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Comment: Re:Okay, didn't want to go here but... (Score 1) 253

by chainsaw1 (#49164835) Attached to: 20-Year-Old Military Weather Satellite Explodes In Orbit

Sure they would. It's a military target, but it's old so unlikely to start a war. It's the perfect target (for anyone--US or not).

As for the Occam's razor part, how large of a accident would it take to cause the satellite to explode? These things aren't small, so unless the battery / heater was heating leftover propellant (Apollo 13 style) I am unsure anything else has the energy necessary explode a 120 lb (55kg) mass--particularly if it's not in an airtight / pressure vessel (which is a guess on my part as the craft is unmanned).

If energy also came from external sources, however, then the postulations above are no longer valid.

Comment: Re:Lasers are easy to stop (Score 1) 517

by chainsaw1 (#48998137) Attached to: The US Navy Wants More Railguns and Lasers, Less Gunpowder

>Currently the velocity of railguns is roughly equivalent to navel guns

Nope, the 8MJ railgun was hypersonic (I think it's at 32-64MJ now). It sounds much louder than the 5" when it fires. It needs the extra velocity as the shell turns into plasma when it hits a target, eliminating the need for explosive in the shell.

The reason for the shells that no one seems to have pointed on yet is the US Navy also need land-attack capability (The Marines continue, to this day, protest the removal of BB's because they love dropping 16" 1.5 ton shells on fortified beaches, See also, LRLAP). If you look back to the Iran-Iraq war, while missiles were used frequently most things were still finished off with 5" / 75mm. The truth is that those rounds cost much less than a standard missile, and a railgun projectile should cost even less as there's no explosive handling required for it's rounds (either HE or propellant). This is all in addition to the massive improvement in safety the CNO frequently cites (which is also important)

>High endurance aircraft that can strike from extreme range and attack submarines with surface strike capability might be the order of the day. A submersible destroyer for example could get in close with heavy weaponry, fire a salvo, and then dive before enemy systems could target and strike it. Such a thing would be vulnerable to enemy attack submarines but then you could just escort it with a flotilla of attack submarines to act as defense. You could even add some drone carriers. Submersible aircraft carriers were built by the Japanese in WW2. Consider what you could do if you gave such a design a nuclear power plant, expanded the size to Nimitz proportions, and replaced the planes entirely with more compact drones.

While I personally believe we would be better served with elimination of the surface fleet for submersible craft for many reasons (difficult to target, risk reduction to asymmetric threats such as a fishing trawler filled with explosives, reduce need for so many ships in a carrier group, etc.) the "Japanese WWII aircraft carrier" was a sub with a built in storage for three seaplanes that had to be assembled before use and disassembled on retrieval (based on memory of the wikipedia article). The sortie rate and number of aircraft supported of a CVN is much, much higher than this design can support, so we would either need a massive number of them (more $$$ + extra manpower), or need to make a submersible carrier meeting the requirements of a modern CVN. Plus, I would guess if anyone followed those Japanese seaplanes back to base that sub-carrier didn't have a lot of options to save both itself and the aircrew, as it didn't have enough planes to maintain a CAP or enough armaments to enforce a defensive perimeter.

If you Nimitz-sized one, the initial cost would be massive (a typical CVN is over $3 billion currently), and there would be a lot of technical challenges to work out (sealing aircraft elevators against water pressure, for instance). I believe it would be worth the one time high R&D cost in the long run, but it would be a hard sell in current economic times. You also have to think about risk (what's the total cost if one sinks accidentally? How many ways could that happen? Can I evacuate a sub with 4000 people the same as one with about a hundred?

Comment: Re:Big Myth #2 (Score 1) 339

by chainsaw1 (#48917641) Attached to: Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

Selling stock doesn't work that way. You look for people wanting to buy at a price (or offer a sale at a price and an amount) and then people say yes or no.

Selling it the first way (looking for people offering to buy at a given price) takes time, because no one is looking for a volume of stock as large as what Gates has. Thus, it would take multiple buys. After a few buys at a given price (which show up on the "Big Ticker Screen"), people trying to buy will start lowering their prices. If you want to keep selling, you have to accept that price for the amounts offered. The price will go down as time goes on, because the traders know someone keeps buying even as the price goes down. So the price keeps going down, and goes down faster as you keep buying at their unrealistically low prices.

The other way (offering a massive amount of stock for sale at a fixed amount) will cause traders to go who the hell is selling all that? Then panic will ensue and more people will lower their sale price of MS stock. Since no one is likely to buy all the shares at the price you listed, you know have a similar "race to the bottom" of stock price to try to sell it all

The way to get it sold for a fair value is to sell it off slowly and take the risk of price fluctuation over time. This is what the OP was referring to WRT "it's just money on paper" as realistically getting all your value out of that asset takes time to fully close the deal at the prices against which the persons net worth was calculated.

Comment: Re:Working as intended (Score 1) 166

Actually, there can be good reasons, which involve detailed requirements. For instance:

-Army develops armored vehicle
-Marines need armored vehicle, get Army vehicle
-Army vehicle doesn't meet Navy safety requirements
    +Army stores HE shells in bunkers waaay far away for everything else on their bases
    +Navy ships not that big (and "sunk due to magazine explosion" is a common theme in naval warfare), so safety is bigger deal
    +Marines must use Navy ships for amphibious capability
-Marines make different armored vehicle (add ability to float as well)
-Congress / people claim waste because two different vehicles built for large $$$ that look / appear to do the same job.

This definitely isn't always true, but it's probably true more often than the layperson expects.
This argument can be done vice versa if you include that the Army doesn't want to pay for Marine-specific features or needs something that can be procured and logistically supplied / maintained in much larger numbers.

Comment: Re:The winner? (Score 1) 567

by chainsaw1 (#43311619) Attached to: United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea

NATO can't easily win a long term tactical / conventional war against the PRC. China is in a production infrastructure boom as the US was during WWII and has plenty of people to man all war materials produced.

China and the US are so economically tied that both would have severe long term losses. China is dependent on US consumers to buy its exports, generate IP to steal (er, "produce"), and on the US being able to repay its foreign debts. The US is dependent on cheap Chinese manufacturing, shipping, and rare earth metal exports.

Comment: Take it step by step (Score 1) 422

by chainsaw1 (#41514265) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Would You Include In a New Building?

First, make sure you know all the current needs. Are you just doing to electrical infrastructure, or ALL of it. Who else is providing input to your boss? There are certain groups that will have higher priority in the building design, such as Safety & Occupational Health, Human Factors, etc. Make sure these are covered BEFORE you start planning. You don't want safety to throw up a flag if you need a power box near an eyewash station.

Next, ask what is in the business pipeline for the near and far future. You may know some of these, but not all of them...

Check industry vendors to get an idea of where the future of CNC equipment you may be using is going. What infrastructure will be needed to support these capabilities? How will the workfloor change to accommodate these machines?

Bearing these in mind, scope up your desired infrastructure. Keep in mind:

a) Boss may not be able to afford everything. Make sure it is possible to scope back your design. Be sure to also know and communicate what risks become more likely if the scale-down is needed. There will also be compromise if multiple designers present conflicting designs.

b) Remember your *ilities. Make sure changes can be implemented, because maintenance, breakdowns, and logistics happen and the world has revolutionary changes that nobody expects.

Comment: Re:Damn the summary (Score 1) 140

by chainsaw1 (#41476255) Attached to: Terabit Ethernet Is Dead, For Now

It's a two way street.

While the cost of incrementally upgrading your equipment can be high, if you leap generation(s) you also have risk that the upgrade process will be lost amongst your staff. If that happens, then when [eventually] you do need to upgrade the process may not be as smooth, leading to extended downtime and/or extra costs (lost customers, wrong hardware, infrastructure upgrades, etc.)

The only way to know for sure is to have a cost-benefit analysis and a risk strategy tailored to your business areas.

Comment: Re:Got this wrong.. (Score 1) 1184

by chainsaw1 (#41177531) Attached to: White House Finalizes 54.5 MPG Fuel Efficiency Standard

Depends on the bike. A KLR650 is about 400lbs and gets ~50 mpg, but part of that is because it's a 1987 design with a carburetor.

The similar BWM 650 Sertao gets ~75mpg while putting out a lot more electrical power and weighing more because it's a more modern design with fuel injection. The downside is you need a lot more than duck tape and RTV silicone to fix it.

Comment: Re:Obsoleting their own fleet? (Score 1) 277

by chainsaw1 (#38968591) Attached to: U.S. Navy Receives First Industry Built Railgun Prototype

When you consider supercavitating torpedoes that are approaching or surpassing the speed of sound in water (and have active homing), things like this, and actual DE weapons (closure rate close to c) in development there are a lot of hazards out there.

Yes, each new technology can be use against you. Science is science, the will to use (and how to use) is an invention of man. However, by knowing about and having these items first, you have time to develop defenses. You also have the means to test those defenses since you have the weapon systems already. This is why we press forward with R&D in the military.

Further, there is significant political traction by saying we have these items. If that alone leads to a peaceful solution without actually having to use systems of destruction, then hasn't that weapon still paid off?

Many would say the value is in fact greater than if it was actually used, as no one ended up getting hurt as would happen in a conventional conflict. Others may have different opinions...

Comment: Re:Why release it outside the US military, at all? (Score 1) 80

by chainsaw1 (#38753304) Attached to: Pentagon To Crowdsource Weapons Software Testing

Because you have to know what you are doing to actively edit software code and make a positive contribution. Those who are having countless amounts of free time are typically low NCO's and enlisted, they have little college education, and have to be ready for their next mission after their buddy's truck was blown up on the last.

This DARPA grant is soliciting for a method of using those idle people to test software without those programming skills. It is not a direct outsourcing of those skills. I don't believe the published request equates crowd to the general public.

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