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SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

queazocotal Re:fuel weight (81 comments)

The Falcon 9 weighs about 500000kg on launch.
Most of this is kerosene, and liquid oxygen.
Both of these can be purchased for under $1/l.
This is around $400000 or so.
A falcon 9 launch costs $60M or so - so it's more like a percent.

2 days ago
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Kiva Systems Co-Founder: Drone Delivery Could Be As Low As 20 Cents Per Package

queazocotal Re:drones (92 comments)

Done right - shot-down-drones may be profitable - if you outfit them with sensors to find out who's shot it down.

about two weeks ago
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France Wants To Get Rid of Diesel Fuel

queazocotal Re:Political nonsense (395 comments)

'reducing the tax incentives'
You can bet they're not lowering the tax on petrol.

about three weeks ago
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Elon Musk Talks "X-Wing" Fins For Reusable Rockets, Seafaring Spaceport Drones

queazocotal Re:Back to barges? (96 comments)

Grazing the atmosphere has issues.
The heating pulse is quite large, and radiating it to cool down again before the next encounter may be an issue.
Plus, it places strong demands on the attitude control, and heats the tanks a lot when they're still full of volatile fuel.
'Just' reentering normally from what will be at least LEO takes quite a lot of heatshield or reaction mass.

about three weeks ago
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Elon Musk Talks "X-Wing" Fins For Reusable Rockets, Seafaring Spaceport Drones

queazocotal Re:Back to barges? (96 comments)

The second stage, for many launches - to GEO - ends up in an orbit which is very unfriendly to reentry - if it reenters, it will do at a very high speed.
This makes reentry not simple.

about three weeks ago
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UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

queazocotal Re: Not quite true (307 comments)

What the government believe is largely irrelevant to the judiciary - or at the most only a slight influence.
The feelings of the government in interpretation of legislation are at best advisory.

about three weeks ago
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Elon Musk Talks "X-Wing" Fins For Reusable Rockets, Seafaring Spaceport Drones

queazocotal Re:Back to barges? (96 comments)

Current thinking is that the second stage is probably not easily reusable, and they are not actually working on it.
Those videos were produced at a tim when there wasn't a concrete idea as to how flyback would work in practice.

about three weeks ago
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Jolla Crowdfunds Its First Tablet

queazocotal Re:OS/2 (56 comments)

To a degree.
A 1% niche of the mobile tablet or phone market is quite large enough for a small company.
Indeed - at that point - you're not a small company anymore.

about a month ago
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Jolla Crowdfunds Its First Tablet

queazocotal Re:$380,000 goal? (56 comments)

i would perhaps agree - if it was from a company that had not produced hardware.
I suspect this is more the case of PR and a case to purchase early at a discount a device that was coming anyway.
I'm buying one.

about a month ago
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UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

queazocotal Re: Not quite true (307 comments)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U...
'The Act renders terms excluding or limiting liability ineffective or subject to reasonableness, depending on the nature of the obligation purported to be excluded and whether the party purporting to exclude or limit business liability, acting against a consumer.'
In short - any provision trying to do this is probably not legal.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Non-USB Flash Direct From China Safe?

queazocotal Re:Not a security risk, but a fake risk (178 comments)

Of course it's a security risk.
The SD card has a 32 bit processor that does the wear leveling.
There is nothing stopping it doing 'interesting' things to files on it, if it's so programmed.
The extra fun part is that the user can't read out this programming.

Obvious things might be infecting files with viruses, appending small secret files to large media files in the hope that they will later be shared, or more targeted attacks.

about a month ago
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Discovery Claims It Will Show a Man Being "Eaten Alive" By an Anaconda

queazocotal It turned out when they actually filmed it (164 comments)

that it turned out that the anaconda had a fondness for bread products, and would not eat anything without at least some in.
The handler turned to the director, and said 'My anaconda don't want none unless she's got buns hun'.

about a month and a half ago
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Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

queazocotal I find this somewhat disgusting. (594 comments)

Why are pilots and astronauts and F1 racecar drivers - all of which actively picked a competitive field to enter, knowing the risks - considered more special and valuable than construction workers, loggers, or fishermen?

I note that the recent 'space rating' specs imply that flying to space 12 times a year is safer - not than a logger or a fisherman - but than a librarian.

about a month and a half ago
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World War II Tech eLoran Deployed As GPS Backup In the UK

queazocotal Re:are you sure? (139 comments)

The satellites are hardened.
And 20000km away from earth.
As are the uplinks. (well, not the latter)

about a month and a half ago
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World War II Tech eLoran Deployed As GPS Backup In the UK

queazocotal Err - no. (139 comments)

The primary risk to GPS in the UK is the USA deciding to turn it off.
That risk doesn't apply for US shipping near the US, as if GPS was turned off - rather than severely degraded - so would the local LORAN locators.
GPS is not going away unless someone actually presses the button.
It's not vulnerable (theoretically) to single points of failure (ideally) as it's intended to carry on even in the event of moderate wars.

about a month and a half ago
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Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

queazocotal Re:Mo-tiv-a-tion (583 comments)

"This is always the problem with people imagining horrifying artificial intelligences that will snuff out humanity. To do that, you have to be motivated to achieve that end."
Well - yes.
But - it depends on the capabilities too.

Humans have wiped out many species, through direct resource extraction - like the passenger pigeon and dodo, to countless species wiped out through habitat destruction, to active extermination - smallpox.

'Terminator' style 'end of the world' scenarios only happen where there is a balance of power.
With mature AI, that has become sufficiently capable - destruction of humanity could take little effort, and only rely on a decision to do so - and the next day, everyones dead, and the resources are re-used for whatever the AI chooses to do.

This could very easily transition from a 'caring' AI that has global oversight - and provides many services to humans, through one decision to the end.

about 2 months ago

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