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Comment Re:Is this really how fighter jets work? (Score 1) 613

...For what it's worth, the USA doesn't have the resources to build F-22s either ;)

Yurt, actually, I'm in complete agreement with you. I've been in the aviation field for a long time now, both for fun and for paychecks. And there was a great article written more than 25 years ago.... Lord, I wish I could find it.... where the writer predicted that the US would eventually come to a point where it could "build a fighter with all of the electronics of the Starship Enterprise, but what good will it do us if we can only afford two of them?"

I think we hit that point starting with the B-2, and have continued it with the F-22 and F-35. Instead of following the American model of WWII... buy the best weapon that you can get in large numbers affordably... we've adopted the German model of WWII, which is to design the finest, most exotic weapons and make do with limited quantities of them (most people would be absolutely shocked if they knew, for instance, just how few tanks the Germans produced in comparison to the Allies. The Germans produced less than 1350 of the legendary Tiger tank, and less than 500 of the King Tiger). I think we saw how that turned out for the Germans. Americans and Russians just kept churning out Shermans and T-34's, and simply overwhelmed them. I'm very much afraid that in any future war with a peer foe (which, for the record, I think is a LONG way off), we might get smeared simply because we don't have enough fighters and ships and tanks and will be outlasted in the field. I think we desperately need large numbers of easy to use and maintain weapons, not 187 F-22's. That's not even enough to guarantee security of US borders, let alone deployment in a Korean or Eurasian war. But not even the greatest economy in the world can afford $183 million per fighter, flyaway (the CBO's estimate of the eventual cost of the F-35). That's simply insane.

The difference is that in WW2 the US Military was made up from draftees and in a generally popular war (its necessity was seen publicly) and the modern military is composed of volunteers and fights conflicts with less public support against vastly inferior forces. The political cost of the large numbers of casualties that good enough technology and attrition tactics would create justifies the high cost of equipment. Also considering the tight manpower requirements keeping each soldier alive as long as possible is necessary to maintain military capability as it is hard to get trained replacements. Quantity only counters Quality when the large numbers of troops are fiercely dedicated and willing to take large numbers of casualties to achieve an objective, and your opponent does not have the reserves to match your quantity.

If America got into a war where quantity mattered again and the draft was re-instituted, we would once again see "good enough" equipment in large numbers. Currently though, the the ability to utterly crush any opponent afforded by the expensive equipment limits nearly everyone from competing in arms races as they cannot afford either the quality or the quantity needed to counter American technology in a direct fight. This in itself has prevented major conflicts since WW2, the wars that have been fought since were comparatively small and localized conflicts.

America currently has a small but expensive military because manpower is harder to come by than money, and spending money to keep soldiers alive is cost effective as they are more difficult to replace than equipment. If a major war were to occur we would likely re-institute the draft, ramp up training and break out the cheaper technology as we could afford the political and military cost of higher casualties.

The problem that China will face if they want to counter American technology is that they will need both good enough technology and large enough numbers to directly oppose America. Both require money and large numbers of troops, Both of which China has. China has the ability to establish a defensively competitive military easily that could make any American military pressure ineffective and be able to locally project power without American interference. China doesn't have to directly compete with America, they simply have to make interference with their goals too costly short of another World War.

America spends so much on weapons because we want to have a big enough stick to prevent wars from developing by easily crushing all conceivable opponents, while China simply has to keep America off it's back long enough to gobble up interesting nearby tidbits.

America's military is currently designed to not be used, by intimidating potential opponents into diplomacy by its sheer superiority. While it can be used, its intended purpose is to prevent war as military action is politically costly in a democratic republic.

China's military is likely to be designed for practical use, with equipment cheap enough to be used up and just effective enough to stop its opponents. China has a political structure that could engage in opportunistic warfare and conquest.

America's military goal is to make war too costly to contemplate. China is becoming rich enough to think about it.

Comment Re:SMRT (Score 4, Interesting) 115

Well they must be getting smarter, they surely can't possibly get any dumber. Being against a public option yet if you try to take away their medicare there'll be hell to pay. I wonder how it is that the stupid seem to often outlive the intelligent.

Stress is a killer, dealing with all the stupid people weakens the smart people and they die sooner. Stupid people are happier and have less stress as they off load it to those smarter than them thus living longer (those that don't win Darwin awards early on). Stupidity has advantages, it is why it will always be with us.

Comment Re:TI isn't going anywhere. (Score 1) 313

Here's what I'd suggest for Casio.

Cleanroom the TI-83+ firmware. Basically, make a TI-83+-compatible calculator. TI-83+ is the minimum standard for the curriculum, and the TI-84+ respects that, so...

Now, add your own differentiating features on top of that, while maintaining full backwards compatibility with TI-83+ button press sequences.

This would simply force TI to release a new calculator format and to have every textbook manufacturer change their key by key instructions as well as convincing the universities to blacklist all previous TI models due to the cracked firmware. Given their dominance in American schools this would be easy for them. If any firmware for the previous models isn't cracked they would probably leak cracks themselves and scare universities about cheating using the previous models. This would result in massive sales to both TI and the Textbook makers. You are right, Casio should do that, TI would love them for it.


Submission + - Logitech Google TV Box Arrives (

An anonymous reader writes: Following months of teasers, Logitech finally launched its Google TV player Wednesday at simultaneous press events in New York and San Francisco. The company’s Google TV family includes the Android-based “Review” STB (set-top box), large and mini remote controls, free iPhone and Android remote control apps, and a video cam. The $299 Android-powered Review acts as an intelligent hub for the Google TV setup, which minimally consists of the Review box, a TV, and an Internet connection. To this, a maximal configuration would add a cable TV box, typically with DVR capabilities, plus an A/V receiver. A/V sources usable on the Review include live or DVR’d cable shows, static or streaming A/V content from the Web, and static or streaming A/V content from DLNA-compliant devices on the home LAN or an attached USB drive. Initially only Dish Networks DVRs are fully supported, but that is expected to change by mid-2011. Here's a YouTube demonstrating Google TV.

Submission + - Former US Military Men Hold UFO Press Conference (

ForgedArtificer writes: Former US military officials, including six generals, have held a UFO disclosure press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. During the two hour long conference, around 120 former military men related first-hand accounts, second-hand accounts and declassified documents detailing UFO sightings, many of which centered around the UFOs executing repeated "remote shutdowns" of US nuclear missiles.

Whether you think it's true, false, or somewhere in between, it's certainly interesting.

Submission + - Ad-Hoc and Mesh Networking via 802.11b/g/n cards (

egell writes: Since the days of ARPANET, the internet's infrastructure is defined by its physical backbone. Featured in Italy's Wired, Netsukuku aims to offer a free, alternative routing system for peer-to-peer internet access. Much like 802.11s mesh networking in the OLPC, the concept that the average wifi network card is capable of simultaneously linking two or more ad-hoc networks has never been tested on a large scale. Similar to the German project Freifunk, a peer-to-peer hardware and software solution would offer new opportunities to proponents of net neutrality and anti-censorship. (Original article in Italian)

Submission + - ISPs cop customer angst over outbound emails (

aesoteric writes: Email users spent the past 24 hours receiving bounce-back notices after anti-spam blacklist operator SORBS mistakenly listed vast IP address ranges as spammers. SORBS' mistake caused legitimate incoming emails to be labelled as spam, resulting in a large volume of messages being returned to senders as undeliverable — and frustration being levelled at ISPs. There was conjecture on whose address ranges were affected — those owned by Gmail, Rackspace and Amazon were implicated but SORBS denied that was the case in a post-mortem published by The Register.

Submission + - Good C# Habits can Encourage Bad JavaScript Habits (

elijahmanor writes: Many people come to jQuery and believe that their knowledge of a previous classical language (C#, Java, etc) will help them be successful at client-side scripting. You can use your classical language skills to accomplish a large amount of functionality with jQuery. However, the more client-side code you write you will find yourself uncovering strange bugs because you didn’t take adequate time to learn JavaScript properly.

Submission + - iOS 4.1 Greenpois0n jailbreak tool due 10/10/10 (

alphadogg writes: A member of the Chronic Dev Team has tweeted that the heavily anticipated greenpois0n Apple iOS 4.1 jailbreaking solution will be released on Sunday: 10/10/10 at 10:10:10 a.m.

Joshua Hill, also known as "p0sixninja", tweeted Thursday that "Things have progressed to the point where we don't expect anymore roadblocks. ETA for greenpois0n is 10/10/10 at 10:10:10AM."

Some have celebrated that jailbreaking iOS 4.1 will mean opening up not just iPhones and iPads but even the Apple TV, which also uses that operating system.

Oct. 10, because of its unusual 10.10.10 date, could be an active day on the technology scene. Ubuntu 10.10 is expected out that day, for instance.

Submission + - Bank of America losing on-line customers (

An anonymous reader writes: Bank of America is restricting on-line banking to Microsoft and Apple operating systems

As a customer of BofA, I am now severing my relationship due to their recent and overly-restrictive "Electronic Communications Disclosure"

Bank of America
P O Box 15019
Wilmington, DE 19886-5019


RE: Electronic Communications Disclosure and Policy

Online Banking Supervisor,

I am writing to make you aware that I will, shortly, close my accounts with Bank of America due to the recently introduced on-line banking policy entitled, “Electronic Communications Disclosure.” While this policy has, in my opinion, many objectionable elements, I find section 5, the “Hardware and Software Requirements” to be unreasonably restrictive. Therefore, I will shortly opt to discontinue my relationship with Bank of America and its on-line presence.

I have been successfully and safely using, for years, operating system and application software not dicated by your recent online banking hardware and software requirements (dictated, apparently, by your recent merger with Merrill Lynch). Because of my profession, as a software developer, I regard the recently dictated requirements to be overly restrictive and, likely, intentionally narrow. The exclusion of any operating system, except those produced by either Microsoft or Apple, is especially troubling. In my opinion, such restrictions have little to do with security. It is for these and other reasons that I am now likely to sever my relationship, however long and beneficial, with Bank of America and any of its affiliates that impose such requirements. Further, your inclusion of non-current and unsupported versions of Microsoft operating systems seems to contradict to your intention for improved security.

Should you decide to reverse the decision to impose such requirements on your customers, I may re-evaluate my decision to have or maintain a relationship with Bank of America. Frankly, I doubt that this communication will have any bearing on your corporate decisions. However, I implore you to reconsider the blanket imposition of these requirements on me and your other customers.


Submission + - Electromechanical switch operates in extreme heat ( 2

Earthquake Retrofit writes: Science Daily is reporting that researchers at Case Western Reserve University have taken the first step to building a computer capable of operating in extreme heat.

Te-Hao Lee, Swarup Bhunia and Mehran Mehregany, have made electromechanical switches — building blocks of circuits — that can take twice the heat that would render electronic transistors useless. Their work was published in Science last month.

The group used electron beam lithography and sulfur hexafluoride gas to etch the switches, just a few hundred nanometers in size, out of silicon carbide. The result is a switch that has no discernable leakage and no loss of power in testing at 500 degrees Celsius.

A pair of switches were used to make an inverter, which was able to switch on and off 500,000 times per second, performing computation each cycle. The switches, however, began to break down after 2 billion cycles and in a manner the researchers do not yet fully understand.

Whether they can reach the point of competing with faster transistors for office and home and even supercomputing, remains to be seen. The researchers point out that with the ability to handle much higher heat, the need for costly and space-consuming cooling systems would be eliminated.

Submission + - Really Cisco, a Cius? Hey, I want a FlipPad! (

trygstad writes: Cisco is coming out with a tablet, the Cius (what a crappy name). It looks to be much more complex than an iPad, it's another crappy 7 inch screen and not the 9.7 inch like the iPad, and it's targeted at business professionals and not consumers. It's also going to be about a thousand dollars. It fits Cisco's self image but frankly I think it's going to suck.

But many folks never notice that Cisco actually has one really great consumer product line: Flip video cameras . Here's where they should have positioned a killer consumer tablet: The FlipPad. It would have the whole Flip video camera ecology already installed as well as all the best in audio and video, which Cisco actually does pretty well. Think front AND back 720i video and a full 1024x768 10 inch screen. Built-in FlipshareTV connectivity. It would have all the hip cachet of the Flip, which is nearly ubiquitous among 20-somethings who want video a bit better than they can get from their phone. It could even have skins and the distinctive little pop-out USB connector like the Flip, since honestly, no one uses that without a USB extension cable anyway. Is it just me, or are they really missing the boat here? The FlipPad. I want one of these so bad.

Submission + - Mexican IP Agency Crowdsources to translate ACTA?

josech writes: In an epic twist of irony, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI), the mexican negotiator of ACTA for Mexico, may have enjoyed the benefits of crowdsourcing to translate and publish its spanish version of the ACTA ( from no other place than the PiratePad site ( Many redaction and style errors from both documents are suspiciously similar. As one of the collaborators from PiratePad noted on twitter: "Is it me or the IMPI just published as official translation the one that we did yesterday at Etherpad?" ( Fortunately, the IMPI may have not breached the intellectual property of the PiratePad collaborators, because they don't believe in plagiarism nor copyrights.

Submission + - Paleontologists Unearth Giant Fossilized Penguin 1

Ponca City, We Love You writes: "BBC reports that scientists have discovered the fossil of a penguin nearly five feet tall or twice the size of an Emperor Penguin, the largest living species, that lived 36 million years ago. "The heavier the penguin, the deeper it dives," says Julia Clarke, a palaeontologist at the University of Texas. "If that holds true for any penguins, then the dive depths achieved by these giant forms would've been very different." The bird, named Inkayacu paracasensis, or water king, lived during the late Eocene period and had a long, straight beak, much longer than that of its modern relatives but most surprisingly, the giant penguin's feathers were brown and grey, distinct from the black "tuxedo" look of modern penguins. "Insights into the colors of extinct organisms can reveal clues to their ecology and behavior," says Jakob Vinther of Yale University. "But most of all, I think it is simply just cool to get a look at the color of a remarkable extinct organism, such as a giant fossil penguin.""

Submission + - Animal farms are pumping up superbugs

oxide7 writes: The philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once famously said, "That which does not kill me, makes me stronger." That may or may not be true for human beings. It is certainly true for bacteria. The superbugs are among us and they are not leaving. Indeed, they are growing stronger. "The incidence of drug-resistant infections is a national and global problem, in both the civilian and military world, and has grown dramatically over the past decade in civilian hospitals," said Rep. Vic Snyder, D-AK, at a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday on what the military is doing to deal with multi-drug resistant organisms, aka superbugs. The military, according to the military physicians who testified to the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, has ramped up anti-infection measures over the past few years in the areas of prevention through standardized practices, detection through screenings and surveillance, and control through isolation, sanitization and the targeted use of antibiotics.

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