* Posts by imanidiot

4421 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Mar 2012

Space Force boss warns 'the US will lose' without help from Musk and Bezos

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: I guess it's a plan. Kinda. Sorta. If you squint.

"with an unwinnable technology race." "the only questions remaining are whether or not the Chinese are stupid enough to fall for it"

No, the question is whether it actually is an unwinnable race and whether or not the US would actually win it. Because right now the US has it's shotgun aimed at it's foot and the finger on the trigger.

Where there's a will, there's Huawei to develop one's own chipmaking kit

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Re: Middle finger

"ASML deserve to get burned by preferring "international talent" over paying more to attract the best European or national engineers"

Do they though? ASML is definitely paying very good wages (compared to the rest of the industry sector) to all takers. It's simply suffering from a lack of available European talent to begin with. So it needs to look at international talent to fill it's requirements.

imanidiot Silver badge
Boffin

Nothing of the sort

"a low-tech method called self-aligned quadruple patterning (SAQP)"

There is nothing low-tech about SAQP. It may be done on machines of an older node, but it most certainly isn't easy or low-tech. Quite frankly it's probably HARDER to do SAQP than to do it via more normal processes on state-of-the-art EUV systems. The big advantages that EUV systems have over multi-patterning is speed, yield and density. multi-patterning allows for smaller features but at the cost of more distance between those features and requiring a lot more masks and exposures to achieve the end result (and thus suffers poor yield). Getting it to work with any yield at all is already a challenge to begin with. Doing so on production is never going to be quite cost competitive with EUV I suspect. But it's a metaphorical middle finger to the west. And that's probably the only reason they're doing it.

US insurers use drone photos to deny home insurance policies

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Re: As usual, it's cover for taking advantage of old people

Depends on the roof tiles. In the late 70s they were probably still using proper fired clay (and glazed) roof tiles, but in the 80s, at least this side of the channel, they switched to concrete roof tiles. Cheap but they degrade over time. As the outer surface weathers they get more susceptible to damage (crows dropping nuts, hail, storm damage, etc) and as the first cracks appear water seeps in and during winter freezes. My home was built in the mid 80s and recently had a new roof installed (together with about quadrupling the insulation) with new roof tiles. The old ones were probably going to be fine for another 10 years, but could also have been not fine within a year or 2. Since the insulating needed to happen anyway, might as well just put new roof tiles on.

65 years ago, America announced the names of its first astronauts

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Re: Right Stuff

As proven by a Schirra in his mission a year later when he intentionally fired Sigma-7s hatch and received a deep cut and bruise through the metal reinforced glove of his spacesuit. The sordid detail is that Grissoms accident with the hatch likely led to the decision to only have a ground crew openable hatch on Apollo, leading to the Apollo 1 fire killing Grissom, White and Chaffee, who might have made an exit had they had an explosive hatch.

Tech titans assemble to decide which jobs AI should cut first

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Re: Bollocks

yes, it should be. My personal opinion (oft maligned by those in upper management positions) is that anyone holding the title of "manager" should be able to drop dead and the company should be able to keep going like nothing happened. The higher up in management, the longer the company should just keep going. Because the people that actually make things happen are are not "managers" and should be trained enough to know what needs doing. If everything grinds to a halt if one of them isn't there suddenly, they're doing things they shouldn't. What is left for managers? General tasks like stock keeping, keeping an eye on tool maintenance, scheduling, etc, that would otherwise take away productive time from those that actually do something. And usually those things can easily be automated.

World's second-largest eyeglass lens-maker blinded by infosec incident

imanidiot Silver badge

If you want to be sure you get good glasses, Specsavers is probably not the place to go imho. Their quality varies very much by the goodwill of the optometrist doing the actual measuring and I've found that usually they start out good (when just hired) and just get worn down over time until they can't be bothered or move on. So locations that just opened are usually OK then turn to shit.

Techie saved the day and was then criticized for the fix

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Re: Locks.

Locks keep honest people honest and delay dishonest people to varying degrees is the most accurate descriptor.

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: Locks.

The slightly higher end ones nowadays have D shaped hole with a flat on the lock body. Attempting to rotate those out of their retaining nut works just fine, but by shattering the glass instead of freeing the lock. Takes a bit more explaining...

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: Floor loading, what is that

It depends entirely on what tiles are removed. In some patterns it's entirely fine as the floor can retain it's rigidity, in other patterns (especially long uninterrupted lines) the stands lose support and buckle, causing the floor to start collapsing (and cascade to any still connected parts of the floor)

Boffins build world's largest astronomical digital camera to map the heavens

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Re: Take image at 3.2 GP

And then resampled about 20 times over (applying sharpen at each step) to really bork those pixels good as it gets reposted again and again.

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: Don't look up

It was Steve, the janitor, who got a little too close to the truth and heard things he shouldn't have.

imanidiot Silver badge

largely as a prestige thing, not so much as a "required for science" thing.

Same reason they built their giant radio telescope long before Arecibo came to a sad end.

imanidiot Silver badge

CCDs actually store the image electronically on the chip and it stays there until reading it out destroys the image and clears the chip

Or until charge leakage, dark current and stray photons have degraded the stored image to the point it's no longer reliably readable.

No joke: FTC boss goes on the Daily Show and is told Apple tried to block her

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Re: Exit objectivity

They probably talked a very favourable talk with lots of promises to get him to sign. And it's hard to judge up front and from the outside just how restrictive a company is. Especially at the time Steward made the step to Apple.

Alibaba signs to explore one-hour rocket deliveries

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Re: NORAD is going to love this - not

My thoughts too. Just shooting IRBMs everywhere willy nilly is bound to make some people rather nervous. It also seems needlessly wasteful and complex for not all that much time gain.

Intricate mission to de-ice a space telescope is go: Euclid's 'eye' is clear

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Re: Job well done

The ice isn't evaporating (which would require it to first melt to a liquid, before evaporating to the gas state), it's sublimating. Something ice will do at any partial pressure below 612 Pa, but faster at temperatures closer to 0 degrees C. The sublimation rate of the ice formed on the mirror at the lower temperature just wan't fast enough to get rid of the ice entirely, while heating the mirror up a tad would give the water molecules just that bit more energy for them to skedaddle, and hopefully make their way out of the scope and into the vacuum of space so that it doesn't subsequently re-solidify on the mirror.

Labor watchdog wants SpaceX's gag clauses to disintegrate like its exploding rockets

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Re: "Those would be big no-nos under US law"

Because IN THE US, getting sued isn't free. And even if you ARE in the right and eventually the courts find in your favour, that doesn't mean you then get reimbursed for the costs of your defence lawyer. Which means just getting sued, even if you are right, could potentially bankrupt you. You CAN try to counter sue to get your money back, but you'll be fighting company lawyers for years (again, on your own dime) before you MIGHT recoup some of your costs. Most normal people can't afford that. So even if technically speaking the clauses are unenforceable, US companies know that the threat of getting sued for breach of (illegal) contract is enough to keep people in line anyway.

Nano a nono: Pixel 8 phones too dumb for Google's smallest Gemini AI model

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Not the latest version, currently, by what is known at time of publication. There's probably already at least some AI crap on those.

Biden's State of the Union included a battle cry against AI mimicry

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Impossible

There are many legitimate uses for AI voice tech and voice mimicry in things like music and film production for all sorts of reasons. From finishing dialog from actors who have shuffled off their mortal coil to correcting minor mistakes or improving editing "flow", such things will always be useful for someone. If the tech exists and gets improved for such things, there will always be someone who can use the exact same tech for nefarious purposes. Since the act of imitating someone for personal gain is already pretty much covered by other laws, trying to ban AI voice imitation directly is imho both foolhardy and superfluous

An engine that can conjure thrust from thin air? We speak to the designer

imanidiot Silver badge

I don't see this working at all.

Either you need some sort of ram system to get a lot of volume through your thruster (and thus take the drag penalty this implies) or you need a massive intake to gather massive amounts of very thin atmosphere and use massive amounts of power to push against molecules already moving at a relative speed of some mach 20. In either case you are going to need very big solar panels that are going to further increase your drag (if you can even keep them intact at those kinds of drag scenarios). Not to mention the problems of keeping anything cool while screaming through the atmosphere at those kinds of speeds.

Boeing paper trail goes cold over door plug blowout

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Re: The wheels are coming off at Boeing

That was on a 22 year old aircraft. Lets not blame what seems likely to be an isolated maintenance issue at United on the structural issues at Boeing please.

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: The title was too long.

"You really think out of the 171,000 employees, they're all careless, cost-focused jokers?"

No, but I think it's near impossible to sort the chaff from the wheat in-situ. There's too much rot, too many bad apples to turn things around as is. There's not enough people who don't put there foot down when it comes to compliance or safety issues. Down from the work floor up into (upper) management.

"Boeing is not doomed and will (eventually) be fixed. There's a clear problem of compliance sometimes taking second place to speed and cost, that is entirely resolvable, albeit slow and time consuming to do so."

Read up on what is going on in nearly every single production line. 777 and 787 have very very similar cultural problems. There are structural, ongoing quality issues in nearly every single production line that Boeing is currently operating. The leaked information on what happened internally at Boeing with the accident door plug is exemplary of the sort of skullduggery where a MULTIPLE quality hit (incorrect/out of spec rivets, damaged door seal, rivets initially "fixed" by painting over them) should have led to a line stop and a quality audit at Spirit. Yet apparently Spirit employees thought it OK to initially just paint over out of spec rivets instead of replacing them and a work order in the Boeing quality management/tracking system was never made for opening the plug after the damaged seal was discovered. And it's unclear at this time at what point the damaged seal was found. A while back a big issue was workers leaving rubbish inside fuel tanks, the 787 early on suffered from battery fires because apparently they never even performed basic QC audits at the supplier, nor bothered to inspect the battery systems before installation. The 777X is several years behind schedule as as late as last year suffered from problems in it's flight control systems and there's reports they still don't have a handle on some of the quality issues they were having with the carbon composite layups for the wings.

There's so many layers of people at Boeing where it's obvious they think getting the aircraft to the next station on time is more important than getting it there 100% correct that you can't just fix that with a simple memo. There's too many people with the wrong mindset. Even if you get the right persons in upper management positions you have to somehow get that attitude to permeate to the rest of the tens of thousands of employees and there WILL be too many resisting such a change or unwilling to change their way of working. Weeding them out and firing them is near impossible and as such I consider fixing the companies attitude to safety and compliance in situ near impossible. The problem also isn't compliance or finances. The problem is a fundamental lack of the correct mindset when it comes to safety and delivering high quality work in an aerospace company. Compliance follows pretty much automatically from such a mindset.

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: The title was too long.

The thing is that the NTSB investigation isn't about appointing blame to a specific person. It's about understanding the entire process, top to bottom and what led the person at the bottom of the food chain to make the decisions they did.We can already tell there's structural problems at Boeing, but understanding them from the viewpoint of the person that actually made the final mistake is imperative for a good understanding of the issue. And that is what Boeing is blocking. Because it doesn't WANT that person to point out the entire thing is a smegging clown show.

The biggest problem is that there is no fixing Boeing. The company is doomed. The ONLY way I can see it happening is literally firing EVERYONE. And then hiring back a competent engineer (who has not previously worked for Boeing) to slowly build things back up from primary principles. But that would take decades.

BOFH: I get locked out, but I get in again

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They'd try to take that out of HIS IT (read: pints of lager) budget.

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Re: ChatGPT

Preventative measures. Keeps the AI in line. "Behave, or we'll let this guy handle you". That sort of thing.

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Facepalm

Re: Your mission, should you choose to accept it...

GOD(*&*&^*&%, have an upvote you bastard!

Reddit rolling out AI bouncer to halt harassment

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Alternatively, it's an attempt to hide the stink

Personally I think it's more of a sign that they're losing actually engaged mods in droves and they're trying to hide this fact somewhat. I see more and more subreddits implode because mods just give up on the shit-heap that Reddit has become. The API closing to stop 3rd party apps was the a big drive in this regard.

US wants ASML to stop servicing China-owned chip equipment

imanidiot Silver badge

I'm not entirely sure the US is in a position to even be able to force ASML to do anything in this regard. The EUV systems they blocked previously hold "Technology of US origin" and can thus be export controlled.

The slightly less advanced DUV systems they're selling now, afaik, hold no such tech, and thus no such restrictions on export are possible from the US. The only way they'd manage this is if they strong-arm the Dutch government into withholding export licenses that should be granted based on the laws and regulations as they are (and which would require government agreement to change)

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Trollface

Re: Sell

Also China. By the communist party.

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: Sell

Because no-one is willing to work the very very very very long hours for low wages that the Chinese and Taiwanese are, nor are most of the requirements for water, power and space available "over here". And there's no-one willing to spend the hundreds of billions to build new fabs here and support them with a guaranteed long term support plan in place either.

Most EU and US "support" for new fabs amount to peanuts and hollow hand waving. When it comes to planning something that'll cost a company tens of billions to build and billions a year to run they want very solid and hard commitments that will allow them to be certain that fab will remain economic and workers will remain available.

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: The United States Of America are going too far...

Problem is, Taiwan ISN'T a country in it's own right. The Taiwanese government still claims to be the only legitimate government for the entirety of China, including Taiwan. Which means that recognizing Taiwan and it's government by extension means saying that the communist rulers of China are illegitimate.

Taiwan would do well at some point to say: "Screw this, we release our claim on the mainland and this island is where we live now" as it would make international relations far less complicated but that's unlikely to happen.

Space nukes: The unbelievably bad idea that's exactly that ... unbelievable

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: That was my thought, too.

Just because Putin/Russia doesn't want to call it a war because it would mess with their precious constitution and show that what they're doing is illegitimate doesn't actually mean it isn't a war. It's a war in every possible meaning of the word.

"Putin stated that the SMO was a war of attrition"

Hahaha, good one.. But you're actually serious? To quote Bender Bending Rodriguez: "Let me laugh even harder!".

First he said he'd never invade Ukraine. Then he did and said it would be finished in 10 days. Then a month. Then it would take longer. Even now they're still not fighting as if it's a war of attrition. And even if it was, they're losing it. (Not so much in men, but in modern, capable and capital equipment).

Tesla Berlin gigafactory goes dark after alleged eco-sabotage

imanidiot Silver badge

Power grids are very complex, very large, very distributed machines. It's often not possible to have multiple feeds from multiple directions to a large end user like a car factory, and substations are very expensive bits of kit. That makes it very likely most if not all smaller cities, towns, villages and large scale industrial plants are fed from a single substation or feed line. And thus vulnerable to these sorts of attacks. Those better read into the whole thing have also warned for years that with out increasingly tied together grid, causing a cascade failure where simultaneous failure/attack at certain key choke points could take down pretty much every single power plant in Western Europe or most of the grid in the US as each failure causes such a surge of demand on the next plant that it too falls over, causing another surge on the next plant.

And in the coming years with the increasingly distributed power generation from wind and solar, it's likely we're going to see just how vulnerable our power grid really is.

Legal eagles demand $6B in Tesla stock after overturning Musk's mega pay package

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: Contingency

Sucks for them to take on a case on contingency basis without a very clearly defined contract then. Their contingency could only be based on what their direct client (the person that hired them) actually gained or saved, not what ALL shareholders (even those that didn't hire them and that they had no contact with) gained or saved. Which is likely not a portion of the total gain or savings on share packages but a portion of the change in share price for their client. So they can look forward to a few hundred dollars probably. These lawyers/parasites are acting like they were employed by all shareholders collectively or by Tesla. They were not.

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: Biased Judge Kathaleen McCormick ..

You may want to read better sources than Zerohedge... I've been some way into that rabbit hole but at some point I noticed the pure vitriol emanating from sites like that and crawled back out. Ever since then the stupid spouted there (no matter the sometimes correct or factual things found sprinkled in) just hurts.

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: Biased Judge Kathaleen McCormick ..

Judges by and large have a dislike for people that make their job needlessly complex and take needlessly long. And yes, once you've shown you don't respect them or their profession it's likely judges will take a very dim view of any further such attempts in any subsequent cases. Judges have a lot of leeway in how they apply the law with regards to requirements for filings and allowing changes, amendments, etc and not needlessly pissing off the judge by taking the piss with their initial leniency like Musk did in the first case is always smart. Especially the first case was basically down to Musk and his team of lawyers using every single thing they could think of to "yes, but, actually, no" on every little thing they could think off and at some point the judge just had enough and laid down the smackdown according to the law.

In the second case (the one about the compensation package) it's also well motivated on law and precedent on why the very close ties between Musk and the Tesla board were reason for not allowing the exorbitant package to go through. Basically it comes down to Musk having unlawful sway on the board to get them to approve a compensation package that wasn't in the best interest of the company and it's shareholders for them to approve. Nothing to do with personal dislike (though I can't rule out McCormick had a smile on her face as the wrote down her verdict)

YouTube workers laid off mid-plea at city hall meeting

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: These were CONTRACTORS on the Day their Contracts Expired.

This seems both a case of "kids who don't understand their situation get slapped with a dose of reality" and "US employment terms and regulations suck donkey balls while gargling bull semen, without the courtesy of so much as a reacharound".

WATSON picks up slack on Mars for SHERLOC as Perseverance gadgets show age

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: Ingenuity also far outlived all expectations before its retirement.

If they are a beancounter worth at least some of their salt they'll understand some basic statistics, and with that you can then calculate easily for them that if you built something with a certain certainty (lets say 99,999996% to last at least X days of operation, there is then a certain (fairly high) chance it'll operate for 2*X or even longer. Especially if you consider that things like the main drive and suspension systems can basically kill the mission due to a single failure these will have been designed to the highest standard and lowest probability of failure and a single failure in some other components (like the SHERLOC lens cap failure) might take out a single instrument but not immediately kill the mission.

If we consider the chance of a device failing to be a Poisson distributed event, cost savings to make something last less time directly impact the probability of something failing within the initial mission time. Thus trying to cut engineering costs because something "lasts too long" is stupid if it means thus also compromising the chance of primary mission succes. And yes, you CAN usually explain that to beancounters, but you have to put it in terms of data and numbers they can understand.

FAA gives SpaceX a bunch of homework to do before Starship flies again

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: payload ?

gaseous oxygen is really good at making things not normally all that flammable, very flammable. Hot metal, insulation material, wiring, electronics, o-rings, all of it becomes flammable when you introduce pure oxygen into an environment not designed for it. And enough fire or fire in the wrong place then releases the fuel and KABOOM!

Intuitive Machines' lunar lander tripped and fell

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Re: from Apollo days there wasn't one mission that went absolutely perfectly

I would, at least for the IM missions.The fuel and oxidizer mix they use doesn't have the same density and volumetric flow rates (they're using liquid hydrogen and oxygen) which means they need either 4 tanks to distribute the weight evenly (with 2 oxygen tanks and 2 hydrogen tanks opposite each other) or they need 2 tanks to be stacked on top of each other (automatically leading to a relatively tall design). The only way to increase the footprint would be to go to folding legs, which is a lot of extra complexity for not a whole lot of reward if all other things work as intended. It would also have helped a lot if they hadn't left the safe-ing pins for the laser range finders in. That's the "WTF?" takeaway for this mission.

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: from Apollo days there wasn't one mission that went absolutely perfectly

The Apollo landers (and Surveyor before that) had a comparatively much larger footprint and much lower center of mass. Which made them far less sensitive to tipping over. Both SLIM and Odysseus (Intuitive machines) used a very different landing style and design. SLIM had the novel approach of tipping over on purpose and intended to end up on it's side. It lost an engine nozzle on approach and still managed to get to the surface more or less intact, it just didn't have enough control with the missing engine and ended up over rotated and on it's side. Odysseus was quite tall with a pretty high CoM . To avoid complexity it's landing legs were not folding, but the largest they could fit inside the payload fairing of the launch vehicle. That meant it was more sensitive to lateral drift and likely it just caught a rock at the worst possible moment (just before touchdown) and ended up face-planting a rock.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be coders, Jensen Huang warns

imanidiot Silver badge

If we don't have anyone writing code, we won't have anyone capable of understanding code. If we have no-one capable of understanding code we lose the ability to check and control the AI written programming.That way lies madness.

You'll still need people capable of understanding basic programming so that they can go on to learn how to understand complex programming, so that they can then learn how to interpret specs, write documentation, specs, process descriptions, etc and translate these into useful components of programs. I just don't see it happening that LLMs can take over "programming" all that much. It's great at rote repetition of unoriginal thought, it sucks at actually novel invention (or actually, it just doesn't).

Please stop pouring the wrong radioactive water into the sea, Fukushima operator told

imanidiot Silver badge

Because it is a lot. Or not a lot. Depends on the process and how they should have been closed. If it was an operator in a control room missing a single checklist item to press a single button that would auto close all of them, no it's not a lot. (small mistake, big consequences). If it's 16 valves that should each individually have been closed by hand, at location and checked off on a checklist before the flushing, then yes, it's a lot (big mistake, equally big consequences). Either points to structural procedural issues though.

Dave's not here, man. But this mind-blowingly huge server just, like, arrived

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: It's a shame

The story only supports concluding he was smoking the devils lettuce before/during work hours. That doesn't mean he wasn't doing some stronger stuff outside those hours.

'Scandal-plagued' data broker tracked visits to '600 Planned Parenthood locations'

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Re: That's why collecting and selling location information needs to be very illegal

The problem is that they'll never admit to doing such a thing and it's nothing a quote "we received an anonymous tip about the activities of the suspect" end-quote can't fix.

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Windows

Re: Planned Parenthood not-so secret Agenda

I think you forgot to take your pills. And your tinfoil hat.

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: OK, enough of the BS, already

Some people just don't want to hear they're actually horrible people who hold reprehensible ideas.

imanidiot Silver badge

Unfortunate evidence of the need for security conciousness

Unfortunately this once again goes to underpin the need for people to become much more aware of their data security. Opt out of every single bit of Google tracking, the very minor "inconvenience" if you use their products is worth it, always keep your GPS, bluetooth and wifi off unless you're actively using it. When doing something very privacy data sensitive (like getting an abortion when living in an anti-abortion state) leave your own phone at home. Bring a dumb phone with some emergency contacts if you have to. Don't navigate directly to the location of the clinic but to something close by if you need GPS route instructions. Consider having a cheap "burner" smartphone (can be second hand) without a sim card for such occasions using an app that supports offline navigation (and not made by google). Always be conscious of what data you're giving away.

Remember, you're not paranoid if they ARE out to get you. And data brokers like Near (with support of companies like Google/Alphabet) are out to get you.

Out with the old, in with the new as 100 Starlink satellites take atmospheric exit

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Re: Social good from de-orbiting

These satellites are intentionally designed to burn up long before they reach the ground. No part of them bigger than some tiny (mm size and below) fragments should ever reach the ground. Accelerating them just means either skipping back out of the atmosphere or burning up even faster.