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Comment Re:Why I thought... (Score 1) 359

You make really good points. I'm pleased that you took it seriously enough to address it as an exercise, as I have tried to do. I think your assessment is relevant. And looking at How EVE handles starship combat makes the issues tractable by mapping the capabilities of SW and ST vessels into EVE.

What makes or breaks the case it wether SW is defending SW space or SW is invading ST space. I think you make a good point. IF ST is defending Earth... they lose to SW hands down. Imperial fleet warps in and blockades Sol... done. But if ST is invading, there is more flexibility and SW has a rougher fight. This is all very silly on its face for a lot of reasons, but to explore thought experiments like this might lead to more interesting games in the future.

Neither the Imperium nor Star Fleet appear to have warp/hyper-space disruptors. So Interdiction vessels don't apply to either faction. Ion Cannons appear to be only possible on planetary platforms. From existing story arcs AFAIK there are no examples of a star destroyer mounting an ion canon on the scale that the Battle for Hoth depicted: That is head-shot to a star destroyer. So turbo lasers and limited guided weapons. For ST ships both energy weapons and guided weapons are primary, with guided weapons being more destructive than phasers. For SW energy weapons are primary, and guided weapons are secondary. Not sure if it matters as you point out we have no idea how they scale between the factions.


Comment Re:Why I thought... (Score 1) 359

>>The relative weapon strengths also would tend to favor the fewer but more powerful SF weapons. SDs are fit with large numbers of weapons designed to attack frigate sized ( 300m targets. There is some effect in 'sand blasting' the target, but this really doesn't create a huge threat to SF vessels. They are not going to get stomped by a large weapon from the SDs... so SF has predictable interval to apply damage and get off grid before their shields fail.

Should read:

The relative weapon strengths also would tend to favor the fewer but more powerful SF weapons. SDs are fit with large numbers of weapons designed to attack frigate sized and smaller ( 100m) targets. They have few weapons that are designed to do significant damage to anything bigger than 300m. There is some effect in 'sand blasting' the target, but this really doesn't create a huge threat to SF vessels. They are not going to get stomped by a large weapon from the SDs... so SF has predictable interval to apply damage and get off grid before their shields fail. This allows SF vessels to repeatedly engage and warp off with little threat of getting volleyed off the field... during a fleet scale engagement.

Comment Re:Why I thought... (Score 1) 359

Your comments support what I was trying to get to. But I don't think the outcome is as assured as scale and numbers of ships suggest.
The lack of a comparable jump-drive capability does indeed limit the reach of Star Fleet to a small number of adjacent systems. They clearly cannot engage freely across the SW universe.

However I think the Imperial Navy would have a huge headache trying to subdue Star Fleet, and here's why.

The jump capability of imperial SDs doesn't support changing destinations in mid-jump. ST ships gain a strategic and tactical advantage in controlling their engagements that the Imperial ships don't have. Once an SD fleet is in system it really isn't going anywhere fast. It stays put or it jumps. This is actually a big deal. Controlling engagement ranges and speeds makes up for a lot of asymmetry is scale and numbers. ST ships can quickly enter and exit warp at any time to establish position.. SD fleets cannot apparently do that.

The defensive screens on the SDs are weak and the armor, while tough, is ablative. SF ships use regenerative shields and they are capable of taking quite a bit of damage even from more powerful ships. This is also a big deal. They can disengage easily and restore shields, while the SDs have no choice but to stay put. If they try to jump after the SF ships they are going to miss every time. This gives SF a huge advantage in controlling the terms of engagement.

The relative weapon strengths also would tend to favor the fewer but more powerful SF weapons. SDs are fit with large numbers of weapons designed to attack frigate sized ( 300m targets. There is some effect in 'sand blasting' the target, but this really doesn't create a huge threat to SF vessels. They are not going to get stomped by a large weapon from the SDs... so SF has predictable interval to apply damage and get off grid before their shields fail.

SD tractor beams are only useful once an opponents engines have been damaged. I don't think it will prevent any class of SF vessel from warping off when it needs to assuming that it doesn't get too badly damaged before attempting to disengage.

Imperial fighters and support ships ( 50m) are not going to be a significant threat to any SF class of ship even in large numbers. The SF ships can easily kite them, and SF vessels don't have small unshielded systems that a fighter is going to be able to damage. The threat from fighters to an SD is very real as the fighters can take out enough turret weapons to make the SD toothless. Smaller SF classes can fill this role as basically over-sized fighters.

Canon-wise ST ships don't take significant damage until their shields are compromised, and that takes being hit with something big. Short of suicide frigates, and fighters, SDs don't have any weapons that are a direct threat to SF vessels. SD screens seem to be used to minimize damage, but are not themselves damaged. To compare it with something in EvE.... SD screens are more like armor hardeners than shields.

Jedi/Sith are only useful in limited contexts that can be countered by comparable talent in the ST universe. I consider this to be a push. No advange to either side.

TL;DR Imperial Navy vs Star Fleet would be a guerrilla war that Star Fleet would likely lose, and would be hideously expensive for the Imperial Navy to win.

Comment Re:Why I thought... (Score 1) 359

Voyager is a cruiser. Defiant is a light cruiser. Enterprise (NCC-1701) was also a light cruiser. Enterprise NX-1 would be closer to a destroyer, or frigate. Enterprise NCC-1701-A was more like a heavy cruiser. 1701- B - D Are definitely battle ships, but not the largest ships in the fleet. The largest ships regularly depicted were in the 150m to 450m beam length. Engagement doctrines parallel earth navies pre-WW II. Relatively small numbers of vessels with heavy weapons intended to engage similarly fit opponents or fortified stations/planetary installations. Typical example: A few Klingon destroyers are enough to trump any of the Enterprise instances, if they gain initiative.

Star Wars ships especially the Imperial navy are comparatively much larger. The smallest 'star destroyer' class ships started at 450m and go up in size from there. They are all carriers, with multi-role support for every imaginable type of engagement. Engagement doctrines parallel post-WW II earth navies.

Where things get confusing is trying to map SW and ST into the same engagement. The Imperial navy has a wide range of tactical capabilities. But they do not have transporter tech, and their defensive screens seem to only be useful against large weapon types. So we can kind of classify Star Destroyers as being largely armor and practically speaking they are buffer tanked. Comparatively, ST ships are active shield tanked.

For the engagement classifications I'll draw on EvE Online, since it does a good job of depicting a large variety of engagement types. ST is shield tanked sub Caps (mostly cruisers and battle cruisers) with energy weapons and guided weapons(rockets to torpedoes) . SW is armor buffer tanked battle ships and carrier class capital ships with lots of fighters/drones with a mix of turret types, but very little use of guided weapons. Occasionally Imperial Navy has a shield buffer tanked super cap available for planet crushing duty.

I think The Federation and their Allies would have a tough time keeping their fleet numbers large enough to engage an Imperial Fleet successfully. But they could easily nab solo Star Destroyers or small battle groups. Star Fleet would be better off using their transporter tech to infiltrate star destroyers, crippling the capital ships from the inside, rather than engaging then directly.

ST would

Comment Re:How about... (Score 1) 99

If you want to play on a private server, go ahead. There's plenty of them.

But if you want to play on a full Blizzard server, then you need a whole datacenter tracking MANY players, that's multiple machines, not just one, all interconnected. That's the world of warcraft- millions of players who can communicate instantly, and interact in game instantly. The reason everyone is connecting to these datacenters is because they provide a service you can't repeat locally. It's not about upload bandwidth, it is about latency, and a distributed network is inherently terrible at that. It is very much about processing power, and RAM, and these are serious machines all hooked together doing that to support that many players.

Just think about designing it for a second- if I move my character from X to Y, on the live system my client tells the wow server what I did, which validates it (so I'm not teleport hacking), updates its internal state, figures out which players are close to me, and then sends data needed to draw my character to them. This means that your client doesn't need to know the whole of the world, it just needs the section you can see, etc.

Now try this distributed. Every distributed node needs a constant copy of the world, and all must be in sync. You need a way to figure out how to resolve disputes, and if some of the nodes are compromised you need to find a way to figure that out. You have the same problems that bitcoin does, but you need to do it instantly and simultaneously. It's laughable.

WoW is divided into shards. Each shard might have a few thousand client subscriptions of which only a few hundred are online at any time. Most MMOs operate this way. What this means is that millions of WoW players do not interact in the same world, and they cannot even chat between the different shards. In fact the only place all WoW players can interact together is on the Community Forum.

If you want a real MMO experience where all* the players are in the same persistent, real time, game instance (single Shard), you'd have to be playing EvE Online. ~300,000 subscriptions and at any given moment between 15000 and 35000 are logged in.

*There is one caveat: China has it's own EvE Online instance that does not interact with the rest of the EvE Universe, because China.

Comment Don't Turn It On; Take It Apart... (Score 1) 515

Started at about 7 disassembling dead TVs, radios, clocks, calculators (electromechanical), and typewriters. By 12 I'd learned how to wire up 74xxx TTL devices and build some basic circuits. About that time a neighbor/mentor friend of mine bought an Apple II+ to experiment with an early CNC package. He didn't get far with it, but he would let me dink around on the computer. At first I was just into thew gaming aspects, BBSs lead to exposure to the thriving software cracking and swapping communities. A few lucky finds got me interested in 'serious' programming APPLESOFT BASIC wasn't cutting it, and it wasn't long before I had a copy of LISA (Lazer's Interactive Symbolic Assembler) an early 6502 macro assembler IDE. It had a decent disassembler. After that I was off to the races, learning how to write 6502 assembly code from articles, disassembling chunks of commercial games and so on. By 15 I got my first exposure to a mandatory class in computer programming. The class was going to be teaching Business BASIC... on the department mini. When I finished the first month's homework while sitting in class by the end of the first week, the instructor had the good sense to pull me and a few other more advanced students into a separate work group that swapped lessons in programming assembly language for our respective platforms of choice.

By my junior year a few friends and I would get together for hacking sessions. This led to a simply dizzying explosion of projects, reverse engineering, hardware experiments, software development, and also dumpster diving the lucrative back alleys of the business parks in the south Bay Area.

By the end of my senior year I'd picked up a contract at Apple developing software to test Software... At first on the Apple ][ line and firmware testing on the Apple //gs and later Macintosh, and culminating with a test engineering spot on the HyperCard development team.

Along the way I'd picked up 68k assembly, C, etc, but it took a long time before I had any decent skill in software design. Eventually I ended up working for Microsoft in the early to mid 90's... That experience killed my enthusiasm for the software industry. I went back to my roots... bare metal... and electronics.

Comment Fixed LTE... (Score 1) 74 what Rock Island Communications ( calls it. It comes in two flavors 2100MHz (B12) and 700MHz (B4). With T-Mobile's help they are deploying it throughout the San Juan County, WA. area. The Cell sectors operate at up to 30 watts, and the CPE operates at about 0.2 watts. Throughput is much better than any DSL service available. It fits perfectly into Rock Island's fiber deployment strategy because they gain a foothold in a community using LTE and then later expand fiber coverage in the area to reclaim LTE spectrum. This provides improved communications for EMS, Fire, Sheriff, County and other public services that rely on radio communications in the region for dispatch. It also weans the residents off the incumbent RBOC, and mobile carriers that won't upgrades their core networks, and can't even be bothered to maintain their 911 services to Federal standards. Added bonus: visitors to the region who have T-mobile phones that support B12 and B4 find that they get coverage almost everywhere in the county. A year ago, no mobile provider had passable coverage out side of the population centers in the county.

Disclaimer: I'm an employee of Rock Island Communications. My opinions do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

Comment Re:hi (Score 1) 97

Just like black powder (which can also be said not to explode), Thermite will explode if contained in something like a pipe-bomb configuration.
Throwing a mass of lit thermite in water, or onto ice causes a gas explosion. Partly due to generation of high temperature steam, and also due to Thermite being hot enough to split water into atomic hydrogen and oxygen. At that point, the aluminum gets a boost of more oxygen that the rust alone can provide, and goes explodey.

Comment Re:hi (Score 2) 97

Seen his vids. Clever and crazy dude. At one point he used thermite to boil water for his tea... in about 5 seconds. The special kettle he built to do this was an amusing hack, and quite effective. The pulse jet kart started life as a pulse jet bicycle. AIUI he used to be a professional plumber, and now does these zany vids for income. Lots of fun to watch, but his Brit-version of fratboy attitude grates on me after a while.

Comment Raw GPU... that is a laugh (Score 1) 542

The GPU market has diversified. My main workhorse is a 27" 2010 iMac with a GPU upgrade to the AMD 6970M 1GB (the stock GPU died from thermal cracks in the solder balls)
This is a very capable machine. A game machine it is not, but it does acceptably well on the games I care about. So we are back to subjective merit.

What matters is that I can perform almost all practical tasks on this 6 year old machine and it doesn't break a sweat. I run simulations of hardware, VM tasks, etc. It runs Knight's tour passes faster than a Dell with a more recent i7 Stepping with far less heat, and fan noise generation. I could drop another $2K and build a comparable game PC and get nothing more than a video processor with only 25% more CPU capability and a GPU that sucks at computation, or complex rendering but excels at spitting out grainy game frames at 120 FPS.

You 'hard core gamers' can get stuffed. So little of the market cares for your preferences that it is a joke. You want to compare a real workhorse to a one trick pony.... go ahead. The actual performance difference is a matter of noise generated by shitty software, not by hardware on either platform.

How about you actually try getting work done on that POS gamer build.... I think you'll find that you can't keep it running as reliably and supplying answers to real problems for you as quickly as a 2010 27" Mac. And if I need more horses... that POS Dell I referred to earlier makes a decent aux processor.... 4 more i7 cores running as a general purpose server, or Windows VM...

I'm all for goading Apple into building better performing hardware, but I want to be clear....the 6 year old hardware I run kicks most of what you masturbate over into the ditch, for practical uses.

Get off my fucking lawn.

PS: I had to cancel a lot of well laid moderations to post this, so double fuck you for making me feel like I had to make a statement here.

Comment Re:Thank you Carole Adams (Score 1) 341

Wrong. If your iPhone is stolen, you log onto with your Apple ID and go to the Find My Phone app. It shows you exactly where your device is.


I have used this feature to find my phone when I had absolutely no idea where it had ended up.
Found it in the middle of a very large open field. I admit.... I have no idea how it got there... but near it I found evidence that *I* HAD been there.

Comment Re:The tab thing (Score 1) 169

if (something is there)
tab1 dinit the something
tab2 close the something

While the example is obvious to a competent C programmer, it is NOT obvious what was intended. And that is the very core of why coding style guides are used, and often heavy-handedly required by PMs.

if (condition) {

The deliberate braces (through technically redundant) make it clear what was intended even though statement2 has been indented improperly. I'd expect a static analyzer to flag either example as a style error. The reason is that the intent of the programmer is ambiguous. The reason it is ambiguous is that a botched copy-paste action, or a bad patch can cause formatting errors like this and then the intended meaning is in doubt.

if (condition) {


if (condition) statement1;

Is not going to get flagged, as all of the elements are stylistically coherent. Though, IMO, the second form is not good style, it is still clear what was intended.

Comment The Stupid! It BURRRNNNZES US! (Score 1) 610

I could not believe the amount of stupid this story generated here and in the rest of the media. Only 5 posts here referenced the definitive white paper that explains in gloriously gory detail what Apple did to secure the iPhone 5 and later models.

If Apple implemented this encryption system correctly, as described in that document, it cannot be broken*, even with a custom iOS image, because all key material and control over the internal parameters, preferences, and machine-state of the Secure Enclave are dependent on iOS tossing the correct user PIN/PASSPHRASE over the wall to that chip. Until that is done, the only way to decrypt the storage on that iPhone is to brute force AES-256.

IMO: The FBI is pursuing a Hail Mary and the judge is buying it hook line and sinker**, because they are even more ignorant that the FBI and the rest of of us here about how this security system works. If anything this will be used by the Gov. to attempt to stir Legislators to get backdoors mandated. As anyone with half a functioning braincell knows, mandating such is pure, undiluted, stupid! And I think the Gov. knows this. I think they simply don't give a shit.

*without a truly heroic effort from top shelf hackers, who make absolutely zero mistakes in their execution.

**I don't think this judge believes that Apple did what that White Paper claims they did. It will be interesting to see if Apple can prove that the system is implemented correctly, because I think that will be a key factor in how this all settles out, and what comes next.

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