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Comment: Re:SBX-1 (Score 1) 167

by joe_kull (#39705655) Attached to: Why Drones Could Be the Future of Missile Defense

Setting aside the idea that it doesn't matter whether there are decoys in the payload of an ICBM if you shoot it down during boost phase for the moment, effective decoys aren't trivial for a country like North Korea to add to their vehicles due to weight.

Good analysis of this issue is at Arms Control Wonk (there is a particularly good discussion in the comments section).

Comment: Re:What about saturation? (Score 1) 177

by joe_kull (#38195728) Attached to: Terahertz Wireless Chip Will Bring 30Gbps Networks

Traditional wifi uses omni-directional antennas that propagate in spheres (roughly). If you want to see a good example, turn on a few light bulbs, and notice how they all overlap in coverage. Fifteen light bulbs will have a *lot* of overlap, and you'll start stepping on each other. 2.4GHz wifi is particularly bad this way, due to neighboring channels overlapping.

Directional antennas propagate in cones (roughly, again). A good example of this is a flashlight. You can turn on a whole lot of flashlights before you start seeing the same amount of overlapping. The downside is that it's hard to light up a room with a flashlight, so you have to start doing a lot of tricks to move a portable device around but maintain a connection.

I can't really explain RF propagation with a car analogy, so you'll have to settle for flashlights and light bulbs.

Comment: Re:Combat situation (Score 1) 104

by joe_kull (#34347456) Attached to: BEAR Robot Designed To Rescue Wounded Soldiers

As an American soldier, I'll come out and say that I'd rather the Taliban shot the robot than the real medic. View these like bomb-disposal robots: they're not intended to be better at the actual task (inspecting a bomb or dragging a casualty) than a human, they're intended to do these tasks in situations where you'd hesitate to risk a human. Or, given that most medics I've known will take the risk anyway, at least give the human another option.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson