The Saddometer sounds like a round on HIGNFY - now we come to the Saddometer of News!
363 posts • joined 23 Mar 2011
"You will be upgraded. You will become like us. Upgrading is compulsory."
"Delete! Delete! Delete!"
"Yes, Pembrokeshire's Crytal Maze was a real thing apparently."
Yes it was, and I was taken there on a rainy day one August when it first opened! 12 year old me thought it was bloody brilliant.
Re: Retire parachutes?
"Somehow I wouldn't want to sign the order for 'No, we don't need backup 'chutes any more, our retros are 100% reliable."
To be fair, they're not claiming 100% reliability. Which is why Dragon 2 has 8 motors in pairs - a main and a spare at every point.
Of course there's no point taking parachutes to Mars (that being their end-game) because at 0.0006 atmospheres they won't save you if the rockets fail, so the rockets need to be a man-rateable level of safe and reliable.
Re: Why are they ending it now?
"Bear in mind the Defender is basically hand made and so costs a fortune. I've been round the factory. The Range Rover is built by robots that glue and rivet the whole shell together and then some fiddly bits are added manually."
The numbers are staggering.
The Range Rover line produces 320 cars per shift, and their order book is thick enough to run 3 shifts a day.
For the past 12 months the Defender line has been running one shift a day making ~115 units.
So JLR were selling ~8-9 full fat £100k Range Rovers for every Defender, and on a huge margin. Defender is profitable, but not by very much.
"All they needed to do was put a more modern, emissions compliant drive unit in the thing. There are a lot of them out there, even from their parent company."
It's not emissions. I mean yes, they would have to eventually - but the current unit has been running a lightly modified Puma engine from the Transit. The Transit will need a new engine in 2020, as will lots of other vehicles. Emissions aren't the reason, but they're another embuggerance that has made "now" the time to do it.
The specific reason it is going in January 2016 (and not 2020) is that as of next month new regs come in on airbags and general safety in commercial vehicles - they gave Defender a stay of execution when those regs came in for cars by reclassifying it as a commercial vehicle, but it's caught up with them.
You can fit a Series II door into the Defender frame, which tells you as much as you need to know about how much the bodywork has been updated over the decades and how much thought went into fitting such niceties as airbags (which didn't exist back then!).
They couldn't export to North America, and so the time had come to build from the ground up a new vehicle which could be exported globally and made with modern manufacturing techniques (not 3 guys with rivet guns fabricating the rear tub from a dozen separate panels when a modern design could be stamped in a second by a machine).
Just had a look at the RBS site.
Their public site (rbs.co.uk) scores a C thanks to poor protocol support - they don't support better than TLS1.0 (they are at least using SHA256 certificates). This is probably because a quick check of their HTTP headers returns IIS6.0, which infers they're on Server 2003...
Happily, their digital banking site (rbsdigital.com) does much better, scoring an A with SHA256 certs and TLS1.2.
However, checking their headers returns BigIP - the OS for F5's load-balancing/traffic-managing/firewall range. This is not a bad thing in itself, but it makes you wonder whether they've simply stuffed a shiny new appliance in front of a creaking, archaeological dig of an environment to publicly offer good crypto whilst hiding all manner of sins within!
Re: Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016
"Me: Ah. Um, basically, 'Linux' isn't just one thing. You see, without going into the politics of how open source development works, the middle bit of the OS is called the Linux Kernel, but lots of people then build their -"
Why would you say that?
Simple response is "Oh, yeah, there are different versions, like there's Windows Home/Premium/Enterprise. Some people even compile their own version for specific jobs. You just need Mint - that's Linux for Windows users".
Don't give them a choice.
Re: Are "electronic" components involved in the failure?
"The amount of power drawn by a Surface will not cause a noticeable temperature rise in the cable. Simple test - next time you're making a cuppa, feel the kettle lead. That's taking 13A - way more than any Surface tablet, and it will be cool to the touch."
My kettle cable is significantly thicker than the cable for my laptop or tablet chargers.
Because it uses a thicker gauge of wire appropriate to it's 13A rating.
Resistance in a wire is inversely-proportional to it's cross section (which is proportional to the square of it's radius). The cross-section of a surface pro cable will likely be less than 10% that of a kettle lead, meaning it will get warm at much lower currents.
In this case of course, it's more likely to be excessively thin insulating sheaths getting damaged and allowing conductors to touch.
"It is more likely that the user is drawing black rectangles."
Or using the Highlight/Markup tools with the colour set to black, which would look to an inexperienced user like you're blocking over with a digital marker pen, but of course are designed to be whipped out once edits have been completed, and are entirely removeable.
I've also seen it done the other way, where they knew they weren't adept with modern tech, so rather than risk getting it wrong, had printed the document, manually redacted PII and scanned it back in. Unfortunately, they hadn't used a sufficiently dense marker pen and you could still read the names through the black marks...
Me? In the absence of a decent PDF editor that allows permanent edits (obviously the preferred option), I grab the page and put black marks over in MS Paint or Apple Preview, export as a flat jpg and reinsert the page back into the document, or re-export as a new PDF.
Not elegant, but you can be absolutely sure that the PDF software hasn't just applied a layer of black "highlighting" or something - there's no indexing the data back out of a flat jpg (not without OCRing, and that won't work on the black blocks).
Re: Big hammer
"Many bots also 'evolved' righting mechanisms that effectively rendered the flipper bots toothless."
That depended on your strategy. Chaos 2 was usually let down by reliability, not the novelty of it's hoofing flipper, which was more than adequate to roll their opponent so they could shunt them in the pit or a patrol zone whilst they were busy righting themselves (Razer's SRiMech for instance was elegant but slow). That's assuming they hadn't flipped them out the arena entirely.
Battle Bots contestants by contrast never really got into flippers because they had an entirely enclosed arena with no way to eject your opponent from proceedings.
The standard accuracy of GPS was 15m and is now "better than 3.5m".
So the Galileo public signal is good or better. The encrypted signal for commercial users is down to 1cm.
Also, they claim the constellation design gives better precision at higher latitudes than GPS or GLONASS, so even if you're only getting down to 1m on the public signal, you should be able to get that level more consistently in more places.
Lots of non-financial reasons.
Anywhere you have remote offices handling personal information, or simply where the physical security is potentially an issue - you can deploy dumb terminals and keep everything in your nice, PCI/DPA-Compliant data centre.
Of course you could deploy cheapy fat clients and XenApp rather than full VDI, although people could still fall into bad habits and store stuff locally unless you go to the effort of fully locking the remote devices down (which then tends to reduce productivity and ends with users finding "creative" workflows).
There can be certain benefits for app-licensing, or significant hardware savings for demanding users - there could be scenarios where you have 3D modellers, CAD jockeys or animators, who need a hefty Quadro card plus a Tesla accelerator. But who only really strain their workstations in occasional bursts.
Virtualise say, two or three of them using nVidia's GRID product onto a single beefy machine which can give each of them the power when they need it, but saves the expense of three full-fat workstations, two of which are probably idling along at any given moment...
It's the same argument as virtualising servers. At any given time, not all your servers or users will be maxing out their machine. Indeed many of them will be hardly touching 10%, so throw them onto shared hardware.
Not suitable for every case, and Windows licensing eats into the potential savings more than a *nix ecosystem would, but suitable for many depending on their precise business and workload.
Re: Roll on IPv6
"It's an older IP sir, but it checks out."
(Because it's that week!)
Risk = Probability x Impact
When Impact = Total Business Outage, Probability needs to be a damn sight lower than 1%!
"In a post-Saville world does the BBC HAVE any moral authority?"
The BBC employs over 20,000 people, with tens of thousands more indirectly employed via production companies, as freelance professionals, etc.
You'll forgive me if I decline to lump all of them (along with my uni mate who does incredible things with the Natural History unit) in with the champagne-swilling management of the 1970s-80s who turned a blind eye to god knows what
Re: Boo, hiss
"It's not "making light of", it's saying "WTF are they doing this considering the imperfect safety record!!!". I had assumed that that failure would delay manned flights for many years."
Many years? Both shuttle disasters resulted in Shuttle programme pauses of under 3 years.
Falcon 9 is a much simpler vehicle with far fewer components, and a more vertically integrated supply chain. There's no reason why SpaceX shouldn't be able to investigate the incident, isolate the root causes (both physical and procedural), and return to flight in a much shorter period, especially as the next few flights will be unmanned and they can validate their work before putting meat bags up front.
Moreover, the telemetry showed that the Dragon capsule was responsive until it disappeared over the horizon, which is indicative that in a manned launch, the launch-abort process would have made the entire process survivable (albeit unpleasant). You'd have lost the mission but not the crew.
Dragon remains an inherently safer system than the Shuttle - because you can push a panic button and separate the astronauts from an exploding vehicle very quickly.
We can learn a lot from our ancestors. Current form is to throw technology at the problem, but I'll always remember visiting the Amber Fort in Rajasthan and not being uncomfortably hot at all, despite the fact it was midday.
Why? Well, clever layout of the palace led to differential heating that meant wherever you walked you had a comfortable breeze keeping you cool both inside and out.
One of the Royal Pavilions on the roof also had a couple of big water tanks which would have dripped water down curtains of reeds, with evaporative cooling keeping the space within nice and cool. Clever stuff for the 1590s.
The latter possibly isn't the most efficient system going these days, but there are lots of lessons on building & street layout that could be learned.
"On another note. How do you DDoS a frikin ISP."
Their applications and services are hosted on servers. Same as the rest of us. You don't have to saturate their network if your attack is designed to bog down their compute resource.
Re: Wonder what will happen...
"and I give it about 10 seconds live before this will go political. I'm willing to bet that one of the first people to appear on there will be Trump, and I want to watch that when he decides he doesn't like it - he's not exactly known for his gentle, diplomatic touch."
Apparently you add people using their phone number. They get an SMS informing them they have been added and is supposed to ensure that "you can only add and rate people you know".
Clearly the developers have never heard of doxxing. It may be 10 minutes before someone gets Trump on there rather than 10 seconds, but he'll end up there nonetheless.
Re: Fantastic engineering
"In that case why not lock it onto rails?"
Because then it would be the world's fastest rail locomotive, not the fastest car.
Re: "It's unlikely we'll see much return from all this" - WHAT?
"Do they know anything about science...?"
Well judging by the fact that Corbyn has just selected a Vegan as his Shadow Minister for Farming and Rural Affairs, we can surmise that if he wins the 2020 election, his science team will be comprised of people with doctorates in Homeopathy.
Re: "it's unlikely we'll see much return from all this"
Absolutely. The UK Government's annual expenditure runs north of £500Bn. No problem whatsoever punting a couple of million at blue sky projects "because we can and it's awesome" when such projects offer international bragging rights and serve a reasonable educational purpose (e.g. Bloodhound were at Goodwood FOS this year with the REME doing lots of engineering stuff with the kids, not to mention all their outreach work to schools, etc).
Re: They are in big trouble
"I think the first estimates were around $18bn to rectify the problem, without taking into account fines."
That wasn't to rectify the problem. That was the potential bill if the EPA posted the maximum $36,000 fine per car across all half-a-million cars.
Actually rectifying the problem is on top of that, but the EPA may choose not to levy the full fine available to them (or agree a repayment plan over the next decade or so!).
Re: Surely this is a form of fraud?
"That's nothing to do with urea injection which reduces nitrogen oxide emissions"
No, they're linked. You either run the engine slightly inefficiently, which produces low NOX and high Particulate Matter (and then deal with the PM via recirculation and DPF), or you run the engine hot which gives a nice clean burn with low PM but high NOX and deal with the NOX via AdBlue/Urea (SCR - Selective Catalytic Reduction).
You pick one strategy or the other, and this is seen especially strongly in off-road plant equipment, which is sold either with DPF (which increases diesel burn but requires no extra work) or SCR (which requires you to stock AdBlue on site as well as diesel).
DPF is favoured for rental fleets since it's often hard enough to get customers to put diesel in the right tank, never mind complicating the issue with Ad Blue! Other buyers go with products that meet emissions by using AdBlue.
AdBlue has not seen great penetration into cars yet (though there are some), because a lot of motorists simply don't want the hassle of filling two tanks and will live with their cars having to undergo a regen cycle now and then.
"* I know Greenland is still a part of Denmark, and taxes are high, but the server farms don't make any money and need to be cool; feel free to reply with improved suggestions TIA!"
Given how much cash Cupertino have parked in Ireland, they could surely just strike a deal with Denmark to buy Greenland and turn it into a tax-free tech-haven? Unlike every other micro-nation attempt, they actually have the resources to have a serious go at making it stick!
High speed connections to both sides of the Atlantic, efficient data centres, under their own jurisdiction?
Re: simple rules
"1) all UAV operators must hold a current PPL"
You can fly manned aircraft without needing a PPL. For UAV it's gross overkill and not actually necessarily the most appropriate qualification. Also, are you going to extend that to the diddy indoor rigs people are using for drone racing? Grouping diddy racing drones in the same category as big rigs carrying kilos of camera is downright silly.
It's rather more nuanced than that (you know, the same reason you need different licences to fly helicopters, Cessnas and Learjets).
"Unfortunately, though, some guilty people don't get convicted of their crimes, so allowing people accused of rape to be anonymous would prevent women from protecting themselves."
You appear to be saying that if someone is found not guilty by the court, they should be treated as guilty by the rest of society for the rest of their life instead. No smoke without fire eh?
You're wrong, incidentally.
"Individually there wasn't enough evidence for a conviction. It was only when a few accusations were made public that other victims came forward and there was enough correlation in their claims that the police could build a case against them. If these people were allowed to remain anonymous then they would never have been convicted (or to have been vilified posthumously).
So this isn't a simple situation."
Whilst this is true, it doesn't mean there can't be an automatic presumption of anonymity with provision for a judge to dismiss it if they think it necessary in that case.
You can't go the other way and grant anonymity once someone's name is out.
Re: Rape accusations
"I think there should be anonymity towards suspects unless found guilty.
All accused have to face a lifetime of "Did he do it?"
They need the same protection as the accusers."
We used to have it! The Sexual Offences Act 1970 introduced anonymity for the accused. This was repealed in 1988 as it was felt it was discouraging victims from coming forward.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 then took us to the other end of the spectrum by offering lifetime anonymity for the accuser. The first case of an individual being convicted, sent to jail and then having all charges squashed on appeal occurred in 2006.
Clearly, what is needed is anonymity for both parties until an actual verdict is reached.
Re: People "trained in IT security" are a lot of the problem
Make it a game, offer a carrot in addition to the stick - people who correctly identify White-Hat phishing attacks get a bottle of wine at the Christmas party, or gift vouchers or something.
Of course that requires them to have had at least a day (and not their first orientation day when it's in one ear and out the other) of training on identifying such attacks and secure/insecure practices.
There is the carrot side, which is remedial training for people who aren't getting it, but there is a sales element to this - sell this as useful skills which will keep the company safe, but also protect their personal details at home, help them mitigate phishing and browser-based attacks during home surfing, etc.
i.e. incentivise them to give a shit!
Re: A few things
"Sorry, speaking as a roadie, what Tim was described *are* slow/fast lanes. In UK road design the slow lane up a hill is called the crawler lane. Its specifically the lane for slow traffic to take to allow faster traffic to overtake it in the passing lane."
But not universal. I can think of one hill climb in Staffordshire where the road hits the hill, and a second uphill lane is provided. In order to use it you have to cross a white-dashed line. At the top, the lane merges back into the "slow lane" and you will cross the dashed line on your way back across. The slower vehicle does not have to make any sort of adjustment or actively move into a "slow lane".
It effectively a short stretch of dual carriageway (without central reservation), and is as very much constitutes an overtaking lane, not a "fast lane". Having overtaken a truck you WILL merge back in, or else go head-to-head with oncoming traffic when the middle lane disappears!
In his series "Jeremy Clarkson: Meets the Neighbours" (in which he toured Europe in an E-Type Jag), he had a debate with a very confused toll attendant, trying to argue that they should let him through toll-free since he was one of the lovely Northern-European taxpayers who had actually paid for Portugal's shiny motorway network to be built.
He also took said E-Type around the Arc de Triomphe, which makes him a braver man than I!
Re: Net Neutrality?
"Is the only difference that the consumer pays for access to all high resolution video, not just Netflix, and the providers are not allowed to buy preferential access on behalf of their customers?"
I think that is the general idea yes. You can choose to subscribe to a particular network product - a highly asynchronous pipe for streaming down 4K, a symmetric or up-biased pipe for backups, low-latency gaming or VOIP, etc, etc.
Whether a customer with a streaming-profile is accessing BBC iPlayer or Netflix, or uses their gaming profile with PSN or XBL makes no difference - one service is not gaining an advantage over the other, but the network is better optimised for either of them than it is for pushing backups offsite or up into the cloud.
Very nice in principle. Making it work, and ensuring people get the right product (I'm thinking of all those users who "get their Internet through Internet Explorer") is quite another...
Probably easier and more reliable to just poke us all a symmetric 1Gbps Fibre connection and stuff some QoS in the exchange to ensure VOIP, Streaming protocols and Gaming all get preferential treatment for low-latency.
Re: He should go free...
"Not if he shot straight up, as he claimed."
Well he's not going to claim anything else... he's been charged with wanton endangerment - he's not going to say anything to the media that might prejudice his position!
Watching the videos, he doesn't have a huge back yard. Bigger than a lot of Brit's, but it looked like his neighbour's fence was only a couple of metres away. Unless his shot was absolutely vertical, some shot will almost certainly drift across one boundary or another.
Turns out he used bird shot, which shouldn't cause too much problem if it's only falling under gravity and has no appreciable x-component, which it won't if it was a largely vertical shot, not shooting towards his boundary or anything.
"Nonsense. Please get some perspective. While I agree Guns should be controlled, I'm also against this tendency to interpret the risk associated with every action is determined by the media's attitude towards the tool/thing used while the action is taken."
He's been charged with wanton endangerment. By the Police, not the media. May not go anywhere, but clearly there's a basic case to be examined.
Re: He should go free...
"e.g. In France "hunters" are allowed to chase and kill virtually anything they please, on any property."
Wrong. Punishment for hunting on private land in France without permission is up to 1 year in prison and a €15,000 fine.
Some hunting clubs will organise communal associations (ACCA - Association Communale de Chasse Agréée), whereby any member can hunt across any land within the commune (as opposed to the UK for instance where an individual deals with landowners on an individual basis to get permission to shoot).
This does not by any means cover all land in France, nor does it happen in all parts of France. They may have limited rights to chase a wounded animal for the coup de gras (though they should probably have practiced their fieldcraft a bit more, got a bit closer and done the job properly with the first shot), but that doesn't mean they have the right to chase across any land they like.
Land owners are under no compunction to participate in an ACCA and can ban shooters from their land.
Re: Good on him
"Hopefully the fine will be almost nothing and the warning to drone operators invading peoples privacy will be public."
The fine for shooting down the drone, maybe.
The sanction for recklessly endangering neighbours I hope is more severe.
Not sure which I would object to more - being snooped on or being (and having my family and property) peppered with shot by neighbours...
"Also, it would seem that the gun owner threatened the operators with shooting them. In Britain, that would rightly get you locked up. I don't understand why or how that's acceptable in America."
Slightly different. He effectively stated that if they came onto his land looking for a fight he would shoot them, putting the fight to an end.
Castle Doctrine is alive and well in the US.
Simply threatening to shoot them would not be acceptable. Stating that he would defend himself with his firearm if they approached him is a bit different.
He's still in the wrong though, as his action in shooting down the drone probably constituted reckless endangerment since he could not have known if there were people downrange, beyond his opaque privacy fence.
Re: Na Na Nana Na(not a coward-forgot password)
"So what you're saying, is that if your two 16 year old daughters are sunbathing in your garden and suddenly a drone flies over the fence at lower than roof level (Presumably with a camera attached), you'd be perfectly okay with this?"
But would you also be okay with your neighbour shooting at it, perhaps unaware that your daughters are sunbathing (because of the privacy fence) and injuring or even blinding them when they get peppered with shot?
Droneboy wasn't in the right here, but the shooter could rightly be facing reckless endangerment charges.
Re: Let the arms race begin...
"Discharging a gun inside the city limits can be problematic though, because you're never sure where the bullet will end up if you miss (and sometimes even if you hit - pass through, minimal loss of velocity etc) but I'd think a shotgun would have been ok in that regard."
Shotgun = lots of little balls of shot, not one big bullet (assuming he wasn't shooting solid slug, and I'd be amazed if he hit a drone with solid slug!).
Pro: those pellets bleed energy quickly and won't go more than 300yds.
Cons: Lots of them means it's a statistical certainty not all of them will hit the drone - that's the point, you fire a pattern of shot and effectively get more than one attempt per cartridge.
This means shot WILL have landed downrange - not very far, but probably on someone else's property. That's reckless endangerment.
Re: Let the arms race begin...
"I don't know much about guns, but I imagine that a typical shotgun charge has a lot of small round shot in it, so the risk of that coming down far away elsewhere under gravity and remaining momentum is a whole lot smaller than a bullet."
A lot less than a bullet, and being spherical, the shot has an awful ballistic co-efficient and bleeds it's energy very quickly.
Depending on the weight of shot and the powder load (26/28/32g) as well as the range, it could break the skin or worse if you caught one in the eye.
Re: Let the arms race begin...
"They'll tumble instead and fall to the ground with about the force of a comparably-sized pebble dropped from the shot's apex (1-200 feet, I think). Meaning, at worst, it can be annoying but it shouldn't be lethal."
Yes and no. Depending on the angle at which it was fired, it may still be travelling horizontally with some force - even if it's vertical speed is only the acceleration due to gravity from the apex.
At best it bounces off, at worst it could break the skin. If it hits a small child or a vulnerable area (e.g. your eyes) the results could be more severe. Of course this guy wouldn't know if anyone was "downrange" if he was shooting over a 2-metre privacy fence...
Re: He should go free...
I expect him to lose and for one very simple reason.
In the UK, anyone engaging in shooting activities is legally obliged to ensure that any shots fired do not leave the boundaries of the land over which you have permission to shoot, nor that you endanger another individual. Shooting over someone else's land even form your own land is considered akin to trespassing on their land (or more specific, armed trespass since you're carrying a firearm - armed trespass being a criminal matter, not civil like regular trespass).
I doubt America has such a law, however it seems probable that some or all of the shot will have landed outside of his back garden. It may have landed in his neighbour's back garden. He would not have able to see if there was anybody in that garden because of the aforementioned two metre privacy fence (which is opaque in BOTH directions!).
Therefore he will be bang to rights for reckless endangerment.
How peeved would you be if you or your child were peppered with buckshot because the guy next door decided to take potshots at a drone?
"Also I would really like to meet one of these "customers" who are so terribly fragile that they'd throw a contract in the bin over employees of a prospective service provider being dressed one way or another. They would be very fun to troll but I have a feeling that they do not in fact exist."
My neighbour worked as a window cleaner for many years, and ran the company for a few years when the boss decided to semi-retire. During the handover, his boss told him to always have a shirt and tie in the car for when he was delivering invoices and dealing with customers. They might be window cleaners but they could be professional about it dammit!
A couple of weeks later he was asked why he was wearing a shirt?
The customer suggested that his working t-shirt and trousers were fine and he'd never understood why $boss had always gone and got a shirt out the car - he was a window cleaner and they were his working gear. Just because the customers (solicitors) were wearing suits, didn't mean he needed to put on a shirt in order to talk to them - the company's professionalism would be judged on how clean the windows were!
I know a company which tried to dress down generally. They encouraged staff to dress comfortably, down to and including polos, etc - unless you had customers visiting, or osme public-facing duty, or a meeting with the Directors, or any one of a number of items which called for you to be suited and booted.
Since it was often difficult to know if a colleague might have customers visiting and might want to call you into the conference room to answer a tricky question, everyone just carried on wearing shirt and tie.
Either you commit to a dress code and make a statement that "this is who we are and this is how we do things", or you don't bother.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle.
Upload a mission profile and let it run. There's no operator such as you would get with the Reaper aerial drones.
Autonomous Aerial Vehicles do also exist, but only unarmed platforms running surveillance/intelligence/target drone duties, etc since any sort of weapon-release calls for human authorisation.
They're also used in civvie street for aerial surveys, scientific remote sensing, etc - send it off on a survey path and it comes back a few hours later with all your data. No need to sit at a terminal driving it all that time. Obviously locations where you can do this are limited. Oceanography is one such application - not much air traffic at 1000ft in the middle of the Atlantic.
"All this presupposes that NASA and Friends can bring the SLS in on time and on budget, not something they have much past history of doing."
Absolutely. Based on recent form, there's a very good chance NASA could be stood with a still-not-ready SLS in 2018 whilst Musk smiles and waves calling:
"I say chaps, we've got this Heavy over here if you need something big lifting? Anything? Give us a shout if you need us! Oh, you do? Well, step into my office..."
Re: Much fuss over nothing?
"I am puzzled. I thought it was carrying a concealed weapon which usually needed a special licence - if allowed at all?"
Some states actually permit Concealed Carry (with or without a permit), but not Open Carry.
Some have it the other way round, and other permit both.
Carry laws are legislated at a State - not federal - level, and thus there are 51 (including DC) sets of rules, all subtly different.
"together have benefited from an estimated $4.9bn in government support, according to the data compiled."
Government support or government subsidies or government contracts?
Yes, clearly Solar City and Tesla benefit from various go-green rebates for their customers. SpaceX on the other hand I thought was largely funded by it's contracts.
A contract that happens to be from a government arm (whether that be the Air Force, CIA or NASA) is hardly a "subsidy". It's a contract to provide a service. You can argue whether the taxpayer should be spending money on whatever that thing is, but it's not a subsidy - it's not allowing the company to operate at a loss and still balance their books (no more so than a military supplier carrying certain IP over into civilian products).
Moreover, when we consider the amounts by which he is undercutting the lumbering incumbents, it does indeed look to be a bargain.
As far as Tesla goes, their 200,000 vehicle limit will dry up, but if all goes to plan, Musk's Gigafactory will be producing cheap batteries by then, allowing him to drop the price of his products (both cars and powerwalls) by not inconsiderable amounts, so he is at least trying to play the short-term subsidy game - get it whilst it's hot and use it to bankroll longer-term prospects.