Monday, October 5, 2015

Geo-Politics, Soundcloud Scraper/Downloader, Apple Issues and More

- if you don't quite understand the difference between Western media and why some Russian media is branded as being propogandist watch some of the interviews of Putin and compare it with other news outlets. In general things are much more 'controlled', too 'coherent' (with regards to perspective), and at times it feels as though the questions and answers have been prepared before hand
Vladimir Putin 60 Minutes interview FULL 9-27-15 Vladimir Putin 60 minutes Interview Charlie Rose
Putin Speaks English for CNN
Vladimir Putin: An Enigmatic Leader's Rise To Power - Best Documentary 2015
Vladimir Putin Rage
Putin: Who gave NATO right to kill Gaddafi? 
Putin: We won't let anyone achieve military dominance over Russia
Putin: America is a bully and threat to stability
Putin slams US in address to nation
Putin on US Foreign Policy Elite
Putin: Quit lecturing Russia on democracy!
Putin talks NSA, Syria, Iran, drones in exclusive RT interview (FULL VIDEO)
'Do you realise what you've done?' Putin addresses UNGA 2015 (FULL SPEECH)
Vladimir Putin: "KGB Spymaster"
- I think a lot of people underestimate Putin. They know that he's attempting to look after Russia's (and his) best interests but the thing I'm wondering is whether or not they realise how far he's willing to push back and how multi-faceted he really is. It's clear that he can come off as a thug but look at the USSR's history. Their is no way that he look after Russia's best interests without at least projecting strength. I'm not sure he could have lasted long within the KGB/FSB if we was a pure thug/'gansta' as seems to be portrayed by some people
- at times, I look at Putin's reactions and it feels as though there was some tacit agreement to have him bring it back to a position of global strength. Hearing some stories about him (and other heads of state of Russia as well as other USSR member states) it feels as though every time Russia has has tried to help the West, the West has not returned the favour (the truth is probably somewhere in the middle). This is especially the case with perceived lack of  enough investment into Russia, the expansion of NATO, and Western interests close to and inside of former USSR states (all of this going against earlier documented promises). Many Westerners have been booted out of former USSR states for appearing to want to interfere with internal politics. The problem is that if this is true, Putin will feel as though he's being pushed into a corner from which he has no option except to react forcefully. The irony is that this time the West isn't dealing with a pure politician. As stated previously I feel he's far more intelligent and multi-faceted than that. Think carefully; with the moves that he's currently making in the Middle East, some of his other moves in other USSR states as well as in the East any possible new Eurasian Union (if it comes off) is much stronger (and better prepared) as a (China's influence and future success is a different issue altogether...) power bloc to challenge the current Western powers
- this point is pivotal in the Syrian conflict. It also gives perspective of how the Chinese/Russians view the world and what they will do in future if they continue to get stronger
- as stated previously, I don't think that any confrontation between the supposed Eurasian powers versus the West and it's allies is going to be as clear cut as some people say. In the past you could put this down to 'propoganda' but the fact is they have demonstrated their technologies and have footage of it. Nearly everything you've thought of both sides have also thought of on both sides as well. Estimates of how far China is behind the West in defense technology (on a broad basis) can vary anywhere between 5-30 years. My guess is that it's about 10-20 years (more likely towards the upper end with regards to development. Mass production and other issues are another problem entirely). Less, if they allocate resources correctly, increase their defense budget, gain further intelligence, and can make certain breakthroughs....
China's new YJ-18 missile: 'S'-shape movement at supersonic terminal speed
China Missile 中国导弹 WU-14 10 times sound speed can tear apart US anti-missile network
U.S. and Chinese Air Superiority Capabilities
An Assessment of Relative Advantage, 1996–2017,400789 
- one of the things that I think Westerners generally mis-interpret is that freedom doesn't not necessarily require choice. If that were the case, the Middle East and many parts of Eurasia would have fallen apart a long time ago. Look at the way the Chinese government has handled their overheating sharemarket. In the West, investors and institutions would blame the government (for recent massive/drastic falls) but would understand that that is part of life. In China, interviews with some people is identical to the response that is given by a lot of former Soviet spies. Failure and betrayal are much more closely aligned
- people keep on arguing about how much they spend on defense and how spending equates to quality. The problem is that price doesn't necessarily equate to value. Anybody who has lived long enough knows this.... Who cares if it's cheap or expensive if it's effective in fulfilling it's goal?
- guess this answers my previous thought about how far the Chinese are willing to project out. With respect to the functioning of the UN it is fascinating to see how the persepectives of the Russian and Chinese will play in the future especially if they continue their pathway towards strong, sustainable economic growth. What has surprised me is how early (relatively) they've been to push out
- people (any country) get hysterical at times in this discussion on who will 'lead the world' in future. Moreover, it is at this point that power projection and deterrance begin to take on bizarre dimensions. Think about how strange it sounds when the someone who projects power considers that it a deterrent against someone who considers an immobile object a deterrent
- I don't think China wants to win back Taiwan (or other contested territories) by having to have armed conflict. They want these territories to come back willingly to the 'motherland'. If they don't have that choice they want to have the exact same option that Russia has to it (with other former states of the USSR). Moreover, if they invade/take over contested territory they want their military to be strong enough such that they don't have to resort to nuclear weapons to intimidate others into backing down. They don't see it as that either. They see it as recovery of lost territory that has been documented (the same goes for other countries in the region though)  
- with some of the moves of recent in the Middle East one has to wonder how much respect countries in that region actually has for the West?
- turning local populations can take decades and even then they may still want you gone. This means choosing your battles (and scoping them) more carefully, staying there for the long haul, or ensuring that the side that you back will be able to take control. Ironically, this potentially means coming to an agreement with Russia on and having at least partial representation by former elements of Syria's current government. The Middle East is becoming more and more bizarre (and confusing) by the day. There are few if any clean hands in our world now,_terrorists_and_narcotrafficers
- if you've never heard of Chomksy his perspective on the world can come off incredibly paranoid if you've never heard too many other non-Western perspectives. It is interesting little (and how much at other times) separates many of us though
Bernie Sanders + Noam Chomsky: Deciphering Foreign Policy Jargon
Noam Chomsky: US is world's biggest terrorist
Noam Chomsky: US terrorism (2015)
2014 "Noam Chomsky": Why you can not have a Capitalist Democracy!
"Who does control the world?" - Noam Chomsky - BBC interview 2003
Noam Chomsky: Rebel without a Pause - Documentary
- the more you read the more obvious it is why there are so many defecters from from the West rather than the other way around. While things are brutal in many non-Western countries they are more up front. In the West things are at a different level, often less obvious and often hidden in the shadows. Potential agents, employees only get an idea of what the 'real world' is like when they join the service/s. I guess this is also the reason why if there are non-Western defectors they are often based on idelogical grounds
- if you know enough about finance and economics you'll realise that most GDP figures are distorted since everyone chooses different constituent parts. It's not just an issue related to China alone. In fact, in the past there were stories about them under-reporting GDP figures because technically their measures were different

This script is to facilitate automated retrieval of music from the website, after it was found that existing website download programs such as Teleport Pro, HTTrack, and FlashGet were too inefficient. 

It works by reverse engineering the storage scheme of files on the website, the lack of need for registration and login credentials, and taking advantage of this so that we end up with a more efficient automated download tool.

Obviously, the script can be modified on an ad-hoc basis to be able to download from virtually any website. As this is the very first version of the program (and I didn't have access to the original server while I was cleaning this up it may be VERY buggy). Please test prior to deployment in a production environment.

OS X: About OS X Recovery
How to Make an OS X Yosemite Boot Installer USB Drive
How to install Windows using Boot Camp
How to Create a Windows 10 Installer USB Drive from Mac OS X

If all you want is to try a later version of Mac OS X then try virtualisation...

I can log into my iTunes account but can not access my account details, what's wrong?

Came across a bizarre wireless bug recently on Mac OS X Snow Leopard

This is a bunch of quotes that I've collected recently.

- Colonialism was neither romantic nor beautiful. It was exploitative and brutal. The legacy of colonialism still lives quite loudly to this day. Scholars have argued that poor economic performance, weak property rights and tribal tensions across the continent can be traced to colonial strategies. So can other woes. In a place full of devastation and lawlessness, diseases spread like wildfire, conflict breaks out and dictators grab power."
- The United States makes an improper division between surveillance conducted on residents of the United States, and the surveillance that is conducted with almost no restraint upon the rest of the world. This double standard has proved poisonous to the rights of Americans and non-Americans alike. In theory, Americans enjoy better protections. In practice there are no magical sets of servers and Internet connections that carry only American conversations. To violate the privacy of everyone else in the world, the U.S. inevitably scoops up its own citizens' data. Establishing nationality as a basis for discrimination also encourages intelligence agencies to make the obvious end-run: spying on each other's citizens, and then sharing that data. Treating two sets of innocent targets differently is already a violation of international human rights law. In reality, it reduces everyone to the same, lower standard.
- Australian actively managed global funds continue to deliver woeful returns, with 67 per cent performing worse than the S&P benchmark indexes, rising to 85 per cent over three years and almost 90 per cent over five years.

"On average, international equity funds posted a strong gain of 23.4 per cent in the past one-year period. However, the majority of funds in this peer group, at 67.3 per cent, underperformed the S&P Developed Ex-Australia LargeMidCap, which recorded a return of 25.5 per cent over the same period," Ms Luk said.

Every single Australian bond fund has underperformed the index this year, and the longer term results are not significantly more promising: 83.4 per cent underperformed over the last three years, and 86 per cent over five years.
- Thursday’s speech was not the first time the Pope has spoken out about the arms trade. He referred to it as “the industry of death” in a talk with Italian schoolchildren in May. “Why do so many powerful people not want peace? Because they live off war,” he said.

“This is serious. Some powerful people make their living with the production of arms and sell them to one country for them to use against another country,” he said. “The economic system orbits around money and not men, women. … So war is waged in order to defend money. This is why some people don’t want peace: They make more money from war, although wars make money but lose lives, health, education.”
- A politics and solidarity that depend on demonizing others, that draws on religious sectarianism or narrow tribalism or jingoism may at times look like strength in the moment, but over time its weakness will be exposed. And history tells us that the dark forces unleashed by this type of politics surely makes all of us less secure. Our world has been there before. We gain nothing from going back
- The fall of Kunduz may also be a good time to look at whether the Afghan Army needs to shuffle assets around, he adds. In the immediate aftermath of the Taliban takeover, the government in Kabul rushed well-regarded Afghan commandos to the region, for example.

That’s to be expected, but “militarily, you want to make sure you know what the situation is before you throw a bunch of forces into it,” Barno notes. This includes assessing the level of training and capability of Afghan forces posted up there. “Are there enough forces, and were those forces trained and led properly?” he adds.

Finally, it’s worth keeping in mind that up until this point, there have been essentially two models for dealing with non-governed spaces in the post-9/11 world, Scharre argues.

“First, you can send in 100,000 troops in and occupy and try to rebuild it – that’s a model that has costs millions in dollars and thousands in lives,” he says.

The other model is drones and air attacks, “which don’t seem to ever fully solve the problem,” Scharre adds. “In Syria, in Anbar, Iraq we’re grappling with this.”

Kunduz could underline the need to consider new models, he says – “one where US soldiers aren’t fighting, but some level of support is reasonable.”
- “Many military conflicts started with the silent connivance to the ideas of one people’s superiority over others. In this sense the modern ideologies of exceptionalism are extremely dangerous,” Naryshkin stated.
- In the heady days of the Cold War, Americans tended to view Soviet decision making as a black box: You know what goes in, you know what comes out, but you are clueless about what is happening inside. Soviet policy was thus believed to be both enigmatic and strategic. There was little room for personality or personal philosophy; understanding the system was the only way.
- There's a quote that's often attributed to Winston Churchill: "Russia is never as strong as you fear or as weak as you hope."
- Both sides of the debate are correct—but neither side is telling the whole story. As a good friend on the Hill recently told me: “In political communications, facts are an interesting aside, but are completely irrelevant. What we do here is spin.” That’s exactly what’s happening here—both sides are selectively cherry picking facts to make their case—spin.
- Danny Dalton: Some trust fund prosecutor, got off-message at Yale thinks he's gonna run this up the flagpole? Make a name for himself? Maybe get elected some two-bit congressman from nowhere, with the result that Russia or China can suddenly start having, at our expense, all the advantages we enjoy here? No, I tell you. No, sir! Corruption charges! Corruption? Corruption is government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulations. That's Milton Friedman. He got a goddamn Nobel Prize. We have laws against it precisely so we can get away with it. Corruption is our protection. Corruption keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why you and I are prancing around in here instead of fighting over scraps of meat out in the streets. Corruption is why we win.
- Bryan Woodman: But what do you need a financial advisor for? Twenty years ago you had the highest Gross National Product in the world, now you're tied with Albania. Your second largest export is secondhand goods, closely followed by dates which you're losing five cents a pound on... You know what the business community thinks of you? They think that a hundred years ago you were living in tents out here in the desert chopping each other's heads off and that's where you'll be in another hundred years, so, yes, on behalf of my firm I accept your money.
- “The ‘Russian’ attitude,” Isaiah Berlin wrote, “is that man is one and cannot be divided.” You can’t divide your life into compartments, hedge your bets and live with prudent half-measures. If you are a musician, writer, soldier or priest, integrity means throwing your whole personality into your calling in its purest form.
- Russia is a more normal country than it used to be and a better place to live, at least for the young. But when you think of Russia’s cultural impact on the world today, you think of Putin and the oligarchs. Now the country stands for grasping power and ill-gotten money.

There’s something sad about the souvenir stands in St. Petersburg. They’re selling mementos of things Russians are sort of embarrassed by — old Soviet Army hats, Stalinist tchotchkes and coffee mugs with Putin bare-chested and looking ridiculous. Of the top 100 universities in the world, not a single one is Russian, which is sort of astonishing for a country so famously intellectual.

This absence leaves a mark. There used to be many countercultures to the dominant culture of achievement and capitalism and prudent bourgeois manners. Some were bohemian, or religious or martial. But one by one those countercultures are withering, and it is harder for people to see their situations from different and grander vantage points. Russia offered one such counterculture, a different scale of values, but now it, too, is mainly in the past.
- 1) Xi removed over 28,000 officials in 2 years. This is old data from early 2015. Officials no longer go to high-end restaurants, wear luxury. Most senior officials who sent their kids and wives to foreign countries have recalled their kids and wives back. Those who didn't was told crystal clear that they will be sidelined. Can any other leader around the world do that, at such a large scale?

2) CCP turned itself from a communist dictatorship and autarky in 1978 to a capitalist technocratic oligarchy and largest trading country in 2015, gradually, without major political turmoil. (Viewed from today's color revolution standard, Tiananmen Square in 1989 is child's play.) Can any other polity in the world claim the same success?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

More JSF Thoughts, Theme Hospital, George W. Bush Vs Tony Abbott, and More

- people in charge of running the PR behind the JSF program have handled it really badly at times. If anyone wants to really put the BVR combat perspective back into perspective they should point back to the history of other 'sealth aircraft' such as the B-2 instead of simply repeating the mantra, it will work in the future. People can judge the past, they can only speculate about the future and watch as problem after problem seems to be highlighted with the program
- for a lot of countries the single engined nature of the aircraft makes little sense. Will be interesting how the end game plays out. It seems clear that some countries have been co-erced into purchasing the JSF rather than the JSF earning it's stripes entirely on merit
Norway to reduce F-35 order?
F-35 - Runaway Fighter - the fifth estate
- one thing I don't like about the program is the fact that if there is crack in the security of the program all countries participating in the program are in trouble. Think about computer security. Once upon a time it was claimed that Apple's Mac OS X and that Google's technology was best and that Android was impervious to security threats. It's become clear that these beliefs are nonsensical. If all allies switch to stealth based technologies all enemies will switch to trying to find a way to defeat it
- one possible attack against stealth aircraft I've ben thinking of revolves around sensory deprivation of the aircrafts sensors. It is said that the AESA RADAR capability of the JSF is capable of frying other aircraft's electronics. I'd be curious to see how attacks against airspeed, attitude, and other sensors would work. Both the B-2 and F-22 have had trouble with this...
- I'd be like the US military to be honest. Purchase in limited numbers early on and test it or let others do the same thing. Watch and see how the program progresses before making joining in
- never, ever make the assumption that the US will give back technology that you have helped to develop alongside them if they have iterated on it. A good example of this is the Japanese F-2 program which used higher levels of composite in airframe structure and the world's first AESA RADAR. Always have backup or keep a local research effort going even if the US promise to transfer knowledge back to a partner country
- as I've stated before the nature of detterance as a core defensive theory means that you are effectively still at war because it diverts resources from other industries back into defense. I'm curious to see how economies would change if everyone mutually agreed to drop weapons and platforms with projected power capabilities (a single US aircraft carrier alone costs about $14B USD, a B-2 bomber $2B, a F-22 fighter $250M USD, a F-35 JSF ~$100M USD, etc...) and only worried about local, regional, defense...
- people often accuse the US of poking into areas where they shouldn't. The problem is that they have so many defense agreements that it's difficult for them not to. They don't really have a choice sometimes. The obvious thing is whether or not they respond in a wise fashion
- in spite of what armchair generals keep on saying the Chinese and Russians would probably make life at least a little difficult for the US and her allies if things came to a head. It's clear that a lot of weapons platform's and systems that are now being pursued are struggles for everyone who is engaged in them (technically as well as cost wise) and they already have some possible counter measures in place. How good they actually are is the obvious question though. I'm also curious how good their OPSEC is. If they're able to seal off their scientists entirely in internal test environments then details regarding their programs and capabilities will be very difficult to obtain owing the the heavy dependence by the West purely on SIGINT/COMINT capabilities. They've always had a hard time gaining HUMINT but not the other way around...
- some analysts/journalists say that the 'Cold War' never really ended, that it's effectively been in hibernation for a while. The interesting thing is that in spite of what China has said regarding a peaceful rise it is pushing farther out with it's weapons systems and platforms. You don't need an aircraft carrier to defend your territory. You just need longer range weapons systems and platforms. It will be interesting to see how far China chooses to push out in spite of what is said by some public servants and politicians it is clear that China wants to take a more global role
- technically, the US wins many of the wars that it chooses. Realistically, though it's not so clear. Nearly every single adversary now engages in longer term, guerilla style tactics. In Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, and elsewhere they've basically been waiting for allied forces to clear out before taking their opportunity
- a lot of claims regarding US defense technology superiority makes no sense. If old Soviet era SAM systems are so worthless against US manufactured jets then why bother to going to such extents with regard to cyberwarfare when it comes to shutting them down? I am absolutely certain that there is no way that the claim that some classes of aircraft have never been shot down is not true
- part of me wonders just exactly how much effort and resources are the Chinese and Russians genuinely throwing at their 5th gen fighter programs. Is it possible that they are simply waiting until most of the development is completed by the West and then they'll 'magically' have massive breakthroughs and begin full scale production of their programs? They've had a history of stealing and reverse engineering a lot of technology for a long time now
- the US defense budget seems exhorbitant. True, their requirements are substantially different but look at the way they structure a lot of programs and it becomes obvious why as well. They're often very ambitious with multiple core technologies that need to be developed in order for the overall program to work. Part of me thinks that their is almost a zero sum game at times. They think that they can throw money at some problems and it will be solved. It's not as simple as that. They've been working on some core problem problems like directed energy weapons and rail guns for a long time now and have had limited success. If they want a genuine chance at this they're better off understanding the problem and then funding the core science. It's much like their space and intelligence programs where a lot of other spin off technologies were subsequently developed
- reading a lot of stuff online and elsewhere it becomes much clearer that both sides often underestimate one another (less often by people in the defense or intelligence community) . You should track and watch things based on what people do, not what they say
- a lot of countries just seem to want to stay out of the geo-political game. They don't want to choose sides and couldn't care less. Understandable, seeing the role that both countries play throughout the world now
- the funny thing is that some of the countries that are pushed back (Iran, North Korea, Russia, etc...) don't have much too lose. US defense alone has struggled to identify targets worth bombing in North Korea and how do you force a country to comply if they have nothing left to lose such as Iran or North Korea? It's unlikely China or Russia will engage in all out attack in the near to medium future. It's likely they'll continue to do the exact same thing and skirt around the edges with cyberwarfare and aggressive intelligence collection
- It's clear that the superpower struggle has been underway for a while now. The irony is that this is game of economies as well as technology. If the West attempt to compete purely via defense technology/deterrence then part of me fears they will head down the same pathway that the USSR went. It will collapse under the strain of a defense (and other industries) that are largely worthless (under most circumstances) and does nothing for the general poplation. Of course, this is partially offset by a potential new trade pact in the APAC region but I am certain that this will inevitably still be in favour of the US especially with their extensive SIGINT/COMINT capability, economic intelligence, and their use of it in trade negotiations
- you don't really realise how many jobs and money is on the line with regards to the JSF program until you do the numbers

An old but still enjoyable/playable game with updates to run under Windows 7

Watching footage about George W. Bush it becomes much clearer that he was somewhat of a clown who realised his limitations. It's not the case with Tony Abbott who can be scary and hilarious at times
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Tony Abbott, President of the USA of Australia (HBO)
Must See Hilarious George Bush Bloopers! - VERY FUNNY

Once upon a time I read about a Chinese girl who used a pin in her soldering iron to do extremely fine soldering work. I use solder paste or wire glue. Takes less time and using sticky/masking tape you can achieve a really clean finish!/

Monday, August 31, 2015

Native Instrument's 'pkg' File Format, Web Documentation Compiler/Scraper, Thoughts on the JSF/Counter-Stealth Technologies, and More

Sometimes you get installation errors in Windows and it is absolutely infuriating because the manufacturer offers you no easy way of correcting (and understanding where the error actually is because of arcane error messages) the file short of re-downloading the entire ISO, etc... This is when some basic reverse engineering skills come in handy.

As you can see below, Native Instrument's 'pkg' file format is actually just a xar archive which includes several other archived files as well.

xar -x -f "Maschine 2 Factory Library Library Part 5.pkg"
user@machine:/media/sda1/NIMCN2FL100$ cd Folder
user@machine:/media/sda1/NIMCN2FL100/Folder$ ls
Bom  PackageInfo  Payload  Scripts
user@machine:/media/sda1/NIMCN2FL100/Folder$ file *
Bom:         Mac OS X bill of materials (BOM) file
PackageInfo: XML document text
Payload:     gzip compressed data, from Unix
Scripts:     gzip compressed data, from Unix
user@machine:/media/sda1/NIMCN2FL100/Folder$ mv Payload Payload.gz
user@machine:/media/sda1/NIMCN2FL100/Folder$ mv Scripts Scripts.gz
user@machine:/media/sda1/NIMCN2FL100/Folder$ gunzip Scripts.gz
user@machine:/media/sda1/NIMCN2FL100/Folder$ ls
Bom  PackageInfo  Payload.gz  Scripts
user@machine:/media/sda1/NIMCN2FL100/Folder$ vim Scripts
user@machine:/media/sda1/NIMCN2FL100/Folder$ gunzip Payload.gz
user@machine:/media/sda1/NIMCN2FL100/Folder$ ls
Bom  PackageInfo  Payload  Scripts
user@machine:/media/sda1/NIMCN2FL100/Folder$ file *
Bom:         Mac OS X bill of materials (BOM) file
PackageInfo: XML document text
Payload:     ASCII cpio archive (pre-SVR4 or odc)
Scripts:     ASCII cpio archive (pre-SVR4 or odc)

The trend towards placing all documentation online can be infuriating at times. It means you have to have a permanent connection on at all times for referencing. The only option is to run a web crawler/web site downloader over it but as I've discovered in the past the performance of such programs can be frustrating. Recently, I had a similar encounter with some trading software. I wrote a custom script to download all relevant files and then compiling them into a single PDF file.

This reminds me, you don't always have to resort to multi-threading to achieve parallelism/higher performance (I've come across some people who have almost basically assumed this). In fact, in some languages you can't even do it.

If you've ever watched some of the online courses from MOOCs and seen some of the better quality YouTube productions (or other free video upload sites out there) you're sometimes left wondering why you or others would want to pay. Anyhow, as stated previously I don't like being online all the time and want to download things for offline perusal. Recently, I had a problem with regards to merging them though. One, it wasn't being done properly and two, MP3 tag information was corrupted. I found out mp3wrap and vbrfix did the job.

You may have to chance some code in mp3wrap if you use more than 256 files though. ./configure, make, make install...
mp3wrap.h:#define MAXNUMFILE 512

Can't believe that in this day and age we don't have better mp3 file verification checking options. Guessing I haven't found the right tool yet?

- as stated before the US seems more guarded with regards to the program than most other people
- most advances in 'stealth' have so far come from iterative science and technology advances. I think the next major advance will likely come from left field though. Something which affects the science in general rather than something more specific to stealth/defense technology alone. Like 'stealth' my guess is that it may take a bit of time before we feel the impact of such technology in the real world though
- if you look at the program more carefully it's much more obvious how savings can accrue over the life of the JSF program. It's clear that the core designs across each of the variants is no longer as similar as was originally intended but modular design, self diagnostics/testing, etc... will still play a role over the entire lifetime of the program
Marine In The F-35 Test Force Shares His Experiences
- the irony is that some of the primary mechanisms that are currently used to reduce temperature for IR stealth are actually used in satellite technology and more inauspicious areas like motorsport technology
- one of the odd things which has struck me about the Russia/Chinese with regards to their defense/intelligence setup is that even if they have the ability to re-produce some Western technologies they sometimes choose not to. Think about the Buran. They're generally more practical and economical with regards to use of technology. Look at the way finances were handled during the KGB era. They were miserly when it came to budgeting for possible assets when compared to their Western counterparts. That's why I'm not entirely certain that the reason why they are behind the eight ball on aircraft stealth is simply because they don't have the ability to bridge the gap... At various times throughout history they've held the lead with regards to submarine, missile, and various other core defense technologies. I think that it may simply come down to the fact that they may be trying to do their best allocate their resources in such a way that to acheive their defensive needs for the best price? Either way, I don't think that a war involving the US and near peer threats such as Russia and China is going to be clear cut as some people think (especially when the modernisation of their militaries are complete). It will be somewhat of a slugfest...
- even if the JSF can perform CAS duties relatively well there's something we're missing here. The JSF is incredibly expensive and the way that stealth is so integral to the aircraft means that every time the aircraft gets hit its RCS increases. Moreover, the cost of the shell of the aircraft is exhorbitant compared to current technology. For anyone to assume that the JSF is not going to get hit in CAS duties is nonsensical especially if it's going to try to takeover the role of the A10 (in a like for like replacement) at some point. I still prefer a group of loitering drones that can be called in for an immediate support at any point if and when required. It should be cheaper, quicker, and more survivable (if designed correctly)... This could be a moot point though if Allied nations only continue to engage in non near-peer threat engagements such as been the case recently though and the trend continues towards higher altitude CAS...
- the most common argument that the Russians/Chinese have when the West accuses them of something is that the West isn't any different. The funny thing about this is that technically they're right. It's just the level that each side is willing to stoop to. The US spies on friend and foe alike using mostly technological means though while the former is more reliant on HUMINT. In the context of economic intelligence I'd be very interested to know just exactly how the numbers add up knowing how much the West spends on technical intelligence and the same goes for the Russians/Chinese as well... Both sides sound rediculous at times accusing one another of any wrong doing...,7340,L-4696268,00.html
- if you think about the nature of defense now it's somewhat bemusing. Our concept of what defense seems to be almost completely focused around the notion of force projection and qualitative/quantitative superiority. To me some of what is done has little to do with defense anymore as it does attempting to shape the world in the way we want simply because we can...
- there's so much information out there regarding a lot of sensitive military technology I just find it hard to believe some of the classification levels for information that are held when it comes to some stuff and why we would hold people accountable for stuff that is already out in the open and confirmed by official sources. Sometimes it seems as though much of what the Russians/Chinese need to reverse engineer some technologies can either be purchased or else obtained from free and open sources
JSF Making Stealth productionJuly48 TEXT READABLE.pdf
F-35 High Energy Laser
Stealth question - Reduction in RCS
- as stated previously, most people who watch this space know that stealth bombers can be tracked from thousands of kilometers away provided equipment is tuned correctly, environmental conditions are favourable, etc... To me, a lot of the power projection capabilities (or anything which facilitates them) makes me feel as though they have homing beacons. This includes sensor technology which relies on any active measures such as long range RADAR, AWACS, re-fuelling, AEGIS class warships, aircraft carriers, etc... They're just asking to be hit (by near peer threats) which probably explains the reasons behind increasing sensory capabilities of 5th gen aircraft such as the JSF and increasing de-centralisation of capabilities in 6th gen aircraft designs
- if you know a little bit about military technology you'll be aware that one of the things that are of slight concern are electronic hardware which when illuminated by certain, unique frequencies basically become homing beacons. The thing is, if you think about this for a bit isn't it possible to achieve the same thing using microchips (or anything that is symmetrical on an aircraft)? I mean, one of the core tenets of RADAR stealth is incorporating non-planform design. Namely, reducing parallel and symmetrical shapes. The legs on a microchip are spaced evenly and symmetrically apart. Provided sufficient power and at favourable angles isn't it also possible to achieve the same thing using electronics (and other objects) aboard most aircraft (epsecially if their designs are unique)? The main issues would be power and projection of course...
- in the Iraq war much of the RADAR capabilities were knocked out extremely early. The opposite has been true in Syria where much equipment has been turned off and turned on only periodically. Much like my beacon idea I'm wondering why we couldn't use the same concept to detect SAM and RADAR systems. If we know the rough design, then we should know the rough frequency/wavelength that they operate with... Radiate at sufficient power and at the right angle and they should re-radiate? Perhaps a job for drones which would search for equipment based on rough intelligence estimates for mobile equipment in particular?
- people often harp on about how Western defense technology is superior but we've never really seen a genuine encounter between near peer threats for a long time. It's also clear that neither side. Operationally, both Russia and the United States have never really given in to their partners on national security concerns. Their partners often don't receieve the same information nor do they recieve the same technology (same fear that the US has regarding the F-22 Raptor. They don't want to have to go to war against equipment that is equally adept which they built. They also worry about OPSEC of allied nations believing that we could leak information since we spend less on national security). I wouldn't be surprised if (much like during the Cold War) much of the publicly available information we have regarding upper end equipment is substantially wrong
- much has been made of DAS in the JSF. Some Russian fighter aircraft have had much of this basic, core functionality (all around sensory capability) for decades
- a RAND defense analyst recently floated around the idea of a slow moving aircraft with large payload capabilities as an alternative to conventional fighter jets. It would actually render 5th gen fighters completely irrelevant if implemented correctly...
- I've been looking at the design of the PAK-FA slightly more closely and noticed how it had multi-band RADAR capabilities for various purposes. The thing which struck me was the updated R-77 capability whereby the jet provides information in unison with the missile's own internal targeting system. Even if one fails, the other system has enough redundancy to be able to potentially re-acquire a lock. Interestingly, if we think about this slightly what if we use the same idea in combination with jets and ships or jets and large RADAR. Updated information from longer wavelength RADAR in combination with the missiles' or jets' on targeting systems would allow for an increased chance of lock and reduced chances of being outwitted through decoys as well...
- modern rules of engagement may mean that visual identification may be necessary before a pilot can launch an attack rendering any BVR capabilities a moot point
- for a while now the defense and intelligence have used animals such as dolphins and sea lions for various purposes including recon as well as force proection. Something I've been curious about is whether or not we can use animals as radiators undersea as well as in the air... Think about this, if you are in a room with furniture and you scream it sounds different to if it were empty. It's the same if you scream in front of someone versus if you scream with nothing in front of you. If you can activate all animals in your surronding area (using beacons at abnormal frequencies or otherwise training them and attaching 'radiators' to them) to either create sound you can detect the presence of other objects in your immediate vicinity (without giving away your position as well). Roughly the same principle that allowed the detection and shooting down of the original F-117 stealth bomber

If you've ever worked with laptops (or any device) with dead batteries you've probably wondered about how to restore them to working condition...