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Comments

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SLS Project Coming Up $400 Million Short

raymorris equivalent to destroying nine rockets (119 comments)

For the same price, NASA could have SpaceX build and launch ten rockets.
Alternatively, they could spend the same money to have SpaceX build ten rockets, then throw nine away and launch one.

That's what they've done, spent resources that can build ten rockets and ending up with one. That's PRECISELY equal to building ten rockets, then destroying nine of them.

Alternatively, they could have paid SpaceX to build the one rocket, then burned a few billion dollars in cash. They'd end up in the exact same position - billions of dollars gone, and one new rocket. It ends up precisely the same as just burning the cash.

3 hours ago
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SLS Project Coming Up $400 Million Short

raymorris no, the opportunity cost = flushing billions (119 comments)

I'll go through this with you one step at a time.

For the same price, NASA could have SpaceX build and launch ten rockets.
That would be ten times as many scientific experiments launched or whatever good thing the rocket is doing.
Alternatively, they could spend the same money to have SpaceX build ten rockets, then throw nine away and launch one.
That's virtually exactly the same as what they're doing - taking billions of dollars from taxpayers and ending up with one rocket.
It ends up exactly the same as throwing away nine rockets, removing from the economy whatever value those nine rockets have.

They could also spend the same amount of money having SpaceX build one rocket, then spending a few billion dollars sending kids to college. So, for the same price you can have either a) one rocket built by NASA or b) one rocket built by SpaceX plus provide a college education for a thousand people.
So what's the difference between those two? Both add a rocket to the economy. The difference is whether people get a college education or not. Which do you think is better for the economy, college graduates earning good money, or those same people flipping burgers? Waste REMOVES value from the economy.

4 hours ago
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The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

raymorris beside the point. Had reasons, yes (109 comments)

Sure there are reasons that our methods have changed, of course. That's just not really related to the point I was making. TFS claims that the military is trying to find ways to kill more people, and that's simply the opposite of the truth. They've been working on ways to only blow up a specific room rather than blowing up a building or a city block. Secondly, IF they wanted to kill lots of people, they wouldn't need need to work on methods to do so. They've had the B-52 for 60 years or so. A single B-52 could kill thousands of people per day if you wanted it to. We COULD have wiped out Iraq in about a day and half. Building a democracy in Iraq is much, much more difficult than killing them would be.

4 hours ago
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Two Cities Ask the FCC To Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet

raymorris They're lying? I'm quoting their official platform (177 comments)

I'm quoting their official platform. Are you saying that they're lying about what policies they advocate?

Their official platform has a list of new and expanded powers they want the FCC to have. That's their official platform. They just haven't thought through the fact that the FCC is run by cable industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler, so new powers for the FCC IS new powers for a top cable lobbyist.

4 hours ago
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Switching From Microsoft Office To LibreOffice Saves Toulouse 1 Million Euros

raymorris $1000 if you can get Word to read Word documents (186 comments)

I'll give you a thousand dollars if you can get a current copy of MS Word to read old MS Word documents, like OpenOffice can. Since Microsoft can't pull that off, I'm guessing you won't either. I suppose you could shellExecute(OpenOffice.exe) from a Word macro. :)

So yeah, you COULD throw out all your company's documents in order to avoid having two "power users" of Word learn different menu locations for a few things. That would make sense, if you had Balmer's dick in your mouth.

6 hours ago
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The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

raymorris Kill fewer. Carpet bombing would be much easier (109 comments)

>> In its latest bid to kill more people, more efficiently, and at less cost

> Isn't this what we want all government agencies to strive for? When the military's actual job is to figure out how to kill people and destroy things with maximum effectiveness

In WWII the US military wanted to kill more people, more efficiently. They were pretty good at it.
Since then, it seems the challenge has been to find ways to kill the FEWEST possible number of people, while achieving a strategic goal. We tried to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis. Germans - we just blew them up.

6 hours ago
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Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

raymorris and stupid. Giving stupid people what they ask (63 comments)

> It simply boils down to greed at this point

Greed and a whole lot of stupid. Sprint has two brands for the same company, Sprint brand and Boost.
Boost is $35. Sprint is $85 or whatever with a "free" $150 phone. People have the choice, and they choose to pay an extra $50 / month for 36 months = $1,800 for that phone. Not just uneducated people either. I bet someone will get all defensive and reply to this post with justifications of why it's not stupid of them to pay $1,800 for a $150 phone, and that person is a Slashdot user - probably a computer programmer or something.

When so many people choose to pay ten times as much as the phone is worth, it's no surprise someone will sell it to them.

6 hours ago
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Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

raymorris $35 / month by dropping Verizon (63 comments)

If you're not financing the phone via Verizon, you have no need to pay Verizon anything. Instead you just use one of their subsidiary brands or affiliate for about $35 / month.

I don't remember the current names for Verizon, but as an example Sprint and Boost are the same company, same LTE network Boost is $35 / month. You'd only pay the Sprint contract price if you were paying off your "free" phone.

6 hours ago
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Switching From Microsoft Office To LibreOffice Saves Toulouse 1 Million Euros

raymorris Can't fix limited functionality in MS. $1M / year (186 comments)

> or you're functionality is limited, or the feature plain sucks

Our experience is the cost of limited functionality in off-the-shelf software is a significantly higher cost than the license cost.
With the old proprietary system, an employee would spend 4 hours each Friday copying and pasting from one program to another.
With the new modular open source software, I spent an hour authoring a module to completely automate the data transfer, and have it happen in real time.

For just that one little function alone, this year we saved 4 hours X 52 weeks X ~$40/hr = $8,320 per year.
I do one of those every week. A little change to the software for a big change in the process. I'd be surprised if we haven't saved at least $1 million / year total, from all the little tweaks, correction, and additions we've done to the open source software to make our process better, faster, more efficient, and more accurate. I know the P/L from the from the program using the open source stuff sure has improved, but it's hard to quantify how much of that is due to the software. I could easily prove it's saved at least as much as my salary though, and my salary was being paid when we had the proprietary software too, for a specialist who was paid to admin the system and figure out hacks to get the proprietary system to almost meet our needs using duct tape and bubble gum.

10 hours ago
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Two Cities Ask the FCC To Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet

raymorris Comprehension fail. Green: Give Wheeler more power (177 comments)

Let's try this one more time, because clearly you missed the entire point. I'm familiar with their platform, and with the actual effects of the policies they advocate, which are frequently the opposite of their stated goals. Let me copy / paste the thesis from my post again since you seem to have missed reading it the first time:

> so while it's not their intent, their policy proposals actually strongly favor the large established corporations by their effects.

To avoid to much redundancy, I'm going to stick to just the first half of their platform to show a dozen or so of their policy proposals. Te second half is more of the same, and a dozen is enough to see the pattern. Their platform includes the following position statements:

citizens are the government [this is their key mistake that makes their policies go against their intentions].
ownership and control of the electromagnetic spectrum to the public [government].
federally funded childcare
Livable Income [federal government pays everyone]
[expand social security]
[Federal] Civilian Conservation Corps
End the privatization of broadcast frequencies [government-controlled media]
Tax electronic advertising to fund democratic [government] media outlets.
require that holders of broadcast licenses present controversial issues of public importance in an equitable and balanced manner [whatever the current administration considers "balanced"]
revoke licenses from outlets that fail to satisfy these obligations.
Governmental (PEG) Access Television
generous public [government] funding for Public Broadcasting System (PBS) television and National Public Radio (NPR)

It's pretty clear, isn't it, that they are for more government - WAY more government. In fact, the preamble of their platform says they seek to refute the idea "that government is intrinsically undesirable and destructive of liberty". They think more federal government leads to more liberty. How cute.

The fact, and this point isn't really arguable, is that the federal government is largely controlled by large corporate interests. That's simply what is. The greens want a lot more federal government control of people. The corps control the government. Therefore, the policy proposals of the greens would in fact mean more corporate control by way of their assistants, the politicians. The greens don't WANT more corporate control, but they want more government control, and don't seem to realize it's precisely the same thing. It's the same people running the corporations and the government, as we've seen this week with the chairman of the FCC / president of the National Cable Television Association, Tom Wheeler.

When Greens say "the FCC should have more power and do more", that means the head of the FCC, Tom Wheeler should have more power and do more. Who do you think Wheeler actually works for? Not for you or me.

12 hours ago
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Two Cities Ask the FCC To Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet

raymorris on the other hand, they oppose building ...anythin (177 comments)

On the other hand, they oppose building broadband, or anything else. The level of regulation they want pretty much means we'd be headed back to the stone age. Further, their policies would make it much, much harder for independent ISPs because their platform is that the government should do everything, and the government is controlled by the big corporations. So while it's not their intent, their policy proposals actually strongly favor the large established corporations by their effects.

yesterday
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Social Security Administration Joins Other Agencies With $300M "IT Boondoggle"

raymorris TFA, and my experience, say the opposite. Complian (137 comments)

TFS mentions that the contractor is trying to replace hundreds of different incompatible, overlapping study systems that the government has built or ordered. Does having hundreds of different systems with overlapping functionality trying to talk to ready other sound like proper engineering practice to you? That's what the government decision makers have come up with.

From my experience, government systems are designed for two primary goals. First, give each fiefdom it's piece and second, compliance. Compliance generally means complying with a crap load of old documents written by bureaucrats and lawyers. Actually functioning properly is a distant third on the priority list. Engineered design? Rarely is that mentioned.

yesterday
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Social Security Administration Joins Other Agencies With $300M "IT Boondoggle"

raymorris Unlike liberal Texas (137 comments)

Unlike Texas, where the state government employs thousands of programmers because they are so liberal. I just got out of a meeting with a bunch of government programmers from Texas. They'll all tell you the same thing - getting stuff done within red tape of a government agency takes them twice as long as long as it took them in the private sector jobs - unless there is a federal grant or contract involved, in which case it takes twenty times as long.

One project they did last year was for a federal government contract, for OSHA. They spent a year and a half developing the system, then during the beta test OSHA cancelled the project. This is after the feds had them write a system where it would print all the database records on paper, to be sent to the feds, who would manually enter it into a computer file, then send that file back to Texas, right back to the same agency who had sent it to them in the first place. That's about typical for the federal government. Government is one thing - it's supposed to be fair and deliberate, not far and efficient. The FEDERAL government is something else entirely.

yesterday
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Social Security Administration Joins Other Agencies With $300M "IT Boondoggle"

raymorris hire the girlsgonewild.com team, they can scale (137 comments)

These government agencies need to hire some developers for whom a few million hits is just another day. Something like girlsgonewild.com gets more traffic than healthcare.gov, and handles it with two well-configured commodity servers.

yesterday
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The Psychology of Phishing

raymorris You're thinking of phishing, not spear phishing (125 comments)

You're talking about regular phishing. Phishing is not spear-phishing. Phishing, like fishing, involves casting out a bait and hoping that someone (anyone) takes the bait.

Spear-phishing, like spear-fishing, is DEFINED as identifying a specific target and launching your weapon against that target specifically.

2 days ago
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Firefox 33 Integrates Cisco's OpenH264

raymorris confusing ActionScript version with Flash player? (186 comments)

Are you perhaps confusing ActionScript version numbers vs Flash Player version numbers? ActionScript was introduced in Flash 5. Adobe says they based ActionScript 1.0 on Emacscript. Of course, the first version wasn't complete. It was based on Emacscript, though, according to the people who wrote the friggin language.

2 days ago
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MIT Combines Carbon Foam and Graphite Flakes For Efficient Solar Steam Generati

raymorris 3T gallons at a Superfund site with earthquakes? (110 comments)

Okay so your idea is to take a Superfund site that has already contaminated 100 miles downstream due to natural runoff, and pump 3 trillion gallons of water into it? Into a hole where there have been six earthquakes in nine years, and a major collapse just last year?

What do you think is going to happen next year, with the next quake hits and the collapse releases 3 trillion gallons of very contaminated water? You might want to read up on Banquiao, because you're proposing the same thing, only much larger.

2 days ago
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MIT Combines Carbon Foam and Graphite Flakes For Efficient Solar Steam Generati

raymorris Ludinton pumped storage facility X 1,500,000 (110 comments)

I think you missed a few points in your theoretical calculation. Let's look at an actual pumped storage reservoir, one conveniently linked from the Wikipedia page you linked to. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

The upper reservoir has a capacity of 27 billion gallons, and peak output requires 33 million gallons per minute, so it can run for 13 hours with 1872 MW output. (To be more than fair, I'm ignoring the fact that you can't REALLY drain the lake completely dry each day, and that power is reduced as the level goes down. Actual power capacity may be half of what I'm charitably calculating). Giving pumped storage the benefit of the doubt, we'll say Ludington could do 1872 MW X 13 hours = 23,765 MWh.
That's 8 * 10^10 BTU

So we need 120 * 10^15 BTU and we've got 8 * 10^10 BTU. Hmm, 15 facilities the size of Ludington would be 120 * 10^10.
But we need 10^15, not 10^10, so we need 1,500,000 facilities the size of Ludington.

The upper reservoir of Ludington is 2.5 square miles. 2.5 miles X 1,500,000 facilities = 3,750,000 square miles. The continental US is 3,119,884 square miles. So, looking at actual performance of actual pumped storage, covering the entire US with pumped storage reservoirs still wouldn't be enough - even for the UPPER reservoir. Typically, the lower reservoir is quite a bit larger than the upper.

2 days ago
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Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

raymorris Yes, course, jury box too. Thanks. (171 comments)

Thanks for the reminder. I've only seen that 150,000 times in someone's signature here.

2 days ago

Submissions

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ask - what do you think caused the NSA to start collecting so much data?

raymorris raymorris writes  |  about 7 months ago

raymorris (2726007) writes "Many people believe that the NSA collects far too much data, violating the privacy rights of the very citizens the NSA is supposed to protect. How did we get here? What specific structural or cultural changes can be identified that led some to believe it is okay to engage in this sort of broad dragnet surveillance as opposed to getting specific court orders for specific suspects?

Many people simply assign the blame to the opposite political party, which doesn't get very far in solving the problem and ensuring it doesn't happen again. Can we look at specific, identifiable factors and show exactly how they directly caused the intelligence community to get off track? For example, precisely which sections of which laws are being used to justify these programs, and what caused those laws to be passed? Is the surveillance directly authorized by law, or do the justifications require "creative" interpretation of the law?

In order to avoid getting into yet another fruitless political flame war and keep the discussion factually focused, please provide citations where possible."

Link to Original Source
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Linux based drone copter goes mainstream, fully hackable with HD for under $300

raymorris raymorris writes  |  about a year and a half ago

raymorris writes "The recently released AR.Drone 2.0, running Linux 2.6 brings hackable drones mainstream at under $300. The wifi controlled drone copter running open source software includes a 1Ghz processor, an HD video camera, and a second downward facing camera onboard."
Link to Original Source

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