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Posts by too_cool_for_skool

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  • Lights out for LightSquared (FCC Finally Pulls Plug. Another Obama Crony Bites the Dust)

    02/15/2012 2:54:26 PM PST · 24 of 25
    too_cool_for_skool to Spktyr
    For example, the huge swaths of bandwidth that analog TV used to take up?

    Already sold off & reallocated by 2008 for around $20 billion:

    Frequency spectrum is a hot commodity - you really think there's a bunch of free spectrum out there that's still waiting around to be used?
  • LightSquared Fiasco Puts Harsh Spotlight on FCC's Genachowski

    02/15/2012 2:42:45 PM PST · 21 of 25
    too_cool_for_skool to Daaave
    Would this require every weapons system now in use in the U.S. arsenal that relies on GPS, to upgrade it's GPS receiver? Would civilian GPS receivers also be required to be upgraded? Would this cost very much, do you think?

    Either way someone's paying a cost. Lightsquared is probably going to go bankrupt and lose a couple billion dollars over this if they can't turn on their system.

    And you're going to be paying a cost with your continued $100 phone plans and capped data transfers if terrestrial L-band remains closed off.

    And just for full disclosure, I have no financial or political interest in Lightsquared. It just rubs me the wrong way that a new wireless system is getting torpedoed because an existing system was incorrectly designed.
  • LightSquared Fiasco Puts Harsh Spotlight on FCC's Genachowski

    02/15/2012 2:29:19 PM PST · 20 of 25
    too_cool_for_skool to fremont_steve

    I understand the engineering & economic reasons behind it. *GPS receiver* manufacturers (note I specify the receivers, not the actual system) made a design choice to use less filtering. Tighter filters require more stages, are physically bigger, require more engineering to develop, etc.

    That being said, the FCC is very clear about frequency assignments, and any system that listens to spectrum outside of their specific assigned slot is susceptible to interference. Just because they are “Johnny-come-lately” doesn’t mean they lose the rights to the spectrum they own and paid for - there’s no squatters rights in frequency spectrum.

  • LightSquared Fiasco Puts Harsh Spotlight on FCC's Genachowski

    02/15/2012 11:21:53 AM PST · 12 of 25
    too_cool_for_skool to InterceptPoint

    This is bull. Interference is easily simulated, and GPS receivers would have no problem if their filtering accounted for the maximum allowable adjacent channel interference. What they didn’t account for is that the GPS manufacturers cut corners and built cheaper filters not capable of filtering out the max. allowable interference. This was all fine when nobody was using the adjacent channel, but now that someone is trying to use it, the GPS receivers broke because of their out-of-spec filters.

    For all you non-industry people, a good analogy is that the GPS receiver manufacturers built a house with walls that did not meet the required sound-proofing code. This was all fine when nobody lived next door. Lightsquared moves in next door and wants to play loud music. The FCC says it’s ok, because they assume that the GPS receivers walls are built to code and will filter out most of the noise. But the cheap, out-of-code walls that the GPS receivers used are letting too much sound through and so they complain to the FCC.

    So instead of telling the original neighbor to fix his walls to the building code they were supposed to meet, the FCC is kicking out the new neighbor. How’s that fair?

  • NASA: (Global Warming) Observation satellite fails to reach orbit

    03/04/2011 5:10:36 PM PST · 56 of 56
    too_cool_for_skool to Prospero

    This is the 3rd Taurus XL failure, out of 9 launches, giving it only a 67% success rate. Most of the other established launch vehicles have 90+% success rates, but are significantly more expensive. The launch vehicle only cost $50 million, a bargain in the rocket world, but you get what you pay for and NASA just lost a $400 million spacecraft. Lose a buck trying to save a dime, a pity.

  • Arrested US official is actually CIA contractor

    02/21/2011 5:03:29 PM PST · 38 of 38
    too_cool_for_skool to mewykwistmas

    I’m sure the ISI is good, but the CIA makes their job a whole lot easier by sending a big ex-military-looking white male driving around Pakistan by himself. Anyone who has done any non-European travel abroad knows that white people stick out like sore thumbs among the locals. EVERYBODY notices right away.

    With all the assets and money that the CIA has, couldn’t they have sent in an agent of Indian or Pakistan descent?

  • Boeing tries the back door

    01/20/2011 3:20:06 PM PST · 59 of 59
    too_cool_for_skool to Sto Zvirat

    Boeing is now seeing what a disaster it is to outsource engineering and production with all their problems getting the 787 line up and running. I expect the next major program to have significantly more work done in-house and in the US.

  • F-35 looking more like white elephant

    01/13/2011 3:47:27 PM PST · 42 of 58
    too_cool_for_skool to G Larry

    I work in the aerospace defense industry so I’m not naive to how government bumbling and shifting requirements can drive up costs. But the contractor is often just as at fault through poor program management and shoddy engineering. Yet there is little financial penalty since most of these programs are cost-plus - the contractor continues bumbling along while the government pays for it.

    Lockheed has maneuvered itself into a good position. Program costs have exploded (+100%) and the schedule has slipped another 6 years (+60%). But they’ll get rather rewarded for their efforts because this program is “critical” to national security and must be funded. Despite a terrible track record with the F-22 and F-35, they will win future programs as well since the USAF in its myopia awarded all of the 5th-Generation fighter jets to Lockheed, effectively squeezing out Northrop and Boeing and leaving Lockheed with a monopoly on jet fighters.

    You want to fix the national budget? Get defense contractors under control.

  • F-35 looking more like white elephant

    01/13/2011 11:28:43 AM PST · 1 of 58
    Lockheed Martin playing the American taxpayer like a fiddle. Business as usual.
  • No Social Security COLA Expected For 2011 News Expected To Be Bad For Democrats

    10/11/2010 7:21:08 PM PDT · 173 of 193
    too_cool_for_skool to RFEngineer

    This thread is exactly why our budget mess won’t get fixed. Everyone is all for cutting spending ... unless it’s THEIR piece of the pie that gets cut. “But I paid into it! I deserve it! It’s only fair!” goes the reply.

    I am paying into SS too. In fact, I have been blessed with a relatively well-paying job in a good industry and over my career I will probably pay more in SS taxes than most of the other posters on this board. Yet because today I am a young man, by the time I retire SS will likely be insolvent. That is why I am saving for my own retirement - I put as much into my 401k and Roth IRA as I can. Still a total of 12.4% gets taken from me and my employer every single paycheck to pay for SS that I will never get. I will pay more than you yet receive back less than you. How is this fair?

    Our country is going to suffer dramatically from decades of fiscal mismanagement within my lifetime. The only way to fix it is to slash spending, particularly entitlement spending. And the only fair way to do it is to spread out the sacrifice to ALL Americans, starting today. Yes it sucks, but it is also the fair, and right, thing to do.

  • American on US no-fly list stranded in Egypt

    06/16/2010 3:47:32 PM PDT · 40 of 57
    too_cool_for_skool to La Lydia

    They’re not saying he can’t come back into the country, they’re just saying he’s not allowed to fly into the country. Ok fine, then let him fly into Mexico and he can take a bus home - that protects us from any plane-bombing or hijacking funny business. But some reason they disallow that too. But they say he can take a boat directly into the states. Whaa?

  • American on US no-fly list stranded in Egypt

    06/16/2010 3:36:50 PM PDT · 30 of 57
    too_cool_for_skool to bgill

    If you read the article, his passport was canceled and replaced w/ one that only allows travel to the US, so he couldn’t fly to Canada or Mexico and then walk across the border even if he wanted to.

    If he is completely innocent, I’m sympathetic to his plight because I’ve done my share of international travel and some of the US Border bureaucracy is downright Kafka-esque.

  • American on US no-fly list stranded in Egypt

    06/16/2010 3:13:59 PM PDT · 1 of 57
    The guy has a point, if the FBI wants to be extra careful why don't they just give him the ConAir treatment. Although in the movie everybody escapes, lol.
  • 40 Dogs Siezed After Found Living In Filth

    06/13/2010 3:07:26 PM PDT · 16 of 16
    too_cool_for_skool to too_cool_for_skool

    LOL I just realized I resurrected a 2 year old thread. Please ignore.

  • 40 Dogs Siezed After Found Living In Filth

    06/13/2010 3:01:54 PM PDT · 15 of 16
    too_cool_for_skool to Ditter

    Most people with mental illness refuse to believe there is anything wrong with them, and in most states you cannot force someone against their will into mental health treatment unless they are an immediate danger to themselves or others. Even then, they are usually only hospitalized for 72 hrs before being released.

    Even if this woman’s family wanted to get her psychiatric help, there’s no way they can impose it on her without her consent. The mental health system in this country is completely broken.

  • China says no thanks to US defense chief

    06/07/2010 6:11:03 PM PDT · 13 of 13
    too_cool_for_skool to pinochet; Eyes Unclouded

    Looking it up in Wikipedia:

    - US officially apologized, saying “We are very sorry”
    - Bush sends personal condolence letter to the Chinese fighter pilot’s widow
    - Chinese completely disassembled the plane and shipped it back to US in pieces
    - US pays China all costs for dismantling & shipping the plane
    - US pays China for room & board for jailed American crew
    - China wanted US to pay $1 million for their crashed jet, but US refused.

    Not really an uplifting story of courage, ya know?

  • Chandler Predicts Stronger Ties Between Air Force And NASA

    06/01/2010 3:45:24 PM PDT · 27 of 35
    too_cool_for_skool to texson66
    You know what also drives up costs? Dropping your NPOESS spacecraft onto the ground:

    That probably set them back a couple months & millions.

    As for requirements creep, I've been on a few big USAF satcom programs and you see the same thing. I think it's just part of the space industry.
  • Chandler Predicts Stronger Ties Between Air Force And NASA

    05/31/2010 9:17:46 PM PDT · 23 of 35
    too_cool_for_skool to sonofstrangelove

    << The military has the cash. NASA does not

    Sad, but true. It will be extremely harmful to US space exploration efforts if the USAF takes over. Grossly generalizing, but the USAF is run by former fighter pilots who continually short-change space programs to fund aircraft programs. AF generals are passionate about fighter planes. At least NASA managers are passionate about space.

  • US rifles not suited to warfare in Afghan hills

    05/22/2010 2:07:31 PM PDT · 48 of 96
    too_cool_for_skool to Jack Hydrazine

    Yeah but AK variants achieve their reliability by having really loosy-goosy tolerances - which wrecks their accuracy. I see AR variants routinely hitting 300+ yard targets at my local range - never seen it with an AK.

  • US rifles not suited to warfare in Afghan hills

    05/22/2010 2:05:20 PM PDT · 47 of 96
    too_cool_for_skool to JayVee

    My understanding is that since WWII, marksmanship was considered less important than firepower. Standard military doctrine for small-units revolves around suppressing the enemy with high firepower while a second team maneuvers in close for the kill. If further out, then you call in air strikes or artillery. But generally you try to avoid a marksmanship contest.

    Of course, according to the NYTimes, Afghan (and Taliban) marksmanship is terrible: