Saturday, April 25, 2009


I was all ready to make a Vocaloid PV. But then I kind of lost the desire to after I installed Processing and Sonia.

Processing is...interesting. I like how the version that doesn't come with JDK on their site is titled "expert" in the file name. I also like that when you click import library on the menu, all it does is add a header that says import whatever.

I've also finally replaced NetBeans with Eclipse. Interesting fact: the only Canadian mirror happens to be UW's Computer Science Club.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Courtesy The Atlantic

I've been going through The Atlantic's podcasts.

Here's one on Afghanistan.

It follows a Canadian unit out on operations, I enjoyed the typical Canadian reservedness of the narration. Much better than the stuff generally linked on millblogs.

It's also interesting to see the Canadians on patrol being controlled and methodical under fire, like when they were tag teaming with the M203 and semi-automatic fire. In contrast to the the Afghan army man shooting blind from the hips. That's the difference in training.

The Atlantic in general is pretty quality, it's nice to see comments that are for the most part legible and rational, even if I disagree with them. Compared that to Wired's comments, which are about a half step above those of YouTube.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I don't really like JSF

People always compare it the F-16, that's not really the case. The F-16 was affordable and had a flawless development process.

As far as the F-35 goes, its final price would be comparable to the Raptor for worse air to air capabilities (worse stealth, no supercruise, worse radar). The thing is, F-22 R&D is done with, so the flyaway cost goes down per aircraft while the F-35 still has all sorts of the issues that will inflate its flyaway cost. Even if the costs remain as listed (I guarantee it won't), I think I'd rather take a Raptor and a couple of Predator-Cs over 2 JSFs. Jack of all trades and master of none type of thing. You don't need an entire air force made of stealth, once the tricky targets have been taken out, legacy aircraft are perfectly capable of holding the line (assuming their airframes hold out). Plus the F-35 is supposed to take on the role of A-10s when they retire. That is a really shitty idea no matter how you look at it.

There are basically three aspects that JSF has over Raptor; export, CV and STOVL. Export isn't a huge deal except for Lockheed Martin, Europe/Australia/Canada have a lot of viable alternatives (Rafale, Eurofighter, Gripen NG, etc) and carrier air isn't huge either. The F/A-18E/Fs aren't great dogfighters but they're adequate and fine jets otherwise; alternatively, Rafales are quite nice and they're CVN-68 compatible with no modification.

STOVL would be a problem though. The Harrier IIs are getting old and they're going to need to be replaced with something. They're also notoriously difficult to fly. Just removing the capability is not really an option, USMC needs their air support.

In summary, the justifications I can think of for the JSF program:

1. F-35B
2. ???

That's a pretty short list. I think it could've been trimmed shorter if people weren't so eager to shovel their money into a black hole to begin with.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Looks good

Boeing has just unveiled the F-15SE Silent Eagle. It's an upgraded Strike Eagle with a smaller radar cross-section, internal weapons bays and AESA radar. Boeing has been pretty good with delivering Growlers and Super Hornets on time and on budget, so they'll probably do good with this too.

Still, $100 million projected unit cost? That's compared to $80 million (flyaway) for the JSF and $45 million for the Super Hornet. Even if JSF's cost goes up (in all liklihood it will), I can't see this as a very attractive buy. Especially since the Raptor itself is 'just' $135 million (flyaway), and purchases have been stopped.

Perhaps the USAF will take the option of upgrading their current fleet. I don't think the Strike Eagles are running into airframe problems yet, they're quite a bit newer than the A/Cs. Probably not though, stealth becomes kind of unnecessary after air dominance has been achieved by the frontline fighters, even the upgraded radar becomes not that useful when you can just augment an F-15 wing with an F-22 to track. Boeing is targeting the export market anyways.

On a semi-related note, I hope the JSF turns out to be all that they say it's going to be, otherwise Western air superiority is going to be in a lot of trouble.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Fuck Dubai

I hope Dubai sinks into the sea.

Caste structure aside, the sheer stupidity of people with too much money is ridiculous. Where else in the world would you try to cool beaches with pipes buried in the sand?

They've built a city in the middle of a desert. A true desert, where you actually can't stand outside because it's too hot and dust storms will blow through every now and then. Then they built a ski resort. And a golf course.

It's like Las Vegas taken to an extreme, but at least Las Vegas isn't building little islands off the coast in the shape of palm trees, which by the way, will get wrecked by rising sea levels like sandcastles on a beach.

I'm not angry that their citizens are filthy rich, but I'm taken aback at the incredibly dumb things they're throwing their money at. Hell, Antarctica is more hospitable than that place. At least then you wouldn't need to produce all your water from the sea.

Their PR though I admit is fantastic.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Japan is not worried about North Korea

You see, their capabilities extend beyond Airborne Lasers, Aegis BMD, Patriot batteries and THAAD.

As illustrated above, a missile in mid-course would also have to contend with space battleships, Eva, Gundams and magical lolis.

...and if all else fails, deflect to America.