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* Posts by Beachrider

430 posts • joined 14 Jun 2010

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Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'

Beachrider
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WOW, Crimea and Lunar Settlement in the same paragraph!

Crimea is an interesting topic. It is likely to begin an attempt by Europe and the USA to lessen Russian integration into the market economies. It will also cause NATO to dig-in for the Baltic former-SSRs that are now full members. Anticipating it HAS already caused 4 NATO Airbases to be established in Bulgaria and a HUGE anti-missile base in Romania. It looks like USN residence in the international waters of the Black Sea will also now be commonplace. The Budapest Memorandum has clearly been discarded by Russia, at this point.

Russian 'marketing' of a Lunar settlement is interesting. NASA clearly feels that a self-sustaining settlement on the Moon is out of reach for near-to-mid-future technology. If Russia has other data, the more power to them! NASA does posit that mid-future technology COULD produce a sustainable Martian settlement. That is where NASA is placing their chips.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating!

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'Hello, is that the space station? NASA here. Can you put us through to Moscow?'

Beachrider
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Did you really write all of that...

There were certainly more details surrounding the non-approval of the original treaty, but it certainly drove the overall activity. Replacement treaties setup the Hawai'i territory.

Philippines went for independence. Hawai'i went for statehood. Puerto Rico stayed as a territory with once-a-decade plebecite. The 2012 election shows 61% now want statehood, but the local government found the election inconclusive.

These are very messy things.

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Beachrider
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As long as it doesn't matter to YOU...

@AC, perhaps this doesn't look important to Britain's people today. We will see...

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Beachrider
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So Russia's word with the UK & USA in 1994 doesn't matter?

The Budapest memorandum stated that the UK/USA would NOT try to get the Ukraine into NATO and that Russia wouldn't violate the Ukraine's borders. It was to disarm the nuclear arsenal that the USSR had deployed in Ukraine.

It would appear that Russia has ceased to follow this agreement. The USA will do something to show "why Russia shouldn't have done that". It will likely involve pushing Russia away economically and militarily, without returning to Stalinist isolation.

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Beachrider
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Annexation of Hawai'i

Hmmm. The History books are pretty clear on this one. An unpopular Queen (Liliʻuokalan) signed a treaty with the USA to make the republic of Hawai'i a territory of the USA. The USA did use Hawai'i as a staging ground for the Philippines, but it remained a self governing area for 50 years until a majority groundswell moved it to statehood. Hawai'i is an example of adapting a governmental model while keeping overall independence an 'option'. On a similar track, the Philippines took the independence option.

The USA doesn't have the imperial/colonial depth of many other nations. It wasn't "great" on this one, either. We do appear to have consensus in Hawai'i on this work.

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IBM: We gave NOTHING to the NSA, stateside or elsewhere

Beachrider
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FISA in the USA...

IBM's comment needs to cover all FISA warrants (that is what you are talking about here), that would be key. The proceedings of FISA are often top-secret and are reviewed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (who appoints and fires these judges).

Edward Snowden has certainly gained notoriety for exposing the broad warrant granted to the NSA for disclosure of Verizon call-metadata (but not the calls themselves). It was amazing because FISA was used to 'go fishing' with otherwise-not-suspects people, both Americans and non-Americans.

EVERYONE wants to deny that they are complying with FISA Warrants, but they would risk TREMENDOUS HARM if it eventually came out that they lied about complying.

Given the recent penchant for disclosure of these types, I wonder if IBM would openly lie about FISA warrants. There are about 2000 of them every year, though.

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NASA robot plans mid-2020s trip: Europa. Wet, radioactive life forms (hopefully). Bliss

Beachrider
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The project is only beginning...

The $15Mn is a FY2015 amount, it would likely recur for 5-10 years. The probe that is the lead-possibility is about $2Bn to build, but that could change. Then there are the costs to get-it-to-Jupiter and operate the mission.

Of course, the $15Mn staffing will look for savings and other activities that be also-done with this work.

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SpaceX set to try HOVER LANDING for re-usable rockets on March ISS mission

Beachrider
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Re: Beat me to it!

The biggest cost for SS was reconditioning on the oribiter. It also made up 75-90% of the payload weight, too. They never did much 'flying down' of space stuff. THAT was one of the key benefits of SS that never paid out!

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Beachrider
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Re: Best of luck...

The rumors in the USA are that he plans to launch from New Mexico and land in Texas or Florida. In that way, he has less flyback-time for which to carry fuel.

Like others, I dread the potential for the rocket landing on something other than a launchpad!

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Beachrider
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Mr. Musk admiring...

I love SpaceX too, but he isn't a fool with his money, either. His steps take risks that make it thrilling to watch, but he manages to show a business plan with profits. As a taxpayer, I don't begrudge profits, especially when they save NASA big bucks!

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Chihuahua TERROR: Packs of TINY hounds menace Arizona

Beachrider
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From one American perspective...

The prospect of teacup-holding Englishmen thinking that these Chihuahuas would hold still for a bend-it-like-Beckham corner kick is amuuuuusing. You are gonna get bit!

I don't know why they just don't unleash a bunch of squirrels. That breaks up the chihuahua's pack thinking in seconds!

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China confirms Jade Rabbit lunar rover has conked out

Beachrider
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It is BAAAAACK...

Articles today advise that there HAS been a response from Jade Rabbit. Not sure how much damage it may have sustained from the freeze-out, though

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IT'S ALIVE! China's Jade Rabbit rover RETURNS from the DEAD

Beachrider
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An OZ blogger...

There was an Australian blogger that mused on this problem. He advised that it was likely the folding solar panels that didn't retract before the 14-day deep-freeze. China's space program folks are trying to find out what-kind-if-any damage was caused by this deep-freeze. These 14-day cold-waves have been problems for ALL landers/rovers on the Moon. The Russians put Polonium inside their rovers and folded-down the solar panel to create a warm-area on the Lunokhods.

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Mars rover Curiosity snaps 'pale blue dot' image of Earth, Moon

Beachrider
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Nice picture

I don't know how much of your picture was done optically (with stabilization, etc.) and how much was done digitally, but you have quite a telescope-thingie. To get much better will be a ton of work.

Good luck...

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Man sues NASA: Mystery Mars rock is a UFO – an unidentified 'FUNGUS' object

Beachrider
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Re: If you look carefully....this guy is a creationist...

This Doctor believes in panspermia. He is a creationist with a different starting scenario than the bible. If you love him, you live him.

NASA isn't about to turn over the MER to him, though. He is doing this for the publicity.

He is in The Reg's debt for their assistance...

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China's Jade Rabbit moon rover might have DIED in the NIGHT after 'abnormality'

Beachrider
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Lunokhod had a similar approach...

The Soviet-era Lunokhod rover had a similar mech. They folded their Solar panels back to the machine so that internal warming (it was nuclear warmth in Lunokhod) kept it operational.

Remember, this device never loses 'sight' of the Earth, it just loses 'sight' of the Sun.

One of those Lunokhods actually ran for a REALLY long time. It still holds the record for total-distance-driven for a non-Earth rover.

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NASA's Opportunity rover celebrates 10 years on Mars with a FILTHY selfie

Beachrider
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Re: ESA Priorities...

FWIW, Roscosmos works on a slightly-larger budget than ESA. Not much larger, though.

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Beachrider
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Deepspace network, etc...

The $14Mn includes staff/office-space/support, payments to DSN infrastructure/staffing.

Probably a very good value, but there will be some that feel that MSL supplants MER.

I hope they do it!

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Beachrider
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Re: ESA Priorities...

BUT... If the ESA increased its budget anywhere-near 5 times...

The NASA budget would EASILY get doubled.

You can DO IT.

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Beachrider
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Re: doing the donut

Because it designed for the 90-day lifespan...

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Beachrider
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ESA Priorities...

Since ESA's Mars Express just celebrated its 10th anniversary orbiting Mars...

Why hasn't this group pressured ESA to increase its budget (one-sixth of NASA's) and take another crack at landing on Mars. The EU economy (2012) is 96% the size of the USA economy. It only makes sense that its ESA budget be five times as large as it is...

Get to it folks!

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IBM to offload System x this week: Our sources spill the beans

Beachrider
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So all that energy on Linux...

Since the dominant platform for Linux is Intel, where does all that energy go now?

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Beachrider
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Since IBM keeps closing segments...

IBM keeps not-electing to elevate their role in these segments AND they don't appear to be growing their bottom line to balance these reductions...

You have to ask, when does IBM become just a largish version of a Boston 128-firm?

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Orbital Sciences' Cygnus resupply truck blasts off to the Space Station

Beachrider
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This was a resurrection of a failed proposal...

Originally, COTS proposal from Rocketplane Kistler had a novel proposal to use Russian leftover rockets from the 80s. They got stuck and NASA transferred the work to Orbital, giving them MORE pre-launch money than even SpaceX to hit an aggressive deadline.

They hit it. These launches have been pricer than SpaceX, but their costs should come down.

In the long run, their launcher MIGHT be certified with Dragon or CST-100, but it isn't certified for manned use, yet.

It is interesting that they launch from Wallops Island versus Florida or Texas...

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Private space truck ready for ISS trip as soon as NEXT WEEK

Beachrider
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Orbital's higher initial costs are being reigned in...

Remember that Orbital is competing in COTS. That means that NASA kicks off the business with cash, but they will be subject to market pressures. Orbital could just be in for the initial-cash-infusion, but they have risked their reputation quite a bit AND gained (to some, surprising) credibility in a possibly-larger market.

1) They will need a followon to the Russian rocket-engines, but they won't need it for several years.

2) Their deft handling of the project work here is a strong commodity. There are other 'approaches' to deriving cheaper/better delivery mechanisms.

3) As others have said, NASA wants competition.

No matter how it looks internationally, ULA members (Lockheed-Martin & Boeing) compete in other aspects of their business. COTS was a shot-across-the-bow of ULA. ULA does incredible things for unmanned probes, but they didn't have a successful role in COTS. When a company like Orbital can 'hit' on COTS (even at a higher price than SpaceX) and ULA cannot do-as-well, then ULA's stockholders hold feet-to-the-fire. I have to believe that SpaceX will 'sharpen' ULA and make it more cost effective, as well. If ULA sleeps too long, they could find themselves on the outside of a key business...

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Beachrider
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Re: COTS is about commercial competition...

Although SpaceX has yet to IPO (and Orbit has IPO'd), all SpaceX has to do is exceed a capital value of $1.4Bn to be 'larger'. Orbital is an established vendor of very-small solid rockets. They just never positioned themselves to do COTS until NASA contacted them with the remnants (including the Russian rocket plan) from RK.

SpaceX was given MUCH more time (but not more money). They used this position to use more VC than Orbital.

Both were given a substantial technology transfer from NASA. Yes, each go a nice $1BN+ contract to do the work, too. Although they are in for profit, they are showing major advances in cost-control for spacefilght. As an American Taxpayer, that makes me glad.

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Beachrider
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Re: COTS is about commercial competition...

I suppose that, if you decide to split the Orbital grant into two pieces, both of them are NOT larger than the SpaceX grant.

Orbital is a much smaller company than SpaceX, with a MUCH smaller capital-generating investor-group. Undoubtedly, they were swayed by the chance when NASA 'removed the failed RK configuration' and proposed transfer of the setup to Orbital. Orbital did NOT come up with the hardware, but they did successfully manage the project, including revamp of their Wallops Island (Virginia) launch area.

NASA's offer (including accelerated timeline) did come before Orbital's BOD accepted. This was not like Orbital answered an RFP with original research. Orbital should be credited with good project management, so far. They really aren't anywhere near as big as SpaceX, though.

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Beachrider
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Orbital has enough stockpiled rockets for 16 launches...

An earlier comment advised that Orbital does not have a produced-new supplier for its rockets. That is correct. They DO have enough inventory for 16 launches, though. They will have to do something else for the 17th launch.

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Beachrider
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COTS is about commercial competition...

If you view it as equal handouts, it certainly wasn't. The two companies started from very different places, though. Orbital was in the small solid-rocket business and SpaceX was in the medium-large+ liquid rocket business. Orbital started with a MUCH larger product gap.

SpaceX was given much more time (NOT more money) to deliver. They were kept in the program even though they missed dates in the 2000s (NASA removed others). Orbital was coerced by NASA to get into COTS at a later date and needed to do accelerated development. That is why Orbital was given more money.

It turns out that Orbital's Antares rocket, while not human rated, has sufficient payload to put Dragon capsules up into LEO. Interesting...

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2013: A Space Odyssey - a cosmological review of the year

Beachrider
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Asian Space Agencies...

Since the Russians, Indians, Chinese and even the Iranians launch from Asia, they all qualify.

Their results were broadly positive. It is clear that any Moon-landing methodology is more popular in Asia than the USA, Things can always change, though.

I don't know how this wide-ranging topic goes without mentioning Mars-one. Although great enthusiasm has been shown, it may not be as intense or broad-based as originally hoped.

Finally, the India Mars-probe had a key failing that involved a full-power orbit adjustment. Did they ever get a fix or have they relegated their mission to the half-power orbit adjustments that worked when they left Earth Orbit.

From a USA perspective, the increasing use of the Commercial service providers has been VERY interesting. They have learning curves, just like anyone else. I don't know if the international community see this as revolutionary a change as USA people do. For too long, people have treated Basic-Research agencies (NASA, for one) like they were commercial service providers. NASA has been a whipping boy of the USA+international press because it DOES NOT perform like a commercial company.

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Only a merciful BULLET can really save a RHINO, say Texas hunters

Beachrider
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Texas Rino?

Oh, man! I thought that this was a political discussion about Republicans-in-name-only....

Cuddle your rhinos!

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Turkish TV presenter canned for flashing too much cleavage

Beachrider
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The only North American argument on Asia-West...

There is the issue of those five Siberian provinces that are on the North American tectonic plate...

But that is where the Russians found that Quadrillion Dollar stash of diamonds. They will NEVER let THAT go...

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Beachrider
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Re: Europe & Asia...

As to arguing about continents, that is just arguing. The ARE the same continent..

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Beachrider
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Re: Europe & Asia...

I just said two connected things. You ignored the first to make a penetrating observation on the second.

- you can admit or reject as needed

Where did I say anything about India? You made it up...

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Beachrider
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Europe & Asia...

Being an American, you can admit or reject EU applicants as needed. Doing it because Asia us a different continent from Europe is dumb.

Europe and Asia are ONE continent.

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iOS 7 SPANKS Samsung's Android in user-experience rating

Beachrider
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The opinion reports swing like a SCRAMJET!

I don't know how much to believe in polls that move back and forth at such high speeds!

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Mach 8 Scramjet flies but sends no data

Beachrider
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Where can they get some Neutronium?

Need some pretty tough stuff for an 6G+ deceleration!

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NSA spooks tooled up with zero-day PC security exploits from the FRENCH

Beachrider
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Re: 'Canadiens' is french....

The USA knows what that is like, we have Texas!

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Beachrider
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Canadiens are our best friends...

There is little doubt that Canada is the USA's secret weapon, over and over and over. No border in the world has as many business and people crossings as the US & Canada. When US citizens needed to be smuggled from Iran in 1980, it was the Canadians that got it done.

To Americans, acceptance of non-Americans always starts with Canadians.

'Canadiens' because they never quite see themselves as a single group, though.

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South Carolina couple cop cuffing for shed shag

Beachrider
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For an American...

I guess that she doesn't have that overbread look of those royals that are soooo popular...

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NASA: Full details on our manned ASTEROID SNATCH mission

Beachrider
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Please get the ESA alternative going...

I am sure that NASA would alter its approach when ESA/RSA/JSA publish their visions.

Without those visions, NASA is left to its own situation.

Get the ESA to fund a larger participation! The EU is a significantly larger economy than the USA!

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Beachrider
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This rock will be the next Space Station...

The reason to sample the rock is to ensure that it is suitable for use as the Deepspace 'station'. Parking it near the Moon gives NASA the option to either gravity-assist it away from Earth-Luna or to 'dump' it on the Moon if this rock is not suitable.

They want this station to be radiation-proof and in 'clean' space.

They also don't want to be dealing with the gravity-well of the Moon to get things in/out of their Deepspace 'station'.

If Musk can do it cheaper, GREAT. He won't be using RP-1 rockets for much of this work, if he gets the contract.

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You won't find this in your phone: A 4GHz 12-core Power8 for badass boxes

Beachrider
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Putting up the good fight...

IBM is still pushing an aspect of technology that SHOULD be competitive with Intel's primary processor technology. Reducing the need to access regular-memory SHOULD benefit single-cycle-execution technology especially. It is good that IBM has matched Ivy-Bridge 22nm process, but IBM probably won't exceed Intel in the future with process-size.

That means that IBM needs to open the door to higher single-thread operation (GHz or IE efficiency). This might be a cool thing to track over the next 1-2 years.

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Boffins claim Voyager has already left the Solar System

Beachrider
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Are you talking about the Galaxy?

Just to be sure, you aren't talking about time alignment of anything else... These thing do flip around, no?

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Is NASA planning to send LAVA LAMPS to Jupiter?

Beachrider
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120 Volts, Erector Sets?

With the overwhelmingly English audience here, I am surprised that the use of 120 Volt stuff and the Gilbert Company's Erector set (1960s toys, both) are getting so much response...

We have more stuff like that, if you like...

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IBM opens up Power chips, ARM-style, to take on Chipzilla

Beachrider
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IBM hasn't done mobile, true-HPC and other variants for over a decade...

IBM is close to bringing out Power 8, just like the article says. They probably feel that they have been leaving money on the table, because they hadn't been bringing out an array of processors.

It COULD be that they don't believe in their internal capability to switch-on this business capability, since it has badly atrophied with a decade+ of disuse.

In any event, this is about generating income ONLY. When IBM wants to control a market, they DON'T open their products, like this. It is a very interesting move by IBM.

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Wikileaker Bradley Manning's court martial verdict expected today

Beachrider
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This is about a Soldier under an Oath of Fealty...

I am not sure how this comes out, but the Military isn't quite like civilian courts. It seems likely that this young soldier is going to lose a lot of time out of his life when the sentence comes out.

I am against war as much as anyone, but when you sign on to a team and take that Oath, you cannot just turn your back on it. There are a lot of people in the Military that feel strongly about that Oath.

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Sexbomb pop minstrel Taylor Swift PORN FIB used to lure fanbois

Beachrider
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Re: Taylor Swift is...

USA Country-pop just doesn't sell well with sophisticated European audiences, though.

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Curiosity team: Massive collision may have killed Red Planet

Beachrider
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Where the Earth impactor story came from...

There is ample evidence that the Moon is spiraling away from Earth, over time. It is getting about 3.8 cm/year further away from Earth. Winding that backwards gives a timeframe for separation of the Moon from Earth.

Apollo data indicates that the Moon was not 'captured', like Mars's two satellites were. The Moon has lower density than the earth, but its chemical composition is of a type expected at Earth's orbital distance from the Sun.

The numbers for separation are all about 4.5 Bn years ago, so things-still-orbiting within Mars's orbit are unlikely to be evidence from that. It is all a theory, so no one 'knows', though.

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New moon discovered around Neptune brings total to 14

Beachrider
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I am getting a feeling...

This looks like another ex-planet that hasn't cleared its orbit of enough debris? Maybe it is a fat-dwarf planet?

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