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Comment: Re:Knuth is right. (Score 3, Insightful) 131

Discreet mathematique are the basis for computing

Not at the semiconductor junction level.

You are confusing computing with computers. Indeed, a "computer" used to be a human being implementing algorithms with a mechanical adding machine, and then were tube-based electrical systems, and in the future may use something wholely other than semiconductors; computing, however, remains the same. A bubble sort is still a bubbble sort.

Comment: Re:The insane part to me... (Score 1) 117

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48674001) Attached to: US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier For One Penny
I don't know what barges think of 'blue water navy' work; but that's the sort of thing I had in mind: skip classy, skip seriously intimidating looking, stick a bunch of standardized modules together into a big floating airfield, with the aim of providing a lot of flight deck and very, very, deep stores of fuel and munitions for the 'yeah, we want another strike going out every half hour or so until further notice' style of air support/pounding that seems to crop up.

Comment: Re:TFS, FFS (Score 2) 117

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48673991) Attached to: US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier For One Penny

I imagine the DOD would be a little peeved if it turned up in a Chinese shipyard.

We've probably outsourced worse( at least assuming that any more modernized systems, ECM, radar, etc. are stripped from the hulk first); but yeah, I'm guessing that the breakers offering the best rates don't exactly have security clearances, in addition to their atrocious environmental record, nonexistent occupational safety, and so on.

I don't actually know, and so would be interested to, is there anything considered 'sensitive' about something as old as a (presumably modernized here and there) Forrestal class? I assume that, for economic as well as security reasons, you'd rip out all the modern electronics, CIWS, radar, air-traffic-control systems, etc.; but is the remainder of the ship itself still considered a bit touchy, or old news?

Comment: Re:3 in lb? (Score 1) 95

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48673977) Attached to: NASA Makes 3-D Printed Wrench Model Available
On the plus side, space construction probably doesn't demand a whole lot of really heroic fastener work(but the gloves make 'finger tight' pretty clumsy if you are outside). In absence of gravity, all sorts of comparatively feeble joints become acceptable, so long as you don't damage things trying to put them together("Yeah, I um, stripped the mounting hole for the habitat module...") and the assembly keeps things from floating away.

If anything, I'd imagine that space tools are more likely to emphasize being able to set maximum torque, to keep people from screwing up delicate, lightweight, functionally irreplaceable, parts, rather than emphasizing the sort of power you want when fighting with a rusted assembly or something binding under stress.

Comment: Re: Big deal (Score 1) 95

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48673967) Attached to: NASA Makes 3-D Printed Wrench Model Available

Yeah but now you can pay out the ass for a 3d printer and download a wrench and wait 4 hours to get your wrench.

I'd be the first to make snide comments about some of the 3d printing hype (some of it, the sort that fails to answer "and we wouldn't do this with machine tools why exactly?", there are a number of genuinely impressive applications, albeit mostly involve additional finishing steps or the really expensive printers); but 'earth orbit' is one of those places where I can imagine being willing to wait for printing rather than ordering from harbor freight and waiting for shipping.

A problem better solved by standardizing fasteners, of course; but if somebody has already opened that can of worms for you, and you need an oddball tool in a space and shipping constrained environment, I can think of worse fates than using a plastic one.

User Journal

Journal: Merry Christmas! 1

Journal by mcgrew

For the first time in nine years I got to see my youngest daughter on Christmas; this is the first Christmas in nine years she didn't have to work. Great Christmas present!

And the second to last pre-publication copies came Christmas eve eve. I finished going through it this morning, and the book itself is ready. What wasn't was the cover; I fixed it and ordered another copy, so Mars, Ho! should be online in a couple of weeks.

Comment: Re:The insane part to me... (Score 1) 117

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48673449) Attached to: US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier For One Penny
I suspect that a ~60 year old ship is probably a horrible mess in a number of respects, and might well not be the best starting point for the job; but given what we actually send aircraft carriers out to do at present(and to a substantial degree, have since WWII), it would be interesting to know if there's any room for a variant carrier design that emphasizes sheer capacity per unit cost, for all our aerial bombardment of stuff that can't really do much about it needs.

I understand the navy's enthusiasm for aircraft carriers that might not immediately become the involuntary flagships of the submarine navy upon contact with actual opposition; but they sure are expensive for situations where we are just beating on people with minimal retaliatory capabilities.

Comment: Re:Sure. DDOS. (Score 2) 159

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48673359) Attached to: Xbox Live and PlayStation Networks Downed By Apparent Attack
Isn't 'outage includes other gaming-related servers' ambiguous at best(an attacker hitting XBL and PSN wouldn't need to be a rocket surgeon to add a few other high profile gaming related services to the list, unlike an attacker hitting a single service using some tailored vulnerability) and actively evidence in favor of 'not really DDoS, just all the legitimate paying customers having a lot of new consoles and games and extra free time right now' at worst?

If the problem is under-provisioning, the expected symptoms would be broad-based DDoS-like outages among all popular gaming related infrastructure. If the problem is DDoS attacks, the expected symptoms would be comparatively dramatic havoc on targeted systems, no disruption elsewhere, with the number of targeted systems limited by the attacker's resources(and by how close to failure those target systems were running under holiday load).

Comment: Re:TFS, FFS (Score 4, Informative) 117

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48673191) Attached to: US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier For One Penny
There's probably a substantial amount of decent scrap metal to be had; but a ship of that age(and presumably designed with a particular eye to avoiding things like 'catching fire just because our job is to be covered in jet fuel and munitions near a war zone') is probably one hell of a party in terms of asbestos, lead, PCBs, and who knows what else.

There might be some additional cost because, unlike a lower-profile commercial contract, it will be at least somewhat harder to just beach it on some especially unscenic chunk of Chittagong or Alang and then shrug in innocent ignorance as impoverished locals with hand tools attempt to break the ship before it breaks them. There is a reason why much of the industry is located in places with effectively nonexistent environmental controls and expendable workforces; but it would certainly be embarrassing, and might be illegal for one reason or another, for a particularly iconic ex-military vessel to make an appearance in such a place(based on what happened when the French tried it with the Clemenceau a few years back I would certainly be nervous about trying it).

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