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Comment Priorities (Score 0) 84

It seems to me with all the problems and challenges this country faces, top men put war on terrorism which includes need for extensive surveillance the top priority over other issues. Even if govt were better organized in disaster relief, they still would not able help everyone (that's why it is a disaster) but would not be constantly ridiculed for poor performance. However there were some officials saw impending disaster so they forward based a lot of resources closer to Louisiana knowing the state will be calling for help once the winds die down. However, they were a minority because most were focused on terrorist attacks.

Regarding FEMA, I was talking with a emergency manager for a city, he said FEMA does not have response teams like state, county, or city OES departments. FEMA is mostly a fund provider and insurance for disasters.

Comment Re:Precision (Score 1) 95

They are REALLY BAD AT COMMUNICATING.

I was thinking back in the bad ol' days of TQM (1990s) one of the terms kicked around was "empowerment" but that was subject to interpretation. Does that mean a raise? Delegating? A bankrupt term used in TQM meetings by companies that had enough excess to send employees to useless seminars before they are "downsized" (ugh, another terrible buzzword).

And another term is "high tech" which I think is bankrupt because it is mostly a circular definition (a high tech product is designed and made for high tech use by high tech companies). Best definition I heard is the term was coined by those VC people on Sand Hill Rd. in Palo Alto because it sounds cool, enabling them to get money via emotions instead of facts. It is not limited to microelectronics as there is "high tech" concrete with unique properties required for particular structures.

Comment Re:I live in San Jose if anyone wants some opinion (Score 1) 258

A few years back the city implemented huge cuts to it's police department in salary and benefits. [ snip ] Myself, and many other residents welcome any effort to clean up the streets.

It seems to me focus on surveillance technology is mostly driven by "war on terrorism" and they are trying to apply same tools to general crime in civilian communities (i.e. another focus is military hardware for police depts). Yes, I'm not happy with huge cuts in city services but yet the city is bringing in revenue like it used to (even though few miles away are companies with billions of cash in reserves). For those outside SJ, note that SJ police no longer respond to burglaries or car break-ins (maybe unless it is an in progress call) because of lack in manpower. I really don't know how to make up for budget shortfalls, especially schools and other community programs have taken a hit (also they no longer have CERT classes). I don't think general population will benefit much from cameras and tanks.

Far as license plate scanners, I see these same as surveillance cameras in downtown areas. Main benefit is to the companies selling the equipment, and they will continue to make money with constant software license renewals and upgrades. There is also cost of dealing with all this data. Regarding cameras, what about able to video taggers spray painting graffiti? I am curious how they do that on freeway overpasses which look more treacherous than slopes on Mt Everest.

Comment College in 1960s (Score 1) 274

Not sure how this fits into the big picture of this discussion, a quote from someone who attended college in 1960s. Hope his contributions are not getting hoarded:
"Back then you didn't have to get an A+ high school grade average and perfect SAT scores to be admitted to a top notch public university. Even luckier, tuition was dirt cheap. I got a world class engineering education nearly free. I remember that good fortune, am eternally grateful and contribute regularly as an alumni. "

Comment Re:Superconducting Super Collider (Score 1) 50

desire to keep Russian rocket scientists building rockets for Russia, not ICBMs for North Korea or Iran.

Finally someone posts the real driver behind ISS. Before they spent eight years working on Freedom but not flight hardware was ever built (there were lots of engineering hardware items built to demonstrate various things that are currently in use on ISS). Every year after Reagan started the Space Station, congressional funding support became less and less. Then USSR collapsed, congress balked at the $400B SEI, a new NASA Administrator, and a lot of Russian aerospace engineers out of work. In 1992 and Space Station survived by only one vote, unless a new strategy is done, it will not survive 1993.

Comment In an alternate universe (Score 1) 50

Former Rep. Louis Stokes, the Man Who Saved Space Travel, Dies At Age 90
By a narrow vote, Stokes gave a small margin in approving funding for new reusable spacecraft. Conceived in early 1970s to make spaceflight routine as air travel, Space Shuttle later was more expensive and required lengthy refurbishment between missions. Many argued if we continued with same Shuttle, we would be stuck in low earth orbit way into the 21st century. The new shuttle design takes into account of many lessons learned of propulsion, thermal protection, and other systems that and should routinely be reused. NASA Administrator Beggs added, "Objective is to explore and expand scientific and economic sphere beyond earth orbit, not repeat what Gargarin and Glenn did 25 years ago."

Comment Re:To be fair (Score 1) 732

playbook of the Axis in WWII and ...

It seems this obsession with WWII and how often is there air-to-air combat? Vietnam War era F4 was the last Ace Maker (barely). Probably consider the mission of the Air Force: Put a bomb on target, recon, transport, ground forces support (oh wait, they want to dump the A10). For bombing missions be able to get in and out and not be spotted is effective i.e. F117. It is hard to spot but Lord help the pilot if he is (again how often does that occur?). Except for transport, not much a C17 can do when attacked by another plane but how often does that occur? Looking at the big picture as almost all US warfare is focused on terrorism but now faced with ISIS that doesn't have an air force but have been quite successful without using one. Not sure what a F35 can do about that.

Comment Re:I couldn't even heard a bomb drop (Score 1) 145

Sigh. I pine for the old Pin-Drop Days.

I remember that was their signature describing fidelity of audio quality of their phones. Now Sprint has an abstract emblem based on multiple snapshots of a pin impacting a ground surface. But now nobody understands what that artwork is except old timers from the 20th century.

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