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Google Maps Shows Chinese Nuclear Sub Prototype 339

mytrip writes "An image of what could be one of China's new nuclear ballistic missile submarines is available on the Google Maps and Google Earth satellite-image site, a defense blogger claimed Tuesday. The satellite picture was discovered by Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project for the Federation of American Scientists, and announced Tuesday on his blog. Kristensen believes the picture, taken by the Quickbird satellite late last year, reveals China's new Jin-class, or Type 094, nuclear ballistic missile sub. The new sub class is approximately 35 feet longer than its predecessor, the Xia-class, also known as Type 092, according to two images Kristensen compares on the blog. The Jin-class sub has an extended midsection that houses 12 missile tubes and part of the reactor compartment, Kristensen explains."
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Google Maps Shows Chinese Nuclear Sub Prototype

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  • Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by epiphani ( 254981 ) <epiphani@daAAAl.net minus threevowels> on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:03PM (#19801523)
    The have the Xia and the Jin class submarines. As long as they don't go Super-XiaJin, we should be ok. /who needs karma..
  • That the the family of the guy in charge of security just got a bill for a single 9mm round?
    • by jolyonr ( 560227 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:14PM (#19801695) Homepage
      Um...

      Having a deterrent is pretty pointless unless everyone knows that you have it. I'm sure they wouldn't have left this boat out in the open unless it was their intention for people to see it.

      Jolyon
      • by coredog64 ( 1001648 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:30PM (#19801909)

        Under the authority granted me as director of weapons research and development, I commissioned last year a study of this project by the Bland corporation. Based on the findings of the report, my conclusion was that this idea was not a practical deterrent, for reasons which, at this moment, must be all too obvious
        • Under the authority granted me as director of weapons research and development, I commissioned last year a study of this project by the Bland corporation. Based on the findings of the report, my conclusion was that this idea was not a practical deterrent, for reasons which, at this moment, must be all too obvious.
          Yes, Dr. Merkwürdigeliebe.
      • Having a deterrent is pretty pointless unless everyone knows that you have it. I'm sure they wouldn't have left this boat out in the open unless it was their intention for people to see it.

        Dr. Strangelove: Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost, if you keep it a secret! Why didn't you tell the world, EH?

        Ambassador de Sadesky: It was to be announced at the Party Congress on Monday. As you know, the Premier loves surprises.

      • by spaceyhackerlady ( 462530 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:49PM (#19802193)

        Having a deterrent is pretty pointless unless everyone knows that you have it. I'm sure they wouldn't have left this boat out in the open unless it was their intention for people to see it.

        Yup. Leave them out in the open for all to see, until they put to sea. Then they disappear, nobody knows where they are, and everybody gets nervous. The British did this during the Falklands War: they made lots of noise about subs heading for the South Atlantic, then shut up. The mere fact that subs might be in the vicinity made the Argentine Navy a lot less effective. Knowing that you might get hit by a torpedo at any time, with no warning, would rattle anybody...

        If you look in other places you will find lots of subs tied up at docks in plain view. Try the Russian naval bases north of Murmansk, for example.

        ...laura

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by cpotoso ( 606303 )
          And of course a british submarine did sink an Argentinian navy ship (the ARA Gral. Belgrano, I think). This really paralyzed the navy and played a central role in the Argentinian defeat in the Malvinas war.
        • by TheDugong ( 701481 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @01:19PM (#19802645)
          However, I suspect it was the fact that one of the subs actually sank a ship (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARA_General_Belgrano ) that really drove the point home.
          • by cyclocommuter ( 762131 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @02:16PM (#19803489)
            Yes the Belgrano was the first warship that was sunk during the Falklands war... by wire guided torpedoes from a UK sub. After that though it was the Argentine's turn to sink a coupe of UK ships (destroyer Sheffield and some transports) with their daredevil low level attacks and sea skimming Exocet anti-ship cruise missiles.
            • by Jonathan_S ( 25407 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @02:53PM (#19803989)

              Yes the Belgrano was the first warship that was sunk during the Falklands war... by wire guided torpedoes from a UK sub
              Actually, the torpedoes used by the HMS Conqueror were not wire guided. They were an older design, the Mark 8, originally designed in the 1920s. (Although the design had been updated some over the years; the ones used were Mark 8 Mod 4).

              The British captain choose not to use his reportedly trouble prone wire guided homing torpedoes (Mark 24 Tigerfish), and preferred to get close and use the old dependable design instead.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Analogy Man ( 601298 )
          The Falklands were a brilliant case of a military using the media to its advantage. No doubt the British navy was positioned many days before any action was taken. They could say "we are on the way" for some time before they needed to play their hand.
      • by skintigh2 ( 456496 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @01:02PM (#19802385)
        It could even be saber rattling...

        US policy an invasion of Taiwan by China is "strategic non denial" (minus one obligatory Bush gaff). Basically, the world knows what the US would do but there's no need to rub it in China's face. It was never really a threat that China would invade due to the state of their navy -- one nickname for a potential invasion was "the million man swim." Well, China has been beefing up their military at a high speed and now it seems they are raising the stakes.
        • by inviolet ( 797804 ) <slashdot AT ideasmatter DOT org> on Monday July 09, 2007 @01:41PM (#19802985) Journal

          Well, China has been beefing up their military at a high speed and now it seems they are raising the stakes.

          A boomer is helpful for ensuring world stability, but it's useless for amphibious assault or even for deterring a US counterattack. You'll know China is getting ready to invade Taiwan when they start investing in their military's sealift capabilities.

          Speaking of which -- I wonder if they could use their many many container ships for that? Container ships probably need a port to unload... but ports can be captured.

        • As the U.S. government, the U.N and most of countries in this world stated, Taiwan is a PROVINCE of China. It is separated from mainland China because of a civil war (called the third civil war between 1945-1949). During that time most Chinese people supported the communist party and banished the KMT party the U.S. supported to Taiwan in 1949.

          The communist party were planning to continue attacking KMT in Taiwan as the final war and make the whole China as a single unity. However, the Korean war was broke
    • That the the family of the guy in charge of security just got a bill for a single 9mm round?

      I imagine they would congratulate the guy - if this is being picked up on commercial (and presumably defence) satellites, it is because the Chinese want it that way.

      After all, what is the point in having a submarine acting as a nuclear deterrent if nobody knows you have it? You might not want people to know where it is when it's out on operations, but it's fine to show it off to everyone looking from above when it's at home at the dock.

    • Doubt it. China basically builds their nuke subs for the same reason we do: to tell the world, "Hey, don't fuck with us. We can dump a nuke in your swimming pool."

      There is no point in having them if other people don't know you have them. If they really gave a damn about secrecy they'd never leave it docked out in the open. It'd be under cover.

      This is interesting in the same way that a lot of google maps stuff is interesting, but it's not any great intelligence coup.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jbeaupre ( 752124 )
      Let's be clear: You want people to know about your nuclear capability. It's not much of a deterrence if no one knows you have it. In fact, people thinking you have a capability is almost as good as having one*.

      * Example: Saddam's ambiguity eventually bit him on the rear (or neck), but he was quite willing to let his neighbors assume he could produce all sorts of nasty things.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:40PM (#19802049)
      That the the family of the guy in charge of security just got a bill for a single 9mm round?

      You are completely ignorant if you believe that. The Chinese don't do that at all. They use 7.92mm.
    • by Phanatic1a ( 413374 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:47PM (#19802169)
      Doubtful. When you don't want satellites to photograph your subs, you keep them in sub pens or covered (dry)docks. It's not like the orbits of surveillance satellites are unknown, and China certainly has the radar capability to track them and know when they'll be overhead. It's a pretty safe bet that if there's a military asset visible on a satellite photograph, the military in question didn't feel it was worth the trouble to keep that asset concealed.
    • by Buran ( 150348 )
      I doubt it. It's been known for decades now that satellites pass overhead that have the resolution to take photos of anything on the ground with high enough resolution to make out details. If anyone screwed up, it would be whoever decided to leave the submarine tied up to a pier and not under cover. But really, how much can you tell from this photo? Not a lot, really. If there's no active war going on, it's not too useful to know that there is a submarine in a sub base... at least, not in the immediate "it'
  • by Lucas123 ( 935744 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:04PM (#19801533) Homepage
    So is it true that they have screen doors?
    • by inviolet ( 797804 ) <slashdot AT ideasmatter DOT org> on Monday July 09, 2007 @01:48PM (#19803093) Journal

      So is it true that they have screen doors?

      Of course not. I invested the better part of my childhood in intensive study of Chinese products, and so I have it on good authority that the submarine's doors are injection-molded plastic, bright red, mounted on long thin metal hinge-pins. The plastic will break after fifty operations, or the hinge-pin will rust out. The damage will not be field repairable and so the sub will sink. However, the entire sub only costs $23.99 ($12.40 wholesale in lots of 10000), so they'll just pick up a replacement on their way home.

      Man, can you imagine getting that thing out of the blister package?

  • A massive explosion has been detected at 3849'4.40"N, 12129'39.82"E. Further information as it becomes available.
    • Re:This just in... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vivaoporto ( 1064484 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:13PM (#19801657)
      I think it would be more likely that the next headlines would read: Google maps satellite suddenly stop working over China.
      • Do people here really think that the US DoD don't already know about China's submarine bases? The US DoD has more satellites at better resolution than whatever commercial service Google maps uses.
      • Re:This just in... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sethstorm ( 512897 ) * on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:54PM (#19802273) Homepage
        Or "China asks Google to blur region".
      • by _xeno_ ( 155264 )

        To the best of my knowledge, the highest resolution "satellite" photos that Google provides aren't actually satellite photos, they're airplane fly-overs. I expect (but don't know how to prove) that this is the case for this photo, too: it was taken from an airplane.

        If true, that mean China would have known about the flight (they're not exactly secret, as they have to coordinate with air traffic control), and therefore either made a mistake in allowing the sub to be photographed, or more likely, simply did

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:09PM (#19801597)
    having google maps during the cuban missle crisis or the cold war would've been bad ass...

    "dude....call JFK...I think I see a launcher!"

    *goes back to playing pong*
    • by Black-Man ( 198831 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:34PM (#19801965)
      You mean it could of helped back when GW was proclaiming... "See those vans parked over there next to those 55 gallon drums, thats a chemical weapons factory!!"
    • by vertinox ( 846076 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @02:03PM (#19803291)
      having google maps during the cuban missle crisis or the cold war would've been bad ass...

      Check out this one [google.com] which is about a mile or so from the South side check point of the coastal DMZ.

      Thats a building, but its been painted to match the terrain. I suspect they are afraid of DPRK flying around their border. If you scroll through to the north, you can see the trench fences (the last parking lot) and then opposing that the North Korean side. If you keep scrolling west you can follow the trench fence system to the west coast. There are a lot of interesting things such as trenches and border forts and hidden nooks and cranies you can only see from the air.
  • Classified? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If this is the kind of thing you can dig up with unclassified satellite imagery, imagine what classified material shows. Google Maps has a picture of my house where you can make out individual people walking down the road. It's not hard to imagine classified satellite imagery that can identify somebody if they happen to be looking upward.

    • Re:Classified? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:25PM (#19801841)
      Actually, yes it is. Advanced adaptive optics *might* correct for some or most of the atmospheric distortion, but they can't overcome the diffraction limit. A 3m lens at 300km altitude can only resolve down to about 9cm resolution. That's way way better than Google Maps, but you can't identify a face that only takes up 4 "pixels".
      • by DataBroker ( 964208 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @02:22PM (#19803565)

        That's way way better than Google Maps, but you can't identify a face that only takes up 4 "pixels".

        You, good sir, need to buy a clue! I know better, I've seen CSI!!! Don't you know that they're able to zoom-in, enhance, zoom-in, enhance, and zoom-in, enhance anything? They're able to zoom in (and enhance) on the inverted reflection on the concave of a spoon, which is on a reflection of someone's sunglasses, who is in near-total darkness, and underwater. I've heard they're almost able to do facial biometrics and genetic tests from that same picture!

        Surely if they can do that, they can zoom-in enough to recognize people from a high-tech satellite!
      • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:57PM (#19807051)

        Actually, yes it is. Advanced adaptive optics *might* correct for some or most of the atmospheric distortion, but they can't overcome the diffraction limit. A 3m lens at 300km altitude can only resolve down to about 9cm resolution. That's way way better than Google Maps, but you can't identify a face that only takes up 4 "pixels".

        That's the line I've been giving people too. The Hubble Space Telescope with a 2.4 meter mirror was designed to maximize the mirror size for the Shuttle's cargo bay, and this is the same Shuttle which has launched a KH-12 [wikipedia.org] for the NRO [wikipedia.org]. So the KH-12 probably has a mirror about the same diameter as the HST.

        But then it occurred to me. You only need a big mirror if you're looking at dim objects in space. Stuff on Earth is pretty well-lit, so the only real problem is resolution. If you want resolution, you don't need all that surface area. All you need are two or more smaller scopes separated by a large distance to create an interferometer [wikipedia.org]. The design is tricky since the individual mirrors have to be aligned to within a wavelength of light. But it's been done many times here on Earth. When done successfully, you get a scope with the light-gathering power of just the sum of the mirrors, but the resolving power is that of a mirror whose diameter is the distance between the individual mirrors.

        The Webb Space Telescope [wikipedia.org] will have a 6.5 meter mirror by designing it in separate cells which will fold and stack for launch. Again, since astronomy is primarily concerned with light-gathering ability, and a circle represents the most surface area for a given perimeter, astronomical scopes tend to have roundish mirrors. But a spy satellite wouldn't need light-gathering ability. They could arrange the cells differently, creating a mirror which is wide but narrow. Like the interferometer, resolution along the wide axis would be much higher.

        I am not the conspiracy theory type, but the publicity over HST / JWST strikes me as similar to Asimov's short story, The Dead Past [wikipedia.org]. In that story, [spoiler] the government is covering up a chronoscope, a machine which can view the past, by publicizing it as studying ancient history - ancient Greeks, ancient Egyptians building the pyramids, etc. The deader the better. It turns out that the machine can't view more than several decades into the past. But what the public doesn't realize is that while the chronoscope is useless for studying ancient history, it is the perfect spying machine, able to remotely view events which happened just a few hours or even a few seconds ago.[/spoiler]

        I suspect this is part of the reason for the success (and problems) of Hubble. How the mirror wasn't tested before launch resulting in a near-fatal flaw. (How many KH-11 and KH-12 mirrors were manufactured before Hubble? Surely someone who had overseen construction of those mirrors was given some sort of advisory role in Hubble's manufacture.) How the pictures from HST are released to the public, spruced up in color and saturation so they're beautiful. How we let the gyros die until it was one failure away from uselessness. All this drama and publicity keeps Hubble in the eye of the public, and solidifies the stereotype in everyone's mind that a space telescope has got a big round mirror. Even the final maintenance mission for the HST being canceled, then restored, then funding being lost, and then restored again, serves to put the JWST in the public's mind. It too is a roundish mirror design (hexagonal cells). They even have technically knowledgeable people like us ridiculing movies which show spy satellites with extraordinary zooming capability.

        My hunch is the NRO probably has at

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by evanbd ( 210358 )

          Except for the conspiracy about NASA, it's all plausible. I've worked with them; it's way too easy too attribute the Hubble stuff to general ineptness. No conspiracy required.

          Also note, your 10m mirror doesn't get you 1cm resolution just because you use a high res sensor -- the diffraction limited resolution is ~1.22*wavelength*distance/diameter, or 2.56cm at 700nm (red) (again, 300km). It's down toward 1cm in the blue, though. And one other nit -- two mirrors isn't enough; that only gives you good re

    • There's a very good chance that it's not a satellite photo you are looking at, but an aerial photo taken from a plane at about 10,000'. The satellites employed by google are not capable of anything beyond 1m resolution, which would only reveal the fattest of humans. The point of the story is that yes, you can be photographed at great detail without knowing it. Imagine what detail they would get if they had a guy in a van outside your house with a huge zoom lens, I mean they could tell if you picked your
      • by Ambitwistor ( 1041236 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @02:10PM (#19803383)

        Imagine what detail they would get if they had a guy in a van outside your house with a huge zoom lens, I mean they could tell if you picked your nose (yet)!
        You mean, like this [google.com]?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Shakrai ( 717556 )

        satellites employed by google are not capable of anything beyond 1m resolution, which would only reveal the fattest of humans

        In other words, Americans, right? ;)

        *duck*, *run*, disclaimer: I am one and can make that joke ;)



    • I'm sure the military has no picture zones, or substitute the attached picture for all photographs taken in this area.
    • The best possible resolution is about 2.5 inches (6 CM). That's assuming something on the close order of the Hubble telescope pointed down, and in a 100 mile orbit.
  • by sunking2 ( 521698 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:13PM (#19801659)

    It's just there to draw our attention from the real threat. Flooding the world with these

    http://www.leftlanenews.com/chinese-sedan-flunks-g erman-crash-test-with-video.html/ [leftlanenews.com]

  • Of course who cares about the Chinese government but it shows that whilst human nature hasn't changed in thousands of years technology has and privacy is going straight to hell. What used to be non-existant or only available to governments with multi-billion $ defence budgets is quickly becoming available to every man and his dog as Google Earth shows. The bad thing is without human nature changing we're all going to end up in a screwed society where we must all watch our words and actions like politicians
    • Well, on the othre hand, it just might mean the end of Jerry Springer and similar "quality" talkshows.

      Just to show that everything can also have some good sides.
    • by jridley ( 9305 )
      If anyone has it, everyone should have it. More to the point, if the cops can take pictures of my house, then I should be able to take pictures of the cops, or anything else I can see from my own or public property. What scares me is the increasing trend towards governments photographing everything while individuals are arrested for snapping pics from a public street.
    • That has nothing to do with Google Earth, everyone has been able to buy those exact satellite pictures for quite some time before Google Earth was there. The minimum price for a QuickBird picture is 4352$, which will get you imagery of 272 km.
    • by Shihar ( 153932 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:38PM (#19802007)
      I don't really find this to be a disturbing trend. The only reason why such a trend would be disturbing is if we try and apply old ways of thinking to the new reality.

      Imagine a world where everything that happens in public space is recorded. We are close to that now with cell phone and security cameras, but as some point it will be even more true as people mount cameras on their bodies and run them non-stop. It is easy to imagine such a world as a nightmare where the most petty of laws are enforced with near perfection and anyone deviating from social norms is ostracized. There is an alternative though.

      Imagine if we could catch every single person who has violated the law. What would happen? Every single one of us would be up to our necks in fines and well over half of the population would be in jail. Faced with such a threat, one would hope that a democracy would respond by rethinking laws. In such a world would you really want marijuana laws that we demand tossing half of the nation in jail? Would a $250,000 fine for downloading copywrite material really make sense if it sent the major of people in the nation into bankruptcy? Would a no drinking before 21 law really make sense if it meant drumming the vast majority of college students out of college?

      There are a lot of dumb laws out there that are tolerated because we fail to catch even a small fraction of the violators. If you could catch everyone who violated the law, many laws would have to be abolished or we would need set up prison states to dump all the guilty.

      So yeah, I can imagine the evil horrible dystopia where everyone follows the massive piles of inane laws that exist to the letter and people get thrown in jail at random for violating obscure laws... but I can also envision a utopia where worthless laws have been tossed, corruption is close to non-existent, hippies don't get their heads busted in for smoking weed in the park, copyright is seriously reworked, and police find something more productive to do with their time then busting under aged parties.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fermion ( 181285 )
        Certainly, when a law gets applied to people who wish to be above the law, such laws are sometime weakened. At other time, the laws remain the same, but the enforcement is weakened.

        I have seen the later more than the former, especially on the parent example of drugs. The drug laws do appear to tilted toward heavier enforcement for lower class drugs. Likewise, I see many drug users who can't handle themselves in public school go to private school where they can be "protected", and go to expensive group a

    • Which is why I would never have a MySpace.com account.
    • You do realize that privacy is only relevant in very large societies, i.e. the kind that's only existed in a few other places for ~4000 years, and the kind that has only become ubiquitous in the last ~300 years. In short very few people have cared about privacy for the vast majority of human development.

      Thats not to say privacy is a bad thing (I'd argue it's neutral) but human nature worked just fine when your whole village new your business, I doubt our social structures will collapse because we now have
  • Karma whoring (Score:5, Informative)

    by l-ascorbic ( 200822 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:14PM (#19801701)
    ...but the article doesn't seem to have an actual link to the map. It's here [google.com].
  • by rtilghman ( 736281 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:25PM (#19801837)

    This was on Drudge Report last week... Slashdot's new moniker:

    "all the news that was fit to print yesterday"

    -rt
  • by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:34PM (#19801951)
    how quiet will this boat be submerged? SSBN's are the chickens of the sea - they run away from the slightest noise in order to stay undetected; the attack boats like to trail them in order to kill them if needed. Unless these new ones are extra quiet they'll be less a strategic threat than a symbol of power. They could, for example, be used to try to forestall a US response to move against the Republic of China, depending how credible the US viewed such a threat. For China, it means they've added a new threat to many of their neighbors - it could get a bit busy with Russian, Taiwanese, and Japanese subs and ASW forces looking to track them.

    That said, I'd love to be on the first boat to track one...
    • Do the Taiwanese have a sub fleet?

      Seems like, if the PRC is getting uppity and is deploying a lot of anti-carrier weapons (which their 'super-sonic torpedos,' mentioned further up in the thread, seem clearly to be), maybe the U.S. response is to change its posture away from one that requires it to interject itself directly into any cross-straight conflict.

      Maybe if we sold the Taiwanese a missile boat or two, it would cause the mainlanders to think twice before doing anything spectacularly stupid; doubtless
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hey! ( 33014 )
      IIRC the type 094s are equipped with SLBMs with a reported range of 8000km, as opposed to the SLBMs in their single, older type 092 which was equipped with missiles with a range of 2100-2500km. This means they can roam in a much larger area and still strike the US, and that they needn't go far out of Chinese territorial waters to strike the west coast.

      They can strike Anchorage, AK and Honolulu HI, without leaving port, and they probably can hit Seattle while still in Chinese territorial waters.

      So I'd say t
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Back in the nineties I used to hang out with "boomer" [fredoneverything.net] commander (a Captain). He said all that Tom Clancy sub hunting stuff was overrated and that boomers on both sides operated with near impunity. He rode boats for two decades and was pinned twice by the Soviets. In fact he felt that it was a waste of money driving boomers with nuclear reactors because it was so easy to make your boat scarce when you had to. According to him the Navy sends the boomers on unecessarily long cruises to justify the use of nucle
  • i love this (Score:4, Interesting)

    by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare.gmail@com> on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:41PM (#19802061) Homepage Journal
    because i believe the future is not 1984, but instead, reverse big brother

    the standard mythology is that cameras everywhere is all about the government controlling you. but with google maps, with cell phone cameras, etc., we are actually seeing the rodney king effect: that governments suddenly have to get used to a new democratic form of transparency that they never had to deal with before

    george orwell is bullshit. the future of cameras everywhere is that they can be used AGAINST big government
    • Re:i love this (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sacrilicious ( 316896 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:53PM (#19802255) Homepage
      george orwell is bullshit. the future of cameras everywhere is that they can be used AGAINST big government

      Don't be so hasty in your optimism. The only reason We The People can see google maps is because the government is allowing it; all the govt has to do is make it illegal for the public to access it, and poof the alleged hedge against tyranny evaporates.

      Consider the extensive network of cameras in England. Can anyone see their contents? Nope. Just the government. Wanna bet who'll be able to access the views of the extensive camera network planned for Manhattan?

      And pay attention: police in this country are increasingly trying their hand at suppressing/confiscating/outlawing citizen camera operation. Note the numerous stories about permits being required for operating cameras, about "illegal wiretap" laws being used to incarcerate people using cameras, and on and on.

      • 1984 is not so much a work of intelligence as it is mental pornogrpahy for paranoids

        kind of like ayn rand's work is mental pornography for the simply selfish

        they even have a fancy philosophical term for this selfishness: libertarianism. uh, no, what ayn rand wrote is just about being a selfish dickwad

        1984, atlas shrugged: these 2 works are mythological touchstones for certain subcultures of society. such that i know i am going to be modded into oblivion by saying these words. i know what i say here is deepl
      • Illegal wiretaps for cameramen? I can recall nothing of that nature. Stories involving cameramen and not releasing certain information about the contents of the film sure, but your reply just just plain ol FUD.

        The government is not allowing us to use the internet and see Google Maps. We are allowed to do anything unless we are told we are not allowed to in this country. You trying to be slick in how you word things, but in turn, you just twisted reality to suit your point. That does not even go to the po
    • by kahei ( 466208 )

      Hm, to recap:

      You have access to photos.
      They have access to an ocean-going nuclear armed navy.
      From this you conclude that you are in an ever stronger position.

      I hope you're right. But the real Rodney King effect is this: it's never been easier to distract people from real danger by making a big fuss over one poor guy getting kicked.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tji ( 74570 )
      > the standard mythology is that cameras everywhere is all about the government controlling you. but with google maps, with cell phone cameras, etc., we are actually seeing the rodney king effect: that governments suddenly have to get used to a new democratic form of transparency that they never had to deal with before

      While, this is partly true.. "Little Brother" in the form of ubiquitous camera phones provide evidence of a lot of things private, governmental, and natural. But, I don't think orbiting
    • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) *
      That's a great theory except for the fact that it's crap.

      China is dealing with the fact that their nuclear deterrent is very nearly obsolete -- they've only got about 18 warheads that could reach the United States, and the considerable improvements in the US's precision assault capabilities means that these could be taken out with a minimum of casualties with a very small loss of life (the Union of Concerned Scientists did an analysis -- the US could defang China and only kill a couple thousand Chinese i
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by evilviper ( 135110 )

        China is, after all, the emerging superpower of the moment and history says that friction is sure to follow.

        The economic development of China is significant, but still being VASTLY overblown. They are a major economic power, and they have a huge population, but I still see absolutely no reason to believe they will become a superpower. It's a lot of fear from westerners, and of course is being fueled by China at every opportunity.

        Economically, they are still far, far behind Japan and Germany (which are bot

    • george orwell is bullshit. the future of cameras everywhere is that they can be used AGAINST big government

      Why don't you have a look at Cheney's house on google maps [google.com].
      Can you see anything you could use 'AGAINST' him?

      • well duh (Score:3, Interesting)

        a cell phone camera or google maps is not the complete answer, just a new tool in a swiss army knife of tools to use against autocracy. you thought that the struggle was ever going to be answered definitively or completely with one technological tool or idea?

        the struggle against those who wish to restrict your rights and freedoms is a struggle that has always been waged, in all societies, and always will be waged, for all time. because you can't use google maps to spy on dick means it's pointless to try? or
    • the standard mythology is that cameras everywhere is all about the government controlling you. but with google maps, with cell phone cameras, etc., we are actually seeing the rodney king effect: that governments suddenly have to get used to a new democratic form of transparency that they never had to deal with before

      David Brin actually wrote a pretty good non-fiction book about this topic, The Transparent Society [wikipedia.org]. I have a link to the first (freely-downloadable) chapter of the book [davidbrin.com] in my sig.
  • by 8127972 ( 73495 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:47PM (#19802159)
    If it's like other stuff they make [canada.com] it's likely to get recalled. So no reason to worry.
  • Ad Space! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:47PM (#19802165)
    In other news, the Chinese govt just announced plans for the world's largest, submarine-based advertising campaign.

    The 220 foot banners, visible from space and deployed in the world's oceans, will read "Come to Beijing for having best memorable Olympics."
  • satellite (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SolusSD ( 680489 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:50PM (#19802203) Homepage
    i wouldn't fly that satellite too close to china. they might shoot it down. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2007 @12:57PM (#19802317)
    You can see the sailors running around on deck, almost like they're having a fire drill.
  • It's not a prototype. It's a first unit of the class production run.
  • Hardly a big deal. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nim82 ( 838705 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @02:03PM (#19803293)
    Why is there such a big fuss over China launching a new boomer?

    China is already in possession of an outdated ballistic missile sub, they are simply building a replacement class. Yet news sites and the 'omg China' crowd seem to be thinking it's a sign of aggression, and similar nonsense. Here in the UK the govenment has recnetly raised a bill for ~£20 Billion for a replacement SSBN system.

    As to it's secrecy, I've seen models and diagrams of it for years on various blogs and military tech sites, the fact they were building a new submarine was not secret. It was also know that it would look (unsurprisingly) just like the current russian boats. All China has managed to do is keep it's construction somewhat secret. China can track satellites, and it's not hard to hide a sub (most facilities have hangers for them) - this is not an intelligence coup, it's simply China showing the West their new toy. We do it via public launches and bottle smashing, China simply parks theirs outside and waits for someone to notice.

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