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Comment: Re:No tax-money for pipe-dreams (Score 1) 158

by mi (#48883683) Attached to: A State-By-State Guide To Restrictive Community Broadband Laws

I've worked in the power utility industry for years.

So, you offer a single anecdote — whatever its merits — to back up the claim that started with "In most cases ...".

I've seen more cases of well-cleaned private parking lots next to snow-boggled public streets than that.

Comment: Re:Test them in Ukraine today... (Score 1) 207

by mi (#48868429) Attached to: US Army Wants Weapon To Destroy Drone Swarms

I wonder how lopsided the drone / antidrone equation really is.

According to this article, Western military drones cost $200K apiece (ballpark — I'm sure, the price-range is wide). Russian ones are, probably, half that. Ukrainians are making their own at $60K.

Whatever it is, the cost of a single military drone is tens of thousands.

Now, a hand-held Stinger — capable of bringing down a real aircraft with a pilot fighting for his life — is quoted on Wikipedia costing $38K (though it is unclear, which year dollars those are). That's decidedly less than a drone already.

Considering that a) the anti-drone missiles don't need to be as powerful and strong as Stingers; b) things made in Ukraine (or Russia for that matter) tend to cost a lot less, a usable missile can, probably, be produced for "only" several thousand dollars apiece.

But even if the US made them — and gave to Ukraine — it would still be good bang for the buck, achieving a valuable military objective without giving Russia too much to protest about, because this new weapon would be "non-lethal".

Comment: Re:With taxes you buy civilization, remember? (Score 2) 289

by mi (#48865401) Attached to: Police Nation-Wide Use Wall-Penetrating Radars To Peer Into Homes

While they may not officially take orders from their superior, the reality is that they do.

Of course! And that's a perfectly normal — as long as the country remains at peace with itself.

Should another civil conflict unravel, however, these arsenals distributed nation-wide and under control of local authorities (each with his own agenda and loyalties) will be part of a problem for any usurper of central power, not part of his solution.

Comment: Re:With taxes you buy civilization, remember? (Score 1) 289

by mi (#48865315) Attached to: Police Nation-Wide Use Wall-Penetrating Radars To Peer Into Homes

There is no dilemma.

Ah, but there is. On this very board we went from the outrage at the government's unwarranted peeking (yet another manifestation of the already much-discussed spying on citizens) to defending the practice against the crazy Libertarians like myself, who laugh and sneer at the idea, that "taxes are good".

your tenuous grasp of logic

It is not about me, dearest. Shove your ad hominems up, where they'll do more good — such for treating your hemorrhoids.

Comment: Re:Test them in Ukraine today... (Score 1) 207

by mi (#48865213) Attached to: US Army Wants Weapon To Destroy Drone Swarms

And 99% of hamas missiles fall down to some farm field, wilderness, and do not do any damage at all.

A bold-faced lie — by an anonymous asshole, no less. The statistics of Iron Dome's effectiveness are being discussed all over the net. The site of consensus cites the following numbers:

In November 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense, the Iron Dome's effectiveness was estimated by Israeli officials at between 75 and 95 percent. According to Israeli officials, of the approximately 1,000 missiles and rockets fired into Israel by Hamas from the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense up to 17 November 2012, Iron Dome identified two thirds as not posing a threat and intercepted 90 percent of the remaining 300. During this period the only Israeli casualties were three individuals killed in missile attacks after a malfunction of the Iron Dome system.

So, 2/3rds — not 99% — were deemed not worth intercepting. 270 of the remaining 300 were intercepted. If the thirty rockets, that did get through managed to kill 3 Israelis between them, it is fair to extrapolate, that — without the system in place — the 30 would've been killed.

But good at one thing - defence industry pork money.

Yeah, yeah. Unable to defeat Israel on the battlefields of real wars, the whining Arab pussies have switched to terrorism and propaganda. Trying to convince American taxpayers, their monetary help to Israel is being wasted, is part of the latter.

Comment: Re:Test them in Ukraine today... (Score 1) 207

by mi (#48864727) Attached to: US Army Wants Weapon To Destroy Drone Swarms

The problem with fighting $500 drones with $100,000 missiles

You got the equation wrong. Your numbers may be in the ballpark for the IDF vs. Arabs situation — where the cheap but fast-traveling unguided missiles require expensive and sophisticated interception.

The military drones cost a lot more than $500 — they require avionics, reliable remote control, cameras with decent optics, etc. They are also flying a lot slower and so can be intercepted much easier — by a much cheaper missile. Oh, and you can launch many of such missiles at a single drone with relative impunity, whereas Iron Dome must carefully consider, where the fragments will fall in both cases of successful and failed interception.

Comment: Test them in Ukraine today... (Score 4, Interesting) 207

by mi (#48862825) Attached to: US Army Wants Weapon To Destroy Drone Swarms

Ukrainian troops fighting in the East of the country suffer a great deal from the separatists' Russia-provided drones — those transmit signals to Russian artillery right across the border, which then targets Ukrainians with devastating precision. If they could kick those drones out of the sky, life would become much easier.

It would seem, any counter-measure America can help with could be field-tested right away — all without hurting a single human enemy.

How to do it? I used to think, small rockets could be used. Miniaturized copies of the early SAMs, created by the long declassified designs — current generation of drones aren't really made for evading such a thing...

+ - How the U.S. Army Plans to Defeat the Unthinkable: Drone Swarms->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Yes, the US military loves to use drones against enemies who have no defense against them: think terrorist cells, ISIS/IS/ISIL, the Taliban etc. However, drones are getting cheaper to make, easier to use, and more technological sophisticated. The day is coming--and coming quite soon--where U.S. military planners will have to defend against drones. And they may have to fight off lots of them.

The U.S. Army seems to have some ideas: "The Army wants a weapon that can both detect and destroy a swarm of UAVs. It would "disrupt these platforms’ autonomous flight-control and navigation capabilities or cueing a weapons system like the Remotely-Operated Weapon Station (RWS) or other medium or large-caliber weapon.," said the Army's research proposal. The system would be mounted on vehicles or at Army installations. More interesting, the Army proposal also notes that it might be mounted on UAVs, which raises the possibility of using drones to shoot down other drones.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:With taxes you buy civilization, remember? (Score 1) 289

by mi (#48862207) Attached to: Police Nation-Wide Use Wall-Penetrating Radars To Peer Into Homes

police chiefs and mayors take their orders from governors

No, they don't. There is no chain-of-command in civil government of different levels (such as between state governors and mayors). Mayors are locally elected, not appointed by governors — their authority is derived from the voters. As is the Governors' and the President's too.

governors (who also command the National Guard)

Actually, President is Commander in Chief of all National Guard.

[governors] take orders from Congress / the White House

Nope, they do not. What a silly idea! Do you really need an immigrant to point out these glaring errors in your civics education?!

Comment: Re:With taxes you buy civilization, remember? (Score 2) 289

by mi (#48859215) Attached to: Police Nation-Wide Use Wall-Penetrating Radars To Peer Into Homes

There's a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.

I am well aware of — and generally agree with — the sentiment, but, in my opinion, the current concerns are misplaced.

Until these civilian police are also placed under the same command as the military, the police — along with their advanced weapons — will remain a counterbalance against some future Hugo Chavez...

Yes, the police agencies discussed in TFA are, largely, federal — and thus already under the Commander in Chief's authority. But the local police departments, that are "militarized" nationwide are not.

Comment: Re:Data about where and how people drive? (Score 1) 237

by mi (#48858585) Attached to: Google Thinks the Insurance Industry May Be Ripe For Disruption

Let's see you track me when the phone cannot transmit or receive

Let's see you use it as a navigation device in such a state... Google, at least, gives you some value in exchange for your privacy — the navigation instructions you get from Google Maps will consider the actual current driving conditions (as much as Google knows them, of course). To get that information, you must tell Google, where you are — and where you are going...

+ - Physicists figure out how to read scrolls scorched by Mount Vesuvius eruption->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "In 79 C.E., Mount Vesuvius erupted, destroying the city of Pompeii — and a nearby library filled with scrolls. We've been trying to unroll these scorched scrolls since the 1750's, but the risk of damage was just too high. Now, physicists have figured out how to read the scrolls using high-powered x-rays. By placing a rolled up scroll in the path of a beam of powerful x-rays produced by a particle accelerator, researchers can measure a key difference between the burned papyrus and the ink on its surface: how fast the x-rays move through each substance."
Link to Original Source

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