Heinlein Readers Discussion Group Saturday 07/10/2004 5:00 P.M. EDT. Heinlein and Private Space Travel

Heinlein Readers Discussion Group
Saturday 07/10/2004 5:00 P.M. EDT.
Heinlein and Private Space Travel

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Here Begins the Discussion

You have just entered room “Heinlein Readers Group chat.”

SmnJester2076 has entered the room.

OscagneTX has entered the room.

OscagneTX: howdy

SmnJester2076: Hiya! Off writing a review of 911…

OscagneTX: Okay.

SmnJester2076: But I’ll pop in and out.

OscagneTX: There’s still an hour or so before official start.

SmnJester2076: Interesting movie.

SmnJester2076: What’s the subject tonight again?

OscagneTX: private spaceflight. There’s a log if you’re interested.

OscagneTX: from Thu.

SmnJester2076: I’ll catch on quick…

Kultsi KN has entered the room.

OscagneTX: howdy, Kultsi

Kultsi KN: Hi, all!

OscagneTX: Howyd, Kult.

SmnJester2076: Hiya!

Kultsi KN: kinda silent? 😉

Kultsi KN: Hi Simon!

SmnJester2076: Turn your speakers on then!

OscagneTX: Still waiting for a while, and playing pretend-poker.

SmnJester2076: Say… Where do I send my ticket stub for F 9/11?

Kultsi KN:bad, vewy bad.

starfall2 has entered the room.

starfall2: hi

OscagneTX: howdy

SmnJester2076: Hiya!

Kultsi KN: Everybody (you two clones) knows Jackie?

Kultsi KN: 😛

SmnJester2076: Nope.

SmnJester2076: Not in a biblical sense anyway.

SmnJester2076: Or maybe… I have been drunk a few times…

starfall2: hmm….

starfall2: 😛

Kultsi KN: Simon….

starfall2: watch out for dee

SmnJester2076: *innocent look*

starfall2: if you’re going to talk like that

SmnJester2076: I won’t tell if you don’t… *wink, nudge*

starfall2: of course not

starfall2: or will i….

starfall2: 😛

Kultsi KN: We had a theme for tonight, right, but I can’t remember it. Neither have I read Thu log.

OscagneTX: Private Spaceflight

Kultsi KN: How was the prize thing and all that?

OscagneTX: The logs are semi-important, because Dr. Diamandis won’t be coming by today.

Kultsi KN: Greeting from Finncon ’04, BTW.

OscagneTX: Or we can just chat about it.

OscagneTX: Re-greetings to Finncon.

Kultsi KN: I did gather that Dr. Diamantis was only available for Thu; what did pass?

OscagneTX: He answered question for about an hour, then we talked about his answers.

Kultsi KN: He does represent the organization to dole out the prize, right?

SmnJester2076: Any one interesting highlight?

OscagneTX: He founded it.

OscagneTX: Well…

OscagneTX: He expects the prize to be won in about 3 months.

OscagneTX: The next prize will be for orbit.

OscagneTX: There will be a yearly competition called the X-Cup.

SmnJester2076: Australia will win it.

OscagneTX: The money is just for “credentials” because it won’t pay for the expenses of the shot.

SmnJester2076: Heck of a credential: The United States, Soviet Union, China and Corporation X…

Kultsi KN: Well, I’d rather be X than, frex, US…

OscagneTX: Well, credentials in the sense that if he had simply offered a prize nobody would have taken him seriously. The 10M was to get the media’s attention, and the imagination of the masses.

OscagneTX: 10M will just cover some of the expenses for (forex) the Scaled Composites program.

SmnJester2076: Forex?

OscagneTX: for example

Kultsi KN: Indeed — but it’s still money.

Kultsi KN: Mostly it’s incentive to get somebody going — the 10M does give a really good publicity noost for the winner

Kultsi KN: *boost

DavidWrightSr: Hi folks. Back from supper. Sorry I missed Thursday, but my computer was acting up and I was just too worn out to argue with it. O:-)

OscagneTX: WB, David.

starfall2: hi

SmnJester2076: Hell, you should have called me then. I could have walked you through the fix…

DavidWrightSr: Os. I pulled the log off of your temporary site this afternoon. I’ll get it and tonight’s processed and passed to Deb by tomorrow evening..

SmnJester2076: But then, I wasn’t home either…

OscagneTX: Great.

DavidWrightSr: BRB Got to get my evening medicine.

OscagneTX: Laphroaig?

Kultsi KN: Or Bowmore?

Kultsi KN: Or even Talisker?

DavidWrightSr: Was that for me? No. Pentoxfilline, glucophage, niaspan, advicor calcium, aspirin, vitamins

OscagneTX: Laphroaig tastes better.

SmnJester2076 has left the room.

SmnJester2076 has entered the room.

DavidWrightSr: I’m sure 😎

OscagneTX: re

SmnJester2076: Testing… Is this thing on?

DavidWrightSr: volving?

OscagneTX: re-hi.

DavidWrightSr: We see you .

SmnJester2076: Okie… Was posting, but messages did show up.

OscagneTX: So. Did anyone look at the log?

DeHede011 has entered the room.

SmnJester2076 has left the room.

joelrmpls has entered the room.

starfall2: hi

SmnJester2076 has entered the room.

fgherman has entered the room.

joelrmpls: Hi, all.

OscagneTX: Howdy, everyone.

fgherman: Hello all

SmnJester2076: Grr… stoopid computers…

OscagneTX: I always forget to invite.

SmnJester2076: Hiya!

joelrmpls: Just caught a real annoying error via google news this morning.

DeHede011: That is why you guys weren’t on line yesterday afternoon — it wasn’t Saturday. LOL

NYC20CnLtd has left the room.

joelrmpls: http://www.nyyfans.com/article/8198/

OscagneTX: David, could you send me the invite list, incase I forget to ask later?

NYC20CnLtd has entered the room.

OscagneTX: I don’t think I have everyone.

joelrmpls: “Science Fiction writer Robert Heinlein passed away in his sleep exactly 14 months ago”

joelrmpls: I wish he’d been around, for Ginny’s sake, more than the rest of ours.

OscagneTX: Jeez.

DavidWrightSr: The mailing list?

SmnJester2076: 14 months?

joelrmpls: Yup.

DavidWrightSr: Gee and nobody here noticed.

starfall2: weird

starfall2: i wonder how they got that error

OscagneTX: No, the list to send invites at the beginning of each chat. I thought some folks had to wait to be added to the invite list.

OscagneTX: That’s the reason they always show up all at once, isn’t it?

joelrmpls: I’ve got a Google news alert for any mention of Heinlein. Sent the writer off a note.

SmnJester2076: More like years, right?

OscagneTX: I forgot to post the ng chat pointer. BRB

joelrmpls: Sixteen years, this last May.

joelrmpls: May 8, 1988.

DavidWrightSr: That’s my buddy list. I’ll have to export it, and e-mail it to you. It would be a good idea for several of us to have it.

DavidWrightSr: So, they can’t tell time nor count correctly.

SmnJester2076: Yeah, in case terrorists take you out…

OscagneTX: Okay.

OscagneTX: If I drop out, it’s because it’s thunderbooming here.

joelrmpls: There’s been a couple of times over the years when John M. Ford or I have turned to one another and said, “You know, I wish he’d give up this being dead thing.”

joelrmpls: Me, I can only stay a few minutes; I haven’t finished my daily quota, and I’m taking Judy out to a movie tonight; it’s her 14th birthday.

DavidWrightSr: Congratulations to her.

OscagneTX: HB to her.

DavidWrightSr: to You and Joel too.

fgherman: Thnaks

joelrmpls: Yeah. What she said. Only better spelled. (ducking)

Kultsi KN: Felicia, conga rats to Judy, & all the best to you and Joel.

starfall2: happy birthday to her

fgherman: I’m still waiting for her to sleep through the night.

OscagneTX: Has everyone who would like to read the log from Thursday? Anyone need a pointer?

SmnJester2076: A fourteen year old that can’t sleep through the night!?

SmnJester2076: Point me baby…

OscagneTX: http://users4.ev1.net/~mcgrew/070805.txt

OscagneTX: Damn.. that wasn’t it…

OscagneTX: hold on.

OscagneTX: Ah… it was htm, not txt: http://users4.ev1.net/~mcgrew/070804.htm

NYC20CnLtd: Maybe in 2005, it will be a text file. 🙂

SmnJester2076: Time delayed mail?

DavidWrightSr: Saw another press release on a candidate for the x-prize link

joelrmpls: Any particular subject today, or just chatting generally about the X stuff?

OscagneTX: Well, I can re-cover a few of the points that Dr. Diamandis covered?

OscagneTX: c/p a couple things I said before folks really got here.

OscagneTX: He expects the prize to be won in about 3 months.

DavidWrightSr: This one is called “Wild Fire”.

OscagneTX: The next prize will be for orbit.

OscagneTX: There will be a yearly competition called the X-Cup.

OscagneTX: and, The money is just for “credentials” because it won’t pay for the expenses of the shot.

SmnJester2076: Where does the money come from?

DavidWrightSr: I have some difficulty in seeing the move from these first steps to actual orbital flight. There’s a lot of difference in speed required. Did he speak about that any?

OscagneTX: Dr. Diamandis said it was from private donations,

OscagneTX: But somebody Thu had a link that said they couldn’t get the full 10M, so used what they had to buy a sunset hole-in-one insurance policy.

SmnJester2076: Meaning that the insurance company thought it couldn’t be done?

OscagneTX: I guess so.

OscagneTX: da Vinci is one of the teams I sent invites to, but got no response.

OscagneTX: (da Vinci is the one in David’s link)

SmnJester2076: Wasn’t there a guy, a toy inventor, who was going to have some company that made rockets for rocket cars build him a space ship?

OscagneTX: I hadn’t heard of that.

fgherman: gotta go – bye

fgherman has left the room.

SmnJester2076: Yeah, this chelloveck made millions making toys. Then he decided to build a rocket. I’m looking for info now.

DeHede011: I was astounded to find one flying saucer design among the competitors.

OscagneTX: cool

SmnJester2076: Saucer?

SmnJester2076: Found the guy. http://cooltech.iafrica.com/technews/275414.htm

DeHede011: The flying saucer people seem to think they can build a pulse or ram jet that will get them to a speed to go to the required altitude.

starfall2: dinnertime – bye

starfall2 has left the room.

DeHede011: Bye

AGplusone has entered the room.

OscagneTX: One of the more controversial points thu, was that Dr. Diamandis gave a cost for future possible lift of a person…

OscagneTX: $100.

OscagneTX: Based on the price of electricity out of the socket.

OscagneTX: Some felt that was a bit of a snake-oil prediction.

AGplusone: A little scepticism at that?

OscagneTX: Howdy, David.

AGplusone: 🙂

DavidWrightSr: Greetings Young DavidO:-)

DeHede011: I understood him in a totally different sense.

OscagneTX: how’s that?

AGplusone: Hi, everyone. Nice to see you here, Joel. Been a while.

AGplusone: How did you understand him, Ron?

OscagneTX: Ron?

DeHede011: A typical engineering approach to a strang new project. If the present day cost is $5,000/Lb a gang of brainstorming engineers will come up with the $100 number

AGplusone: [forgive me: I’m chuckling. I just finished writing a business plan.]

DeHede011: They will look at the margin of $4,900/Lbs and make a judgement as to whether or not they can recover some of that margin

DeHede011: Someone will look at that set of numbers and say, “Well, that gives us a big enough target to shoot at.”

joelrmpls: “So to speak.”

DeHede011: After that he will get invited to sketch out his approach for further study

AGplusone: Uh-huh. Just like a business plan.

LanaiHoward has entered the room.

LanaiHoward: Hi all.

OscagneTX: howdy, howard.

AGplusone: If we don’t succeed, we all go broke.

SmnJester2076: Yeah, but it’ll be fun trying.

DeHede011: That is all I hear going on with Dr. Diamandis (spelling??)

joelrmpls: I’ve got to get going, alas. It’s been too long; this was fun.

joelrmpls: Later, all.

AGplusone: “Our lives, our sacred honor … ”

OscagneTX: ‘night

joelrmpls: (I’m going to leave this on, just to capture the conversation, if that’s not a problem for anybody.)

AGplusone: too long for sure. You know Steve Barnes, Joel?

DeHede011: “our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

joelrmpls: Yup.

joelrmpls: Not well, but I like him a lot.

AGplusone: What “fortunes”?

AGplusone: Working on him this month to get him to visit.

DeHede011: Yes, Dave, all 25 cents.

SmnJester2076: Hmmm… secret society oath taking…

AGplusone: That too … drop me and e-mail and tell me what evil you’re up to Joel.

AGplusone: What of his books would you suggest we read?

AGplusone: Joel? Anyone? of Barnes’ books

joelrmpls: Will do. I’d start with Street Lethal. Fun book.

joelrmpls: Not as fond of his Niven/Pournelle collaborations as many are.

DeHede011: BTW, someone in this group recommended the Coleen McCollough series on Rome — I am still beholden on that one.

joelrmpls: I think N&P are best by themselves — when they’ve got an editor that they respect.

AGplusone: ‘kay, go play with Spices, please. 🙂

joelrmpls: Speaking of which, I’d love to see the rewrite letter for Mote that RAH did. My guess is that’ll end up being an awfully important document.

joelrmpls: And, with that, a few more words, and then I turn into Daddyman.

AGplusone: It may be in the omnibus edition for the business plan I just wrote.

joelrmpls: ‘Way cool.

AGplusone: yeah, write me

joelrmpls: Will do.

joelrmpls: Later, all…

OscagneTX: ‘night

joelrmpls: [switching to lurk mode]

DeHede011: Dave, is there anything you would like to share about this business plan?

AGplusone: Nothin’ that wasn’t in last Society bulletin. We’re working on getting out a leather bound entire edition of Heinlein for next year.

AGplusone: ‘cluding some stuff never before published

AGplusone: THS members only.

DeHede011: Whoa, thou art a Saint.

OscagneTX: outstanding

DeHede011: Better pay my dues.

AGplusone: So you join, or else.

AGplusone: Back to Dr. Diamandis. anyone else have suggestions on what to read in Barnes, e-mail me, please.

DeHede011: Can you make me a CC on that?

DeHede011: I am

AGplusone: [I’d suggest we pick something representative, read it, and then I’ll approach Barnes, meanwhile, Joe.]

DavidWrightSr: I’ve only read 2 of his, Orbital Resonance and A Million Open Doors. I liked the first, don’t recall much of the second

AGplusone: I know where you live, Ron.

AGplusone: heh

OscagneTX: That’d be great, David.

DeHede011: Okay, thank you.

AGplusone: I convinced him, btw, that Rod Walker was black.

OscagneTX: Did you ever hear back on inviting that… I can’t remember… activist lady and her husband?

OscagneTX: Is that who you’re talking about?

LanaiHoward: I’d like to explore a followon, maybe an alternative, to the X-prize…a more practical version of the Long Range Foundation, perhaps

AGplusone: I haven’t done it yet, got nice response. Been busy with Westercon.

OscagneTX: Okay.

OscagneTX: Go ahead, Howard.

AGplusone: Suggest we have a chat on Barnes while I do it, as we did with Pournelle, Niven, Haldeman, Anderson, et al.

OscagneTX: I’ll have to research that, I wasn’t around then.

AGplusone: Makes ’em feel it’s worthwhile.

AGplusone: Around when we did Crais. Look at logs.

LanaiHoward: A prize (perhaps with some licensing rights to the prize issuers) to the demonstration of a commercial process that works better in space. Private or comm’l launch.

DeHede011: Dang, I missed Anderson, that was Poul?

AGplusone: David can point you to logs.

AGplusone: Yep, and Karen.

OscagneTX: Howard… is that an existing prize, or are you proposing a new one?

DeHede011: He did some good work.

LanaiHoward: Hypothetically, a semiconductor manufacturing technique with sufficiently better yield to pay for launch costs.

LanaiHoward: Not existing.

AGplusone: That’s what the Heinlein Prize trust is about, isn’t it, Howard?

LanaiHoward: I don’t know enough about the Trust.

AGplusone: Within its ambit.

OscagneTX: I think Howard is proposing a substantially more narrow field.

OscagneTX: To reward making space profitable short-term, rather than just promoting spaceflight, is that right, Howard?

LanaiHoward: Where the X-prize or Harriman were selling a frontier, I’m saying incentive for commercialization of the frontier — much stronger business case.

LanaiHoward: Yes, Osc.

NYC20CnLtd has left the room.

AGplusone: That’s what the Heinlein Trust Prize is all about ….

AGplusone: Anyone ask him how Snowy was doing, before he left?

OscagneTX: I thought the Heinlein Prize was much more general than that.

OscagneTX: Snowy?

DeHede011: A great example of what I was talking about. Take the existing cost per unit times the units per year. Take launch costs and then calculate what mfg cost target we have to hit. Can we do that?

AGplusone: Yes, but you’ve got to pick a specific advancement. That could be one. “Snowy,” Ginny’s cat. NYC20CnLtd adopted Snowy.

OscagneTX: I didn’t know that.

LanaiHoward: Well, we may even have a commercial example to try it against…geosynchronous comsats. They dominated intercontinental comms until fiber, and are now more niche

NYC20CnLtd has left the room.

OscagneTX: Did anyone notice that Dr. Diamandis talked about “beaming” energy down from space (a ‘la Waldo). Do we even have a line on how that could be done?

SmnJester2076: Microwaves.

DeHede011: There is another SF type advancement that seems to be coming on stream this summer. Has anyone heard of Paul Moller’s Sky Car the Volanter?

OscagneTX: Is that efficient enough to use?

OscagneTX: I’ve got the Sky Car screensaver.

LanaiHoward: I noticed that method. I’ve heard it before, and, while I’m not an environmental nut, I see lots of safety questions to handle there

OscagneTX: They fly all around.

SmnJester2076: Yeah, except for the loss thrugh atmosphere.

DeHede011: Then you have heard of it. 😎

AGplusone: John Haywood. Ginny’s friend Laura’s son, in Florida.

AGplusone: Ghost leaves.

DavidWrightSr: The general index to the logs is Index and the Anderson links are First and second

OscagneTX: Thanks, David.

SmnJester2076: http://www.campusprogram.com/reference/en/wikipedia/m/mi/microwave_power_transmission.html

DeHede011: Thank you DavidW, it is bookmarked.

LanaiHoward: The link does mention that safety and environmental issues have to be worked out. While it’s not the same mechanism, I can’t but help think of the effects of the high-altitude…

SmnJester2076: Hence the mention of affects on plasma. It may cause some really cool Aurauras…

OscagneTX: So I guess all we need are Moller sky-cars powered by Tesla-type microwave power picked up by waving-finger antenae.

LanaiHoward: TEAK-ORANGE nuclear tests….disruption of the Van Allen belts, knocking out satellites, etc. Other questions is there enough matter in the beam to induce significant magnetism perpendicular to the path

SmnJester2076: We should bring Dr Tesla back and have him work on the problem.

LanaiHoward: And when you have big auroras, you may have very messed-up ionospheric radio propagation.

LanaiHoward: Tesla died? In this ficton? Amazing. Mike Callahan would be shocked.

OscagneTX: So would Tesla.

SmnJester2076: Never said he died…

SmnJester2076: Just ‘bring him back’…

DeHede011: His pigeon also??

OscagneTX: If not, he’d be lonely.

DeHede011: Then you had best plain on his buddy Mark Twain also

DeHede011: plan

OscagneTX: You could _try_ planing Mark Twain, but I suspect he’d object.

OscagneTX: Or even plaining him.

DeHede011: LOL

OscagneTX: It might be as difficult to ‘plain him.

DeHede011: Not so, I only need a highway grade construction roller

SmnJester2076: First you’d have to chase down that comet he took off with…

DeHede011: He would be very much a plain

OscagneTX: and probably a plane.

OscagneTX: geometrically, not aerodynamically.

DeHede011: Well, pick him up by one edge — then it depends on how far you can frisbee the fellow

Reilloc has entered the room.

Kultsi KN: Hi, LNC!

LanaiHoward: Remember Spider’s explanation of how it’s going to be a bad day when a pigeon falls and dies at your feet.

OscagneTX: “Lemme ‘plain someting to jyou.”

Reilloc: Hi, Kultsi

SmnJester2076: You could only pick him up by the edge if you were four dimensional…

DeHede011: I understand but remember if you try using too high a level abstraction you lose something of the real world — even after plaining he would have thickness in the real world

Kultsi KN: Howard, any days that pigeons die are great days IMO — I HATE them.

OscagneTX: Then cut him into slivers and see how many of him can dance of the head of a pin?

Reilloc: There’s a pigeon born every minute.

SmnJester2076: Sky rats…

DavidWrightSr: Chuck Krin said to say hello and sorry he won’t be able to participate.

DeHede011: Kulsti are you one of those guys that regard pigeons as exceptionally dirty flying rats?

Kultsi KN: Yup. Hava had probs with them at work.

LanaiHoward: Ah, but when they go at your feet…it is the dreaded Omen Pigeon…obvious in the places where every seal clearly can foo.

OscagneTX: We’re not going to do the Foo Bird again, are we?

Reilloc: I thought he said Can Foo.

DeHede011: Don’t know why but our discussion of pigeons takes me back to flight school. We used to sit outside Escape and Survival school with our signalling mirrors and spot light seagulls

DeHede011: They hate having that light shining in their eyes.

Reilloc: Modesty

SmnJester2076: String wire between their claws and wing tips and they’d be mini Stukas…

OscagneTX: “Alfred Hitchcock Presents…”

LanaiHoward: (pictures spotlighted seagull putting on tophat, wielding cane, and going into Fred Astaire mode)

DeHede011: LOL

Kultsi KN:

Reilloc: So, I guess I missed Diamondis today, eh?

OscagneTX: He couldn’t make it today. Only Thu.

DeHede011: BRB

Reilloc: Then, let’s pretend one of us is him.

OscagneTX: How about you?

Kultsi KN: Gotta hit the sack — I got back from Finncon earlier this evening, and I’m ready to drop.

OscagneTX: g’night, K.

Kultsi KN: You guys kep it on.

DeHede011: Nite, Kultsi

SmnJester2076: Ooo! Ooo! I like roleplaying!

Reilloc: Night, Kultsi

Kultsi KN: G’night

Kultsi KN has left the room.

Reilloc: I think I’ll reboot and come back next chat.

Reilloc: Later, all.

Reilloc has left the room.

LanaiHoward: Might I return to the alternate prize? Is the Heinlein trust one focused on actual commercialization, or is it broader?

OscagneTX: Okay, Simon gets to be Dr. Diamandis.

LanaiHoward: Damn. If someone has to be role-played, why not Lily von Shtupp?

AGplusone: Simon as Dr. Diamandis … Howard as Lilly von

OscagneTX: I think it’s pretty broad, isn’t it?

OscagneTX: My last entry didn’t make it to the screen.

OscagneTX: I’m lagged in some weird way.

AGplusone: Did now.

AGplusone: So’I. Lagged about five minutes.

AGplusone: I’m going to go watch the Dodgers for a while. I’ll copy you on what I send Steve, Joe.

OscagneTX: There they are… anyway… David, isn’t the Heinlein prize for “advancing human spaceflight” or something similar?

SmnJester2076: Okay, ask me questions…

SmnJester2076: Always comingk and going undt going and comingk…

SmnJester2076: Mine are really slow too.

OscagneTX: Thanks,

AGplusone: Yeah, but they’ve got a huge open area to pick from.

AGplusone: Howard (er, Lily) before I go … let me ask, how was Cleavon?

OscagneTX: Is the Heinlein prize a “prize” in the same vein as the X-Prize? It seems that Howard’s proposed prize would have much stricter parameters like the X-prize…

AGplusone: Was he “little” or was he as big as Karros?

OscagneTX: like “100 km up” or “in orbit” or something…

OscagneTX: Whereas the Heinlein prize is much more subjective, isn’t it?

SmnJester2076: Ooo! A Stinkeroo just went up on eBay!

LanaiHoward: I was thinking of something specific enough to engage venture capitalists, admittedly high-risk….perhaps part of the prize would be a commitment to second round funding

LanaiHoward: Unfortunately, David, Cleavon died some years ago. Great loss to comedy

AGplusone: yes

AGplusone: but surely you had a chance before then, while you were making Blazing Saddles?

AGplusone: You know, when you told the audience you were “So Tired.”

LanaiHoward: Did you ever read the Playboy article that dealt with the outtakes from Blazing Saddles, which were too much for Mel Brooks?

AGplusone: 🙂

SmnJester2076: Too MUCH? THAT I’d like to see…

AGplusone: No, never. If you’ve got it, I’d love to see it.

AGplusone: Gotta go …

LanaiHoward: The scene that ended in the movie with “It’s twoo! It’s twoo!” actually ended with Cleavon drawling “beg pardon, Ma’am, but you’re holding my arm.”

OscagneTX: ‘night

AGplusone: Back to revisions to business plan … tote dat bale, life that barge … get drunk.

AGplusone: bye

AGplusone has left the room.

DeHede011: Got to go guys, adios.

OscagneTX: g’night ron.

DeHede011 has left the room.

OscagneTX: I like your idea Howard. Now all you need is financial backing.

LanaiHoward: Still ponders if Blazing Saddles got better or worse when I realized the Indians were speaking Yiddish.

LanaiHoward: Osc, seriously, consider a consortium of VCs forming….let us call it the Medium Range Foundation. First round might be business plan and matching funding…second round, after proof of concept, commercializes…

LanaiHoward: The MRF also would have the right to coordinate complementary activities.

OscagneTX: You’ve got me hooked, Howard. Where do I send my $5.

LanaiHoward: Maybe with a plan to Paul Allen?

OscagneTX: He might be a little busy ATM.

LanaiHoward: While the financial calculations are beyond me, with a good licensing sharing model, the MRF could become self-sustaining.

LanaiHoward: I might look at creating a historical hypothetical — if comsats and weather sats had been treated commercially from their inception. Weather is harder, since so much is classified…

LanaiHoward: yet there is probably quantifiable data from insurers on loss avoidance with respect to hurricanes

OscagneTX: This is beyond my meager experience.

OscagneTX: I’m heading towards science stuff, not business stuff.

LanaiHoward: the scary thing for me is that I’ve had to learn to do some of the financial to get the scientific funded.

OscagneTX: Yeah. You can’t do what you want to do until you do what you have to do.

OscagneTX: %^/

LanaiHoward: Not an absolute…I’ve worked for places where after I did it, the executives said it was impossible and wouldn’t fund further deployment–of the class with the best profit margin in our history

OscagneTX: after you did _it_ they said _it_ was impossible. Were they retarded?

OscagneTX: “Here, sir, look… lead **bzzzzt** gold.”

OscagneTX: “That’s impossible. You’re fired.”

LanaiHoward: no, “not invented here; it’s not part of the PLAN.” Actually, it’s a syndrome I’ve seen again and again–top management has something that gives a good return…so they stop looking at development…

LanaiHoward: then get slammed when the core market changes. Their model had been to give commercial networking courses that were standardized and had interchangeable instructors…my team introduced something available nowhere else.

OscagneTX: that just seems ass backward to me. If development got you profit, seems like further development would get you further profit.

LanaiHoward: Not if you are being measured by short-term profitability, which development reduces

OscagneTX: Ah… I see. You became non-interchangeable.

LanaiHoward: Yep…I was the only person in the US division that had the knowledge to teach the specialized course. Maybe it gave me too much power.

OscagneTX: Well, yeah. That’s exactly it. Who was it in the channel that said (Simon?) if you have an indespensible techie you fire him/her immediately before they become more indespensible.

SmnJester2076: Not me. Wouldn’t mind claiming credit to that though.

LanaiHoward: I’ve seen the comment “once a programmer becomes indispensable, fire him.” That, however, is a management failure — of not recognizing the individual’s value and sharing and documenting that knowledge —

LanaiHoward: it may take having someone follow them around if they can’t teach. I agree that if someone becomes both indispensible and secretive, they are a real liability — but usually the best approach is to assign others to study the same

LanaiHoward: topic and create a backup

OscagneTX: The thing that brought it up was a discussion in the ng about a programmer whose documentation was all in a code in a private notebook. If they fired him, he’d take the book with him.

DavidWrightSr: Yeah. That was my story.

OscagneTX: Sounds like an actionable offence to me… intellectual property or something.

DavidWrightSr: As I said, I left when he was still there, but I suspect that he turned it all over to mgmt when he retired.

LanaiHoward: Offense by whom? The employer or employee?

OscagneTX: Don’t you guys have to sign an agreement that says anything you create on company time belongs to the company…? therefore the notebook would belong to the company..

OscagneTX: employee. He’d be taking company property.

LanaiHoward: The problem is with the people that do work, but never write anything useful in the notebook….

LanaiHoward: one silly but real example…we bought some software developed by a quasi-academic research firm…code was documented, but only in Star Trek (Original) metaphors.

OscagneTX: LOL.

SmnJester2076: Damnit Jim!

LanaiHoward: “Scotty beams payload into transporter room while Nurse Chapel triages with tricorder” meant “packet taken into input buffer, parsed, and given basic validity test”

OscagneTX: cool.

OscagneTX: At least they had a sense of humor about it… did you ever read the Seafort Saga?

OscagneTX: The computer goes nuts because an end-of-file marker was written over with “Look at the tits on her, Leo. Wow!”

OscagneTX: Or something to that affect.

LanaiHoward: Yes, but don’t remember that. Other than a computer or two, it was worth reading, but rather humorless. Made Horatio Hornblower sound like Candide.

DavidWrightSr: That’s Feintuch?

DavidWrightSr: Yes, I read them, once. Haven’t been able to bring myself to re-reading them. Too much angst IIRC

OscagneTX: Humorless to say the least. He’s one of a couple authors I hate to love. It’s always depressing reading him or Goodkind.

OscagneTX: They do such terrible things to their characters.

LanaiHoward: I was disappointed in the one non-Seafort book I read — The Still. Feintuch doesn’t do magick well.

OscagneTX: I don’t think I’ve read that one.

LanaiHoward: Interesting, though, to see the variants on Hornblower, both period and future. Weber’s Harrington series works well.

LanaiHoward: William Fortschen is another that gets very mixed reactions — he creates characters you care about, but kills them off every so often — heroically, to be sure.

LanaiHoward: Better way to put it than heroic — usually dying for a cause, knowing they are dying for a cause, and their death makes a difference.

DavidWrightSr: Speaking back on Poul Anderson; I bought “Mother of Kings”. It’s non-sf dealing with the Viking era of Scandinavia. I am having hard time getting through it. Too much esoteric detail.

DavidWrightSr: I bought Forstchen’s “Down to the Sea” at the same time. Enjoyed it.

LanaiHoward: Funny you should mention that. On the sci.military.naval newsgroup, there’s a discussion about how the Danish Navy should interoperate with the USN. I rather like the idea of berserker landing and boarding parties, myself

DavidWrightSr: As well as David Gerrold’s “Bouncing Off the Moon” (lots of heinlein references) and Robert Sawyer’s “Flash Forward”. Like both of them.

SmnJester2076: And if you include the Scottish Queens Own Highland Suicide Squad…

DavidWrightSr: Hello? Still there?

OscagneTX: yup

OscagneTX: Are we ready to call the log?

SmnJester2076: No one here but us chickens…

DavidWrightSr: I was experience that lag you spoke of .

DavidWrightSr: But now it’s gone.

OscagneTX: It’s hit me a couple times.

OscagneTX: AOL is congested or something.

LanaiHoward: Well, the lag was there…was just about getting ready to go get a cold drink.

LanaiHoward: so we’ve called the lag, but not necessarily the log?

OscagneTX: I just got an email from Dr. Diamandis’ assistant: He won’t be able to write Geo’s piece for him.

OscagneTX: But she says Geo can use any excerpts from the chat he’d like.

OscagneTX: dja get that, David?

DavidWrightSr: Got everything.

has entered the room.

OscagneTX: Ok.

OscagneTX: Howdy.

: Hello. What time is/was today’s chat?

OscagneTX: 4 pm central US

SmnJester2076: 5pm central…

SmnJester2076: er, yeah…

SmnJester2076: What he said…

: Odd, both of those messages took at least 30 seconds to echo back to me.

LanaiHoward: ok….I’m going to call it a night.

OscagneTX: AOL is really slow today.

DavidWrightSr: We have been experience some lag today. Don’t know why

OscagneTX: g’night, Howard.

LanaiHoward has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: And notices of our next discussion when that is settled upon.

SmnJester2076 has left the room.

: Has there been any feedback from Dr. Diamandis on how he thought Thursday’s chat went?

OscagneTX: No. Just an email from his assistant they THS can use excerpts from teh chat if they’d like.

: Well, that’s nice, anyway.

OscagneTX: I’ll forward that email to Geo, David.

OscagneTX: Unless there’s objection, I’m going to go ahead and close the log…

DavidWrightSr: OK by me.

OscagneTX: Ok… log is closed.

OscagneTX: David, to you prefer timestamped or not for the logs?

DavidWrightSr: 7:23 P.M. EDT

DavidWrightSr: no timestamp preferred. I can remove them fairly easily, but ;;

OscagneTX: ok.

OscagneTX: I’ll have them both in the mail to you in a bit.

OscagneTX: G’night everyone.

DavidWrightSr: Any how I’ve this one in total. See ya both later. Night Joel

: Bye.

End of Discussion

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