* Posts by avalon111

8 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Oct 2009

'F-22 Raptor stealth coatings are crap' case goes to court

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Hopeless Raptor

The F22 requires 100 hours per hour of flight in maintenance, similar to a degree to the AH-64 Apache - another aircraft hopelessly unsuited to intensive battlefield duties beyond having one or two available at any one time in Afghanistan.

The best the F22 can do is turn up at "Red Flag" exercises.

No doubt though, the stealth paint does work on an F22. The snag is dogfights can and do occur. Beyond Visual Range engagements are okay in theory, but the fear of shooting your own down, or an airliner packed full of passengers is such that pilots still like to see what they are shooting at.

And if an F22 is seen by a Eurofighter/EF2000, then it is stuffed. Actually if an F22 is seen by an F16/F15 or Gripen/Rafael/J-10 (that's a US/IAF 'Lavi' in Chinese markings) then it is stuffed; the Raptor depends utterly on not being visually spotted, and in any case the infra-red pod mounted on later Tranche Eurofighters (just in front and to one side of the cockpit) ensures that a Eurofighter can hunt for Raptors with its radar turned off, and anything that broadcasts radar over a modern future battlefield (such as the Taiwan Straits) is dead.

I'm not entirely sure how the F22 fits in with modern aerial warfare; it can hardly carry any load, not being fitted with non-radar absorbing external strongpoints, it doesn't have vectored thrust (like a modern MIG such as those flown by India) it can't do the "swing-role" for air defence and ground attack like a Eurofighter or F16 can do, and worst, it can't fly more than one sortie a day without skipping maintenance.

The USAF will get just 137 of them, the Air National Guard none, and the USAF is retiring over 200 F15 & F16's in the near future due to them reaching their airframe limits.

The USAF desperately needs a proper, easy-to-produce single-seat fighter; something like a modern Mustang, with a good radius, ease of maintenance and no reliance on onboard radar. At present even the North Koreans will overwealm the USAF Pacific forces with just sheer wight of numbers, even if the kill ratio is 10:1.

Sprint axes (at least) 2,000 (more) jobs


This is the way to do it!

"their wireless subscribers had dropped from from 39.7 million in the quarter ending March 31, 2008 to 33.6 million at the end of the most recent quarter. Fewer customers require fewer service calls."

If you can get rid of those pesky customers then you can get rid of that darned overhead - the staff!

China fingered in cyberattack on mystery high tech co.


The rush is on

In all liklihood NASA will abandon Ares and go for a simpler, cheaper solution based on the Delta booster. In the medium-term though, with the last Space Shuttle Mission (for Enterprise) penciled-in for next year, it seems unlikely that the US will continue with manned spaceflight. They've been toying with giving-up for a few decades now and after next year they will lose the capability of getting US astronauts into orbit without buying a seat from Russia. As most of the Apollo generation have died/retired, the skills in NASA are just slipping away, and when the Shuttle replacement finally gets to fly with a crew (probably 2020 or beyond) all of the lunar astronauts will have died and it'll be easier to throw the towel in altogether.

So there is value for China and India to try and snaffle as much aerospace data as possible, whilst the US still has an aerospace industry in existence that makes it worthwhile keeping the storage live. At present China is probably equivalent to the early Gemini days in space technology, and the Indians equivalent to pre-Mercury - they both need to accelerate their pace of development, with the Chinese practising orbital rendezvous and docking with Agena-style targets, and the Indians capable of actually getting someone up (set for 2015.)

One area that the Chinese can pursue and leapfrog anything the US has done is with maglev or "Magnetic Levitation" launch technology. In essence a payload and booster could be launched from a magnetic rail at 1000 kph, before the first stage of the booster ignites - getting over the "standing start" waste of propellant that plagues all launch solutions to date. Starting your journey into orbit at over 600mph is far more economical than starting at 0 mph; your vehicle is still 1/28th of the way to orbital velocity, but with the first stage ignited you will likely go Mach 1 inside the first 500 feet.

I suspect that the "high-tech co" will be aerospace-related; someone like Lockheed, Northrop-Grumman, Thiokol, MD, General Atomic, Boeing...

Nokia sues Apple over iPhone


Nokia - too busy for that phone thingy stuff

"For the various Church of Jobbitologists here, please note that Nokia have been in the mobile market since time immemorial, and have been actively involved in developing the various standards of mobile technology, from GSM, GPRS, 3G onwards..."

So they didn't quite have enough time free from all this to manage to design a decent phone?

Steve Ballmer's Windows 7 dance party


So that isn't a teeny weeny

...bit creepy.

Child porn threat to airport's 'virtual strip search' scanners


You haven't seen anything yet

The obsessions of the child-saver lobby are going to get a lot more militant in coming months. The last Tory government knocked the Satanic Ritual Abuse thing on the head, when gender feminists and religious fundamentalists were running around trying to convince the country that it was full of satanist paedophiles. Virginia Bottomley MP killed off that obsession dead in the water, though for a few years you could find plenty of social workers indoctrinated by The Reachout Trust who were convinced the Devil himself walked in Nottinghamshire or Rochdale.

New Labour though was "game" for anything the loonies said, and so now we have the ISA in all its glory, and effectively Labour have branded 1/4 of the population paedophiles (unless the ISA says they aren't - or rather haven't been caught yet.) The loonies won but they know they are running out of time - the next government might not be so favourable to them.

How exactly an X-ray image counts as an indecent image is beyond me - my X-ray of my stuffed knee showed bone. It was the MRI that showed the proper detail. Now if it was an MRI scanner at the airport I'd be a tad concerned; but a skeleton and perhaps the metal parts of your kids' DS Lite? Hum. If it works as planned all the operator should see is the same as the scanner scene in 'Total Recall.' Skin and muscle just show as fuzzy grey.

A bigger concern has to be the rads applied. How often will these scanner devices be calibrated, and who will check it is done correctly? Or do we have to wait until there's a national scandal when we find millions of citizens and their children were zapped with scanners outputting 2 x, 3 x plus more energy than required?

Apple breaks jailbreakers' hearts with iPhone 3GS patch


Mangling the attraction of an iPhone

I purchased the original 2G iPhone (now the wife's) and then the 3G. Haven't upgraded to a GS, only because work was a tad rare so such purchases were curtailed this year.

In essence without a jailbreak facility I wouldn't own an iPhone; I buy from the AppStore but it simply doesn't have the apps that I download through Cydia/Icy. And I don't mean the likes of PDANet, or enabling the Skype client to work over 3G (cough cough) but rather little utilities, such as a hack for sending a non-iPhone Safari string to web servers, so they don't by default redirect you to the (kack) mobile version of their site. The 5-icon-dock app/hack is hugely beneficial, and I use the swipe SBSettings daily. None of that has a non-jailbreak equivalent (I think.)

Everyone I know with an IPhone has it jailbreaked - though I see plenty on the Tube who haven't (presumerably non-nerds.) On every single occasion those users are fascinated by the Winterboard springboard icons and backgrounds, not realising that what you can't see with a Jailbreaked phone is even more useful.

With utilities to backup/restore Cydia packages (rather than using dpkg) the Archilles Heel of jailbreaked phones was removed.

In essence though the jailbreak community prevent a revenue stream from being realised for Apple - but those developers, with few exceptions, don't and won't shift over to the AppStore model. Apple's desire to kill off the homebrew community risks rendering "nerd-owned" iPhones obsolete, and thus removing one of the key reasons for having one, whilst stifling innovation in the process. Yet it is that jailbreak community who perhaps evangelise the most about their iPhones, introducing more customers to the product.

It's no surprise that the AppStore facility for being able to install apps directly onto the phone came from the old "Installer" concept-if the jailbreak community for the iPhone hadn't transpired, would Apple have ever thought of the possibilities of the AppStore in the first place?

What would be interesting is ascertaining how many Apple employees world-wide have jailbreaked their phones. Certainly I've found plenty of UK Carphone Warehouse and O2 employees who have done it. Would Steve J himself pine for the chance to have a non-standard, jailbreaked phone?

Colt quietly offshores network ops


Fingers and toes crossed

'She said insider reports received by El Reg that the Indian staff had not been properly trained to run the relevant equipment were untrue.

"This has been planned for a long time," she said.'

What - Colt had planned to not have properly trained staff to run the relevant equipment for a long time?

So the customer service function is still being performed in Europe. But the "techie" stuff is now in the hands of Indian staff, who may not be sufficiently trained.

I thought the idea of offshoring was to save money. A single major outage that might still have occured whilst the network ops was outside of India is sure to be blamed on the offshoring strategy. Prime customers will be off to the first supplier who can assure them as soon as their contract comes up for renewal.

'Course finding a telecoms supplier who hasn't offshored could be a toughie, but it appears the Board of Directors of Colt have decided to take a bit of a risk-hoping that a horrible f^&k-up doesn't take place before the new staff pick-up enough experience and knowledge if the inside whispers are indeed correct.