More good stuff on the open frontiers – 1/6

More articles on the open frontiers of technology and private space flight. But first, some downsides of tech misuse and letting the world pass you by.

Downside of tech revolution and change

Not everything is getting better. There is abuse of technology along with quantitative and qualitative decay:

1/2 – Schneier on Security – Doxing as an Attack – New terms you didn’t want to know, but really ought to: doxing –

The word refers to the practice of publishing personal information about people without their consent. Usually it’s things like an address and phone number, but it can also be credit card details, medical information, private e-mails — ­pretty much anything an assailant can get his hands on.

11/14/14 – American Interest – When Britain Really Ruled the Waves – Look at the decay of the country that once ruled the waves around the world:

The British Royal Navy now has more admirals (33) than warships (29, namely 6 guided-missile destroyers, 13 frigates, and 10 submarines)

Notice what’s missing? There are no carriers and no cruisers in their fleet. The article says the destroyers and subs are aging technologically.

Storing their entire fleet at the Navy base in San Diego would only be noticeable because the docks on the far south end of the harbor would be just a wee bit more crowded.

The collapse in the last 25 years is striking:

… in 1990, when it had a fleet of 85 warships (33 submarines, 3 aircraft carriers, 14 destroyers, and 35 frigates); its population has grown by about 6.5 million even as its military has shrunk. Decline is a choice.

Article points out, quite painfully, that today Britain would be incapable of pulling off even a Falklands scale operation.

The entire British army is half the size of the U.S. Marine Corps. Article says they could only deploy one combat brigade.

Check out the collapse in one generation:

  • 90  14
  • 3      0 – aircraft carriers
  • 33  10 – submarines,
  • 14    6 – destroyers
  • 35  13 – frigates
  • 85  29 – total warships

Having Britain unavailable as a force for freedom because they checked out as a military power is a bad thing since the world is getting more dangerous with each month that passes.


10/6/12 – – How SpaceX’s Dragon Space Capsule Works (Infographic) – Very cool.

12/31/14 – Scientific American – SpaceX Will Try Launch and Re-Land – Think of those huge boosters used to lift a spacecraft into orbit. In January SpaceX will attempt a soft landing of such a booster on a floating platform out in the ocean. When, not if, but when they can do that successfully, the cost of space travel will drop radically. Currently it costs around $10K or $20K per kilo to lift stuff into orbit. That’s around $4,500-$9,000 a pound, or somewhere between $280 and $560 an ounce.

1/6/15 – Yahoo News – SpaceX calls off launch to space station at last minute – Launch was postponed when an engine in the second stage didn’t test correctly. Next launch window is 1/9.


12/24 – Defense Tech – Helicopter Drone Makes First Flight from Navy Destroyer – Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8C Fire Scout make 23 autonomous takeoffs and landings from a destroyer. Ponder that for a few minutes and you realize how much of an achievement it is. Video shows a straight up takeoff and then maintaining relative position to an underway destroyer. Very cool. Helicopter will initially be used for underway resupply.

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