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Comment: Re:Then there was War Plan Red (Score 1) 242

Mighty Yar got it right, the US had embarked on a massive naval construction program in the early 1920's and was in a position to dictate the terms of the Washington Naval Arms treaty of 1922. If the other nations didn't agree, the US would continue building its fleet. Also helped that the Japanese diplomatic code had been broken, so Japan ended up agreeing to a reduced fleet. One consequence of the treaty was that two of the USN battle cruisers under construction were converted to carriers, and showing the USN that large carriers were more effective than small carriers.

The attack plans on Canada were drawn up as the US experience with WW1 led to vigorous opposition to any thought of engaging in another war in Europe. Opinion polls conducted in 1941 showed about 70% of the US opposed to involvement in Europe, and one result was that The US declared war on Germany on December 11th only after Germany declared war against the US on Dec 10.

The plan to take over the Soviet Embassy to search for nuclear devices wasn't delusional as the Soviets had smuggled in components for a nuclear weapon into the Washington DC embassy.

Comment: Re: a better question (Score 1) 589

by phayes (#48911663) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?

Listen you illiterate twit, I HAVE proven that Linux is less energy efficient than OS X by booting Linux on a Mac & testing how long it lasts. I get almost twice the battery life - just like every one else does.
You, blinded by your prejudice refuse to perform the test (presumably because you'd need to touch a Mac & contaminate yourself) and are unable to comprehend ARS' article which clearly shows the work that Apple has performed on OS X that no other OS has.
As you clearly filter out all information that contrary to your dialectic, and keep posting unsupported out & out lies, we're done here.

Comment: Re:You know... (Score 3, Informative) 20

by bill_mcgonigle (#48911117) Attached to: Getting Charged Up Over Chargers at CES (Video)

Every dollar store sells USB wall chargers

Speaking of that - maybe everybody knows this already but it had escaped my attention - I was getting annoyed that my phone charges very fast with the Samsung charger/cable but rather slowly with the well-rated 2A charger I bought off Amazon.

The issue was my dollar-store cables. Long story short, there is 28/28 gauge wire inside cheap cables and the resistance means they can only pull 500mA. The electronics at both ends are smart enough to figure this out. What you need is a
28/24 cable and then you can get a fast charge.

I'm using Galaxy Charging Current Lite to measure my existing USB cables and tossing the ones that can't handle at least 1.3A. This helps with my over-stuffed box of USB cables too.

Comment: Re:Then there was War Plan Red (Score 1) 242

Well, the scouting was the "fleshed out" part. You don't create an actual war plan without doing your homework, and scouting your next door neighbor is probably easier than scouting anyone else would be.

Creating plans to invade or defend against other countries, even (currently) friendly ones, is the job of a military staff. It provides options for leaders, and good plans can't wait until two weeks before you realize that you need to go to war. If you've waited that long, you're screwed. Modern militaries don't operate without advanced logistics support and mobilization plans.

More to the point, it's good practice for those whose job it is to plan things. Its not exactly friendly sounding, but every country's military does it. The UK even had a plan for war with the US before WWII, although even then, the plan was "try to get the US population to lose interest in the war by holding out long enough to not be blockaded into starvation".

Just think of it as the US playing a friendly game of Warhammer 40K with their best bud Canada.

Comment: Re: But does it matter any more? (Score 1) 111

by tnk1 (#48910299) Attached to: Windows 10 IE With Spartan Engine Performance Vs. Chrome and Firefox

I'm well aware that PC doesn't equal Windows and nothing I said indicated I believed that. The point is that PCs still exist, and Windows still dominates them for anything but servers.

I'm a sys admin who uses Linux every day. I've had Linux desktops running on machines and in VMs for years. I have a bunch of Linux desktop VMs at the moment. Its better for development, but I much prefer Linux as the VM and not as my actual workstation.

Linux has done a lot of things well, but creating a desktop worth using regularly is one thing that seems to elude it for some reason. For what it is worth Win XP was "okay", but Win7 was actually pretty good. Even Win 8.1 is decent, if you can ignore some of the irritations. But I have yet to see a Linux desktop that even really compares to XP, let alone later iterations of Windows.

Comment: Re: Scaled Composites renamed (Score 1) 38

by jd (#48909771) Attached to: Virgin Galactic Dumps Scaled Composites For Spaceship Two

Solar sail can achieve 25% light speed, according to NASA, and Alpha Centauri is 4 light years away.

You want a manned mission (with robots doing all the actual work) to determine if the conventional wisdom that a manned mission to the outer planets is physically impossible is correct. Even if the pilot dies, you learn the furthest a manned mission can reach. There's seven billion people, you can afford to expend one or two. Ideally, they'd be volunteers and there'll be no shortage of them, but if you're concerned about valuable life, send members of the Tea Party.

Comment: Re:But does it matter any more? (Score 4, Interesting) 111

by tnk1 (#48909471) Attached to: Windows 10 IE With Spartan Engine Performance Vs. Chrome and Firefox

Sure, Windows isn't all over mobile, but most people still have PCs. Including the one I am typing on right now. It is still quite relevant. Until you end the PC, somehow, it will continue to be, if nothing else changes.

It is still by far, the best OS for business workstation use. And I say this as a UNIX admin who has been waiting for a Linux desktop worth using for the last decade. And its not half bad for personal use either.

Windows has come a long way, although not without its share of missteps. I'm actually okay with it now. I might not switch to a Mac even if someone gave me one. Although that says more about what I think of Macs these days than it does of Windows. And mind you, my first three computers were Macs.

Comment: Re:Did anyone expect otherwise? (Score 1) 242

Thing is... nuclear war would bring serious climate change, and due to the massive amount of deaths and casualties, disease would probably kill as many, if not more, than the bombs themselves. This would be like the Black Death, with radiation.

However, people would almost certainly survive. Possibly a lot of them, but at least a few. Humanity has survived at least one supervolcanic eruption, which would be very comparable to the amount of dust you might get in a nuclear exchange.

Compared to what might happen after such an event, actual working martial law would be more "society" by far. It would actually be something of an achievement in that scenario, if it avoided breaking down into warlords and roving bands of killers.

Comment: Re:Then there was War Plan Red (Score 2) 242

Europe was tired out and broke after WWII. The US probably did some nudging, but the reality was that there was a new world after WWII and true empires of the 19th Century sort were no longer supportable, if they ever really were. Europe was a literal wreck, and the UK was broke.

In the end, they exhausted themselves and ended their own empires through their bad decisions.

Comment: Re:Urban legend? (Score 1) 242

The various staffs of the armed services constantly run "what-if" scenarios like this. They are not evidence of any sort of intent, they're just thought exercises on how to carry out an attack on or defense against any particular opposing force. This is just war-gaming at a professional level which can be used to sharpen planning skills when they want to break out of planning yet another Middle East scenario.

Comment: Re:Where Does He Stand On the Issues? (Score 1) 118

by ScentCone (#48909141) Attached to: Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor of Kentucky

So even if you get 90% of the people to vote that all gays should be put to death on a funeral pyre the law STILL wouldn't pass because the 10% voting against it would include the gay people and because they are only ones affected, and the way they are affected is so extreme

Really? So, you'd be in favor of the government making sure they know who is and who isn't gay in order properly run skewed elections and referenda? How about simply having a clause in your constitution that says (as ours does) that everyone is treated equally under the law? Isn't that simpler than getting the government involved in keeping lists of who is on which part of a given spectrum of sexual orientation or skin color, etc?

Comment: Re: Scaled Composites renamed (Score 1) 38

by jd (#48909107) Attached to: Virgin Galactic Dumps Scaled Composites For Spaceship Two

No big surprise. The military are willing to invest what it takes for what they need. Military entities are, by necessity, pitifully naive when it comes to anything useful, but once they specify what they think they want, they don't shirk at the cost, they get the job done. A pointless job, perhaps, but nonetheless a completed job.

The corporate sector wants money. Things don't ever have to get done, the interest on monies paid is good enough and there hasn't been meaningful competition in living memory. Because one size never fits all, it's not clear competition is even what you want. Economic theory says it isn't.

The only other sector, as I have said many times before, that is remotely in the space race is the hobbyist/open source community. In other words, the background behind virtually all the X-Prize contestants, the background behind the modern waverider era, the background that the next generation of space enthusiasts will come from (Kerbel Space Program and Elite: Dangerous will have a similar effect on the next generation of scientists and engineers as Star Trek the old series and Doctor Who did in the 1960s, except this time it's hands-on).

I never thought the private sector would do bugger all, it's not in their blood. They're incapable of innovation on this kind of scale. It's not clear they're capable of innovation at all, all the major progress is bought or stolen from researchers and inventors.

No, with civilian government essentially walking away, there's only two players in the field and whilst the hobbyists might be able to crowdsource a launch technology, it'll be a long time before they get to space themselves. The military won't get there at all, nobody to fight, so the hobbyists will still be first with manned space missions, but it's going to take 40-50 years at best.

We have the technology today to get a manned mission to Alpha Centauri and back. It would take 15-20 years for the journey and the probability of survival is poor, but we could do it. By my calculations, it would take 12 years to build the components and assemble them in space. Only a little longer than it took for America to get the means to go to the moon and back. We could actually have hand-held camera photos taken in another solar system and chunks of rocky debris from the asteroid belt there back on Earth before Mars One launches its first rocket AND before crowdfunded space missions break the atmosphere.

All it takes is putting personal egos and right wing politics on the shelf, locking the cupboard and then lowering it into an abandoned mineshaft, which should then be sealed with concrete.

"There is no statute of limitations on stupidity." -- Randomly produced by a computer program called Markov3.

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