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Comment: Giving Iran some benefit of the doubt... (Score 1) 260

by rcrodgers (#42789655) Attached to: Iran Unveils Its Own Stealth Fighter Jet, the Qaher F-313

I'm going to give them some benefit of the doubt, just to be diplomatic. I'm going to assume that it is indeed a real airplane and that it was indeed flying in the video. (Global Security disagrees with this assumption at http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iran/qaher-313.htm but I just want to state my two cents on the plane as an enthusiast.) That said, just because they say it's a stealth fighter doesn't make it a stealth fighter. In the footage provided there's no documentation of its stealthiness, nor even a general discussion on what makes it stealthy such as vaguely stating "radar absorbent materials", "carefully calculated angles", or "continuous curvature" like you get in History/Discovery/Military channel overviews of the U.S.'s stealth and stealthy aircraft. It's just "we have a stealth fighter." Even the roll-outs of the F-117A and B-2 contained more information about their stealth designs than was discussed in that video.

Lets give them another benefit of the doubt, that they were too intelligent to discuss those facts for strategic purposes.

I'm no expert on stealth, but I have fundamental problems with the aircraft's design in terms of stealth. The down pointing wingtips are sufficiently disjunctive with the rest of the flow of the aircraft that I can't help imagine that they'll generate a larger radar cross-section as a result. It has a forward wing-canard which helps with maneuverability (at least when paired with thrust vectoring), but I imagine that the tips (as seen at http://www.globalsecurity.org/jhtml/jframe.html#http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iran/images/qaher-313-image06.jpg||| ) would also trigger a larger cross-section from some angles. Hell, this image, http://www.globalsecurity.org/jhtml/jframe.html#http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iran/images/qaher-313-image18.jpg||| , to me screams that there's no way in the world this wouldn't reflect radar signals back to the source...

Global Security does point out that the air in-takes are too small for any reasonable modern fighter jet, but perhaps the Iranians couldn't make it stealthy with any significant jet engine. They also point out that the nose cone is too small to hold a radar system, but that might be explained by a very involved ground control team; it hasn't been unheard of for officers on the ground to order fighters to certain locations and engage certain enemies. This was a Russian and Chinese strategy though I don't know if they still hold to that. Not including a radar system in an aircraft would make the pilot dependent on its ground control, less capable of independent action, and less likely to be detected by an enemy's threat detection system. They wouldn't be locking on to a target with their own radar, so missiles fired from them would be fed telemetry from a remote location, which means it couldn't give away the aircraft's position (specific or broad) prior to firing. Of course, that's speculation; it's possible that it has a small radar system that is comparatively weak by the standards we use in the West. Global Security quotes David Cenciotti who noted "It looks like this pilot is in a miniature plane" and it appeared "nothing more than a large mock-up model" but then, so does an F-16 up close. The F-16 looks like a toy next to the F-15 or F-22.

Nonetheless, I don't imagine the DoD is losing any sleep over this announcement... Even if the plane is real and really does have some stealthy features, I'd wager that it would still be a large enough radar target for AWACS to pick it up at a distance, and relay lock data to a squadron of F-15s that are well outside of visual range. I think that its possible stealthy features are ruined by its design. If any thing, I think it's more hot air coming out of Tehran to forestall any potential talk of an attack out of the West to stop their nuclear program.

And for the record, I think the plane looks like it was inspired by Firefox combined with bits from Stealth and actual fighters like the F-22. I'm more concerned about China's stealth fighter(s) which seem to be more legitimate ripoffs of known stealth and stealthy planes.

Comment: Re:Waaay past the original projection (Score 1) 403

by rcrodgers (#39700297) Attached to: Sixty Years On, B-52s Are Still Going Strong
They weren't exactly building new B-52s in 90. They were committed to supporting the existing aircraft that they were allowed to keep in service (a treaty signed with the Soviets actually had us destroy a large number of the aircraft). The Air Force *knew* they were keeping the plane in service long after they planned to retire the B-1 and B-2 bombers. This wasn't just speculation, or idle planning, they have a vested desire to keep the '52 flying until then.
Apple

+ - Is Apple's Dismal iBooks Author Software License E->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The iBooks Author EULA plainly tries to create an exclusive license for Apple to be the sole distributor of any worked created with it, but under the Copyright Act an exclusive license is a “transfer of copyright ownership,” and under 17 U.S.C. 204 such a transfer “is not valid unless an instrument of conveyance, or a note or memorandum of the transfer, is in writing and signed by the owner of the rights conveyed.” When authors rebel and take their work elsewhere, Apple has, at most, a claim for breach-of-EULA — but their damages are the failure to pay $0 for the program."
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AT&T

+ - Bill in Georgia would prohibit local governments f-> 2

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "The Associated Press (http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/a181871b044b4b16baf1a83f8da35951/GA-XGR--Public-Broadband/) has the news that Georgia State Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers is sponsoring a bill that "would prevent public broadband providers from paying for communication networks with tax or government revenue".

Senator Rogers claims that "The private sector is handling this exceptionally well". Local government officials disagree.

Georgia Municipal Association spokeswoman Amy Henderson says "When cities were getting involved in broadband, it was because private industry would not come there. Without that technology, they were economically disadvantaged. We feel like it is an option cities should have."
"

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Firefox

+ - Mozilla releases Rust 0.1->

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "After more than five years in the pipeline, Mozilla Labs and the Rust community have released the first alpha of the Rust programming language compiler. The Rust language emphasizes concurrency and memory safety, and — if everything goes to plan — is ultimately being groomed to replace C++ as Mozilla’s compiled language of choice, with Firefox (or parts of it) eventually being re-written in Rust."
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Space

+ - Solar Eruption Triggers Strongest Radiation Storm ->

Submitted by
ForgedArtificer
ForgedArtificer writes "A recent eruption on the sun will be exposing Earth to the strongest radiation storm seen since 2005.

It is expected to hit Tuesday, Jan 24th, at a speed of 5 million mph (2000 kps) and will potentially disrupt communications and put high-flyers at risk of radiation exposure."

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Comment: Re:Web-specific suggestion(s) (Score 1) 333

by rcrodgers (#38572924) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Writing Hardened Web Applications?

These days, in my opinion, sessions are done better and more securely with cookies; a cookie, for example, can be set to require a secure transmission vector (usually SSL in an HTTPS request), and aren't bookmarked as part of a URL. Yes it is more difficult to see what cookies are stored in your browser than in a URL, but most browsers will allow you to view and/or clear cookies easily enough. In addition, cookies can be set to expire automatically a set time on the client so they're only valid for a specified period of time, which can be completely separate from the server side. For instance, you could create a session that would live for 5 hours, and regularly change the session ID (say every fifth request if you like); the session cookie would get updated each time, but the overall session would live only for that 5 hour window. While the same could be done with a session ID in a URL, that session ID could still end up in a bookmark; in the very unlikely event of the session ID being reused, that bookmark could represent an inadvertent attack vector.

In addition, cookies are passed with both GET and POST requests; not every page has to be a POST request to use cookies to pass session IDs, and as I explained already, a session ID in a URL can be bookmarked. GET and POST have two different purposes, and I think everyone designing web pages could stand to read through the HTTP RFC . Logins should be done exclusively with POST in my opinion, and normal data retrieval once logged in should be done with GET. There's no reason that any search engine should ever be given a session, let alone a session ID; if a search engine needs access to otherwise secured information, there are options to accomplish that, but I can't see the logic in locking up data then making it publicly available in a search engine.

Comment: GPGPU Cold War finally ending? (Score 1) 89

by rcrodgers (#38371086) Attached to: NVIDIA Releases Source To CUDA Compiler
Does this mean that AMD/ATI and nVidia are finally recognizing that the only people really losing out in their cold war are their users? I'm traditionally an AMD/ATI customer but have been leaning towards getting an nVidia card for the CUDA support in Adobe's Creative Suite, but if this means that at some point in the future the Radeon HD 7000 series will support CUDA and will potentially accelerate CS, then I'll stick with it...

Comment: Re:Anyone else not surprised? (Score 1) 612

by rcrodgers (#38309440) Attached to: Iranian TV Shows Downed US Drone

Definitely true, though I'm sure there are people at the various military contractors that knew better all along. There's no excuse for being lax about security when national security, defense, and military equipment and personnel are involved.

Yes, a video signal is different from the control signal, but any intelligence intercepted by an enemy is still a security risk. More often than not, intelligence from those drones is relayed by radio to ground units rather than being directly received by those units. (Some degree of analysis usually needs to be done.) The video signal needs to be encrypted just as much as the control signals.

My point with regards to the malware infection was more that this should have triggered a re-evaluation of the security involved in the maintenance and usage of our drones.

Comment: Re:Anyone else not surprised? (Score 1) 612

by rcrodgers (#38307988) Attached to: Iranian TV Shows Downed US Drone
The question is, after it was confirmed last year that hostiles were intercepting military satellite footage in Afghanistan and that malware was present on a significant number of drones earlier this year, why wasn't any encryption either present or if it was present, why wasn't it updated to prevent interception and/or loss of control? I think the Air Force Cyber Warfare division has some explaining to do...
Enlightenment

+ - Stephen Hawking on "Keep Talking"->

Submitted by modernphysics
modernphysics (1253098) writes "This is an interesting program on youtube about Stephen Hawking's scientific contributions, inspirational life story and message for everyone to "keep talking" to advance physics and our future. Commenting on Prof. Hawking's messages are Jim Gates, Neil Turok, Rebecca Sax, Julie Payette, David Foster, Rick Hanson and William Shatner. Recorded at the grand open of The Stephen Hawking Centre."
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Space

+ - "Amateur" astronomer snaps pic of planet-forming d->

Submitted by
The Bad Astronomer
The Bad Astronomer writes "Rolf Olsen, an "amateur" astronomer in New Zealand, took an amazing photo of a disk of material around the star Beta Pictoris, the first time this has been seen outside of professional observatories. Incredibly, he snagged it with just a 25 cm (10") telescope! A comparison with an earlier pic from a much larger observatory indicates he nailed it, making this a milestone for amateur astronomy."
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