. They are just a place to blow money, create jobs and put money in Lockheed and Boeing pockets. More importantly they buy votes in the critical swing state of Florida.

They are designed to run 4-8 years, produce nothing except votes, paychecks and contractor profits, then they get cancelled and start over. It is way easier and less risk than actually making anything that will fly.

It is not the political process that is broken, it is NASA and the political process.

Get a clue, and spend a few billion on SpaceX to help finish Falcon Heavy. I'm not sure why SLS is even on the table at this point, it isn't remotely competitive.

Lockheed and Boeing also need to be completely removed from the process. They are making a mint milking DOD contracts, they don't need to be in middle of the civilian space program fleecing NASA and taxpayers there too. They do not use money wisely, they devour everything thrown their way and produce as little as possible in return.

2 days ago
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UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

demachina Re:No (261 comments)

You do realize those rights at that point in time applied only to white male land owners, right?

about two weeks ago
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UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

demachina Re:No (261 comments)

I should point out native americans are still largely unemployed, stuck in reservations on land white American's didn't want. One of their few rays of hope being the ubiquitous Indian Casino where they are exacting their revenge. Still they are second class citizens.

Blacks were still being massively discriminated against until the Civil Rights act which was around 180 years later. They are still second class citizens.

The poor, they are still second class citizens.

Women are the one group doing pretty well for themselves though they are still underrepresnted in government.

Look around the room at a State of the Union address. The room is still overwhelming full of affluent white men.

As for the founding fathers brilliant ideas on governence, it exploded in a bloody civil war in 80 years.

You need look no further than where the U.S. congress, courts and presidency are today. They are a smoldering ruin. They have never been the great institutions Americans are brainwashed in to thinking they are. Are they better than totalitarian dictatorships, sure. Are they models the rest of the world can aspire too, no, not really.

American governement is the best government money can buy.

about two weeks ago
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UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

demachina Re:No (261 comments)

Try reading Zinn's A People's History of the United States. It will disillusion you of the comic book U.S. History taught in U.S. school where the founding fathers are all saints and geniuses.

They were mostly self serving and profiteering. Its fitting Andrew Jackson is on the $20 dollar bill because he was infamous for profiteering off the battles he won, mostly by seizing the lands he took and splitting it up between himself and his friends.

about two weeks ago
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UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

demachina Re:No (261 comments)

The founding fathers weren't exactly the pillars of individual freedom you seem to think they were. They were an American centric elite and plutocracy trying to displace a Britsh centric elite and plutocracy, mostly so they could have a bigger cut of America's growing wealth.

You can tell because most of those constitutional protections and the Bill of Rights didn't apply to people who weren't affluent(i.e. who didn't own land), women, native American's, blacks/slaves and indentured whites. They applied mostly to white men who had wealth (at least enough to own land).

They actively prevented people who were not white, male and affluent from voting or holding office. They were mostly slave owners themselves, and they were for the most part very affluent and owners of very large real estate holdings. They were all 1%'ers.

The Declaration of Independence and Constitution were carefully designed to inspire support from enough people in the colonies for their Revolution to succeed, and to create the illusion of freedom, but they had no intention of relinquishing their power and control over the levers of government when it their Revolution did succeed. That plutocracy has never relinquished that control in the more than 200 years since.

The NSA along with the DHS, FBI, ATF and IRS are means for maintaining that control.

The Internet let a genie out of a bottle and created dangerous potentential for the rest of us to organize and try to win some of that power and control back.

When faced with the twin crises, and excuses, that were 9/11 and the 2008 crash it was nearly inevitable that The Powers That Be in the U.S. and U.K. would exploit every tool at their disposal, mainly computers and networks, to try to put a lid back on their control of their increasingly restless and networked homelands and to try to maintain their domination of the world as a whole in the face of increasing challenges.

The 2008 crash in particular resulted in widespread global disillusionment with the fact economies and governments are rigged to benefit the ruling elite and screw everyone else. When ruling elites start feeling that heat they trot out their police states, always have, always will.

about two weeks ago
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Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

demachina Re:It's already going on... (353 comments)

You do realize that if they are tracking you when you make a mistake and are in an accident they will hang you out to dry, wont pay your claim, and will be sitting at the other table in the court room if they can make a credible case that you breeched the terms of your insurance contract.

about three weeks ago
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Cassini's Space Odyssey To Saturn

demachina Re:Fear Mongers Didn't Want to Let Cassini Fly (45 comments)

He also seems to spend most of his time enriching himself with bad pop science books and TV appearances. Maybe he did some useful science early in life but at this point he is NOT a scientist to admire or aspire to be.

about three weeks ago
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The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of Battlefield

demachina Re:Haha, nobody will do this. (208 comments)

Game engines already exist. People already develop content though you kind of need a working and enjoyable game first, with some content, before people will develop more content for it.

Who funded Linux development in the early days, answer, noone? Would need to be a volunteer effort to some extent.

Hopefully Carmack will be disillusioned with working for Facebook soon and do it for love of gaming and graphics programming.

Kickstarter is the obvious answer if you really want cash.

about a month ago
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The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of Battlefield

demachina Re:Haha, nobody will do this. (208 comments)

There is a pretty obvious solution to the steep decline in modern games. Its the same solution that was found to over priced, proprietary, commerical operating systems.

We need an open source gaming system. Its probably the only escape from eternal damnation to over priced, poorly designed, crap games.

Some critical issues need to addressed up front for it to work.

For starters you need to settle on an open source gaming engine. Torque3D would be one possibility, people here could probably name others. It needs to be capable, open source and multi platform, with as few licensing restrictions as possible. You need high caliber game developers, like Carmack to emraced it and work on it, with someone like Linus holding it together.

You need to develop a small number of core games based on the essential archetypes, FPS, MMORPG, Space battle/trading, racing.

You need to create councils for each game selected from game developers and excellent players who set rules, direction, maintain order and hold the game economy together.

As always if a game/council fails to satisfy their constituencey a solution is a fork but you want to ACTIVELY discourage forking when it leads primarily to fragmentation and wasted resources. You want as much wood behind one arrow as possible.

Each game needs to actively support and leverage mods and user developed content. In fact that will be the primary source of content.

The core games need to be designed for extreme longevity, its the content that needs to constantly changing and growing.

Councils need to design intelligent tournament systems and leader boards that actually put the most skilled players at the top, where they belong, not the grinders, scammers and cheats.

I'm a long time gamer who no longer plays games, because the games I loved the most died at the hands of corporate greed and stupidity. In particular they died because decisions were made by executives who were for the most part not gamers and made decisions that were all wrong.

If I could, I would probably still be playing the original EQ, the original WoW and Battlefield 2, Karkand Infantry only.

Battlefield 2, Karkand Infantry only was, in my mind the pinnacle of PVP. If you had evenly matched teams, with evenly matched gear, fighting a battle decided by 1 point there was no better adrenaline rush and it never got old. The map never changed, the rules seldom changed, the thing that constantly changed was the people playing it, their skills, their tactics and strategy. Developing huge maps like PS3 where you can never find an even fight, or in game purchases that allow the fools with the most money to win, developing massively too dense graphics, that are way to expensive to develop, require to much graphics power to run and add no FUN to the game, and adding too many gimicky weapons and gear that cause nothing but unbalanced matches, are just some examples.

If I could have kept the original EQ or WoW and just added a never ended series of new dungeons, quests gear and battlegrounds I would probably still be playing them. The first rule is you NEVER raise the level cap, because as soon as you do the game turns in to a pointless treadmill. New dungeons, gear and PVP is all a game needs to stay fresh.

I'd still be playing BF2 if there were any servers left that didn't suck.

about a month ago
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NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

demachina Re:Speculation... (455 comments)

Tesla's 3rd generation car is supposed to be a mass market vehicle that may disrupt the "automotive order" if Musk manages to build it. The giga battery factory he is looking for a home for is a critical component since it is critical to have enough affordable batteries for a mass market electric car.

Tesla today wont disrupt NADA, but Tesla in a few years very well may, they know it, so they are trying to nip it in the bud.

about a month ago
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FWD.us: GOP Voters To Be Targeted By Data Scientists

demachina Re:This will hugely backfire... (422 comments)

I dont think these rich, tech executives are trying to reform illegal immigration from south of the border.

They are trying to reform immigration so they can import as many engineers as possible in to the U.S. from other countries.

You don't think most of them got rich by actually writing code did you?

They mostly get rich by hiring/funding engineers to write code for them. The more engineers they have to choose from the happier they are because they have more startups to choose from and they can suppress engineering salaries which improves profitiability and the value of their stock portfolios.

about a month and a half ago
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EA Ending Online Support For Dozens of Games

demachina Re:Lol... (329 comments)

BF2 64 man Karkand Infantry Only probably the best PVP game ever, and I doubt it will ever be topped on the sick trajectory PVP shooters are on.

Sad to see it go, though there is only one server left. Big E, and the Big E admins suck so it was effectively dead already anyway.

All of EA's lame COD knock offs since simply don't capture what makes multiplayer PVP intense and fun, nor does COD:

A. Teams need to be evenly balanced
B. Teams need to be in a confined space so there is immediate contact
C. Needs to be some tactics and strategy but not a lot, versus aimless COD styling circling, killing and being killed
C. Weapons need to be equal, simple, skill based. No air, no armor
D. No stupid gimmicks
E. No excessively dense, expensive graphics. Simple graphics is actually better and you aren't forced in to a constant hardware upgrade just to play games that are immensly fun even if the graphics are simple. Excessive graphics also drive up costs needlessly.

If EA had just kept fixing the bugs in BF2, spent more effort controlling hacks, did new maps occassionaly, did minimal refinements, someone like Twitch promoted a competition system around it, someone provided some professionally admin'ed servers to get away from clan based bias, it would've gone on forever like Starcraft.

about 3 months ago
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iPad Fever Is Officially Cooling

demachina One simple reason for this (386 comments)

Apps are becoming progressively worse, not better, over time. In the early days there were a lot of cool apps written by people who just wanted to write cool apps for a cool new tool.

Now with the preverse incentives of the app market, the app store is saturated by apps trying to squeeze a maximum amount of money for a dwindling amount of useful application.

In app purchases, in particular, are well on their way to completely destroying gaming at all levels.

Every free app you download any more is ususally worthless until you shell out significant amounts of money in IAP to make it usable, and then its still usually still not good

I'm all for paying software and content developers for their efforts but the methodologies for achieving this in app stores and on the Internet in general has completely failed.

Increasingly the only thing I use my tablets for is an ereader. They excel at that, but for just about everything else the app comcept has failed.

about 3 months ago
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NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

demachina Re:Then (402 comments)

Until the Chinese actually try to live on the moon for any period. Horrible temperature profile, little to no water excepting maybe at the poles, some of the nastiest dust in existence getting in to everything, hard vacuum.

Mars is a paradise compared to the Moon which is why if you are talking about a colony it makes a lot more sense than the moon or just about anywhere else in our solar system Only problem is the transit time.

about 4 months ago
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NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

demachina Re:Then (402 comments)

Chances of NASA sending an astronaut anywhere are approximately zero at this point so whether is ethical or not is kind of a moot point.

about 4 months ago
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Earth Barely Dodged Solar Blast In 2012

demachina Re:ZOMG a bad thing didn't happen! (202 comments)

Uh. . . . . don't nuclear power plants GENERATE electricity? All you would need to do is cut them loose from the transmission lines and put in the control rods until the event is over.

Someone should probably generate contigency plans to safely cut transmission lines at as many key points as possible and they could mitigate the effects of this kind of disaster.

Also helps that a lot of our long distance communication infrastructure is fber optic now and immune to this kind of event.

about 4 months ago
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California Bill Proposes Mandatory Kill-Switch On Phones and Tablets

demachina Re:The Beta should have a killswitch! (341 comments)

Either that or you are all just really good at doing ptich fork weilding mobs, an Internet tradition since 1999.

If you want to boycott it, then boycott it which means stop using it, not defacing it. What you are doing is a DDOS.

Its their website since Cmdr Taco sold out. If they wanna trash it then, tell them you don't like it, stop using it and let them wipe out their investment if they are that stupid. It would probably be better if someone with a heart and a sole started a new version anyway. Slashdot has been pretty much soulless since Taco sold out to VA Linux anyway.

If the people that run the site have are as malevolent and clueless as you say, this little mob isn't going to save it in the long run anyway.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Too Big To Fail HSBC Walks after a Decade of Money Laundering

demachina demachina writes  |  about 7 months ago

demachina (71715) writes "Matt Taibi's latest rant on HSBC getting off with a fine amounting to 5 weeks of profits, for knowingly laundering at least 9 billion dollars over a decade for drug cartels and terrorist groups. Mexican cartels were walking in to HSBC branches with boxes designed to just slide through the teller windows filled with $100,000 in cash. Clinton partisan Lanny Breur decided HSBC was too big to fail, they couldn't risk criminal prosecution and big banks are officially above the law. Meanwhile ordinary drug offenders go directly to jail and have all their assets seized."
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The Volume Clock, Insights Into High Frequency Trading

demachina demachina writes  |  more than 2 years ago

demachina (71715) writes "Interesting paper on High Frequency Trading, speed isn't their only advantage, "HFT reacts to information leaked by LFT in order to anticipate their actions". HFT also uses a volume clock which offers advantages over time based trading. Toxic trading strategies they use include quote stuffers, quote danglers, liquidity squeezers, and pack hunters where algorithms gang up for kills. The paper also covers strategies low frequency traders(LFT) and humans can use to defend themselves"
Link to Original Source
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The Volume Clock, Insights into High Frequency Trading

demachina demachina writes  |  more than 2 years ago

demachina (71715) writes "Interesting paper on High Frequency Trading, speed isn't their only advantage, "HFT reacts to information leaked by LFT in order to anticipate their actions". HFT also uses a volume clock which offers advantages over time based trading. Toxic trading strategies they use include quote stuffers, quote danglers, liquidity squeezers, and pack hunters where algorithms gang up for kills. The paper also covers strategies low frequency traders(LFT) and humans can use to defend themselves."
Link to Original Source
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I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave

demachina demachina writes  |  more than 2 years ago

demachina (71715) writes "A journalist took a job at a warehouse filling online orders where most workers are permanently temporary, working for minimum wage, no benefits with unreachable goals. Describes a new American subculture called "workampers", people living in RV's driving from one warehouse temp job to another. U.S. working conditions seem to be gaining on Foxconn's."
Link to Original Source
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Robert Boisjoly dies at 73, engineer who tried to stop Challenger launch

demachina demachina writes  |  more than 2 years ago

demachina (71715) writes "Robert Boisjoly dies at 73. Boisjoly, Allan J. McDonald and three others argued through the night to stop the Challenger launch but Joseph Kilminster, their boss at Morton Thiokol overruled them and NASA managers didn't listen to the engineers. Both Boisjoly and McDonald were blackballed for speaking out. NASA's mismanagement "is not going to stop until somebody gets sent to hard rock hotel," Boisjoly said. "I don't care how many commissions you have. These guys have a way of numbing their brains. They have destroyed $5 billion worth of hardware and 14 lives because of their nonsense.""
Link to Original Source
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Goldman Sachs: Great American Bubble Machine

demachina demachina writes  |  about 5 years ago

demachina (71715) writes "Rolling Stone has a great exposé on the pivotal role Goldman Sachs has played in one economic crisis after another, including the recent bubbles in housing, oil, commodities and the Internet bubble. It also illuminates how Goldman Sachs alumni in powerful positions in the government under both Republican and Democratic administrations have enabled their activities, which in some cases border on securities fraud, and other cases are just manipulation of markets. This is a must read if you want to understand how this powerful bank has profited at the expense of all of us. Rolling Stone doesn't have an online version so this link is to a scan."
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Buzz Aldrin Speaks Out on NASA plans

demachina demachina writes  |  more than 5 years ago

demachina (71715) writes "Buzz Aldrin writes in Popular Mechanics the U.S. should abandon Ares I, put the Orion capsule on Atlas V or Titan IV heavy, extend shuttle flights to 2015 with one a year to the ISS to eliminate dependence on Russia. He also backs Falcon 9/Dragon for commercial uses and a small shuttle like the X-37B. He calls the proposed return to the moon a "rehash" of what we did 40 years ago and proposes instead partnering which China, Japan, Russia, India and EU and letting them lead the return to the moon. He proposes the U.S. focus instead on resuming development of the ISS habitation module and renaming it XM, Exploration Module, and using it for long duration missions to comets and asteroids followed by a landing on the Martian moon Phobos. He supports something I've advocated for years, for expeditions to Mars to be our primary focus and for them to be one way trips for permanent colonists."
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New engine may double fuel efficiency

demachina demachina writes  |  about 6 years ago

demachina (71715) writes "An Australian company, Revetec, has a new internal combustion engine design, the X4v2, which may double fuel efficiency. It is supposed to be "50% smaller, 50% lighter, has 50% lower emissions and is cheaper to manufacture" than a conventional engine with the same horsepower. It has four pistons in an X configuration pushing two counter rotating, multilobate cams. Though take this with a grain of salt and your mileage may vary :)"
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Gitmo and "The Hunting of the Snark"

demachina demachina writes  |  about 6 years ago

demachina (71715) writes "Details of a Federal Appeals court decision on Gitmo were released today. The 3 man court insists the Bush administration release a Chinese Uighur Muslim held in Gitmo for six years or make a real case for holding him. The decision ridicules the Bush administration's basis for holding the man by quoting Lewis Carrol's poem "The Hunting of the Snark": "I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true.". The Bush administration claims that since three of their own classified reports say the man is a terrorist, he is one, without need for any supporting evidence. Following the administration reasoning they can hold anyone indefinitely if they just write three reports saying you are guilty."

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