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Comment Riiight... (Score 5, Informative) 78

Having been in the Navy for 14 years and forgetting the ship-board obstacles such as steep ladders, water-tight doors with their high step-over and the like, imagine the Navy red tape involved in:

  • Training and Personal Qualification System (PQS) sign-off
  • Repair and maintenance contract
  • Salt water (most fires involve some attempted dousing involving sea water)
  • Salt water laden sea air

I really cannot see this would be any help at all in a fire situation. Fires do not wait for robots. They are fast and furious. The fire drill is one of the most intense things that happens on a ship. There is no way that robot twiddle dum would get there on time with the robot operator having to maneuver it from cargo hold #3 to the engine room.... the ship could have been toast by that time.

Comment Smart? (Score 1) 851

I am in the technology field. I have an iPad, an iPod and an Android. I use them all (not so much the iPod). But having grown up where there was no TV, no radio, no telephones (except one for the whole community), my POV is that technology like smart phones significantly modifies behavior. People tend to get trained by the technology and lose sight of the practical use cases which in most cases are questionable. For instance, I have seen a group of teenagers sitting together at a table, each one busy texting and no one talking. How many times have you seen someone with a cell phone glued to his ear while attempting to do something else? In my case, I am required to be available pretty much 24/7 and to have access to the servers but the reality is that rarely happens. It annoys me in the extreme when I am having a conversation with someone and their cell phone rings or notifies him/her of a message and the conversation is dropped in favor of the intrusion. The behavior modification is analogous to a dog leash. The main point being: is there often anything so important that it could not wait a few minutes or an hour or a day or more? The portable technology tends to own you

Comment Just a few details... (Score 4, Informative) 449

Having been in the Navy for 14 years I do not see China being able to operate a carrier effectively for a decade at least. First you need to have planes an pilots that can land on one, then you have to be learn how to replenish at sea (*not* an easy task), then you need a grunch of ships and submarines to protect the carrier, not to mention operations for achieving that, and of course the entire logistics and training infrastructure to pull the whole thing off.

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