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Comment: Re:THROUGH North Korea?! (Score 1) 218

by stoatwblr (#46801547) Attached to: Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

> But how capable would those reservist truly be?

It's been said repeatedly by many NK escapees that the supply of ammunition is strictly controlled because the first bullets fired by any conscripts in the event of any hostility would most likely be through the heads of the officers commanding the conscripts.

Same applies to all those weapons dug in facing South. Unless concreted in position they can easily be turned around - and I assume they're all pretty well pinpointed targets to the point where they'd be lucky to get one shot off anyway.

In the event of open warfare the most difficult thing that would be encountered is likely to be tens of thousands of NK soldiers clamouring to surrender (It is a lot harder to deal with than it sounds, as the USA found out during GW1).

At this point in proceedings, support and alliances may come from unlikely sources. NK is the world's largest source of methampetamines and can probably call on assistance from drug cartels and other criminal orgs if it needs to. The battlefields are likely to be everywhere in such an event.

Comment: Re:THROUGH North Korea?! (Score 1) 218

by stoatwblr (#46801491) Attached to: Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

McArthur was _ordered_ not to proceed beyond a certain point (about 50 miles from the chinese border) and did so anyway. He drove the NK forces over the river into china and that's when the chinese got so uncomfortable that they openly entered the war - mainly because they didn't want to be landed with all the NK refugees.

The problem with gung-ho generals is that they don't appreciate the bigger picture. An apparent opportunity for an overwhemling military victory ruled out the possibility of actually ending the war by switching off chinese backing (they'd have been a lot more willing to negotiate back then than they are now.)

Comment: Re:Use news instead of using gut feeling (Score 1) 218

by stoatwblr (#46801463) Attached to: Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

"They don't turn the N.K. refugees back either, so once again not an ally."

Actualy they do.

NKs found in China without the right paperwork (ie, refugees) face immediate deportation back to NK (at which point they and their families face punishment in NK Gulags), so they have to keep a _very_ low profile and get out of china as quickly/quietly as possible - generally that involves a long and complicated trip across China (which is about the size of the United States) and sneaking over borders on the southwestern edge - which exposes them to more trigger-happy border guards.

Russia doesn't want the NK refugees either and will happily ship 'em back over the border too.

Once out of China they usually end up in SK, but as noted many have a hard time integrating - a lot of the time it's due to the realisation that whilst they have promised to go back and get more of the fmaily, many left behind are so frail they wouldn't survive the privations of getting across China, so they will never be seen again.

Comment: Re:That has happened quite often here in the US. (Score 1) 170

by stoatwblr (#46801311) Attached to: The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

Let's not forget the Quantity Surveyor, whose job it is to notice _and minimise_ excess materials being used, in order to save money.

The results of this kind of tactic are predictable - such as a 5 floor library building being unable to hold any usable quantities of books on its upper 3 floors thanks to a QS who noticed the building was being made "far too stongly"(*) and downgraded the specs without bothering to feed that back up the engineering chain.

(*)correct if it was an office building but bookshelves have a _much_ higher overall floor loading than desks.

Comment: Re:Not sure about the recovery test (Score 1) 121

What counts is how far downrange that separation takes place. All you need to do is cancel the horizontal component of the trajectory and have enough fuel to be able to carry it back (to some extent it should be glideable - even a skydiver can easily make 100mph as a horizontal component of his/her trajectory.).

The vertical component will be taken care of by gravity. As others have said it's mainly a matter of making sure it's slowed down "enough" by the time it reaches thicker atmosphere that it doesn't tear apart and it'll slow down even more as it passes through that.

The more I look at this the more I'm convinced that SpaceX are on the right track with a RTB profile.

Falcon stage1 separation is about 35 miles up and 40 miles downrange, at a total velocity of 3800-4000mph. That's going to give plenty of time to rotate and push back to base, even before apogee (are the landing legs also intended as drogues/airbrakes? It seems so to my untrained eyes.)

By way of comparison the SRBs detached after 2 minutes at 24miles altitude with a total velocity about 2800mph, reached apogee of 35 miles, did no retrofiring and only landed about 125 miles downrange. Profile drawings show separation happening at about 30-40 miles downrange.

NASA was already investigating flyback liquid boosters based on Deltas at the time of the Challenger disaster, after which the plans were shelved, so they clearly thought it was doable, but other events got in the way (NASA has always been shortfunded, even during the moonshots. The US public spent more on pizza deliveries or outboard motors in 1969 than NASA's entire annual budget (ie: either category is larger than the NASA budget) and it's been strangled ever since.)

Comment: Re:Changing IMEI is illegal (Score 1) 109

by stoatwblr (#46760867) Attached to: Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London

Given the amount of handshaking which goes on, you can put the IMEI in those too.

Most modern cars have something like this in all their management systems. if breaking one up for parts, the components have to be electronically divorced from each other (while still connected to each other) or they'll refuse to work in another system (there's a marriage procedure too)

That setup was deliberately introduced to combat stolen parts rings and chop shops, but has only been partially effective (savvy operators steal entire cars and do the necessary procedures before commencing the chop, but many small legit breaking/recycling firms don't have the kit to do it, so are effectively selling electronic junk)

Comment: Re:Changing IMEI is illegal (Score 1) 109

by stoatwblr (#46760805) Attached to: Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London

> At least with this setup, the thieves would have to crack the phone open,....

fusble link proms are both tiny and extremely cheap. They can also be embedded _in_ the circuit board.

One of the original design criteria for mobile phones was that the electronic serial number should both be electronically immutable and impossible to physically without destroying the handset. At some point that went out the window.

Comment: Re:Why can't US "journalists" do this? (Score 1) 109

by stoatwblr (#46760737) Attached to: Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London


The main (formerly govt monopoly) telco in New Zealand shut down virtually all media reporting of major fines it'd been hit with for illegal anticompetitive activities by threatening to pull all ad space in the time between the story was reported as "late breaking, more at 10" on the 6pm TV news and the 10pm news (both channels which ran news programs at the time ran them at 6 and 10pm)

Only IDG computerworld ran the story - and it's no coincidence that the telco didn't advertise in that.

It wasn't the first time a large company had shut down unfavourable press by thrreatening to withhold adverts, but it was the first time it had been done so effectively and across all mass media.

Comment: Re:Why do people listen to her? (Score 1) 586

by stoatwblr (#46760303) Attached to: Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

There's no reason most vaccines can't be combined in the same syringe.

Even if not: I can clearly remember getting shots at 4 years old. It hurt less than being pinched.

I had to do a bunch of vaccinations last year for travel. They hurt less than that.

OTOH Flu shots *throb* for days.

As far as autism goes, the withdrawing always seems to happen between 2 and 3, regardless of any given country's vaccine schedules. Correlation doesn't imply causality.

Never put off till run-time what you can do at compile-time. -- D. Gries