Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Slashdot Deals: Prep for the CompTIA A+ certification exam. Save 95% on the CompTIA IT Certification Bundle ×

Comment Re:Great--humans getting back into space (i know I (Score 1) 51

In real life, what's going to happen is the Chinese will be the only ones strong in space exploration

Given the glacial pace and lack of ambition the Chinese have displayed so far... whatever you're smoking in order to believe this has to be illegal.

Comment Re:science fiction (Score 1) 34

To Dani's comment, I'll just add that, the day that an asteroid assay is done and proves that the thing is actually more than 1% platinum, or any other of the many proposed ways to make space economically interesting proves out, the land rush will be on.

There is no mineral or resource valuable enough that you wouldn't got broke bringing it back to Earth - even if it were stacked in neat little ingots so you wouldn't have to refine it, just open the hatch and shovel it in. None. Zip. Zero. Nada.

Comment Re:Pointless propaganda exercise (Score 1) 473

What they WON'T have is targets that are camouflaged or hard to find (like real life) because that would require loitering and slow passes.

...or satellite surveillance, reconnaissance drones, or integrated targeting from ground troops, which the F-35 is built to work with, where the A-10 has to rely on the pilot's eyesight.

But it can't carry anywhere near the payload of the A10 (nor retain it's vaunted stealthiness if it carries external stores) to deal with target after target after target.

The Warthog has 11 hardpoints and a cannon with no stealth. The F-35 has 10 hardpoints and a cannon, with reduced (but still some) stealth.

There may a single gun-specific target that the F35 can cheerfully spatter with it's 4 seconds' worth of ammunition. The A10s 30+ seconds of ammunition will not be needed.

...and it may not be needed on a battlefield anymore, either.

...the A10, it was built to fly over (and survive) the most intensive Cold-War Soviet Armor Wave attacks. Iraqi ground fire proved this time and again that the A-10 was astonishingly rugged.

That's important if you're limited to flying low and slow. If you aren't in range of ground fire, you don't need to survive it.

they'll have a "strike" by some Red Force aggressors to "prove" the A-10 can't hold it's own in air-to-air (never mind that in actual deployment, they should be being covered by...F-35s)

Or the escort could just take care of the mission on its own, rather than needing twice the logistics and equipment to run the mission.

Maybe have FIVE A-10s simultaneously completing courses while 1 F-35 has to cover them all as well?

Sure, and we'll also include the cost of five times the maintenance, five times the crew, five times the supplies, and five times the pilots put in harm's way.

Tell you what: let the ARMY design the test. Then we'll see.

The Army won't be flying the plane. The Army won't care about the real logistics of executing the mission, and the Army won't be concerned with anything other than whether the bullets go where they point. That's great for making the grunts feel comfortable, but modern wars are fought with logistics.

Comment Re:watch the test conditions carefully (Score 2) 473

some contrived anti-air defense that is somehow not good enough to defeat the F-35s rudimentary stealth but is good enough to be a credible thread to the A-10

Four Warthogs were shot down by SAMs during the first Gulf War. I'd like to think that the "rudimentary stealth" being developed today might perhaps be good enough to deal with technology from a quarter-century ago.

Comment Re:Expect major BIAS (Score 1) 473

(and doesn't accidentally kill them).

Of the very very few CAS friendly-fire incidents, the A-10 holds the high score.

Per the article, it also doesn't "flat out work", either, being too slow and short-ranged to participate in forward missions. Sure, the grunts on the ground want the the A-10, because it's what they know and love. Whenever they see the A-10, it's doing its job. When it can't do the job, though, the grunts won't see it because they're too far out of range or in too urgent of a situation for the Warthog to help. Then, all the grunts know is that they didn't get help, and clearly it must be the brass's fault, because they're in charge. Now those commanders want different planes, but the grunts have still never directly seen the A-10 fail...

Comment Re: When The Lunatics Take Over The Asylum (Score 1) 456

As other commenters have mentioned, it's not just that I get bored doing boring things. The oversimplification is that to me, every single task is some level of boring, all of the time, and that boredom is extremely uncomfortable. Having never experienced a normal brain, I can't tell whether the difference is in the perceived discomfort, or in the threshold of activity required to avoid it.

Comment Re: When The Lunatics Take Over The Asylum (Score 1) 456

What normal humans don't actually do is rapid context-switching for our primary focus. We can actually multitask very well, as the brain is highly parallelized and many of the fundamental capabilities are available for several instances at once. What we usually can't do is to understand the result of that capability.

Consider, for instance, our ability to infer trajectories. We can watch a ball being thrown and predict where it will land with a very high degree of accuracy. However, trying to predict the paths of two projectiles becomes more difficult. The usual process is to consider each projectile in sequence, devoting one's full attention to it. That's a pretty straightforward example of how bad humans are at multitasking.

However, approaching the problem from a different perspective shows a very different insight. Rather than looking for the destination of several projectiles, ask only if any of several projectiles will hit a particular target. Then the visual and spacial processing parts of the brain can run free, only bringing a few candidates to conscious attention for more thorough analysis.

This functionality is what's observed in normal humans, in the "legitimate biological research" you refer to. However, the detail to note is that brains with ADD are different. The entire reason ADD is recognized is that some folks, myself included, responded differently, consistently, to experiments conducted between 1950 to 1990. There is a clear separate cohort of brains that are different in some way, and despite your ignorance, there has been a significant amount of research trying to figure out why they're different. So far, there have been a number of physiological differences found, with the most significant being the epinephrine/norepinephrine neurotransmitter balance. That's why low doses of stimulants can help ADD patients; the underperforming transmitters function at closer-to-normal levels. There have also been some MRI-detected differences in activity patterns, and pharmacological testing can often support a ADD diagnosis with strongly-correlated test results.

In short, my analogy is "biologically false" only under the assumption that all brains work identically. That assumption has been shows to itself be false.

Comment Re: When The Lunatics Take Over The Asylum (Score 4, Informative) 456

I have ADD, and I've had it for many years.

The name is horrible. It's not that I lack the ability to pay attention, so much as I am required to pay attention to multiple things at once. To make an analogy to computers, my brain must run multithreaded. If I have to focus on a single task, a part of me is bored, and I can feel it. In a child, that frustration often leads to misbehavior, which is why the "bad parenting" myth persists.

It's worth noting that many medications function by shutting down that extra part, but often they don't relieve the discomfort. Sure, the ability to focus improves, but it doesn't make the subject any better.

I've taught myself to cope with the condition, usually entertaining myself with tactile puzzles or other fiddly bits while my more-conscious attention is watching the more important task. As I type this, for example, I have a triple-tap adapter nearby, that I periodically pick up and toss around while consciously thinking about my words. That's enough to satisfy the need to do something else. Similar techniques get me through the day at work, where I've been able to use the wide focus to me advantage, being able to troubleshoot several problems at once.

Comment Re:Veterans care (Score 1) 60

Anybody who ever served on active duty and handled classified information is just a bit hacked off at Her Majesty's cavalier attitude about, well, everything.

That's true, but comparing Hillary's sending and receiving emails that weren't marked as classified over a non-government server is absolutely NOTHING compared to Petraus' knowingly giving top secret information to someone with neither a need to know nor a security clearance. Remember Mata Hari? (I probably spelled that wrong)

Plus, his adultery is strictly against the USMJ code; people have gotten dishonorable discharges for that alone, and anyone else would have gotten time in Leavenworth for spilling secrets. Petraus got off not with a slap on the wrist, but a stern talking to.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Gimpy text and Mars

I use the Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) to design book covers. It's an excellent free open source program that has three weaknesses -- its menu structure is completely illogical (but can be gotten used to), I can't find a full spectrum palette, and its text handling is so poor as to be useless.

Comment Re:Mirrors (Score 1) 125

And it has to be a front surface mirror lest the substrate or any protective coverings or coatings absorb the laser energy and negate the point of having a mirror in the first place... I.E. the most difficult kind of mirror to keep as clean and flawless as it has to be to provide the desired protection.

"Is it really you, Fuzz, or is it Memorex, or is it radiation sickness?" -- Sonic Disruptors comics

Working...