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Comment: Stability is needed (Score 1) 267

by Jeremy Erwin (#47691417) Attached to: Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

The programmers need to design a digital Bretton Woods system and enforce a stable exchange rate. For instance, the value of one eMark could be pegged at one five hundredth of a bitcoin, and the various central banks would be obligated to buy and sell bitcoins and emarks at that rate. That way, a miner wouldn't have to worry about backing the wrong computations.

Comment: Re:What. The. Fuck. (Score 3, Informative) 254

Guess the poor guy didn't know about having to send his bribes in to stay in the Great Leader's good graces.

That would be how it works in Russia, but in the United States, polluters can't (and shouldn't be able to) bribe themselves out of jail.

Comment: Re:Bragging vs secrecy. (Score 1) 275

by Jeremy Erwin (#47632257) Attached to: Long-Wave Radar Can Take the Stealth From Stealth Technology

From Aviation Week

It wasn’t hard for the Russians to assess the JSF’s stealth performance. By 1995, everyone knew that shape was the major driver of RCS, with materials being used to control local scattering phenomena. As the JSF’s target service entry date arrived, so did the Russian answer, and it was on display at the MAKS air show, held in Moscow in August.

The 55Zh6ME radar complex addresses many of the limitations of the old VHF radars. Although you see three radars—stepping down from VHF (metric) to L-band (decametric) and S-band (centimetric)—the Russians call them modules of an integrated radar system. Each unit is fitted with the Orientir satellite-navigation system, which provides a very accurate location and north reference. That should make it possible to provide sensor fusion—ensuring that when two or more of the radar units detect a target, it will show up as one in the control center.

The VHF part of the system (see photo) has a P-14-sized, 30-meter-wide antenna, but it folds onto an 8 x 8 truck. The antenna has an active, electronically scanned array, so if it gets a hit on a faint target, the array can dwell on it as the antenna rotates (or swings back and forth for a sector search). At the same time, it will cue its L-band and S-band sisters to focus on the target area like searchlight beams.
Some commentators will look at the Russian brochures, note that the reference ranges are against targets with an RCS of one square meter and observe that stealth aircraft have a far smaller RCS, which they do—in centimetric bands. Giving what was probably the least provocative answer under the circumstances, a Russian engineer notes that the Chinese DF-15 short-range ballistic missile has a 0.002 m2 RCS in X-band, but is a very non-stealthy 0.6 m2 in VHF.

Two exhibitors at MAKS were showing passive RF tracking systems. They are intended to exploit active emissions from the target but do not discriminate. Scattered energy from a radar will work just as well. The U.S. Air Force does have a modern facility for testing such bistatic radar signatures, but it was commissioned after the JSF was designed.

Of course, this sort of analysis relies on unclassified data. As the author himself states.

There may be a universe where it is smart to give your adversaries (or their armorer) 25 years’ notice of exactly how you plan to render their defenses obsolete. We just don’t live there.

instead, we live in a world where one must have faith that a trillion dollar weapons program has been designed correctly. How comforting.

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 2) 142

by Jeremy Erwin (#47600455) Attached to: Extracting Audio From Visual Information

From Top Secret America: the rise of the surveilance state

As important to a man's self image as the power of his car's engine or his motorcycle's rumble, SCIF size had become a symbol of status. "In DC, everyone talks SCIF, SCIF, SCIF," said Bruce Paquin, owner of a construction company that builds SCIFs for the government and private corporations. "They've got the penis envy thing going. You can't be a big boy unless you're a three letter agency and you have a big SCIF.

(A SCIF is a room that has been certified to be impenetrable to various types of surveillance techniques.)

Comment: Re:Dark? (Score 1) 119

by Jeremy Erwin (#47566431) Attached to: The Milky Way Is Much Less Massive Than Previous Thought

but how could they possible determine how much mass in each galaxy wouldn't be seen by using light within the bounds of the visible spectrum?

Such "dark matter" would show up on Xrays infrared or radio, so that's not a problem. If, however, the "dark matter" does not interact with electromagnetism, but only with gravity and the weak force, (which would be an extremely odd, and frankly, a not very believable aspect of cosmology) things would get a bit tricky.

Comment: Re:No Advertising does not power the Internet. (Score -1, Offtopic) 418

by Jeremy Erwin (#47491463) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

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White dwarf seeks red giant for binary relationship.