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SpaceX Wins Use of NASA's Launch Pad 39A

sahonen Re:Watch out (99 comments)

They have hypergolic-fueled engines on the Dragon spacecraft. They're already in development on a more powerful hypergolic engine that could be useful for a lander.

about a year ago
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Soylent: No Food For 30 Days

sahonen Re:Yuck (440 comments)

Read the guy's blog. He eats "normal" food on social occasions, or when he just feels like experiencing a certain taste. Soylent is just supposed to be about the vast majority of meals you eat where it's just about fueling your body so you can get on with more important things.

1 year,14 days
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Soylent: No Food For 30 Days

sahonen Re:I'm not overly fussy about hygiene, but... (440 comments)

The product being shipped to customers is not being produced in that warehouse. The warehouse in the article was for prototyping. The facility the consumer version is being produced in is an FDA regulated and inspected facility.

1 year,14 days
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Soylent: No Food For 30 Days

sahonen Re:Vice investigates Soylent, finds rats and mold (440 comments)

The actual product being shipped to customers is being prepared in a fully FDA certified and inspected facility. The place where they were making the prototype formula was just that - a place for prototyping.

1 year,15 days
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Cygnus Spacecraft Makes Historic Rendezvous With Space Station

sahonen Re:Docking with the International Space Station? (44 comments)

Orbital and SpaceX could easily take their craft in for docking themselves, but NASA's rules require them to do it this way. NASA's rules are that nobody is allowed to put something on a trajectory that intercepts the ISS, even for an instant, for any reason. This is the reason that a secondary payload on an earlier Falcon launch wasn't allowed to be put into its desired orbit. An engine failure on the Falcon's first stage required it to take a modified trajectory into orbit, at which point boosting the secondary payload would have required that, for an instant during its boost, its trajectory pass through the ISS. For this to be dangerous, it would have required the engine to fail in the middle of its burn at a very precise instant. NASA disallowed it, so the secondary payload wasn't able to perform its mission.

So, bringing a spacecraft in for docking requires you to put your craft on a collision course. Docking is just a low-speed collision, after all. NASA will not allow this, so anyone bringing payload to the station has to rendezvous and place the craft within range for the ISS to grab it and bring it in.

about a year ago
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Japan Controls Rocket Launch With Just 8 People and 2 Laptops

sahonen Re:It's a solid rocket booster stack (94 comments)

The big win with kerosene over LH2 is that kerosene is much denser, so a) your tanks can be smaller and b) it's much easier to generate high levels of thrust since you don't have to move as much liquid through your engine.

about a year ago
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Suborbital Spaceflight Picks Up Speed

sahonen Re:Layman here... (51 comments)

What do you think of SABRE?

about a year ago
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Why Steve Albini Still Prefers Analog Tape

sahonen Re:how can you not play an audio file? (440 comments)

> That means the musicians need to get .wav files instead of things like ProTools files.

Protools stores its audio as wav or aif files.

about a year ago
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Concern Mounts Over Self-Driving Cars Taking Away Freedom

sahonen Re:As soon as the smart car counts as the driver (662 comments)

If routine commuting is "fun," then you're doing it wrong. Driving safely and efficiently is, and should be, boring as hell and I can't wait for it to be illegal to operate a vehicle manually on public roadways so I can spend my commuting time doing more interesting things.

You'll always be free to do your driving for fun on private roads and tracks, but keep your "fun" off the roads that I have to share with you.

about a year ago
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Soldiers Looking For Hookups On Craigslist Are Being Warned of a Military Sting

sahonen Re:Hookers (335 comments)

A "need" is not necessarily something you have to have or you will die. You won't die if you're locked in a room for the rest of your life with no human contact, but there's a reason that solitary confinement is considered a form of psychological torture. Social contact is a human need, emotional bonding is a human need, sex is a human need. Hell, Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs puts sex in the *bottom tier* of the pyramid.

about a year ago
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Dmitry Itskov Wants To Help You Live Forever Via an Android Avatar

sahonen Re:I agree with Lewis Black (383 comments)

Yeah, I think the effort of space colonization and life extension would be more appropriately put toward making the human race *worthy* of exploring the universe and living forever.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Planks Would You Want In a Platform of a Political Party?

sahonen Re:Fiscal Policy (694 comments)

>Cut the deficit all the way to negative. ASAP. Because austerity has worked so well for everybody else, right?

about a year and a half ago
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Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?

sahonen Re:Depends on the source (749 comments)

Look up how delta-sigma ADCs work some time.

about a year and a half ago
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Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?

sahonen Re:Depends on the source (749 comments)

No, there is no audible difference, because the harmonics of that 22khz sawtooth which *make* it a sawtooth instead of a sine wave are above the limits of human hearing. Filter out those harmonics and what you have left is a sine wave. Not to mention that 22khz is itself arguably above the limits of human hearing itself.

about a year and a half ago
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Bezos Expeditions Recovers Pieces of Apollo 11 Rockets

sahonen Re:Dammit, editors! (119 comments)

The F1 engine only ever flew aboard the Saturn V, and only 13 of those were ever launched. Still not the greatest odds, but much better than 1/33.

about a year and a half ago
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Tesla, Ford, Amazon Hint At Cloudy Future For Cars

sahonen Re:Cognitive science (231 comments)

What, for having different hobbies than you? You're the one who feels the compulsion to make your commute interesting, is that because you don't have anything particularly interesting to do on either side of it? That sounds a lot more sad to me.

I perform music. The rush of playing a packed house dwarfs anything that you could do even remotely safely on a public roadway. Sorry if I don't share the same emotional attachment for what I see as a tool for transporting myself and equipment between the things I do which are *actually* interesting.

about 2 years ago
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Tesla, Ford, Amazon Hint At Cloudy Future For Cars

sahonen Re:Cognitive science (231 comments)

Yeah...but that will make my drive to work a bore.

Too bad. My drive to work is boring already, automated driving would allow me to spend my time in the car productively rather than having to pay attention to the road the whole time. I don't understand your need to turn a commute into an adventure, I get in the car to go to the place where I will be having the adventure.

Same with motorcycles...are we going to ban them from the open roads too?

Yes. By the year 2100 people are going to shake their heads in disbelief at how reckless we were for operating our motor vehicles manually. And they'll look back in amusement at the first generation of automated vehicles which will still have manual controls, in the same way we look back at the first motor vehicles which had wooden horses attached to the front.

Recreational driving should be separated from regular commuters for the same reason that you separate skate parks from pedestrian traffic.

about 2 years ago
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Tesla, Ford, Amazon Hint At Cloudy Future For Cars

sahonen Re:Cognitive science (231 comments)

Again, I'm sure that once manual driving becomes illegal on public roads, folks will start opening more private roads and tracks where you can do whatever the heck you want.

about 2 years ago
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Tesla, Ford, Amazon Hint At Cloudy Future For Cars

sahonen Re:Cognitive science (231 comments)

I'm sure there will be a market for private roads where people can continue to drive manually for fun. Honestly, I don't want people having fun on the road I'm using to commute. I want them to be focused on operating their vehicles safely.

about 2 years ago
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With Pot Legal, Scientists Study Detection of Impaired Drivers

sahonen Re:Easy (608 comments)

I would think that someone, somewhere would say "wait, can't we make the argument that the provision of federal government services should be based only on the need for those services and no other factors?" Or is that the argument that they made when challenging the drinking age thing?

about 2 years ago

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Yet another person complaining about the mod system

sahonen sahonen writes  |  more than 10 years ago Back when I didn't have a job, I could spend a lot of time on Slashdot, looking through all of the sections and reading a good deal of the comments and even writing a few. I even meta-modded every day. I never got mod points.

Now that I'm employed, I have about 4 hours between when I get home and I go to sleep. I only have time to browse the front page and maybe look at the highly-rated comments on one or two of the more interesting topics. Meta-modding? Forget about it.

I have gotten mod points three times in as many weeks.

One of the factors Slashcode uses to hand out mod points is how often you visit. Those who visit the site as often as the average member of the slashdot population are more likely to moderate, with those who visit a lot and those who visit rarely being less likely.

The side effect of this is that people who actually have enough time to moderate can't, and those who don't have enough time have to anyway. Is it any wonder that we get misleading and incorrect comments modded up? The mods simply don't have the time to check, they're just modding stuff up that looks informative so they can get rid of their points! What I usually do is look through the comments history of my friends (I usually mark someone a friend if they say something I like) and fans and mod up anything interesting they've said lately.

So what I'm saying is this: Points should be given to people who have enough time to really dig through the posts. Sure, give 'em to the obsessive reloaders. If they're just looking for fr157 p075!!!1 they won't be able to mod that article anyway.

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Broadcast copywriting formatting

sahonen sahonen writes  |  more than 11 years ago Someone was interested in this, so I decided to post it here instead of clogging up the article with too many OT posts. Enjoy, or something.

The point of copywriting is to make it as easy on the reader as possible, because they have to keep track of a lot of stuff.

The most important thing to know when you're writing is: You are writing something that will be spoken aloud! Things that work written will not work when you say them! PM should be in the afternoon or at night. Numbers should be rounded as far as practical, 4,827,243 becomes almost five (m) million. Et cetera. Speak it aloud as you write it. If it sounds good, use it. If it sounds awkward, even if it looks good on paper, rephrase it. Punctuation is important. Woman, without her man, is nothing. Woman, without her, man is nothing! So put your commas and periods in the right places to make sure the meaning you intend gets across.

Broadcast copy IS WRITTEN IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, even though I personally find proper English capitalization easier to read. It is double-spaced on the page. In television, video notes (such as what camera is live, always a good thing to know) are indicated on the left half of the page, and audio on the right.

Hyphenation: When each letter of an abbreviation is pronounced, you put hyphens between each letter to indicate that. Example, R-I-A-A, K-D-E. This also includes sequences of numbers, such as phone numbers. 5-5-5-4-3-2-1. Abbreviations pronounced phoenetically are put down verbatim, GNOME, SCO.

Numbers: No more than three digits consecutively, and all single digit numbers spelled out. All ?illions have the first letter in parentheses before the word to make doubly sure. Five (b) billion 482 (m) million 326 thousand 384. Dollars is written out after the number, never ever use a dollar sign, the reader might forget there was a dollar sign on it by the time (s)he hits the end of the number. It happens!

Shorthand in general: Don't use it. 9:00 becomes nine o'clock. PM becomes in the afternoon or at night. Inc. becomes Incorporated, unless it's actually pronounced "Inc".

Tricky words: Avoid them, but if you've gotta put them in, write out a phoenetic pronounciation afterward. Kazaa (kuh-ZAH). I hate these, 'cause unless you go over the copy beforehand, it'll make you pause a little bit anyway. But it's better than a couple seconds of dead air while you stare blankly at the paper/prompter. =D

Well, there you go. What I paid a couple hundred dollars to learn. Man, I just realized I've been ripped off.

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Delusional ranting about acronyms

sahonen sahonen writes  |  more than 11 years ago Lately, I've been noticing a disturbing trend: When people write an acronym, they will write what it stands for right next to it, so they will say "IANAP (I am not a physicist)"

The net result of this is that the person ends up writing a piece of text that is LONGER than what they would have written if they had just written out "I am not a physicist," thus defeating the whole point of using an acronym in the first place.

Does anyone have any insight into this disturbing trend? I realize that this is not going to cause the eventual bloating death of the slashdot comment database (we can thank trolls who post 12-chapter-long narratives for that), it just strikes me as extremely stupid.

PISCBWAOMPAATWWIMNTT (Perhaps I shuld compensate by writing all of my posts as acronyms then writing what I meant next to them.)

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