Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Rain X (Score 5, Interesting) 237

...for about 30 seconds and then as the aircraft accelerates past 200kts or so, the rain x is scrubbed off. We tried it, didn't work. Best thing is to use a plexiglass polish to keep the glass as smooth as possible between flights. A bug hitting the windscreen of a fighter jet going 500+kts is not going to be repelled by high frequency sound or any hydrophobic surface. I've seen dents in the leading edges of the wings just from hitting grasshoppers...

Comment Bleed Air, Not Sound (Score 5, Interesting) 237

Jet fighters use bleed air to clear the windscreens, not high frequency sound. The pilot just has to remember to use it sparingly on the ground, or the windscreen melts, which most pilots agree is a bad thing...and mechanics get really ticked off replacing them. Another way to clean the windscreens is a quick shot of JP-8 from your nearby in-flight refueler (booms works best), but you didn't hear that from me...

Comment Re:Only partly joking... (Score 1) 519

THIS was modded 'insightful"? More propaganda crap. For all the notion that the US is somehow exploiting the rest of the world, the US also has a huge trade deficit, with more net wealth leaving the country for the past 40 years than coming in. The US military serves two main purposes: 1) to ensure the world doesn't get stupid with another world war; and 2) to keep the sea and air lanes open, mostly the sea as 90% of the world's commerce moves via the oceans. That's why there are 12 carriers, 5,000 aircraft and divisions of Army and Marine personnel. Because the US has prevented another world war, we now enjoy the most prosperous time EVER in the history of the world, period. I'm not saying everyone is happy, but a hell of a lot more are than there used to be, and as long as the US keeps the peace, that trend will continue. The Chinese really could care less about anything but China, the recent typhoon in the Philippines is a case in point. Individuals are giving more than China is, and China is their neighbor. The US constantly offers aid and succor to nations and people who've had a tragedy. The US understands that being there handing out an MRE is just as important as standing guard with an M-16. China hasn't a clue, nor will it ever, it's just a machine, driven to expand or die. Because the carriers constantly ply their trade through the major ocean routes, the world economy flourishes. And never, not once, has the US ever levied a toll for that service. The US understands that if one prospers, all prosper and works to make sure that trade lanes stay open and accessible to everyone. And yes, what's good for the world is good for the US, that's just good business. Because the US made Europe and Asia play nice through forward deploying their own flesh and blood, their own sons and daughters, Asia and Europe are now major economic powers after being devastated in WWII. The US could've kept them down, forced them to accept one-way trade agreements. But no, the US rebuilt them, and allowed it's own factories to fall silent, and unemployment to rise. I'm not sure that sounds like something a nation with a bloated war-mongering military machine would allow to happen. Hell, even Vietnam is prospering! The Philippines asked the US to leave, and they did. The US has left every place that has asked them to go. Will China? Unlikely. I'm still trying to figure out how the US is "exploiting" all those billions of people who have good jobs, food on the table, clothes on their backs, schools, roads, high-speed trains, satellite TV, etc, etc. /rant

Comment Porpoising (Score 2) 18

The military have significant experience in porpoising munitions, usually by mistake. It's pretty common to see munitions where the ballute has failed and the bomb enters at too shallow an angle, goes underground for a few dozen feet and then erupts and lands on the surface, or depending on the angle, goes back into the ground/explodes (finally). Shouldn't be too much of a stretch to design a system to enter at a shallow angle, gather (something), exit, and then deploy a retrieval system.

Comment Re:Popularity (Score 2) 122

As someone who lives and works in Saudi Arabia...yes to both. The app is very popular and the Saudi government is treading carefully on this. This has been in the local news for several months now, as the government gauges local reaction and gives the app's owners time to decide on whether to cooperate. I use WhatsApp, but I have a backup plan in case access is terminated. I don't use Skype, so that won't affect me, but lots of people do use it. The government is prepping the population for the cutoff with stories about security, terrorists passing messages, etc. The Saudis have two large security problems. First, in the Eastern Province with Shi'as and their backing from Iran. Second, they also have a large illegal worker problem, stemming from two sources: those who overstay their work visas, and those (mostly Africans) who cross the border with Yemen (sound familiar?). In order to get a handle on the issue, the Saudi government is cracking down on phones operated by illegals so they cannot find work or tell others about work. They do this by requiring cell phone owners use a national identity number or authorized foreign worker number whenever activating cell phones or re-charging accounts. Part and parcel are the communication programs such as WhatsApp and Skype used by illegals and Iranian agents so the government cannot track their locations and movements.

Comment Re:Yes. (Score 1) 482

If war was more horrible people would do more to prevent it.

Didn't work for WWII. 15M or so dead for WWI, 40M or so dead for WWII. Did work for the Cold War, when governments realized their existence could be vaporized in mere minutes. Lesson learned: Threaten governments, not people.

Comment Re:Yes. (Score 2) 482

Your premise is incorrect. The vast majority of US military enlistees are from the middle and wealthy classes, mostly for the college education benefits. In fact: 98% of US military enlistees are HS graduates, compared to a 75% graduation rate in the US. More US military enlistees are from the $70K+ income group than from the $20K- group. The vast majority of enlistees are from the $30K to $60K income groups, which puts them squarely in the middle class and NOT in the lower class. In other words, the poor need not, and in fact don't, join the military, they have the US government to support their lifestyle.

Comment Re:Is "tactical nuclear weapon" a bad word now? (Score 1) 138

Correct, which is why the conventional military now uses "tactical" and "strategic" to define the value of the target, not the weapon or the weapon system. Any weapon can be used on a strategic or tactical target (and yes, there are better "fits" for each target/weapon, but the point stands). As well, any weapon system can be used against strategic or tactical targets--it makes no sense to say an ICBM is a strategic or tactical weapon system...it is just a weapon system. To use an ICBM on a tactical-value target is a bit much overkill, but it is certainly possible, and I'm certain there are scenarios where it would be justified (taking out a city-killing alien ship, for example, would be a tactical use for one...the strategic target being the mother ship, or if the aliens were using our satellites to communicate/time the attack you launch an ICBM into low orbit and hope the resulting EMP would disable their communications network--a strategic target). Or conversely, you could use a small craft normally used for reconnaissance fitted with an appropriate weapon to penetrate deep into an enemy's mothership and deliver a knockout blow--a strategic target.

Comment Re:Sure, but... (Score 1) 138

Ummm...no. As a former member of a nuclear-capable military and one who handled a variety of nuclear weapons, we NEVER hoped nuclear war would be practical, or that certain capabilities would make nuclear war practical. We did hope that the weapons would be effective and therefore invoke the MAD theory. The terms "tactical" and "strategic" initially evolved from the distance to the target, as in Strategic Air Command and Tactical Air Command. For the conventional side of the military house, tactical and strategic are still used but now (since Gulf War I) describe the value of the target, not it's distance, since weapons platforms can hit targets with either tactical or strategic value. Which is why TAC and SAC were reconfigured into Air Combat Command. (Note: Don't get me started on how badly ACC screwed up their nuclear mission responsibilities and why the "Global Strike Command" was formed to take over the nuclear mission.) If TFA is correct and nuclear planners (on both sides) still use "tactical" and "strategic" to describe nuclear weapons then they should adopt the conventional method of ascribing tactical and strategic values to the targets, not the weapon systems.

Comment Re:Yeah, raising taxes always work. (Score 1) 338

Wow! Talk about brainwashing... 1) Illegal aliens send a large portion of their funds to their (real) homes in Central/South America. They live as cheaply as possible here to send as much cash there as they can. Go forth, spend time among them and see. They live many people to a house/room (San Antonio now has laws about how many people not of the same family can inhabit one house because 20-30 were living in 3 and 4 bedroom homes). They drive 14 to a van capable of carrying 8 to get to/from job sites. We have a large population of illegals here in central Georgia and see this all the time, where do you live that you don't see this?

2) ALL government jobs are net losses, period. They DO NOT force commercial pay raises. Businesses compete against each other, not against the government (speaking as someone who is in the business of contracting with the government) when determining pay for jobs. Especially with high levels of unemployment, there is NO incentive to increase salaries as higher costs just make you non-competitive in your industry. So, it doesn't matter what the government pays it's personnel, it has no effect on the commercial sector.

3) Ever hear of municipal bonds? Rich people and many mutual funds spend LOTS of money investing in our towns and cities for the tax-free returns. You want the rich investing more in America? Give them opportunities to grow their money and they'll come-a-running to invest. Wanna see the rich take their money and run? Declare the rich don't pay their "fair share" and then look determined into the TV camera when you say you're gonna take (tax) their money at even higher rates.

4) Way to spin the cause of WWII from the real cause in the roots of the Treaty of Versailles along with the fractioning of political parties that led to a crisis of leadership and inability to manage their economy into a dumping on capitalism. (Ours is the opposite, but functionally equal, phenomenon of stalemate between two parties leading to an inability to manage the economy, not a failure to manage capitalism).

Sheesh, did you just spout out all of your professor's liberal thoughts with no attempt at looking at the real world?

The two best things government can do for business (and the economy) is a) invest in infrastructure (the one thing I do agree with the Obama administration on); and b) get out of the way, or at least give businesses one set of rules. This changing of the guard every two years is really screwing the ability of the commercial sector to make any plans/invest/grow, and by extension, the rest of us.

Comment CNDers Were Fun To Watch (Score 1) 162

They were camped outside of RAF Upper Heyford for years. We used to read their chalkboard sign that they would post the Slogan Of The Week on. Usually it was good for a laugh or two. The camp slowly dwindled down to one old guy in a ramshackle camper. The only serious incident happened when the CNDers got enough people to have a protest that would be covered by the Press (I think it was their annual march). They approached the fence surrounding the base, cut enough links to shove a baby through, and then screamed at the top of their lungs, trying to fool the MOD police into cutting the rest of the fence so the mother could reclaim her baby. The idea was to rush the fence at that point, overwhelm the MOD police, and then run about the base, causing mayhem and havoc (and getting good press). They were foiled when the MOD police picked up the baby (the screams really ratcheted up then), and took it around to the nearest gate to hand back to the mom.

Slashdot Top Deals

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow