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Comment: Oh, Sure (Score 1) 173 173

If they'd been a little less bitches, they could be like Dubai right now and dipping their balls in gold, regularly. Them and Iraq both. And yes, everyone in the world pretty much has been fucking with them for... well... ever, really. But there's a way to win against everyone in the world, and being stinky little bitches isn't it. But, you know, whatever makes them happy, I suppose.

Comment: Re:War is Boring is shit (Score 1) 685 685

So you'd like to see the F-35 trying to mow down Ruskie tank columns trying to break through the Fulda Gap after air superiority had been achieved? That was the environment that the A-10 was designed to handle. The A-10 was designed to be a flying tank because it was meant to fly low and take enemy AA fire. Its air defense capabilities are really only useful against attack helicopters.

The F-35 can't take the beating that an A-10 would shrug off but it's unlikely to receive such a beating. In an anti-armor role the F-35 isn't going to do low and slow strafing runs with its guns and doesn't need keep its boresight on target to hit with its air-to-ground missiles. In the CAS role the F-35 has a much longer range, higher speed, and longer loiter time than the A-10. It can deliver precision guided munitions much faster than the A-10 and then scamper off to the next target.

The F-35 is also capable of carrying more combat payload than the A-10. It can carry more munitions faster and farther than the A-10, all with low observability (depending on payload configuration obviously). When it returns from a CAS or strike mission it can also re-arm and fly CAP.

The A-10 is a nice plane and obviously very survivable. Its replacement however does not need to have all of the exact same characteristics to perform the same tasks.

Comment: Ah That's Good Shit (Score 3, Interesting) 54 54

The first computer I bought for myself was a Vector II graphics machine. It was an odd beast -- integrated computer/video, MFM 10 MB hard drive, some number of kilobytes of RAM, I forget exactly, and most oddly a dual processor machine. It had both an 8086 and a Z80 chip in it and could use either one or the other to run DOS (I want to say 2.0) or CP/M. Mine came installed with CP/M. This was in the early 90's, just before the 286 really started to catch on.

For my hardware class, I brought it in, took it apart and handed the chips around the class. At the end, I reassembled the whole thing and booted it back up. Fun little presentation. That old hardware could really stand up to a lot of abuse.

Comment: Re:Big giant scam ... (Score 1) 685 685

I distinctly remember it being promised that the F-35 would beat anything but an F-22 in air-to-air combat, at a fraction of the price. It was not part of the original concept for the system but it was definitely sold politically as being capable of acting as a poor man's F22.

I wonder about the helmet mounted display, whether that's something you'd consider absolutely necessary in an aircraft whose job is to hit surface targets in contested airspace.

Comment: Re:Big giant scam ... (Score 1) 685 685

As a supposed air-superiority platform, this is an utter failure.

To be fair, that was not the original justification for the thing. That was mission creep.

I think the original impetus was to have something stealthy that could do ground strikes in enemy territory. And it makes sense to do a naval version of the same thing. If they'd just focused on that they'd have been done a long time ago with a solid design, which of course in engineering nearly always turns out to be more versatile than you planned for. Adding STOVL and the whizbang helmet (cool as that may be) as necessary elements of the system turned this into an "everything for everyone" project, which almost always turns out less versatile than you hoped.

Comment: Re:Dogfights?! What year is it?! (Score 1) 685 685

Sure you can identify scenarios where the A-10 is useless. But in the last twenty years it's been extremely useful in a number scenarios we've actually faced.

The idea that a system ought to play every role in every conceivable situation is why the F35 performs none of them very well. In hindsight the idea of accommodating the Marines' need for a STOVL aircraft in the same basic design probably dictated too many compromises in the plane's other roles.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 685 685

Yes, the main problem with the modern attack aircraft is that no one wants to buy a light bomber, even though that is what they need.

The F-35 has lousy payload for a light bomber, especially when stealthy and supercruising (nothing mounted on the external hardpoints). The alternatives are about equally crappy, except for the F-22 which is completely hopeless. At least the F-22 has a role where it is supposedly good, when it isn't busy killing its pilot.

Comment: Re:Does Uber need executives in France? (Score 1) 311 311

Interestingly, France has a heavily unionized workforce

Rubbish. France has one of the least unionised workforces among industrialised countries, even lower that the US.

(France, 2012 7.7% USA, 2012, 11.1%)

Source: https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=UN_DEN

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 4, Interesting) 685 685

Drone pilots don't seem to have much of a conscience either. They are far removed from the action, the consequences, less involved.

Drone pilots suffer at least as much from PTSD as regular pilots. However, their work environment is tailored to ensure that their kill performance is excellent. If a pilot who is in a plane does not take a shot, it seems to be considered more of a judgement call based on what they saw, whereas if a drone pilot fails to take a shot, all the video evidence is there to go through in the debriefing. Those who fail to perform or who want to leave the assignment are threatened with dishonourable discharge.

Do not judge them as people without conscience. They are victims too.

+ - Apple DID conspire to inflate ebook prices, must pay $450 million->

Mark Wilson writes: On the same day that Apple Music launched, Apple received some bad news from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In a 2 to 1 vote, judges ruled that the company did conspire with publishers to inflate the prices of ebooks sold through iBookstore, agreeing with a 2013 ruling.

The judges found that Apple had violated federal antitrust law in coming to arrangements with five publishers, resulting in book prices jumping from $9.99 to between $12.99 and $14.99. Two years ago US District Judge Denise Cote said that Apple was "central" to a price-fixing conspiracy. The ruling having been upheld today, Apple will now have to pay $450 million.

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