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Comment: Re:That's not the only way it's inferior (Score 1) 235

by plopez (#48682693) Attached to: Newest Stealth Fighter's Ground Attack Sensors 10 Years Behind Older Jets

The F4 differed by being used by Air Force, Navy, and Marines. This created problems due to differing operating environments and missions. Because of that a large amount of customization occurred any way. Interchangeability soon began to degrade and retrofitting was required. The big cost savings were an illusion. Some examples were different engines and refueling systems between the Navy and Air Force. Once you change engines and fuel systems you have lost a large amount of interchangeability. The same thing will probably happen with the F35 where demands are made to customize it per service branch so that eventually only the exterior looks of the fighter will be the same but all the internals will differ. You will end up with 3 different aircraft anyway. Three different variants meeting three different requirement sets with three different test and upgrade cycles. You might as well produce three different aircraft.

The F4 was supposed to work with the Navy, Air Force, and Marines. But it worked so poorly requiring so much rework that instead of ordering one aircraft in the 70's for a replacement several came on line filling different needs for the different services. The Swiss Army knife approach was abandoned for close to 30 years.

So what if the A-10 is a one trick pony? If it is what we really need then go with it. It does it well and can survive a hell of a lot of abuse, the infrastructure is in place, and it is proven. Use the right tool for the job.

I find saying that the software is not supposed to work until next year disingenuous. The deadline already slipped. You make it sound as if everything is on track.

Even adjusted for inflation cost over runs are at about 100% Bankrupting the nation will do far more damage to it than an enemy state could.

Comment: Re:That's not the only way it's inferior (Score 2) 235

by plopez (#48681869) Attached to: Newest Stealth Fighter's Ground Attack Sensors 10 Years Behind Older Jets

The problem is that if it takes 20 years to build an airplane that design will be obsolete by the time it gets deployed. So upgrading just increases costs. Why did it take 20 years? Isn't that a bit excessive? Why doesn't the software work? Why could it not fly in the the rain for God's sake? Why are we replacing a platform like the A-10 which is an example of a good dedicated design with a Swiss Army knife approach.

The last major attempts for a "one size fits all" muti-role fighter was the f4 which resulted in the services abandoning the approach in favor of the F18, F-15, and A-10. Like a bad penny the multi-role fighter concept just keeps coming back. We are ending up with a plane that does everything and will not be able to do any of it particularly well.

Comment: Re:False Summary - Haigh Agrees with Knuth's Thesi (Score 2) 138

by plopez (#48677437) Attached to: Donald Knuth Worried About the "Dumbing Down" of Computer Science History

" far more important event than being the iPod/iPhone taskmaster"

I am actually going to argue that point with you. From an applications POV; IPods, IPads, iPhones, and OS X took the capabilities of Unix, and a host of other technologies, and leveraged them into something with a huge impact on social order, business, art, and science. Having Unix at the ready was important. But creating those products took the power of Unix into a whole new realm.

By analogy, knowing 2 Ca3SiO5 + 7 H2O ---> 3 CaO.2SiO2.4H2O + 3 Ca(OH)2 + 173.6kJ is important.

Taking that and using it to create a transcontinental highway system is also very important.

Comment: Re:Knuth is right. (Score 1) 138

by plopez (#48677383) Attached to: Donald Knuth Worried About the "Dumbing Down" of Computer Science History

"Ignorance of mathematics isn't the cause of stupid laws and policy around technology..."

I agree somewhat but I think ignorance allows bad policy to exists. Some of what you hear coming from hucksters would, IMO, be akin to repealing the laws of gravity or building a warp drive. I am very skeptical of things such as facial recognition, trawling email to stop terrorist attacks, data mining, anything that handles data which is not ACID compliant, missile defense, and AI (AFAIAC it will never truly exist) though reflection is nice to have.

CS and the principles behind it are often so abstract that many people are not even aware of when they are lying.

When a Banker jumps out of a window, jump after him--that's where the money is. -- Robespierre