Roland Dobbins

Roland Dobbins

  • Commented on Clickbait spasm: 14 gizmos I used in 2015
    Check out the Zagg Slim Book for the iPad Mini 4 - a better compact keyboard layout than the Logitech, and it converts your iPad Mini 4 into a true netbook-like form-factor with a laptop hinge, instead of the awkward...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    This is a very realistic and sober assessment, IMHO....
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Very little of this (assuming you buy it, which I don't; I believe my lying eyes) is due to satellite weather, except for hurricane stuff. Weather sensor networks and weather radar (which is terrestrial, and can be linked cross-regionally) is...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Very few people in the US think of 'frontiers'; this has been the case since the 1930s. Most people will take their BSG or their Star Wars or whatever and be quite satisfied, no reality required. Especially as the reality...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    This is untrue, unless you're in the wilds of Mongolia. If you're anywhere civilized, you're using mobile wireless broadband or WiFi connected to terrestrial links....
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    I guess that depends on what value of 'Western civilization' one posits, heh....
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    NASA's mission is to gain more Federal funding for NASA bureaucrats and contractors (revolving door between those two states). Any actual science they perform is incidental, as is demonstrated by the fact that they do so little of it....
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Just because it's on the Internet doesn't mean it's true. I notice no substantial difference in weather forecasting accuracy over the last 50 years, in all the countries in which I've lived and worked. It was decent 50 years ago,...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    High-volume bandwidth speeds even for batch-mode bulk data transfers are significantly negatively affected by latency - TCP RTTs, even with the various TCP hacks the satellite folks try. The cool kids are IM fanatics, and want video and audio streamed...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    I've lived through it. Weather prediction (as opposed to weather metrics reporting via smartphone apps) isn't meaningfully more accurate than it was 50 years ago. 'Climatologists' have nothing to do with meteorology, which is an actually useful applied art. Economics...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Concur - and there's a lot of exotic particle research with major implications for astronomy and cosmology which is just now in its infancy, and almost all of it is terrestrial....
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    What you're saying is that high-latency satellite comms is most useful for batch-type stuff, and I concur wholeheartedly. That doesn't correlate with what the cool kids think of as 'Internet access'. Faking it locally doesn't work for their needs, which...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    I'm not trolling, nor am I wrong. Satellite broadband is marginally more useful than no broadband at all, but not for near-time stuff. It's very high-latency, even LEO stuff adds painful latency. And the available bandwidth is a trickle, and...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    No, weather prediction hasn't improved much in the last 50 years, as I can confidently assert as a firsthand observer of its stagnation. I agree that lack of satellite comms doesn't lead to societies stagnating. As for the biology stuff...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    In case you hadn't realized, satellite broadband data access sucks. It isn't really useful except for semi-offline stuff due to induced latency to/from geostationary orbit. Even an LEO Iridium re-run suffers from enough latency to make the most mundane Internet...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    The bottom line is that a Kesller cascade doesn't make 'the sky go dark'. It mainly makes Western militaries develop cataracts....
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Weather prediction hasn't substantially increased in accuracy over the last 50 years or so, so that won't be an issue....
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Nonsense. Authoritarian governments benefit from space tech, dissidents don't. And you even contradict yourself in your last paragraph....
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    What does Chinese civilian Internet access (or impediments thereto) have to do with C3ISTAR?...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Expect Safeguard writ large to come back into fashion - which is a good thing, as all a useful ABM system needs to do is sufficiently attrit a first strike eto raise the odds of a minimum-capability second-strike force to...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Nonsense. Anything which impedes 'globalization' is a net defeat for the various forms of creeping (and leaping) authoritarianism. Great powers muddled along quite nicely prior to 1957. You greatly exaggerate the importance of space-based assets and greatly undervalue mid-20th-Century tech....
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Yeah, long-duration heliostats linked in relays would be a major priority, especially for the Western militaries. Since the ChiComs don't have decent C3ISTAR and aren't likely to have it anytime soon, sweeping LEO is likely their first move if they...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    The intro to Freespace 2 captured it quite nicely....
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    ICBMs, SLBMs, and FOBS mostly follow trajectories between anticipated combatants which probably wouldn't be impaired. SLBMs, especially, as they're mobile (ASW becomes even more important). And of course, blasting paths where necessary (after all, in a strategic nuclear exchange, EMP...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    All you need to scrag anything in LEO is a sounding rocket full of roofing nails and a decent orbital dynamics calculation program....
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    [I include submarine cables in 'terrestrial', btw.]...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Global broadband access will in no wise be impacted (so to speak) by a Kessler cascade. Inmarsat users in yurts and on cargo ships will be, but the overwhelming majority of civilian broadband traffic travels via terrestrial links of various...
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