Friday Linkzookery – 05 Oct 2007

High Court to Decide If Voters Must Show Photo ID
This is stupid. Someone please explain why voters shouldn’t have to show official picture ID.

Price least important tanker criteria-U.S. Air Force
Mission capability, proposal risk and past performance would be counted equally in the assessment

Stryker brigade won’t depend on ferry for transport
No “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” jokes, people. The struggle to base a Stryker brigade in Hawaii has been long and difficult.

Kingsport native Mark Landes takes command of Stryker battalion in Iraq
New commander for 2-23 IN.

Army testing robots in Somerset County hills
Good article including the autonomous Stryker and the X-UV.

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Traveller RPG. I started playing in 1982. My first RPG.

Scientists construct a transparent plastic that’s stronger, lighter than steel
Ann Arbor researchers outdo Scotty’s “transparent aluminum”?

Revealing the Raptor
Decent write-up.


  1. The Raptor is a flying supercomputer, passively vacuuming in and analyzing massive amounts of data with its electronic and optical sensors as well as information received from other aircraft, drones, satellites and command centers. A huge holographic display and four large, color LCD displays dominate the cockpit of the F-22. Torrents of data are analyzed, condensed and presented in easily understood ways allowing a Raptor pilot to spend as little time as possible maintaining situational awareness, so they can exert maximum effort flying the jet and acting as tactician and strategist -using their weapons, controlling their wingmen, other aircraft and, eventually, robotic drones.

    Oh hell, it’s a flying supercomputer if you can fly back in time to 1986. Today it is little more than a flying PC. Frankly, I don’t think it has any optical sensors. I know the F-35 does, but I don’t think the F-22 has the computing hp to do the optical flow analysis to pick a target out of clutter. That’s something it should have. Also it’s ‘holographic’ HUD uses a reflection hologram to reflect only a narrow band of green light generated by the HUD cathode ray tube to the pilot. This is the same technology you see in pretty much any HUD today. And the LCDs are large? If you’ve convinced your girlfriend 5′ is large, well, who am I to say otherwise? It’s good to see that one day it might control drones. Lord knows they need someone to control them. Don’t get me wrong, Precious is an amazing airplane. It’s amazing how much time and money we’ve spent on its development. It’s amazing how few of them we’re going to buy having spent all that time and money on its development. It’s amazing how much the parts I designed for that airplane cost. Maybe I’ll go back some time and design some more. You’ll want some lubricant. Speaking of that, Murdoc, I think videos of naked women are great, really great actually, but if those ads keep popping up here I’m afraid your site is going to get banned both at work and home.

  2. Oh, and by the way did anyone catch this about the crashworthiness of the new Boeing 787 on 60 Minutes? It’s hard to believe anything you see on 60 Minutes after all the crap they’ve shoveled, but I can actually see this guy’s complaint as having some merit. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic is very brittle and will burn like crazy in a kerosene fire. I can also see his point about the lightening damage. Carbon fiber doesn’t dissipate the energy of a strike like aluminum does because it has relatively high resistance. On F-22 we put a copper mesh behind the skin to dissipate that energy, but it still left a hole. The lighter the mesh, the bigger the hole. Anyway, here’s a excerpt from the article about the news program from the Seattle Times last month:

    The Seattle Times reviewed the program transcript and also the letter to the FAA. In the letter, Weldon alleges:

    – The brittleness of the plastic material from which the 787 fuselage is built would create a more severe impact shock to passengers than an aluminum plane, which absorbs impact in a crash by crumpling. A crash also could shatter the plastic fuselage, creating a hole that would allow smoke and toxic fumes to fill the passenger cabin. – After such a crash landing, the composite plastic material burning in a jet-fuel fire would create ‘highly toxic smoke and tiny inhalable carbon slivers’ that ‘would likely seriously incapacitate or kill passengers.’

    Weldon also told the FAA this could also pose a major environmental hazard in the area around the crash site.

    – The recently conducted crashworthiness tests -in which Boeing dropped partial fuselage sections from a height of about 15 feet at a test site in Mesa, Ariz. -are inadequate and do not match the stringency of comparable tests done on a 737 fuselage section in 2000. – The conductive metal mesh embedded in the 787’s fuselage surface to conduct away lightning is too light and vulnerable to hail damage, and is little better than a ‘Band-Aid.’

    Though aluminum airplanes are safe to fly through lightning storms, Weldon wrote, ‘I do not have even close to the same level of confidence’ for the 787.

    It seems to me that composites are better suited for high fatigue areas such as the wings and tail surfaces and is not so good for the fuselage where damage and fire tolerance are extremely important. Of course, since Boeing owns the FAA, you can pretty much figure they’re going to look out for Boeing’s interests and not for yours. After all, you just pay their salaries. Why the hell should they care about you?

  3. Speaking of that, Murdoc, I think videos of naked women are great, really great actually, but if those ads keep popping up here I’m afraid your site is going to get banned both at work and home.’ what are you talking about? […said the Mac user]

  4. Oh sure, mention nudity and all concern about the defense of our country evaporates in a millisecond. I don’t get them all the time but they’re always at the bottom of the right margin on the page for this topic.

  5. Well, I certainly don’t want any inappropriate ads on my site. The very bottom of all my pages (below the gray center column content) should be a banner ad for JaguarPC hosting. The bottom item on the right sidebar (same blue color as the top masthead) should be small animated ad for JaguarPC that says ‘Murdoc Uses Jaguar’ above it on the individual post page and a white ‘2006 Weblog Awards finalist’ badge on the main homepage. The darker gray borders outside the blue should not contain anything at all. If anything shows below these items it’s not been put there by me. Please let me know if/when you see it again. If anyone else has seen it please let me know.

  6. The most xXx thing I see is an ad for, ”Behind Enemy Lines’ a conservative teacher’s observations of generation xXx.’ Though there is a pretty girl in a t-shirt on the upper left. Jaguar PC at the bottom. Nothing in the Gray. I am using Safari on an iMac.

  7. Whoa. That’s a Google-served ad. I’m not sure why that’s happening…it’s supposed to be a referral ad for military education. The ad you saw was WORSE than that? I will investigate. Thanks for alerting me.

  8. Okay, I haven’t been able to replicate the problem. Every time I see it it’s an image ad for continuing education for military personnel. Which is what I set it to be. It’s part of the Google Referral program, and some of those ads might vary based upon geographic location, I think, but this one was a specific choice on my part for the education thing. I have removed all the Google Referral program strips from my site for the time being until I can figure out what’s going on. My apologies for the wrong stuff showing. Thanks again.

  9. Scientists construct a transparent plastic that’s stronger, lighter than steel. Ann Arbor researchers outdo Scotty’s ‘transparent aluminum’?’ A more important question: Have two sperm whales gone missing recently?

  10. I was never a fan of all or mostly composite aircraft. Random nightmare of sudden catastrophic failures due an undetected mircofracturs. The crashworthiness of the plane of the plane I am flying on, was never really an issue for me. I figure the depth & radius of the impact crater would be an irrelevant issue. As would the environmental damage. At this point, this issue is only going to be settled as a result of a massive class action lawsuit once one to these birds does a swsn dive.

  11. Yeah, James, I always think of the rudder that departed that A300 right after 9/11. Of course, that was the result of inadequate design margins. I don’t care what anyone says, the pilot should be able to do full rudder reversals without the rudder snapping off. At least with aluminum it might have got real loose but held on. With carbon fiber it went ‘snap’ and departed the airplane. Even so, had it been designed correctly to begin with the airplane is fine and keeps on flying. There have been some bad crashes that have not resulted in loss of life because of the energy absorbtion characteristics of the fuselage. Remember the C-5 than went down not too long ago at Dover? Sadly, I heard that one of the pilot’s may not walk again, but on the up side, no one died. Would that have happened had the fuselage not deformed? Would we have the same result if it had split open and dumped everyone into the field 30 ft down? Probably not. Boeing is at least consistent with their response to the concerns of their engineers. This is similar to their response to the Kapton wiring issue in the mid ’80s, and their response to their empolyee’s health issues back when they were building B-2 bomber parts in their Auburn facility around that time. They accused the composites workers of being crazy as I recall. All it really ended up being was a reaction to the gasses coming off the matrix plastic as it cured. They finally solved the problem by increasing the ventilation in the building. The Kapton wiring took longer to fix, but they don’t use it anymore. They almost fired my sorry ass for bringing up a problem with Kapton wiring when I worked for them on the IUS rocket program.

  12. This sounds like what happened to me. AdAware took care of the problem. Usually Norton gets everything first. In fact, it had been quite a while since I’d run AdAware since it seemed redundant, but this time it was just the thing. Norton did take care of the virus that probably snuck in with that damn spyware.

  13. When I had a PC I ran a variety of different anti-malware programs. Usually lesser known products as malware is often targeted against the most popular programs. Authentium’s Command antivirus was one: I ran a cheap software firewall (forget which one) along with a hardware firewall, a Speedlink Netscreen 5. It was still possible to get ganked if I visited the wrong place and it all got tedious,so I got a Mac. Less time is wasted playing games…and in theory I could set up BootCamp for iMac, and play that way.