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Comment Who should care: People who don't want to DIE (Score 2) 197

If you fly on airplanes, or live near an airport, you should care:

Imagine a Boeing 787 Dreamliner conducting an nighttime instrument approach to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport when the GPS signal is overwhelmed at a critical phase. Now imagine that same Boeing 787 Dreamliner plowing into downtown Arlington, Virginia at 150 miles per hour, leaving a wake of bloody body parts and burning jetfuel for a quarter-mile.

That’s the worst that could happen.

Comment Obama Scandals: From Waste to Death (Score 0, Flamebait) 197

It was bad enough when the Obama Administration was just wasting taxpayer dollars on well-connected business cronies like Solyandra. However, Fast and Furious has helped kill hundreds of Mexicans and at least one U.S. citizen, U.S. border patrol agent Brian Terry, all for the the purpose of promoting gun control. Now the Obama Administration is trying to help another batch of well-connected Democratic cronies at LightSquared, and if they get their way, the results could easily be hundreds dead. All it takes is for one LightSqyared signal to interfere enough with GPS during a single airliner landing. And it might not just be one airliner, because there's no guarantee the accident investigation would find the cause quick enough to prevent a re-occurrence.

Remember how the Bush Administration was forced to appoint a special prosecutor for "Plamegate"? Both Fast and Furious are far more serious scandals, and the Obama Administration is clearly stonewalling the investigation on one.

I would think that even the most fervent liberal would draw the line at a corrupt cronyism that result in the direct deaths of innocent American citizens.

Comment Outsourced Programming Flaws (Score 5, Interesting) 653

Having been involved in many outsourced projects, a number of problems tend to crop up again and again:

1. Offshore programmers frequently lie about their programming skills
2. Competent Indian programmers tend to do fairly well if given very explicit instructions, but are at a loss if something unexpected comes up. They tend to be less adaptable and nimble than U.S. programmers.
3. It ends up taking longer than estimated, even for simple projects.
4. Hand-holding and rework end up eating up all time and money savings.
5. By the time an offshore programmer has skilled up enough to actually be useful, they leave for a better position. (Especially true for India.)

To my mind, outsourcing programming is a management fad that is (hopefully) already falling out of favor due to poor results.

Comment Not Necessarily True (Score 5, Informative) 334

Rick Perry's campaign, for instance, is well-known for using social-science methods to rigorously test various campaign tools, including controlled experiments on what actually worked and what didn't.

As, as long as we're talking about Perry, you know that "Perry cut firefighters budgets" story that went around a month ago? It's not true. The Texas legislature authorized, and Perry signed, an 80% increase in wildfire fighting and prevention funding for the 2012-2013 biennium.

Comment Fragile? (Score 1, Insightful) 417

The U.S. Army is the most powerful fighting force in the history of the world. An M1A2 tank is not fragile. The U.S.S. Enterprise in not fragile. The U.S. Marine Corps is anything but fragile.

Every time U.S. forces have come up against Soviet-doctrine troops and equipment in a regular battle (as opposed to a counterinsurgency campaign) after the Korean War ( a draw), the U.S. has soundly kicked their asses. The more technologically advanced the equipment, the less likely it has been to break down. "Smart" weapons of the 1970s were finicky and prone to failure; today's smart weapons are remarkably robust in comparison.

When U.S. forces went up up against the largest and best-equipped Arab army in the first Gulf War, they wiped them out. Read up on The Battle of 73 Easting, where U.S. 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment went up against the Iraqi Republican Guards (and their "robust" Soviet equipment) and absolutely destroyed them.

Lake of GPS would be a serious disadvantage...right up until the AGM-88 HARM took out the jamming stations. Which would probably be less than a hour after the strike packets were launched. If the U.S. can't rely on GPS, there are fallbacks (terrain mapping and getting coordinates from JSTARS come to mind).

With GPS, the U.S. military is the most formidable fighting force in the world. Without GPSstill the most formidable fighting force in the world.

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.

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