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Chinese Lasers Blind US Satelites

stienman Re:Um, they can hit the ones they can see... (739 comments)

First of all, they have plenty of other issues to worry about when designing the exterior of a satellite, like reflective material for thermal management, or solar cells for generating power.

It is non-trivial to create what amounts to an invisible satellite.

It has and continues to be done not only by the US, but by other countries as well.

Techniques are continuously developed and refined to see such "invisible" satellites. It's just another arms race.

Secondly, I would imagine that the trajectories of all satellites are available to all agencies that launch stuff into space.

There are certain satellites that are not tracked except by the agencies that use them, and by anyone else who happens to notice it. There are public lists of all known satellites.

From http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology /mystery_monday_050103.html :
But within weeks after MISTY's shuttle deployment, both U.S. and Soviet sources reported that the satellite malfunctioned. Richelson explained that a spacecraft explosion "may have been a tactic to deceive those monitoring the satellite or may have been the result of the jettisoning of operational debris."

Whatever the case -- and to the chagrin of spysat operators -- a network of civilian space sleuths had been monitoring a set of MISTY maneuvers and the explosion, ostensibly part of a "disappearing act" meant to disguise its true whereabouts.

So check it out yourself. My understanding is that amateur satellite trackers have found and verified numerous unpublished satellites. They feel they are doing a service - "If I can see and track it with my limited resources, you can bet China, etc know about it years ago."

Imaging a soyuz crashing into one of those massive spy satellites with a relative velocity of several kilometers per second...

Check out Big Sky Theory. You'll find that the amount of 3-D space is so large in volume that even satellites meant to hit each other (for various tests) are extraordinarily difficult to target. When satellites start to accidently crash - it is greater then 99.9% certain it was not random or accidental, statistically speaking.

I just can't see how the US could not have spy satellites that are difficult to see and unpublished. The article mentions well-known satellites (keyhole). It will be news (well, actually no one will know publicly) when the chinese test their laser against all our unpublished satellites.

Like others have said, this is likely a story to get greater funding (Congress is going to start dealing with budget soon) for the various agencies. It looks like it may have been done well - a single statement in a long report, and no official statements other than that. Congresspersons, start your engines! China's going to attack Tiawan, and before we find out it'll all be over! Better throw a few more protected satellites up! China's hindering the Iran peace process to keep us occupied in other parts of the world! That might destroy Walmart's business model and we'll lose 1000's of jobs in our state! etc, etc, etc.


more than 8 years ago



stienman stienman writes  |  more than 8 years ago

stienman writes "Everyone in the US knows that if you dig straight down, you'll end up in China. Except you won't — instead you'll end up swimming. Spurred by this question I used Google Maps to show where you will end up if you dig straight through the center of the earth. This antipodal geography tool is easy to make and fun to use. What other fun and informative web-based geography tools have you played with? What age-old questions could be answered in an hour of simple programming with free mapping tools?"



stienman stienman writes  |  more than 11 years ago Well, I've surpassed 500 comments on slashdot. I spend too much time here.

In other news, it looks like we're going to get a new house - 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1500sq ft, 2 car garage, etc. Lots of work getting this place sold, getting financing, getting the other place, etc. It's going to be great when it's done - just before school starts (ugh!)

Finished a bike trip from point wheatley (near point pelee) to niagara falls. 268 miles in 5 days - it was a lot of fun. Got a good cyclist's tan, and lost all the fat on my arms and legs (again). I'll be cycling to school when the fall semester starts up again soon.


stienman stienman writes  |  more than 12 years ago Of course I disable the comments. You're the only person who ever reads this stuff anyway.



An Udder Update

stienman stienman writes  |  more than 12 years ago Got everything done in the basement that we wanted to get done - no molding or carpet, but we're using the basement so much more than we used to. It now has a TV, VCR, my workroom (from where I can watch TV while I work), and the TV room has enough toys and stuff to keep the kids busy.

Yes sir, I'm am glad we finished it. I am so glad we're all done.

On another note, I just found out I've posted 200 comments to slashdot. That's interesting to me (perhaps not to you), but it makes me wonder if many of them have been all that useful. Obviously I'm at the karma cap, but that really doesn't tell one the real quality of my contribution to slashdot. I wonder whether I should spend less time on /. and more time developing my own website... I get an average of 2,2000 hits a day (about 100 hits per hour), so I know it's used, but most of the content is an archive of someone else's material that they gave to me (since they no longer had time to maintain it).

Trying to figure out how to add value to it is the real problem. Looking over the stats as well I find that 2000 people per month from Italy visit my site, second after the 50k who visit from the US. If I ever get into serious content mode, I'll have to look at translations and multiple languages... It's amazing, just amazing.



Basement, winxp, etc

stienman stienman writes  |  more than 13 years ago

We passed both the electrical and mechanical (heating) inspections, and now have the drywall on the ceilings and some walls.

It is hoped that we'll have it taped and mudded this weekend, and painted this next week.

Looks like nearly all beta testers will be getting winxp, up to five licenses. Apparently there was a lot of concern over who was considered an "active" tester or not, so they opened it to a wider range of testers. Which means I'm getting it.. ! Yay!!


WinXP RTM released to beta testers...

stienman stienman writes  |  more than 13 years ago

Just got the message in the beta newsgroups - just before 3pm MS put build 2600, the RTM version, of WinXP on the beta download server. Second later it was rejecting connections... Sadly I didn't make it yet. I should have it tonight, though... It's a time limited version, and I hope that they send out full versions to testers, but if not you know this is going to be on my christmas wishlist (about the time it'll expire... ;-)



WinXP, More Basement, fun fun fun...

stienman stienman writes  |  more than 13 years ago The WinXP beta newsgroups are all abuzz about the RTM this afternoon. Half the messages are asking "When can we download?" a quarter asking, "Are we getting free copies?" , an 8th are speculating on the build number for the RTM (I'm running RC2, 2505, the latest intermediate build available for D/L was 2542), and the last 8th are screaming, "Stop asking for free product! Stop asking for the RTM! Stop saying goodbye! etc..."

I've enjoyed the beta immensely. I've NEVER had a more stable windows than what I've been running since March. MS has put a ton of effort into it, and they deserve all the good press they are getting. They deserve the bad press too, but there really isn't that much bad about XP other than the authentication. And I can't disagree with it. I can see problems with it, but, hey, they own the code, they could require a dongle for every copy and we'd have to accept it. (in fact, I'll bet if they sold a dongled version, then it would sell. Turn off your computer, take your dongle to your laptop, turn it on, etc. Smacks of one person, one license system, which, IMO is better than one computer one license. Think of all the computers running right now that are doing nothing.)

The basement is coming along. We have 1/2 the furring strips up agains the one wall that is getting them. I was surprised at how easy it is to handle the powder nail gun against the wall, I thought I'd have trouble. The only trouble I'm having is that the nails still aren't penetrating a full inch even with the yellow (strongest) powder charges. But they don't stick out more than 3/8 of an inch, so the drywall will hide the heads. Hoping we'll get all the exterior done tonight, and maybe two interior doors, then I can convince Raelyn to let me put the other materials on credit so I can finish the interior walls and doors tomorrow. Then comes the wiring, which can be done in a few nights. Yay!!


stienman stienman writes  |  more than 13 years ago I finally got some major work done on the basement refinishing project. We determined not to go with 2x2s nailed to the walls, as I was having much trouble nailing them to the concrete. I eventually determined that since the concrete nails needed to penetrate at least 1", and my powder actuated nail gun only handled 2 1/2" nails, and the boards needed shimming (2x2 boards are 1 1/2" wide), then the nails wouldn't go in far enough.

So we returned the wood, and got metal studs (which were the same cost), which are 2 1/2", so the rooms are 1" smaller, but wow does it go fast. We have all of the track (top and botton metal track that holds the metal studs in) in, and about 2/5 of the studs done, all today. I did find out our concrete is HARD . Normally they suggest a level 3 powder to shoot 1" nails into concrete, but they were just bending out of the way. I tried level four (the highest level available at local hardware stores), and most of them go in now, but not all the way all the time. Enough to keep the walls up, though.

We've got to finish this phase of the project

Exterior studs

before moving onto the next 3 phases, which I hope to complete before school starts after labor day.

Interior studs and doors

Wiring (electrical, 2 cat5, cable)

Drywall and finishing

I'd like to do a ceiling as well, but the wife is hesitant, having had a bad experience with drywalling above her head...


Note to self: knee pads. Please. I'm begging you.

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