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Slashback: Delays, Torpedos, Revitalization 179

More below on what is surely one of the slowest patents ever granted (to our inquisitive friends with the radar domes, no less), and smidgeons of news on such various and sundry as Napster (perhaps you've heard of it?) and Iridium (perhaps you wish you'd never heard of it?), not to mention more on the destruction of the submarine Kursk.

The (cryptographic) wheels of government grind slowly. JOEL-V writes: "In August 2000, the United States Patent Office issued patent #6097812 to the National Security Agency, for 'Cryptographic System.' The patent application was filed in the year 1933, and this invention and patent are actually one version of the famous Enigma machine."

On a similar note, Paul Maud'Dib writes: "The Slashdot crew might be interested in checking out Enigmatic. They have java emulators for the Purple, Sigaba, Enigma, Russian Espionage Cipher and a public domain Bombe. They also have rather lucid descriptions of the various systems used. Interesting reads all."

That which does not kill him makes him stronger. You may recall that some maladjusted script kiddies threw a spanner in the works of the excellent kuro5hin a little while ago. Emmett told you more about the attack and its aftermath shortly thereafter. Looks like it's time for the (all volunteer, cool-content, graphically appealing) kuro5hin to emerge from a quick breather.

pope nihil writes: "kuro5hin.org has an update on their page. things should be back up (according to the update) by Sept 15 or so. check it out." Yes, Go there! Congratulations, guys.

88 bottles of bits on the wall, 88 bottles of bits ... NoWhere Man writes "The bankrupt Iridium venture has received another bid to save the wireless phone company's $5 billion satellite system from being pulled from space and destroyed. A California-based organization named CMC International is offering to pay $30 million to acquire Iridium's 88 satellites and other assets, according to a court filing submitted Friday."

It certainly would be nice if someone could eke out (even a meager) connection from Iridium rather than incinerating the satellites in the atmosphere, but honestly, the Will Burn / Will Fly status of these birds flip-flops enough to put a politician to shame. I'd like them to stay up, if only not to spook other folks from putting data-bouncing satellites up for our browsing pleasure.

In a nutshell, this is the problem with carrying around cavitation weapons. aleclee writes "It now appears that the Kursk was indeed carrying cavitation weapons and that she was sunk by a misfiring rocket. Supposedly, the rocket/torpedo can travel at 200 knots! Details can be found here."

Update: any port in a storm, and this one sounds nice. Patrick Ryan wrote: " Hello, I wanted you to know that CDSA [as mentioned in this slashdot story] has been updated at Intel and now includes a Linux port." Visit http://developer.intel.com/ial/security/ for more information about CDSA, and then the download site for your free-downloading pleasure.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Delays

Comments Filter:
  • I don't think Russia's too worried about US invasion plans in this day and age; I suspect they lose most of their sleep over their much more populous neighbor to the south and east....


    --
  • It's not so much that you'll get in trouble, but under Article 47 Paragraph 23, they'll deny your request to have a lego submarine built.
    --
  • You mean "death throes", I think.

  • If Iridium is ultimately rescued, take a close look at the company that does it. I know that U.S. government employees are a large portion of the users, and I would not put it out of the realm of possibility for some secretive governmental agency to keep the thing afloat via a front company.
  • ...DDoS attacks or slashdot?
  • Speaking of audible noises...
    The recent Newsweek article on the Kursk said that the U.S. sub's sonar operators were nearly deafened by the explosion.

    Them's some high-falutin' headphones...
    -----
    D. Fischer
  • ..that the Kursk was carrying any sort of "test" weapon. Loosely quoting Razor's Maxim, "All things being equal, the simplest solution is usually correct." Russia doesn't have the cash to keep most of its subs from rusting in their shipyards, much less to pour into R&D. The speculation that they fired some "new" torpedo and it either blew up in the tube, or turned back on the sub is pure bunk. It is widely known that the Russians went from stable solid fuel torpedoes, to a much more volatile, liquid fuel torpedo. What probably happened was some untrained crewmember, made a catastrophic mistake (it was a conscript, cherry crew), and the sympathetic explosion destroyed the sub. As for the notion that any one survived. Don't make me laugh. Most where incinerated in the second explosion, those who weren't had their lungs ripped out as the explosion burned up all the oxygen. If someone was luck enough to survive this, they most certainly drown seconds later. Stop all the conspiracy talk, its bullshit from "unnamed" sources.
  • The New York Times is running what I think is a more substantive article [nytimes.com] on the Kursk sinking that also supports the cavitation-torpedo-gone-bad theory.

    Of course, free registration is required so they know where to find you and take your guns away.

    -

  • And having more karma than 50 is important for....what is that reason again? Need it to motivate you to post insightful comments? Ahh..I was wondering what the big deal was ;-)
  • My patent lawyer friend tells me that, to his knowledge, patents take from 1 to 67 years to be approved.

    A host is a host from coast to coast
    but no one uses a host that's close
  • According to Jane's (I know most /.'ers don't have access to it, but I'll cite my source: Jane's Intelligence Review, May 01, 1995; June 01, 1995; June 01, 1998 "Homing in on Russia's approach to ASW"; November 01, 1999 "How Shkval ensured Soviet SSBN survivability") The VA-111 Shkval has been in development since 1964. It was accepted into service in 1977, and carried on Sierra, Mike and Akula class attack submarines.

    It's rocket powered, and originally it carried a tactical nuclear weapon. It was intended to defend the SSBN's, Ballistic missile submarines, as a defense against the quieter US attack submarines. So it's not too out of line to speculate that an SSBN might be outfitted with them. It has no guidance whatsoever. As soon as an attacking torpedo was fired, a Shkval was supposed to be fired back along the incoming heading. It would reach a point between the incoming torpedo and the attacking sub, then detonate the tacnuke. The shockwave would destroy the attacking sub and torpedo.

    Since treaties have forbade the use of tactical nukes on submarines, this role has been retired. As previously discussed, a new version of the weapon, the Shkval-E is now being made as a conventional weapon. The rocket motor has a 90 second burn time, it is 533.4mm in diameter, 8.2m long, and weighs in at 2700kg, with a 250kg warhead. Range is supposed to be about 10,000 yards, pretty short for a torpedo. It's supposed to be guided, although it would be damn hard to get it to turn very fast.

  • Mmm. Torpedos have save millions of lives in the last 50 years. Forget penicillin or immunisation, these men are the true humanitarians.

    I don't know exactly what happened.

    Then do not post your ill-informed speculations. Or if you must, write them in an e-mail and send them to Mr Putin, who I am sure will be grateful for your message of support.

  • My read in the Cavitation torpedo is it is an underwater rocket/missle which moves through the water as such a rate of speed that only the nose of the missle is in contact with the water. It has, reportedly, little if any capacity for turning, but is hell-bent-for-leather fast.
  • The U.N. Charter, which the United States willingly signed (and crafted, even!), says that the U.S. owes $x amount of dollars for U.N. operations. The United States, in complete defiance of a treaty which it signed, has refused to fork over more than a BILLION dollars that they are required (by law!) to fork over.

    So I guess you're talking about a billion "shove it!" messages that the United States has given the U.N...

  • 2) New stuff tends to be added to flagships first. This sub was the about the same as the US Navy sees the USS Enterprise, its a flagship being the first in its class.

    Nit pick: the USS Enterprise (the carrier, not the starship) is the *only* one of its class. There are no other Enterprise-class carriers out there; our other CVNs are Nimitz-class. The Enterprise is also quite old.

  • Well, cavitation is the term for the air bubbles created when the prop(s) of a submarine spin too rapidly (or are improperly made to begin with) and create such turbulence (for lack of a better word) that it can be more easily detected by sonar systems. Surface craft can create cavitation as well, but with submarines, the idea is not to be spotted at all, while it is kind of hard to hide a surface ship.

    Now, a cavitation torpedo is probably (I can't say for sure) a torpedo designed to home in on the sounds of cavitation of another craft. Mind you, this can be of limited use, especially against submarines that either turn their props slowly enough to not create (enough) cavitation, or if they stop dead in the water. Surface ships don't always have this option, of course, as it is much easier to target and destroy a surface ship.

    Kierthos
  • by craw ( 6958 )
    Wow, a couple tons of TNT going off will make a big boom. I have to wonder what was the source of the Newsweek article. Did they "talk" to the sonar operators? Is the sub back in port? I'm going to have to sneek a peek at the Newsweek article. Hehe, I remember when you would go to your local magazine shop to take a peek at them naughty magazines.

    High-falutin headphones? Maybe they used that MIT acoustic sound source. "Boom! Hey skipper, sorry to scare you." But if the sonar techs clearly picked up the explosion, I have to think that everybody on the sub heard it. That would have to be piss in your pants scary.

  • Given the track record of western financial aid being siphoned off by the _wrong_ people, I'd be pretty hesitant to send money.
  • Why don't you ask that to my :Cue:Cat?

    He says:
    .C3nZc3nZC3nXE3f3Cxv7CNnX.fHmc.Dxb1ENfZENfXD3b7.
    .C3nZC3nZC3nXE3f3Cxv7CnnX.fHmc.Dxb1ENfZENfYD3PW.
    .C3nZc3nZC3nXE3f3Cxv7CNnX.cGen.ENr7C3n0C3z6CNrXCG.
    .C3nZC3nZC3nXE3f3Cxv7CNnX.cGen.ENr7C3n0C3z6CNrXCG.
    .C3nZC3nZC3nXE3f3Cxv7CNnX.cGen.ENr7C3P1DNvZE3v3CW.

    I hope that that clears things up for you.

  • I agree that they're very carefully wording the message. What I found interesting was the allegation that substantial liberties were taken with those unofficial comments. While I'm not exactly a fan of big media, I have little tolerance for people who forge evidence to support a cause.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    New Scientist had an article about super cavitation weapons recently. Super cavitation works by using a flat nose to create a low pressure area around the vessel, which vaporizes the water and greatly reduces drag. Using this technology, a vessel can reach speeds of 50 m/s. The only downside is that steering is very difficult.
  • By the same token, it's be nice to see someone find SOME use for this. I mean, it just seems wasteful get this far, and surely someone can find a good use.
  • I'm just guessing, but I would ass/u/me from the name, that it somehow generates air bubbles in between the torpedo surface and the water, in order to reduce friction.(?)
    ---
  • If napster is killing any sales, its sales of the cassette since its a bitch to rip a cassette.
  • "...went disastrously wrong, igniting highly inflammable propellant and detonating missile and torpedo warheads."

    hmm...prehaps their first mistake was using that damned inflammable propellant, it's always going around and igniting. Prehaps if they had used flammable propellant, all of this could have been avoided...typos baby, wohoo!
  • Wow... Some pretty cool stuff..... It always amazes me what kind of stuff we have. And how old it is. This stuff was developed in the '80s!! Imagine what they can do now! They could read your newspaper over your shoulder from a sattelite, in the '70s. Imagine what they can do now.....

    Back on-topic, I don't see this stuff becoming useful for non-military purposes though. The article briefly glanced over what see as the biggest problem: underwater sea life. If you're rocketing at Mach 2 underwater, you're going to hit some fish. They're fast, but damn, not that fast. At the very least, a fish hitting the bubble will destroy the bubble, probably the ship as well (Tuna salad sandwich anyone?) How do they propose to get the sea life out of the way??

  • OK take a deep breath. Now think. Look at Russia.

    The Russian economy is *not* capitalist, nor is it a free market. It is a mix of feudalsim and fascism. The government still allows/disallows large portions of what can happen (fascisim, not free market), and private kingpins control and reap the bounties of capital, whether it belongs to them or not (feaudalism, not capitalism).

    As with most claims made about the problems caused by capitalism and free markets, this one illustrates by pointing to things that are anathema to the market and capitalists.

    hawk, economics professor
  • will figure out that the US isn't planning to invade?

    Perhaps there's a strain of paranoia in the Russian soul. But it's not just their imagination. In the last 90 years they were invaded by Germany and Austria, Great Britain, France, and the US. And that was just during WWI. During WWII they were invaded again by Germany and Japan and suffered massive casulties. Something like 1 out of every 10 Russians died.

    Overly paranoid? We all know that the US would never invade a foreign country to "protect national interest". Not the Dominican Republic, or Nicagagua, or Grenada, or Panama, or Cuba. Certainly not Russia. Except for that once. The US has a navy that nobody else can equal, but still hasn't stopped developing dangerous and costly new weapons.

    National memories are long. In the US South, they remember "The War of Northern Agression". All over the US, there are still people who still distrust the Japanese. And in Bosnia, there are people who are bitter about an invasion that happened in the year 1389. Why would we expect Russia to trust the US?
  • Maybe it will have a horn.

    "meep meep, high explosives coming through"

    As for non-military purposes though, it could make spear fishing _real_ interesting :)

  • My mistake, folks. I assumed from the displacement that the Kursk was a ballistic missile submarine. I just checked my copy of Soviet Military Power: An Assesment of the Threat, 1988, and it has this to say about the OSCAR-I class submarine (at the time, the OSCAR-II was apparently unknown):
    The OSCAR I-Class nuclear-powered cruise missile attack submarine (SSGN) has slightly over three times the displacement of its functional predecessor, the CHARLIE II-Class SSGN, and can carry 24 ASCMs. In wartime, its 24 submerged-launch SS-N-19 ASCMs will be targeted primarily against NATO carrier battle groups.

    The book also notes that the SS-N-19 has a 550-kilometer range, and that the OSCAR-I displaces 16,000 metric tons. There is a rather good picture of one on page 69.

    Thanks for pointing out my mistake.

  • read the link... www.newscientist.com/features/features_224813.html for a better explanation
  • No not wiggling - go here to find out : http://www.newscientist.com/features/features_2248 13.html And here for more: (as in aleclee article) : http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2000/ 08/27/stifgnrus01003.html I do not know why they call it "squall" instead of "shkval" though - maybe an incompetent translator perhaps ? :-)
  • True, there is a large debt which hasn't been paid. But that's different than having resolutions passed that condemn the U.S., which is what I was more curious about.


  • Maybe it's termites for the codebooks and thermite for the rest of the stuff.


    -------
  • Quit depressing this guy's button.
  • If you go to www.milparade.com and search on Shkval, you'll find quite a few descriptive pages and detail about this system. Interestingly, the new Amur class subs are being sold to the Chinese with the Squall system fitted.
  • Next week on Slashdot: the Roadrunner sues Russia over patent infringement.
  • I'm wondering; why couldn't they do a drop-launch of this weapon? that is, slowly shove it out the torpedo tube, let it sit and possibly self-home on the target, but not fire the main motor, move the mother ship away so as not to give away it's position, then fire the torpedoes engines at a safe distance?

    Why not? well maybe their homing systems aren't that sophisticated. But ya'd think it would be safer than risking the sub.

    if it ain't broke, then fix it 'till it is!
  • Not the CMC Int'l Record Company??? :) That would be too funny. Maybe they want to drop those bad boys a Lynard Skynard show, a spectacular firework show of sorts.
  • True enough. The press definitely takes liberties when they have an agenda, so I wouldn't be too surprised if that happened here. It's hard to tell without seeing an actual transcript, and I would doubt very much that such is available.

    sulli

  • On a not completely related note, this is unnfortunately not the first time lives of sailors have been sacrificed for a secret/new design, this one's not the Russians though... (Some people may have heard it before, the Globe and Mail [globeandmail.com] carried a story on it a few weeks ago)

    Seems back near the beginning (sp?) of WWII the British were testing a new sub design when it sank. The skipper managed to get an end of the sub above water, but the British Navy refused to let the rescuers cut open the end in order to rescue the crew men, the reasons for this are unknown but last I heard was that the going theory is that they didn't want to damage the hull of a such a new design... Anyways, according to one of the men who tried to rescue the crew members, they could still hear tapping noises from inside the sub when the rescue was called off... Pity that no one seems to learn from the past...

    -GreenHell
  • It's hard to tell without seeing an actual transcript, and I would doubt very much that such is available.
    That's what I'm afraid of. Still, you'd think that some investigative reporter would at least want to take a look - either way, there's a pretty interesting story here.
  • by thogard ( 43403 ) on Monday August 28, 2000 @02:58PM (#820760) Homepage
    The facts about this case (from sources that all have something to hide)

    1) The Kursk didn't have any nukes on board.
    This is damn rare. The only time you don't have a nuke sub armed is if you think it might sink in your backyard. Things like inital testing and say testing a new weapon that your not sure about.
    2) New stuff tends to be added to flagships first. This sub was the about the same as the US Navy sees the USS Enterprise, its a flagship being the first in its class. The flag ship also tends to play with all the cool new stuff. (Enterprise, Bismark, Titanic). Its amazing how many didn't work out so well.
    3) The Russian Navy was hunting for another sub in the area. It had been spotted a short distance from the Kursk just after the accident. There were 3 US subs in the area according to the US Navy.
    4) The Russian goverment as well as the US goverment only did the rescue thing in a half assed PR way. I think the US govt knew there was no one alive very quicly. A sub a few hundred meters away can hear the water leaking into another sub. We heard reports about the morse code but what did they say? No one is talking. I suspect it was something like "compartments 1-4 full, leaks into 5,6,7. reactor locked down".
    5) In a case where a sub is not going to come back up, the sub crew will distory all sensitve things. This includes codebooks and the like. They use termite which makes it very hard to breath.
    6) Don't underestimate a sub crews willingness to go down with the ship. These people are selected for that ability. Its very difficult to find someone smart enough to understand a sub and be willing to die for a patrotic cause at the drop of the hat.
  • You say first

    Torpedoes have 100-150kg warheads.

    Then

    The 100kg initial blast would almost certainly not be enough to sink the Kursk.

    The actual weight of explosive is immaterial here.

    I think it reasonable to assume that a torpedo striking a sub from outside would sink it; that's what they are designed to do. An outside explosion has lots to interfere with its mission: water pressure slowing down the explosion, gases dispersing in the ocean, cylindrical hull shape tending to resist the explosion.

    Now imagine that same explosion inside the ship. Nice closed container (for a while :-), inside of a cylinder not resisting as well as the outside, no water to slow down the gases.

    I think you are full of it.

    --
  • > I seriously doubt it was a collision.

    I thought inter-sub collisions were a well documented fact of the cat&mouse games of the cold war.

    --
  • What would be a better fireworks display at the (real) end of the century of the atom bomb and the Internet, and the millennium at large, than the iridium satellites burning through the atmosphere?

    Ironic, AND beautiful. It'd be perfect!
    1. 1) The Kursk didn't have any nukes on board.
      This is damn rare. The only time you don't have a nuke sub armed is if you think it might sink in your backyard. Things like inital testing and say testing a new weapon that your not sure about.

    Sorry no. At least on the American side. SALT and SALT II made the existence of "tactical" nuclear weapons on fast attack submarines a thing of the past. I know I was there when we had to take them off our fast attacks.

    I don't ever remember hearing whether Kursk was a fast attack or a ballistic missile sub. If it was a ballistic missile then yes it is rare. That's what the damned things are built for.

    But please don't run around telling people that all subs carry nuclear weapons. There's enough FUD out there about submarines as it is.

  • Here's the complete email - I didn't copy all of it earlier:

    Return-Path:
    Delivered-To: myinternaladdress@improbable.org
    Received: (qmail 10674 invoked from network); 28 Aug 2000 16:29:28 -0000
    Received: from mailgw2.sonyusa.com (209.191.156.38)
    by marvin.qwk.net with SMTP; 28 Aug 2000 16:29:28 -0000
    Received: from mailgw1.sonymusic.com (mailgw1.sonymusic.com)
    by mailgw2.sonyusa.com (Build 98 8.9.3/NT-8.9.3) with SMTP id MAA01276
    for Mon, 28 Aug 2000 12:31:17 -0400
    From: sonymusiconline@sonymusic.com
    Received: by mailgw1.sonymusic.com(Lotus SMTP MTA v4.6.6 (890.1 7-16-1999)) id 85256949.0057F8B4 ; Mon, 28 Aug 2000 12:00:51 -0400
    X-Lotus-FromDomain: SONY_MUSIC
    To: sonymusiconline@sonymusic.com
    Message-ID:
    Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 11:34:15 -0400
    Mime-Version: 1.0
    Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
    Content-Disposition: inline



    Steve Heckler, a Sony Pictures Informations Systems employee, was invited to
    speak at an education conference on computer technology.

    Nowhere in his prepared remarks did he discuss Napster. In an informal
    conversation after his prepared remarks, he was quoted by a student newspaper as
    allegedly making certain statements regarding Napster. The story that appeared
    as a result is totally inaccurate. Furthermore, the quotes attributed to Mr.
    Heckler have been taken out of context and do not represent the opinions or
    strategies of Sony Pictures, Sony Music or any other Sony Company.


  • Yeah, heh, you're right. And feudalism is my fearful vision of the future for America, too. With copyright and patent protections being used instead of land grants and landowning. Seriously, the entertainment industry is taking over so much else including the internet.

    But, seriously, Russia is in serious trouble, and anyone can tell they've been lucky to stay in one piece (oh, no, wait ... they didn't) or stay under stable leadership (oh, no, wait ... they didn't) or, I mean, stay out of war (oh, no, wait ... they didn't) keep an economy... avoid hyperinflation... keep out of heavy unremovable debt... At least their ENGINEERING seems good, and they've got less RACIAL TENSIONS than usual, although that may be disentigrating.

    Gee, wonder where we've seen this before?

    -Ben
  • VA doesn't own us, they have no interest in owning us, and this is a straight up donation. We will carry a "powered by VA" graphic on the new site, but that's because we think it's cool that VA gave us free hardware (and good stuff too).

    Now, mind you, if we feel that VA is being shady, we won't hesitate to tear them a new one. ;-) After all, they can't take their stuff back. The point is that VA is well aware that it, as a company, lives or dies by it's reputation and that in this community, reputation is hard to gain and easy to lose. They have a long record of stepping in and helping out sites and organizations that are in need, especially those that cater to their main customer base. This is not evil, this is simply good business, and if a bunch of folks get good hardware that they couldn't otherwise afford out of it, all the better.

    When Debian gives away it's distro for free, we see them as being good memebers of the open source community. Yet when VA gives stuff away, a lot of people tend to get that "Hmmm... I don't know..." look. If you were them, what would you do? Help, or not? That's all it is.

    Anyway, as always, articles bashing VA will be considered with complete equality by all the readers. Can't do much more than that.

    --

  • There was never a real motivation to post insightful stuff, for many people, beyond their karma number increasing. Hiding karma was probably the furthest it should've gone; limiting it really doesn't seem to make much sense.

    I really don't care what my karma is (it's fun watching it drop), but those who do will probably start trolling just like eveyrone else now.

    - A.P.
    --


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • Gee Ben, does it make you the least bit nervous that the IMF's austerity regime in Russia is the 1990 equivalent of the Versailles treaty et seq., and that World history's next National Socialist government will inaugurate their new post-revolutionary regime possessing, what is it, 3,500 strategic nuclear weapons atop a wide range of decades-tested delivery vehicles?

    But unlike the lifespan-robbed Russian masses who will sooner or later furiously overthrow the Yeltsin/Chubais/Putin clique, all these jokers here in /. prefer to quibble over whether or not the current Russkie kleptocracy is or isn't really a "true" capitalist economy. It may be, it may not be, that's a pointless dispute over an arbitrary semantic usage, but you can be sure that the rhetoricians of the second Russian Revolution will label their nation's destroyers and exploiters as "capitalists."

    Thanks for your comment, good to know that at least someone was paying attention.

    Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

  • You're insinuating that slashdot is full of idiots who only do things for ego, and that quality posts will disappear solely because of limited karma. This notion is patently rediculous.

    Slashdot is a community built on a unique spirit, and there's no way that people with large amounts of karma are going to burn their karma with posts that don't say anything useful, just because they can't get more anymore.
    ----------------------------
  • ...as a former karma whore.

    :D (+1 Groupthink)

    - A.P.
    --


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • And that neighbor has a navy that couldn't fight its way out of a paper bag.

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • "...yet they grind exceeding fine."

    -JD
  • The guy on the Kursk was trying to defect! He was shot down by Tupolev before he could get to Thor's Twins!

    -JD
  • There seems to be a lot of confusion about the nature of the Kursk, and whether is was a balistic missile sub, or an fast attack sub. Further confusion exists about wheter it normally carries nucular weapons. here's what I found from various sources:

    The Kursk is an Oscar II class sub. It is not a balistic missile sub, nor is it a fast attack sub. Instad it carries cruise missiles used to attack surface ships, ports, and possible inland facilites. The cruise missiles can carry a nucular or conventional payload. A normal peacetime loadout would be entirely conventional weaponry. As best I can tell (someone who owns Janes Underwatter correct me :) it has vertical launch tubes designed to hold the cruise missiles, and then 4 torpedo tubes mostly for defense. The vertical launch tubes are similar to those found on a refitted Los Angeles class US sub, but can be reloaded at sea, while a LA has to reload in port.

    This brings up some interesting questions:

    1. Since the Kursk's primary mission is cruise-missile based, why was it testing a new torpedo? Wouldn't that be the job of an Alfa or some attack sub?

    2. Why all the concern about nukes, when it's pretty clear that anyone familiar with the sub knew it wouldn't be carrying them?

    I think the rumor of a mis-firing SSN-15 or 16 makes a lot more sense because it fits the Oscar II's mission profile a lot better. Incidently, those are fired out of the torpeedo tubes, not the special-purpose missile tubes, so it's reasonable that one could have caused the damage.

  • There's a difference between beating swords into plowshares and spending money on newer and bigger swords that may or may not work.

    Especially since there are no naval threats to Russia. China's military power is entirely land-based. If this were an air- or ground- weapon system, that would be one thing. But whose navy is Russia afraid of?

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • I love the web. Present a few facts in a reasonable tone and suddenly you're informative. Here's a few points to add to your theories, all from news sources, in case anyone looks me up and is worried;

    1) The kursk was not a boomer. It was an attack submarine, normally armed with cruise missiles. There is currently an agreement between the US and Russia, not to deploy nuclear-armed cruise missiles. Besides, only a submarine on patrol would carry nukes, and a submarine on patrol DOES NOT fire weapons, except to kill things. The Kursk was not on patrol, thats a given, so no way would nuclear weapons be involved.

    2) Agreed, new ships try new things. That's not enough to guess what weapon was being tested though.

    3) There was a live fire exercise, of course the russians were looking for other ships and subs. There's no reason to assume this was a super-secret test based on that. Also, of course there were US assets in the area, how many interesting live fire events do you think the Russians have? We wouldn't miss one.

    4) There was nothing half-assed about the effort. National pride dictated the Russians try first, but they failed. Probably didn't matter anyway, by the look of things.

    5) In a peacetime accident, no one is going to go blowing up equipment to secure secrets. They knew help was nearby and would have done anything they could to stay alive til help arrived.

    6) Sub crews are carefully selected but they still have families and emotions, and are NOT fanatically suicidal. Those are traits you'd never let near dangerous hardware.

    Interesting theories, but lacking in some real world sense. Should NOT have been moderated so highly, just based on reasonable tone. If you don't know if information is correct, don't vouch for it!

    My opinions are based on 4 years experience as an analyst of the russian navy, and are about 8 years out of date, but things ain't changed THAT much!

  • Is this email legit? I only ask because it appears to lack a Subject header. That, and the From and To lines have the same address. Why'd you forge that header?

    Ryan
  • Probably been said before, but I can't help but write this response:

    1. There are basically two totally different types of submarine: ballistic missile submarines, and hunter/killer submarines. Note that propulsion is totally arbitrary: a "nuclear" submarine normally means a submarine carrying a nuclear reactor as its main propulsion system, not a submarine armed with nuclear weapons.

      Ballistic missile subs carry around 20 SLBMs - that's "Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles", which in this time and age are meant to be used for waging unlimited nuclear war. The missiles mostly carry multiple, really big warheads. These are strategic weapons, used in deterrence, MAD and disarmament negotiations. The only thing these boats do is go out on patrol, cruise around in a big box of ocean and keep well away from everybody else in that box. If Armageddon isn't scheduled for this month, they go back to port, change crews, and go back out.

      I choose to call all other submarines "hunter/killer", which is kind of an over-simplification. Bear with me. Maybe calling them "tactical" would be a better choice, since that is what mostly distinguishes them from the ballistic missile boats. These boats come in all sizes and kinds, nuclear-propelled and conventional, and all kinds of armament. Their missions can be diverse: surveillance, putting commando soldiers on a beach somewhere, escorting a surface battle group, denying sea room to somebody else, hunting merchant shipping, hunting surface warships, hunting submarines... Many of these missions are interrelated: if your sub escorts an aircraft carrier, it will most definitely keep an ear cocked for enemy submarines that are bent on killing the carrier, and do a bit of sub hunting themselves.

      Looking at these missions, it's not hard to imagine that a lot of possible design solutions exist to fulfill them. The U.S. Navy, and indeed most western navies, seem to go the way of the multi-purpose boat: build a submarine that can handle submarine hunting - possibly the most demanding mission - and you get a submarine that should do all other things reasonably well, too.

      Now for the Russians. Think back a dozen years or so, and remember that in those cold war days, U.S. Navy carrier battle groups roamed the high seas pretty much unchallenged by anybody else. Especially the Soviets (the Russians still were Soviets back then). And from what I remember, the Soviets had a healthy fear of those carriers, in the case of a larger conflict between the two power blocs, driving up the coast of Norway, right into the Barents Sea, back yard of the Soviets, and start pummeling the submarine and air bases located there with air strikes. Since the Soviet Navy didn't have proper carriers with which to go after the U.S. ones, they had to find something else. A relatively cheap (compared to carriers of their own) way was with submarines - a sub and its upkeep costs only fractions of a carrier battle group. Unfortunately, one main purpose of the "group" part of the carrier battle group was to keep enemy submarines from launching torpedoes at the carrier... so again, a solution was sought and found: The Soviet Navy built a number of classes of submarine dubbed, in the western naval lingo, SSG - "guided missile submarine". This indicates that these submarine's main mission was to shoot guided missiles - mostly of the cruise missile kind - at enemy ships. These missiles were built with both nuclear and conventional warheads; this is not surprising, since the Russians put both kinds of warhead on pretty much everything they built.

      Back to the subject at hand: The Kursk was just such a boat - an SSGN of the Oscar II class, launched in 1994 and therefore one of the newer units in the Russian Navy. It carries as its main armament 24 SS-N-19 missiles, with a range of around 500km and either a 750 kg HE or 500 kT nuclear warhead (source: Jane's Naval Forces [janes.com]). These missiles, despite wearing a nuclear warhead, are classed as tactical weapons.

      So the Kursk might have been nuclear -armed, but since agreements have been reached about removing tactical nuclear weapons from ships, and it is more complicated and more expensive to carry nuclear weapons, I find it highly unlikely that she was.

      Having said this much, I notice that it really doesn't matter that much - unless some Baltic terrorists drive up there in a Zodiac and try to get their hands on a warhead... The only real problem in environmental terms will probably be the reactor and propulsion system - if any pipes are damaged, or corrode to an extent that they start to leak, evil things may happen. It would, unfortunately, not be the first nuclear reactor ending its life on the seafloor.

    2. The Kursk is being called "the best ship in the fleet" and all kinds of other names after the fact that she sunk. I would regard that as a bit of hero talk for the rest of the world. She wasn't the newest boat, neither in her class nor absolutely.

      The "flagships" don't always get the "cool new stuff" "to play with". Often, new stuff is put on older units which aren't that useful in their primary role anymore, tested and tweaked, and then put on the next class of new units to be built - but in a finished state.

      The USS Enterprise (assuming the aircraft carrier CVN-65 is meant here) isn't just the first in its class, but the only one! She was the first nuclear-powered carrier, and there are others newer than her, but they aren't considered to be in her class. As for the "flagship": she's probably a flagship for the admiral commanding the battle group, and maybe for a fleet, but I've never heard Enterprise being referred to as anything more than that in this context.

    3. The reports of other subs in the area by the Russian Navy are, in my opinion, more talk than based on proper facts or pieces of information in the Russian Navy. They could be pretty sure that there would be foreign boats there to monitor their exercise - these things aren't that secret - so saying "They hit us! They hit us!" comes in pretty handy in case of an accident. Not that there never were accidents - go read "Blind Man's Bluff" for some exciting stories.

    4. It is most likely correct that the foreign boats monitoring the exercise got the best picture of what happend right away, and that they also concluded that the Kursk suffered a catastrophic accident. The fact that no owner of those boats stepped forward to say anything isn't surprising, since it would have meant to disclose information about their own capabilities.

      I have never heard of the U.S. government being involved in the rescue effort. The rescue submarine responsible for this piece of the globe is the British LR5, which was brought to the scene of the accident as "soon as possible" - this time frame being determined by Russian authorities.

    5. This probably isn't specific to submariners, but to soldiers and sailors, and groups of people in similar situations, everywhere.
  • The US would do well to worry about that same country, rather than setting up preferential trade deals with them.

    When -- not if -- China's government decides that it needs the resources of America, it will take them. The country has not been shy to invade Tibet, threaten Taiwan, kill its own people and tell the US and UN to shove their human rights concerns up their ass.

    This is not a slag on the Chinese citizenry. I am talking about their government.

    --
  • Ah, isn't capitalism already doing those things? My impression is that the insurance companies and HMOs are making it damnably difficult for many people to get adequate and appropriate health care. "Pre-existing conditions" springs to mind...

    --
  • Blockquoth the poster:
    5) In a case where a sub is not going to come back up, the sub crew will distory all sensitve things. This includes codebooks and the like. They use
    termite which makes it very hard to breath.
    OK, I'll self-call the foul for pointing out a spelling mistake, but I thought this particular mistake was humorous.
  • Nope. The Kursk was neither a ballistic missile submarine or a fast attack submarine.

    Kursk was an cruise missile submarine, Oscar II class, not a ballistic missile submarine. An SSGN as opposed to SSBN. They are mainly armed with anti-ship missiles, such as this [index.ne.jp] type. They can be either fixed with a conventional or nuclear warhead, but the conventional warhead is more likely than a nuclear warhead.


    What do I do, when it seems I relate to Judas more than You?

  • Blockquoth the poster:
    1) The Kursk didn't have any nukes on board.

    This is damn rare. The only time you don't have a nuke sub armed is if you think it might sink in your backyard. Things like inital testing and say testing a new weapon that your not sure about.

    Or, perhaps, you're engaged in a wargame. I know it's not unprecedented, at least, that the nukes be off-loaded before a wargame.
  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Monday August 28, 2000 @03:48PM (#820825) Journal

    They use termite which makes it very hard to breath

    Yuri! release the termite! Da, must eat wooden book before Amerikanski come. Ohhh... the termite is eating, it's farting, I can't breath.

    OK, I know, you meant thermite, but it still made me chuckle when I saw it.

  • by trims ( 10010 ) on Monday August 28, 2000 @04:19PM (#820829) Homepage

    First off, the Kursk was a flight II Oscar (NATO-designation) SSGN. Check Jane's [janes.com] for more info. In other words, it was the same type of submarine as later-mode US Los Angeles and UK Trafalgar submarines. It was an ANTI-SHIP submarine. The Oscars Don't Carry Nuclear Missiles. Although technically possible, both SALT I and SALT II forbid nuclear weapons on attack submarine cruise missiles, and generally frowed on nuclear ASW weapons such as SUBROC (this was an area of contention, but both sides generally didn't carry anti-submarine nukes).

    Secondly, how reliable is the Sunday Times for stuff like this? They might be better than the Times-Mirror, but then again, I don't exactly trust people like CNN and CBS to get it right either. Smells like a reporter is making this a sensationalist story from nothing.

    Another technical detail here: there were two explosions: one of about 100kg TNT force, and one about 15 times stronger 2:15 later. The first is in line with an explosion of a torpedo propeller propulsion system or a compressed-air torpedo launch system (or collision, or whatever). The second is in line with either a rocket motor or warhead cook off. A couple of things to think about:

    • If the entire damage is due to the cavitation torp, why the 2 minute gap between explositions? The Cav Torp is shot out like a normal torp (ie via compressed air). Any explosition in the torpedo lauch tube would almost certainly set off the rocket motor in the Cav Torp immediately. This goes for torp-launched missiles, too (like the SS-N-15/16 that the Oscar has).
    • Typical compressed-air torpedo launch systems have more than enough high-pressure air in them to look like a 100kg TNT explosion if something goes wrong.
    • Torpedoes have 100-150kg warheads. Only the SS-N-19 cruise missiles have the size warhead for the 2nd explosion.
    • Similarly, the rocket motor in a Cav Torp or one of the SS-N-15/16s is not big enough for a 1.5T explosion. The SS-N-19's rocket is definately big enough, though.
    • The 100kg initial blast would almost certainly not be enough to sink the Kursk. It wouldn't even fill the torpedo compartment with water instantly (probably take a couple of minute, minimum).

    By far the most likely scenario to date is a malfunctioned torpedo launch (regardless of what type of torpedo) which blew out the torp tube and either started a fire in the forward torpedo room or short-circuited a bunch of stuff that led to either a warhead cookoff or rocket fuel explosion in one of the SS-N-19s.

    While testing a new cavitation torpedo might be the immediate cause, I wouldn't point to them as being the general problem until a lot more info comes to light (which is unlikely until they raise the Kursk, and probably not even then). Indeed, if what Jane's and others are saying, it could easily have been a bad launch system itself, and whether shooting a Cav Torp, SS-N-16, or torpedo wouldn't make a difference.

    -Erik

  • I keep hearing this term, and was wondering if someone could give a decent explanation of how a "cavitation torpedo" works. Is it as it sounds: A torpedo that moves by wiggling?
  • by adamsc ( 985 ) on Monday August 28, 2000 @02:14PM (#820835) Homepage
    Since there wasn't any news about Napster, I'll contribute Sony's response to that infamous quote about firewalling Napster. I find it particularly interesting that this is getting very little attention from the same people who were spreading the original story far and wide, particularly as it makes a serious challenge to the validity of the original report. Given how serious this issue is, you'd think that someone would be interested in getting to the bottom of it...
    From: sonymusiconline@sonymusic.com

    Received: by mailgw1.sonymusic.com(Lotus SMTP MTA v4.6.6 (890.1 7-16-1999)) id 85256949.0057F8B4 ; Mon, 28 Aug 2000 12:00:51 -0400
    X-Lotus-FromDomain: SONY_MUSIC
    To: sonymusiconline@sonymusic.com
    Message-ID:
    Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 11:34:15 -0400
    Mime-Version: 1.0
    Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
    Content-Disposition: inline
    Steve Heckler, a Sony Pictures Informations Systems employee, was invited to speak at an education conference on computer technology.

    Nowhere in his prepared remarks did he discuss Napster. In an informal conversation after his prepared remarks, he was quoted by a student newspaper as allegedly making certain statements regarding Napster. The story that appeared as a result is totally inaccurate. Furthermore, the quotes attributed to Mr. Heckler have been taken out of context and do not represent the opinions or strategies of Sony Pictures, Sony Music or any other Sony Company.

  • So the singles market is falling rapidly while the album market is booming......does that mean everyone is just downloading a sinlge if they like it, maybe downloading some more tracks by the artist and finally having had a chance to live with some of their music, going and buying the full album instead.

    Alternatively the kiddies they have been marketing the Bwitney Spwears swingles at for the last few decades have either a got stronger parenting that won't let them be led by the marketeers or the parents have weekened further and are giving them the dough to buy albums instead of singles.

    Bottom line, they are up 1/2 billion dollars on the first six months so obviously everyone has given up buying their CDs and is pirating their IP instead.

  • by romco ( 61131 ) on Monday August 28, 2000 @02:16PM (#820838) Homepage
    '"The weapon is very clever; it uses propellers to boost it out of the sub, then a rocket kicks in at a safe distance, burning liquid propellant," said one British expert.'

    Clever? sounds like a Roadrunner cartoon to me...
  • by kronoman ( 200543 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @01:25AM (#820839)
    Actually, the USN is in the process of converting four SSBN-726 class subs to SSGNs (Specifically, I believe it's USS Ohio, USS Michigan, USS Florida and USS Georgia). They will replace their Trident missile tubes with cluster lauchers that carry 5 Tomahawk Anti-Ship or Land-Attack missiles. This will make them ideal for offensive operations agains enemy surface forces or shore targets. Although this has typically been the role of the Ticonderoga-class cruiser (CG-47) and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (DDG-51), subs like these could remain on station for months at a time without logistic support, providing a strong tactical deterrent. In the event of war, they could defend themselves against enemy fast attacks (or other SSBN/SSGN-type subs like the Oscar-II) using Mk48 ADCAP torpedoes, and beach assaults would be augmented by the Zumwalt-class (DD-21) land-attack stealth destroyer.
  • by while ( 213516 ) on Monday August 28, 2000 @02:17PM (#820840)
    The story of The Kursk seems to grow every day. It started out as some sort of grim Edgar Allan Poe tale, and now they have added a Tom Clancy spin to it, eerily similar to The Hunt for Red October [imdb.com]...

    end comment */

  • Ok here goes, the "weapon" is in fact not a torpedo, but an underwater missile. Now consider for a second the forces that act upon a standard missile, friction from air, and small particles in the air. Both effect the performace of the weapon. However in the case of an underwater weapon the drag is much greater obviously. This so called "Cavitation" weapon defeats this problem by basically traveling in a pocket of very fine bubbles. This does create a hell of a noise, which is bad for a submarine. As soon as it is launched you are spotted. The upside is the speed, the Skvall or Squall as we call it reportedly moves at over 200 knots, do the math, that is spooky fast when talking about underwater speeds. So the sub would silently position itself for a shot and lauch a salvo of most likely two shots. The weapon reportedlly does not have homming capabilities. The best part is most of you are just finding out about this toy, I can tell you that the project is over three years old and the the military has been watching it and publishing reports on it for at least that long. :-)
  • by trims ( 10010 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @02:12AM (#820845) Homepage

    I think it reasonable to assume that a torpedo striking a sub from outside would sink it; that's what they are designed to do. An outside explosion has lots to interfere with its mission: water pressure slowing down the explosion, gases dispersing in the ocean, cylindrical hull shape tending to resist the explosion.

    In theory, a 100kg warhead might be enough to generally sink a Soviet sub. In reality, it has been long-recognized that the 100kg warhead on the US Mark 46 LightWeight Torpedo is completely insufficient to sink a Soviet sub like the Oscar, unless you get lucking and get a stern hit which happens to pop the drive shaft seals. The multiple hull and equipment arrangement provides for quite a bit of "armor" protection. The standard US Mark 48 ADCAP torpedo used on US subs has a 150kg warhead which uses a shaped-charge director much like a HEAT round (in effect, producing a much larger explosive force) to get much better 1-shot-1-kill potential, but even then, the general feeling is that the first torp hit slows the sub down and makes it a sitting duck, then you pump an additional 1 or 2 into it to sink it.

    Now imagine that same explosion inside the ship. Nice closed container (for a while :-), inside of a cylinder not resisting as well as the outside, no water to slow down the gases.

    Assuming the explosion was in the torpedo tube after it had been loaded and armed (which is much more likely than while loading), the loaded torpedo tube is not really "inside" the sub. It's more like in a flooded airlock adjacent to the ship's hull. Yes, more destructive than hitting the outside of the double-hull, but nothing like an interior explosion.

    Even inside, a lone (assuming no subsequent explosions) 100kg explosion in the forward torpedo room shouldn't sink the sub. It's not a big enough explosion to cause more than the first 2 (at most) compartments to flood, which comprise of about 25% of the total inside space. Oscars have a least 9, plus significant bouyancy tanks. Cripple the sub, yes. Cause it to loose the ability to surface, most likely not. Even wrecking the forward bow planes wouldn't be sufficient. The problem here would be time: the 2:15 between 1st and 2nd explosion really wouldn't be enough to regain control of the sub to start to surface.

    -Erik

  • According to this [uspto.gov] posting at the USPTO website, a patent is only valid for 20 years after the date of application.
  • It'll be interesting to see what happens as a result of public fallout. For one thing it will tell us a lot about the strength of the Russian democracy.

    Putin's initial political handling of the accident was very poor, and cost him dearly (perhaps they all knew the sailors were dead within minutes?). On the other hand his refusal just to paper it over by accepting a few token resignations might be a good sign.
  • Kursk was a ballistic missile sub, not a fast attack.
  • Hey, did anyone else see the idea at www.somethingawful.com [somethingawful.com] for a really rich guy to play Irridium Command? That's probably the best idea I've heard yet.

    It's the first article right now, and it's pretty damn amusing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 28, 2000 @03:58PM (#820851)
    The Kursk was an SSGN, which means it's a Guided Missile submarine. Its function in life was not to destroy other submarines (attack boat) or to hide and launch ICBMs (ballistic missile boat, "boomer"), but rather to launch its SS-N-19 "Shipwreck" cruise missiles at American aircraft carriers. The USA does not operate SSGN's, due to the lack of a foreign carrier threat, which is probably why Americans have such a problem understanding that the Kursk was not a ballistic missile submarine. The SS-N-19 missiles don't have the range to reach targets deep within the USA like the ones on the Delta-III and IV do.
  • by Matt_Bennett ( 79107 ) on Monday August 28, 2000 @04:00PM (#820855) Homepage Journal
    The patent office did not take 66 years to issue this (or any) patent. With a patent on an invention that is classified, patent is issued in the eyes of the patent office once that invention is declassified.
  • I'll assume this is RIAA propaganda pasted to slashdot, but WTH, I'll take first crack at debunking (sorry about the length):

    >A typical music fan who buys a CD might use that CD at home, take that CD in the car, make a tape of that CD,

    I thought the RIAA hated being able to "duplicate" music via taping. Doesn't seem right. And the idea of being able to use it in more than one place without licensing? Doesn't jive either.

    >That's probably why most consumers, when asked, describe CDs as a good value.

    Show me the proof.

    >At the same time, when asked directly whether CDs cost too much, some consumers will say yes! Why the contradiction?

    ...Because your lame-ass biased study simply couldn't fudge the results enough to say otherwise legally? Again, not enough proof.

    >While the RIAA does not collect information on the specific costs that make up the price of a CD

    Must be hard to comment on the following then, huh?

    >there are many factors that go into the overall cost of a CD -- and the plastic it's pressed on, is among the least significant.

    But you just said you knew nothing! You say one thing then the other. Even the government has a hard time contradicting itself in the same paragraph.

    >Of course, the most important component of a CD is the artist's effort in developing that music.

    Very wholeheartedly agreed.

    >Artists receive royalties on each recording, which vary according to their contract, and the songwriter gets royalties too.

    I don't know about you, but don't most bands write their own songs nowadays? It isn't like you go to the dime shop, buy some lyrics, and put music to them, right? So that's half that price gone.

    >In addition, the label incurs additional costs in finding and signing new artists.

    ...And if they didn't do that they wouldn't be a label. They would be bankrupt. Face it: Labels MAKE their money with signed artists, so why complain?

    >Once an artist or group has songs composed, they must then go into the studio and begin recording. The costs of recording this work, including recording studio fees, studio musicians, sound engineers, producers and others, all must be recovered by the cost of the CD.

    Sure, I have no problem with that. Lets say this is real expensive, $100,000. Now a lot of albums that cost that amount sell 1,000,000 copies (albums that sell less aren't likely to have authors that can or labels willing to foot a big bill). That's $0.10 per copy.

    >Then come marketing and promotion costs -- perhaps the most expensive part of the music business today.

    You mean being played at NO cost on the radio isn't enough? You mean you have to advertise like everyone else? Holy s**t! Can you imagine the horror? That must be why my RadioShack phone cost $20... without that advertising it would be like $1 right? (no... advertising really shouldn't be the LARGEST concern in price [I would hope])

    >For every album released in a given year, a marketing strategy was developed to make that album stand out among the other releases that hit the market that year. Art must be designed for the CD box, and promotional materials (posters, store displays and music videos) developed and produced.

    Uhh, like again, no s**t. Without a "gimmick" you can't advertise. That's the way it works. Don't whine about it.

    >For many artists, a costly concert tour is essential to promote their recordings.

    From what I hear this is where most artists MAKE their money. Costly? Only for the people buying the tickets. If you aren't making enough to cover the cost of the concert, charge more. That's how everyone else works.

    >Another factor commonly overlooked in assessing CD prices is to assume that all CDs are equally profitable. In fact, the vast majority is never profitable.

    Again, agreed. That's how other things work, and have worked for years (books, magazines, movies come to mind). Deal with it. Books have by providing a "cheap" way to get a book (paperback). Time to provide a cheap alternative to CDs: The internet (where box art doesn't cost so much ;-).

    >Between 1983 and 1996, the average price of a CD fell by more than 40%.

    I'm willing to bet the price of TVs has fallen a lot since 1940 too. Too bad no one had a TV in 1940 [and therefore they were a speciality item, costing $$$], and no one I knew had a CD player until *I* got one in 1988 (or so). Since 1988 the price at my local shops has increased by about 50%.

    >If CD prices had risen at the same rate as consumer prices over this period, the average retail price of a CD in 1996 would have been $33.86 instead of $12.75.

    Are you telling me that the $0.75 cokes in the vending machine cost $0.25 in 1983? According to my records the price index is NOT just under 3x 1983 prices.

    And if you can find me a more then 20 CDs at a local shoppe for $12.75 in 1996 (hell, or even now) then I'll show you a liar.

    >While the price of CDs has fallen, the amount of music provided on a typical CD has increased substantially...

    Yes, now they offer 80 Min. CDs because of higher laser tolerances. This extra 6 minutes over a 74 Min. CD is "substantial". What would the amount of music you can put on a DVD equal? Would you even have a word for it?

    >...along with higher quality in terms of fidelity...

    You mean my CDs now have 24 bits resolution than 16, or they now sample at 52 kHz rather than 44.1 kHz? Change in fidelity == change in standard != the same old CD format. An out and out lie.

    >...durability,...

    Yes, now CDs are manufactured properly and don't get laser rot. Otherwise I wonder where the difference is (they have always been made from polycarbonate, right?). Thank you for making them properly. If you are charging me more for a working product, then you are screwing me over.

    >...ease of use...

    A total complete out and out amazingly STUPID lie. How has ease of use improved? The CD format has remained unchanged. To make it "easier" you would have to change the format, making it not work with CD players. ie: You don't have a CD.

    (And if you think that you can get away with saying players are easier to use because of the RIAA, well, show me an RIAA brand CD player).

    >...and range of choices, including multi-media material, such as music videos, interviews and discographies.

    Wait up a minute here. When CDs were first produced there was less room for "cover" art and no "sleeve" art. Now you have a cheap way to fit these back in (as digital data on the CD) and you think that means you can charge MORE?

    >Content of this type often requires considerable production expense and adds a whole new dimension that goes beyond conventional audio.

    Yep. That's what I said. Use the extra room on the CD like you would the sleeve for the records you always used to make so "cheaply".

    >In contrast, CD prices are low compared to other forms of entertainment and one of the few entertainment units to decrease in price...

    Decrease in price? Over what period? Since their inception or in the last decade?

    >...even though production, marketing and distribution costs have increased.

    Life's a bitch, huh? Looks like you have everything against you. Consumers to buy your product. People who make it for you. Radio stations to play it for you. And then they go and slap this "inflation" tax deal on ya. What a bummer. I feel for ya.

    Quoted from USA Today (are they still in business? I don't live in the US): "consumers don't seem to balk at the rising price of fun in this strong, family-friendly economy."

    Sounds like something one might say during the Regan or Bush administration. What is the date of this mystery article anyways? And what person wrote it?

    >The prices of other forms of entertainment have risen, on average, more rapidly than has music or consumer prices, with most admission prices for other forms of entertainment having increased more than 90% between 1983 and 1996.

    You mean movie theaters? Yeah, they are a rip off. But they are STILL cheaper than a CD. And movies cost a hell of a lot more to make than a CD, and are a hell of a lot more likely to fail (In my B movie experience).

    >By all measures, when you consider how long people have the music and how often they can go back and get "re-entertained" CDs truly are an incredible value for the money.

    Can't agree. Proof? You have none, did I hear? Too bad.
  • I recommend the St Petersburg Submarine Club

    .

    Why contribute?

    EVEN A FEW BUCKS CAN HELP (shouting intended)

    I'm not asking all the impoverished students etc reading this to contribute: but if even one person from Silicon valley can give 1 hour's pay, it would measureably help. Russia's a 3rd world county, even a single buck can go a long way.

    Why this bunch?

    It's composed of former Russki Submariners, who can be expected to know who's most in need.

    It's genuine - at least 1 Australian reporter has actually visited them. No Maffya, No Bureaucracy.

    These guys, on pitiful pensions, have already given what they can to transport the Kursk families to Severmorsk - sort of like getting people from Tucson, Philadelphia and Portland to Norfolk.

    e-mail from them follows. After some thought, I've not included their e-mail address. Anyone interested in it can e-mail me at mailto:aebrain@dynamite.com.au.

    Sorry, I just have visions of some clueless script kiddie spamming or DOSing them on a whim. At least this way, they'd have to do 10 seconds of research beforehand.

    Dear sisters and brothers,

    Only another submariners knows that danger and sacrifice we take by daring to go beneath the sea. And only submariners wives and sweethearts knows that is to wait for us.

    But at these day of tragedy we see that all barriers od differences and transgressions ceased and we experienced a new dimension in our mentality.

    All churches around the world prayed for Submariners and their families of the stricken Submarine "Kursk". We have never felt a human support in the same scale.

    Our special gratitude to national submariners associations in USA, UK, Germany, France, Israel, Italy, Argentina and Chile, as also to the Naval Attaches of USA and Great Britain. Our profound sorrow over the loss of our brothers on board of Kursk we sharing with you all. And we see among you Admiral Copart (France), Admiral Carol (USA), sub veterans from USSN Triton and Nautilus, those who made first patrols under ice and circumnavigation, captains and men, our old and new friends, who took part in International Submariners Convention in May 2000 or visited Saint Petersburg (Hi, brothers from Providence Club and crew of USSN Halibut), sub veterans of the WWII and veterans of the cold war. Your love and kindness, your compassion and solidarity reinforced our strength against the pain of loss. It was very difficult and may be really impossible to process all your messages coming through the Internet. We told about and passed your messages in assistance with mass media and our friends who serves in Vidiaevo and Severomorsk to the families of the Kursk. We'll repeat it again on meeting with families living in Saint Petersburg on September. All Russian navies - former and present - are feeling pain and guilt for what might have been done and shame as they face the people. I quess that Admiral Popov became a first Admiral in the modern Russian history who ask forgiveness standing alone opposite the Russian people in front of TV camera.

    Hope that this tragedy was the beginning of a new era of peace and foresight between our countries and I see the same thoughts in your messages.

    Our submariners community understand responsibility regarding the families of the Kursk crew. In cooperation with the officials from Moscow, Saint Petersburg and others cities we started a company on donation gathering. We see that we must take in account a submariners community support, first of all. Donation which was announced in the official declarations is about 1.5 thousand dollars to one family only. We'll take a trust for all kind of social support to widows and orphans.

    Hope that all our friends all over the world could assist us.

    You can use our special account for Kursk's families.

    Be sure, we are working only heart to heart with our trapped brothers and sisters, because we are submariners too.

    God bless you all

    Chairman of the Submariners Club, Captain 1st Rank (ret) Igor Kurdin

    Liaison officer of the Submariners Club Captain of 1st Rank (ret) Igor Kozyr

    and all members of the Submariners Club

    Correspondent bank:

    BANK OF NEW YORK

    SWIFT: IRVT US 3N

    Beneficiary bank:

    INKASBANK, ST. PETERSBURG

    SWIFT: INKS RU 2 P

    ACCOUNT: 890-0260-963

    Beneficiary: 40703840200029000028

    SUBMARINERS CLUB,

    SAINT PETERSBURG LINIA 9, 50, V.O.

    ST. PETERSBURG

    (DONATION TO THE KURSK CREW FAMILIES - DOBROVOLNIY BEZVOZMEZDNIY VZNOS NA BLAGOTVORITELNIE TSELY, PRODAZE NE PODLEZIT)

  • Correspondent bank:

    BANK OF NEW YORK

    SWIFT: IRVT US 3N

    Beneficiary bank:

    INKASBANK, ST. PETERSBURG

    SWIFT: INKS RU 2 P

    ACCOUNT: 890-0260-963

    Beneficiary: 40703840200029000028

    SUBMARINERS CLUB,

    SAINT PETERSBURG LINIA 9, 50, V.O.

    ST. PETERSBURG

    (DONATION TO THE KURSK CREW FAMILIES - DOBROVOLNIY BEZVOZMEZDNIY VZNOS NA BLAGOTVORITELNIE TSELY, PRODAZE NE PODLEZIT)
  • by SEE ( 7681 ) on Monday August 28, 2000 @02:26PM (#820866) Homepage
    With ill-considered technology patents. If the one-click patent hadn't been granted until 2066...

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 28, 2000 @02:27PM (#820867)
    Record Industry Announces 2000 Midyear Shipment Data [riaa.org]

    The number of full-length CDs manufacturers shipped to the U.S. market is at an all-time high, growing 6.0% from this time last year, totaling an impressive 420 million units in just the first six months of 2000. ...Moreover, market momentum continues to climb as the dollar value of CD product grew 9.9% from this time last year to nearly $5.7 billion which suggests once again, that consumer demand for music in the form of a CD remains the mainstay.

    Shipments of singles in all formats dropped sharply in the first half of 2000 as speculation over competing music sources continues to swirl. Singles shipments dropped 45.2% from 41.5 million units in midyear 1999 to 22.7 million in '00. Dollar value of singles shipments went from $165.5 million in midyear 1999 to $93.3 million this year.

  • by sulli ( 195030 ) on Monday August 28, 2000 @02:27PM (#820868) Journal
    I guess it's no surprise that the Russian navy was hiding something, given that they kept the rescue crews away. But it's really sad that they seem to have sacrificed the lives of the crew to preserve the secret torpedo design, if that's why they kept the rescuers away from the damaged torpedo section.

    By the way, you can contribute to a fund for the families of the crew at the Russian Embassy. [russianembassy.org] Some of these folks scraped together the cash to pay for milk-run train tickets to get to the Kursk's home port, while Putin was on vacation. Only now are the authorities trying to help out, but in Russia as well private charity seems to be taking over where the bureaucrats can't seem to do the right thing.

    sulli

  • will figure out that the U.S. isn't planning to invade and nobody else has a navy that even equals what the currently have, so they can stop developing dangerous and costly new weapons.

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • by Ian Wolf ( 171633 ) on Monday August 28, 2000 @02:30PM (#820870) Homepage
    A torpedo that moves by wiggling?
    My mind must be fried, because that statement struck me as absolutely hysterical. I guess the mental picture was too much for me.
    Anyway, I found this article that was actualy linked to by Slashdot a while back.
    www.newscientist.com/features/features_224813.html
    pretty cool stuff!
  • I saw this info sometime ago. I thought it was here. Maybe I was wrong. To view the info click here. [newscientist.com]
  • The PLA would probably be flattered that you think they could mount a credible invasion of the US.

    Historically, the Chinese government hasn't cared much about whether other folks think they're nice. Why should they? After what western governments including our own have historically treated China (including our fighting a war to keep the Chinese market for opium open for western pushers), they have a pretty well earned cynicism about western idealism over sovereignty and human rights. In fact standing up to strident foreign opinion is considered a sign of strength for Chinese leaders. Did you remember that China invaded India? They withdrew of course, after they achieved their goal, which was little more than to tell the world (both superpowers and non-aligned movement) to go to hell.

    On the other hand normal trade (Most Favored Nation is a misnomer) relations would mean that Chinese enterprises (including the PLAs many businesses) would be sensitive to outside public opinion.

  • Sure, but this thing was the size of a WWII aircraft carrier, and had an enormous outer hull at a great distance from the inner pressure hull -- enough that supposedly the boat had a pretty good chance against a torpedo strike.

    If the Kursk ran into a US sub it would be like a big football lineman running into a jockey. And wouldn't have been a love tap: the impact was enough to destroy a large part of the Kursk's well protected pressure hull. We'd very likely have our own sub disaster.


  • But how did the rights pass to the NSA for a patent filed in 1933?

    I thought the NSA was created in 1952.


    The NSA probably gets all the crypto related stuff by default. It could have something to do with the Cryptologic museum that NSA hosts in Ft. Meade MD. (There was a /. article on it a few months back.)
  • Doesn't it bother anyone that he advertised there would be a blurb about Napster and then there wasn't one, yet we're all talking about it anyway?
    Sheesh.

    The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk
  • Actually, it's become a Tom Clancy story with his recent essay in Newsweek [msnbc.com]. And, his analysis is essentially the same as that in the report slashdot linked to.
    -----
    D. Fischer
  • Slashdot's got a karma limit of 50 now, so there's no reason to post anything insightful anymore.

    This was supposed to discourage trolls? Whatever.

    - A.P.
    --


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • by sulli ( 195030 ) on Monday August 28, 2000 @02:30PM (#820889) Journal
    and they're sticking to it. Note carefully that the Sony email does not say that he didn't say it - just that it wan't in his prepared speech, and that it doesn't represent Sony corporate policy, at this time.

    Just think what it must be like to be a Sony PR droid right now.... all that goodwill you built with the AIBO going down the drain.

    sulli

  • by Nidhogg ( 161640 ) <shr.thanatosNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday August 28, 2000 @02:31PM (#820890) Journal
    Interesting. Although not really surprising. Having spent a number of years in the sub community this one hits a little close to home.

    I found it a little humorous that they made that comment about the Americans being hush-hush about it. If it's true that they do have a cavitation weapon of that nature (even money on that I figure) then the Americans are probably scared shitless and adopting their normal "Uh.. we can neither confirm nor deny any knowledge about the existence of that sort of weapon being owned by us or the Russians." (Did that sound bitter?) And of course the Russians aren't going to admit to having one. They may not be the Soviet Union anymore but old habits die hard. Plus there's no one else in the ocean to play with. =)

    I seriously doubt it was a collision. The only ones who'd have an observation sub in the area would be the Americans. And having known a few sub captains, paranoid bunch that they are, I'm sure they stayed well away from everything.

    I for one mourn the loss of the crew of the Kursk. Crewing a submarine is not easy and I respect anyone that can tough it out. Especially knowing that the consequences are like what happened.

    ::raises beer:: Here's to you guys.

The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky

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