Thursday, December 18, 2014

The giant tubes that launch nuclear missiles in Ohio-class submarines

The giant tubes that launch nuclear missiles in Ohio-class submarines

Impressive photo of the giant tubes that house four of the 24 Trident II D5 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBM) carried by Ohio-class nuclear submarines. 14 of these submarines travel for months underwater, carrying fifty percent of all the active thermonuclear warheads in the US arsenal.

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historysisco: On this day in History December 17, 1903:...





historysisco:

On this day in History December 17, 1903: Brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful man-powered airplane flight, near Kitty Hawk, N.C. The article Testimony to Flight from the National Archives website describes the events of December 17, 1903:

Surfmen John T. Daniels, Robert Westcott, William Beacham, W. S. Dough, and Benny O’Neal helped them get the flying machine to the hill on December 14 and witnessed Wilbur Wright’s unsuccessful flying attempt that day.

Because the Wrights wanted a strong wind for their next test flight, they waited until the early morning of December 17 to signal the station. At the time of the flight, there was a 23–27 mile-an-hour wind, and it was bitterly cold. Soon, Surfmen Daniels, Dough, and Adam D. Etheridge arrived on the scene.

Wilbur and Orville flipped a coin to see who would fly first. At 10:35 a.m., as the plane left the ground, Daniels, using Orville’s camera, took a photograph of the first plane in flight with Orville at the controls and Wilbur alongside. The Wrights made three more flights on December 17, each taking a turn as pilot. After the fourth flight, a sudden gust of wind rolled the machine over. Surfman Daniels, with Orville and Wilbur’s help, tried to rescue the machine from the wind. Daniels was bruised in the attempt to save the machine, and the plane was seriously damaged, so no more flights were possible that day. The Wright brothers left the wings with Adam Etheridge and returned to Dayton, OH, with their engine.

The top photograph is "Original Wright Brothers 1903 Aeroplane (‘Kitty Hawk’) in first flight, December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, NC. Orville Wright at controls. Wilbur Wright at right (First flight was 12 seconds)" By Orville Wright and John T. Daniels, December 17, 1903 (165-WW-713-6); Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs; Record Group 165; National Archives.

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Whirlpool's New Dryer Recycles Hot Humid Air So It Doesn't Need a Vent

Whirlpool's New Dryer Recycles Hot Humid Air So It Doesn't Need a Vent

With a breakthrough that will no doubt be lauded by every apartment dweller who has to trudge to a laundromat to clean their clothes, Whirlpool's new HybridCare Heat Pump dryer is actually able to recycle its own hot exhaust which not only makes it more energy-efficient, it also means it doesn't need to vent all that humid air outside. In other words, you can install it pretty much anywhere.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

X-Plane 10 is out for iOS and it is terrific

X-Plane is the premier flight simulator for Mac, Windows and Linux computers as well as iOS. It's accurate enough to have received FAA certification for some phases of flight training, and TUAW editor Steve Sande even mentioned seeing airline pilots ...
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China to deploy world's largest coast guard ship next year

Haijing 2901A ship with a displacement of 10,000 tons is set to be deployed by the China Coast Guard next year, the largest coast guard vessel in the world, according to Shanghai-based New Outlook.

On Dec. 13 a Chinese netizen uploaded a picture of the ship at the Shanghai Jiangnan Shipyard, which shows that the country's first coast guard ship to break the 10,000 ton displacement mark is already in water and the paintwork is almost complete.

The vessel, the Haijing 2901, is bigger than any of the Japan Coast Guard ships, making it the biggest coast guard ship in the world. The ship will be deployed in spring next year at the earliest, according to reports.

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Canonical’s Stripped-Down “Snappy” Ubuntu Comes To Google’s Compute Engine

ubuntu_logo_wood_cropped A week ago, Canonical released the first alpha version of its new minimalist “Snappy” edition of Ubuntu Core for container farms. To the surprise of many, the launch partner for Snappy was Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform. Starting today, however, you will also be able to use this version of Ubuntu on Google’s Compute Engine. Google has clearly made support… Read More
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Photo Tour: China Airlines Maintenance Facility

Resting in the hangar a Boeing 747-400 undergoes a C-check.

Resting in the hangar, a Boeing 747-400 undergoes a C-check

We recently paid a visit to China Airlines’ (CI) primary maintenance facility, located at Taoyuan International Airport outside Taipei. The monster facility–which held three Boeing 747-400s and an Airbus A340-300 at the time–is able to perform all standard maintenance regimens from A to D checks, as well as landing gear replacement and painting.

In for a two-week C-check, a Boeing 747 shows signs of care in progress. Each cabin is inspected in detail.

In for a two-week C-check, a Boeing 747 shows signs of care in progress. Each cabin is inspected in detail.

Unfortunately for us (probably good for the airline) their new Boeing 777-300ER wasn’t in the hangar at the time. Being so new, CI is currently only able to complete A-checks on the airplane. It expects to be able to offer up to C-checks by mid-2015, and add service to Panasonic’s IFE system in 2016. Check out our photo gallery and learn more.

Four of the carriers 31 total 747 fleet sit on a ramp outside the hangar.

Four of the carrier’s 31-strong 747 fleet sit on a ramp outside the hangar

An engine is shuffled around outside the hangar, ready to be placed back on a jet.

An engine is shuffled around outside the hangar, ready to be placed back on a jet

Scaffolding surrounding a Boeing 747-400

Scaffolding surrounding a Boeing 747-400

The rear fuselage of a Boeing 747 is seen in the hangar, with a curious American registration.

The rear fuselage of a Boeing 747 is seen in the hangar, with a curious American registration

A pair of interior window frames rest on a business class seat in the nose of a 747 in progress.

A pair of interior window frames rest on a business class seat in the nose of a 747 in progress

Boeing fleet manager Chieh-Li "Jerry" Wang takes a look inside the rear crew-rest of the Boeing 747.

Boeing fleet manager Chieh-Li “Jerry” Wang takes a look inside the rear crew-rest of the Boeing 747

 

A company Airbus A340 goes through a comprehensive D-check in the hangar. Each D-check takes approximately 60 days.

A company Airbus A340 goes through a comprehensive D-check in the hangar. Each D-check takes approximately 60 days.

An emptied out interior is visible through the rear door of an Airbus A340-300.

An emptied out interior is visible through the rear door of an Airbus A340-300

A mechanic directs the location of an engine.

A mechanic directs the location of an engine

Mechanics work on the engine of a Boeing 747.

Mechanics work on the engine of a Boeing 747

One of 13 China Airlines Boeing 747s rests on a ramp outside the hangar.

One of 31 (at the time) active China Airlines’ Boeing 747s rests on a ramp outside the hangar

This story was written in a partnership with NYCAviation. All the photos are done by the author. China Airlines covered the author’s flights to Taipei, but his opinions are his own.

The post Photo Tour: China Airlines Maintenance Facility appeared first on AirlineReporter.com.

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Texas plumber's truck somehow ends up in Syrian civil war

If you're in Syria and a Mark-1 Plumbing truck rolls by, don't bother calling the number. Mark-1 absolutely, definitely does not service your area.

picture posted on Twitter by the Supporters of the Religion Front — a faction engaged in the ongoing Syrian civil war — shows an enormous gun mounted to the back of a Ford F-250 decorated with the name and number of Mark-1, a plumbing operation in Texas City, Texas. Mark-1 is known better for unclogging toilets than fighting brutal, drawn-out conflicts in the Middle East.

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What’s So Scary About A Nuclear-Armed Drone?

It's a plane designed for the war no one wants to fight. The Long Range Strike Bomber is the Air Force’s secretive and long-running project to develop the next generation…
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Why the Delta BP “hack” isn’t a security risk

Earlier this week there was a lot of news about the Delta mobile boarding pass system was flawed or hacked and allowing travelers to display any boarding pass they wanted rather than just their own. Oopsie.

delta-mobile-boarding-pass

A sample Delta mobile boarding pass and Aztec barcode. Easy to decode, hard to forge

But, really, just oopsie. Yes, there is some theoretical privacy risk there where PNR data (including name and frequent flyer number) is visible. But it is not a security risk, despite the several claims I’ve read suggesting otherwise.

Let us assume, for the moment, that checking ID against the name on the boarding pass is a necessary part of the security process. Even if that were true this latest Delta situation does not actually increase any risk there. You may have read that the data in the barcode is stored in plain text. That is also true. It is easy to read what is there and, if so desired, to generate a new barcode with different data in it.

What is hard, however, is digitally signing the barcode with a valid signature. And every mobile boarding pass barcode is digitally signed. Which means you cannot just decode the barcode, alter the name, print yourself a new one and get through security. At least not with a mobile BP. (Note that this was not always the case.)

Take the sample boarding pass above. It has a passenger name and flight details encoded in it (Jane Smith is flying from LAX to ATL). But it also has a digital signature at the end.

  M1SMITH/JANE          EGY4HV2 ATLLAXDL 0110 293C06D 0001 10FDL004BI7HPF06DN4cMDYCGQCV40DTCPaG9CjVi90lLYENm1t3NhUBamcCGQDp15QB//VkMNaP65mNa6smF0XbdO35sGo=  

If you change the bits at the beginning then when it scans that hash won’t match and the TSA will know. The scanner beeps differently when that happens.

Here’s another boarding pass. This is a real one of mine from a trip earlier this year.

seth-united-boarding-pass

A United paper boarding pass printed at the airport. Also easy to decode.

And here’s what’s in the barcode:

  M1MILLER/SETHBRIAN    ED6**** LAXLASUA 1458 265F002F0016 15C>318 0 K4265BUA              2901624226****** UA UA ******37            *30600    09  UAG  

I’ve redacted it a bit but the important part to notice is that it is not digitally signed. It does not have the hash of text at the end. And none of this is particularly secret. The format for the contents of the barcode is a spec published by IATA.

Don’t get me wrong: it absolutely is possible to forge a boarding pass and not all of the barcodes are digitally signed. But it is also relatively trivial to get a fake ID or otherwise get past the TSA checkpoint.

This Delta SNAFU is a bit embarrassing for the company and may have exposed more personal information than they should have. But it is not a security risk. And, yes, there’s a difference.

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