• Palm having trouble. Smart phones not catching on.
  • Someone wins unknown Apple contest for hitting the 10 billionth download.
  • Microsoft versus spammers.
  • NASA wants to go to Mars.
  • Intuit for the Mac.
  • Facebook glitch screws up messages.
  • NEC aims to increase profit 10X in three years. How??
  • Dumb story of the week crops up.

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  1. Father says:

    So NASA spends $10 billion to go to the Mars on round 1, collects some rocks, and comes home. What point would there to be to return to Mars again, and if there is no point to go a second time, then why go the first time?

    We quit going to the Moon 30 years ago, because there was no point going, so why is there any point going to Mars?

    The Moon and Mars are both dead, and will always be dead. Not enough gravity to hold an atmosphere, not ozone layer to protect from UV radiation, no magnetic field to protect from radiation (I think)!

  2. ArianeB says:

    If NASA cant even get funding for a new rocket to replace the Shuttle program, I doubt they will ever get funding for Mars.

    The ISS mission is set to end in 2016, and no plans to do anything else, so why create new rockets for 4 years of service?

    I get the feeling that the age of manned space exploration will soon be over for the US. Man will return to the moon in the next decade, but it won’t be Americans.

  3. B.Dog says:

    Mars — we could terraform the thing, but we’re busy right now. Who’s afraid of the Martians fighting back?

  4. deowll says:

    The US is going under. We are going the way of Western Europe and that is down the toilet. The West’s best days are behind it and I really don’t see anyone else stepping up to become the sort of leader the US or Western Europe once was so I guess that is it.

  5. Somebody_Else says:

    Just because they aren’t as friendly to life as Earth doesn’t mean they’re not economically viable. The lunar surface is covered in easily accessible metal deposits. Build some sort of solar or nuclear powered electromagnet-based mass driver to shoot payloads of ore back to Earth and you could have a viable industry to subsidize colonization. Plus there’s the whole Helium-3 thing if nuclear fusion ever takes off.

    I’d go live on a permanent Moon/Mars colony just to get away from all the intolerant religious nuts. Funny how history repeats itself.

    We have to expand beyond Earth eventually. I don’t know if Mars is really a viable target right now, but I’m glad that the new Obama budget is allocating money for NASA to work on a heavy lift vehicle. That could eventually open up the Moon and other nearby targets for exploration again without significantly increasing the cost of the space program.

  6. Hmeyers says:

    A manned mission to Venus would be more economical!

    Besides, Venus is almost the same size as the Earth with about the same gravity. Plus it has a thick atmosphere.

  7. Glenn E. says:

    Oh pul-lease! Venus?! Yeah, it’s got a thick atmosphere alright. About 90 times as much as Earth’s. And all hot, unbreathable, CO2.

    As for NASA, somebody should tell them that the country can’t afford their multi-billion dollar pipe dreams, anymore. The US went to the moon, mainly to prove it was better than the Russians. Though the Russians probably never intended to go that far into space. The US was even once prepared to go to Mars, back in the 1960s, if the Russian had beat them to the moon. It was all militaristic and political propaganda. And the aerospace contractor stood to make tons of money from the program. A very nice cold war subsidy.

    After Apollo, the US got buddy-buddy with the Russians. So the space missions had to be justified as science. But few space capsule jocks care to train beyond jet fighter piloting, to become scientists. They had faked it, all thru the moon missions. So the Space Shuttles took over as science lab in space. In which real scientists could go along. But little if anything useful has resulted from studying how bees cope in zero gravity, and such. And only one satellite ever got repaired by the Shuttles (Hubble).

    So the ISS had to be hyped as the next hope for scientific breakthroughs. So far they’ve only discovered how NOT to design a toilet. So naturally, with this gravy-train of a subsidy, winding to completion. NASA needs another taxpayer funded project, to keeps its contractors’ profit margins high. And a useless trip to Mars, ought to do it.

    Whatever happened to that idea of privatizing NASA? Letting the aerospace giants pay for these projects, out of their own pockets? Obviously, that’s NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. The US space program was created to keep them all afloat, even in the slowest of times (no world wars, boohoo). They’d never agree to put man into space, out of pocket. Even though they’ve manage to keep all the patent rights for everything they designed and built under government contract. shouldn’t the taxpayers own the rights to all their jet engine and rocket technology. I doubt Americans see penny one in royalties, from any new airliner engines they build, using military jet engine research. Another perk of bribing Congress.

  8. Glenn E. says:

    The iTune winner turned out to be some old guy, in his 70s, who was downloading a Johnny Cash song. Naturally he has no idea how to use up $10,000 worth of song downloads. Do you think Apple might have targeted him on purpose? Rather than say some kids, who’d want to download everything possible? We can only assume Apple will allow his family and friends to share the downloading. Hey old dude, could you spring for a song or two for me?

  9. bac says:

    #8 Glen said “I doubt Americans see penny one in royalties, from any new airliner engines they build, using military jet engine research.”

    Same goes for Darpa. The American people haven’t seen any royalties from the Internet yet. Or any other military technology that has been sold to countries like Israel.

    The government needs to shutdown Darpa now.

  10. bac says:

    On a lighter note, if five percent of the defense budget was diverted to NASA, that would double NASA’s budget.

    In America, war technology is more preferable than space technology, violence is more preferable to than sex and profits are more preferable to than health.

  11. Winston says:

    NASA has already been to Mars a number of times in the sensible, economical way that develops useful technologies like AI and robotics rather than multi-million dollar space toilets that don’t work half the time. And when a mission is lost, it’s just money, not people, that are lost.

  12. SparkyOne says:

    If the fuck’n sign out front had said “Bank of NASA” we would not be having this discussion.

  13. ECA says:

    Raise profits by 10x?? The easiest way is to OVER PRICE your goods..

    Going to Mars?
    It dont say they are sending people..
    IF you want a Sat base, goto the moon. there are to many reasons for the moon to be the best location.
    1. ITS CLOSE.
    In case of emergency, ITS CLOSER then waiting almost 1 year for HELP.
    2. Close enough, to make SPACE ONLY ships that could get to mars, EASIER then creating a ship that requires ATMOSPHERIC protections..
    3. you could make a SPACE ONLY ship out of any materials…INCLUDING ROCK.
    4. dont need to LAND on the moon to deliver much. ADD alittle speed control and you could just DROP most things onto the planet for recovery.

    Could go ON about this…but #1 is the best reason for being on the moon.

  14. Somebody_Else says:

    @ #6 and #8, regarding Venus

    Venus is, surprisingly, a possibility. The surface of Venus is hot enough to melt lead and the atmosphere is super-dense, but at an altitude of of 50 km the atmospheric pressure is the same as sea-level on Earth. The atmosphere of Venus is mostly carbon dioxide, meaning that you could “float” lightweight colonies filled with a regular air mixture of oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere.

    NASA had considered a manned Venus flyby mission using a Skylab-sized spacecraft as part of the Apollo applications program. The mission would have taken a little over a year and could have been done using Apollo/Saturn V hardware.

  15. soundwash says:

    -NASA only asks for things it has already done.


  16. Mark Sturgess says:

    Obama wants to send a man to Mars.

    Now I am not interested in going but I am all for sending him to Mars.


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