Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 29th Aug 2013 14:14 UTC
In the News

Victoria Espinel, who until recently served as the White House's first intellectual property enforcement coordinator, will now head one of the most powerful trade groups in the tech industry. She's been tapped to become the new president and CEO of The Software Alliance (or BSA) starting September 3rd. In her new role, she'll be tasked with pushing the anti-piracy interests of major players like Microsoft, Dell, Apple, Oracle, and Intel. And while the BSA spends a large part of its time lobbying Congress and other governments to push that agenda, Espinel will be barred from engaging in such practices herself - at least initially. According to Politico, an ethics pledge Espinel took to secure her "copyright czar" position under President Obama prevents her from lobbying for at least two years.

No corruption here. Nothing to see. Move along.

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RE[9]: Wikipedia
by saso on Sun 1st Sep 2013 14:45 UTC in reply to "RE[8]: Wikipedia"
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That's another interesting comment. It directly contradicts what I've learned in class about the space shuttles, which was that they were built to reduce costs over expendable vehicles that needed to be rebuilt every time. Can you cite something that says otherwise?

I was about to post some of the stuff kwan_e noted, but he beat me to it.
Yes, originally a shuttle launch was to cost as little as $10 million - sadly, that never materialized, and I'd argue that it was a pipe dream to begin with. In the end a single shuttle launch cost around $1 - $1.5 billion, making the payload cost way too high (around twice compared to what you'd pay for launching the payload and crew on separate ELVs). Yes, it did do something ELVs couldn't, but these uses were few and far between.
The reasons for why the shuttle was so costly had to do with the incredible design compromises they had to do to get a spaceplane design off the ground. And in some cases this caused horrible outcomes, e.g. Challenger - did you know that the shuttle, unlike the Saturn V and pretty much every crewed launch vehicle in the world, has no launch abort? Once the solids are lit, you have no choice but to ride that bull. Also, due to the attempts to make the SRBs reusable they had to essentially rebuild them after each launch at tremendous expense. Have a look at for an interesting take on this (he looks a bit like a crackpot but he actually talks valid physics).

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