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Comment Re:Huh (Score 1) 423

Hey I agree the A-10 can't be beat but the problem is the USAF has said its dead meat and there is really nothing you or I can do about it. Not to mention the line has been closed for years, spare parts are becoming an issue, and we didn't make nearly enough of 'em in the first place.

If it were me? I'd try to build a modern version of the Spad, maybe using one of the many trainer aircraft made worldwide, but if the choice is the AC-130 or the F-35? I'm sorry but the AC-130 wins. At least it'll get there without breaking, be ready to go when you call it, and will be able to hang around as long as you need it...can you say the same for the F-35?

Comment Re:"Denali" = anagram for "Denial" (Score 1) 366

I don't have a very clean way - I usually do egrep "^......$" /usr/share/dict/words (with the number of dots matching the length of the word) and then pipe it into a series of other greps - for example for two "r"s I'd do egrep -i "r.*r" while for one d I'd just use grep -i "d". There's probably a better way.

Comment Re:A-10 for the Win (Score 3, Interesting) 423

I got to see an AC-130 up close at LRAFB once and...dayyymm, that sucker is just bristling with firepower, like the flying fortresses of old. If we aren't gonna build more A-10s then I say the replacement is obvious as 1.- The AC-130 is a hell of a lot cheaper than an F-35 techno-turkey, 2.- The AC-130 is a hell of a lot tougher, 3.- the AC-130 can loiter a lot longer, and finally 4.- the AC-130 can carry a lot more firepower.

As for TFA....sigh, how long will it take before the DoD admits the F-35 is a giant techno turkey and pulls the plug? If the fighter jocks have to have their stupid stealth give 'em the F-15 Silent Eagle, which can run rings around the F-35. To me the saddest part is reports are the Chinese knock off is actually better than the original (which ain't saying much) thanks to not having to have the retarded vertical take off crap for the marines. What we need to do is give the marines an updated version of the Bronco or Dragonfly, which should be small enough they should be able to launch 'em off of just about anything, give 'em a baby flat-top to carry the things and kill the VTOL crap along with the F-35 once and for all.

Comment Re:Ministry of Truth? (Score 1, Interesting) 366

They have a lot of functioning democratic process in 1984 then? Because that is what we are talking about here.

The people of Alaska didn't WANT it named for a guy that did jack and squat for their state, tried to have it changed, hit red tape,asked for help from the POTUS in cutting through said tape, and finally the name got changed.

Comment Re:For me, it will always remain the mountain... (Score 4, Interesting) 366

I can't remember who it was... it might have been Halldór Laxnes... who said that a piece of nature isn't really a piece of nature unless it doesn't have a name. That is, the first thing people do once they start interacting with an object or place is to give it a name, and so once something is named it starts to become about the history of people rather than the history of the land itself. And that if you want to establish a real connection with nature, you don't go sit on top of that well-known named peak that people climb... you go to that little nameless stream or that remote nameless cliff or whatnot - places which tell only their own story.

Comment Re:Tradeoffs (Score 1) 43

More to the point, the James Webb telescope is supposed to be launched in late 2018; this flyby isn't until 2019. With seven times the light collecting area as Hubble, it could be a nice addition to the arsenal for finding bodies along Pluto's projected route (especially now that we know better what that route is going to be :) ) Though it operates in mid-IR to low-frequency visible, while Hubble operates primarily in visible/UV... I'm not sure how that would affect the ability to find solid objects. I know that far-IR is very good for it, but James Webb doesn't go down that far.

Comment Re:"clearing the neighborhood" (Score 1) 43

It's even worse than that. Compare Neptune's Stern-Levison parameter to Mars's. Neptune has at least two bodies that are each around 2-3% the mass of Mars in its "neighborhood" (quite possibly even larger ones), yet it has 290 times greater ability to "clear its neighborhood" than Mars. The concept that planets like Mars cleared their own neighborhood of bodies this size is not only unsupported by the research, but blatantly silly on the face of it. The IAU is attributing Jupiter's work at clearing the inner solar system to the inner planets in order to force their definition. And this isn't exactly news - pretty much all orbital dynamics simulations for a long time have been showing this.

Comment Re:While we're on the topic... (Score 1) 43

Mars is more than capable of clearing its neighborhood on its own, as seen by measures like the Stern-Levison parameter and others that have been derived from dynamics and simulation scalings. It isn't even close to being marginal.

Jupiter's Stern-Levison parameter is 1,38 million times larger than Mars's. No, Mars would not have "cleared its neighborhood"; it's well recognized in the literature that the majority of "neighborhood clearing" in our solar system was done by Jupiter and Saturn. There's lots of niggling over the exact details (here's one scenario), but there's no reputable peer-reviewed source involving orbital dynamics simulations arguing that Mars did the majority of work to clear its neighborhood. Heck, Neptune has a Stern-Levison parameter 290 times higher than Mars and it still has at least two bodies with around 1/50th the mass of Mars each in its neighborhood (and possibly even larger ones). If a 290 times greater ability to clear its neighborhood couldn't do it, why do you think Mars stands a chance on its own?

The whole "cleared the neighborhood" concept for planets is built on a bare falsehood: that the majority of them are actually responsible for clearing their own neighborhoods. The science says exactly the opposite: that the gas giants cleared the majority of bodies from our solar system.

Because some people care more about the dynamics of the planets and their orbits than what is on/in the planets. Even in geology on Earth, there are classifications for what makes up a mineral, and classifications for structures and locations they are found in.

Are you seriously trying to claim that, say, stilbite will be classified as a different mineral based on whether it occurs in Iceland or the United States? Minerals are what they are. The individual structures minerals are found in may have names (for example, the "Bakken Shale"), but those are just names. You know, like "Kuiper Belt".

Some geologists don't care where it came from as long as the make up is similar, others very much care if samples come from near the same location, even if they are very different minerals.

What on Earth are you talking about? If you're trying to say "Some scientists want to study the variety of objects in the Kuiper Belt and compare them to each other", then you already have a word for that: KBO.

You can go on and on about how dissimilar you think Jupiter and Earth are, but that doesn't change that there are metrics where they are much more similar than other rocky planets are to Earth.

You can't be serious.

Comment Re:A-10 for the Win (Score 2) 423

You realize that in that evaluation, the F-35 being tested was AF-2, a flight science model, right? It had:

  * No situational awareness software
  * No advanced weapons targeting software
  * No stealth coating

It was not designed to be a combat evaluation of the full system, rather just an attempt to stress the system with visual combat maneuvers.

That said, the F-35 is not designed to be a visual dogfighter. It has dogfighting capabilities, but its main design principle is high situational awareness enabling kills from far away - seeing the enemy from long before it itself is seen.

In a five year period we can get one superb programming language. Only we can't control when the five year period will begin.

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