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Comments

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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

FatLittleMonkey Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (662 comments)

Look for IFF (Identification Friend or Foe).

IFF is a military system. Your link even uses the word "military". It is to prevent you accidentally locking onto your own military aircraft.

It is completely unrelated to the civilian transponder system.

yesterday
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A Look At NASA's Orion Project

FatLittleMonkey Re:Speaking of the future... (108 comments)

How about lobbying for increased funding to NASA for the things it needs,

Two reasons. 1) NASA's funding has been relatively constant, as a percentage of the Federal budget, for 30 years. Lobbying for more funding has resulted in precisely zero effect.

2) It would be worthless giving NASA more funding if it is incapable of managing the funding it already receives, additional funding would be entirely absorbed by the flagship programs, such as SLS/Orion, or on the science side JWST. NASA could already increase the amount of mission it buys with its existing budget by spending it better. And that agency would actually deserve more funding.

And for the record, I wasn't calling for more funding for COTS/CC. (Especially since COTS is finished development and is operational.) But for more programs to be designed like COTS. Multi-vendor, fixed-funding fixed-goal, payment-on-delivery programs. Eliminating the cost-plus model. Eliminating the single massive program that everyone throws their pet dev project into.

For example: There are calls to replace the Russian-made RD-180 engine on Atlas V. This will inevitably end up being an eight year, sole-source, multi-billion dollar, FAR (cost plus) contract for ULA (subcontracting to Aerojet, subcontracting to...) to develop a local version of the RD-180. Every spec will be spelled out in excruciating detail, even though the USAF will invariably approve variations due to the resulting engine under-performing. Probably late and over-budget. All to replicate a surplus 1960's Russian engine that operates in a way US engines traditionally don't.

If, otoh, the same funding was used in a COTS-style multi-vendor program, you would end up with 3 or more brand new engine families, delivering a hell of a lot faster than 8 years, with multiple redundancy for vendor failure. This would not only solve the actual problem (being dependent on Russian engines), it would stimulate a whole new generation of low-cost rocket development, and a whole new generation of engine-development engineers. That knowledge-base could then be set a new task of building the next generation of (say, larger) rocket engines.

yesterday
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

FatLittleMonkey Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (662 comments)

I only ask because Singapore Airlines said right after the shootdown that:
"Customers may wish to note that Singapore Airlines flights are not using Ukraine airspace."

Flightradar24. Singapore Air Flight SQ351, 2014-07-17.

SA lied and are being shredded in social media for that comment. Finnair did exactly the same thing. Both have done the "if anyone was offended" non-apology and claimed they were referring to future flights.

yesterday
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

FatLittleMonkey Re:lol (662 comments)

Strelkov/Girkin's military career would be GRU. His domestic "anti-terror" work would be with the FSB. His current work would be GRU.

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

FatLittleMonkey Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (662 comments)

No. I'm pointing how how empty it is today, compared to the airspace around it. Obviously keeping such a big chunk of airspace empty is something that the whole airline industry would want to avoid like the plague.

If Nyder had his way, all of Ukraine, plus Russian and European airspace near Ukraine, plus Iran, Iraq, Syria , Israel, Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, the Pakistan/Indian border, Kashmir, the Strait of Hormuz, Sea of Japan, South China Sea, etc etc, would all be kept clear of civilian air traffic at all times.

And then he'd complain about the density of air traffic in the remaining few routes, and the inherent safety risk.

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

FatLittleMonkey Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (662 comments)

Sure, even if common sense tells you that flying over a warzone is stupid as all fuck, it's okay because other people do it all the time!!!!

Clue

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

FatLittleMonkey Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (662 comments)

That's the same point looneycyborg was attempting to make

You might not have realised that Loony was invoking or just naively repeating certain conspiracy theory Shibboleths, "the plane was a set up, why would civilians be in a warzone?", "whose interests were really served by accusing Russia?" etc.

2 days ago
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A Look At NASA's Orion Project

FatLittleMonkey Re:Speaking of the future... (108 comments)

NASA, other than a place for research money to go to die.

NASA still produces excellent research. PICA heat shield and the FasTrac experimental rocket which SpaceX developed into PICA-X and Merlin 1. HL-20, which became Dreamchaser. Transhab, became Bigelow. And so on.

It's on the operations side that they suck. Shuttle. ISS. Constellation/Area. SLS. Orion.

NASA would be an amazing place if you could divert the $3b from SLS/Orion and the $3b from ISS into aerospace research and competitive programs like COTS/Commercial Crew.

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

FatLittleMonkey Re:War of words ... (662 comments)

It's one thing to keep an open mind, it's another to let the geese run around in there.

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

FatLittleMonkey Re:lol (662 comments)

The commander of the eastern Ukrainian militia is a Moscow native and "former" GRU (Russian military intelligence) officer with no ties to Ukraine prior to the war.

No-one disputes that. Not on either side, Ukraine or Russian. The only dispute is over that "former". The Ukrainian government says he's still an active duty officer taking direct orders. They even know the name of his immediate GRU commanding officer in Moscow. Russia claimed he "retired" a month before he entered Ukraine.

The "Prime Minister" of the break away territory is a Moscow native. He ran a right wing news service for several years, with the protection and support of the Russian government. He was widely believed to be FSB. He had no ties to Ukraine before the war. He was sent into Crimea as a political "consultant" on behalf of Moscow during crisis there, then "retired" and moved on to eastern Ukraine.

No-on disputes any of that. The only dispute is whether he's FSB and whether he's still working for the FSB.

It seems that it's only really the western media which persists in treating it like a spontaneous uprising by local (ethnic-Russian) Ukrainians.

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

FatLittleMonkey Re:I don't see the problem. (662 comments)

and the Ukraine government doesn't have that kind of hardware in the first place.

Nonsense. Ukraine has many Buk short range SAM systems (like the one that killed MH-17.) They also have S-200 long range SAM systems.

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

FatLittleMonkey Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (662 comments)

There's also question of motivation. Why would soldiers waste expensive missiles for some irrelevant passenger plane?

To shoot down Ukrainian military aircraft. They had already shot down a Ukrainian transport plane and a Ukrainian fighter within the previous week. They were on a roll.

Why would be there a plane over a warzone in the first place? That just doesn't make sense.

It was a major air route. There were over 50 civilian airliners over eastern Ukraine at the time MH-17 was shot down. And about 24 aircraft flew through the precise area MH-17 was hit, over the previous day. There was a Singapore Airlines jet close enough to MH-17 at the time for the pilots to see it explode.

Aircraft are currently flying over northern Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel...

2 days ago
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NASA: Lunar Pits and Caves Could House Astronauts

FatLittleMonkey Re:Forward into the past (156 comments)

reverting to a past we had here on earth by living in caves

Ancient humans didn't "live in caves". Caves are just especially good as preserving signs of human activity. You'll note the decided lack of cave dwelling amongst remnant hunter gatherers in the modern world.

3 days ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

FatLittleMonkey Re:04.10.2010 (503 comments)

Interesting differences. In the Iranian-655 incident, the US admitted it's actions. And Russia used it as an excuse to demand that the US withdraw from the region.

In the Siberian-1812 incident, Russia immediately went into cover-up mode - along with Ukraine, it's then-ally - with Putin claiming that it wasn't even technically possible for the missile to hit.

4 days ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

FatLittleMonkey Re: meanwhile overnight... (503 comments)

You don't "borrow" a mobile SAM system. It has to be operated by trained personnel. In this case, by Russian military personnel.

4 days ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

FatLittleMonkey Russian military. Not "pro-Russia", not "rebels". (503 comments)

Russia, who has been arming the rebels

"Russia, which is the rebels."

Why do people persist with the pretence that these are local separatists merely being armed by Russia. They are Russian military, lead by a "former" GRU officer with no ties to the region except his current operation and who reports directly to his HQ in Moscow.

Likewise, mobile SAM systems, including the Buk missile platform, is not like a MANPAD or RPG, where you can spend an hour or two showing the locals how to point'n'shoot. You need 10-12 people, in multiple vehicles, all with proper training. These are not operated by locals "with Russian assistance", they are operated by the Russian military.

One missile control console

4 days ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

FatLittleMonkey Re:Black box data streaming (503 comments)

I don't really see how it would help at all in the event of a missile attack, either.

By showing that it wasn't anything else.

By ensuring the data is recovered even if people who want to cover up the crime control the site and take black boxes.

4 days ago
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Sony Forgets To Pay For Domain, Hilarity Ensues

FatLittleMonkey Addendumdum (275 comments)

and b) my excuse was, "I don't read that email account any more."

Apparently the actual excuse was "Went to my junk filter lol."

[Someone else pointed out that sony.com itself was only renewed 4 days before expiry, and only for two years. What, are you worried about paying too far in advance in case the company decides to stop using the internet and you can't get your $35 back? I mean, fuck.]

5 days ago
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Sony Forgets To Pay For Domain, Hilarity Ensues

FatLittleMonkey Re:7 weeks? (275 comments)

Coming from a small business background, sometimes this is the only way to deal with a corporate customer. Or you simply will not get paid.

Being a bookkeeper (and a pedantic nerd who pays things on time), I've always found it stunning how little respect corporations have for their own accounts payables and the consequences of not paying accounts properly. The only businesses which are worse are law firms.

5 days ago
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Sony Forgets To Pay For Domain, Hilarity Ensues

FatLittleMonkey Re:Black hole? (275 comments)

Theres generally no expectation of privacy; the email account is company property, sitting on a company server, on company storage. In what universe would the company not have rights to it?

There are countries that do give employees an "expectation of privacy" from employers snooping on email accounts (& phone calls, toilet breaks, etc), even though those are hosted on company equipment. And since it's the law/right/reg/ruling/etc, a mere employment agreement or company policy can't usurp that. The US is unusual in that it not only doesn't have anything like that, it so doesn't have it to such a degree that people can't even imagine having it. It's funny that the master-servant relationship is the default assumption in the US.

However, even those laws or regs would still only apply during the employee's tenure, not after they leave. And would have big fat exceptions for transferring job-title and task-title based email addresses (admin@fatass.com, renewals@fatass.com).

5 days ago

Submissions

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Fight you own muscles to create force-feedback on smartphones

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about a year and a half ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Researchers in Germany have developed a device that allows users of portable devices, such as smartphones, experience force-feedback from games using just their own muscles... and a small EMS device. When stimulated by a painless electric pulse, the player's arm moves the device in whichever direction the game commands. The player then fights the movement with their other muscles, creating a strong sensation that the device itself is bucking in their hands. According to the developers, users found the sensation much more realistic than traditional vibrotactile feedback. (Should make PvP more interesting too.)"
Link to Original Source
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Multiple minds smooths your ship's path

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about a year and a half ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "My mind to your mind... my thoughts to your thoughts... Researchers at the University of Essex have shown that combining the output from two non-invasive "brain-computer interfaces", computer-interpreted EEG signals, led to a much clearer signal of the subjects' intention than the output from a single subject. To test this idea, they had two subjects try to steer a simulated space-ship at a target planet, by thinking of one of eight possible directions. While a single user could achieve 67% accuracy, this jumped to 90% when two minds were combined. Researchers believe the technique also compensates for individual lapses in attention, and thus may have applications in real-world space missions."
Link to Original Source
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How do you give a ticket to a driverless car?

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about a year and a half ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "New Scientist asks a Bryant Walker Smith, from the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, whether the law is able to keep up with recent advances in automated vehicles. Even states which have allowed self-driving cars require the vehicles to have a "driver", who is nominally in control and who must comply with the same restrictions as any driver such as not being drunk. What's the point of having a robot car if it can't drive you home from the pub while you go to sleep in the back?"
Link to Original Source
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Whitehouse Petition to sell Texas to pay off US Debt.

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about a year and a half ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Amidst the flood of petitions on behalf of States demanding to be allowed to secede from the US, inevitably came the trolls suggesting that the US at least make some money out of the deal. Sell Texas to Mexico and use the money to pay down the US debt. Still in single digits at time of writing, but well worth supporting for the lulz."
Link to Original Source
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You can't print a gun if you have no 3d printer

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "You may recall Cody Wilson's project to create a 3d printed gun, mentioned previously on Slashdot. Well, the Defense Distributed project has suffered a decidedly non-technical setback, with printer manufacturer Stratasys revoking the lease and repossessing the printer (presumably prying it from plastic models of Cory's cold dead hands.) According to New Scientist the manufacturer cited...

his lack of a federal firearms manufacturer's licence as their reason for the repossession, adding that it does not knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes.

"

Link to Original Source
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If U R readng ths, I M already dead.

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "A particularly nasty text scam is doing the rounds in Australia. Police say that hundreds of people have reported receiving text messages reading: "Sum1 paid me to kill you. Get spared, 48hrs to pay $5000. If you inform the police or anybody, death is promised... Email me now killerking999@yahoo.com", or variations on the theme. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's Scamwatch site, also details the threat messages.

(No reports yet of anyone managing to troll the scammers.)"

Link to Original Source
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MS damage washed away by stream of young blood

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "A new study on mice suggests that damage caused by diseases like Multiple sclerosis, as well as natural ageing, can be reversed by an infusion of stem cell rich blood from younger mice. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that erodes the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord, and can result is serious disability. Similar effects occur naturally with ageing. Via New Scientist:

White blood cells called macrophages from the young mice gathered at the sites of myelin damage. Macrophages engulf and destroy pathogens and debris, including destroyed myelin. "We know this debris inhibits regeneration, so clearing it up is important," says team member Amy Wagers of Harvard University.

Here's a direct Link to the paper, if you have academic access through the paywall.."
Link to Original Source

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Harnessing the energy of Galloping Gertie

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "You've all seen the footage of Galloping Gertie, the infamous Tacoma Narrows bridge. This is due to a type of turbulence called Wake Galloping, caused by airflow creating lift on the lee-side of cylinders (or cables on suspension bridges.) Now researchers in South Korea have developed a way of harnessing the turbulence to generate electricity. Their device works most efficiently at wind speeds too low for conventional wind turbines."
Link to Original Source
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Multicellular life found at 3.6km under the crust

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Researchers from Princeton University have discovered nematodes at depth of up to 3.6km in three gold mines in South Africa, likely feeding on the radiation-consuming bacteria also discovered by the same team. Carbon dating their environment confirms that the 500 micrometres long critters have been there for at least 3000 years and are not a recent contaminant. The finding means that unexpectedly complex ecosystems occur deep underground, increasing the chance that complex life may have survived on Mars according to Carl Pilcher, director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute, "The significance was that you could imagine an ecosystem existing in the subsurface of a planet that didn't have a photosynthetic biosphere, like Mars," he says.

Until now, it was thought such an ecosystem could be made of bacteria only. But Onstott's new findings have completely changed that. "These nematodes are grazing on microbes. So now you could imagine that if animal life had ever developed on a planet, and the surface of that planet became lifeless," Pilcher explains, "you could imagine that animals could coexist with microbial ecosystems all powered by radioactivity."

"

Link to Original Source
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Can computers be used to optimise the US tax code?

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Science Fiction author, David Brin, wonders whether the US tax code, described by President Obama as a "10,000-page monstrosity", could be dramatically simplified. No, he's not trying to get support a libertarian wet-dream "Flat Tax", this is about using computers to... shuffle the existing system.

"I know a simple way the sheer bulk of the tax code could be trimmed by perhaps 70% or more, without much political pain or obstructionism! ... it should be easy to create a program that will take the tax code and experiment with zeroing-out dozens, hundreds of provisions while sliding others upward and then showing how these simplifications would affect, say, one-hundred representative types of taxpayers ... Let the program find the simplest version of a refined tax code that leaves all 100 taxpayer clades unhurt. If one group loses a favorite tax dodge, the system would seek a rebalancing of others to compensate. No mere human being could accomplish this, but I have been assured that a computer could do this in a snap."

With all the talk about Open Government, perhaps the computer code currently used in tax modelling could be released to the wider community, leading eventually to a Folding@Home type project."

Link to Original Source
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Can't get enough Will & Kate? Now meet their k

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Prince William and Kate Middleton met while attending the University of St Andrews, so it seems... appropriate... that the Perception Lab at St Andrews would have a go at predicting the appearance of the royal couple's future "heir and a spare".

New Scientist also tries its hand at some evolution-centric royal fan-fic.

Oh, and feel free to participate in Perception Labs' experiment."

Link to Original Source
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South Australia to drop MA15+ video game rating

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "While its former Attorney-General Michael Atkinson actively campaigned against an R18+ rating for video games in Australia, the new South Australian Attorney-General John Rau says he will abolish the MA15+ rating in SA after the introduction of an R18+ rating. To better differentiate "between what adults can get and what children can get", games will be rated G, PG, M, and R18+.

"I will push for the South Australian position on MA15+ games to be adopted nationally, but if it isn't, I'm prepared to go it alone," he promised, calling the MA15+ classification "dangerous".

"Besides," Rau says in an interview to Gamespot, "if the latest surveys about the average gamer being a 32-year-old single male who sits at home and plays games all day are correct, then what I am proposing is not going to have much impact at all." Ouch.

All of this follows a review of the classification system in general, so Rau may be reflecting a more general move away from MA15+ in all media."

Link to Original Source

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