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Comment Re:Sometimes a duck is just a duck ... (Score 1) 122

"It appears to be film not tape"

It's a mixture of both. The "traditional british way" of doing things was film for outdoors (with film union rules) and tape for indoors.

That changed starting in the 1980s when equipment got portable enough that you didn't expensive outdoor broadcast rigs to make it doable.

The coercivity of older magnetic media is low enough that the magnetisation of adjacent layers of spooled tape has a long-term effect on what's recorded without any other factor being taken into consideration. This shows as increasing smeariness of the luminance (image) and progressively worse colours (low frequency information (highly visible), recorded on a high frequency subcarrier(easily distorted)). If there's film stock or still photos then this can be used as the base for video restoration but it's not always easy.

WRT cultural importance: As others have noted a lot of "fluff" got deleted, which turned out to be highly valuable cultural artifacts. The priorities of media management are not the same as cultural historians - as one for-instance, old breakfast TV footage may turn out to be a valuable resource for working out the changing clothing styles or the social penetration of how such styles permeate through a society of the era, despite the content itself being pretty much irrelevant for anything else.

Comment Re:Tricky... (Score 1) 122

"I'm not sure I can think of a digital storage medium that has been proven to last 200 years."

Nor can I - and I do backups + long term archiving as part of my dayjob (*)

However I CAN point out that having it in a readable digital format means you can migrate to newer generations of storage _as long as you do so before the older format readers die_

(Practically, at the moment this means migrating from LTOn to LTOn+2 when you acquire the LTOn+2 equipment and verifying the SHA256 checksums haven't changed)

(*) LTOs are claimed to last for decades but good luck finding a working LTO2 drive in 50 years time and in any case that's a tape that's written ONCE, then stored under carefully controlled conditions. They're only good for a claimed 162 complete cycles and experience has shown it's more like 50 so don't just go archiving your last generation of heavily used backup tapes.

Comment Re:That is a huge proportion (Score 0) 186

". the Western world has to cut 80% of its power consumption and the developing world 60% of its power consumption, and the whole planet has just 32 years to do it."

or in other words, "FFS get started on a frantic nuclear power plant building program and get those fucking LFTR designs online ASAP"

Comment Re:No plutonium is not an issue here (Score 1) 107

Even without the lead, it would be almost impossible to detect from more than a few cm away.

Water is an incredibly effective absorber of alpha/beta/gamma emissions, which is why it's being postulated as the most effective radiation shielding for biologicals (ie humans) on interplanetary trips.

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 2) 107

The U238 casing is used as a fission booster in "H-bombs" (and is where most of the explosion actually comes from - the fusion bomb boosts the fission bomb, etc.

But this isn't an H-bomb. It's one of the early crude fatman designs and you're right.

For those wondering about why a bomb complete with explosives was used for test flights:

This was early 1950s US Military. Safety and commonsense weren't high on the list of requirements back then, which is why there were a number of nuclear incidents including several prompt-critical induced reactor vessel steam explosions at various sites and the godawful messes at Hanford & Snake river that need cleaning up.

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 2) 107

The interesting thing is that those dumped reactors (and a couple of downed nuke subs) are monitored closely and NO radioactivity can be detected in their vicinity. It's only when you get closer than about 2 metres that anything can be detected at all.

For that reason it's been deemed safer to leave them where they are than to try and pull them out of the water.

The BBC ran a documentary on these reactors and the monitoring processes about a decade ago. It's worth looking at if you can find it.

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1) 107

Unexploded nukes aren't "highly radioactive". Even the cores (in fact one of the big problems with cores was keeping the highly radioactive contaminants _out_)

You could sleep on a uranium mattress without ill effects.

On the other hand, uranium and plutonium are a biologically toxic metals regardless of radioactivity so you don't want them in the environment if you can avoid it.

I'd be much more worried about the stability of the TNT after all this time underwater.

Comment Re:Tom Clancy's take on software development (Score 1) 290

Apart from the F35's woeful state of _software_ development, the hardware isn't in much better state and the overall design has been so hopelessly compromised by conflicting demands that it's outclassed by just about every other aircraft it will run up against. In particular its missile evasion relies almost entirely on stealth, which it only possesses in a front-on aspect.

Don't forget that it was designed and intended to be used in situations where all enemy airpower has been neutralised or rendered ineffective by the F22 and the remaining threats are lower tech.

The F35 is an air-support weapon. It was _never_ intended to be an air superiority fighter. Going up against aircraft which are designed for that task, operated by an enemy whose ground-detection equipment hasn't been wiped out will be a fairly short encounter and not in the F35's favour.

The problem is that it's now being pitched to internationally as an air superiority fighter. Once the insurmountable shortcomings in that role become apparent, most client airforces will simply cancel their orders and buy something else.

The cost of building, flying and maintaining this aircraft is so high that all most enemies need to do is simply let the US continue to do so and let it bankrupt itself. The country is already spending so much of its GDP on military expenditure that it's suffering from hopelessly compromised infrastructure due to lack of maintenance (Think: Brazil - the film) and has further weakened its education to maintain the military spend. This, coupled with rampant and increasingly blatant state-level corruption is likely to lead to an economic collapse which will make 2008 look minor.

And that's quite apart from how bad things could get if an oversized Chucky doll operated by the tribble sitting on its head manages to get to the top office.

The F35 is likely to spend its days as an electronics truck, flying comms platform (if they can solve the cooling problems) supporting other aircraft and growler, despite its stupidly high fuel consumption, simply to have a justification to keep it. The program is so deeply embedded into military budgets that unlike the similarly disasterous F111B, it can't easily be cancelled - bringing up that whilst the hardware and design lessons from the F111B brought forth the F14 and F15, the political ones brought forth plans to ensure your program can't be killed.

The F35 is widely known as "The plane which could eat the pentagon" and at the current rate of events that is likely to happen.

Remember that one of their fundamental weak points of the Nazis and the thing which caused their ultimate wartime failure was undue concentration on higher technology and "better weapons", where the cost of those things was so high that their numbers were hopelessly limited and in any case critically dependent on vulnerable supply chains.

I point you to http://www.mayofamily.com/RLM/...

Comment Re: Good, then we can scrap that stupid f-35 (Score 1) 325

"Keep in mind that a -lot- of respected people say -anything- that's new will fail"

The most respected people who pointed out why it would fail have been proven right.

It's a single engine, stubby winged, tubby bodied sloth with not-particularly-good stealth that's not helped by having to open the bomb bay doors to keep cool.

The attrition rate on the things will be high in any airforce without supplementary air superiority fighters (IE, everyone except the USAF and its F22) because it wasn't designed for air-superiority tasks - and the F22 comes with its own set of shortcomings.

The amount of GDP the USA is spending on its military is coming at cost of maintenance of national infrastructure, healthcare, education and welfare. It's remarkably similar to what was happening in the Soviet Union in the runup to its implosion in 1989. Time will tell whether your country manages to avoid a similar devastating economic collapse.

Comment Re: Good, then we can scrap that stupid f-35 (Score 1) 325

"Yes, airframes last a long time"

Actually. They don't. Not on fighters. The strains of hard takeoffs and landings, along with high-G manoeuvers cause them to wear out far more quickly than you might think.

Yes, if you fly them gently they'll last for decades. Pull 9G turns repeatedly and after a couple of years the wings will fall off.

Drone pilots may not pass out in high-rate turns but there are still practical limits to their operations unless you want to be shelling out for new aircraft all the time.

Comment Re:Obviously... (Score 1) 255

"The problem you will quickly run into is that those folks vote too"

And the USA's "me me me" mentality does the rest. "All for me and sod everyone else" has increasingly been the order of the day since California fell under Ronnie Raygun's spell in the late 1960s.

This is WHY the USA is spiralling the shitter. If you won't collectively invest in your future then you shouldn't be surprised when countries who do keep pulling ahead.

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