* Posts by fishman

841 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007


Come glide with me: Virgin Galactic gives Unity some fresh air, looks forward to rocket-powered flight


"For small payloads, SpaceX is definitely not the cheapest option."

Unless the payload is ridesharing. It doesn't eliminate the small payload launch segment but significantly shrinks it.

You'd think lockdown would be heaven for us layabouts – but half the UK has actually started 'exercising more'


My observations

We live in a neighborhood with 430 homes. Each day my wife and I go out and walk for an hour, covering 3.2 miles. Usually we see 5 to 8 people out walking. We've walked at different times but haven't noticed an increase of people at certain times. And we haven't noticed a jump in the number of people walking from last year.

For years, the internet giants have held on dear to their get-out-of-jail-free card. Here are those trying to take that away


The end result will be that the changes will cost money, and the big players can afford it. The smaller players and new players will be squeezed, and the big players will become even more dominant.

Russia drags NASA: Enjoy your expensive SpaceX capsule, our Soyuz is the cheap Kalashnikov of rockets


As far as costs go, just look what has happened to the Russian share of the commercial satellite business - it's dropped way off, thanks to the far cheaper SpaceX/Falcon 9. If Russian rockets were so cheap, why are they so uncompetitive in the commercial satellite launch business?

They've only gone and bloody done it! NASA, SpaceX send two fellas off to the International Space Station


The irony is that the whole Commercial Crew Program was started during the Obama administration - the contract that NASA has with SpaceX was signed in 2014, long before Trump came along.

So,..... Thanks, Obama!


Re: Pretty little dot..

It's the Illuminati - they don't want you to discover that the world is actually flat.


Re: Long Live Private interprise!

And on the other hand you have Boeing's Starliner. It's cost per seat is higher than what the Russians were charging.

Breaking virus lockdown rules, suing officials, threatening staff, raging on Twitter. Just Elon Musk things


Re: Elon Musk Is An Ass

Just don't read up on the antics of other automakers - you will end up walking everywhere!

French monopoly watchdog orders Google to talk payment terms with French publishers


Other French speaking sources

Or Google can get the French language news from news sources in French speaking countries other than France. If Google did that for 50% of their French language news it would result in a huge drop in traffic for the French news sources.

Antarctic science put on ice by coronavirus – next summer's expeditions restricted to essentials and robots



Was that picture of toilet paper supposed to be a recruitment poster?

Remember that clinical trial, promoted by President Trump, of a possible COVID-19 cure? So, so, so many questions...


Re: There was the other bit in the statement....

"IRL FDA does not do any research."

My wife is a biologist for the FDA. She and her coworkers do research - and have written quite a few papers on their work.

Bad news: Coronavirus is spreading rapidly across the world. Good news: Nitrogen dioxide levels are decreasing and the air on Earth is cleaner



Yelp finally gets its chance to tell US Congress how Google screws its listings service every minute of every day



Yelp - the review site that seems to lose bad reviews if the company that is reviewed pays Yelp.

IBM's outgoing boss Rometty awarded $20m+ in 2019 for growing revenue 0.1%


Maximizing shareholder value?

How is this maximizing shareholder value?

How is excessive executive pay, huge bonuses, and gigantic golden parachutes maximizing shareholder value, especially when the company is poorly managed?

Maximizing shareholder value: One rule for you, another rule for me. Suckers!

Axiom signs up with SpaceX to fly private astronauts to the International Space Station


Re: "the primary issues detected during the company's uncrewed Orbital Flight Test"

It was more like what might of happened when the back fell off.

After 1.5 million days of computer time, SETI@home heads home to probe potential signs of alien civilizations


Small window of time

I've heard the argument that there is around a 100 year window between a civilization starts broadcasting signals to when the signals are heavily compressed/encrypted. Once compressed and/or encrypted it becomes harder to distinguish them from the noise.

Boeing didn't run end-to-end test on Calamity Capsule, DSCOVR up and running, and NASA buys a Falcon Heavy



The SpaceX launch of Psyche is $117M.

Compare that with Curiosity, whose launch cost was around 20% of its $2.5B budget. Or the cost for the upcoming Mars 2020 launch at $243M.

Oracle staff say Larry Ellison's fundraiser for Trump is against 'company ethics' – Oracle, ethics... what dimension have we fallen into?



I always thought that Oracle's ethics were summed up by "Greed is Good".

Crazy idea but hear us out... With robots taking people's jobs, can we rethink this whole working to survive thing?



Extensive automation could have the effect of reducing the globalization of trade. One of the drivers of globalization is cheap labor. If labor costs are slashed through extensive automation then other costs, such as transportation or energy could drive where items are produced.

Built to last: Time to dispose of the disposable, unrepairable brick


Re: "something more durable – with upgrade paths"

Back when I was a kid, if the TV stopped working you took out the tubes and went to the local store that had a tube tester. Start plugging in the tubes until you found the bad one, and just buy a new tube.


I bought a Canon EOS 630 SLR (film camera) back in 1993. When I switched to a Canon EOS 40D digital SLR all of my old lenses worked on the new body.

Over the Moon? Not quite: NASA boss has a good whinge about 'counterproductive' Authorization Bill


Re: SpaceX

"Imagine the times Air Force One must have been overtaken by Concorde."

If speed was that important the POTUS would have been riding in a SR-71 Blackbird.

Beer necessities: US chap registers bevvy as emotional support animal so he can booze on public transport


Maybe Flyingdog?

Judge snubs IT outsourcers' plea to Alt-F4 tougher H-1B visa rules: Bosses told to fill out the extra paperwork


Re: s/specific skills that are in limited supply/willing to work for peanuts/g

"maybe they should move their headquarters to a place where the cost of living is REASONABLE?"

There are places like that. As an example, The area near Salt Lake City has the nickname of "Silicon Slopes". (Slopes for all the fantastic skiing in that area).

*David Attenborough voice* And here we have, in the wild, a rare glimpse... of what may be... a positive IBM quarter


Re: Well done IBM!

Why is it that "Maximizing shareholder value" never includes curbing excessive executive salaries and benefits?

The delights of on-site working – sun, sea and... WordPad wrangling?


Binary edits with Fortran

Back in the mid 1980's we had a pdp 11/73 running TSX+, a multiuser version of RT-11. There was a text editor that would exit after being idle for a length of time, and would print out a message stating something along the lines of "timeout - execution ended". So I wrote a little program in Fortran (the only language available on the machine) to scan for that text string and replace it with something like "ERROR - CPU Meltdown!". Scared the crap out of one of the users......

NASA's monster rocket inches towards testing while India plots return to the Moon


Re: SLS....

The SLS uses 4 of those engines. That means they can make 11 flights before they run out. Between Falcon Heavy, Starship, and New Glenn the SLS may never make 11 flights anyway.

No box shifting, no Buck Rogers. Bezos-backed Blue Origin blasts off once again


Re: No box shifting, no Buck Rogers. Bezos-backed Blue Origin blasts off once again

The warehouse workers are just a temporary thing - they'll be replaced with robots.

It’s been two years since net neutrality was killed in the US. Let’s celebrate by having another fight over it


Killed - sort of

Net Neutrality was killed. At the Federal level. Sort of.

But there are lawsuits going on about the killing, and until the lawsuits are settled or thrown out it is in the best interests of the ISPs to tread softly. And various states have or will have laws that ban or severely discourage ISPs to violate net neutrality. If the ISPs moved to take full advantage of the killing of net neutrality, more states would enact net neutrality laws. This patchwork of state laws is far more detrimental to the ISPs than a single Federal law so the old saying of "Be careful for what you wish for" is coming back to haunt them.

NASA told to get act together on commercial crew vendors as chance of US-free ISS rises


Re: I don't get the delay....

"If they had known then how dangerous their rockets really were"

Plenty of rockets were blowing up even before anyone got a satellite into orbit. The dangers were well known.......

NASA spanks $34bn on a disposable rocket – likely to top $50bn by 2024 moon landing


Re: Disposable

As I understand it, every 4-5 lbs added to the booster takes away 1 lb from the payload. If you try to recover the second stage, every lb added to the second stage takes away 1 lb from the payload. Since the fairings are ejected very early in the second stage engine firing, any weight added to the the farings for recovery would decrease the payload with a slightly higher penalty than added weight to the booster.

Gas-guzzling Americans continue to shun electric vehicles as sales fail to bother US car market


Re: A little education is needed

Seems like you left off the Chevy Bolt (second largest selling EV in California) as an EV you can buy in California. And the Hyundai Ioniq, Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro, Kia Soul, BMW I3,.....

Boeing comes clean on parachute borkage as the ISS crew is set to shrink


Saturn V

"That beast was, of course, hugely expensive and entirely unsustainable in its final form."

The Saturn V cost around $1B per in 2019 dollars. The SLS will cost as much as $2B per.

Astroboffins capture video of Mercury passing across the Sun's surface



The University of Maryland Astronomy Department had a couple of telescopes set up (with solar filters) on main campus for public viewing of the transit yesterday. We went to it, and even though it was around noontime and there were only two telescopes, there was no line.........

WTF? Apple iPhones shrank by more than $22bn in fiscal '19


Cheaper can be better

My son has owned iPhones and Galaxy phones. He's come to the conclusion that for him a cheap phone is best. He doesn't have to worry about losing it, dropping it, or having any other problems with it.

Like the Death Star on Endor, JEDI created a ton of fallout and stormy weather in cloud market


Rob Enderle

Any article that uses quotes from Rob Enderle gets an automatic ignore by me.

Slow down, ice-on-Mars fans: Those 'streams' on Red Planet may be caused by landslides


Re: Rocks falling at 360 kilometers per hour?

Sound in a vacuum? In space, no one can hear you scream.

Billionaire Bezos unveils plans to land humans on Moon, with a little help from some old friends


Re: The Future’s Bright

"I am glad Bill is spending some of his money on making the world a better place but please remember other people might have done more if Bill had not taken so much of their money."

Bill also engaged in questionable business practices that drove other companies under.

Spacecraft that told us 'you're screwed' finally gives up the ghost after doubling its shelf life


It's turtles all the way down...........

Clip, clip, hooray: NASA says it will send Clipper probe to Europa, will attempt no landing there


Not landing

Seems silly to go all the way to Europa and not bring a lander. It might be 20 years or more before another mission is sent.

Don't let your dreams be dreams! Itty-bitty space shuttle to ride into orbit on a Vulcan Centaur


Plenty of slop in the schedule

Vulcan hasn't flown. And I wouldn't be surprised if it hasn't made it's first flight by the end of 2021 - the first flight of a new rocket is usually a dummy payload. So Dream Chaser could get away with not being ready by the end of 2021.

Pentagon makes case for Return of the JEDI: There's only one cloud biz that can do the job and it starts with an A (or rhymes with loft)


Re: rhymes?

Laura Croft.

Fantastic Mr Fox? Not when he sh*ts on your lawn, kids' trampoline and your soul


Our foxes

We get foxes in our back yard from time to time - our yard backs to woods. So far I've encountered fox droppings once. But the foxes do help keep the groundhogs and other rodents away so they are a net benefit.

Airbus A350 software bug forces airlines to turn planes off and on every 149 hours


Re: What is overflowing?

So Airbus is almost 3X better than Windows 98.

Literally braking news: Two people hurt as not one but two self-driving space-age buses go awry



We don't need perfection. All we need are self driving vehicles that are good enough that there is a significant reduction in accidents, injuries, and deaths.

Enjoying that 25Mbps internet speed, America? Oh, it's just 6Mbps? And you're unhappy? Can't imagine why


Re: At Grikath, re: dial up.

Even in areas where the US population is not spread out the ISPs screw us over. Because most of us only have one high speed internet provider available, they can do as little as they want and charge as much as they want since they have no competition.

Awkward! Bernie tells Bezos-sponsored event he'd break up Amazon and other tech titans


The Irony

Half the time politicians want to split up "big tech". The other half the time they are coming up with laws that make it hard or impossible for a newcomer to break into the field.

Train maker's coder goes loco, choo-choo-chooses to flee to China with top-secret code – allegedly



THe code may or may not have any value to Chinese Rail related companies. But it could be used to figure out how to hack the US railways.

After years of listening, we've heard not a single peep out of any aliens, say boffins. You think you can do better? OK, here's 1PB of signals


"The papers describe the observations of 1,327 nearby stars, fast radio bursts, and pulsar searches."

There are around 200,000,000,000 stars in the Milky Way. If there is a one in a million chance of a star having a planet with an advanced civilization, the chance for success with 1,327 stars would be around 0.13%. Conversely, there could be 200,000 advanced civilizations in the Milky Way.....

It's all in the wrist: Your fitness tracker could be as much about data warfare as your welfare



I just use the Google "Fit" app on my phone. I figure Google already has access to all of that data anyway.....



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