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SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

scotts13 What to cut (90 comments)

Give NASA the $14 billion spent in fiscal 2013 training foreign armies and providing them with weapons. That'll make up the difference nicely. Not enough? Move on to the $24 billion spent on the "National Drug Control Strategy." Two things we don't need more of are dead bodies and prison inmates.


Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

scotts13 Re:Death bell tolling for thee.... (321 comments)

I have to agree. I think I understand why they want to do this: Only one code base, less overhead and more profit.

But it is a stupid idea. The different devices provide different functions and shouldn't look the same or be the same. Servers are different from desktops which are different from tablets which are different from phones.

For those who need a bad car analogy, it is like trying to put the same user interface on bicycles, motorcycles, cars, trucks and trains. No one complains that their car doesn't have handlebars. Or that there is no steering wheel on a their bicycle or motorcycle.

I well recall the cries of "Windows Everywhere!" (and Windows CE that went with it). As you note, they want this for the same reasons the government wants to standardize the military aircraft they buy - saving money by re-using common components. Problem is, something that does everything does nothing well; witness the F-35 and the TFX/F-111. Worst thing is, it never actually costs less, anyway - you get an inferior product with higher costs.

4 days ago

Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh

scotts13 Re:PPC macs were awful (236 comments)

Macs didn't "make USB", they forced it on their users while giving a big "fuck you" to all of their old customers running anything else. It's not like the old stuff was horrible either (ADB, SCSI).

It was a little annoying that Apple made the jump all at once into USB, but really - a couple of RS422 ports was better? ADB was always only for mice and keyboards, and years of experience showed that for most users, SCSI was just too expensive and hard to set up. Or don't you remember "SCSI Hell"? For higher end Macs, you could retrofit SCSI, serial, and even USB cards if you really needed to. Some configurations even included a SCSI card.

As far as "USB was everywhere on PC's" that's just wrong. At the time Apple switched over, 99% of PC users had never heard of a USB port. I know, I was managing a computer store at the time.

about two weeks ago

Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh

scotts13 Another misleading headline (236 comments)

I was working very closely with Apple at the time, and unless everyone was being lied to, "IBM saved Macintosh" is a pretty serious mischaracterization. More like three companies working together to create a platform useful to all the contributors. Did IBM put more into it than the other AIM members? Probably. But they didn't do it out of the goodness of their hearts.

about two weeks ago

Buzz Aldrin Pressures Obama For New Space Exploration Initiative

scotts13 Re:Man in Space (78 comments)

There's a reason why chimps where the first in space - man was not needed. Maned space exploration is a PR move.

There was a reason, and I'm surprised you've completely missed it.

about three weeks ago

Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

scotts13 Re:Modern Day Anti-Evolutionists (497 comments)

...I don't care if we do anything about Global Warming for another 20-30 years and at that point I have faith that civilization will start to engineer its way out of the problem...

"We'll invent something to fix this when the time comes" is not a sound policy, or a policy at all. It's wishful thinking. What if we don't?

about three weeks ago

Buzz Aldrin Pressures Obama For New Space Exploration Initiative

scotts13 How not to plan for space (78 comments)

What's the point of having a "plan" when it changes every four or eight years? It takes longer than that to complete a large technology project; the only way to accomplish it is to have a beloved leader start it, then quick shoot him - so it'll be completed in his honor. Come to think of it, we'll never get past the "beloved leader" part. What's the last time we had anything other than the lesser of evils?

about three weeks ago

Police Using Dogs To Sniff Out Computer Memory

scotts13 Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (415 comments)

I must admit (and this will probably get some catcalls) I don't think the "kiddie porn" industry is as big or as big a problem as is claimed. I've been poking around some of the dark and unpleasant parts of the internet since there WAS an internet, and I don't think I've seen a single unambiguous example. Certainly not "$20 billion dollars worth" - NO ONE is that good at hiding. Rather, I think it's the one thing they can manufacture criminals with, that no one dares defend.

After reading this, some of my spare time will be taken up with loading as much obsolete recordable media as possible with pictures of flowers, puppies, and kittens (what's the age of consent for a cat?) and secreting them around the house. If I ever have any porn, I'll print it out on paper, to be safe from lazy searches.

about three weeks ago

On 4th of July:

scotts13 Save me (340 comments)

I live in a small town. The next town over (a bit over a mile) has a fire department completely obsessed with fireworks. Not just the 4th, but MOST holidays. It was cute at first, but now I close the windows, draw the shades, and turn up the TV.

about three weeks ago

2600 Distributor Withholds Money, Magazine's Future In Limbo

scotts13 Oh, you can boycott - sorta (59 comments)

I have been personally ripped off more than once by companies that "went out of business." The parentheses because, in many cases (like this one) the closure is not what people visualize, with chained doors, etc. There are still assets, employees, offices. In one case I was able to recover what was owed by calling the officers of the "old" company at their "new" jobs, every day, until I got my money. Did they legally owe it to me? Technically, probably not. I shamed/annoyed them into it.

I don't know 2600 from The Readers Digest, but I DO read several titles distributed by TEN: The Enthusiast Network; in one case I know the people at the magazine personally. I'll be writing letters and having conversations with these publishers about the people they're doing business with.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

scotts13 Only if... (427 comments)

I could make phone calls on it without carrying a separate phone. Beyond that and telling time, I can't think of any other use for a screen I'd want to wear on my wrist.

about a month ago

Toyota Investigating Hovercars

scotts13 Since they used the term "hovercar" (186 comments)

That locks us into an impossible scenario - anything related to a hovercraft as we know it is completely unsuitable as a consumer highway vehicle. So, the company MUST be talking about something else entirely.

about a month and a half ago

Daniel Ellsberg: Snowden Would Not Get a Fair Trial – and Kerry Is Wrong

scotts13 Re:He's right, Snowden will never again see daylig (519 comments)

This. It really doesn't matter whether he's charged with treason, data theft, or jaywalking - or tax evasion, for that matter. He's upset the apple cart of the people who re-interpret the law, and if he's ever out from under the protection of a nation the USA can't intimidate, he'll burn for it.

about 2 months ago

Daniel Ellsberg: Snowden Would Not Get a Fair Trial – and Kerry Is Wrong

scotts13 RE: Traitor (519 comments)

If Mr. Snowden is a traitor, we need to fix the laws until he ISN'T a traitor. He performed a valuable service to the citizens of this republic, and to the citizens of many other nations around the world.

about 2 months ago

Physician Operates On Server, Costs His Hospital $4.8 Million

scotts13 Really? (143 comments)

There almost has to be more to this story than we're hearing, and I'd be interested in the details. Why dopes one have to "reconfigure" a server to disconnect a single, personally owned computer from a network? The doctors I know would pull the ethernet cable, pick up the computer and go home, without even thinking about the sever.

about 3 months ago

Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

scotts13 I vote for keys (865 comments)

I've been driving for 40+ years. Dozens of cars; cheap cars, expensive cars, foreign and domestic. Never one problem with an ignition key or switch. I've driven two keyless cars; 50% of them are unreliable. You don't mandate abandonment of a simple, effective, inexpensive part - you mandate that the manufacturer not cut corners until failures begin.

Of course, this is all academic - the REAL reason is a step towards a mandated remote shutdown system.

about 3 months ago

Boeing Unveils Cabin Design For Commercial Spaceliner

scotts13 At least that's taken care of! (74 comments)

Now that we know what the decor of the interior will be like, the remainder of actually designing a working spacecraft with a useful mission is trivial. We're almost to Mars! Did anyone note that, in the linked article, they talk about providing passengers with a "large digital display"? You get a video feed, not a window. Is it just me, but does that take away most of the impact of the experience?

about 3 months ago

Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

scotts13 Re:Same old, same old. (798 comments)

Heh. I went to an all-boys Catholic high school in the early 70's. Response to a fight between two students (which included bullying, whether the victim defended himself or not) was essentially for the school disciplinarian to punch both kids in the face. Don't like it? Hire a lawyer, like my family had to.

about 3 months ago

How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

scotts13 Re:Good? (510 comments)

It's almost inevetable that we MUST engineer the children of the future. Modern society has eliminated natural selection; the unfit no longer die off, they breed. If we don't start either selective breeding or genetic engineering, the average human will be a mess in a few centuries.

about 4 months ago


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