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* Posts by arkhangelsk

81 posts • joined 28 Dec 2009

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Flying fondleslab causes injury after plane hits turbulence

arkhangelsk

What I'm interested is

were those computers and tablets functional after the knock?

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How many keys can one keyboard have? Do I hear 200? 300? More?

arkhangelsk

It might be limited production and have a lot of keys, but it is a frigging keyboard. How does it justify a US$90 price tag?

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Google stabs Wikipedia in the front

arkhangelsk

Quite frankly...

I noticed that there was a little box where there wasn't before (that I generally didn't use), but I didn't even know it was called Knowledge Graph. Does it really have that much effect?

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Google tells EFF: Android 4.3's privacy tool was a MISTAKE, we've yanked it

arkhangelsk

I'll side with the Against but Sympathetic crowd

It is a nice feature, however it came to be included, but I can see how its functionality means it cannot be Foolproof and having dabbled in Customer Service myself I can understand what happens when you cannot Foolproof such features. So whatever else they were thinking there are valid reasons to pull the feature.

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Office 365 goes to work on an Android

arkhangelsk

Personally, I paid the bucks for Textmaker

It ain't Word, and it is a little choppy even on a Tegra 3, but it does the job.

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Headmaster calls cops, tries to dash pupil's uni dreams - over a BLOG

arkhangelsk

Re: Truth or consequences

I'm sure of course in theory you can make "honest references". It is just that you are running a big risk since your words do cause actual harm to someone else and thus you are liable to getting sued for defamation. Getting away with something like "He's late every day" would probably be easy if you've kept objective records. Saying something subjective like "He's lazy" would be a lot harder to prove and you run a significant chance he can make the judge agree your subjective assessment is not adequately substantiated and charge you the bill of his damages.

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Reports: NSA has compromised most internet encryption

arkhangelsk

Re: Solutions?

We think among similar lines - the problem is that what's doing it is an agency. Even if you do somehow catch them, they would blur the lines of responsibility enough that you won't be able to identify one or a few people to indict, or if that starts to fail in the best, best case they'll throw up some midrank guy senior enough to be vaguely plausible but not powerful enough to be resist or be the Real Culprit (he's following orders himself).

What do you think of my idea of making agencies truly accountable (as in actually making them bleed) for violations?

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arkhangelsk

This kind of governmental cheating

by all parts of government won't stop because there no penalties are ever imposed. At best when caught the legislature passes the equivalent of a Cease and Desist, and if we are extremely lucky the involved government agency would even follow it for awhile. If it even gets to the point where the head resigns to "take responsibility" ... that's half a miracle (it happens more in Japan, seemingly less in the West).

What should be passed are new acts that say any governmental agency that gets caught breaking or abusing the rules are subject to decimation (as in 1/10th of the employees get fired, even split between top and bottom post), plus at least a 20% reduction in budget for the next 5 years. With real penalties should come improvements.

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Snowden: US and Israel did create Stuxnet attack code

arkhangelsk

Re: Yeah, right.

Well, they might have skilled programmers, but they are dealing with technology a bit more advanced than what they have (otherwise they won't have to steal) and also the programmers are not mechanical specialists. It probably won't be impossible to insert a subtle error in the coefficients that will lead to a slow wearing out over time, leading to eventual destruction. They also don't have a lot of time because they want the complex working ASAP, not in debugging.

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Apple must apologise for its surly apology on its website on Saturday

arkhangelsk
Thumb Down

Inaccurate might be pushing it a little...

>On 25th October 2012, Apple Inc published a statement on its UK website in relation to Samsung's Galaxy tablet. That statement was inaccurate and did not comply with the order of the Court Appeal of England and Wales. A correct statement can be found at this link.

There's a good case for calling it (for example) "misleading". That it did not comply with the spirit of the order is obvious. Whether it minimally complied with the letter is debatable (all the requested text was there I think). But IIRC nothing on it was actually "inaccurate". The judge did say those things. The US and Germany did rule against Samsung...

Maybe Apple's next move would be to put the page up as requested, but then add a link complaining about the tyranny of the British court. If the judge tries to block that one, now he is violating freedom of speech.

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Fukushima operator feared shutdown if risks revealed

arkhangelsk

I'm speculating...

but I suspect this discrepancy:

>As of three days ago TEPCO held to the position it was all the tsunami's fault

can be explained by

1) The government has already agreed quietly to not find anyone criminally responsible.

2) With the legal threat gone, TEPCO's best interest is now in moving towards a mea culpa stance, without which it won't be allowed by the local populace to rebuild or even power back up any nuke power plants, even if it wins all the legal battles.

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Google Wallet: Rub our button, cough 15p for quick read

arkhangelsk

Could work

Reasonable prices + Convenient Payment Method is a money sucker - I know this from Amazon Kindle.

I just hope they don't put pages they used to put out for free into this scheme...

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Hong Kong has fastest broadband on the planet

arkhangelsk

I'll be impressed when my '3' (company name) 3G connection

actually works on the MTR. Reliability is at least as important as speed.

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Google to skew search results to punish PIRATES

arkhangelsk

I thought they were doing that already

... these past couple of years, torrent links have become much less prominent in\ Google searches.

A reasonable measure, in any case, and I believe it will discourage casual piracy. Forcing people to have to join special file-sharing forums rather than just grabbing their torrents off Google scares off the squeamish, because forums means data being handed over.

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Apple pulls China Japan war game amid diplomatic tensions

arkhangelsk

Maybe they can make an Android version. Personally, I don't think China has too much of a legal leg to stand on for those islands, and the Western experts I've read seem to figure Japan has the stronger legal claim, but in any case the game does sound fun.

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Assange loses appeal against extradition to Sweden

arkhangelsk

Not a lot of thought as to why rape was chosen here...

It is not only emotional, but also especially vulnerable to politics. The victim can show no bruises and not even PTSD symptoms, but still potentially get her way if she can convince the judge, based on her testimony that she was unwilling. Even a logically inconsistent piece of testimony may be excused on "she was traumatized..."

If we are serious about reasonable doubt, such rape cases should never be heard in court - what's the point. Unless there are horrible injuries or PTSD, any objective evidence can only show that they indeed had sex, and the rest is up to testimony, hardly the normal composition of a "reasonable doubt" conviction.

Instead, they lower the standards. Necessarily, perhaps, b/c not every rape case leaves horrible injuries or PTSD. But it leaves a lot to the discretion of the judge. Given the politics, I can see why Assange is less interested about the nebulous hope of clearing his name.

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Study finds piracy withering against legal alternatives

arkhangelsk

DRM

actually tends to force people towards illegal content, IMO. There is always a chance that the DRM will cause the game to not work on your computer. Now, if they go onto the Net and see a cracked free copy, well, that's no competition, is it?

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New RAM shunts data into flash in power cuts

arkhangelsk

Still have to solve

the de-facto problem of Windows rot though, so you will still need to flush and reload everything from time to time to avoid glitches and slowdowns.

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Apple's US bid to ban Samsung tabs hinges on design

arkhangelsk

It isn't like Samsung is not playing the same game with iPhone

Besides, they are being realistic. Most products DON'T have such a massive superiority as to overcome inertia. Once they buy a Samsung Tablet, even if they don't buy a Samsung next time they won't be buying iPads because of its different OS (unless of course they really hated Android).

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UK's first Stealth fighter in successful catapult test

arkhangelsk

Actually

the J-20 and T-50 feature less stealth partially because in the wake of high-powered fire control capable L-band and even VHF band radars, it has become less possible to hide anyway because stealth doesn't work nearly as well against those lower bands.

So not only could those two countries ill-afford a F-22 level stealth, that level of stealth isn't worth as much anymore in tactical terms.

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arkhangelsk

I think the JSF program is actually in fairly dire straits

They are now trying to get Japan to buy it for their F-X program, even going to claim that the price will only be US$65 million a pop, which is clearly complete BS unless they are selling at a loss and then recouping it over 20 years by overpricing parts, support ... etc.

I guess the idea is to hook as many nations as possible to make it politically inexpedient to terminate this pork project.

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SanDisk attacks PC hard disks

arkhangelsk

US$449.99 for the 240GB model

Not quite prime time for me. Can't afford it. Period

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Can Fox break the power of Army, Navy, RAF chiefs?

arkhangelsk

What's so special about the RAF

... except that you can fly or maintain planes there?

Sure, some people may have started out joining due to the old stories of RAF valor or similar, but there are probably at least as many cadets who joined without thinking too much about history. Once they are actually in, I just don't see most of them resigning (those that were going to make a career rather than getting out to fly for the airlines) just because they have to change uniforms.

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arkhangelsk

The WP command structure has its merits

but in the long run the Ground Forces dominance probably made the Soviet Armed Forces less efficient and flexible than it otherwise might have been. The worst offender being the B and C divisions, which consume resources and manpower (which was running low in the USSR, especially in the 80s), yet were so undermanned useful unit training is a joke. In practice, their military potential as mobilizable units is at best an inch over just making new divisions from scratch. As political tools they are a net negative because they give NATO an excuse to bleat and justify their clearly much more offensive Navy and Air Force!

If the Navy & Air Force had more power in the USSR, it is hard to believe that such wastage would have been allowed to continue.

=====

If anything, the USSR experience says that it might be OK in the modern era to let the Army eat the Air Force, but not the Navy. Generals these days understand they need some air. If they don't buy enough Air their ground divisions would be wiped.

The Navy's role in national defense or even as support for the Army (except for carrier bombers) is a less familiar subject to them, so it'll be a very poor relationship - as the Soviet experience proved.

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arkhangelsk

Actually you would

Probably, if the RAF gets eaten into the Army or Navy, its people just shed their RAF uniforms and put on BA or RN ones, so they don't have to "hire new Army and Navy" people.

However, since it is now a subordinate Arm w/i a Service, the Air Component (since it is expensive) will have to justify their spending much more carefully and the parent Service would use every means possible to press for economies, and in a more expert way than the civilian politicians. Thus the Air Component would be streamlined and some savings would come out of it.

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RAF Eurofighter Typhoons 'beaten by Pakistani F-16s'

arkhangelsk

Well, to be fair

... depending on what year this happened, this might not have been unfair - the F-15s didn't have datalink. It was considered big news when the 366th Composite Wing's F-15s (and apparently only them, at least for that period) got JTIDS links, at least back in the 90s.

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arkhangelsk

Well, you've checked the Anatolian website

... but did you check the interview from which the article was sourced? It does say:

"TuAF has honoured the PAF by also letting its pilots fly in the national Anatolian Eagle exercises under Turkish command and wearing Turkish flags and badges. This is a unique honour given only to PAF pilots. The exchange pilots also get to fly TuAF F-16s in the Anatolian Eagle international exercises. So you could have 6 visiting PAF pilots flying their own PAF F-16s and the one PAF exchange pilot flying with the Turks in a TuAF F-16."

In other words, according to the interview, the absence of a Pakistani flag on the website does not necessarily negate the presence of Pakistanis, flying a foreign flag.

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£1.1bn Royal Navy warship finally armed, sort of

arkhangelsk
Flame

Incorrect thinking on many levels

First, defense industry is like the insurance industry. The money flow through it makes the GNP look bigger, but in terms of benefiting the People, it is useless. The most useful thing it can hope for is that a contingency happens, and it helps reduce the losses or pain.

So the question is not whether it is PROFITABLE (any profits are illusory once you count in the opportunity cost), but how to cut your losses while getting the capability your national policy and circumstances say it needs.

So sure, if the cost-effectiveness is same or similar b/w domestic and foreign produce, then sure, build local. In that case, the recovered amount by taxes tilts the table towards domestic products. However, where the foreign product is MASSIVELY cheaper, the amount the taxes recuperate no longer cover for the difference.

As for exports, when your product is massively more expensive, not as commonplace, and not as versatile as its competition for dubious gains in certain performances (Type 45 vs Aegis), I won't be looking forward to any recuperative sales there.

Finally, do remember that the Defence budget is the defence budget. The vitality of industry is the responsibility of another department. When the most defense-efficient solution is a foreign product, and the nation insists they buy homebuilt, they DO NOT allocate extra money (from the supposed recuperation via taxes and exports) to cover the shortfall. Defence just gets less capable. to the potential cost of its foreign policy and the lives of the front-line trooper.

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arkhangelsk

The Harpoon

... to be fair, Harpoon is small enough to be "tacked on" to warships without too much pain. It is weapons like Exocet and Harpoon that allowed small warships to be multi-purpose.

If the Soviets had something like Harpoon, they won't have to create both Sovremenny and Udaloy. They eventually realized this and built Uran (SS-N-25 Switchblade), but by then they had broken up.

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arkhangelsk

If you can have said

I'm sorry to disappoint you, but that "squadron of aircraft" stuff was achieved with Ticonderoga or with Kirov.

The "for but not with" Harpoons is again stupid, cheap economy considering that the ships already cost over a billion each. They are sacrificing a lot of ability for, what is in relative terms, pennies.

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arkhangelsk

Nobody denigrates the Royal Navy for its quality or experience...

,,, what the entire article is about, and what you are trying to avoid, is why these wonderful men don't deserve a ship that can not only shoot down a dozen (as I understand it, it is "over ten", not 40) aircraft at once, but also has Tomahawks, plus costs less?

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Fukushima fearmongers are stealing our Jetsons future

arkhangelsk

It actually shows

... they have some intellectual integrity - at least more than my local media.

This morning, when I heard the headline on local morning TV news that Fukushima got raised to a 7, I nearly spit out my breakfast.

The report then started off saying (in Chinese) "The situation at Fukushima continues to worsen" and goes on to repeat the raise to the 7. I was waiting to see photos of Fukushima somehow turning itself into a nuclear bomb (impossible as that is), or at least SOMETHING dramatic.

Around there, the reporter goes on to say that the Japanese nuclear agency had (basically) counted up the amount of radiation leaked and it exceeded the normative amount required to declare a level 7, so they raised the level to 7. The report also admits that levels have substantially backed down by now...

PHEW!

That's NOT called "continuing to worsen", you stupid, sensationalist media. That's called having the mental freedom (in Japanese: yuuyou) to re-assess the situation.

So, no need for new panic. Shame on the media.

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arkhangelsk

Normally

"5 million times the safe level" (or "100,000x") is a pretty clear sign of danger. Unfortunately, when it comes to nuclear industry, this is not necessarily true because the safety margins are simply insanely great plus these "millions" tend to be localized peak values that go down very quickly.

This excessive safety standard not only makes nuclear plants more expensive than they should be, but it deprives us, the normal masses, a relatively easy way of determining whether we are in real danger.

They should re-define standards based on what is truly dangerous, and call the current standards (if they are to be maintained) "goals". So when a nuclear plant starts leaking, they can say "The radiation level has increased from 1/1,000,000th (or whatever) the safety level to 1/1,000th!" instead of saying "The radiation level is now 1000x safe".

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arkhangelsk

I'm looking forward to another article myself

I've said previously these posts are great tonics. In the meantime, consider how the attention had downshifted from the REACTOR itself, then to the SPENT FUEL RODS, and now it is about leftover water. It is hardly a shock that if the earthquake was larger than the design was meant for, some secondary part might develop a crack and the cooling water inside getting some radioactivity is hardly NEWS. The fact we can now actually see or care about these cracks is the improvement.

The mess is taking longer than we hope to clean it, but it isn't a complete disaster.

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Nude Florida man in gunfight with police SWAT robot

arkhangelsk
Happy

While we are on meaningless nitpicks

... maybe we can debate as to whether it is still a AK47 if the automatic fire capability is not present. After all, AK stands for "Avtomat Kalashnikov".- the Avtomat meaning an automatic fire ability. If it is shafted, it is technically only Samozaryadnyj (self-loading), so it is only a "SK47".

I won't even get to the point where many "AK47"s in the world are AKMs or somesuch :-)

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Libya fighting shows just how idiotic the Defence Review was

arkhangelsk

What seems obvious to me is in that link...

... that the RAF is more interested in getting things cleared for Tornado than Harrier. This has little to do with what each can carry with equal effort, just what the RAF decided to spend money on.

I suppose from the viewpoint of the *Air Force*, the Tornado may be a superior bombing craft - the calculation is correct as long as you force the Harriers to use the same airbases as the Tornadoes, thus making them fly the same distances.

However, once you add the Navy and its ability to get a airbase (carrier) very close to the target, the Tornado's advantages are neutralized as they get farther from Britain or farther from the closest convenient airbase. As an all-around power projection tool, the Harrier is superior.

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arkhangelsk

For that argument to be valid, you'll have to

... demonstrate how the F/A-18 lacks abilities that caused it to have been shot down. Quite frankly, while the Typhoon is incrementally superior, the main disadvantage the Hornet has in this competition is that it already actually had a chance to fail, while the Typhoon can still hide in the world of theory.

It is like arguing if only the Brits used SM-1s and Sea Sparrow in the Falklands they wouldn't have gotten so slammed. While the theoretical merits of each can be debated, the main difference is the same - the American systems hadn't had a chance to fail so it gets the advantage of being able to hide under theory.

Just as important, while we may accept for any individual sortie, the Hornet has a higher risk of getting shot down, on the operative level, that doesn't mean a net loss if it is substantially cheaper, allowing many more of them to be operated and allowing for much greater mass and shock in the attack.

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arkhangelsk

They have export versions

and yes they no doubt have inferior electronics compared to the original. However, that's far from demonstrating that

A) The best alternative Britain can produce will actually be superior even on a theoretical basis.

If A can be demonstrated, then

B) Alternative will actually be superior once you factor in reliability. Reliability is the bane of many recent British weapons. The SA80 is famous. Sea Dart and Sea Wolf weren't exactly hugely reliable in the Falklands. If the Tornado ADV suite is superior, we may also remember how much trouble it took to get it to a minimally acceptable standard. I've seen at least one 90s article in the Naval Review of British officers lamenting that NATO (i.e. mostly US) kit, regardless of its theoretical merits or demerits versus British, work more reliably...

and then

C) Repeat B, factor in massive developmental cost. Even the fact that part of the money may be circulated into the British economy (which will be more a bump in the recorded GDP count rather than a real improvement in the People's lives) will likely not compensate for the massive cost gap.

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Fukushima one week on: Situation 'stable', says IAEA

arkhangelsk

Up to 10%? In other words...

... according to you, the probable cost of burying those reactors is less than the likely error margin in Economist's estimate of the total economic damage. That doesn't sound so bad in relative terms.

"were shortcuts taken for financial reasons"? There's no need for an investigation. The answer is Yes, and it was always Yes and will always be Yes.

The luxury of being able to ignore finances and cost efficiency is a luxury of laymen, think-tanks and foreign experts with no real responsibility. As you get closer to having real responsibility, balancing engineering ideals with finances is increasingly a priority. Then an accident happens, and the guy making the call gets pillored.

And for America's report, surely, what should be more interesting to you is not whether they scribbled a purely academic report, but whether its recommendations are being implemented with vigor. Unless the answer is yes, it is just an empty gesture, but let's not pillor them in such a case - as I said, operational reality (finances) always matter to those who must do real work.

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arkhangelsk

These posts are a tonic...

... another day, and again I am bombarded by my local press making strident, desperate reports on this whole Fukushima business. It is enough to get anyone paranoid, and so here, every day, around 13:30 GMT, I read Lewis Page to get a much needed sense of peace and perspective. Never has he been so useful before.

Let's hope his steadiness is rewarded.

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Fukushima on Thursday: Prospects starting to look good

arkhangelsk

I'm all for

...impartiality in the international investigation when the dust clears.

But while the struggle is still ongoing, I'm actually for reports that are truthful (as perceived) or even a bit on the sunny side. Panic is a legitimate concern, and there's little else pessimistic information would do anyway.

Right now, all else being even, in general foreign experts are considered reliable, while Japanese experts are considered to have conflicts of interest. While I won't deny the Japanese have conflicts, the foreign experts are working on extremely little information (a fact they blame the Japanese for, but nevertheless leaves them poorly qualified to comment), and worst of all, have no responsibility and yet a conflict of interest.

To be blunt, they can hardly lose by making the most pessimistic assessments that are even marginally supported by the facts at hand.

If things don't go to their worst-case, they won't get castigated. They will just mumble "Well, we were lucky" or "Good work, Japanese". Given our mentality, the world will forgive them for "conservative, worst case thinking". Any panics their irresponsible, ill-substantiated statements cause will be blamed on the Japanese nuclear authorities for "not being open enough". No skin off their backs.

(And no, giving them more information is not the answer, because now they'll use the increased information to make worse case assessments now given the aura of being more substantiated by more info).

It is only if they try to be more optimistic, and things go bad could they get castigated for "underestimating the situation", not using 'proper', worst-case thinking. Blah.

The media, not even being experts, have even less responsibility and are even more inclined to go worst case for the same reasons, plus of course that the worst case has better news value.

It is only those that are actually in it that are pressed under conflicting, instead of one-way forces. In such an environment, to be one of the minority that tries to impose a calmer interpretation on what's going on is an act of bravery that deserves only praise. Even if Fukushima goes Chernobyl tomorrow, I stand by my statement.

I don't always agree with Lewis, but nice series, man!

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arkhangelsk

In a world of despair

,,, it is interesting how the facts, or most of the same facts, can be stated in such an optimistic fashion compared to the rest of the world's media.

If only for that, Lewis should be applauded here. Gloom and doom doesn't do anyone much good. Let's see if they recover after they get main power going.

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BAE Systems faces 'debarment' from exporting US war-tech

arkhangelsk

The West is reaping what it sowed...

... the strategic issue is not so much ITAR, but how did America gain so much dominance over everything which allows them almost unilateral control with things like ITAR. And the blunt truth is that the West as a whole chose to do it that way.

A century ago a country as dominant as America would have every other nation forget their differences and ally up against it to maintain the power balance. After WWII every Western nation, sick of war, chose to hand dominance to America.

So, the West cast the die and now it has to pay the piper. No point in complaining.

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China's 'stealth fighter' flies – brown trouser time, or not?

arkhangelsk

Chinese pacifism

Before you are too sure about the Chinese being near pacifists, remember what happened in Vietnam in 1979, and what Deng Xiaoping said flat out to the United States about hitting the butts of "naughty children".

It is the "naughty children" part that says a lot about how China really thinks about its smaller neighbors.

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arkhangelsk

My review

1-4) Explanatory, generally accurate.

5) If the handwriting is not on the wall, I won't believe it mentality. The part about the engines is true (also for the PAK-FA), but the F-35's round nozzles have much the same problem.

6) Lack of understanding about operational needs. The J-20 is a Pacific oriented design as opposed to F-22/PAK-FA's balanced design and JSF cost-saving, closer range design. Its defensive mission will be to patrol China's rather long borders. Its offensive mission will be to range deep over a lot of water. A tendency towards large-size/long-range is inevitable, which provides extra time on supercruise. The HMS actually equalizes maneuverability problems.

7) More best-case only thinking - at best a procrastination mentality and at worse downright dangerous. Even if they don't have LPI, for that to work, the Asian powers must have Meteor even though they generally use US rather than European systems (the US isn't as enthusiastic about developing a long shooter b/c they are using supercruise as a booster), the J-20 doesn't have a long shooter of its own, the Meteor must be equipped with a passive homing head, and the J-20 pilots have no idea of EMCON. If anything, passive homers are more dangerous to planes with LPI (and trust that it works), for they are more likely to remain in continuous emission, and if the LPI doesn't live up to its promises they are f*cked.

8) Between Japan, SK and Taiwan something approaching a chain may be argued in China's East "TVD." (certainly the Chinese think so). Even those generally lack IRSTs, since that is not a US priority. Nor do they have radars optimized to detect LO aircraft, same reason. In the South TVD are a bunch of countries that are so weak as to be best called "liabilities" in a major conflict. Australia has OTH radar supposedly with some anti-stealth but with JSFs it'll be hard for them to come far north enough to seriously threaten the Chinese without lots of US (tanker) support.

The weakness of the "mobile Taiwans" is that they don't have the size and survivability of Taiwan. Runways can be repaired in hours, but not carriers. The radars of the Aegis only have raw-power and standard signal processing as anti-stealth measures (thus inefficient relative to dedicated anti-stealth radar).

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9) That means by the time they are detected, they are on tail intercepts. Against a large fighter with supercruising ability, this is highly disadvantageous.

As for the seaborne cruise missiles, ultimately cruise missiles are *strike*, not sustained *combat* weapons like aircraft are - if the carriers are deterred/elimintated from the game throw-weight drops, not to mention defensive power - even an Aegis cruiser is relatively vulnerable to air threats if not backed by air cover.

Also, the present generation of subsonic missiles have limited efficiency versus hardened aircraft shelters (low speed, relatively small warhead, profile disadvantageous for penetration...) Plus it ignores that China has its own cruise and ballistic missiles that can do the same to PACRIM airfields (or civilian targets), thus making countries more reluctant to support the US.

10) Most of the US allies are in Europe, not Asia. And even there, if the JSF continues to bloat in price like it does, it is unlikely a thousand would be bought (once upon a time the US should have bought 750 F-22s too before rationalizing away themselves to 187). And even then, it is not clear whether this economy (like the Virginia, it actually isn't much if any cheaper) plane will actually have an advantageous combat coefficient vs the Chinse and Russian designs.

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Iran admits cyberattack hit nuke programme

arkhangelsk

I'm always surprised at how morals instantly revert when it comes to Israel and Iran

I'm not saying that Iran's a saint or Israel is all black. But why is everyone cheering over something, that had it happened to any other country, would be blasted as a dastardly and despicable, terrorist cyberattack?

And why does Israel, which by any standards would be called a rogue state: WMD possession in violation of NPT, using Apaches on civvies, multiple "pre-emptive" attacks on other nations, random terrorist bombings of other nations' nuclear facilities (at least if they did this attack, they had matured a little), even attacking an American ship ... etc, come off squeaky clean so often?

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arkhangelsk

Apparently, they WEREN'T networked

... the virus seems to have quietly ridden onto USB memory sticks used by the scientists, presumably for taking some data home to work on (the temptation is understandable). When they transferred the work documents back to the office ... ouch.

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New RAF transport plane is 'Euro-w*nking makework project'

arkhangelsk

Your argument is appealing to the unknown...

... a common apologist tactic when most of the available information is unfavorable. To which I say a few things:

1) For big decisions in life, it is rare to have as much info as you feel you need. This fact does not relieve you of the need to do the best with what you do have.

2) As a rule, superficial stats > (sounds better than) reality. Forecast Stats based off Drawing > Forecast Stats based off Prototype > Stats of Final Product. There have been pleasant surprises, admittedly, but they are the exception. If a plane sounds bad now in prototype, betting on it to turn out good is like betting on "True Communism by 1980".

3) In the question of basic performance, open sources are generally not too far off; since all weapons must conform to physics, putting values that are too far off home ground (such as the famous "SSN speed >20 knots" crap sung by the USN), don't work.

4) In the unlikely event that in the classified files there IS a factor that will completely reverse the conclusion, the fault is entirely with the government.

The very premise of democracy is that the citizen can make broad brush decisions in their best interests. To do that, necessarily they need correct information, and providing it is one of the duties of government agencies in democratic countrires. Having semi-independent reviewers like the GAO or NAO is a step, but ultimately they are no substitute for this availability of information to the open public.

So, if there is secret info that would reverse the conclusion obtainable from open sources, yet we make the wrong decision b/c it wasn't revealed in the name of secrecy, it would be used as an excuse by government officials to say "leave it all to us", but the fault is really on them - in a democracy at least.

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arkhangelsk

How is the C17 over hyped? How is the Russian kit cheaper and better?

Mostly, the C-17 is most hyped regarding its rough-field performance. It is a pretty good STOL aircraft in good conditions, but it has high ground pressure which means its stops drag on in the rain, it kicks up more dust than it has to ... all things that don't add to its luster as a rough-field aircraft.

Russo/Ukraine vs Europe

An-70 v A-400M

https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B0koa4ipOBjbYmVmYzQyMGMtNmU3Ny00Y2ZmLTlkNTktYzY1YTQxMzY5Mjlm&sort=name&layout=list&num=50

(excerpted from unpublished Antonov publication, from the blog previously mentioned.)

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Unarmed Royal Navy T45 destroyer breaks down mid-Atlantic

arkhangelsk
FAIL

Bad Plan

The entire idea of air forces stretching themselves to fill a role normally filled by a proper carrier has AFAIK never been proven to be successful in history.

If we are to assume that the Argies will dare take their Malvinas, one has to assume they've beefed themselves up somewhat, say with Su-35s and the like.

Any heavy AEW and ELINT that reaches Falklands will be from Ascension supported by tankers, so no change there. Subs and satelltes will be there either way too.

Ignoring all the problems of mechanically guaranteeing the Tornado ADVs you plan to stuff on those ultra-long flights, the planes will be badly hampered by a very poor sortie rate simply because of the distance they have to fly before getting to their station, and the run back. No more than 1/3rd of the total plane count can hope to be there (no chance of a surge of reinforcements scrambling from a carrier) Further, they'll be bone-tired even as they reach the scene and facing relatively fresh Argies. Drugs keep you awake but the drug that is a substitute for actually being relatively fresh, in terms keeping the combination of optimal reflex speeds and proper judgment has AFAIK not yet been invented - they are OK for prepping you up before landing, maybe even ground attack against weak enemies, but even not counting long term health effects are nothing to rely on in a truly hot situation.

The day when external target designation from platforms designed for search (from a slow-sweep AEW or worse, from a ELINT aircraft) can provide target data of equal quality to onboard sensors may never arrive. In real life, historically planes and missiles are hard enough to hit even with the best target indication and fire control, which a AEW is not. Cruise missiles are good for one-time strikes in coordination with bombing assets - otherwise, they lack sustained power.

Is this all really better than a carrier?

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