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Comment: Re:Stop throwing good money after bad. (Score 1) 237

by rtb61 (#47423319) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

There are hundreds of billions of dollars of tribute payment from vassal states in the pretend buy of those aircraft. No matter how bad they are they need to be made and sold in order to collect those tribute payments. In fact the worse they are the more money the US will be able to collect of those vassal states as they pay through the nose in repairs, bug fixes and upgrades.

Comment: Re:The relevant part (Score 1) 556

by Uberbah (#47422447) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

They had proof he hid money. He had no proof he lost the money he hid. So, to the court's satisfaction, he had committed fraud, and the contempt charge was to compel a confession.

Yes, they were demanding that he prove a negative, which is of course impossible to do. If the government couldn't prove that he still had the money, the government had no business holding him.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 1) 501

by plover (#47422059) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

What I think a lot of the utopian visions miss, as well as a lot of the posters here, is that the problems with programming are not problems with the tools, but with the code that these amateurs produce. Writing clean, clear, correct, modular, maintainable, tested, and reusable code is still a skill that takes time to learn.

Generally, most people understand following a sequence of steps to achieve a goal. They can follow a recipe's steps to bake a cake. Some can even write down the steps they took to accomplish a task, which is the beginning of automating it; but recording and playing back steps is certainly not all there is to programming. Almost anyone who can write steps down can then learn enough of a language to string together a dozen or even a hundred individual steps to then achieve a goal: StepA(foo); bar = StepB(foo); StepC(foo,bar); ... another 97 steps here...; return(). The problem is that because writing down all those steps is possible, people who manage to do it once think they're programming. But all they're really doing is scripting.

Once someone tries to add logic to their scripts, the resultant code is generally buggy, slow, difficult to maintain, impossible to test, and probably should not be put into production, let alone reused. What a professional software developer does is recognizes the difference. He or she uses his or her experience, skills, and knowledge to organize those instructions into small groups of functionality, and wraps them into readable, testable, reusable, methods. He or she recognizes dependencies in the code, follows design principles to ensure they are properly organized, groups related methods into classes or modules, knows when to follow design patterns and when to break from them, groups related areas of modules into architectural layers, and wraps the layers with clean, testable, usable interfaces. He or she knows how to secure the code against various types of attack or misuse, and to properly protect the data it's been entrusted with. He or she understands validation, authorization, authentication, roles, sanitization, whitelisting, and blacklisting. And he or she understands the many forms of testing needed, including unit testing, system testing, integration testing, fuzz testing, pen testing, performance testing, as well as tools to evaluate the code, such as static code analysis and metrics.

On the other end of the developer's life are the inputs to the processes: requirements, stories, use cases, usability, scalability, performance. They know that following certain development methodologies can make a great deal of difference to the software's quality. And then there are the realities of all the non software development issues: equipment, firewall rules, IDPs, networking, vendor contracts, software licensing, hosting, distribution, installation, support, bug tracking, and even sales.

Tools can help with all of these steps, but as you pointed out, having a word processor does not make one a poet.

Comment: Re:Stop throwing good money after bad. (Score 3, Interesting) 237

by Luckyo (#47421851) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

Unfortunately much of that is outright lie. Lockheed Martin specifically sold F-35 to other countries under the umbrella of "you can replace all your fighter, attack and close combat support aircraft with this one machine". This is why they got so many countries on board with financing in spite of having no aircraft to show for it.

This has since been proven to be false, to the point where several countries like Australia have opted to buy other aircraft like F/A-18E/F models to replacing their aging fleets instead of F-35 after failures of F-35 became evident.

As for "design goals" as it comes to F-35, is there really anyone still having that discussion, other than Lockheed Martin shills? We already know they failed at meeting essentially all of them, and design requirements had to be continuously reduced so that aircraft would have at least some chance of meeting them. Knowledge of this is widely available in mass media.

Comment: Re:Stop throwing good money after bad. (Score 1) 237

by Luckyo (#47421829) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

Point one: I'm looking at it from the point of view of other countries. I readily concede the fact that US will never buy a French jet, even if it's far better suited for the role. It took immense amount of wrangling just to get Harrier in, even though it literally had no alternatives.

Your second point is moot. F-35's commonality is reported at around thirty percent today, and it's likely to go down rather than up as development continues. This is actually one of the biggest failures in the program, and was widely reported.

Your third point is extremely debatable. F-35's stealth is already been reported to be exceptionally lacking in all but frontal hemispheres, and in addition to that it has very little in terms of payload when it's stealthy. It needs to have external hardpoints (read: no stealth from any direction) for any meaningful strike package for example, or to have a meaningful range which it woefully lacks.

So we go back to point one, which as I admitted, I readily concede. But in that regard, there is one point that is being argued in US today: that F-35 program should be scrapped and in its place US should develop three separate fighters (because of point #2 being proven largely failed today). This would get all users an aircraft that is actually at least decent for the designed purpose, instead of an abortion of an aircraft in all usage scenarios that F-35 is increasingly proven to be.

Comment: Re:What difference now does it make? :) Sunk costs (Score 1) 237

by Luckyo (#47421797) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

You forget that capabilities of S-300 are well known, because several of the newer NATO countries have the system's naval version on their ships.

S-400 is arguable, and S-300 would definitely pose a significant threat to older planes like F-16 and F-18 without electronic warfare support.

However the rocket at the edge of its operational range is at a massive disadvantage in terms of power of its guidance system vs power of nearby powerful jammer.

Comment: Re:What difference now does it make? :) Sunk costs (Score 1) 237

by Luckyo (#47421727) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

You are grossly misinformed. "Wild weasel" is a US program to attack SAM targets with HARM missiles. It was just that, nothing less, nothing more.

Modern NATO aviation, when striking sites defended by SAM installments use dedicated electronic warfare aircraft. These aircraft are designed for extremely specialized role that has nothing to do with destroying SAM targets. Their goal is to track, locate and jam incoming radar-guided missiles. They render stealth moot because they go for exact opposite approach (overloading tracking system with false information instead of depriving it of information) that gets you the exact same end goal as stealth - near immunity to radar guided missiles.

Comment: Re:AI is always "right around the corner". (Score 1) 551

One quibble with your reply. The rules of chess are not complicated. Yes, the pawn has several special cases, and castling is unlike all the other moves in chess, but these do not complicate the game that much. It's more complicated than checkers, but not by a lot. A complicated game is something like Star Fleet Battles or Squad Leader. Those games have hundreds of rules.

The complexity of chess is in how to play well, not how to play by the rules. That was another factor that made chess so attractive to the AI community.

Some people seemed to feel that we could take a good chess playing program and just apply it to any old problem. The techniques can be applicable to other problems, but it sure isn't as easy as some hoped.

Comment: Re:What difference now does it make? :) Sunk costs (Score 1) 237

by Luckyo (#47420613) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

They don't have to stand forever. As noted, you can develop from existing platforms, and you can use experience from F-22 and F-35 projects to design something that would actually perform its role.

F-35 doesn't do that, and F-22 is still dysfunctional as anything other than pure air superiority fighter. Also I'm pretty sure that most NATO countries would gladly take it for air superiority role over F-35 if it was offered for export. So offer F-22 for export for air superiority tasks, and get Rafale or F-18 for ground attack.

And as has been noted countless times, stealth is largely "backfit" into current aircraft by having all aircraft escorted by dedicated electronic warfare aircraft which accomplish the same thing in a different way. As has been widely reported, F-35's steath is already fairly bad outside frontal hemisphere, so it would likely require similar support regardless.

Comment: Re:Up to 250m? (Score 1) 138

by Luckyo (#47420503) Attached to: Alcatel-Lucent's XG-FAST Pushes 10,000Mbps Over Copper Phone Lines

Not even close. VDSL2 DSLAM is (afaik) around 1000 euro for operators who buy them in bulk nowadays, and you can hook it to the building's electric supply. You're not going to need VDSL2 to work if building has no power anyway (modems will turn off without power), so you don't need any kind of batteries.

You seem to think this is hypothetical. This is how much of the internet is being implemented across Nordics as far as I know. They pulled this connection to my apartment building a few years ago, and the rollout is ongoing throughout the nation (I'm from Finland). I know for a fact that operators in Denmark and Sweden at least are doing the same in many cases.

Comment: Re:What difference now does it make? :) Sunk costs (Score 1) 237

by Luckyo (#47420381) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

Current versions of all those aircraft are survivable. F-18E/F versions are quite modern and you could work on those to build the next version. Or you can buy Rafale/Eurofighter (depending on whether you need attack focused multirole or fighter focused multirole). And for cheap light fighter needs a la F-16, you can buy Gripen.

"An organization dries up if you don't challenge it with growth." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments