Forgot your password?

Comment: Compare and Contrast (Score 0) 132

Affordable Care Act vs F-35 Lightning

Program cost increases and delays Some selected examples.

On 21 April 2009, media reports, citing Pentagon sources, said that during 2007 and 2008, spies downloaded several terabytes of data related to the F-35's design and electronics systems, potentially compromising the aircraft and aiding the development of defense systems against it. Lockheed Martin rejected suggestions that the project was compromised, stating it "does not believe any classified information had been stolen". Other sources suggested that the incident caused both hardware and software redesigns to be more resistant to cyber attack. In March 2012, BAE Systems was reported to be the target of cyber espionage. BAE Systems refused to comment on the report, although they did state, "[Our] own cyber security capability can detect, prevent and rectify such attacks."


On 21 August 2013 C-Span reported that Congressional Quarterly and the Government Accountability Office were indicating the "total estimated program cost now is $400b—nearly twice the initial cost". The current investment was documented as approximately $50 billion. The projected $316 billion cost in development and procurement spending was estimated through 2037 at an average of $12.6 billion per year. These were confirmed by Steve O'Bryan, Vice President of Lockheed Martin on the same date.

In 2013 a RAND study found that during development the three different versions had drifted so far apart from each other that having a single base design might now be more expensive than if the three services had simply built entirely different aircraft tailored to their own requirements.

In 2014, U.S. Senator John McCain blamed cost increases in the program on "cronyism".

Concerns over performance and safety The very last item is the best.

In 2006, the F-35 was downgraded from "very low observable" to "low observable", a change former RAAF flight test engineer Peter Goon likened to increasing the radar cross-section from a marble to a beach ball. A Parliamentary Inquiry asked what was the re-categorization of the terminology in the United States such that the rating was changed from "very low observable" to "low observable". The Department of Defence said that the change in categorization by the U.S. was due to a revision in procedures for discussing stealth platforms in a public document. Decision to re-categorize in the public domain has now been reversed; subsequent publicly released material has categorized the JSF as very low observable (VLO).


In September 2008, in reference to the original plan to fit the F-35 with only two air-to-air missiles (internally), Major Richard Koch, chief of USAF Air Combat Command’s advanced air dominance branch is reported to have said that "I wake up in a cold sweat at the thought of the F-35 going in with only two air-dominance weapons." The Norwegians have been briefed on a plan to equip the F-35 with six AIM-120D missiles by 2019. Former RAND author John Stillion has written of the F-35A's air-to-air combat performance that it "can't turn, can't climb, can't run"; Lockheed Martin test pilot Jon Beesley has stated that in an air-to-air configuration the F-35 has almost as much thrust as weight and a flight control system that allows it to be fully maneuverable even at a 50-degree angle of attack. Consultant to Lockheed Martin Loren B. Thompson has said that the "electronic edge F-35 enjoys over every other tactical aircraft in the world may prove to be more important in future missions than maneuverability".


U.S. defense specialist Winslow T. Wheeler and aircraft designer Pierre Sprey have commented of the F-35 being "heavy and sluggish" and possessing "pitifully small load for all that money", further criticizing the value for money of the stealth measures as well as lacking fire safety measures; his final conclusion was that any air force would be better off maintaining its fleets of F-16s and F/A-18s compared to buying into the F-35 program. A senior U.S. defense official was quoted as saying that the F-35 will be "the most stealthy, sophisticated and lethal tactical fighter in the sky," and added "Quite simply, the F-15 will be no match for the F-35." After piloting the aircraft, RAF Squadron Leader Steve Long said that, over its existing aircraft, the F-35 will give "the RAF and Navy a quantum leap in airborne capability."

In 2011, Canadian politicians raised the issue of the safety of the F-35's reliance on a single engine (as opposed to a twin-engine configuration, which provides a backup in case of an engine failure). Canada, and other operators, had previous experience with a high-accident rate with the single-engine Lockheed CF-104 Starfighter with many accidents related to engine failures. Defence Minister Peter MacKay, when asked what would happen if the F-35's single engine fails in the Far North, stated "It won’t".


A 2014 Pentagon report found these additional problems:

- Only a third of the fleet is airworthy.

- The Inertial navigation system does not work.

- There is an unknown bug with the AMRAAM.

- DAS confuses the aircraft's own flare launches with incoming missiles.

- A single well-placed bullet can render the F-35B's vertical landing capabilities useless

So, with the exception of Senator McCain, where is all the Republican howling about spending failures in Big Government programs? Search for "Issa F-35 fighter" on the internet and find nothing...

Comment: Re:Just like Texas (Score 1) 236

by Required Snark (#47951847) Attached to: Putin To Discuss Plans For Disconnecting Russia From the Internet
Given a choice between having Russia cut off the internet and the Republic of Texas doing the same thing, I wouldn't have much trouble saying that Texas should go.

For some of us, both seem to be places where demagogs whip up political frenzy to manipulate the masses, mindless violence becomes normal (hello open carry), citizens loose their rights (reproductive rights, for one) and oligarchs warp the system to grab even more power and money (home of the Bushes). Then there's the macho culture, cult of alcohol and fusing of church and state.

Until I wrote this I had no inkling just how much Russia and Texas had in common. Thanks, Slashdot!

Comment: Which is worse: Russia or Bezos (Score 4, Insightful) 19

by Required Snark (#47934129) Attached to: ULA and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Announce Rocket Engine Partnership
So Jeff Bezos, aspiring monopolist, holder of the infamous one click patent, wants to replace Russia as the engine manufacturer for the ULA. Somehow that is so appropriate.

ULA has been a major player in trying to keep US heavy launch platforms dependent on Russian RD-180 engines by any means possible. Their employees in Congress, Representatives Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) have sent a letter to NASA "demanding that the agency investigate what they call 'an epidemic of anomalies' with SpaceX missions".

These three red, white and blue Republicans, defenders of American Freedom, critics of government interference in the market place, gung-ho capitalists, have ULA facilities in their districts. So what would be more natural then their trying to squash competition, make the US vulnerable to foreign pressure, and degrade US excellence in aerospace technology. They would never place campaign contributions and the narrow interests of their constituents ahead of the interests of the USA, would they?

So if Blue Origin and ULA prevail, do you think that Bezos would threaten to deny access to orbit if there were legislation that would negatively impact Amazon's business model or tax breaks? He already seems so in tune with the current ULA congressional caucus.

Comment: Re: they will defeat themselves (Score 1) 949

by Required Snark (#47931355) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
So you think this is different then the Christian Republican right trying to suppress the teaching of evolution? Or pretty much the entire Republican party denying climate change? Or all the science illiterate parents who decided that their precious baby isn't going to risk those evil vaccines?

So before you go around using a goat herd as a representative of all Arabs, take a look around. We are actively supporting a lot of extremely stupid thinking right here in the US, much of it under the guise of religious freedom or free speech.

Do we have more to fear from ISIL (note: ISIS does not stand for any organization; it's the stupid press pandering to the stupid public), or are we more at risk from the Koch family deliberately interfering with addressing global warming? ISIL can do a lot of bad things, including attacking in Europe or the US, but they can't really do anything to destroy the West. The Koch brothers/Republican Party and global climate change; that is a real concern, and it could conceivably end western civilization.

Comment: OMG, THE TERRORISTS WILL WIN!!!!!! (Score 3, Funny) 73

by Required Snark (#47900973) Attached to: NSA Metadata Collection Gets 90-Day Extension
It's critical that the constitution of the US remain invalid for another 90 days because if the NSA doesn't have their anal probes in the asses of every person in the world then

the terrorist will win and Osama Bin Laden will return from the grave and institute Sharia law and take away our bacon cheese burgers and beer and NFL/NBA/MLB and get rid of all the booze like prohibition and make everyone bow to Mecca five times a day and keep girls from walking around in shorts because you know THEY HATE OUR FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment: What they actually accomplished (Score 3, Informative) 113

by Required Snark (#47892111) Attached to: Liquid Sponges Extract Hydrogen From Water
This is from the Science article summery.

The electrolysis of water using renewable energy inputs is being actively pursued as a route to sustainable hydrogen production. Here we introduce a recyclable redox mediator (silicotungstic acid) that enables the coupling of low-pressure production of oxygen via water oxidation to a separate, catalytic hydrogen production step outside the electrolyzer that requires no post-electrolysis energy input. This approach sidesteps the production of high-pressure gases inside the electrolytic cell (a major cause of membrane degradation) and essentially eliminates the hazardous issue of product gas crossover at the low current densities that characterize renewables-driven water-splitting devices. We demonstrated that a platinum-catalyzed system can produce pure hydrogen over 30 times faster than state-of-the-art proton exchange membrane electrolyzers at equivalent platinum loading.

Or in even simpler terms

Photosynthesis splits water to provide protons and electrons for plant growth; oxygen is a by-product. When chemists split water, they're also more interested in making fuel, and the simplest product is hydrogen (a combination of protons and electrons). One challenge is keeping the reactive hydrogen and oxygen product streams separate. Rausch et al. present a scheme that captures the protons and electrons in a molecular cluster of silico-tungstic acid. Later, they expose the cluster to platinum, coaxing the acid into releasing hydrogen. Eliminating the mixing risk increases the potential for household use.

Note that platinum is still required, but it works 30 times more efficiently. Also the pressure needed is much lower.

Comment: Re:What the fuck is this submission even about? (Score 0) 8

by Required Snark (#47887183) Attached to: Two Bit Circus is 'a Big Band of Nerds' (Video)
Oooooooh, something you don't know about on Slashdot. Scary scary. CRAFTED, Two Bit Circus. Obviously Beneath Your High Standards. Wouldn't it be horrible if you were reading something on Slashdot and actually learned about something new? Much better to only read posts about things that you are completely comfortable with, since you already know everything you will ever need to learn.

Ick ick ick. Clicking on a link to find out what's going on. Too complicated and confusing. Better to keep sucking on that thumb so at least one hand will stay where it is safe. Here's a suggestion. Suck on one thumb, jam the other up your ass. Then both hands will stay safe and you will know where they are. Just remember to not swap up the the thumb assignments. Or not, if that makes you happy.

Comment: Re:Where are the HD photos of the excavation site? (Score 3, Informative) 92

by Required Snark (#47878443) Attached to: Who Is Buried In the Largest Tomb Ever Found In Northern Greece?
The big reveal images have already been negotiated with some major media outlet. Nat Geo, NBC, CBS, ABC, or BBC, and similar outfits in other languages.

Archeological research can get a boost from media coverage just like any other endeavor. Do you really expect that they're going to let the first bozo with a camera let all that hype potential go to waste? Expect press conferences and specials on TV. For example, this could be a great fundraiser for PBS.

Wake up, it's the 21st century. Publicity is golden, no one in their right mind lets an opportunity like this fizzle out.

Comment: Racial Profiling Much? (Score 2) 142

by Required Snark (#47856089) Attached to: Private Police Intelligence Network Shares Data and Targets Cash
Guess what racial/ethnic backgrounds the cops/self professed thugs have vs. the people they steal from? It's an easy question to answer. Case in point

Nevada county settles suits on I-80 cash seizures Tan Nguyen of Newport and Michael Lee of Denver said in lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Reno they were stopped last year on Interstate 80 near Winnemucca about 165 miles east of Reno under the pretext of speeding. They said they were subjected to illegal searches and told they wouldn’t be released with their vehicles unless they forfeited their cash.

The suits accused the same veteran deputy, Lee Dove, of taking a briefcase full of $50,000 in cash from Nguyen after stopping him for exceeding the speed limit by 3 mph in September, and seizing $13,800 and a handgun from Lee during a similar stop in December.

... Nguyen was given a written warning for speeding but wasn’t cited. As a condition of release, he signed a “property for safekeeping receipt,” which indicated the money was abandoned or seized and not returnable. But the lawsuit says he did so only because Dove threatened to seize his vehicle unless he “got in his car and drove off and forgot this ever happened.”

The day after Nguyen had his money taken, the sheriff issued a news release with a photograph of Dove pictured with a K-9 and $50,000 in seized cash “after a traffic stop for speeding.”

“This cash would have been used to purchase illegal drugs and now will benefit Humboldt County with training and equipment. Great job,” the statement said.

If you look at the information about the seizures it would be immediately obvious that the targets don't look like your stereotypical redneck sheriff. Surprise, surprise.

Want to smuggle anything? Look like a good old boy and have a NRA sticker on your car. For bonus points add some Tea Party crap. The cops will give you a thumbs up and send you on your way.

Comment: Re:Impact of foreigners on the education of Americ (Score 1) 161

by Required Snark (#47842465) Attached to: Getting Into College the Old Fashioned Way: With Money
Similar story outside of academia.

I have a friend who is a registered nurse and evaluates complaints about healthcare delivery. He has to write technical reports that refer to medical terminology and procedures. He is a native born US English speaker and writes well, and takes pride in his ability to communicate complex situations that can have important ramifications. For example, hospitals could loose accreditation or doctors could loose their licenses based on his reports.

His boss is a native speaking Chinese woman. She cannot write proper English sentences. She micromanages and rewrites his reports and turns his careful prose into hard to understand crap. She has a master's degree. She makes him less productive and degrades the quality of his work. Upper management loves her, and she get's paid more then he does. They like the fact that she is always finding fault, because it means that somehow they are the untrustworthy people who do the actual work.

So much for the myth of high quality US business practice.

Comment: Metapost (Score 2) 729

Metapost is a part of Knuth's TeX suite of languages. It is a graphic language that emits Postscript and supports spline line drawing. It was derived from Metafont, the font generation language for TeX.

First, Metapost is implemented as a macro language, so it is similar to C shell languages in the way it is evaluated. The symbols x, y, and z are predefined macros. For a location x the construct 3x is three times x. There are built in lengths, so 2cm and 1in are lengths. You can extend the language by defining you own macros for prefix or uinary and binary operations, which is the way that many of the operators are implemented.

The if and loop syntax

if boolean1 : expr1; else: expr2; elseif boolean2: expr3; fi

for i=1 step t until n: statement; statement; endfor

There are four levels of precedence. This is why multiplication by a constant can be expressed by putting a number in front of a value.

These are just some of the syntax features. The data types include splines, transforms, colors and numeric pairs for points. Built in operations can find points where two curves intersect and sub-curve sections between intersections.

It's fun in a strange fashion, and you can make some interesting geometrical pictures.

The devil finds work for idle circuits to do.