Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:And all they wanted was a faster horse (Score 1) 732

That may be, but this is specifically a fighter plane. A plane designed to dogfight.

Wrong, for two reasons. Firstly, the F-35 is designed as a multirole aircraft: the F-22 is a pure air superiority fighter, but the F-35 is supposed to be able to look after itself in the air and hit ground targets too.

The "look after itself in the air" would seem to agree with my assertion that one of the metrics for which it was designed was aerial combat. I did not say there were not others. The F-35C adds carrier landing and storage. If it is really bad at that you can't excuse it away with, "but it's a multirole aircraft, so it should be judged only as a FB, even if it splits apart on deck when it catches a hook." For one thing, single flight planes get *really* expensive.

Sure it's a multirole aircraft. In fact, each type has a different focus. But one of the roles it is currently intended to fill *is* aerial combat. But I disagree that it will necessarily be bad at it forever. These airframes can sometimes see a lot of changes over their lifespans. And if it is, it still will likely be useful. Look at the B-1B conventional munitions conversion: aircraft do shift roles as needed.

Comment Re:And all they wanted was a faster horse (Score 1) 732

What you're saying is it's a bad tool for dick measuring games like Russia with its bombers or Greece and Turkey with their US provided fighters play? Well that I agree, it might hurt the exports if F16s beat it at it.

And tsotha already answered but I believe it's worth repeating: it's not a fighter. It's a design-by-committee everything plane.

I didn't say it's a bad tool, and I don't think we really see the final iteration of the concept, so the problems today aren't what the problems with it will be in 15 years. They will be different and exciting new problems. But it'll likely serve well.

I almost dropped in the multipurpose/multibranch aspect, but I was addressing specifically the assertion that it is stupid to be judged as an aerial combat plane. It is an aerial combat plane by designation and it is designed to fill that role. As has been pointed out several times (which quite gratifies me; there are some smart folks here), it is a multirole aircraft that has the primary designation of fighter, but it certainly isn't *only* a fighter.

But it is indeed questionable to say aerial combat is *not* a role it is intended for. Multirole does not preclude the metric, it merely adds more criteria for the aircraft. The person to whom I was responding was saying that it was ridiculous to judge it's merit in that role. You might as well say that the F-35B should not be judged as a military craft as it has the role of a VTOL aircraft, so it's moot if it can carry munitions. Sure the F-35 series is also FB, but it *is* designed for an aerial combat role *as well*.

Comment Re:And all they wanted was a faster horse (Score 1, Interesting) 732

I disagree that dogfighting is relevant in modern warfare, at least with USA as one side.

That may be, but this is specifically a fighter plane. A plane designed to dogfight. That is the metric upon which it is being judged here.

Similarly, an ICBM is a poor tool to handle smugglers off the coast of the US. You can judge the concept of a fighter plane as irrelevant in 2015-2037 (the period over which they are being delivered), but your initial statement, "Why is dogfight a parameter in assessing 5th generation plane?" can be simplified down to, "Why is aerial combat a parameter in assessing a plane intended for the role of aerial combat?"

The answer to that simplified question is: Because that's the slot of functionality it is intended for.

But you probably meant to ask, "Why are we making 5th generation fighters anyway?" That's a good question, but I'd suspect that the answer is primarily because they are still used worldwide today in shows of force and occasional engagement. They are scrambled now when commercial jetliners go radio silent, ever since they were used as weapons on US soil.

Another aspect is that military forces are intended to be functional -- but also showy, so they can be used to intimidate. And intimidation is a tool of emotion, not logic. There are strange quasi-engagements between many countries on their borders to show intent to defend, and fighter planes are often used in that capacity. Being intimidating also helps your own forces. Fighter pilots are perceived as badasses, and a young person's gut instinct is to want to have the badasses on your side when you're being ordered to throw your body into armed conflict.

This is also related to why all branches still have swords as a ceremonial part of their formal uniforms, and they are used in situations like honor guards and events of historical or great personal importance. Military might is not a video game or board game with simple stats. It's sloppy and human, and involves more diplomats and mistakes affecting it than simple white room simulations tend to account for.

Comment Re:No it is not (Score 1) 351

Mea culpa. I did not read my own second paragraph. I meant to (and remembered writing) a point to the effect that the carrier does exert control, and that discretion or lack of concern is *certainly* part of their final product. That is implied (but not explicitly stated) in my original comment where I note that I will leave and no longer patronize a site with popups or any ad that makes noise unprompted.

And of course, as I *do* state in the second paragraph, some scammers will get annoying ads that violate the site's rules or are criminal in intent now and then, even with a genuine effort on the part of the carrier. Thus the occasional prominent note similar to "Sorry about the autoplay video ads; I'm working to eliminate them with my ad service." So long as it is handled promptly and in good faith, I have no problem, any more than a health hazard being handled at a restaurant in a prompt and safe manner is fine.

Comment Re:No it is not (Score 1) 351

While my initial point of puzzlement is why you would ever click on an ad, the core issue you're bringing up seems flawed: I'm not quite sure why the product is the responsibility of the carrier. A newspaper isn't responsible for the food in a restaurant that advertises in them, nor is PBS responsible for what the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation does -- even though they namecheck them as sponsors quite often. The telephone company and postal service carry scams without intent to do so, but Verizon is not generally seen as culpable for the mess a computer can get in when "Microsoft called" somebody in the house to walk them through "free support."

You are of course correct in that carriers do bear an onus to reasonably and in good faith remove scams when they are brought to them. There's always a struggle there, and there will likely always be, as the scammers are adept at countering such effort.

Comment Re:No it is not (Score 2) 351

In all seriousness, I do not use ad blockers, and I have the "disable advertising" off, although it is offered to me. I view my use of a web site and their ads the same way as walking into a restaurant and paying for the meal. They are putting content into a rectangle, and if I like the content, I will return. Some smaller groups provide free food or community supported food (heck, I do that on Wednesday game nights at my home), and some smaller sites provide free content. But in general, it's part of the assumption. If the cost is too high (too many ads, or even one that makes any kind of noise), I don't go back.

I do, however, block the hell out of popups. The agreement is a page of content. You don't get further access to my desktop unless and until I agree.

Comment Re:Country run by oil barons does nothing!!! (Score 2) 195

Big words for a guy whose own figures are off by 8 years.

I hate to say it, but not only are your figures are quite off, you have fallen into the specific trap of misguided thinking that both I and the comment I was responding to was making.

The level of technology reflected in a design is determined by the date the thing was *built*, not when it finally failed. Going to the comment I was replying to, you have just implied that an antique Studebaker that crashed this year represents the cars of 2015, and thus all current cars are unsafe as they lack air bags, seat belts, and crumple zones (in the last few years of the company they added the new innovation of the roll bar to the Studebaker Avanti, but most lacked even that).

The Hindenberg was built 79 years ago and crashed 78 years ago. It was built with technology of 79 years ago, not the technology of the following year when it crashed. There's a five year wonkiness in there involving bankruptcy and Nazi funding, but I went with the date of completion rather than the laying of the keel to match the other figure.

Chernobyl's reactors were designed, built and then the first came online in 1977. As they were all designed at the same time and built in a short period of a few years, they presumably all reflected the technology of that year, 37 years ago. When the disaster happened, they were not the technology of 1986, any more than that hypothetical crashed Studebaker reflects this year's car safety standards, even if you do safety retrofitting: that gets you seatbelts, but not some really fundamental things like crumple zones, roll bars and countless other basic improvements made to personal vehicle technology.

Which, if you'll read the comment I was responding to, was *exactly* the point being made, the one I was echoing, and the trap of thinking you fell into when reading my comment. That does indicate how pernicious an issue it is.

Comment Re:Country run by oil barons does nothing!!! (Score 1, Insightful) 195

I know that *I* refuse to fly -- I've seen the footage of the Hindenberg. I know how dangerous flying is, and I would assume that absolutely no progress has been made in the last 79 years.

Similarly, in the last 37 years since Chernobyl, I can't imagine that anybody has had any ideas. It's not like nuclear engineering or flight are new fields that would have major advances.

I look forward to your reply when you get this message in the next few weeks, and hope to have your response in the next couple months!

Comment Re:Wind chill on a space suit? (Score 1) 110

It is likely that Arthur C. Clarke, the co-author of Space Odyssey, was the one who was right on the science for that bit of plot. Since he also did things like invent the idea for communication satellites and was a member of the British Interplanetary Society, it was likely on his capable shoulders that making the scene realistic fell. It would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall as that scene came together, with a great cinematic genius working with somebody explaining the harsh realities of microgravity, explosive decompression (and the velocity that causes Bowman to bounce around), and the very limited window of time in which the human body could get back into the airlock and survive. Then scripting, filming, and editing it together to convey that committed step leading to frantic, chaotic urgency.

The whole movie is a great example of collaboration. It sure wound up as one of the more memorable scenes in a movie packed with memorable scenes.

Comment Re:Tegra? 4 Lbs? (Score 3, Interesting) 121

I doubt it is just the patents. Add in the price point and the fact that this is a relatively minor product, so there are no fancy retooled factories and a minimum of custom components are going into this, as opposed to in a flagship product. Plus a dozen other little issues that fall under those or add to them. It's basically using cheap components for a cheap price point. The Air uses the absolute latest and best to get to the minimum weight and size, but at a high price point. Sony did that for years as well, and had a similarly high price point relative to the general market of the time.

It is quite a bit underwhelming compared to even higher end Android tablets like the $650 Galaxy Note 12, but the killer feature is probably intended to be what will likely be a $300 and change street price with the ease of Android (for those who already have an Android phone). It's comparable to their Pavillion 14" laptop:

Comment Re:KDE 3 (Score 4, Interesting) 94

I love KDE4. I use it every day. I can, however, see one issue. My biggest fault with KDE4 was that DCOP in KDE3 was a joy to use from a script (bash script, etc). DBUS is a pain in the butt. It's not only much saltier (in terms of syntactical salt) but it also tends to change much more often. Calls that work in one version don't work after an update. DCOP was more simple, had a great interface, and -- most importantly -- the app interfaces tended to stay stable.

I'm really hoping that the Qt5 and QML combo makes up for this, allowing easy scripting and simple use of internals. I used to say that KDE was like the *nix command line, only GUI: a bunch of small apps that exposed a ton of tiny options that you could link together. KDE4 clearly continued that philosophy with DBUS, but I think it was far less successful in that aspect.

Comment Re:The best recognition.. (Score 5, Interesting) 99

To tie them all together, I used a computer for many years that was designed by Woz, marketed by Jobs, with a expanded processor and memory made by Gates' company to run Kildall's OS (and a few others). An Apple ][+ with the Microsoft Z-80 SoftCard card, running CP/M. And I'm sure I wasn't the only one. A world capable of inventing, manufacturing, and garnering capital and sales to see that innovation become available to people requires all of them.

I know I'd rather have lunch with the likes of Wozniak and Kildall, however. Add Ritchie and Kernighan, and that would be one heck of a table.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright