Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:This is a silly article (Score 1) 225

by HBI (#49338001) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

There are nuclear equivalents to most conventional weapons - Tomahawk missiles had a nuclear payload designed for them, for instance. Bolting on a nuclear warhead onto most weapons isn't impossible. Of course, the issue is - who is going to use them and risk escalation?

The answer, in general, is no one. There is a line there, and once crossed, it opens up the use of even half megaton strategic assets. Or a FOBS.

Comment: This is a silly article (Score 4, Insightful) 225

by HBI (#49337083) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

Only in the eyes of an ivory tower theoretical type could the tripwire of nuclear weapons first use be "eased" by "low yield". No matter how low the yield, the secondary effects of the nuclear weapon remain the same. It remains a WMD. If someone lobs a "low yield" nuke at you, do you think you're going to blink an eye before using your own arsenal? The whole premise is silly.

Nuclear disarmament is a fool's errand. The deterrent effect of a nuclear arsenal cannot easily be understated. All nations would aspire to it, if it were possible. They aren't going away, and reducing the arsenal below a certain point may actually be more destabilizing than maintaining more warheads. (see below)

The construction of newer weapons has no impact on the equation, except on the counterforce mission. It might make it easier to destroy your opponent's arsenal, but you still retain the SSBN problem, meaning that in practical terms there is no difference. But newer anti-missile technologies have a similar but greater destabilizing effect on deterrence, as they CAN shoot down the SSBN-based missiles.

tl;dr - article is a bunch of pointless hot air

Comment: Re:May you choke on your own words (Score 1) 309

by HBI (#49329689) Attached to: First Lawsuits Challenging FCC's New Net Neutrality Rules Arrive

What is money except a measure of economic value? What is capital except a measure of society's perceived value in making a task possible? If you have to force people to do something via the application of the government's power of life and death, it probably isn't worth doing. Moonshots don't escape this logic.

I happen to think that space exploration is cool, but wtf, I don't want the letdown of going to the moon and then never going back. And I can't come up with a economically defensible reason to go back, despite the pleasure I take in the actual act of doing so.

You can wave around your Ayn Rand bullshit all you want, but you can't come up with one, either.

Comment: Re:May you choke on your own words (Score 1) 309

by HBI (#49328767) Attached to: First Lawsuits Challenging FCC's New Net Neutrality Rules Arrive

If it wasn't worth going back in all this time, it wasn't worth going in the first place. In the end, it was just propaganda in the race to destabilize the Soviet Union.

If private industry had done it, they would have waited until there was some economic reason to go there, like 3He. Sure, it would have happened later, but at least we'd get some kind of direct benefit from it, instead of a bunch of museum pieces that no one remembers how to reconstruct, and Tang.

I'm sure prison inmates appreciate their Tang, of course.

Comment: It's not ignorance. It's stupidity. (Score 4, Interesting) 224

by HBI (#49328459) Attached to: $1B TSA Behavioral Screening Program Slammed As "Junk Science"

Let's just call it like it is. People are dumb. The monumental stupid that is around me just boggles the mind. I'll relate an example. My local HOA over the last two weeks had a Facebook board post frenzy about a guy who is wandering through the neighborhood rifling through people's unlocked cars. He (or they) leave the unlocked cars alone. Yet the people refuse to lock their car doors. Last Friday, one person's car was stolen, a BMW SUV with the keys in the car, doors open, left unattended and started to warm up on a 45 degree F day. (no warming required, really, for those who can't picture this) There's even a state law against doing just that. There's someone wandering around pillaging unlocked cars, and you leave your car started in front of your house? These people are allowed to vote and participate in society.

Anyway, this level of stupid is one thing. The levels of stupid I see a couple towns over where people get their drugs are...stunning. Imagine CL ads where they list their phone numbers and "420 friendly" or "I'm holding" in the ad?

Politicians know this is their constituency and they play to it. How do you think that dumb hopey changey shit worked? Very stupid people voting.

Comment: Re:May you choke on your own words (Score 0) 309

by HBI (#49328129) Attached to: First Lawsuits Challenging FCC's New Net Neutrality Rules Arrive

I could engage in a point by point takedown - for instance, the railroads are a success story?!? The government damn near killed the railroads and certainly killed the passenger segment. That said, it's not a productive use of time to do that.

The most important thing I can say is that government regulatory apparatus, applied to an industry, can only achieve a neutral result at best, freezing a state of affairs in place. It won't improve anything. Over time, as regulatory capture sets in, or the facts on the ground change, the net effect will be negative.

In practical terms, I expect Americans to be paying more for their internet in 20 years as a percentage of personal income than they do now. Probably a lot more.

Comment: Re:It has an acronym , so it will fail. (Score 1, Insightful) 149

by HBI (#49320515) Attached to: Obama To Announce $240M In New Pledges For STEM Education

I agree. Endless educational financing is already available. I don't see where this changes anything for anyone. This does very little to put us on a footing for a post-scarcity society. And we are assuredly on that path right now, whether the political leadership is on board or not.

I am very concerned about civil unrest in the near future if we don't find things for all the idle hands to do.

Comment: Re:Manning, traitor. Snowden, patriot (Score 1) 336

by HBI (#49308949) Attached to: German Vice Chancellor: the US Threatened Us Over Snowden

By definition, you are at risk when you trust people. Information that can't be disseminated is not useful. Printers, optical disc writers, and usb sticks are "dissemination". Striking a balance between trust and paranoia, particularly in a theater where actual combat is going on, usually veers towards trust.

The rules for handling classified data when I was in Iraq were much looser than those applied back home. I think this is a common feature of all active theaters since we have had information classification rules. It increased the harm generated by Manning's breach, but I don't think it's really avoidable.

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.