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Comments

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The Physics of Space Battles

DougF Re:In space (470 comments)

The Gulf Stream called...something about circulation and the seas being constantly in motion...

about three weeks ago
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UN to Debate Use of Fully Autonomous Weapons, New Report Released

DougF Re:Ottawa Treaty, Part Deux (180 comments)

Maybe because 50,000 of them separate North from South Korea, are much cheaper than 50,000 soldiers in their place, and you don't have to send body bags and letters home to widows?

about 5 months ago
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SpaceX Launches Load to ISS, Successfully Tests Falcon 9 Over Water

DougF Re:Test and launch are the same, it is GREAT! (125 comments)

About 400 years ago: "And what will you do when you get to the new lands? It's mostly empty, just a few natives prowling about, and a lot of trees. What's the obsession?" Answer: "To get the fuck out of here..."

about 6 months ago
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US Navy Strategists Have a Long History of Finding the Lost

DougF Re:not quite as easily (145 comments)

Umm..it happened with Republic Airlines in the early 80's. I was stationed at Luke AFB, working weekend duty as the supervisor of maintenance when a Republic jet (727? I remember it had two aft engines) landed on our runway and caused one heck of a scare for our SPs and the pax on board. Turns out, the fuel totalizer was inop and the aircrew assumed the jet was full of fuel for their milk runs to/from San Diego and Phoenix. The initial flight to San Diego went OK, it was on the return leg that the problem surfaced. The low fuel light came on, and the crew did the sensible thing and looked for the nearest patch of concrete, which turned out to be Luke AFB. As they approached, number one flamed out, and on the runway number 2 flamed out. We got transient alert out there, towed them to the ramp and pushed a maintenance stand up to the door to get the pax and crew out. We took the pax to the Officer's Club, where they drank the bar dry while waiting for Republic to send a bus for them. The AF charged Republic $10K a day ramp fees plus the booze; and Republic had to verify the aircraft was repaired before we let it go, on Monday morning.

about 7 months ago
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Report: Space Elevators Are Feasible

DougF Re: Why would it be infeasable? (374 comments)

Transistor: Space Race w/Soviets, and Cold War? Penicillin: Millions of people dying from horrible infections? Telephone: Acid burn on Alexander Graham Bell? (OK, that's a stretch...but the telegraph was just so early 19th Century) Car: Horse poop? Transplant: Heart disease is the number one killer?

about 8 months ago
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US Secretary of State Calls Climate Change 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'

DougF USA Liable for AGW Costs? (401 comments)

So, the US's Sec of State is self-admitting guilt of committing crimes against the entire planet, leaving the USA now liable in international court for the costs of AGW? I knew the US liberals were self-destructive, but this takes the cake.

about 8 months ago
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Star Trek Economics

DougF Re:Rule of acquisition 18 (888 comments)

Actually, the only instant travel was for those connected with Star Fleet, which had enough power at their disposal to use beaming technology for their personnel. Other ST universe citizens traveled by more mundane means (though they could beam, if willing to pay for it), at least that's how I understood it.

about 8 months ago
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NSF Report Flawed; Americans Do Not Believe Astrology Is Scientific

DougF Re: Go back .... (326 comments)

Not for long...

about 8 months ago
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Ugly Trends Threaten Aviation Industry

DougF Re:Cost (473 comments)

About 80% of American millionaires are first generation. Maybe the top 0.01% is static, the rest are probably newcomers. See: http://www.nytimes.com/books/f...

about 8 months ago
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Many Lasers Become One In Lockheed Martin's 30 kW Laser Weapon

DougF Re:Dubious (202 comments)

Ah, Slashdot, where the commenters never RTFA... "internally-funded research and development program" [/facepalm]

about 9 months ago
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Next-Gen Windshield Wipers To Be Based On Jet Fighter "Forcefield" Tech

DougF Re:Rain X (237 comments)

...for about 30 seconds and then as the aircraft accelerates past 200kts or so, the rain x is scrubbed off. We tried it, didn't work. Best thing is to use a plexiglass polish to keep the glass as smooth as possible between flights. A bug hitting the windscreen of a fighter jet going 500+kts is not going to be repelled by high frequency sound or any hydrophobic surface. I've seen dents in the leading edges of the wings just from hitting grasshoppers...

about 10 months ago
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Next-Gen Windshield Wipers To Be Based On Jet Fighter "Forcefield" Tech

DougF Bleed Air, Not Sound (237 comments)

Jet fighters use bleed air to clear the windscreens, not high frequency sound. The pilot just has to remember to use it sparingly on the ground, or the windscreen melts, which most pilots agree is a bad thing...and mechanics get really ticked off replacing them. Another way to clean the windscreens is a quick shot of JP-8 from your nearby in-flight refueler (booms works best), but you didn't hear that from me...

about 10 months ago
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China Creates Air Defence Zone Over Japan-Controlled Islands, Issues War Threat

DougF Re:Only partly joking... (519 comments)

THIS was modded 'insightful"? More propaganda crap. For all the notion that the US is somehow exploiting the rest of the world, the US also has a huge trade deficit, with more net wealth leaving the country for the past 40 years than coming in. The US military serves two main purposes: 1) to ensure the world doesn't get stupid with another world war; and 2) to keep the sea and air lanes open, mostly the sea as 90% of the world's commerce moves via the oceans. That's why there are 12 carriers, 5,000 aircraft and divisions of Army and Marine personnel. Because the US has prevented another world war, we now enjoy the most prosperous time EVER in the history of the world, period. I'm not saying everyone is happy, but a hell of a lot more are than there used to be, and as long as the US keeps the peace, that trend will continue. The Chinese really could care less about anything but China, the recent typhoon in the Philippines is a case in point. Individuals are giving more than China is, and China is their neighbor. The US constantly offers aid and succor to nations and people who've had a tragedy. The US understands that being there handing out an MRE is just as important as standing guard with an M-16. China hasn't a clue, nor will it ever, it's just a machine, driven to expand or die. Because the carriers constantly ply their trade through the major ocean routes, the world economy flourishes. And never, not once, has the US ever levied a toll for that service. The US understands that if one prospers, all prosper and works to make sure that trade lanes stay open and accessible to everyone. And yes, what's good for the world is good for the US, that's just good business. Because the US made Europe and Asia play nice through forward deploying their own flesh and blood, their own sons and daughters, Asia and Europe are now major economic powers after being devastated in WWII. The US could've kept them down, forced them to accept one-way trade agreements. But no, the US rebuilt them, and allowed it's own factories to fall silent, and unemployment to rise. I'm not sure that sounds like something a nation with a bloated war-mongering military machine would allow to happen. Hell, even Vietnam is prospering! The Philippines asked the US to leave, and they did. The US has left every place that has asked them to go. Will China? Unlikely. I'm still trying to figure out how the US is "exploiting" all those billions of people who have good jobs, food on the table, clothes on their backs, schools, roads, high-speed trains, satellite TV, etc, etc. /rant

about a year ago
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Crashing Rockets Could Lead To Novel Sample-Return Technology

DougF Porpoising (18 comments)

The military have significant experience in porpoising munitions, usually by mistake. It's pretty common to see munitions where the ballute has failed and the bomb enters at too shallow an angle, goes underground for a few dozen feet and then erupts and lands on the surface, or depending on the angle, goes back into the ground/explodes (finally). Shouldn't be too much of a stretch to design a system to enter at a shallow angle, gather (something), exit, and then deploy a retrieval system.

about a year ago
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Edward Snowden Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

DougF Now It's a Joke (719 comments)

First Obama, now Snowden...confirmation the Nobel Peace Prize is now officially a joke.

about a year ago
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Saudi Arabia Set To Ban WhatsApp, Skype

DougF Re:Popularity (122 comments)

As someone who lives and works in Saudi Arabia...yes to both. The app is very popular and the Saudi government is treading carefully on this. This has been in the local news for several months now, as the government gauges local reaction and gives the app's owners time to decide on whether to cooperate. I use WhatsApp, but I have a backup plan in case access is terminated. I don't use Skype, so that won't affect me, but lots of people do use it. The government is prepping the population for the cutoff with stories about security, terrorists passing messages, etc. The Saudis have two large security problems. First, in the Eastern Province with Shi'as and their backing from Iran. Second, they also have a large illegal worker problem, stemming from two sources: those who overstay their work visas, and those (mostly Africans) who cross the border with Yemen (sound familiar?). In order to get a handle on the issue, the Saudi government is cracking down on phones operated by illegals so they cannot find work or tell others about work. They do this by requiring cell phone owners use a national identity number or authorized foreign worker number whenever activating cell phones or re-charging accounts. Part and parcel are the communication programs such as WhatsApp and Skype used by illegals and Iranian agents so the government cannot track their locations and movements.

about a year ago
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Do Nations Have the Right To Kill Enemy Hackers?

DougF Re:Yes. (482 comments)

If war was more horrible people would do more to prevent it.

Didn't work for WWII. 15M or so dead for WWI, 40M or so dead for WWII. Did work for the Cold War, when governments realized their existence could be vaporized in mere minutes. Lesson learned: Threaten governments, not people.

about a year and a half ago
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Do Nations Have the Right To Kill Enemy Hackers?

DougF Re:Yes. (482 comments)

Your premise is incorrect. The vast majority of US military enlistees are from the middle and wealthy classes, mostly for the college education benefits. In fact: 98% of US military enlistees are HS graduates, compared to a 75% graduation rate in the US. More US military enlistees are from the $70K+ income group than from the $20K- group. The vast majority of enlistees are from the $30K to $60K income groups, which puts them squarely in the middle class and NOT in the lower class. In other words, the poor need not, and in fact don't, join the military, they have the US government to support their lifestyle.

about a year and a half ago
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Sidestepping Tactical Nuclear Weapons Limits With Strategic Bombs

DougF Re:Is "tactical nuclear weapon" a bad word now? (138 comments)

Correct, which is why the conventional military now uses "tactical" and "strategic" to define the value of the target, not the weapon or the weapon system. Any weapon can be used on a strategic or tactical target (and yes, there are better "fits" for each target/weapon, but the point stands). As well, any weapon system can be used against strategic or tactical targets--it makes no sense to say an ICBM is a strategic or tactical weapon system...it is just a weapon system. To use an ICBM on a tactical-value target is a bit much overkill, but it is certainly possible, and I'm certain there are scenarios where it would be justified (taking out a city-killing alien ship, for example, would be a tactical use for one...the strategic target being the mother ship, or if the aliens were using our satellites to communicate/time the attack you launch an ICBM into low orbit and hope the resulting EMP would disable their communications network--a strategic target). Or conversely, you could use a small craft normally used for reconnaissance fitted with an appropriate weapon to penetrate deep into an enemy's mothership and deliver a knockout blow--a strategic target.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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QDR Independent Panel and Active "Immune System"

DougF DougF writes  |  more than 4 years ago

DougF (1117261) writes "The Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel is calling for several initiatives in dealing with threats to U.S. domains, including the .mil, .gov, and .com. From page 65 (of 158):

Today, the U.S. military can defend its networks within and at their perimeter, yet it is less able to prevent attacks before they occur. The military is essentially limited to a reactive and forensic posture as opposed to a dynamic and preventive one. The Panel believes the United States must have the ability to defend its critical networks beyond the boundaries of its own infrastructure to forestall catastrophic cyber threats before our networks or the information they contain are damaged or destroyed. We need an active immune system with the capacity and authority to shut down an attack instantaneously at the point of origin. However, this defensive footing is more a matter of the proper authorities than of technology. We need to identify the kinds of attacks we can treat diplomatically as acts of war, and eliminate them. An active immune system—an automatic, self-healing network—that protects our networks is in some ways a whole new paradigm. The capability should be predicated on a set of standing rules of engagement (SROE) that is sufficiently flexible to respond to myriad threats. These SROEs must account for the expanded event horizon and compressed timeline that characterize operations in cyberspace. The mechanisms, means, and modes the Department uses to render assistance to other departments, agencies, or branches of government is unclear. The Department of Defense should be responsible for cyber security of the .mil domain, and it should be given clear authority to support the DHS for cyber security of both the .gov and .com domains so that DHS does not have to replicate the capabilities now resident in U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and the National Security Agency (NSA).

It will be interesting to see what kinds of hacks and attacks will be classified as "acts of war", and how the U.S. plans on a) pre-identifying such kinds of attacks based on either the nature of the instrument used (trojan horse, virus, etc), or possibly on the effect of the attack; b) timely justification an active "immune system" response when the attack originates on foreign soil or in foreign servers that allows for a credible response yet denies the attacker time to escape retribution, and the level of the response to eliminate the threat; and c) the prevention of collateral damage (e.g. how do you take out just portions of a critical server that may be an unsuspecting host to the attack. The QDR Independent Panel report can be found here: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/files/fp_uploaded_documents/100728_QDR%20Ind.%20Review%20Rept.%207.27.10.pdf"
Link to Original Source

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Hacking Your Car

DougF DougF writes  |  more than 4 years ago

DougF (1117261) writes "As we push forward with interconnectivity and the benefits that brings, we also offer those who can hack the system even more opportunities to not only endanger our checkbooks and privacy, but increasingly our lives as well. Should we insist that before a new technology be brought on board that it is 100% secure? Aren't we just swapping one danger (human-controlled vehicles and resultant deaths on the highways) for a more modern one (hacked traffic incidents)?"
Link to Original Source
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Weaponized and Ruggedized Military Laser on Sale

DougF DougF writes  |  more than 5 years ago

DougF writes "With the introduction of gunpowder, modern weaponry has been a refinement of the projectile (cannon, artillery, muskets, rifles, etc). We are now on the threshold of a new paradigm in weaponry where if you can see it, you can kill it at the speed of light. No recoil, smoke, shells, ballistics, etc. Just a big ol' power unit and some daisy-chained laser generation units. Northrop Grumman is offering Firestrike: 400lb LRUs (line replaceable units) capable of continuous 15KW fire, 1/2 second response from zero to full power, ethernet connectivity, and daisy-chainable in a cabinet to achieve up to a 100KW beam."
Link to Original Source
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Material Improves Ionic Conductivity in Fuel Cells

DougF DougF writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DougF writes "Researchers in Spain have devised a new material with a huge increase in ionic conductivity. Theoretically, it could mean fuel cells that operate at near room temperature, solving a huge problem with waste heat in current fuel cells. Oak Ridge National Laboratory studied the material with their 300 kilovolt Z-contrast scanning transmission electron microscope. The super-lattice's larger vacant spaces allow ions to move much more quickly than they can through current materials."
Link to Original Source

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