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Comment Pointless propaganda exercise (Score 3, Interesting) 369

The Chair Force has been trying to kill the A-10 since it was born; why would ANYONE believe that this test won't be designed to play to the F-35 strengths and A-10 weaknesses?

The tests will likely be engineered carefully:
- transit speed: likely they'll have a number of targets far apart, to point to the A-10 slow top speed. 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.
- few targets: sure, the F35 can probably put 2 or 4 guided bombs in a precise 2' circle. 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.
- 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.
- Ground fire - not sure how they're going to test that, but that's a critical value of 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.
- Air to Air combat: unlikely they'll give the A-10 a couple of Sidewinders it would carry in uncertain airspace, but in any case, 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)
- Replaceability: The A10 in 2015 dollars is just under $20 million. The F35 is $100 million. Maybe have FIVE A-10s simultaneously completing courses while 1 F-35 has to cover them all as well? Yeah, ha ha ha, that's not going to happen.

This will just be a Potemkin USAF test to "prove" the F-35 is as capable as they say.

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

Comment Re:I can tell from the comments (Score 1) 375

It might sound like I'm being flippant, but I'm not: that's what you get for living on a sandbar.

My serious point is this: NOBODY, ever, (except perhaps the Egyptians and their pyramids) built cities on the basis of "what's the safest place for us to build this to withstand millennia of the cycles of climate?" This is a relevant discussion no matter where you stand on AGW; it's *ultimately* an issue to everyone, the only thing that will matter depending on your climate-change stance is the urgency.

Cities are built in places of convenience, which almost always means water nearby, often large amounts (because boats are a shitload easier to move cargo than by hand in a horse-drawn wagon) like oceans. These locations in particular are subject to the vagaries of climate.
Further, the growth of human population and concomitant urban sprawl heedless of such concerns has caused major populated areas to end up in danger zones even if the original core city wasn't (New Orleans would be a prime example: the oldest parts weren't endangered by Katrina-flooding).

So now we have massive collections of human dwellings and urban areas on city sites that were likely selected by neolithic humans THOUSANDS of years ago because of a fortuitous mix of convenience, safety, and food sources...and now we're saying "oh, wait, these city sites are vulnerable"? Seriously? Of COURSE they are.

It's just staggeringly naive or disingenuous to be surprised about this. Nothing lasts forever. if climate was going the other direction, it would be like complaining that Edmonton's going to get wiped out by glaciers - yeah, if you build a city in the distant north, eventually, that's its fate. And yes, "eventually" comes someday.

Comment CONGRATULATIONS (Score 1) 89

Delighted to hear of their success. The more parties that are up there, the more that space activities will become a pedestrian sort of thing that we need to consider in public budgets, instead of still sort of seeming to be treated like some 'luxury' item that can be cut whenever fat needs to be trimmed.

Comment Re:The Homer! (FP?) (Score 2) 412

This is what I believe is going to be the same response to the much-pushed "internet of things".
I don't want my refrigerator to talk to the fucking internet, *particularly* if it's just an effort for some marketeer to convince me that I desperately need this new service so he can monetize it.

I want:
- minimal cost to perform the functions I want
- no additional 'features' that admit additional points of failure in that basic function

Comment Re:No shit ... (Score 3, Insightful) 145

It's why the US Constitution has been so successful for so long, frankly.
The Founding Fathers presumed that everyone participating in government were scoundrels and went from there.

(I don't think they anticipated that the US public would be so apathetic for so long that they'd let the scoundrels come to mutual agreements, however....)

Comment a legal morass (Score 3, Interesting) 50

I think the entire Kickstarter thing is a legal morass that will only be settled after a great deal of arguing, posturing, and lawyers making ridiculous sums of $.

I believe - if anything - the game Star Citizen (around $90 mill KS funding) will be the trigger.
Derek Smart has rightly raised a number of awkward questions about the scope, expanse, shifting goalposts, and (lack of any) due diligence on this project. I suspect that with $90 million in the pot, enough lawyers might find it interesting to pursue on a contingency-fee basis (meaning they may be seeing easily 8 figures).
Numbers that large may even make politicians take notice, and 2016 is an election year (not that any politicians would even understand the context or how it would work over them tubes).

DS is a colossal egotist, but that doesn't mean he's wrong. Let's not forget that the Reformation was also started by an astonishingly self-centered egotist too.

Comment Wisdom (Score 1) 236

Frankly, this is something that I recognize as wisdom.

As I've grown older, it's become more and more apparent to me that "experts" may be especially well TRAINED, but that doesn't mean they're particularly smart, or even good at what they do (per the observation that half of all the doctors you meet are below-average).

I've found that basic common sense, reason, and a willingness to ask questions whenever something doesn't make sense - and to recognize a line of bullshit when it's being delivered - are far, far more useful intellectual tools than those degrees someone might have.

Comment Shock (Score 1) 258

Business offers convenience at a slightly higher price point, makes it easy for customers to spend money.

This is news to ANYONE? It's a fucking business, they're trying to make money (and AFAIK Amazon doesn't really make any). Would we be surprised that grocery stores are laid out to make the most money? Car dealerships?

Oh, and they're startlingly easy to hack

The summary reads like the grossest sort of hit-piece. Not sure why Fast Company backed such a naked assassination attempt, but whatever.

Comment before its time (Score 1) 40

Just to be clear, this was NOT the first, not by a long shot.

Pontifex is still probably the 'purest' version of this, and IMO still the best in some ways. IIRC it's available on your phone now.

But when Pontifex came out, there was no kickstarter/indie "community" nor a Steam to act as a marketing/delivery agent. The ecosystem really has matured, for sure.

Life is a healthy respect for mother nature laced with greed.