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Comment: Re:The Navy sucks at negotiating (Score 1) 38

by fnj (#48673557) Attached to: US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier For One Penny

But why isn't the Navy doing this themselves? Surely they have the manpower & capability and there must be huge sections that can easily be re-used.

Hah! The Navy has no manpower any more; certainly not for construction and demolition. The Navy doesn't build aircraft carriers; why should they dismantle them? Everything that is done except direct warfighting and readiness for warfighting is farmed out.

On August 14 1945, the Navy had in active service 23 battleships, 28 fleet carriers, 71 escort carriers, 72 cruisers, 377 destroyers, 361 frigates, and 232 subs: a total of 6786 ships, including auxiliaries. The total personnel strength was 3.4 million. Uniformed personnel cooked the meals, drove the trucks, loaded ammunition and fueled the ships, etc.

On September 30 2006, the Navy had 0 battleships, 12 carriers, 27 cruisers, 54 destroyers, 35 frigates, and 74 subs: a total of 318 ships including auxiliaries. The total personnel strength was 0.35 million. Meals, truck driving, loading and fueling, etc, are all performed by hired service companies - just like for the Army and doubtless the Air Force (not entirely sure about the Marines, but probably them too).

The size has shrunk considerably since 2006. This despite having twice the national population to draw upon. The Navy can barely man its ships, let alone sparing "manpower" for non-essential tasks. And just like the merchant marine, knowledge, specialties, and capabilities have been cut way back. There are no more hundreds of sailors manning the engine rooms in large ships. The engines are automated.

Comment: Re: Lazy farmer (Score 1) 99

by CrimsonAvenger (#48673497) Attached to: Scientists Say the Future Looks Bleak For Our Bones

Presumably, it was enough of a selective factor among mastodon hunters that they tended to breed people tough enough to be stepped on by a mastodon and live to tell the tale?

Thought not.

Not enough people get into auto accidents, much less die of them, to have much impact on whatever traits are being selected for via natural selection.

Comment: Re:Hypocrites (Score 1) 435

by shutdown -p now (#48673099) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

And the proof or evidence that this will happen is where?

In the fact that it happened in every other communist country to date that has underwent a similar process.

Are we so naive that we trust their government and corrupt to do what we think they should for the good of the people?

No, but I trust their government to be pragmatic. It's easier to rule over fed people than it is to rule over hungry people. And when there's a fresh new revenue stream, and not even crumbs from it get to the people, the latter get restless, and restlessness leads to riots. Any smart and successful dictator knows that. Judging by how long the Castros have been going, they're not deficient on both counts. So yes, they will share. Not much, perhaps, but even a little helps.

All of Europe has been in free trade with Cuba. By your logic, if it were to really help, it would already have.

And it did help, of course. If everyone would embargo Cuba, it would be as much of a shithole as DPRK is. But it's not.

Comment: Re:power (Score 1) 27

by drinkypoo (#48672877) Attached to: DARPA Wants Help Building a Drone That Flies Like a Hawk

I'm sure that it will use a lookup table, but it's also going to have to build those tables dynamically because due to the nature of mechanical devices. 1) no two are identical and 2) they wear while in use, especially while running near the edge of materials technology, further exacerbating point #1. You really do need a learning control system if you're not in a perfect world, or doing something hilariously easy — which this isn't.

Comment: Re:Dem haxxorz dey be haxxin. (Score 1) 124

by AmiMoJo (#48672707) Attached to: North Korean Defector Spills Details On the Country's Elite Hacking Force

Well, someone did DDOS their entire country offline, taking down their official news outlets etc, so apparently they do need some kind of cyber security force.

In fact they do have an internal network, used by universities and companies, and a 3G mobile network. There is something to defend.

Comment: What do you get the agency that has everything? (Score 1) 27

by Dr. Spork (#48672337) Attached to: DARPA Wants Help Building a Drone That Flies Like a Hawk
Maybe it's the season, but doesn't this sound like like a bunch of overindulged, adult children in uniforms, sitting around a table trying to figure out what toys they don't yet have, which might be fun to play with? Like, they're so bored with quadcopters now, they want a fucking hawk. Because fuck yeah, hawk. Taxpayers should buy them a mechanical hawk.

Comment: Re: not original (Score 1) 182

by drinkypoo (#48672249) Attached to: Uber Pushing For Patent On Surge Pricing

One thing about your earlier example is that generators are not normally a necessity.

Unfortunately, even the furnace won't function in most places without power, so electricity is a necessity. Most of our equipment is very poorly thought-out like this. When I installed a replacement on-demand water heater in this house, I could get the same model with different suffixes corresponding to three different ignition systems: a plug-in, on-demand spark ignition; a dynamo-based, on-demand spark ignition; or a tradtional pilot, with a piezo igniter. I chose the piezo igniter because I know I live in the boonies and the power can go off here, and I still want to have hot water if that happens. Of course, having flow takes a generator, but it doesn't take a whole-house generator and the pump house is significantly distant from the house.

Comment: Re: not original (Score 1) 182

by drinkypoo (#48671941) Attached to: Uber Pushing For Patent On Surge Pricing

Plus, how do you codify a house able to withstand a high tide 12 feet above normal?

You don't. You just expect it to be washed away, and you don't expect help. And anyone who expects to be able to depend on you in situations with heavy weather is a tool who deserves to fail. We keep propping up idiots and we wonder why the world keeps looking more and more like Idiocracy. Nobody but farmers should be living on a flood plain, and we should be farming it. Nothing but disposable (and once fallen, biodegradable) summer homes should be built on the beach. No flammable structures should be built in wildfire zones. No fragile structures in common quake zones. Yet we still have all of that. Yes, even that last one, California is still building shit-shacks made of nothing. They might not fall down in a quake, but they will slop themselves apart, and they're highly flammable even though this is wildfire country.

In short, we are not even using the most basic common sense when siting and building. It's all for profit, and there is no sense to the system whatsoever. In fact, people who try to do the right thing are usually hampered so as to continue to produce more business for the system, ye olde broken window fallacy in action.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get empirical." -- Jon Carroll