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Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 385

These are actually more substantial than renaming the mountain. I'd like to see more things done like this. Again, the window to go through Congress closed quite awhile ago, but I'd still like to see more steps like this to help the Alaskan native people return to their way of life as much as possible.

Ummm, mining and large scale logging are hardly a 'return to their native way of life'. It is simply a sop to the Alaskan Native voting block - which tends to be Democratic in a rabidly Republican state.

Comment Re:Just a question (Score 1) 385

oreign countries don't even agree on what to call each other let alone specific places. I know a little "Japanese" (Nihongo) and from what I understand no one from that country would refer to it as "Japan". It is "Nippon" or "Nihon", "Japan" from what I've heard is a really bad 1,500 year old Portuguese pronunciation of a Chinese word referring to the island chain off of China's coast. I think this is far from an isolated situation, anyone know other languages similar craziness?Correction: 500 year old (from roughly 1500s) bad Portuguese pronunciation, Monday morning and my brain isn't completely up and running.

You can start with 'Indians'. 'Ol Columbus was a tad confused at times.

Must of been the wine.

Comment Re:pros and cons (Score 4, Interesting) 466

The F-35 IS expensive _per_unit_. The A-10 does one job, and there are several other aircraft that do different jobs. So the A-10 sits on the ground while there is air-to-air taking place, waiting while another aircraft handles that. IF the F-35 does four different roles, replacing four different types of aircraft, that cuts the effective cost by 75%. It wouldn't be parked on the tarmac waiting for a time when CAS in needed with uncontested skies. It could, supposedly, when the skies while also bombing enemy airfields , then do close air support.

Let's see how it actually does in testing before we declare the result.

The astronomical cost of the F-35 means that 1) we won't make that many of them and 2) we won't deploy that many of them. In the event of a free for all fight, having four separate aircraft doing four separate things is a good thing. It allows the pilots and support crews to concentrate on fewer issues. The F35 is going to have to be air support, AWACs and air to ground fighter. The theory behind the F35 is that it is so smart, it can deal with all of the issues from a lot further away. The slow development cycle of the plane means that it won't have all of it's capabilities for another ten years or so.

The idea of having one airframe play multiple roles only works if you make enough to do the job (and that it actually does all of the jobs reasonably well).

Comment Re:Dumbest fear mongering yet on Slashdot... (Score 1) 213

I hope everyone realizes that there are plenty of autonomous 'vehicles' out there. Right now. With limited security. Most single engine planes have highly developed autopilots. The hard part is getting one to take off autonomously. That could be solved by parachuting out after you reach level flight. Steal a Cessna 185 with your typical Garmin AP. Land it in some field, fill it up and take off at night. Jump out and off the plane goes. You won't get to the White House or the Capital building but your could probably hit some random oil refinery near a city.

Even little boats now can install sophisticated autopilots that will drive the boat anywhere you can find on a map. And a 20 foot boat could hold a whole bunch of diesel and fertilizer. My 22 footer can drive out of it's slip and wander off 100 miles without any human intervention whatsoever. The only limitation is that the AP doesn't control the throttle. But a very simple hack could since it it has drive-by-wire controls. With essentially no security. Nobody tracks little boats except in a few very congested waterways.

Comment Re:There's an easy solution to this problem...True (Score 1) 213

It won't take a lot of people doing it - just one or two - to clobber a nascent technology. Security is going to be a big issue for autonomous vehicles. Not so much concerning 'terrorist' activities, but much more mundane things: theft, delivering drugs or other interesting packages and a host of other felonies and misdemeanors.

Comment Re:What else would the FBI (Score 5, Interesting) 84

Never let a crisis go to waste.

Of course the FBI is going to order stuff they think is useful. And they're going to cover it in the usual law and order gloss. Not that I think stingrays are the best way to spend money, but one does assume that organized crime is also going to look at the chaos triggered by the hurricane in order to do more of whatever it is that they usually do. Therefore the FBI needs to be prepared.

And the will likely use cell phones. Hence the stingrays.

If you look closer, you will undoubtedly find that every Federal agency used Katrina as an excuse to order all sorts of useful toys.

Comment Re:Backup camera (Score 1) 417

You can get the bits for a backup camera for about $50 on Amazon or ebay. Wireless transmitters make it so you don't even have to snake cable. You can even customize it so you get multiple cameras!

If you're electronically declined, I'm sure that there are car stereo installers who do this. It's so trivial it's not funny.

A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you. -- Ramsey Clark

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