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Comment Re:watch the test conditions carefully (Score 1) 423

A new day has dawned. The F-35 will obviously require different tactics, but those tactics are the reason it was developed. We no longer need to wipe out a dozen tanks, these days we need to kill a civilian truck without hurting the kids in the car next to it. NATO vs Warsaw is a bygone era and good riddance!

I'm not saying the A-10 is inferior at close air support but a fair contest could show a surprising strength for the F-35. A Fair contest that doesn't involve winning a large battle.

It's a new day, and with MOABs dropped from 50,000 feet, swarms of drones, and tactics that no longer lend themselves to capturing territory and destroying infrastructure willy-nilly (And good riddance!) new tools are needed. When we do need an area destroyed a single bomb is faster and cheaper than a thousand bullets.Let's not prepare for yesterday's war.

Comment science fiction (Score 5, Interesting) 34

Until NASA's real, actual use-this-money budget comes in 20 year cycles it's just science fiction. Here is a chart of NASA's budget. I'm not going to say whether it's too much or too little in this comment, that's not the point. The big problem is NASA has no idea whether sequestration and budget games, the presidential fad this decade, or party politics is going to increase, eliminate, or do weird things with their budget. Maybe they'll have money for Orion or maybe the President will do away with it with the sweep of a pen. Maybe we can send up ten shuttles a month at a low cost per shuttle. Or maybe we'll have to cut that way, way back until the cost is hard to justify. From Mars to space stations to earth science the fad of the day dictates what NASA is building this year -- and worse, where it's building it.

There have been noises in the direction of stabilizing things and NASA is a fairly popular, if misunderstood, organization. But it's not enough. We need a NASA funding omnibus bill that sets NASA funds, be they generous or miserly, and NASA plans in stone.

Comment How is a map on a wall augmented reality? (Score 1) 58

Augmented reality involves mixing real life elements with virtual, to provide context and natural information throughput. A map on a wall, however interactive, is nothing related. If they had gone into further detail I would know more... for example if it was a window out on the city and the user could point at various places and receive information, that would be AR. I'm sure the reason they didn't go into detail is that further information would reiterate the lack of reality augmentation. Stop using buzzwords outside their definitions. Stop it!

Comment Re:Talk about reinventing the wheel... (Score 1) 280

Public transport in the US is a sad, sorry state, but blaming people who drive is stupid.

  • The busses in pretty much any US city don't exist, run up to an hour late, are filthy, require up to an hour waiting just to be sure you can catch the bus, and/or are insufficient in number.
  • Regulatory capture keeps the rail industry barely alive with passenger lines several hundred miles apart in many, many places. Hell, if it weren't for war hawks supporting infrastructure in the cold war the US passenger rail system probably wouldn't even exist.
  • US cities are far apart relative to European countries. Therefore the economics are completely different. In particular it makes a lot more sense in the US to run four airplanes and a few hundred cars between two cities on a regular basis than to pay for the upkeep of such a long railroad.
  • Car ownership is a rite of passage in the US. Getting a license is one's first taste of freedom. In Japan you step outside, wait 5 minutes, a taxi will pass. In the US you have to call one and wait, and it's even more expensive. In the UK you walk two blocks to your train station. In the US? That's a laugh. In India and China cheap labor provides bicycle cabs. My point is, culturally in the US a car is just how people get around and that's okay!

To change from a car culture in the US to use of public transportation would cost many billions of dollars, a major shift in values, and reducing or eliminating the influence of lobbyists. So sure, blame me as a driver. Because it's my fault that driving my 20 year old car costs half what I would pay for taxi's. Because I don't want to sit on someone's wank stain. Because taking a bus would require walking 8 blocks each way and waiting an hour and a half each time. Because the nearest railroad is on the other side of my city. Because the grocery store within walking distance costs three times as much for the same basket of goods. Yup, I don't care about any of that. The real reason I drive a car is that I want things a little warmer.

Submission + - The Status of Moore's Law: It's Complicated

Iamthecheese writes: This 2013 paper on the status of Moore's law in integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing is still highly relevant. According to the article Moore's law has slowed (from doubling every 18 to 24 months to improving by a factor of 1.6) but the exponential improvement is still there.

Various components of lithographically deposited IC's shrink at different rates, and node size is becoming a marketing term rather than a description of chip feature size. GlobalFoundries, for example, is calling their 20 nanometer chips 14 nm because improvements in capability is equivalent to that degree of improvement in circuit size.

With AMD still very much in the running, keeping Intel on their toes with some very stiff competition I, for one, can't see but continued exponential improvement in the future, with all the miracles that may entail.

Submission + - Unicode consortium looks at symbols for allergies

AmiMoJo writes: A new preliminary proposal submitted to the Unicode Consortium suggests that specific emoji for food allergies should be added to the standard. The proposal (PDF), submitted by a Google engineer, is under discussion and may not be added to the standard at all but offers a peek into some useful new emoji. It suggests the addition of peanuts, soybeans, buckwheat, sesame seeds, kiwi fruit, celery, lupin beans, mustard, tree nuts, eggs, milk products and gluten to help those with allergies express them in shorthand.

Submission + - US Department of Defense shuns open source medical records in $4.3B contract 1

dmr001 writes: The US Department of Defense opted not to use the Department of Veterans Affairs' open source popular VistA electronic health record in its project to overhaul its legacy systems, instead opting for a consortium of Cerner, Leidos and Accenture. The initial $4.3 billion implementation is expected to be the first part of a $9 billion dollar project. The Under Secretary for Acquisition stated they wanted a system with minimum modifications and interoperability with private sector systems, though much of what passes for inter-vendor operability in the marketplace is more aspirational than operable. The DoD aims to start implementation at 8 sites in the Pacific Northwest by the end of 2016, noting that "legacy systems are eating us alive in terms of support and maintenance," consuming 95% of the Military Health Systems IT budget.

Submission + - China to Impose Export Control on High Tech Drones and Supercomputers->

hackingbear writes: Following similar hi-tect export restriction policies in the U.S. (or perhaps in response to the U.S. ban on China,) China will impose export control on some drones and high performance computers starting on August 15th, according to an announcement published on Friday by China's Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs. The ban includes (official documents in Chinese) drone that can take off in wind speed exceeding 46.4km/hour or can continuously fly for over 1 hour as well as electronic components specifically designed or modified for supercomputers with speed over 8 petaflops. Companies must acquire specific permits before exporting such items. Drones and supercomputers are the two areas where China is the leader or among the top players. China is using its rapidly expanding defense budget to make impressive advances in (military) drone technology, prompting some to worry that the United States' global dominance in the market could soon be challenged. The tightening of regulations comes two weeks after an incident in disputed Kashmir in which the Pakistani army claimed to have shot down an Indian "spy drone", reportedly Chinese-made. China's 33-petaflops Tianhe-2, currently the fastest supercomputer in the world, while still using Intel Xeon processors, takes use of the home-grown interconnect, arguably the most important component of modern supercomputers.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - MORPHs Roam The Park Looking For Children To Play ->

mikejuk writes: Robots, taken at the widest interpretation of an active mechanism with some computer control, are getting cheaper all the time. This means you can start to think of using them for non-essential things like — fun and art. The MORPH — Mobile Reconfigurable Polyhedron — an octahedral robot has twelve actuated struts and moves by changing their length so as to overtopple in a determined direction. Let loose in a park a morph is free to roam around finding people to play with it. It resembles a mobile climbing frame and the idea that it might pursue small children and insist that they play with it is both amusing and spooky. Just wait until it manages to trap a small child in its actuators! See the video of it roaming a London park.
The current prototype is around 1.5 meters high and can withstand an imposed load of 30 kilograms and there are plans for a bigger version at twice the height. Now that will really be an autonomous roving climbing frame!
Let us hope it doesn't go rogue.
Just in case — I, for one, welcome our robotic climbing frame overlords...

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